Auto Service: Why You Need to Maintain Your Car

Welcome to my blog. My name is Ken. One day, I was driving home from work when the engine in my car failed. While I waited for the recovery truck to arrive, I realised I didn’t have a clue what went on underneath the bonnet of my car. I signed up for an auto service course at my local community college, so I could gain the skills I needed to properly maintain my car and repair it if something when wrong while I was on the road. I wanted to start a blog to pass on these skills to other people so that they can look after their automobiles.

Why You Should Listen to Your Vehicle's Differential


Some people think that the invention of the internal combustion engine was the single biggest breakthrough in motorised transportation. However, while this masterpiece provided the means to power a machine, no vehicle would be able to move without an even more impressive invention: the differential. This complicated device enables the two (or four) driving wheels to act independently of each other so that forward progress can be maintained and it comes under a lot of pressure in ordinary use. If you suspect something is amiss with your vehicle's differential, what do you need to be looking out for?

Being Aware of the Risk

Automobile manufacturers understand how friction, opposing forces and wear and tear can break down the differential, and these devices are typically over-engineered to take this into account. However, if you tow a caravan or trailer a lot or drive on mostly loose surface roads, then you may expect additional challenges to arise.

How Different Noises Can Give You a Clue

For example, you may hear a howling noise when you accelerate the vehicle. This could indicate that the gears within the differential casing have either moved out of alignment or may have worn to such a degree that they need service or replacement. Sometimes this howling noise can appear when the vehicle is decelerating instead and a mechanic may tell you that the pinion bearing, specifically, is faulty.

In another case, the carrier bearings within the casing can fail first and this will develop a distinctive, rumbling noise, especially when the vehicle is turning a sharp corner. Nevertheless, it can be difficult to determine whether you have a rumbling, howling or whirring noise (also likely the pinion bearings), but in general, the differential will need to be dismantled.

It's also possible, however, that the bearings close to the road wheels are faulty and when they are on the way out these will usually produce a distinctive clunking noise, especially at slow speed and when turning. In this case, it is usually possible to replace them without dismantling the main differential casing itself.

Maintaining Correct Levels

Without adequate lubrication, damage would be inevitable and it's therefore important for any vehicle owner to ensure that the lubricant levels are maintained according to the manufacturer's specification.

If your lubricant is okay and you're still hearing these noises, it's best to take the vehicle into a mechanic for car repair before a complete failure occurs.


16 January 2018