Motorists do not pay much attention to their differential despite how crucial it is to the performance of cars. If you are unfamiliar with this auto system, it is the one responsible for ensuring that your vehicle has the right amount of torque coupled with the proper shaft rotation so that the wheels of can turn at different speeds. This differential rotation of the wheels is what allows you to have stability on the road and maintain traction, particularly when navigating bends. Considering the environment that the diff system functions in, it is inevitable for it to develop issues at one time or another. But since this system is made up of numerous parts, it can be challenging to diagnose where the root of the problem lies. This article illustrates some types of noises to put an ear out for and what they could imply.
Whirring: When the vehicle emits humming noises when trying to accelerate or decelerate, it could be indicative of a malfunctioning pinion bearing. Either the pinion could have come loose and require some tightening, or it could be a more severe problem in the form of a worn down bearing.
Whining: Whining noises from your vehicle do not have to be consistently high. In some cases, the sound could be low enough to qualify as a howling noise, but this does not mean it should be ignored. Howling and whining sounds are usually caused when the differential is operating with worn out rings, which end up emitting the noise.
Rumbling: Rumbling noises from your differential will usually be emitted when you are driving on medium to high speeds. When this occurs, it implies that some of the carrier bearings in the system need replacement. You may also notice that the intensity of the rumbling changes as you are navigating corners, and this is because of slowing down the speed of the vehicle.
Clunking: These noises are characterised by the sound of something banging inside the vehicle. When clunking noises come about when you are turning a corner, it is likely that the positraction clutches of your differential are not receiving adequate lubrication. However, intense banging noises could also imply that the spider gears have broken off. These need immediate replacement or other components of the differential will begin to wear down from excessive friction. If the clunking noises only manifest when you are accelerating, it could be that the yokes have come loose and need securing.
Take your car for diff repairs sooner rather than later so as to avoid more severe problems in the future.