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Front Differential

Is your Polaris General making a terrible whining noise from the front driveline in 2wd? Does it make the same noise but at a different pitch in AWD? If so, you could have issues with your front differential. But before you go out and buy a new front differential for your General, you should probably nail down where the noise is coming from first. Check the entire driveline from back to front to make sure your rig didn’t pick up a rock or stick that is rubbing against the machine. Next, see if you can disconnect the front drive line then run it again to see if it’s still making the same noise. If you’re able to lift the front end up with the winch, get under there, clean the undercarriage well, and take a good hard look -- it may just be some trail debris under there. Carefully touch the driveline to see if the grinding has a coinciding vibration in the driveline. If it does it may be in the transaxle. If not, it’s probably the front differential. The driveline and front differential are always in motion when you’re General is in gear. The little 4x4 switch is actually an electromagnet that, when turned on, pulls the gears in the differential together, activating the front diff and the four-wheel drive.


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An easy way to diagnose this is to drain the fluid and look for chunks of metal. You should also check the carrier bearing on the drive shaft for play while you're under the bike. The front diff fluid should be fairly clean. If it’s a milky color you probably have water in it, which will trash the differential pretty quickly. The differential fluid is oil colored, similar to motor oil, while the rear transaxle fluid is dark purple/blue. If you don’t find any metal chunks in the diff fluid but instead see shavings on the drain plug, the lash could be off in the differential, causing the gears to grind down. If you inspect your driveshaft, it should have a bit of play in it because of the circular cushioned boot in which it rides. Most Rangers, in fact, have a little slop where the axles meet the differentials, it’s completely normal. But if you think something is off in your General’s front differentials and can’t figure out what it is, don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll help get your General back up and running like new.