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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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Auto Repairs and Servicing

What Is a Transfer Box on a 4x4 Vehicle, and What Can Go Wrong with It?

by Margie White

Do you own a 4x4 vehicle and wonder what is a transfer box? It is an essential part of the drivetrain system, especially if you're into off-roading. However, when things go wrong with the box, it can be challenging to isolate the issue, so what do you need to know?

What Is the Transfer Box?

A transfer box is a critical part of a 4x4 vehicle's drivetrain system that is responsible for sending the engine's power to the front and rear axles. It is usually situated below or behind the gearbox. The two most common types of transfer boxes are full-time and part-time. Full-time transfer cases keep all of the wheels connected to the power transmission system at all times, providing an excellent balance of power and fuel economy. In contrast, part-time transfer boxes are designed to disconnect the front or rear axles from the powertrain system when driving on smooth surfaces, which maximises fuel economy.

What Can Go Wrong with the Box?

Like any car part, the transfer box can be prone to faults, such as developing leaks, damaging components and wearing out bearings. Transfer boxes require proper lubrication to function correctly. As time goes by, the lubricant will degenerate, and in some cases, the oil seals could fail. Besides this, the changer mechanism can also break, resulting in bits of metal falling into the gearbox, causing more significant harm. A faulty transfer box can cause a range of symptoms, including a whining noise while driving, difficulty shifting gears and even a loss of power.

What Else Should You Know?

When off-roading, a transfer box is exposed to more stress than usual, which can lead to additional problems. Driving off-road creates an increased workload on the transfer case's gears and bearings. As a result, these components may wear out faster, and in extreme cases, harsh driving may cause the transfer box to fail entirely. It is also important to note that failure to maintain the correct fluid levels could lead to accelerated wear. Always ensure that you check your transfer case regularly to avoid such issues.

What Should You Remember?

A transfer box is an essential component of the drivetrain system of your 4x4 vehicle that sends power to your car's front and rear axles. When things go wrong, it can be costly and challenging to diagnose. Proper maintenance can help prevent common problems, so ensure you refer to your manufacturer's owner's manual regarding recommended service intervals. And if you suspect that you have an issue with the transfer box right now, take your vehicle to an experienced mechanic right away. 

For more information, contact a local company like Alltrac 4WD.