What’s the diff? Well, it’s short for ‘differential’ which has the job of balancing the speed of your car’s drive wheels. When a car is turning a corner the inside wheels have slightly less distance to travel than the outside wheels. The ‘differential’ as its name suggests, compensates for the difference.
Now if you drive a front wheel drive vehicle then this function is handled by the trans axle, however its role is the same. For the more traditional rear wheel drive, the differential is located on the rear axle.
On 4WD drives and all wheel drive vehicles you’ll have a differential on both front and rear axles and a transfer case that handles the difference of power as required from front to rear.
As differentials have to cope with enormous amounts of torque and strain, they are manufactured as heavy duty components relying on oil to keep them cool and lubricated.
Like all oils they do wear out and need replacing from time to time… along with a number of seals which are located at the junction of the universal joint and at the end of each axle.
The good news is, when you have your car serviced at Scrugg’s Automotive Repair Center, your oil level and seals are inspected as part of our safety check.