What is a Limited Slip Differential and What Does It Do?

2011 Jeep Patriot- Used Jeeps for Sale in Miami

If you’re planning for sear for your next ride at a Jeep dealer, it’s important to know what capabilities you’d like your vehicle to have. For instance, are you looking for four-wheel drive?

If you primarily use your current car for commuting and traveling on regular roads, you may just want the basics.

But if you’re hoping to spend time hitting the trails, you’ll want to carefully consider what kind of Jeep system is best for you.

Jeep offers several different 4WD systems to meet the needs of any off-roader. Part of understanding which one will fit your driving style is knowing about differentials.

Here’s the low down about what they are, how they work, and how they can enhance traction.

When you’re driving, the wheels on your car move at different speeds. The front and the back do this, as well as the inside versus the outside wheels.

It’s because they’re traveling different distances around turns which means they must move at different speeds in order to keep you riding smoothly.

But with axles that connect each pair of wheels together, how is that possible? Here is where differentials come in.

In a two-wheel-drive vehicle, a gearbox called an open differential allows is the answer. Without a differential, your wheels would be locked together by the axle, and they wouldn’t be able to travel at different speeds.

With an open differential, power from the engine is sent down the easiest route. It will go to whichever wheel is most ready to receive more torque.

This works perfectly on the open road, but when you’re dealing with slippery surfaces, watch out. The wheel with the least traction will get all of the power, spinning you quickly into trouble.

So if you’re the kind of driver who frequently takes on slick terrain or uncertain slopes, you probably need something that will give you a little more control.

Instead of a vehicle with an open differential, you need a limited slip differential (LSD), which is commonly paired with four-wheel drive systems.

What is a limited slip differential? It functions similarly to the “open” version, however, it’s more calculated about where it sends power.

Instead of opting for the easiest route, an LSD enhances your traction control by sending power to the wheel that is on stable ground.

By giving the tire with traction more oomph, LSD can help prevent your vehicle from sliding or becoming mired when driving circumstances are tricky.

This is perfect for off-roading because you have the reassurance of serious help when it comes to getting a grip.