Non Limited Slip Vs Electronic Locking [Which One to Choose and Why?]

What is the difference between the non-limited slip and electronic locking rear diffs? Functionally, the non-limited diff moves two wheels independently, allowing different speeds, whereas the electronic locking diff turns the wheels at the same speed.

However, there are many factors to consider when discussing non limited slip vs electronic locking for your vehicle. You need to know what type of differential you need based on what circumstances.

Both the differences are pretty common among the vehicle’s owners, so when you need to choose one, you should choose the best.

Keep reading the blog as we tend to differentiate the two differentials Below.

Non Limited Slip Vs Electronic Locking Axle

Comparison FactsNon-Limited SlipElectronic Locking
Working mechanismTurns wheels at different speedsTurns wheels at the same speed
UsabilitySuitable for optimal road conditions.Provides impressive road performance
Best ApplicationMost of the modern-day carsSuitable for off-road vehicles.
PerformanceSatisfying performance metro driving while turningImpressive performance with advanced technology
Maintenance costA bit highEconomic maintenance cost
LongevityAverage longevityBetter longevity

We hope you have now got an overview of the electronic locking rear differential vs non limited slip if you closely look at the table. A vehicle’s differential undoubtedly plays a decent role, and when talking about the non-limited and locked, this goes to another level.

Nonetheless, both types of differentials have some pros and cons. Furthermore, the most important fact is that you choose the differential based on your usability. In addition, maintenance costs can be another frequent issue.

Whatever, it’s time to take our discussion to the next level. As a result, you will get a clear picture of what car differential you pick and why when we are at the conclusion.

Working Mechanism Between Electronic locking Axle and Non Limited Slip

There is a slight difference between the working mechanism of the non-limited slip and the electronic locking differential. In terms of non-limited or open diff, it turns both rear wheels at different speeds. For example, when you drive your car, the torque from the transmission via the drive shaft comes to the differential.

Then, the differential distributes the torque as per the wheel’s needs.

On the other hand, the electronic locking differential takes power from the transmission via the driveshaft and automatically lets the wheels turn at the same speed. Besides, it uses the clutches and spring to deliver equal torque to both wheels regardless of the traction conditions.

Nonetheless, the most significant difference between non limited slip vs electronic locking differential is that the locking creates a fixed axle, but the non-limited slip doesn’t.

Furthermore, the non-limited differential delivers torque to the wheel with the least resistance. However, the electronic locking differential locks the axle when there is a difference in traction between the wheels and equally transfers the wheels.

Comparing Performance of Non-Limited Slip and Electronic Locking Differential

Fortunately, both types of vehicle differentials are high performing. Furthermore, this means the differentials perform exceptionally well in individual circumstances.

First, regarding the non-limiter differential, you will find much better performance in metro areas where you need to turn your car frequently. 

As the non-limited differential turns the wheels freely, you won’t find any hustle no matter how much turning your road is. You will expectedly get decent performance.

When you turn your car to change direction on a highway or metro lane, the outer wheel needs more torque than the inner wheel. Nonetheless, non limited slip axle ensures that letting the outside wheel spins more as it needs to cover more distance.

Now, let’s discuss electronic locking in terms of performance. To be honest, your vehicle can perform much better with the locking differential regarding off-road riding. Are you wondering about the reason behind this?

When driving off-road, you need to make one pretty clear: enough traction power. Luckily, the electronic locking axle helps you get more torque on the wheel that is on more resistance.

In addition, as the speed of the two wheels remains the same, the vehicle can move steadily even if the road is muddy, slippery, or full of pavements, ice, etc.

But, when turning your vehicle, you may not have more decent performance than what you get in non-limited slip.

Differentiating on the Best Application Facts

If you read the previous section carefully, you should have a decent idea about applying these two vehicles’ differential.

Nonetheless, the non-limited differential is suitable for any type of vehicle usually seen in the metro area or town. To be more exact, if you have a personal car or passenger which you hardly take through off-road, then the non limited slip differential will be the best choice.

On the other hand, in most cases, if you have vehicles like a jeep which you have to take off-road often, the electronic locking will be decent for you.

Maintenance Cost Comparison of Electronic Locking Axle and Non Limited Slip

When discussing electronic locking axle vs non limited slip, maintenance cost fact comes into play for some valid reason. You may never want to repeatedly take your car to a repair shop within a short time. But, if you choose the non-limited slip, the chances are high that you need to spend a lot of money compared to electronic locking.

Regarding electronic locking, even if you have to buy it with a lot of money, the differential is economical regarding maintenance costs. In addition, as the electronic locking automatically works and switches off finding dry pavement, it reduces additional stress on your vehicle.

One of the members from Ford-Truck Forum says,

“There is no reason to choose an open differential over an electric locker unless you just want to save money. The electric locker is open until you switch it on.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is electronic locking the same as limited slip?

No, there are quite a few differences between the electronic locking and the limiter slip. However, you will have significant traction advantages with the electronic locking compared to the non limited slip. But, when turning your vehicle, the non limited differential performs better as it allows the wheels to move at a different speed.


As we assured you in the initial part of this blog, we are supposed to realize what differential is good for you. So, which one suits you regarding non limited slip vs electronic locking?

Let’s make things a lot easier for you. If you have to take your car off-road pretty often, you should go with the electronic lock differential. On the other hand, if you don’t need to drive your metro road more than off-road, it’s better to go with the non-limited differential.

Furthermore, you may not want to bear many maintenance costs with your car. So, the locking differential is also the best in this regard. But then again, it’s all about personal preferences.

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