Think you’re a tough guy? Try driving an off-road vehicle through the mud and rocks. It’s a brutal, challenging experience, but you feel like you can conquer the world when you’re done. Such vehicles are perfect for exploring backcountry trails and taking on the most challenging terrain. But they can also be dangerous if something goes wrong.
In this post, we’ll look at one of the most common problems with UTVs: failing differentials. If you’re sensing any of these signs, it’s time to take your UTV in for repair!
What is a Differential?
A differential is a gearbox located at the back of your UTV. It’s responsible for distributing power to the wheels, and it helps your vehicle turn smoothly. Differentials can be open or closed.
Most UTVs have closed differentials, which means that the gears are sealed inside a metal housing. It protects them from dirt and debris but also makes them more difficult to repair if something goes wrong.
Open differentials are less common on UTVs, but they’re easier to service because you don’t have to disassemble the entire gearbox.
What Causes Differentials to Fail?
Your UTV works hard, and that takes a toll on the differential. Over time, the gears can wear down and eventually break.
Differentials can also fail if they become filled with dirt and debris. It can happen if you ride in mud or water frequently. The debris will grind against the gears and cause them to fail prematurely.
If you don’t service your differential regularly, it will eventually fail. It’s essential to check the fluid level and quality often and replace the fluid as needed.
You should also inspect the gears for wear and tear. If you see any damage, it’s best to replace the gears before they break entirely.
The easiest way to damage a differential is by allowing your car to spin its wheels. Spinning out unintentionally shouldn’t be too costly. However, if your front wheels stay on the road while your rear wheels slide out, you’ll cause damage.
Symptoms of a Bad Differential
Knowing the causes of differential failure can help you avoid it. But, if you can’t put your finger on the symptoms, you won’t be able to take preventive action.
The most common symptom is strange noises coming from the differential. If you hear whining, humming, or grinding, there’s a good chance your differential is failing.
Another symptom is difficulty turning corners. When you turn, you may notice that your vehicle drifts to one side or the other. It is because one of your wheels is receiving more power than the other.
Extensive tire wear and tear is also a symptom of differential failure. If you notice unevenly worn out tires, it’s good to get your differential checked out.
Ensure a regular UTV inspection to get the hang of early signs of a failing differential, don’t delay getting your differential repaired. Differential failure can cause extensive damage to your vehicle if left unchecked.
We house several front differentials to pick from at Side By Side Fury, serving Salt Lake City, UT. We’ve got you covered whether you’re looking for a race-bearing kit or a complete differential.
You can also find other body parts on our website to keep your vehicle running smoothly. Check out our online selection of differentials today.