How do differentials work?
Differentials work by mechanically transferring power from your driveshaft to your drive axles. The most common differential type is an open differential. An open differential transfers power in two directions and follows the path of least resistance. To put this into perspective, imagine your heavy-duty vehicle is on a very uneven road. So uneven that one of your wheels lifts into the air. Since there is no resistance on this wheel, it will receive the most power. For most on-road vehicles this is not an issue. However, on heavy-duty trucks that are used off-road or on construction sites, the path of least resistance is not always an asset. This is where the second type of differential is used. Locking differentials are exactly what they sound like. They lock the differential so power is evenly distributed to either side. This eliminates the path of least resistance issue.
Does my driveline need to be serviced?
- Your driveline needs to be serviced every 30,000 to 40,000 miles. If you’re hauling close to your max haul or towing capacity, we highly recommend you service your driveline at an even smaller interval.
- If you’ve been in an accident, we highly recommend you come in for service. Chances are a part of your driveline has been knocked out of place. Common issues include broken drive axles, ceased locking differential pins, and warped drive shafts.
- Trucks that have been driven really hard, even without hauling or towing heavy loads, may need driveline service earlier than a 30,000-mile interval. Cross-border truckers tend to come in earlier because their trucks are exposed to different climates and weather conditions which may cause damage to your driveline.