Diagnosing Your Car's Differential Noises


The differential is an essential system on the drivetrain of your vehicle that ensures smooth turning of the car. Car differential repairs are generally rare because differentials are often designed to last the entire service life of your car. However, this doesn't mean your differential is damage-proof. Your differential may start showing signs of failure, especially when your car is of high mileage. Usually, noises are the main signs of a failing differential. There are a variety of noises you will hear from the rear (for a standard rear-wheel drive car) or from both the front and the rear (for an all-wheel drive car). The noises are also heard during different phases of driving. For this reason, knowing when the noises occur and what they mean will help you know exactly what and where the problem is. Read on to learn more on these noises.

Noises When Accelerating or Decelerating

Pay attention to any unusual sounds or noises when accelerating. Howling is a common sign of a bad differential, especially when your gears have been operating quietly. The howling can be accompanied by a rumble or a whir when you are accelerating at any given speed. If that's the case, a worn out gear set or pinion is the culprit. If it happens without the rumble, only the gear set could be having a problem. Usually, the gear set would be worn due to an overload or inadequate lubrication both of which can also cause a howl when you are accelerating at a small range of speed.

If you experience steady vibrations when accelerating, your driveshaft could be out of balance. Have it checked as soon as possible because problems with the driveshaft will affect the drivability of your car. If the vibrations are intense, the bushings or U-joint of the driveshaft could be worn out and will have to be replaced.

Clunking and banging noises will be heard when you are making a rapid deceleration. The intensity of the noise could increase in warm weather. This is often caused by worn out spider gears or clutches if your car has a manual transmission. You may hear some noises when you are either accelerating or decelerating, and this is usually the case when the pinion gear teeth are broken or worn out. Clicking and banging sounds are some of these noises.

Noises When Turning

Any noises you hear when making a turn are a sign that your axle shaft is faulty. Noises during turns are often caused by missing, worn out or damaged axle bearings. Pay attention to the intensity of the sound in relation to the direction of the turn. For instance, if you hear a popping, banging, or crunching sound coming from the right side of your car when making a right turn that reduces in intensity or disappears when you make a left turn, the exterior axle bearing could be worn out or damaged.  


24 March 2017

Servicing Toys: Repair Services for Cars, Caravans, ATVs and More

My name is Donna, and I love my toys! I have an ATV, a caravan, a boat and a range of other "toys". I find that there is a lot of information online about auto service but not that much about servicing fun types of vehicles. Inspired by the phrase "be the change you want to see in the world", I decided to start a blog full of information that is usually hard to find online. I will write about servicing toys, vintage cars, sports cars and a range of other topics. I hope that you like these posts and that you learn from them. Thanks for reading and enjoy your toys.