It is not uncommon to find that most motorists will not be aware of how their vehicle's differential functions. This is because the differential rarely is problematic, which makes it easy to overlook. So what does the differential do? When you drive your car, its wheels will rotate at varying speeds. This difference in speed is what enables you to navigate bends with ease. To allow the car's wheels to spin independently, they will need a differential. Without the differential, your car's wheels will be locked into one position, which would force them to rotate at the same speed. This is why it is prudent to ensure you engage in differential maintenance to ensure that this component stays in good condition for an optimum driving experience. Generally, your differential will not stop working spontaneously. There will be some signs and symptoms that warn you it requires a car service. The following are some of the sounds that would indicate problems with your vehicle's differential.
Humming noises coming from your vehicle
If you begin to notice humming noises when you are driving your vehicle, chances are there is a ring gear or a pinion gear that has been installed incorrectly in your differential. Improper installation impedes correct placement on the gear teeth as they turn. This will gradually lead to wear and tear of the gear teeth and eventual malfunction of the gear system.
As the wearing of the gear teeth and bearings continue, you may also find that the humming noise is accompanied with some growling sounds. It would be prudent to seek an auto service to have the affected parts installed correctly. You may also need to have the damaged components replaced so that the differential is not affected further.
Roaring noises when trying to increase or decrease your speed
Another noise to look out for that would indicate damage to your differential is roaring sounds when you are trying to either accelerate or decelerate. The most common culprit for this is when the teeth of the pinion gear are causing friction with the teeth of the ring gear. This friction comes about when there is undue contact between the pinion gear teeth and the outer edges of the ring gear teeth. To remedy this, it would be crucial to seek auto servicing so that the contact between the two components is limited.
It should be noted that in the event you hear these roaring noises when your vehicle is coasting, it could mean that there is not sufficient contact between the gear teeth. Which, in turn, results in a backlash that causes the noise when you are coasting. This too would have to be addressed.