Your drivetrain is the system that transfers your engine’s power to your wheels. It starts with your transmission and ends with your drive axles. The power that comes from your engine is optimized using your transmission’s series of gears. From here, your power is transferred to your differentials using a driveshaft, which is then transferred to your wheels using your drive axles. Maintaining this system in its entirety is very important, for damage to one component can affect your entire drivetrain. For example, if your differential is damaged, it may also damage your transmission because they’re directly connected. Here at Whitecloud Mechanical, we’re drivetrain repair and maintenance experts.
Types of Differentials
Open differentials are the most common type of differential. They allow for the power from your engine to follow the path of least resistance. This lets each wheel travel different distances when turning. Although these differentials are very common, they’re not always the favorite for construction or offroad-based commercial vehicles. When one wheel lifts into the air, it will receive 100% of the power because that wheel is experiencing no resistance.
Limited Slip Differentials
Limited slip differentials allow for each rear wheel to travel different distances, all while partially mitigating the effects of the path of least resistance. Through the use of brake sensors and torque sensors, the wheel with the most resistance gets the most power. For perspective, limited slip differentials attempt to do the opposite of open differentials.
Using a pin-based system, a locking differential ensures both wheels get 50% of the available power. A locking system does not follow the path of least resistance, nor does it use brake or torque sensors. This type of differential does not allow for turning on dry pavement, and as such, can be switched between open and locked. When open, this differential acts as either an open or limited slip differential.
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For more information about our drivetrain services, feel free to contact us during our regular service hours.