Automobiles with all-wheel drive or even four-wheel drive are structured with a transfer case. The case in many vehicles is positioned just adjacent to the transmission. It transfers power from the engine to the front and rear wheels. These will make it easier for the vehicle to get better traction when needed. The traction will be helpful when driving on steep inclines, on snowy and rainy roads, and during off-road driving. The cases can either be a chain –driven or gear-driven. They can be positioned separately or combined with the transmission. The cases can be operated manually; some are shifted electronically, while others are automatically operated. Some cases can be designed to allow one to switch between four-wheel drive and two-wheel drive. The owner’s manual will have basic information on the types of cases the car has.
Here are some of the signs of a bad transfer case.
- Strange noises. The driver can hear strange and weird sounds from the case or even under the automobile. The sound can be accompanied by chattering, clicking, or even grinding. These sounds can indicate a bad case. You can contact a mechanic to help fix the vehicle before the conditions worsen. Getting the car checked will prevent more complications which may cost you a lot of money to repair or replace.
- Difficulty in shifting gears. Difficulty in shifting gears can occur in manual and automatic transmissions, which operate with the case. The fluid within the case makes it easier to shift the gears. The problem occurs if the seal containing the fluid is broken. This makes it difficult for the system to change the gears. If you notice some fluid leakage under the vehicle where the case is located, it indicates that the seal has failed, and the case can fail to operate when one is driving.
- When your check engine or service 4WD light turns on. High temperatures from the fault case can make the engine start the check engine or service 4WD lights on the control panel. When the case is bad, the car might even switch from the 4-wheel drive on its own. This is the unsafe driving mode. The mechanic can help find the cause of the problem.
- When you smell something burning. The low fluids in the case give out the smell of something burning. The low levels could be a result of friction. You can easily notice that smell from your car. You can contact your mechanic once you notice that smell coming from your car. The mechanic can add fresh fluids to the case to make it operate.
- Another sign is when the case will not shift at all. If the case fails to operate, it indicates you need a replacement or repair. If the case has to be replaced, a remanufactured one is used, and it has to come with a warranty.
In conclusion, many signs indicate a bad transfer case. The above article has outlined some of the signs. These signs include strange noises, difficulty shifting gears, and when the case fails to operate. Once you observe such signs, you can contact your mechanic to help you fix the problem. You should not drive the car with a fault, as you may end up causing more damage.