What is a Differential?

The gears housed inside the differential provide your rear-wheel-drive (RWD) vehicle’s two rear wheels to ability to turn a corner at different rates and distances. The differential is situated between the rear axles. Without its help, your vehicle would skid around the turn.

As you round a corner, the wheels closest to the curb are called the inside wheels. The ones on the opposite side of the vehicle are the outside wheels. The inside wheels don’t need to travel as far as the outside to make the turn, so they can move at a slower speed. The outside wheels, on the other hand, need to make a wide arc. To compensate for the difference in distance, the outside wheels travel at a much faster rate than those on the inside.

Differential maintenance is an important part of keeping your vehicle maintained. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to stop in to our service center Corwin Ford Tri Cities when you’re in Pasco, WA and speak with one of our technicians.

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