Differential Service & Repair
Expert Differential Repairs & Service in Santa Rosa, CA
Located in Santa Rosa, CA Spring Works services and repairs differentials for all cars, trucks, and motor homes. In addition to differential inspections, we offer differential rebuilding and differential fluid services. Regular service of your differential will reduce wear, reduce high-cost repairs, and keep your vehicle operating smoothly and problem free for years to come. Front and rear differentials should be serviced every 3 years or 50,000 miles. Make an appointment today.
Every vehicle has a differential, but it’s often overlooked by car owners as it’s less prominent than the engine and sits underneath the car, at its rear and front in 4x4/AWD vehicles. The differential’s purpose is to make up for the difference in distance that the inner and outer wheels travel when the car turns a corner. So, when you turn a corner, the differential distributes the same amount of torque to both wheels, even though the outer wheel travels at a slower rate than the inner wheels.
Differentials are a little different in rear-wheel-drive and front-wheel-drive cars. In rear-wheel-drive vehicles, the differential has separate lubrication and housing. The lubrication is a dark oil that’s thick and heavy. Conversely, differentials in front-wheel-drive vehicles generally are integrated with and share the same fluid as the transmission.
Regardless of whether you have a front-wheel-drive or rear-wheel-drive vehicle, servicing your differential and changing the differential oil is important for maintaining your vehicle. The main function of the differential is to lubricate the gears that are responsible for shifting power to the wheel axles from the driveshaft. It’s just as important to change your differential oil as it is to change your engine oil to keep the moving parts operating as they should. Just like with your engine, your differential is subject to metal-to-metal contact that can wear surfaces down and create heat. Over time, without proper lubrication, the differential will fail.
The very first step in any differential service is a complete and thorough inspection. Our differential inspections include a test drive (we will simulate different driving conditions in order to isolate the problem), checking the level and condition of the differential lubricant, and performing a visual inspection of the all the internal components.
Other information that is useful for diagnosing what’s wrong with your differential include copies of the vehicle’s maintenance history along with past and current driving conditions. Once we have this information from you, we can provide you with repair options.
Differential services should be performed regularly at the intervals suggested by your vehicle’s manufacturer. Regular service will increase the life of your differential. As with any vehicle component, irregular service can cause premature failure and lead to higher expenses down the road.
A typical differential service includes a fluid change, fluid analysis, inspection, and fluid refill. The internal inspection includes checking parts of the differential (ring, pinion, side nearing, spider gear, etc.) for wear, backlash, and other signs of potential differential breakdown.
If you experience any of the following when you’re driving your vehicle, bring it in for an inspection to see if you need differential service:
● A whirring noise when you decelerate
● A whine or howl when you accelerate to any speed
● A steady vibration that gets worse as you speed up
● The sound of clunking when you start moving or every few feet as you drive
● A rumbling or whirring noise when going over 20 mph that changes when you turn
If you’re experiencing any of the above, or if it has been at least 3 years or 50,000 miles since you’ve had your differential serviced, make an appointment with Spring Works today for differential repairs or service.
Once we’ve correctly diagnosed the problem with your differential, we can get to work repairing it for you. We can also give you some guidance on what preventative steps you can take to prevent problems with your differentials in the future.
Whirring, howling, whining, and clunking noises originating from the front or rear differential can all indicate that you have worn and/or damaged differential parts. But why do differentials fail in the first place?
There are a number of reasons for differential failure in vehicles, but the most common are improper lubrication (level, type, or contaminants) and high mileage wear and tear. Improper installation of ring/pinion gears, bearings, and related components is another typical cause of differential failure.
Don’t trust your differential service and repair to just anybody. Make sure you work with a company that fully understands the ins and outs of differentials so replacement parts get installed correctly.
At Spring Works you can rest assured that whether you need a fluid service or a complete rebuild, you will have problem-free, high-quality differential services performed. Get it Done Right.
Differential Ring & Pinion
A ring and pinion gear set is a gear that transfers power from the transmission to the wheels of cars and trucks. If your ring and pinion gear set is moderately or very burned, it means your differential has not been properly lubricated. When the ring and pinion get burned, the tooth surface is shiny and the pinion gear teeth’s face/edge gets sharp from being too worn.
The differential ring and pinion can also break. This happens when too much pressure gets applied to the gear set from the tires. It can result from the tires hitting an obstacle while offroad, or from the combination of oversized tires plus excessive power. Differential parts can also break as the result of spinning tires that catch suddenly on a track or offroad.
Differential Spider Gears
Spider gears (also called differential side gears or interior gears) are located in the differential carrier case. Differential spider gears transfer power from the carrier to the axles. In a normal wear pattern, you’ll be able to see a shine down the middle of the spider gears. When we inspect the gears we sometimes find chipping, cracks, or breaks. If we find any cracks in your differential spider gear, then it’s time for servicing and repair. We’ll inspect your differential spider gears when you bring your vehicle in for differential inspection and servicing.
Schedule your appointment for differential service and repairs today!