Differentials & Axles
Differentials & Axles
In automobiles, a differential couples the input shaft to the Pinion, which in turn runs on the Crown wheel of the diff. This also works as reduction gearing to give the ratio. On rear wheel drive vehicles the diff may connect to half-shafts inside an axle casing or drive shafts that connect to the rear driving wheels. Front wheel drive vehicles tend to have the pinion on the end of the main-shaft of the gearbox and the diff is enclosed in the same casing as the gearbox. They have individual drive-shafts to each wheel. Older 4×4 vehicles and tractors usually have a solid front axle, the modern way can be a separate diff and driveshaft arrangement for the front. The differential gearing allows the outer drive wheel to rotate faster than the inner drive wheel during a turn. This is necessary when the vehicle turns, making the wheel that is travelling around the outside of the turning curve roll farther and faster than the other. Average of the rotational speed of the two driving wheel equals the input rotational speed of the drive shaft. An increase in the speed of one wheel is balanced by a decrease in the speed of the other.
A differential consists of one input, the drive shaft, and two outputs which are the two drive wheels, however the rotation of the drive wheels are coupled by their connection to the roadway. Under normal conditions, with small tyre slip.
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Signs of failing Differentials
If you notice strange damages on the sidewall and outer tread of your vehicle’s tires, it may be caused by failing differential components. This is because the tires being forced to spin at speeds that cause damage while corning.
Hard to Handle
If you find that you are having a difficult time going around a corner you may want to have the differential checked out. Handling can become unpredictable if your car’s differential fails, which may lead to an accident.
If the universal joints of your differentials become worn out, the drive shaft may begin to vibrate. This will be harsher during rapid acceleration.
Worn gears and low differential fluid will result in a grinding or humming noise coming from the differential. Any strange noises should be checked out by a professional technician to ensure the problem is properly taken care of.
The most common sound of a failed differential is a whining noise. This is often due to poor lubrication within the differential, meaning there is a good chance that the differential fluid is leaking. If you spot a reddish fluid under the differential, there is certainly a leak.
It’s important to take care of differential trouble as soon as it becomes apparent to prevent additional damage and reduce the chances of an accident related to the issue.
What is a differential?
You’re probably wondering, what does a rear differential do exactly? In short, your rear differential allows for a pair of tires to move in the same direction while rotating at different speeds.
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