Professional Drivetrain Service and Repair in Boise
Many Idaho drivers use their vehicles for recreational trips to the mountains. Boise vehicle owners love a good all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive SUV or truck. When heading for the ski slopes on slippery roads, our drivetrain helps provide traction necessary to keep all four wheels pushing us down the road.
Most Boise drivers are aware of the CV front axle joints that front wheel cars (FWD) have had for years. No service is needed to maintain them. Until the rubber boots crack from normal wear or get broken by road debris, the axles will just keep turning and pulling us down the road. But when boots fail, grease is no longer retained to lubricate the joint. It’s not long after that you start hearing clicking noises during turns.
All wheel drive (AWD) SUVs and rear wheel drive (RWD) trucks with four-wheel drive systems have two additional CV axles. There is no difference for the driver in having more axles, it’s just important that when you get regular maintenance services that the shop inspects the boots for cracking.
These axles are driven by differentials and transfer cases that require fluid services, or oil changes, and periodic inspections for signs of leakage. Lost of fluid is the most common cause of damage to transfer cases, and inattention to timely oil changes is a close second.
When you bring your car to AutoTranz Transmissions and Auto Repair in Boise, our professional mechanics inspect your transfer case and differentials for leaks and low fluid levels. Fluids not found to be dirty and in need of replacement get topped off to ensure safe operation until your next service is due. We also drive your vehicle to check for clicking noises or clunks that indicate a potential drivetrain problem. The longer you wait to address a minor problem, the more damage it can cause down the road.
Expert drivetrain repair with quality Napa parts
The drivetrain on your all-wheel or four-wheel drive vehicle uses a transfer case to allow all the tires to maintain traction. Transfer cases are frequently controlled by a computer, which allows you to shift into or out of four-wheel drive when needed. Problems with transfer cases can come in many forms:
• Fluid leaks
• Driveline clunks
• Burnt odors
• No shifts or intermittent shifting
Seals that fail and allow fluid to leak usually require removal of the axle shaft or driveshaft to gain access to the seal for replacement. These are usually relatively inexpensive jobs. When a transfer case has not had regular fluid services or has internal problems that result in a build-up of metal debris circulating within the system, damage to the bushing behind the seal can occur. Bushing replacement becomes a minor overhaul repair at minimum. This illustrates the importance of regular services to keep the fluid clean.
Gasket leaks may require removal of the transfer case to replace a gasket or reseal the surfaces with sealer. These repairs tend to be more expensive than seal replacements but not as expensive as an overhaul. There is no maintenance that prevents gaskets from leaking over time. But whatever causes leakage should be taken care of quickly to avoid major damage to the transfer case.
If you feel or hear clunks in the drivetrain when shifting or while driving, this indicates looseness in one or more components. It could be an axle or driveshaft joint that has failed. This usually requires joint or axle replacement to fix the problem.
A clunk noise that is not caused by an axle or shaft would be caused by an internal transfer case or differential problem. Clunks like this are usually from looseness caused by worn bearings or gears. The only fix for this would be an overhaul or replacement of the component. Our AutoTranz Transmissions professional mechanics can pinpoint the source of the problem and give you an estimate of the price to repair the noise or clunk.
Burnt odors are usually caused when fluid leaks from seals or gaskets onto hot exhaust pipes and is burned. Repairing the leak should eliminate the smell. Two other possible causes of a burning odor can result when a transfer case or differential overheats. An overheat scenario occurs when either the transfer case or the differential is allowed to run dry of oil. A second scenario happens when a component overheats under a heavy load or with excessive use, as when tires lose traction and spin in slippery conditions.
Both transfer case and differential drivetrain components have a vent tube at the top that allows vapor and pressure from expansion to be reduced. In extreme overheat situations, the oil itself spits out of the vent and is sprayed over the vehicle’s underside where it is burnt by the hot exhaust pipes.
Transfer case electrical diagnosis by master drivetrain mechanics
A check engine light or other dash warning lights, like the one on four-wheel drive switches, can be turned on by electrical or electronic failure of the transfer case system. These failures can be in the form of no shifts or intermittent shifts. This type of problem can be very complex and should be diagnosed by a transmission specialist like those at AutoTranz Transmissions in Boise.
An electrical problem can be caused by a number of components, the most common being the switch assembly or the motor and solenoids in the transfer case. Many newer vehicles have computer codes and a diagnostic chart that our drivetrain technicians use for diagnosis. They connect a hand held computer scanner to the vehicle and it reads codes and data from the vehicle’s computers.
External sensors or electrical wiring problems can be fixed relatively inexpensively. Internal motors and solenoids usually require removal of the transfer case for installation of new parts. What ever your drivetrain needs we have the mechanics and quality Napa parts to get you back on the road quickly.
A drivetrain leak can quickly empty a transfer case or differential of oils and fluids leading to a complete failure that will leave you stranded. No matter where you’re heading, to the Idaho mountains or desert, during winter or summer months, make sure to have our drivetrain professionals at AutoTranz Transmissions and Auto Repair check your vehicle over.
Before you leave Boise for any extended trip, call us today at (208) 853-1200 to schedule an appointment or select the request appointment button on our home page to complete an online request. Let us verify your vehicles drivetrain is in good working order so you and your family have a safe and enjoyable trip.