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Limited Slip Differentials

A differential, as the name suggests, lets your car’s driven wheels turn at different rates. This is integral to helping your car manoeuvre through corners without scuffing the inside tyre.

Most cars come with an open differential where the wheels can spin at any rate. This means that in situations where one wheel has much less grip than the other, the wheel with less grip will spin up. In a corner this can lead to understeer, in a straight line this can lead to the traction control light coming on and the car going nowhere.

The solution is a Limited Slip Differential. These restrict the amount of difference in speed there can be between the two wheels, and send the power to either both wheels or the wheel with more grip.

In a low-grip situation this helps propel the car forwards. If there is adequate grip, ensures a more even distribution of power to the tyres.

In a hard corner, this ensures that there is power going to the outside wheel, pushing or pulling the car through the corner.

On a front wheel drive car this can make all the difference in the world to understeer. Being able to drag the car out of understeer around a corner hugely improves handling.

On a rear wheel drive car, it makes for much more grip on corner exit, and greatly helps with controllable power oversteer (if you like that kind of thing).

A mechanical limited slip differential will even work with your cars electronics, simply increasing the amount of grip on offer before the car’s driver aids have to activate.

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