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How to Troubleshoot a Limited Slip Positraction Diagnostic

by Michelle Hickman

Automobiles can experience problems, such a shuddering or noises, when making low speed turns. This could be from the vehicle's limited slip positraction. Positraction is when your vehicle is rounding a corner and the outside wheel must turn faster than the inside wheel since it has to travel a greater distance, so the device in the axle assembly allows the outside wheel to turn at a different speed than the other, according to the DriveTrain website. A limited-slip rear axle is such an axle device that reduces slippage between each tire, transmitting power by friction between the side gears, differential case and clutch plates.

Troubleshoot the limited slip rear axle when experiencing a shudder or bind from the automobile's rear axle during low speed turns. Perform this diagnostic in a parking lot with no other motor vehicle traffic. Operate the vehicle to warm up the rear axle before draining the axle fluid.

Refill the vehicle with axle lube. Drive the automobile in low-speed maneuvers through the parking lot for 10 minutes. Perform mostly turns while noticing if the rear axle is still shuddering or binding.

Take out the rear axle lube. Mix 74 to 89 ml of additive with 1,200 ml of axle lube. Fill the rear axle along with the outside of the axle. Continue to evaluate to see if the mixture fixes the problem.


  • Diagnosing the limited slip axle is not a do-it-yourself project for the inexperienced vehicle owner. Contact your local mechanic or auto dealership to have an experienced technician properly evaluate the problem.

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About the Author

Based in southwestern Pennsylvania, Michelle Hickman has written since 2006 on an array of topics including lifestyle, writing instruction and financial services. Her first articles appeared in "The Pittsburgh Tribune Review: Focus Magazine." She holds a certification in computer and information science from Central Westmoreland Career and Technology Center.

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