Can You Drive Your Buggy Without A Rear Differential?
If you drive a buggy, you are probably used to how it works, feels and steers. One thing that people who know cars might wonder is whether or not you can drive your buggy without a differential. A vital piece of equipment for any vehicle, it is actually against the law to drive a buggy without a differential in it and there are many reasons behind this. Below we explain all you need to know about a differential and just why it is so important to your buggy.
What Is A Differential?
The exact date of the invention of the differential is unknown, but it is thought to be around the same time as cars were first invented – and some dispute this and say that the differential came first. The differential plays a vital role in helping the car to steer. Without it, the result would be that you could turn the wheel as much as you like but the car would continually drive in a straight line.
The differential is essentially the mechanism that splits the power between the wheels allowing it to turn when desired. It basically makes the difference between the distance travelled by the outside wheel and the one on the inside. It creates a differential on the axle without which it would mean that both of the wheels would travel at the same speed and would cover the same distance. This would mean that a car with rear-wheel drive would have tires that skidded as the front wheels were pushed.
Without a differential, your buggy would be at risk of losing control as well as many other issues. The drivetrain would be exposed to high forces which could mean that it gets damaged. In an effort to maintain the same speed as the other tires, one of the others would slip and grab, meaning that the force transmission would put a huge strain on the car. This in turn could lead to damage or premature wear which would cost you money and be a nightmare in the long run for you. Having no rear differential can be very dangerous to the car and driver and is why having rear differentials are so important.
What Is A Differential Lock?
Differential lock is basically putting differential into motion and can help your vehicle when it is caught in off-road situations that need a little bit of extra support in handling itself. By employing a differential lock your buggy will be much better equipped to drive on tricky terrains that it might otherwise get stuck in. Cars tend to only have one differential but buggies and 4×4 or other off-road vehicles tend to have up to three. These will be in the front, the rear, and the center. By having them distributed around the vehicle it means that equal power is put into all of the wheels when a differential lock is in place.
How Do You Know If A Rear Differential Is Damaged?
If your rear differential is damaged, luckily you should be able to spot it fairly quickly. This will mean you aren’t at risk of being hurt or your vehicle damaged through a faulty rear differential.
One of the first signs of damage is that your buggy is difficult to handle. Because a rear differential is so integral in the turning and maneuvering of your vehicle, precision will quickly be out of the window and you will know that something is wrong. As soon as you discover that your vehicle is becoming tricky to handle, make sure that you get it checked out and don’t drive it anymore.
Other signs include damaged tires – particularly if they are becoming damaged or worn out much sooner than you would expect. This is because they are having to work harder due to the faulty differential, wearing them away. You also might notice that your buggy is making some strange noises. Due to the rear differential being made up of many gears with teeth, when it goes faulty these can grind against each other. Your vehicle might make whining noises due to leaking fluids, grinding of gears and vibrations thanks to wear and tear in the differential. You might also notice a fluid leak under your car.
In essence, a buggy cannot be driven with a rear differential and it is very dangerous for you to do so. Make sure you get your buggy maintained at the first sign of any damage and ensure you don’t get hurt.