What is a Differential?

In your rear-wheel-drive (RWD) vehicle, for example, the differential is situated between the two rear wheel axles. It houses the gears that allow for the two wheels to operate independently of one another. The gears keep each of their speeds and distances in synch, so that your vehicle is able to transition smoothly around a corner.

In a turn, the wheels closest to the corner are called the inside wheels, and those on the opposite side of the vehicle are the outside. The inside wheels make a much smaller arc to get around the corner, and they can travel at a slower rate. The outside, however, need to travel much faster than the inside because of the wide arc they’re required to make around the turn. The differential provides the ability for the two wheels to function together.

Regular maintenance is an important factor in keeping the differential running smoothly. The next time you’re in Trinidad, CO, stop in to our service center at Cooke Motor Company, and let one of our knowledgeable technicians assist you.

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