Differential Service at Fraser Chrysler


An often overlooked and even forgotten aspect of vehicle maintenance, having your car’s differential serviced is a vital part in ensuring that it continues to run smoothly and reliably. Equipped on all modern vehicles with an all-wheel drive system, automotive differentials allow for a stable and comfortable driving experience. Continue reading below to learn more about what the purpose of a differential is, why regular differential services are necessary and what things to look out for when considering a differential service.

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What is a Differential? 

Your vehicle’s differential is a mechanism that divides engine torque in two directions. This results in a varied spin speed for each output. A differential's job is to compensate for discrepancies, notably wheel speed differences when turning. When you turn a corner, the inside wheel has less distance to travel than the outside wheel. This means that the outer wheel has to move quicker in order to keep up with the inner wheel. A differential allows for those different speeds and keeps your car fully powered in the process.

Where is the Differential Located? 

A differential exists between each driving wheel set in all modern vehicles with an all-wheel-drive system. Since a vehicle’s front wheels travel at a different speed than the rear wheels, there is a differential between the two front wheels and one in between the two rear wheels. This means that your all-wheel drive Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge or Ram vehicle is equipped with both a front and a rear differential. 


What is a Differential Service? 

A differential service consists of draining the old fluid from the differentials and replacing it with new fluid that complies with your specific vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations. In the case of a rear differential service, the fluid is typically flushed prior to it being drained and replaced with new fluid. By performing your differential service here at Fraser Chrysler, you can rest assured knowing that our factory-trained technicians will only use the factory-approved differential fluid for your specific vehicle make and model. 

Is a Differential Service Necessary? 

Yes! Your vehicle’s differentials use a different, thicker type of oil than your vehicle’s engine. This means that even if you regularly change your car’s engine oil, the oil in your vehicle’s differentials remains the same. Similar to the reasons as to why regular oil changes are important, regular differential services are also beneficial as with time, the differential oil becomes thin and contaminated. As a general rule of thumb, most vehicles should have a differential service performed every 80,000 kilometers, however, more frequent services may need to be performed depending on your driving habits and road conditions.


How Do I Know If I Need a Differential Service? 

As an informed and diligent vehicle owner, it pays to know what things to look out for to avoid costly vehicle repairs that can be easily avoided by proper preventative maintenance service.

A few indicators that your vehicle’s differential is having issues include: 

  • Oil Leaks: if you notice oil leaks coming from around your vehicle’s front or rear axles, contact our service department immediately
  • Odd Vibrations: if you notice odd vibrations while driving, consider having your vehicle inspected 
  • Unusual Noises: any unusual noises coming from below your vehicle, especially loud rattling or whirring noises should immediately be inspected by one of our mechanics 

Strange Odours: differential fluid becomes thinner as it gets older and may begin to start smelling like burnt oil. Should you start smelling this, contact us immediately

Now that you’re well aware of what your vehicle’s differentials do and the reasons as to why regular differential services are needed, contact our service department here at Fraser Chrysler and book your service appointment, today!