Many vehicles today are front-wheel-drive, which means that the engine, gearbox and transmission are all in one place. This makes a major service visit that much easier, but if you have a rear-wheel-drive car or truck, you need to pay attention to the rear axle transmission and make sure that it is properly serviced from time to time as well. How is this type of work performed?
Vehicle manufacturers specify service intervals, and typically, you may only need to drain and refill the fluid from your back axle. However, occasionally, a mechanic will need to conduct a more comprehensive service, and for this, they may need to remove the rear axle altogether.
Most small vehicles have what is known as a "semi-floating" axle that also supports the vehicle's weight. The central prop shaft enters the axle casing from the front, while two "half" shafts connect the differential to the hub on each side.
If the transmission is still in relatively good condition, a service like this may only involve an internal inspection and the replacement of seals and gaskets. The mechanic will nevertheless need to exercise some care to ensure that the area in and around the seals is not damaged when the shafts are removed. The differential cover will also need to be taken off and carefully cleaned before a new gasket is installed. The mechanic may need to scrape the remains of the old gasket off carefully to make sure that the surfaces are spotlessly clean and can create the appropriate seal when reconnected. Extra care may be required if the differential cover is made from chrome. After all, some of these covers are made for aesthetic purposes as the rear axle can often be seen by other road users, and the owner may want to maintain appearance at all times.
Don't forget that transmission fluid is a very carefully engineered product and will often contain additives that are designed to deal with friction and heat. Therefore, your mechanic will always ensure that they replace with the right product so that your transmission system will operate effectively until the next service visit.
Your Best Approach
So, if it is time for a major rear axle service, always entrust the work to an experienced and capable technician. After all, it's not easy to remove the shafts and axle, and it can turn into a very messy job if you get it wrong.Share
9 March 2022
Cars are wonderful things. Unfortunately, they also have lots of technology and moving parts which can go wrong if they are not properly cared for. We hope that this blog will give you all of the info you need to service your car. We will be looking at subjects such as how to change the oil in an engine, how to replace a worn brake pad, and how to check the electrical systems on your vehicle. Everything you read on this page has been written by keen amateurs who have a really big passion for servicing their autos. We hope you love what you find here.