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・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Front differential

The front differential has a purpose to propel the front wheels, in turn giving your Mercury its 4 wheel drive capability. If you are experiencing abnormal rotational sounds or a clunking or banging during acceleration or deceleration while the 4...

Q: My car won't start in the morning

Many common faults will cause your 2004 Ford Expedition to not start after it's been sitting for a while. The most common faults are the battery, alternator, battery cable, fuel pump, ignition switch, or a wiring harness fault. Given that...

Q: Hitting the gas pedal stalls the motor

When the car almost stalls, does the Check Engine Light illuminate? If so, a local mechanic (like those with YourMechanic) can diagnose the problem by scanning the vehicle computers for codes. This could be caused by an electrical problem (oxygen...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
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...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...