Front & Rear Differential Repair Service
Buried deep in the drivetrain of every vehicle on the road is a differential. Typically, two-wheel drive vehicles have a single differential (either in the front or rear depending on which wheels are the driving force), while four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles have two differentials (one in the front, one in the rear). Some four-wheel drive/all-wheel drive vehicles even have a center differential. When it comes time to ask, “Where can I find differential service near me?”, the answer is as close as your local NAPA Auto Care center.
Signs that you need a front differential service or rear differential service
When your vehicle goes around a corner, the outer wheel travels at a different speed than the inner wheel. It is the job of a differential to adjust for that difference, while still sending power to both wheels. Without a differential, it is very difficult to make a vehicle turn because the drive wheels want to keep going at the same speed no matter what. If your differential is failing, you might notice these symptoms:
- Outer edge tire wear
- Shaking or vibrations
- Howling noise when slowing down
- Rumbling or whirring noise when driving
- Banging, clicking or clunking when going around corners
- Tightness making it hard to steer around corners
Front & Rear Differential Repair at NAPA Auto Care
Rear and front differential service is usually done at higher mileage intervals than a more routine service like an oil change. Check differential fluid levels every 30,000 miles and get a differential fluid change whenever the owner’s manual suggests. Different vehicles use various fluid types, so the change intervals will vary by manufacturer. When to change differential fluid also depends on how you drive. A truck that hauls heavy cargo every day will need a rear differential fluid service much sooner than a weekend driven sports car.
Due to the location of the parts, differential repairs are sometimes quite costly. The differential in a front-wheel-drive vehicle is usually part of the transmission itself, which requires taking apart the transmission for access. For rear-wheel-drive vehicles and some four-wheel-drive vehicles, the differential is located in the middle of the axle, which is accessible through an inspection cover. In extreme cases, a front differential replacement is required. This automotive service is not too cumbersome in something like a Jeep Wrangler with a solid front axle, but it could mean a complete transmission replacement in a Honda Accord.
How Much Does Front & Rear Differential Repair Cost?
Replacing a rear differential can cost between $500 to $1,000, while a front differential replacement can cost between $1,000 to $2,000. Sometimes it is necessary to replace differential fluid. A differential fluid service can cost between $100 and $150 dollars. A front and rear differential service, which involves replacing the pinion seals, is typically $300 to $400 per axle. Rely on the easy-to-use NAPA Auto Care NAPA Auto Care Repair Estimator to plan your budget.
If you are searching “rear differential repair shops near me,” then look no further than your local NAPA Auto Care. Our ASE-trained technicians can examine your differential to figure out if you need a differential service or differential repair. The NAPA technicians can also answer any questions you have about the process. Once the work is done, you are covered by our free 24-Month/24,000-Mile Peace of Mind Warranty, which spans across the entire nationwide NAPA Network and includes parts and labor on qualifying repairs and services.