Limited Slip Vs Non Limited Slip: Which One to Pick?

In any case, where your tires don’t spin (snow, mud, drag, racing), an open differential is better than a sealed differential, which is less likely to cause noise or failure over time.

Limited slip differentials (rear end gears, not the transmission) reduce wheel spin by distributing power equally between the front and rear wheels. Limited slip differentials have less moving parts than non-limited slip differentials. This means less resistance when sending torque to the wheels.

Limited Slip Vs Non Limited Slip differentials differ in terms of their function under slipping conditions. During an open differential, power is sent to the wheel, experiencing the least amount of resistance. However, Limited-slip differentials give the most power to the wheels with the highest grip.

Despite the fact that this is only a very brief answer, it is incredibly complex. Below, you will find everything you need to know about the differences between Limited Slip Vs Non Limited Slip.

Limited Slip Vs Non Limited Slip: What are the Key Differences?

Limited Slip :Non Limited Slip:
Limited slip is designed for use by off-road vehicles, including those driven over dust, gravel, and rocks.When functioning properly, Non Limited Slip differentials are the smoothest, most reliable daily drivers.
Increases a car’s speed and power by more efficiently utilizing the engine’s power.It is possible to make significant improvements to the performance of a 4×4.
Limited slip will allow for a more enjoyable and smoother drive.Unless you do a very violent flick, non limited slips should not step out during a drift.
Even on normal roads, LSDs provide near-perfect traction for preventing slippage, resulting in a safer and quieter ride.A single axle can have completely different speeds, so there will be no wheel slip when turning.
One benefit of limited slip is that they prevent one wheel from spinning excessively.As far as efficiency is concerned, NLS’s differential will lose less energy than alternative options.

A Detailed Comparison of Limited Slip Vs Non Limited Slip

It is difficult to decide between a Limited Slip Vs Non Limited Slip differential when purchasing a car, particularly if you are unfamiliar with the terms. During driving, the differential transmits the power to the wheels in an appropriate manner, allowing the wheels to move at different speeds.

Differential – What Is It?

When you turn your vehicle, your outside wheels go farther and faster than your inside wheels. Through the differential, power is transferred to the wheels appropriately, allowing for varying speeds.

Differentials are positioned differently according to the drivetrain. A front-wheel-drive vehicle has housing for the differential and transmission. These units are called transaxles. The differential is built between the rear wheels on a rear-wheel-drive vehicle. A drive shaft connects the differential to the transmission. A four-wheel-drive vehicle uses a middle differential along with the transfer case to transfer power to all four wheels. 

Limited Slip:

Limited slip, which general motors called “positraction,” was designed mainly for 4x4s & emergency vehicles. Since these vehicles deal with situations that can cause traction issues more frequently. Limited Slip systems are designed to provide equal power & torque for all wheels. 

In particular, they provide equal torque and power while the vehicle is losing traction. When a wheel has lost traction, the system automatically decreases its rotation. 

Additionally, it provides extra power to wheels with more traction to ensure less slip.

Non Limited Slip:

Non-Limited Slip differential, also known as an “open carrier,” is a system standard on most cars, trucks, and SUVs. Power is usually sent to only one wheel when differential wheels are used. 

Therefore, if one wheel fails to gain traction, a standard differential will tend to use the wheel with the lowest amount of resistance. Losing traction allows the wheel to become more stabilized, which in turn reduces power.


Unless you drive an expensive sports car & enjoy scything along country roads, the standard differential should be enough. Rarely are these options available, so you must determine which car you want based on your needs.

Adding an LSD to some cars (like the Peugeot 308 GTi or Vauxhall Corsa VXR) can make driving them more challenging & less rewarding. On the race track, they are better, but their low-speed manners suffer.

Although the limited slip differential opens, more power is transferred to the wheels with as little resistance as possible. Whenever traction is lost while turning, drivers struggle to maintain control. The limited-slip differential distributes wheel power as needed, resulting in less traction loss on turns. By managing wheel rotation effectively, quick turns are handled more smoothly, and traction is improved.

Performance games are won by limited-slip teams. Limited-slip differentials (also known as LSDs) enable quicker cornering by shifting torque between wheels. Through this system, the car maximizes traction and uses its horsepower as efficiently as possible.


Limited slip differentials arguably have the widest range of applications of all differential types. The torque is divided among the wheels with the best traction, with the least amount of slip occurring on the worst traction wheel. This is why limited slips are often called torque sensors. Typically seen on sports cars, including Toyota’s GT86, Mazda’s MX-5, and BMW’s M3. 

Non sports vehicles typically have a non-limited slip differential. During a turn, a non-limited slip differential increases wheel rotation on the outside. When tires lose traction, non-limited slip differentials direct power to the wheels at the lowest possible rate. During straight-line driving, a limited-slip differential delivers equal power to both wheels. The wheel with the most traction gets extra power to compensate for lost traction.

The limited slip differential is clearly the winner here as well. When limited slip differentials are used, the torque between the wheels isn’t always equal. In order to continue moving the vehicle, the tire with traction gets more torque.


Drivers who are focused on performance will gain from limited-slip differentials’ handling & traction benefits. A driver who is not interested in performance and doesn’t deal with adverse weather conditions such as mud, rain, or ice, may not benefit from limited slip differentials.

A non-limited slip differential requires manual operation only during low traction conditions. The drive divider would be permanently attached; there might be broken axles, broken seals or shredded gears. As semi-trucks carry heavy loads, a power divider, engine breakdown, and spike are vital tools for providing drivers with control.

Limited Slip Vs Non Limited Slip: What’s The Better Option?

More confusion between Limited Slip Vs Non Limited Slip: what to pick? Yep, both a standard but a limited slip differential are ideal for everyday use, and non limited slip is great for off road users. 

However, when the vehicle is turning, or the road conditions aren’t perfect, you can really see the difference between Limited Slip and Non Limited Slip traction systems.

You should consider the vehicle type, the road type, and your preferences before buying one.


Is It Worth It To Have A Limited Slip Differential?

As you make hard turns, if you have a standard differential with no limited slip, you cannot reduce slippage. Due to this, limited-slip differentials are incredibly useful in areas that frequently receive snow, ice, rain, mud, and other harsh weather conditions.

How Do Limited Slips And Non-Limited Slips Differ?

A non limited slip differential, commonly known as an “open carrier differential”, comes standard on most vehicles. A limited slip system, also known as “positraction,” was designed mostly for vehicles such as 4-by-4s & emergency vehicles, which often face traction issues.

Why Is Non-Limited Slip Better? 

An open differential is similarly described as a non limited slip axle. Non-LS axles operate with the least amount of traction. The differential is equipped using electronic control, which only partially locks on slippery surfaces, and you can still drive with a bit of slip. If the rear axle is non-limited slip, then one axle will always be pulling, resulting in no positive traction.

Summing It Up

Limited Slip Vs Non Limited Slip: which to pick over others?

In general, if you regularly drive offroad or through bad weather repeatedly, a limited slip differential may be better for you. As a standard feature on some vehicles, others have the option to add it.

Most of the time, a Non Limited Slip differential will be more than enough, particularly if you drive on the local highway every day. By utilizing this differential, you can lower your costs, enabling you to purchase a vehicle that is within your budget.

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