Wheel Differential System

The sun sends subtle kisses as the wind whistles through your hair. The first sign of warm weather means adventure, going to the places that the cold made unbearable, and weaving down roads to who knows where. However, as we weave, wind, and go on new journeys, we don’t stop to think about our vehicle’s wheel differential system.

 What is a Wheel Differential System?

The combination of the steering system and the wheel differential system allows the vehicle to maneuver curvy roads and make turns. While the steering system allows the driver to choose the direction of the vehicle, the differential system carries out the instructions from the driver and steering system. The wheel differential system controls the way that a vehicle turns.

The wheels do not go the same distance when turning. When looking at a vehicle from behind, the right wheels during a right-hand turn travel less distance than the left-side wheels. When making a left turn, the left wheels travel a shorter distance than the right wheels. The wheel differential system compensates for this difference in distance with wheel speed.

When a vehicle turns, the wheels that travel the shortest distance rotate at a slower rate than the wheels that must travel the greatest distance. The same works for the front wheels versus the back wheels. The front wheels also travel a shorter distance than the back wheels, so the back wheels spin at a faster rate than the front wheels. The wheel differential system compensates for distance with speed in order for the vehicle to execute a smooth turn.

Check the Wheel Differential System

A whining or howling transmission or wheel differential system indicates that the differential fluid could be low. The differential fluid is similar to an engine’s oil. The differential fluid lubricates the moving parts of these components to eliminate metal on metal damage. When the differential fluid runs low, the gears whine and howl against each other. Completing a Differential Fluid Flush removes all of the dirty, contaminated fluid and replaces the old fluid with the new fluid. Because replacing the fluid requires a lift and contaminated differential fluid becomes thick and messy, we recommend that a certified auto technician provides a wheel differential fluid flush service.

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