Four-wheel drive is called 4*4 (four by four) or 4WD. Four by four or 4*4 is a class of vehicle. The first figure shows the total number of wheels. The second figure indicates the number of axel ends that are powered.4WD is a two-axle vehicle that provides torque to all wheels simultaneously.
It provides an additional output drive shaft in the transfer case. It has some additional gear ranges that’s why it is also called all-wheel drive (AWD).
Four-wheel drive with torque supplies to both axels is named as all-wheel drive (AWD). There is also different type of vehicles like front wheel drive and rear wheel drive. Four-wheel drive (4WD) means two axels provide torque to four-wheel axel ends. 4WD is mostly used for off road driving conditions.
All wheel drive (AWD) is also known as four-wheel drive (4*4) and six-wheel drive (6*6) and eight-wheel drive (8*8) and so on. Nowadays, this term AWD is applied to heavy vehicles and light passenger’s vehicles in this modern era. Typical AWD works well on all surfaces. All wheel drive electric vehicles use one motor for each axle.
Four Wheel Drive Advantages
Traction and power are the main benefit of 4WD.While climbing a hill or driving off road, there is a need for extra power to get over the obstacles and this power only comes with 4WD.
Four-wheel drive 4WD is best for off road. Additional weight provides ample grip on the road to the vehicle. 4WD gives better traction in dangerous driving conditions like during snowfall and climbing the rocks. There are other scenarios that can make control difficult on vehicles and 4WD is best in these scenarios.
Four-wheel drive is beneficial while off road and driving at low traction conditions.
4WD is used as pulling heavy loads at slow speeds.
It is also used while hauling a heavy load descending at slow speed.
It is used in rocky situations.
4WD is most friendly while stuck in sand, mud and snow etc.
Four Wheel Drive Disadvantages
4WD is costly to purchase. Its fuel consumption is high and maintenance is also costly. The extra equipment creates complexity and weight to the vehicle. It includes cost of repair, tire wear and maintenance.
The added power and weight of 4WD need more fuel making it less efficient than 2WD.
Heavy weight vehicles like 4WD increase the braking distance to make a complete stop. Whereas lighter vehicles decrease the braking distance to make a complete stop.
4WD creates overconfidence in drivers.
Extreme caution requires while driving 4WD on icy, snowy and slippery roads. Because overconfident drivers may become the reason of dangerous accidents in these scenarios.
How to improve efficiency of 4WD?
Regularly maintenance require according to manufactures recommendations. Because seals can dry out if 4WD system is not used for extended periods of time. Lubrication is necessary after every few months.
Front axels, differential gears and other parts can be damage during dry conditions and driving on mild conditions. So 2WD is recommended on dry conditions.
If vehicle is stuck in the mud, engage to four-wheel drive and slowly depress the gas pedal to overcome the situation. Stop at the moment if wheel is spinning because it will have stuck in the deeper hole.
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