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Auto Max of Oregon

1004 NE 4th Ave
Canby, OR 97013

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Four-wheel-drive (4wd) systems used to be reserved for trucks and designed mainly for rugged off-road use. Today, there are four basic systems that send engine power to all four wheels of the vehicle--all-wheel drive (AWD), part-time AWD, part-time 4WD, and full-time 4WD.  So drivers can understand the differences, here is a brief explanation of each type of system:

Full-Time 4-Wheel Drive

Full-time 4WD systems date back nearly a century. Today, their use is mostly limited to vehicles that are designed for serious off-road duty. This drive train configuration traditionally sends engine power equally to all four wheels. They come equipped with a special secondary "low" gearing ratio for driving very slowly in rugged terrain. Many also feature locking differentials (these systems prevent one wheel from slipping if another wheel has traction).

Part-Time 4-Wheel Drive

Part-time 4WD systems remain in rear-wheel-drive mode until additional traction is needed. This reduces unnecessary drag on the driveline and helps to minimize fuel economy penalties. The change from the 2-to4-wheel drive is done via electronic, mechanical, or hydraulic switching from inside the cabin. Nearly all part-time 4WD systems are fitted with the same "low" gearing ratio and locking differentials as the dedicated 4WD systems.

Part-Time All-Wheel Drive

Part-time AWD systems work just like front-wheel-drive powertrains until traction is lost. This system waits until the front wheels begin to slip before electronics (or hydraulics) automatically switch to AWD mode. The benefits include lower cost, less weight, and increased efficiency, ideal for entry-level or compact vehicles. Part-time AWD systems are not designed for heavy off-road use but are good for driving in inclement weather or in an emergency.

All-Wheel Drive

All-wheel drive systems are among the most sophisticated drivelines today. Engine power is sent to all four wheels based on demand as determined by electronic or hydraulic sensors. While this adds to the cost of a vehicle, it is "tuned" so that it can outperform a 4WD vehicle under some conditions. AWD vehicles are primarily only suited for on-road travel, and the increased mechanical complexity is a potential for additional vehicle maintenance as the vehicle ages.

4WD systems should be serviced and cared for properly by a trained mechanic. Consult our ASE Certified Technicians at Auto Max of Oregon for more information about 4wd repair and service and to schedule an appointment. Our auto shop proudly serves vehicle owners in Canby, OR and surrounding areas.

Today’s drivers still have the option of full time 4wd systems. Because they are fully engaged at all times, you may be spending more on 4wd repair.
20
Sep
2017

Four-wheel-drive (4wd) systems used to be reserved for trucks and designed mainly for rugged off-road use. Today, there are four basic systems that send engine power to all four wheels of the vehicle--all-wheel drive (AWD), part-time AWD, part-time 4WD, and full-time 4WD.  So drivers can understand the differences, here is a brief explanation of each type of system:

Full-Time 4-Wheel Drive

Full-time 4WD systems date back nearly a century. Today, their use is mostly limited to vehicles that are designed for serious off-road duty. This drive train configuration traditionally sends engine power equally to all four wheels. They come equipped with a special secondary "low" gearing ratio for driving very slowly in rugged terrain. Many also feature locking differentials (these systems prevent one wheel from slipping if another wheel has traction).

Part-Time 4-Wheel Drive

Part-time 4WD systems remain in rear-wheel-drive mode until additional traction is needed. This reduces unnecessary drag on the driveline and helps to minimize fuel economy penalties. The change from the 2-to4-wheel drive is done via electronic, mechanical, or hydraulic switching from inside the cabin. Nearly all part-time 4WD systems are fitted with the same "low" gearing ratio and locking differentials as the dedicated 4WD systems.

Part-Time All-Wheel Drive

Part-time AWD systems work just like front-wheel-drive powertrains until traction is lost. This system waits until the front wheels begin to slip before electronics (or hydraulics) automatically switch to AWD mode. The benefits include lower cost, less weight, and increased efficiency, ideal for entry-level or compact vehicles. Part-time AWD systems are not designed for heavy off-road use but are good for driving in inclement weather or in an emergency.

All-Wheel Drive

All-wheel drive systems are among the most sophisticated drivelines today. Engine power is sent to all four wheels based on demand as determined by electronic or hydraulic sensors. While this adds to the cost of a vehicle, it is "tuned" so that it can outperform a 4WD vehicle under some conditions. AWD vehicles are primarily only suited for on-road travel, and the increased mechanical complexity is a potential for additional vehicle maintenance as the vehicle ages.

4WD systems should be serviced and cared for properly by a trained mechanic. Consult our ASE Certified Technicians at Auto Max of Oregon for more information about 4wd repair and service and to schedule an appointment. Our auto shop proudly serves vehicle owners in Canby, OR and surrounding areas.

Frank Morales
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