What is a Car’s Differential?

If you’re driving a rear-wheel-drive (RWD) vehicle, for example, the differential is situated between the two rear wheels. It’s the part that allows the two back tires to move at different speeds and is an important aspect of a vehicle’s ability to turn a corner.

If you’re turning left, for instance, the wheels closest to the turn are referred to as the inside wheels. Their travel distance around a corner is much smaller and at a much slower speed than the wheels on the outside. The outer wheels, or the opposite side of the turn, have a greater distance to travel and at a greater speed to keep up with the inside wheels. The differential’s gears provide the ability for the two sides to work together, and the result is a smooth turn.

Oil changes and maintenance on the rear differential is crucial to keeping it in top-running order. The oil should be changed about every 30,000 miles. One of our knowledgeable service technicians at Carbone Automotive Group in Yorkville, NY will be happy to answer your questions.

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