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Category Archives: Drive Train

Viva la Differential At Birmingham BDG In Birmingham BDG

There are a lot of Birmingham BDG people who are due for a differential service, but had never heard of a differential before. With front-wheel drive being so common in AL these days, the differential is just taken care of during a transmission service, so most Birmingham BDG folks 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 mind. So it’s not uncommon for Birmingham BDG people to not know they have a differential let alone know that it needs service.

To better understand what a differential does, think about a track at any AL high school. 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 sedan 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 sedan moving goes through the differential. Most cars weigh between three and six thousand pounds – 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 manufacturers recommend intervals for when to replace your differential fluid.

Your courteous Birmingham BDG service technician will drain the used fluid and check it out for metal bits, which could be a sign of excessive wear on the gears. He’ll then replace the fluid and install the additives if necessary.

Your Birmingham BDG service advisor can look up the sedan manufacturer’s recommended service interval or you can check your owner’s manual.

At Birmingham BDG, we’ve been providing quality automotive service for our valued Birmingham BDG customers for 10 years. If you need to schedule differential maintenance, or any other automotive service, give us a call at 1.800.LET.NAPA.

Posted in   Drive Train

What Is A Differential And Do You Have One?

With front-wheel drive being so common these days in Birmingham BDG, AL, the differential is just taken care of during a transmission service, so most Birmingham BDG car owners 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 mind for our Birmingham BDG customers. So it’s not uncommon for car owners to not know they have a differential let alone know that it needs service.

Call Birmingham BDG in Birmingham BDG at 1.800.LET.NAPA for information about differential service, or stop by our Birmingham BDG, AL auto center at 5720 Old Springville Road 35126.

To better understand what a differential does, think about our local Birmingham BDG 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 for us Birmingham BDG motorists. When you think of it, all the power to get a vehicle moving goes through the differential. Most cars in the Birmingham BDG, AL area weigh between three and six thousand pounds – 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 important 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 breakdown over time. So auto makers recommend intervals for replacing your differential fluid.

Your courteous Birmingham BDG service specialist will drain the used fluid and check it out for metal bits, which could be a sign of excessive wear on the gears. Then he’ll replace the fluid and install the additives if necessary.

Your Birmingham BDG service advisor can look up the car maker’s recommended service interval or you can check your owner’s manual. Give us a call at 1.800.LET.NAPA for more information about your differential service.

Posted in   Drive Train

Drive Train – What You Need to Know In Birmingham BDG

One Birmingham BDG automotive service issue that doesn’t get much attention is driveline service. Drivelines don’t get talked about very much around Clay, but they’re very critical. First let’s define what the driveline is:

Taking a small step back, the power plant is comprised of the engine and transmission. The driveline starts there and includes all of the components that transfer power from the transmission to the wheels.

That’s not really a lot of components, but they handle the full force of the engine. Without the driveline you’re not moving. So Birmingham BDG auto owners need to take good care of it. The driveline components differ depending on whether your vehicle has front wheel drive, rear wheel drive, all wheel drive or four wheel drive. For purposes of our discussion, we’re going to have to oversimplify a bit.

If you are ready to have your drive train looked at, give us a call:
Birmingham BDG
5720 Old Springville Road
Birmingham BDG, AL 35126
Call Us at 1.800.LET.NAPA

Let’s start with front wheel drive. The point where the transmission stops and the driveline begins is a little blurred with front wheel drive because the transaxle houses both the transmission function and the differential function. The half shafts that send power to each front wheel, come out of the transaxle. The shaft is connected to the wheel by a constant velocity, or CV, joint. The CV joint is protected from dirt and water by an airtight, flexible rubber boot.

So, Birmingham BDG driveline service would include properly servicing the transaxle and inspecting the cv boot to see if it’s torn or loose. If it is, it needs to be replaced and the CV joint inspected for damage. Repairs may be in order. Besides visual damage to the airtight CV boot, you might hear a clicking noise when turning. Recommended maintenance for the transaxle and CV joints will be spelled out in your owner’s manual or check with your courteous Birmingham BDG service advisor.

On to rear wheel drive. The driveline for a rear wheel drive vehicle starts with the driveshaft – that long tube that connects the transmission with the differential on the rear axle. Some vehicles in Birmingham BDG have a two piece drive shaft. The shafts are connected to the transmission and the differential with big universal joints. Most Birmingham BDG drivers have probably heard the term ‘u-joints‘. These joints can wear out, just like the CV joints in front wheel drive vehicles. You may hear some clunking or feel a jolt when shifting into drive or reverse – if you do, get your driveline inspected at Birmingham BDG in Birmingham BDG.

The differential on the rear axle sends power out to each rear wheel through half shafts in the axle. The differential fluid needs to be drained periodically and replaced with clean fluid. When the seal on the end of the axle is damaged or leaks, the axle will need to be serviced. The routine maintenance item here is differential service. Be sure to check your owner’s manual or Birmingham BDG service advisor for intervals.

Now let’s go on to all wheel drive. Remember that the difference between all wheel drive and four wheel drive is that an all wheel drive vehicle is essentially providing power to all of the wheels all of the time. The sedan may be able to shift more of the power to the front or to the back depending on where you need traction. All wheel drive vehicles are designed to work well on dry pavement. Even some high-end sports cars from makers like Lamborghini and Porsche have all wheel drive.

Some all wheel drive vehicles are designed to work well off-road in Birmingham BDG, but all hard-core rock crawlers are four wheel drive. These guys thrive in mud, sand, rocks and hills – but they don’t work well on dry pavement when they’re in four wheel drive. So they have the option to shift to rear wheel drive only on dry pavement.

Most all-wheel drive vehicles are very similar to front wheel drive when it comes to the front end. They also have a center differential that transfers power to the rear differential. Connecting it all is a shaft from the transaxle to the center differential and another from the center differential to the rear differential. So all of the normal front wheel drive service is vital as well as service to the center and rear differentials.

Four wheel drive can be thought of as a rear wheel drive vehicle that can also send power to the front axle. There’s a transfer case in the middle of the vehicle that can be shifted to send power through a drive shaft to a differential on the front axle. So Birmingham BDG car owners need differential service for the front and rear differentials and for the transfer case as well.

The bottom line for Birmingham BDG motorists is that the maintenance schedules are in your owner’s manual. Your Birmingham BDG service advisor can answer any questions you’ve got. If this is the first time you’ve heard some of this stuff – it’s time to ask someone at Birmingham BDG if any of it needs to be done now.

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Posted in   Drive Train