What are the different types of differentials?

The LSD (Limited Slip Differential) has an automatic locking mechanism which gets activated immediately when it senses more slipping of one of the wheels. This mechanism is actuated with either the help of the clutch sets placed inside the differential, fluid coupling or just electronic actuators.

Torque Vectoring Differential


A differential model!


Clutch based mechanisms rely on the slipping to occur. The more slippage occurs, higher will be the amount of locking done by the Clutch based LSD. Another video lesson is in line!

Limited Slip Differential

The same mechanism can be actuated with the help of a fluid. This is called the Viscous Limited Slip Differential. In this case, the clutch pack is replaced with a fluid flowing within the equally spaced plates. The viscosity of the fluid helps in creating friction between the free-rotating and the locked wheel and helps in turning of the wheel with higher friction. Hence, higher the viscosity of the fluid, better will be the transfer of the power.


A rusted Diff!


Again when the slipping occurs, the fast fluid flow actuates the mechanism and lets you move further to tackle the terrain. Knock knock! Who’s there? Engineering Explained. Engineering Explained who? Engineering Explained to you.

Viscous Limited Slip Differential

If all else fails, the route that the industry usually takes is the Electrical way. In this case, The Electronic LSD comes into play to give a more immediate control over the torque that is being transferred to the wheels.

The sensors take in the rotational speed of the wheels and then senses which wheel is slipping. This data is continually logged and as soon as the system senses that there is a wheel spin, it sends an output to the mechanism that actuates the clutch pack on the differential.

No no! Not a remote-controll! It’s controlled by the ECU a.k.a. the brain of the car!


This controls the amount of torque that is being sent to the wheels and gives a more precise and assured control over the car.

Electronically Limited Slip Differential

One of the more advanced differential systems is the Torque Vectoring Differential. As the name suggests, the torque from the engine is guided into the wheel which requires it more.

This not only helps the car to come out of a muddy situation but also helps the car to get pulled into a corner. Just like a tank.


Vectoring the flow!


In the case of a tank, the wheels of the side to which we want to turn are reversed, which gives it a very small turning radius. Similarly, the torque is vectored into the outer tyre more to push the car more into a corner, giving a Physics Defying feeling. (Or should I say Porsche feeling?)

All this system is actuated using a gear mechanism like the Planetary gear.

Torque Vectoring Differential

Don’t blame me for going back to EE all the time. He explains best digitally when it comes to automotive. Thumbs up to him!

Now, you know why turning is such a big thing in the automotive industry. May it be turning your dear car or the turning up of the sales figure of the company!

But have you ever realised what all this future mechanism has affected?



Yeah. Drifting sadly. Especially in the rear wheel driven cars. Driving is, in layman terms, the slipping of the rear tyres which need an extra input from the steering wheel in the opposite direction. It is one of those ultimate feelings that you get while driving a car. But this technique requires a lot of practice.

However, due to the latest technologies, the cars have become extremely Drift Unhappy. Since a differential limits the spin of the wheels, it hinders the usage of the car as a Tire-Eater. With great technology comes great sadness.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s