What causes a diff to whine?

Asked By: Yongqin Kucer | Last Updated: 4th March, 2020
Category: automotive auto parts
4.6/5 (137 Views . 32 Votes)
A “whirring” noise while decelerating at any or all speeds is most likely caused by bad pinion bearings or loose pinion bearing preload. A “howl or whine” during acceleration over a small or large speedrange is usually caused by worn ring and pinion gears or improper gear set up.

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Keeping this in view, what causes whining noise in rear end?

Worn or dry bearings are capable of a wide range of noises that may change frequency with vehicle speeds. An axle bearing can create whine in the rear end, but will be more prominent on one side of the vehicle. A whine that occurs only on deceleration is often related to the pinion gear bearing.

Likewise, what are the symptoms of a bad rear differential? Signs of a Bad Rear Differential

  • Noise in Gear from an Idle. When the vehicle is turned on and first put into drive, there may be a rattle or clanking noise coming from the rear of the vehicle.
  • Grinding Gears at Speed. When the vehicle accelerates, there may be more noises like a hum or continued clank from the rear.
  • Vibration and Fluid Leak.

Accordingly, what sound does a bad front differential make?

Strange Noises A failing differential will often produce loud whirring noises or sometimes rattling. Any time you hear a strange noise coming from your vehicle, you should get it checked out by an auto repair expert.

What sound does a truck make when rear end is going out?

Typically, when the gears wear out -- or the bearings fail -- the differential will start to howl. You'll hear something that sounds like a deep whistling sound that goes up and down in pitch as you go faster and slower. Sometimes it'll go away when you step on the gas.

30 Related Question Answers Found

How do I know if my wheel bearings are going out?

The most common and most easily identifiable symptom of a bad wheel bearing is an audible one. If you notice a grinding or grating noise coming from your wheel or tire, take note that this is very likely caused by a bad wheel bearing—especially if the noise gets louder as the vehicle accelerates.

What does a bad driveshaft sound like?

Abnormal Noises
This may result in unusual rattling, clunking, scraping, or even squeaking sounds from underneath the vehicle. U-joint in need of lubrication may also cause a squeaking noise at low speeds. Clicking or knocking sounds specifically can signify a faulty CV joint.

What does a bad wheel bearing sound like?

The most common symptom with a bad wheel bearing is a loud noise coming from the tire or wheel of the vehicle. It will sound like metal grinding on metal and will get louder as the vehicle goes faster. A bad wheel bearing can lead to uneven tire wear, which means you will have to purchase tires sooner.

What are the symptoms of a bad pinion bearing?

Usually bad carrier or pinion bearings will growl or rumble at constant cruising speed or when your just coasting at freeway speed. You will sometimes hear them as you coast to a stop too.

Why is my car making a whirring sound?


If you have a loud whirring or clicking sound that changes with engine speed, your radiator fan could be the culprit. If your loud whirring or clicking does now get louder when the engine is revved higher, it may be an electric fan. Open the hood while you can hear the noise and see if your fan is on.

Why does my car make a whining noise?

Car Makes Whining Noise When Accelerating
While the transmission is the most likely cause, whining while accelerating can also be caused by low power steering fluid or more serious damage like faulty alternator bearings, a malfunctioning water pump, a broken piston or a bad AC compressor.

How much does it cost to fix a rear differential?

Combined with the few hours of labor required for their replacement, the typical rear differential cost of repair is between $200 and $400. If gears are required, that number jumps a bunch. Rear differential repairs that include a new gear set may be $1,500 or even higher between parts and the labor to replace them.

What is a whirring noise?

verb (used without object), whirred, whir·ring.
to go, fly, revolve, or otherwise move quickly with a humming or buzzing sound: An electric fan whirred softly in the corner.

What happens when your front differential goes out?

One of the symptoms that is most commonly associated with bad or failing differential or gear oil is a noisy transmission or differential. If the gear oil runs low, or becomes excessively dirty, it can cause the gears to whine or howl as they turn. They will be able to replace your differential / gear oil if necessary.

How expensive is it to replace a wheel bearing?


You will pay about $400, on average, for front wheel bearing replacement. The labor will be anywhere from $140-$180, while parts may cost as little as $200 or as much as $400. The difference in prices is due to the cost of parts for more expensive cars as well as the various fees that individual mechanics charge.

How is driveline noise diagnosed?

Symptoms of Cardan Universal Joint Problems
The cling and crunch sound when going from drive to reverse with the brake on. Rust-colored dust around the universal joint itself. With driveshaft removed, any binding in the movement of the universal joint. Vibration on takeoff and vibration on torque.

How do you diagnose differential problems?

Here a few things to look for if you suspect something's off:
  1. Worn carrier bearings.
  2. Loose pinion-bearing preload.
  3. Broken pinion-gear tooth.
  4. Worn U-joints.
  5. Bad wheel bearings.
  6. Broken cornering gears.
  7. Worn transfer case.
  8. Out-of-balance driveshaft.

Can you drive with a broken front differential?

They're what transfers power to the wheels from the transmission (in a front-wheel drive setup) or the differential (in a rear-wheel drive system). If one of your axles is broken, do not drive the car. It's not safe. If your axles are failing, you'll still technically be able to drive your car.

What does the front differential do?

What is a Differential? As part of the front and/or rear axle assembly, the differential plays an integral role in how your car makes turns. The differential is designed to drive a pair of wheels while allowing them to rotate at different speeds. The differential distributes equal amounts of torque to both wheels.

What happens when differential fails?


If left too long or if the fluid starts to run low, the differential will become noisy and can eventually fail. If that happens, the gears can seize, locking up the rear wheels and potentially causing a lot of damage or even an accident.

How do you check diff oil levels?

Check the fluid level with your finger.
The gear oil in the rear differential should reach the bottom of the service port hole. Insert one finger into the open service port. Bend your finger downward slightly to see if it comes into contact with gear oil.

What causes rear differential damage?

The first and most common is loss of differential oil which can cause gears inside the differential housing to break, grind, or even block the rear wheels. Also, it is known that differentials can break if the inside gears are made of softer-type steel which is not able to withstand engine power and torque.