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A differential is a gear that sends engine power into each drive wheel equally while compensating for the greater distance and speed that must be traveled by the outer drive wheel while cornering. When you drive your Mazda down the road straight, the wheels spin at the same speed and cover the same distance. However, when navigating an uneven street or turning a corner, the differential is what allows for equal torque at each drive wheel even when the speed of opposing wheels is slightly different. The benefit provided to you by the rear differential is a smooth driving experience and tire life.
Differential Fluid acts as a hydraulic liquid and lubricating oil to keep the internal gears, ring, and pinion lubricated and cool. Facing intense friction and heat, differential fluid is durable but won’t last forever. Mazda outlines the maintenance interval for every model’s differential fluid in the owner’s manual. For example, the 2013 Mazda CX-5 is an all-wheel-drive vehicle with Rear Differential Service including differential fluid exchange at 280,000 miles.
If your Mazda has two rear-drive wheels, then you also have a rear differential, which includes all-wheel drive Mazda models like the CX-5. Mazda outlines several factors that can cause differential fluid to need exchange service more frequently. Here are the elements that Mazda engineers have found to be the greatest threats to differential fluid because of the enhanced wear and contamination that they cause:
If you hear noise from the rear differential, it is likely due to wear and tear. Minor sounds like clicking might signal a broken gear tooth while screeching or grinding is indicative of a more severe problem. You should know that a rear differential problem will never get better on their own. If you have any noise coming from the rear differential, the most convenient way to fix the problem is by scheduling a Rear Differential Service at South Bay Mazda.