Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: What are signs my transfer case is going bad?

asked by on

My truck was making a whirling sound. It sounded like it was coming from my front driver side, near the tire. It was mostly when I turned the wheel. I live in the mountains so I mean just on a winding road, not when I turned a corner. And mostly at higher speeds, like 50 or so. There was a little bit of jerking, but very minor, also at the higher speeds, with my foot off the gas. I have never taken the truck 4-wheeling, or off roading in an fashion. It is strictly a car I drive to work, school, errands, vacations, etc. No hard driving. I'm very gentle with the truck. I rarely put her up past the number 3 in rpm's. I took her to the shop and the guy told me it's the transfer case, and it would cost me over 500 to repair, and he was giving me a good deal. What I've read online is that it would make a loud sound, and have trouble going between gears. I never had a loud sound, and never trouble in shifting the gears. Please help!!

My car has 142000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there. Typically when a transfer case fails it will start making a grinding noise and can even cause some jerking while driving. It can also cause some instability when driving at higher speeds. From what you are explaining, it sounds like you have a failing hub bearing. This will typically cause this noise before a transfer case would. It can also be a differential problem, but even that is not as common as a bearing. I usually get the vehicle in the air and spin the wheel and listen for the noise. I also check the brakes to make sure that they are fine. If you are thinking of having this noise inspected, consider YourMechanic, as a certified mechanic can come to your location to diagnose and repair this problem.

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

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: Car accelerated on its own, increasing RPMs & speed

Hello. There are a few possible causes of this but most of the time it is caused by a failing throttle body. If the throttle plate sticks and does not return to the correct position then the vehicle will accelerate....

Q: Car stalling and jumping.

This car has a transmission that has solenoids that control the shifting and sometimes the solenoids or speed sensor causes erratic shifting. The vehicle would have to be tested to see what codes are in the computer and diagnose the...

Q: Door not opening

Hi there. This issue is most commonly the issue that your door handle not being attached to the mechanism that releases the latch. I would recommend having the vehicle examined by a knowledgable technician, such as one from YourMechanic. They...

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...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.