Q: I'm being told my rear dif is toast. How does this happen? Is it due to lack of rear dif oil changes or do they just wear out? 2009 VW Tiguan

asked by on January 31, 2017

Our Tiguan was making an embarrassingly loud noise when driven. It felt like we were dragging heavy metal. We were told our rear differential is gone. We were also told it's an expensive job to replace. Our questions are: 1) what should we expect to pay (Canadian dollars)? 2) we were told this is a rare mechanical failure- so why did ours go? We have been getting it serviced by the dealer as they suggested. Is it possible they missed replacing the rear dif oil? Should I be checking for that as I've read the oil needs replacing every 12000-50000km. 3) is it better to fix or get a new car?

My car has 122000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello - your Tiguan is equipped with a Haldex torque-sensing system which directs power thru the differential to the axle (left/right) which has the best traction. Think of the differential as the reduction gears and axle(s) drive, and the Haldex as the mechanism which decides which axle drive to send power through. This is important because the Haldex, and the differential have different lubrication types, and a different lube maintenance schedule. If the differential was being serviced, but not the Haldex, this could be an issue. Which component failed - the Haldex, or the differential itself? The differential proper should be good for many more miles of service unless it was abused. The Haldex is more sensitive to maintenance. I recommend a discussion with the service center regarding your service history, and which component is actually now broken.

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