1. To relay the power from the engine to your wheels.
2. To reduce the rotational speed of the gearbox before it hits the wheels.
3. To relay the power to the wheels while allowing them to turn at different speeds.
Your vehicle’s wheels often spin at different speeds, especially when your vehicle is turning. During a turn, all four of your wheels cover different distances.
Your inside wheels will travel a shorter distance than your outside wheels and the distance travelled by your front and back wheels will also differ.
Since speed is equal to time over distance, the wheels travelling the shorter distance rotate at a lower speed, i.e. your inner wheels travel slower than your outer wheels.
For the non-powered wheels on your car, when driving front or rear wheel drive cars, this is not an issue, but the driven wheels are linked together so that a single engine and drivetrain could power them. If they were locked together, and forced to spin at the same speed, it would put strain on your drivetrain every time that you go around a corner as the wheels will naturally want to travel at different speeds, and one wheel will be forced to lose traction. This excessive strain will eventually lead to failure. That is why you always have to ensure that the diff-lock on your 4x4 is disengaged when you are going to travel at a high speed again.
The first sign of a broken differential is excessive noise when your vehicle is turning or a whining sound when accelerating. This is usually because of a bad ring and pinion bearings, worn carrier bearings, broken spider gears or a lack of lubrication. It is very important to have this inspected as soon as you notice the noise, in order to avoid causing any further damage to your differential. It is also very important to have the oil replaced at the indicated service intervals in order to ensure that your differential has sufficient lubrication in order to avoid excessive wear on the parts.
At Spencer’s Gearbox and Diff, we specialise in repairs on all types of differentials. We received a 4/5 star rating from MIWA for the quality of our workshop in September 2014 and November 2015. We have also been accredited by Gearmax as a preferred supplier of their parts and components to customers in the south. Our workshop has also been accredited as a preferred service provider on warranties for Foton, Daihatsu, FAW and Cherry. We provide a 6 Month/20 000 km warranty for all walk in clients on our workmanship.
With over 20 years of experience, excellent workmanship and the quality of our facility, it is easy to see why Spencer’s Gearbox and Diff is a leader in our industry.