Category: Drive Train

Drive Train Service in Colorado Springs at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine

The drive train in your vehicle includes all the critical components that transfer power from the transmission to the wheels. Those components differ depending on what type of vehicle you drive, namely, front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. The preventive maintenance your driveshaft needs will also differ by what type of vehicle you drive.

Let’s start with front-wheel drive. In this vehicle, the transmission and the differential are combined in one component, known as the transaxle. The transaxle is connected to two half-shafts (axles), which are then connected to the wheels with a constant velocity (or CV) joint, which is protected by an airtight rubber boot.

Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine service for this type of driveline includes servicing the transaxle and inspecting the CV boot. If the boot is damaged, the CV joint will need to be inspected, and the boot will need to be replaced. If you hear a clicking noise in your wheel wells when you turn, you may have a damaged CV joint. A damaged CV joint should be replaced.

Rear-wheel drive vehicles generally have a transmission in the front of the car and the differential in the back. A driveshaft (it looks like a long tube) connects the transmission to the differential. Some vehicles may have a two-piece driveshaft, which are connected to the differential with universal joints or U-joints. Again, the differential is connected to two half-shafts that go out to the wheels.

Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine service on the drive train on a rear-wheel drive vehicle starts with servicing the differential. It will need its fluid drained and replaced regularly. The seals on the axles should also be inspected for wear or leaks. Leaking or damaged seals may mean the axle needs to be serviced as well. Also, U-joints can wear out. If you hear clunking or feel a jolt when you shift into drive or into reverse, it could indicate a driveline problem.

All-wheel drive SUVs provide power from the transmission to all of the wheels, instead of just to the front or rear. The advantage is that the vehicle can adapt to different driving conditions and transfer more power to the front or back wheels as needed. The disadvantages are that the driveline is more complicated, and the vehicle weighs slightly more.

Many all-wheel drive vehicles are based on a front-wheel drive set-up. They also have a differential in the rear and one in the center of the vehicle that allows power to transfer to the front and rear. A shaft runs from the transfer case to the center differential, and another from the center differential to the rear differential.

Servicing an all-wheel drive at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine involves servicing ALL of the differentials and inspecting the joints and seals for wear, leaks or damage.

Four-wheel drive vehicles are rear-wheel drive vehicles that have an option to transfer power to the front wheels. In other words, they can be driven as either rear-wheel or four-wheel drive vehicles. These vehicles are specifically designed for the harsh driving conditions Colorado Springs motorists encounter off-road. The driveline in a four-wheel drive vehicle is similar to that of an all-wheel drive vehicle. The center differential, however, is a transfer case. Maintenance requires servicing both of the differentials and the transfer case, as well as an inspection of the joints and seals.

Colorado Springs auto owners would be wise to check with their owner’s manual for recommendations on how often to service their SUV drive train. It’s also good auto advice to check with your Professional Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine technician as well. You may live in an area in Colorado where weather or driving conditions require more frequent servicing of the drive train.

If you drive off-road, it is critical to service your driveline more often frequently than the typical recommendation. Conditions encountered off-road around the Monument area are particularly hard on your driveline.

Good car care at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine in Colorado Springs always includes taking care of your driveline. Without it, your SUV becomes a very large paperweight.

Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine is located at 3655 Galley Rd. in Colorado Springs. We provide comprehensive auto repair and maintenance services for residents of Colorado Springs, Widefield, Manitou Springs, Security and Monument.

Viva la Differential At Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine In Colorado Springs

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There are a lot of Colorado Springs people who are due for a differential service, but had never heard of a differential before. With front-wheel drive being so common in Colorado these days, the differential is just taken care of during a transmission service, so most Colorado Springs 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 Colorado Springs 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 Colorado 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 SUV 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 SUV 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 Professional Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine 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 Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine service advisor can look up the SUV manufacturer’s recommended service interval or you can check your owner’s manual.

At Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine, we’ve been providing quality automotive service for our valued Colorado Springs customers for 7 years. If you need to schedule differential maintenance, or any other automotive service, give us a call at 719-630-8729.

Differential Service At Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine

Here at AutoNetTV, we have national viewers, like your neighbors in Colorado Springs, who write to us with questions or feedback. One common question we’re asked is: “What is a differential and what does it do?” You may have been told by your Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine service professional that your differential needs service, or seen it as an option up on the service menu. Differential service at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine covers a lot of things, so let’s first talk about what a differential does.

As you drive through a turn, your outside wheels and inside wheels turn at different speeds. Kind of like the cars going around a race track – the ones driving in the outside lanes have a greater distance to travel than the cars in the inside lanes. The differential is what allows the outside and inside drive wheels to rotate at slightly different speeds so that the tires don’t hop or skip while taking corners, or lose traction in dirt or snow on Monument expressways. Differentials have gears in them that transfer the power from the drive train to your wheels – which is why they’re often referred to as gear boxes. The gears need to be very strong to do this work, and they need to be properly protected so that they’ll last.

All vehicles in Colorado Springs have some form of differential. If you have a front-wheel drive car, your differential is sometimes called a transaxle and is located in the front. If you have rear-wheel drive, the differential is in the back of the car. Colorado Springs auto owners with a four-wheel drive vehicle have a differential in the front and the back – and in the middle as well. The center differential adjusts for differences in speed between the front and rear wheels.

Differential fluid lubricates and cools the gears. Over time, the fluid can get dirty from bits of the gears grinding off. The additives that keep the fluid clean and protect the differential break down over time. So your automobile manufacturer has scheduled intervals for you to have your differential fluid changed. Talk to your Professional Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine service specialist if you are not sure about your recommended schedule.

Differentials are hard working mechanisms, and, along with the gears in a manual transmission, need to be serviced regularly at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine with high-quality, replacement fluid. Your Colorado Springs service advisor can give you more information as to when your next differential service is recommended. You can also ask if they have a record of when the service was last completed.

As with most service intervals, if you are driving under more severe conditions in the Monument area, you will want to service your differential more frequently. “Severe service” conditions are  defined in car makers’ owners’ manuals, and include: frequent starts and stops, short trips, cold Colorado weather, hot weather and towing. All these factors add to the stress of the vehicle and its parts. Also, off-roading in Colorado can be especially hard on differentials, especially if you cross streams. Proper service at Express Auto Repair in Colorado Springs & Engine will extend the life of your gears and keep them running more smoothly. If you have never had your differential checked, visit http://expressengineexchange.com/contact-us/ for more information.