What Is a Car Differential?

The horsepower that propels a car is not merely a force moving randomly among the mechanical parts of the car. Each car has a sophisticated system that regulates this power, precisely transferring it from the engine to the wheels and tires. At this crucial point, we find a very important component known as the differential. The car’s differential acts as a link between the tires, gearbox, and the car’s drive system, responsible for the rotation of the wheels.

Car Differential

In the following article, we will discuss this important part, known as the differential. We will delve into its working principle, types, symptoms of damage, and explain the schedule for changing differential oil.

Working Principle of Car Differential

The process of generating horsepower begins in the engine inside the combustion chamber (cylinder) by mixing specific ratios of air and fuel and igniting a spark using spark plugs. The gearbox then works to transfer this power from the engine to the differential.

The differential receives this amount of power and directs it to the wheels either evenly or with varying ratios through the “spiders” directly connected to the tires. The distribution of power depends on the type of drive system in the car, whether it’s two-wheel-drive (front or rear), four-wheel-drive, or all-wheel-drive.

Types of Car Differential

Open Differential

The open differential is the oldest and simplest type. Its role is to distribute power and torque equally between the two tires on one axle. However, this distribution occurs at independent times and speeds for each tire, preventing the entire axle from losing traction and balance.

It is suitable for cars driving on regular roads, especially sedans.

Locking Differential

In contrast to the open differential, the locking differential is placed in the center of the axle between the tires. It works to provide them with power and torque at the same time and speed, ensuring the car moves with high traction force. Locking differentials are used in some off-road vehicles designed for rough and challenging terrains.

Limited-Slip Differential (LSD)

A limited-slip differential shares some characteristics with an open differential. However, it provides better capability on rough and slippery roads. It works to reduce the proportion of power and torque directed to the tires, giving the driver greater control over the car. This type of differential is often used in high-performance cars.

Changing Differential Oil

Changing the differential oil is a crucial procedure to maintain the car’s differential, preventing rust formation, corrosion, or complete damage. It is recommended to change the differential oil between 50,000-60,000 kilometers. For cars constantly driven on rough roads, it is advisable to change the differential oil before reaching this distance. In general, every driver should refer to the car’s manual to determine the schedule for changing differential oil.

Symptoms of Car Differential Damage

If you are unaware of the schedule for changing differential oil and neglected this matter, you will notice several signs indicating that the differential is not in good condition. These signs include:

  1. Hearing strange noises from the tire area, varying with the car’s speed.
  2. Experiencing vibrations in the car, especially during acceleration.
  3. Facing difficulty in controlling and steering the car.

In conclusion, we have learned about the car’s differential and its crucial role in adjusting the car’s power and torque based on its type and the driving system that propels it. We have also clarified the differences between types of differentials, in addition to the schedule for changing differential oil and symptoms of damage.

Finally, you can read the latest car news. You can browse the car reviews section on Motorcoaster to learn about the latest developments in the exciting automotive world, and you can view the best car tips & advice for maintaining your car to make it last longer.

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