Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Differential whining

asked by on

The differential in my car is whining and my transmission is slipping.

A: The gears in a differential are helical gea...

The gears in a differential are helical gears. They normally don’t make noise unless they are worn irregularly. Low fluid levels are usually the cause of the irregular wear. This will cause the spacing between the gears or backlash to be too wide making them whine. Also gears that are not meshing properly can make a whining sound. In vehicles with high mileage this is normally due to worn bearings in the differential unit itself. Transmission slipping can be cause by several things. On an automatic transmission worn internal clutches or seals that are leaking internally can cause it to slip. On a manual transmission, a worn clutch will cause a slip condition. A qualified mechanic with the proper tools can determine what is damaged in both the differential and the transmission. Usually partial disassembly of the units is required for a correct and accurate diagnosis of your transmission’s whining noise.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Replaced rear seal and now I Only have first gear and my speedamater don't work.

If you replaced the tail shaft seal behind the yoke and had to remove the driveshaft, then it is possible that the transmission vehicle speed sensor VSS is not installed correctly or the harness has been damaged. This will make...

Q: Transmission gears out

The use of the incorrect fluid can bet part of the problem but I doubt it is the cause of no forward gears at all. You may be real low on fluid or have internal problems with valve body or...

Q: Won't shift into 3rd gear and bogs down after 2005 Chevy Blazer

This sounds like you may have internal transmission issues on your 2005 Chevrolet Blazer. It could be caused by low transmission fluid, a faulty shift valve, or possibly burned clutches. Smell the transmission fluid. If it smells burnt, then you...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...