If you’ve ever been shopping for a vehicle of any kind, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of a feature called a differential. If you’ve seen this word before and have been curious as to what exactly it means, you’re in luck – because weren’t going to cover this important feature in this week’s How’s This Work!
[ LAST WEEK: How do heated, cooled and ventilated seats work? ]
What is a differential?
For starters, we’ll give you a general definition of what a differential is. It’s a mechanical device called a gear train, outfitted with three different shafts in which one of the shafts has the average angular velocity of the other two shafts angular velocities. Yeah, that’s a confusing sentence. When it comes to vehicles, the differential is a device that’s quite important to allowing you to make turns.
Let us explain. If you have a rear wheel drive vehicle, your vehicle has two drive wheels. In order for you to make a turn, each of those back wheels need to turn at different speeds, because one wheel has to travel a further distance than the other. But wheels on the same axle turn the same speed, so you need a differential in order to let those wheels rotate at different speeds.
Without the differential equipped, your inside wheels will spin to fast as you make a turn. This could not only result in wear and tear on your tires, but also hinder your handling. Make sure that your vehicle has a differential by giving us a call at the sales desk.