Do You Know What a Differential is in Your Vehicle?

A rear differential is a gear housing situated between the two rear wheels in a rear-wheel-drive (RWD) vehicle. The rear wheels push the car forward in a RWD configuration with the help of the differential's gears keeping them in synch.

The direction and force of the turn require the two wheels to function at different speeds and travel different distances. When you turn right, the right wheels are known as the inside wheels. They have a shorter distance to travel, and at a slower rate, to make the turn than the outside wheels. The wheels on the opposite side of the turn, the left here, are the outside wheels. They need to make a wider arc, and travel at a faster rate, to keep up with the inside. The differential’s gears allow that to happen.

An important aspect of your vehicle’s maintenance is making sure the oil in the differential is changed regularly. It should last about 30,000 miles. If you hear a whining noise, it may be time for a change. Stop in to our service center at Carbone Ford of Bennington in Bennington, VT, and we’ll be happy to talk with you.

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