Could You Be Facing Limited Slip Differential Issues On Your Performance Car?
If you own a rear-wheel drive performance car, you may cherish it for its handling capabilities and especially on twisty, open roads. Much of that handling magic may be down to a special type of differential located in the rear axle casing. However, issues can sometimes arise with this complex part, and you may suspect that you have those problems now. So, what do you need to know about this limited slip differential, how it works and what could be going wrong?
Understanding The Differential
In a standard differential, power from the engine is transmitted to the rear axle through a prop shaft before it is sent to each wheel through a crown wheel and pinion. This distributes power evenly between both rear wheels, which is okay in normal situations but can sometimes be challenging in slippery going.
Limited Slip Differential In Action
This is why manufacturers fit limited slip differentials to powerful rear-wheel drive cars. Special parts are added, such as pressure rings that activate clutch plates positioned within the gear mechanism. If one of the road wheels begins to slip while the other side still retains traction, the limited slip mechanism will kick in. It will provide resistance so that the spinning wheel is able to get more traction. This will make it far easier to drive around a relatively slippery bend without drama.
Signs Of Differential Problems
If the differential begins to play up, you may first notice a strange whining noise accompanied by a vibration. This could be due to universal joint issues connecting the axle casing to each half shaft. You may also notice that fluid starts to leak from the casing, which could be accompanied by even more vibration.
The whining noise can get a lot worse as the differential deteriorates. You may even hear grinding sounds from the axle casing, which indicates significant internal damage.
As the differential may not work as it should, the tyres may wear unevenly. In the worst-case scenario, you may face handling problems when driving around corners and lose control if the limited slip mechanism activates at the wrong time.
If you want to enjoy your motoring without any unwanted downtime, ensure that your limited slip differential is always in the best condition. If you suspect this is not the case, get in touch with a mechanic familiar with this type of axle for their advice.
Reach out to a vehicle repair service to learn more.