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Auto Repairs and Servicing

Hello, my name is Walter. Over the past few months, I have been working on my car. I never used to think much about my car. I would just jump into it and hit the road. Things were fine at first, but soon I realised that things were starting to go wrong. Strange white smoke started to appear from the exhaust. Sometimes when I changed gear, I could hear a strange noise. Foolishly, I ignored all of this until my car broke down. When I got to the auto repair shop the mechanic repaired my car and then gave it a full service. As he did so, I began my auto servicing education.

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Do You Know How Important Your Transfer Case Is?

by Margie White

A couple of generations ago, most vehicles on the road were two-wheel drive, and traction was provided by the rear wheels. Over the following years, there was a gradual progression towards the other end of the vehicle, as manufacturers realised that front wheel drive was more economical. In more recent times, however, most of the world's carmakers have decided that all-wheel drive is an even better solution, as they seek to provide improved stability and safety to car owners.

You may have recently switched over from a two-wheel drive vehicle to one of these options and may be getting used to the difference. You certainly need to pay attention to transmission maintenance if you're going to avoid any issues down the road and should look at one particular component even more carefully. Why is the transfer case the most important part of this vehicle's transmission set up?

How the Case Works

If you think about it from a very basic point of view, there is only one source of power coming out of the rear or side of the engine, and yet, drive has to be applied to two different axles. To enable this to happen this energy has to be "split," and this is where the transfer case comes into its own. In short, energy flows into the transfer case and is then diverted towards the front or rear through a complicated sequence of gears. When the driver selects a certain setting with the gear lever, the case can shift between low and high range, or isolate one axle altogether to provide power towards the rear axle only.

The transfer case is designed for the long haul and will put up with a considerable amount of wear and tear, but it will occasionally play up and especially if the owner "forgets" to take the vehicle in for routine service.

Possible Issues

As an example, you may find it increasingly difficult to shift your gear stick, and this could be caused by a loose linkage, due to normal usage. It's best if you check the lubrication in this area as often as possible and if the level is low, you should refill it, or ideally change any old oil out and replace with new. If you don't, further damage could be caused within the transfer case, and if so, the entire unit will need to be overhauled by a friendly technician.

Changing Correctly

Try to make sure that you only change gear when the speed is relevant to the gear you're trying to initiate. Also, make sure that you come to a complete halt before you shift between four-wheel-drive and two, or vice versa. If you don't comply, you may find it challenging to change gear at all, as a certain amount of torque may build up within the system.

Doing It Properly

Now that you know how important the transfer case is, make sure that you always get it serviced on time as part of a comprehensive tune-up. For more information on 4-wheel drive transmissions, contact your local auto service. 

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