Four-wheel drive or 4WD is a wide term used to refer to cars with an extra driveshaft performance and gear range for a number off-road and terrain applications. The four wheel drive system can be full-time or on-demand, depending on the car, and the Auto 4 wheel drive is one of the versions of the 4WD system.
Generally, the terminology used by automobile manufacturers to market their cars can from time to time be complicated to the average person. On the flip side, the SAE International Standard JI952 recommends the usage of All Wheel Drive to describe all sorts of 4×4, 4WD, and AWD systems on passenger vehicles and light trucks.
However, there are substantial mechanical variations between the 4WD, AWD, and 4×4 systems, which we will provide an explanation for below to assist you discover if it is OK to drive in auto 4WD.
What is auto 4WD?
Automatic four-wheel-drive or auto 4WD mode provides a hybrid of all-wheel drive and front-wheel drive. This system works by automatically sending power to the rear axle when too much stress is put on the front axle, which could cause a lot of damage to your vehicle if it wasn’t for this system. In 2WD mode, the vehicle will send power to either to the rear or to the front wheels.
There is a significant difference between AWD and 4WD that is AWD is mostly on while you have the ability to decide between having 4WD on or off. 4WD is an additional system you’ll usually find on a truck, while AWD is more for cars and SUVs.
How does 4-Wheel Drive Auto Work?
Since we now have an high knowledge of what is an auto 4WD and how it works, to recap. The 4-Wheel Drive Auto system when activated will continually be rear-wheel biased. This means all the electricity will be dispatched to the rear wheels. The driving surface is quite much irrelevant since the automated systems’ incredibly sophisticated computer will be taking care of business whilst you enjoy the ride. Let’s take a look at the internal workings of the 4WD-auto driveshafts.
The Auto 4WD Electric Motor
So there are speed sensors on the switch case that measures and calculate the velocity of the output shaft as well as the speed of the front wheels versus that of the rear wheels. Once the sensors notice that there is a distinction in rotational speed, commonly when traction is lost, one or more wheels will spin faster, it without delay engages 4-Wheel Drive. This is achieved in a matter of split seconds and is rarely noticeable to the driver.
The signal sent will be received from the sensors that there has been a loss in traction , the electric motor is then called to action to activate a fork inside the transfer case. The electric motor will move the fork onto the metal plates thereby applying pressure and starts to synchronize the rotational speeds of the two driveshafts. Then, the fork applies immense pressure on the set of tightly packed friction and metal discs inside the transfer box that are connected to the front driveshaft. Once there is enough force applied to the discs it synchronizes the front and rear driveshafts rotational speeds to regain traction that has been lost on either the rear or the front wheels.
The available engine electricity will then be split between the front and rear axles sending electricity to all 4 wheels. This technique is carried out in split seconds and not even noticed by the driver. There is zero driver interplay required either. This procedure is managed through a computerized system and negates the need for the driver to interfere and disengage 4-Wheel drive when using on a partially low traction surface such as a snow highway or cement pavement. This is a very state-of-the-art design that is more simple and realistic than say a non-permanent four wheel drive.
How fast can I drive in an auto 4WD?
The recommended speed to drive in an Auto 4WD or an Automatic four wheel drive is 55MPH in 4WD high on low friction surfaces. 4WD should only be activated when road surface traction or friction is low. This is very important to remember since there is always the risk binding if we don’t follow this rule. A low traction surface could be a muddy track, a dirt road, or a slippery snow highway. With that being said, These are all perfect driving conditions. 55MPH and below is perfectly ok under the above-mentioned circumstances. Driving in 4WD-Lo should not go above 10mph. If you can safely drive faster than 10mph in 4WD-Lo, it is preferred to switch to 4WD-High.
Is auto 4WD good in snow?
Automatic four wheel drive systems are excellent for dealing with very deep snow and for off-road driving. The low range makes it feasible to crawl over boulders, up steep hills and through thick mud.
The low range offers maximum traction on off-roads, whilst the high range is the default setting for day by day driving. High range can assist when driving on gravel, loose sand, snow, or ice. Full-time four-wheel drive sends power to all four wheels at all times.
But whether or not your car is AWD, FWD, RWD or even four-wheel drive (4WD or 4X4), you nevertheless may additionally need winter tires if you stay in an area with snow or freezing temperatures. That’s because, whilst some drive systems do a higher job of using the available traction than others, ALL of the traction is supplied by the tires. If the tires are heavily worn or of a type that are no longer ok for snowy/icy/extremely cold conditions, even the best AWD or 4WD systems won’t be able to overcome the traction barriers posed by the tires.
How do I know if I have AWD or FWD?
Check under your car, between the front and rear wheels, Whichever set of tires has an axle shaft between the two wheels of the tire is the one with the drive wheels.
Axle shafts are known as heavy-duty, load-bearing components that are used in motorized vehicles. They are also called CV axles or half-shafts, these are components that transfer rotational force from the vehicle’s transmission system to the wheels attached to the axles. While they are built to take care in handling heavy weights, it is possible to overload its components and force it to tear or break from the strain. Similarly, physical impact from collisions, potholes, and rough roads may also cause damage.
So, If you notice both a front and rear axle, then you either have an all-wheel or four-wheel drive vehicle.
Are 4×2 trucks good in snow?
Unlike auto 4WD cars, 4×2 cars are not good in snow, they will have less stability and traction which means they cannot handle off-roading, rain, snow, or ice as well as a auto 4WD car would. The 4X2, or two-wheel-drive, features a drive system that sends electricity to either the rear or front wheels. Automatic four-wheel-drive or auto 4WD mode provides a hybrid of all-wheel drive and front-wheel drive.