Q: My truck just revs and won't accelerate past 15 mph. I noticed a slow leak coming from the rear differential. Is this the problem?

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My car is making a squeeling sound but its not very high-pitched. I noticed a slow leak coming from the rear differential. Just tonight, I had to drive home, which is a mile from where I work and the vehicle would not accelerate properly. At first it would get close to 30 mph but near the end I could feel it just barely catch and it drove beteen 10-15 mph. The accelerator caused the RPMs to hit upwards of 5,000 and it never shifted. What could this be and how expensive of a repair am I looking at?

My car has 164000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Howling, whining or whirring noises coming from the rear-end of the vehicle may indicate the need to have the rear differential inspected. Howling under acceleration at various speeds may indicate that the gears are worn out or are out of alignment or depth with each other. If rear differential noise occurs while accelerating the car only at a certain speed, it is likely because the gears have become worn due to overloading and lubrication failure. Rumbling and whirring noises at speeds over 20 mph may be a result of worn carrier bearings.

Generally, worn out pinion bearings can create whirring noises at various speeds during deceleration and/or acceleration. If the pinion bearings are the problem, they create more of a whirring noise than a rumble because it turns several times faster than the carrier assembly. Regular clunking every few feet can also be an indicator of a broken pinion gear and/or chipped and damaged ring gear. If any of these symptoms sound familiar to you, I would suggest having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to inspect your vehicle’s condition.

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