Open Differentials

An open differential allows for individual wheel rotation speeds during cornering. 

What is an open differential? 

Open differentials are the most common differential found on passenger vehicles and allow the wheels to rotate at different speeds while the vehicle is turning a corner. 

What is key to know about open differentials?


  • Open differentials are the original solution to a universal problem.
  • They allow the wheels to turn independently of each other, preventing wheel hop, vehicle instability and excess tire wear.


  • Open differentials don’t work well on uneven or slippery surfaces because the engine torque is transmitted to the wheel with the least resistance (a.k.a. “traction”). 
  • If the tire is off the ground or on ice, it spins freely and the vehicle is unable to move. 
  • On asphalt, you get the infamous “one-wheel peel” under heavy acceleration.

How can I improve the performance of my vehicle if I have an open differential? 

We offer limited slip differentials and locking differentials to help get your power to the ground.