Differential Repair – FAQS

The following are some frequently asked questions about differential repair, diagnosis and overhaul. Use this information as a guide only.

Each issue is unique, so if in doubt call our differential repair experts for advice. We can help determine if you can get your vehicle to us safely if repairs are needed, or give you advice on your best plan of action to keep your vehicle in service and operating properly.

My differential is clunking and banging. Do I need help right away?

Differentials and axles that make a banging or clunking noise should not be driven and require immediate attention. Banging or clunking differential parts can cause damage to otherwise good parts if driven.

My axle housing has an oil leak. What should I do?

Axle housings with substantial oil leaks (puddles) require immediate attention and should not be driven unless the oil can be topped off and the drive is only a few miles. Minor oil leaks (drips) can be driven for a while, but will eventually result in a lack of lubrication and may indicate problems with other parts.

My differential makes a whirring or howling noise. Can I keep driving it?

Ring and Pinion gear sets and bearings that have just started to make noise do not necessarily require immediate attention, but they aren’t going to get better without replacement. Noisy bearings and gear sets will continue to fail and may eventually cause damage to otherwise good parts.

Do ring and pinion gear sets need to be replaced as a set?

Yes. Ring and Pinion gears come in matched sets and must be replaced at the same time.

My differential shudders and pops when I turn after it warms up. What’s wrong?

This is called “posi chatter” and can be an indication of worn limited slip differential clutches or lack of positraction antifriction additive. A minor shudder can indicate the normal performance of an aggressive limited slip differential as the clutches bind and release on corners.

Should I remove the axle housing or bring the vehicle to Ring & Pinion Service?

If the differential is noisy and the vehicle can be driven, we would prefer to have the vehicle so we can drive it and hear the noise. If the vehicle can’t be driven and towing is not an option, the axle housing can be removed and delivered to us. Repairs or modifications will typically cost $80-$100 less if the axle housing only (or center section) is brought to us, with brakes removed for semi float axles. Independent front or rear suspension housings will cost about $200 less if the housing is removed and delivered to us.

Will Ring & Pinion Service use OEM (Original Equipment) or Aftermarket axle parts to repair my vehicle?

Our expertise allows us to make recommendations depending on the type of vehicle, your budget and performance requirements. Ring & Pinion Service stocks complete lines of both OEM and aftermarket differential parts. In many cases, aftermarket parts will perform just as well as OEM parts.

Ring & Pinion Service can help! We offer a Free Diagnostic Service and Free Accurate Repair Quotes.

We can help make sure you get the repairs you need, saving you the cost of additional repairs you don’t need. Contact our Service Professionals for an appointment today at (916)635-9665 or use our online appointment application.

For honest, professional and guaranteed differential repair, Ring & Pinion Service in Rancho Cordova is the answer!