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How to Figure Out the Culprit When Strange Noises Appear from the Back of Your Vehicle

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Most Australian homes have either one or two cars these days, but not many vehicle owners consider themselves to be particularly knowledgeable when it comes to the way that they work. However, it pays to have at least some understanding so that you can pinpoint and properly identify any strange noises that start to appear. If you can hear such noises coming from the back of the vehicle, what could they be?

Pinpointing the Problem

In a rear-wheel-drive car, any odd noises at the back are likely to be either related to the suspension or the differential. The differential is one of the most complex pieces of the entire vehicle, and while the assembly is made from hard-wearing components, things can and do go wrong.

How Does This Work?

The job of the differential is to convert the driving force created by the engine via the prop shaft into something that can be delivered to the actual wheels and tyres. As a consequence, this power has to be converted through 90° angles, and this requires different gears and a complex internal structure. Its job is even more complicated when you consider that the inside wheel of the car travels at different speeds to the outside wheel whenever your car negotiates a corner.

What Do Your Ears Tell You?

You can often tell what's going wrong based on the type of noise that you're hearing. For example, if you notice a low, rumbling sound that seems to be intermittent or that only appears at certain speeds, then the internal pinion bearing may be at fault. If this same type of noise only happens when you are turning the car slowly, such as when manoeuvring into a tight space, this indicates that the wheel bearings are faulty.

Conversely, if you hear the howling noise when accelerating, then the main gears could have slipped out of alignment. Upon deceleration? This could be the pinion bearing preload.

Fluid Levels

On many occasions, these noises could be the result of poor lubrication. If you don't have enough oil (or if you have the incorrect grade), damage can quickly occur. Always make sure that you service the differential regularly and keep an eye on fluid levels.

Fixing Your Problem

In the meantime, bring you vehicle into your local car servicing centre and ask the mechanic about the type of noise that you're hearing so that they inspect the vehicle and get you on your way as soon as possible.