Ford Rear Differential

Rear Differential Service

In a case of out of sight, out of mind, drivers often forget all about their car's differential. For those who are not familiar with a differential, it is a set of interlacing gears and bearings that permit the wheels to revolve at independent speeds

This is needed for smooth driving since, when turning a corner or rounding a curve, the inside wheels turn more slowly than the outside wheels in order to compensate for the fact that they don't have as far to travel. If there were no differential to even things out, your car would jump and skitter each time you turned a corner. Germain Ford of Columbus, OH recommends that you schedule a rear differential service with us every 30,000 to 50,000 miles.

Front Wheel Transaxle vs Rear Wheel Drive Differential

The type of differential your car has depends on how the wheels are powered. 

  • Rear wheel drive (RWD) cars use engine power to move only the rear wheels so RWD cars have but one differential and it is under the car between the two rear wheels. RWD have their own housings and require thick dark oil to keep them lubricated.
  • Front wheel drive (FWD) cars, on the other hand, send engine power to the front wheels alone, and while some have a front differential that shares the transmission's housing and lubricating fluid, most have what is called a transaxle instead that serves as both transmission and differential.
  • All-wheel drive (AWD) and four-wheel drive (4WD) vehicles are built to power both the front and rear wheels, so they have both a front and a rear differential.

The Vital Role of Differential Lubricants

If your car has a rear differential, it depends on two crucial lubricants, differential fluid, and gear oil. 

  • Differential fluid lubricates the rack and pinion gears, and keep them moving so they can continually and smoothly transfer power from the drive shaft to the wheel axles. As happens whenever metal meets metal, surfaces wear down and create friction. The resulting heat can wear down the gears and should the differential fluid level get too low to provide sufficient lubrication, they will eventually bind up and self-destruct.
  • Gear oil both lubricates and keeps the differential's components cool. However, as is true of oils in general, it tends to gather metal shavings and grime, causing it to lose its ability to lubricate and provide a cushion between the gears as they mesh. This too can eventually destroy the gears.
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Why Schedule Rear Differential Service at Germain Ford?

Ohio drivers come to Germain Ford from as far away as Marysville, Westerville, and Dublin for a number of reasons. Those with flexible schedules appreciate being able to wait in the comfortable Wi-Fi enabled lounge, enjoying complimentary coffee while they keep up with work or check their e-mail. Those who must get to their places of employment like being able to reserve a rental car in advance, or take advantage of the flexible pick up and drop off hours. 

And even newcomers to the greater Columbus area are impressed when they hear that the Germain Auto Group has been a fixture in Columbus for over 65 years, and contributed to its welfare through its support of local institutions like Nationwide Children's Hospital, James Cancer Center, and Ohio State University.

We also offer Tire Rotation Service.


Germain Ford

7250 Sawmill Road
Directions Columbus, OH 43235

  • Sales: (844) 240-5414
  • Service: (614) 889-7777
  • Parts: (614) 793-2767

Service Hours

  • Monday 7:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Tuesday 7:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Wednesday 7:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Thursday 7:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Friday 7:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Saturday 8:00AM - 4:30PM
  • Sunday Closed