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Your car’s differential is important because it allows the rear wheels to spin at different speeds, which is necessary when turning corners as the outer radius is longer than the inner circle. If both wheels were turning at the same speed, either one would be skipping across the road without any traction or the other would be ground into the street and lock up.
The differential uses a series of gears to properly distribute the car’s power to each wheel as needed, and those gears need lubrication to assure they work properly without grinding down and overheating from metal to metal direct contact. Differential oil is used for such a purpose, and occasionally gets dirty or compromised and must be changed.
The fact is, your car puts out a lot of power and a large portion of that power goes to the gears in the differential. Although the oil lubricates the gears, it does get hot at times, and the gears wear a little over time, which causes the oil to get dirty and break down to the point it no longer does its job efficiently. At that point, the old oil needs to be drained and the differential refilled with new oil. This is part of the car’s design and expected to happen. As such, it is listed in the owner’s manual as a routine service procedure along with the amount of mileage at which it is generally expected to be needed according to typical driving styles and conditions.
If the differential isn’t serviced according to schedule, most likely nothing is going to happen. However, in the rare case, there is a problem and the differential isn’t serviced, it will result in utter failure of the gears and a need to replace the entire system. At such time, the car won’t corner properly and become unsafe to drive, if it even distributes power to the wheels and can drive at all. Such a repair is far more expensive and simply not worth the risk compared to the comparably low price of conducting the routine maintenance.
It’s important to use an authorized dealer for such a maintenance procedure because their technicians are familiar with the vehicle and what type of oil it uses, along with signs of any further problems or warranties which might apply. Green Dodge in Springfield, IL and serving the surrounding areas of Decatur, Jacksonville, Lincoln, and Taylorville is fully licensed and authorized to provide differential service and any other repair or maintenance needs for your car.