Broken Power Divider Symptoms And Fixes You Can Do

When it comes to ensuring the lifespan and performance of your truck, it is important to take note of common broken power divider symptoms.

Not many drivers may be aware of this but the power divider, which is also the Inter-Axle Differential or IAD is one of the components that not everyone understands well. This is why this misunderstanding leads to poor driving habits such as driving the vehicle with one one differential and then eventually activating the power divider.

But the truth is that the truck is supposed to be driven by these two differentials. Furthermore, the power divider was thought of only operating when locked. Yet, this is not true at all since it operates only when unlocked. 

With these things in mind, it is important to know more about the broken power divider symptoms and some things you can do to address these and prevent them from happening once again in the future.

broken power divider symptoms

Broken Power Divider Symptoms

Your power divider is air-actuated and driver-controlled type of a traction device. When you operate it in an unlocked position, you can then drive in various speed differences between your rear and forward tandem drive shafts. Furthermore, you can ensure an equal amount of pulling power from the axles of your tandem.

When you have this component unlocked, your tandem axle truck will end up losing traction as it spins one wheel on your axle. So, when you lock the IAD switch on your dashboard, this also improves your traction as you lock the rear and front drive shafts. As a result, the wheel on your front axle and another on the back axle are forced to spin out even before you lose traction. 

However, there are some issues that may come along with a broken power divider. This is why it is best to learn more about the symptoms involved before things can get really bad. Here they are:

1. Too much noise

When you hear a whirring, howling, humming, or whining noise when you accelerate or decelerate, as well as when you turn around a corner, it is a sign that your power divider may be starting to break. Usually, this sound is due to a damaged bearing in your axle. Then, it makes the sound as your pinion gears and rings become worn out.

If there is far too much backlash or clearance between the pinion and the ring, the clunking sound may come on. You may want to check what is causing the issue by inspecting the affected components. Otherwise, you will need to have your truck serviced at your dealer. 

2. Overheating

When the IAD is overheating, it is due to the wrong oil or poor lubrication to it. The gears may also be worn and there is too much bearing preload and overloading when you haul your truck. This is why you should keep it lubricated or make sure only the right type of oil is used.

3. Poor handling of the wheels

Do you notice yourself having some difficulty with handling your wheels? This may be particularly true when you are in a corner. If so, then you may find the need to pull over and then check the IAD , as well as the rest of the relevant components. When you have a hard time handling your truck, then this increases the likelihood of an accident.

4. Vibration

There may come a time when you feel some unusual vibration from your truck, which is most definitely alarming and concerning. It can be a sign of your power divider starting to fail or it may be another issue. Either way, the best thing to do is to have your mechanic take a look at it and perform the right techniques to have this problem amended.

Important Points To Keep In Mind

A broken power divider can arise due to many reasons. It may be a simple normal wear, which is when your mechanical components begin to deteriorate due to regular or frequent use. But then again, it is not the same as poor maintenance. When you are not able to keep your vehicle well-maintained, then it is expected to break down at one point or another. 

You also need to keep key components lubricated and to make sure that you use the right type of oil. This is highly important since not all oil is created equal for the type of vehicle that you have.

Moreover, poor driving habits can contribute to the failure of your power divider. When you push your IAD to the limits, this can cause burnouts and damages in the long term. 

When it comes to proper operation of your IAD, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  1. Keep your IAD switch in the unlock setting when you are driving in normal conditions and the traction is good.
  2. Lock your IAD at whatever speed when you anticipate or are about to approach icy or difficult driving conditions, so you can have better traction.
  3. Make sure that your IAD is unlocked when you have passed a situation for better traction or when you are on a good highway or road.
  4. After you have unlocked or locked the IAD, be sure to let up on your accelerator to ensure an interruption in your torque to your drivetrain. The way to activate your IAD lock is much like when you shift your manual transmission with your clutch.
  5. Avoid actuating your IAD switch when you have one or more of your wheels spinning, slipping, or starting to lose traction. Otherwise, this can cause damages to your axle.
  6. Never spin your wheel when you have your IAD unlocked. If you do this, it can cause damage to your power divider. 

Bottom Line

There are several broken power divider symptoms to keep in mind. Additionally, you can perform some proper techniques to prevent this issue from happening. We hope this has been helpful for you in ensuring the lifespan and performance of your vehicle.

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