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Fairbanks Auto Repair

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Differential Service

Simple Answers from FrontLine Automotive for Fairbanks: Differential Service

June 2, 2020

What is a differential and why do Fairbanks drivers need to have it serviced?

FrontLine Automotive Answer:
First – your vehicle does have a differential. If it's a rear wheel drive, your differential is on the back. If it's front wheel drive, your differential is built into your transaxle (transmission). Fairbanks drivers with all-wheel drive or four wheel drive will have differentials front and rear and maybe one in between.

When you are steering through a turn at an intersection in Fairbanks, the wheels on the outside of the vehicle have to spin faster than the inside wheels because they have to travel a slightly longer distant through the curve. The differential compensates for these speed differences between the wheels.

Because it is part of the equipment that transfers engine power to the wheels, the differential is working hard. Differential fluid – a special heavy-duty oil – cools, lubricates and protects the differential. It needs to be replaced on a schedule to remove metal shavings and other contaminants. Note: if you have a front wheel drive vehicle, replacing your transmission fluid takes care of your differential service needs.

Differentials have become increasingly sophisticated for Fairbanks drivers. Rather than the simple mechanical devices of yesteryear, they are more complicated and may be part of the computer controlled vehicle stability system. This means they are more taxed, so it pays for Fairbanks drivers to have them serviced on schedule at FrontLine Automotive in Fairbanks to avoid premature wear. Talk to your friendly and knowledgeable pros at FrontLine Automotive.

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