close up view of the differential

What are the different types of differentials?

Types of differentials broken down 

Vehicles are complex pieces of machines and there are parts you can go years without knowing about. If a differential doesn’t sound familiar to you, we have all the information for you. A differential receives power from the engine to the wheels and controls how they operate. There are four different types of differentials that differ in how they control this energy. Keep reading to learn about these. 

Open differential 

As one of the most common types of automotive differentials, the open differential splits engine torque into two outputs which allow wheels to rotate at different speeds. This helps with turning corners and helps the vehicle be more efficient. Sedans and economy cars are frequent users of the open differential. 

Locking differential 

The locking differential connects the wheels so they always spin at the same speed. This can also be known as a welded differential. Turning with this type can be difficult. Some trim levels on the Toyota 4Runner use a locking differential.  

Limited-slip differential 

The limited-slip differential is used in the Toyota Tundra and Toyota Tacoma. This type of differential uses a mixture of open and locking differentials. By default, the limited-slip differential acts like an open differential and only locks when slipping occurs. 

Torque-vectoring differential 

By using additional gear trains, the torque-vectoring differential can adjust the torque sent to each wheel.  

close up view of the differential

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