3 Essential Things to Know about Four-Wheel Drive (4WD)

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Four-wheel drive is a form of drivetrain. A four-wheel drive vehicle has two or more axles, which provide power to four wheel ends. These vehicles have a transfer case, which means the front and rear drive shafts will be locked together when the four-wheel drive is engaged.

Benefits of Four-Wheel Drive

Four-wheel drive is ideal for driving in situations when there is low to very little traction. For example, if you frequently drive in snow, or take your vehicle off-road, you will greatly benefit from four-wheel drive. Some modern vehicles engage four-wheel drive automatically, so you do not have to do anything to turn it on. The automatic system normally turns on when one or more of the wheels start slipping. Other vehicles have the option of turning four-wheel drive on and off. The benefit of turning it on and off is to improve the fuel economy.

4WD vs. All-Wheel Drive

Not all four-wheel drive vehicles are considered all-wheel drive. There is a difference between the two, which we will look at. The term all-wheel drive is applied to drivetrain systems that include a differential between the front and rear drive shafts. All-wheel drive vehicles comes with anti-slip technology and work well on all surfaces. Four-wheel drive vehicles have a transfer case, which is different than the all-wheel drives’ differential. This is the main difference between the two types of drivetrains.

Problems with Four-Wheel Drive

Heavy loads that four-wheel drive vehicles carry are more likely to cause sagging springs in the suspension. These sagging springs can lead to chassis damage. If the four-wheel drive vehicle was used to pull boats or for driving off-road, there may be rust around the bottoms of the door. Four-wheel drive vehicles require more maintenance because of the extra parts, such as the differentials, transfer case, etc. Check the maintenance record to ensure these were properly maintained over time. The chassis can take a beating over time due to neglect or hard driving. Check for cracks where the chassis outriggers join the main frame. Also, check for dents or rust, which also indicates the vehicle was used roughly.

Four-wheel drive vehicles are convenient and can provide more traction on slippery roads or while off-roading. Four-wheel drive is different than all-wheel drive, so it is important to know the difference when purchasing a vehicle.


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Rigoberto

9 years of experience
706 reviews
Rigoberto
9 years of experience
Chevrolet Equinox - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Niles, Illinois
Rigo was great! He got there early, finished the job early, left everything clean. He changed my rear pads and rotors. The original quoted time was 90 minutes, he was done in about 60. He knows what he is doing and I am recommending him to all my friends and coworkers.
Mercedes-Benz C250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Chicago, Illinois
Rigo is a maverick hands down. Don’t take your car for work elsewhere. Especially great at Mercedes—this guy knows his profession! I will be using him for everything related to my car going forward.

Arturo

25 years of experience
35 reviews
Arturo
25 years of experience
Kia Forte - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Diego, California
ARTURO is great! very professional , fast, replaced my front brake pads and oil an filter change. everything now works and works well. Brakes have much improved stopping power and engine is smooth and quiet.Arturo is also kind and thoughtful. "Your mechanic" is very fortunate to have Arturo Lopez represent your company. I enthusiastically recommend him and "Your mechanic> as a fine operation Best regards to the Team Peter Marto
Nissan Maxima - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - San Diego, California
Arturo was prompt and completed my brake repair, including new rotors in a very efficient manner. I am very pleased with the quality of the work and the parts and will definitely look to have him service our other car in the near future.

Scott

32 years of experience
345 reviews
Scott
32 years of experience
Lexus IS250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Denver, Colorado
Always on time, speedy, professional, and pleasant to interact with. The work is always consistent and we'll done. I can't reccomend Scott highly enough!

Michael

10 years of experience
15 reviews
Michael
10 years of experience
Nissan Sentra - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Conyers, Georgia
He was promptly on time and got the job done efficiently in a timely manner. I really appreciate the rapid respone on getting the job done! I would most definitely use this service again.

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