AWD - All Wheel Drive

Here are some topics that we can cover when it comes to cars that have AWD (All Wheel Drive) : the misunderstanding that people have when someone talks about AWD, how the Wheels on AWD are different from 4WD, and just how to really understand how AWD drive works. Do you fall under any of these categories?

All Wheel Drive Misunderstandings !
When people go and buy cars, they usually tend to shy away from 4WD cars because they know that they tend to be gas guzzlers. What people don’t know is that cars that have AWD are actually pretty practical when it comes to gas mileage.

Not only are they better in gas when compared to 4WD vehicles, they also give you additional safety features - especially when it comes to dangerous slippery conditions.

“How Is 4WD Different From AWD Vehicles?”
There are three different systems that manufacturers use to let the engine apply torque on all four Wheels that are on your vehicle :

1. Part-Time Four-Wheel-Drive System ; I know, it’s a pretty long name for a process that doesn’t take that long to explain. This is where you (the driver) can have the option of manually switching from 2WD and 4WD while you’re driving. If you (the driver) even try to use 4WD on pavement, the transfer case will wear out and eventually fail. This specific system is only designed to be used for slippery conditions - nothing more, nothing less.

2. Full-Time Four-Wheel Drive : This is for those people (it might be you) who really like going off-roading .. but extreme off-roading. Or it might even be for those that live an area where you have to use 4WD; either one works. This system is mainly for those drivers who live in that area where they have to use 4WD and they don’t like the hassle of switching from that to 2WD.

3. The third one really isn’t a system, it’s more like a comparison. You can go on and on about the different systems that people use for AWD; but the main thing that is always going to come up is that they consume less gas than 4WD vehicles. The reason why is because the computer system that’s installed in your AWD vehicle is constantly adjusting the torque to each of the four Wheels . This is so the force is only applied to the Wheels that actually need it at any given time.

The main difference between AWD & 4WD is that when the vehicle is in 4WD, all four of the Wheels receive the same level of power all of the time. When it comes to AWD, the power that’s given to the Wheels is constantly changing and constantly being controlled by the computer system that’s installed.

Do You Really Understand AWD?
There are different AWD systems that are there to offer a type of center differential that usually makes it possible for each of the Wheels to receive different levels of torque from the engine. While most of the 4WD cars that you see on the road typically have handling problems when you drive it in dry conditions, AWD cars don’t have these problems. The main reason why is because there’s little torque that’s applied to the Wheels unless it’s really needed.