Originally Posted by Nosepicker
I have been flat towing my 2002 V6 Explorer since it was new with no problem using the dealer installed neutral tow kit. Now it is an extra car that I keep just tow and other odd jobs so I don't want to put money into it. It has about 95K miles on it. Recently I learned that the differential is going. I only actually drive it a couple K per year so I'm going not going to repair it now. I am told it will just get noisier and the sound will drive me crazy before it finally breaks down. Does anyone know if towing it flat wears out the differential? Any other parts of the drive train get worn?
To answer your question; Does flat towing wear out your differential? Answer: No it will not wear it out, but it will add to the mileage.
All of the components on your Toad have service intervals. Oil, coolant, transmission, brakes, transfer case (if it has one), and yes differentials.
Look at the Toad owners manual and see what the interval is specified for servicing the differential(s). It is likely to be 30-60K miles. Add your towing miles to the mileage of the Toad and use that as the service mileage guideline for your differentials.
To add one additional service interval to the differentials you would have to tow it over 30K miles.
I would argue that differential gears that begin making noises were either set up incorrectly in the first place or damaged in some way (no servicing).
NOTE: adding mileage to the odometer for service intervals is also valid for transfer case, tires, bearings, and brakes (if you use a toad braking system). The only way a trailer wins in the service area is that it does not have a transfer case or any differentials.