What Causes a 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee Front Differential to Make Noise?

A differential component is an essential vehicle component that functions by sending power from the vehicle engine to the vehicle wheels. Moreover, the differential vehicle component controls the whole vehicle. For example, a front-wheel-drive has a front differential in most vehicles, while the rear-wheel-drive contains a rear differential that performs the same function. Sometimes, unfamiliar differential noise production may cause a lot of discomforts, especially when driving.

Several reasons may cause the 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee to produce front differential noise, such as a worn front differential wheel. If you experience front differential noise, you may wish to fix the problem immediately on your own. The article shows the causes of front differential noise and the best methods required to troubleshoot such issues.

Causes of front differential noise

2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee Front Differential Noise

Front differential noise results from several reasons that can be fixed either as individual or professional mechanics. Luckily, the information below will help you identify the different possible causes of front differential noise.

1. Poor maintenance

Poor maintenance of the front differential wheel drive may result in the production of the differential noise. Further, poor maintenance weakens the front differential wheel drive to weaken and finally fail to function regularly, thus resulting in the production of differential noise. Therefore, it is essential to service your front differential wheel drive periodically and the whole vehicle to positively long run effects and increase its lifespan.

2. Worn front differential wheel drive

Worn front differential wheel drive

Sometimes, front differential wheel drive wearing out or becoming loose may result in the production of unwanted differential noise. However, in most cases, worn-out front differential wheel drives fail to move smoothly but rather move harshly, causing front differential noise. Once you hear noise coming from the differential wheels, inspect the front and rear wheels for any damages.

Also, try fixing the front differential noise instead of ignoring it to avoid further damages to the vehicle wheels or accidents. Some people choose to increase music volume to avoid hearing the differential sound. If you cannot troubleshoot the front differential problem, it is advisable to contact a skilled mechanic to help you tighten or change the front differential wheel when necessary.

3. Worn pinion and rings

Worn pinion and rings

 Distortion of the ring gear may result in the type of differential noise known as humming noise. Worn-out pinion and rings clear everything and every neighboring part, and once all parts are clear, there is a generation of a whining noise.

Therefore, changing the worn pinion and rings is a way of fixing the humming noise problem. Next, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the best replacement pinion and rings that suit your 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicle. Finally, consult the manufacturer’s manual books on the best steps to replace the pinion and rings, especially the wiring.

5. Improper gear installation

Improper gear installation

Improper installation of the gears can lead to the proffering of clicking sound, especially the side gears. Besides improper gear installation, a broken or damaged gear may produce the type of front differential noise known as clicking noise. Clicking may be difficult to diagnose unless continuously proffered.

Also, loose vehicle gears can lead to a whirring noise that can be challenging to troubleshoot unless fixed by a professional mechanic. Therefore, it is advisable to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing vehicle gears, such as cornering gear and side gears. Finally, damaged gears such as spider gears can generate crunching noise when accelerating or decelerating at a certain speed. Noise generation depends on the level of the front differential wheel; that is, the higher the gear feet, the higher the differential noise generation.

6. Distortion of vehicle carrier bearing

Once the carrier bearing is distorted, there is a generation of rumbling noise. Rumbling noise is a type of front differential noise that hardens the vehicle when making a U-turn. The noise is usually worse, and if ignored, it can severely damage other vehicle components, especially parts surrounding the carrier bearing.

7. Broken front axle

In most circumstances, knocking noise is generated as a repercussion of a front axle wearing out. Also, distortion of the front axle leads to the generation of front differential noise manageable by replacing the front axle. Usually, it is vital to buy a new front axle from an experienced and licensed seller to access a front axle that suits your 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicle.

8. Distorted universal joint mechanism

Distorted universal joint mechanism

Universal joint systems in vehicles increase flexibility to allow proper power flow from the engine to the wheels. In addition to that, the universal joint allows power to flow straight and at the recommended angle. Failure of the universal joint restricts power flow from the engine at an angle, thus evolving proffering of grinding noise.

In addition to that, a worn-out universal joint increases vibration of the front differential wheel, increasing vehicle speed. Vibration increase may damage other vehicle components, increasing repairing costs, especially when replacing the damaged universal joint.

When replacing a damaged universal joint, buy a universal joint of high quality that suits your vehicle perfectly. Also, call a skilled mechanic to help you replace the universal joint if you cannot troubleshoot.

Diagnosing front differential noise

First, to diagnose the occurrence of front differential noise, drive on a lonely road with no vehicles and go for approximately 45 mph while listening for the noise generated from the ring gear and the pinion while driving. Listening carefully to the location of the noise, whether it is in the right wheel bearing or on the left front differential wheel bearing.

Ways of fixing front differential noise

Ways of fixing front differential noise

If you have all the tools required to fix the noisy front differential wheel, it is more accessible to fix the problem without contacting a professional mechanic. However, the following ways will help you fix the front differential problem if you are experiencing any.

  1. Inspect the whole front differential wheel for any damages. If there are any damages, proceed to the next steps of troubleshooting the problems.

2. First, revise the manufacturer’s manual book on replacing worn out vehicle parts such as front gears, axle, carrier bearing, among others.

3. Drain the vehicle fluid and remove the cover plate in the front differential wheel.

4. Get rid of the damaged front differential gasket and reinstall the new front differential gasket.

5. Replace all parts removed while replacing the front differential wheel and test the wheel. If the problem persists, consider contacting a professional mechanic to help you troubleshoot the problem.


If there is unusual sound production, it is a clear indication of failing vehicle components. The earlier you fix the problem, the less the distortion of the vehicle components. Therefore, it is inadvisable to drive with a front differential noise.

Finally, if your Jeep produces front differential sound, apply the information above to identify the possible cause of the front differential noise generation and use the recommended troubleshooting problems.

This video should be viewed by your service people if you are having a Clunking noise if they can not find the problem

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