What is a Car Differential?

Car Differential is a small device that helps in splitting the torque of your car’s engine in such a manner, which will allow the wheels to move at different speed. These differentials play an important role while turning of the car.

Car differential is a small device, which splits your car engine’s torque in two ways and allows each output to have a spin in different speed.

Car differential is found in all modern cars. Differentials are also found in most trucks and all-wheel drive vehicles. All-wheel drive vehicles require a differential between each of their drive wheels set. They also require one in between the front & back wheels too, as the front wheel travels different distances while turning than what is travelled by the rear wheels.

Car Differential

Part-time 4-wheel drive systems do not have car differentials between their front & rear wheels. Instead, what you’ll see over there is both of them are present in such a manner that front & rear wheels are going to turn at similar average speed. This is the only reasons why it is very difficult to turn on concrete when the four-wheel drive systems are engaged with you.

Why Should You Opt For A Differential?

When car turns at a corner, one of its wheels is always on the inside of the turning arc, whereas the other one will be on the outside. As a result, outside wheels have to turn at a faster rate than the inside ones in order for covering the greater part of the distance in the similar amount of time. Since the 2 wheels are not able to be driven with similar speeds, car differential is very much imperative.

Car differentials are positioned halfway in between your car’s driving wheels on either front or rear or both the axes (All this depends upon the fact that whether the car’s front, rear or 4-wheel drive model). In case of rear wheel drive models, car differential converts the rotational motion of its transmission shaft that lies parallel to the motion of the car to halt shafts’ rotational motion (at the ends of which you’ll find the wheels positioned), which lies perpendicular to the motion of the car.

How Does Car Differential Works?

Assuming the fact that wheels do not slip or spin out of your control, following 2 examples of car motions perfectly describe how car differential works when it is moving forward or taking a turn.

When the car’s travelling in a straight road, you already know that both its wheels are travelling at similar speeds. Thus, its free-wheeling planet pinion does not require spinning at all. Instead of that, as the transmission shaft of the car turns its crown wheel, its rotary motion is directly translated to half-shafts. At the same time, both wheels are spinning with an angular velocity of its crown wheel and are still having similar speed).

When you are turning the car, its wheels must be traveling at completely different speed. In such a scenario, its planet pinions are spinning with respect to its crown wheels, as they are turning around the sun gear. Such configuration allows the speed of its crown gear to be unevenly delivered on the 2 wheels.

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