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The Difference Between Four Wheel Drive and All Wheel Drive

four wheel drive vehicle traversing rocks

When you are choosing a Vehicle with enhanced traction and handling capabilities, the terms “Four-Wheel Drive” (4WD) and “all-wheel drive” (AWD) are often used interchangeably. However, there are key differences between these Drivetrain Systems that can impact their performance under various conditions. Let’s explore the differences between four wheel drive and all wheel drive to help you make an informed decision.

Four-Wheel Drive (4WD)

4WD systems are typically found in Trucks and Off-Road Vehicles. They are designed to provide power to all four wheels simultaneously, offering enhanced traction on challenging terrain such as mud, snow, and rocky surfaces. This can be especially useful if you enjoy winter sports, such as skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing.

All-Wheel Drive (AWD)

AWD systems are more commonly found in Cars and SUVs. Unlike 4WD, which is manually engaged by the driver, AWD operates automatically, continuously monitoring road conditions and distributing power to the wheels with the most traction. This real-time adjustment helps improve handling and stability on various road surfaces. This can be useful in snowy climates where you stick to city and town roads.

  • Full-Time AWD: Some Vehicles have a full-time AWD system that sends power to all four wheels at all times. This setup is beneficial for maintaining traction in diverse driving conditions, from dry pavement to slippery roads.
  • On-Demand AWD: Other Vehicles have an on-demand AWD system that primarily operates in two-wheel drive (usually front-wheel drive) and only sends power to the rear wheels when additional traction is needed.

In conclusion, both 4WD and AWD offer enhanced Vehicle Traction and stability, but there is a difference between Four Wheel Drive and All Wheel Drive when it comes to their operation and applications. 4WD is ideal for off-road adventures and challenging terrain, while AWD provides added traction for everyday driving on various road surfaces. Understanding these differences can help you choose the right Drivetrain System for your driving needs.

We will happily work on your 4WD and AWD Vehicles! Please call us at 360-386-8571 or visit our website.

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