When to use 4-wheel drive
So, your car has 4WD, but do you really know how to use it? What do on-the-fly, fully automatic or manual really mean? We live in a relatively mild climate, but there are times when it benefits you to use your car's 4WD features. Here are a few tips.
First, find your service manual (check the glove box). Find out what type of 4WD you have. Can you engage it while driving? Do you need to stop first?
Two-wheel drive delivers the torque to the rear, meaning each rear tire receives half the engine torque. In 4WD mode, all four wheels receive equal (25%) of the engine torque. Many newer cars allow you to push a button while driving to shift to 4WD, but, older vehicles must be manually shifted when the vehicle is stopped.
All-wheel drive delivers the engine torque to all four wheels (like 4WD,) but all the time. It can sense when a wheel slip is occurring and transfers torque to the real wheels to stabilize the car. Basically, it's a 2-wheel system mostly, until the torque needs to be reapportioned.
Keep in mind that many 4WD cars end up in ditches or on snow banks because drivers can feel overconfident; 4WD doesn't improve traction on slick icy or snowy roads. It's important to slow down since your center of gravity is higher in 4WD.
Use it! 4WD works best when it's used. Just remember you will burn more gas while in the mode.
If you are curious about 4WD and your car, come on into Sherwood Auto Repair. We can walk you through how use it while checking the systems to make sure they are working properly.
Sherwood Auto Repair
9965 SW Tualatin-Sherwood Rd,
Tualatin, OR, 97062