Are you having a tough time controlling your vehicle when going around bends or turning corners? If you answered yes, then there must be something wrong with your vehicle's differential. Before you rush to the nearest automotive shop to get a replacement differential, here are some things that you need to know first.
The differential's function
Now, the same way it's virtually impossible to turn a Matchbox car without skidding or lifting half of the toy, it's also impossible for your ride to function without a differential. See, the differential is what allows your wheels to move at different speeds. By controlling the amount of power that moves each wheel, the differential is able to regulate wheel speed to ensure safe cornering and turning.
Types of differentials
Before buying a replacement, you have to know the basic types of differentials used on vehicles. Here are the five kinds of differentials that are commonly used in vehicles:
- Open differential- The open differential is the most commonly used differential today. It offers excellent drivability, reliability, and value. The only downside to this component is that it lacks the strength and traction needed in towing and racing applications.
- Automatic locking differential- This type of differential is often used for off-roading because of its superb traction. The automatic locking differential locks and unlocks automatically without requiring input from the driver.
- Limited-slip differential- This particular type of differential is another favorite for off-roaders. The limited-slip differential offers excellent traction and is ideal for both on- and off-road use.
- Manual locking differential- As its name implies, the manual locking differential must be locked or unlocked manually. The driver can usually do this from behind the wheel. When not engaged, the differential remains open. Should the driver need better traction, he can choose to lock the differential.
- Spools- This type of differential is recommended for drivers who want to experience excellent traction, strength, and value when it comes to off-road applications. Because spools are slip-free, there's very little risk of problems when you're turning tight corners.
When purchasing your new differential, it's important to know your options. This enables you to pick out the best differential for your ride based on your requirements.