Is the Transfer Case Part of the Transmission?

Close up of the driver's side of a vehicle in the evening.

How Much does it Cost to Replace a Transfer Case?

Let’s briefly define what a transfer case is. A transfer case is part of the drive-train (this includes four-wheel drive, all wheel drive, and other multiple powered axle vehicles). Specifically, this mechanism shifts power from the transmission to the front and rear axles with the power of the drive shaft. The transfer case is also capable of synchronizing the difference between the rotation of the front and rear wheels. Transfer cases may contain one or multiple sets of low range gears for off-road utility.

Typically, the average cost for a replacement is expensive, between $2,389 and $2,500. Labor costs are typically around five hundred dollars. These estimates do not include taxes and fees. Transfer case repair is a slightly different process, and includes different estimates.

What are the Symptoms of a Bad Transfer Case?

Symptoms of this particular scenario entirely depend on the condition of the drive-line component. The most extreme cases resulting from a bad transfer case indicate a complete loss of four-wheel or all-wheel drive. Another exhibition of extensive damage to your drive train is the inability to switch back to regular, or two-wheel drive from four-wheel drive.

Make sure that if you have a problem with your vehicle, that you are diagnosing it correctly. Do you have a problem with your evaporative emissions? You might need an EVAP leak repair specialist. Consult with your trusted mechanic today!

Can You Repair a Transfer Case?

Being able to drive on rugged terrain is important for most car owners who own a vehicle with four wheel drive. If your ability to shift into four-wheel drive is impaired, you will need to consider repair or replacement sooner rather than later. The process can be costly. If the prevailing issues with your transfer case are small, there is certainly the possibility of repair, rather than replacement, which will not be as expensive. In cases such as these, it’s important to distinguish whether or not the problem exists with the transmission.

What Happens When a Transfer Case Goes Bad?

Depending upon the make and model of your vehicle, the symptoms will vary. In some cars, the driveshaft to the front turns all the time, and the front wheels have hubs that exchange. In other cases, the drive shaft doesn’t turn whatsoever until a switch or selector handle engages the driveshaft. Even then, it may or may not have auto-locking hubs. Inevitably, the transfer case must be replaced because the vehicle will be inoperative, influenced by exactly what systems are failing.

Close up view of the side of a vehicle on a road with leaves falling.

Can you Drive with a Bad Transfer Case?

If you can’t shift gears correctly in your vehicle, this is demonstrative of a large problem that needs to be addressed with alacrity. Likely, if you continue to drive the vehicle, either the driveshaft or axle shafts will break. It is not advisable to drive if you believe that your car is experiencing this kind of sincere issue.

Transfer Case is Leaking

One of the problems that arise with gear shifting systems are fluid leaks. If you happen to experience a bitter smell arising from the hood of your car, a transfer case leak may have arisen. Fluid leaks that arise from your transfer case may be stemming from a loose drain plug, a seal failure, or a bad bearing inside the transfer case.

Transfer Case Issues

There are a number of signs that exhibit a problem with your gear box. Consult the following bullet points for further appraisal.

  • Fluid leaking.
  • The “Service 4WD” sign is present, and illuminated.
  • A chattering, or cracking noise when turning.
  • Abnormal noise from the center of the vehicle from driving.

Transfer Case with Differential

Let’s define what a differential is. Differentials perform a similar task to transfer cases. The transmission or gearbox adjusts to the engine output. It determines the appropriate amount of speed and torque that will be applied to the wheels. The differential is the mechanism that channels power to the two wheels on the same axle at a corresponding ratio. Cars that have four-wheel drive not only have a transfer case, they also possess a differential.

As long as the drive-train and all relevant systems are serviced routinely in a modern car, problems are infrequent. Make sure that you mechanic addresses these integral mechanical functions in a procedural way when you get your car serviced.

Bad Transfer Case or Transmission

Even for great car aficionados, diagnosing whether the problem with a car lies with the transmission or otherwise, can be difficult. After all, both of these mechanisms shift your car gears. If you are experiencing difficulty with shifting gears, the seal that keeps fluid inside the transfer case could be at fault. When fluid leaks, it reduces the volume of liquid that is currently at play inside the transmission. If you notice that your transmission is experiencing issues shifting up or down gears, contact a certified mechanic as soon as possible.

Is your drive train experiencing issues? Our friendly operators at L.A. NTX Transmissions are available now at __PHONE__. Find out more about your transfer case in Inglewood, CA.