Is the Differential Necessary to Drive?

You would immediately notice the need for a differential the first time you turned a corner in your car without one. Each wheel’s rotation is designed to travel at different speeds. To accommodate the difference in ratio, the differential allows for each speed through a series of gear movements.

When you turn a corner, the wheels that are closest to the turn, called the inside wheels, only have a short distance to travel to complete the arc of the turn. The outside wheels, on the opposite side of the car, need to travel a much greater distance and speed to catch up to the inside. That happens through the rear differential.

People often forget about the maintenance of the differential, tucked away in the back of the vehicle. It requires an oil change usually about every 30,000 miles. Stop in to Volvo of Savannah the next time you’re in Savannah, GA, and our technicians will be happy to answer any questions.

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