What is a Gearbox and What are its Maintenance Needs?

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Your gearbox consists of three components, all of which need fluid replacement at different intervals. These components include the 1) differential, 2) transfer case (in four-wheel and all-wheel drive vehicles) and, the 3) transmission.

A differential allows the drive wheels to turn at different speeds, which is necessary when turning your vehicle. Lubricating fluid inside the differential transfers heat away from the gears, helping to preserve the life and performance of your differential. Over time though, operating temperatures and wear can cause the fluid to break down. When the fluid breaks down, becomes contaminated, or leaks occur, the gears inside may not work smoothly because of increased friction and heat. If the gears start to grind, continued driving can cause costly repairs.

Differential service with a fluid change can help avoid premature wear on the gears in the differential. Most four-wheel drive vehicles have both a front and rear differential.

The transfer case is found in four-wheel and all-wheel-drive vehicles. It sends drive power from the engine to the front and rear axles. In all-wheel-drive vehicles, the transfer case helps to shift power from one axle to another, depending on traction conditions. Lubricating fluid in the transfer case helps keep gears cool and turning smoothly. Replacing this fluid at appropriate intervals can help prevent premature wear and damage caused by contaminated or broken-down lubricants.
If your four-wheel drive or all-wheel-drive (AWD) vehicle is having a hard time changing into or out of four-wheel-drive mode, bring it in to let one of the trained technicians take a look and give your transfer case new fluid to bathe its gears. Removing contaminated or broken-down fluid and replacing it with new fluid helps prevent premature wear and can prevent costly repairs.
Transmission fluid lubricates, cools, and cleans internal transmission parts. Additives in the fluid can deplete over time and many manufacturers recommend that it be replaced periodically. Replacing your transmission fluid and filter according to your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations helps preserve the life of the transmission and helps maintain your vehicle warranty. Whether your vehicle has an automatic or manual transmission, your Jiffy Lube technician can help you determine which, if any, is necessary based on vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations.

Signs Your Vehicle Needs Gearbox Services:

#1) Vibrations, especially with speeds more than 50 mph
#2) Difficulty turning
#3) Strange noises coming from under the vehicle, such as knocking, grinding, or squealing
#4) Leaking fluid
#5) Delay in movement when trying to accelerate
#6) Rough or harsh shifts

Your Jiffy Lube technician can tell you when the fluid in the various gearbox components need to be replaced. First, a Jiffy Lube technician will review the signs and symptoms of fluid breakdown to help diagnose the problem. Then, if necessary, they remove the old fluid and replace it with new fluid that meets your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations.

Please note: Not all Jiffy Lube service centers offer all Transmission Services. Call ahead to ensure these services are available. Find your nearest Jiffy Lube of Indiana here.

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