Back to all

What Is a Differential and Do You Have One?

April 2, 2020

With front-wheel drive being so common these days in Brighton, Michigan, the differential is just taken care of during a transmission service, so most Brighton drivers don't even have to think about it. And rear-wheel drive differentials don't need to be serviced for years, so it's understandable that it's not something on the top of Brighton customers' minds. It's not uncommon for drivers to not know they have a differential let alone know that it needs service.

Call Spartan Tire Brighton in Brighton at 810-355-4388  for information about differential service, or stop by our Brighton, Michigan, auto center at 4880 Old U.S. 23, 48114.

To better understand what a differential does, think about our local Brighton high school track. There are lanes marked off on the track. For the longer distance races, the starting lines are staggered. The starting lines for the outside lanes are ahead of the starting lines for the inside lanes. That's to compensate for the longer length of the outside lanes. Staggering the starting lines means that each runner has the same distance to run.

The differential compensates for the difference in speeds between the inside wheel and the outside wheel in a turn, because they have to travel together through slightly different distances.

It's a very important function. When you think of it, all the power to get a vehicle moving goes through the differential. Most cars in the Brighton, Michigan area weigh between 3,000 and 6,000 pounds (1,400 and 2,800 kg) – trucks even more. The power from the engine goes through the transmission and then through the differential to the drive wheels.

That's a lot of work and requires very heavy duty parts. And those parts need protection. The differential fluid lubricates the gears in the differential and keeps them cool.

The fluid eventually gets dirty and worn down. Some kinds of differentials require special additives that break down over time. So vehicle manufacturers recommend intervals for replacing your differential fluid.

The professionals at Spartan Tire Brighton will drain the used fluid and check it out for metal bits, which could be a sign of excessive wear on the gears. Then they’ll replace the fluid and install the additives if necessary.

Your Spartan Tire Brighton service advisor can look up the vehicle manufacture's recommended service interval or you can check your owner's manual. Give us a call at 810-355-4388  for more information about your differential service.

Spartan Tire Brighton
4880 Old U.S. 23
Brighton, Michigan 48114
810-355-4388

Need Service?

Request a Quote

More articles from Spartan Tire Brighton

Command Performance (Engine Air Filter)

May 19, 2024

The internal combustion engine in your vehicle counts on two things that mix together to be burned in the engine for power: fuel and air. Both are important, of course. If you run out of fuel, your engine wont run at all. Since theres plenty of air around, you wont run out of air, but you coul... More

Drivers that "T" Us Off (Bad Driving Practices)

May 12, 2024

We've all seen drivers who do things thatlet's be frankreally irritate us. They're inconsiderate, can put people in danger and make the road a much less friendly place. They really "T" us off. These are the bad drivers who fit their description to a "T." The Tailgater. You've seen this terr... More

Reaching the Braking Point (Brake hose replacement)

May 5, 2024

If you notice your brakes arent working like they used to, thats the kind of thing thats important to have checked out soon. Thats because your brakes are extraordinarily important to the safe operation of your vehicle. Sometimes you feel like your brake pedal is feeling a little soft or its lo... More