Transfer Case Service
Having the flexibility to shift on the fly from two to four wheel drive without having to get out and lock the wheel hubs is a luxury that most of us take for granted, especially during a snowstorm. Many of today's vehicles are equipped with part time four wheel drive systems, which will engage either manually when the driver selects a switch or automatically when the on board computer senses that wheel traction is reduced by weather or road conditions. The physical part of the vehicle that activates this action is the transfer case, which has an output shaft that delivers power to the drive axle.
From time to time, the seals that connect these components together can dry up, wear out, or break. If this occurs, they will have to be replaced by a certified mechanic sooner rather than later to avoid further damages to the vehicle's drive system.
What is the transfer case output shaft seal?
The transfer case output shaft seal is located on the transfer case of four-wheel drive cars, trucks, and SUVs. The transfer case completes the activation between two-wheel drive neutral, to low four-wheel, and then to drive four-wheel. Inside the case are a series of gear reductions and chain drives that work together to accomplish their task of supplying power to the drive axles, making the vehicle four-wheel drive.
The transfer case output shaft is the part that connects the case to the axle. The purpose of the transfer case output seal is to prevent fluid from leaking out of transmission, where the transfer case is connected by way of the transmission's input shaft. The seal also helps to keep fluid from leaking out of the front and rear output shaft to the differentials, which keeps all metal components properly lubricated for extended use.
If the seals leak, fluid escapes and is no longer able to properly lubricate the interior components of the transfer case. Eventually the parts inside will wear out and overheat. If this happens, the transfer case will be rendered useless and the four-wheel drive operation will not work. Overtime, the transfer case output shaft seal can fail, and when it does, it will display a few symptoms that will alert the driver that a problem with this system exists. A few common ones are difficulty shifting gears, grinding noises coming from underneath the vehicle, and the vehicle jumps in and out of four-wheel drive.