A 4WD vehicle can be what's needed if you often drive through mud, snow, sand, or soft soil. Having power sent to all four wheels of the vehicle can mean better pulling capacity, so that your vehicle is less likely to get stuck, no matter the road conditions. If you're thinking of investing in a 4WD, note a few common questions you might have about this type of system, and this can help you to decide if this is the right choice for you.
How does a 4WD work?
A two-wheel drive has just one axle of the car being powered, usually the front wheels, so that the back wheels spin freely, and are dragged by the car. When engaged, a 4WD system locks onto both axles of the vehicle, so that all four wheels are then powered by the engine. This offers more torque, and is why a 4WD vehicle is less likely to get stuck in snow or mud, as all four of the wheels are then pushing the weight of the vehicle along.
How is a 4WD system different than all-wheel drive?
A 4WD vehicle usually has an option for you to disengage this system. This can mean better fuel economy overall, as powering all four wheels requires more power and, in turn, more fuel.
An all-wheel drive system usually doesn't offer this option, but will always have both axles of the vehicle locked and connected to the engine. An all-wheel drive system can be good if you only drive your vehicle over rough roads, such as for snowploughs, a farm truck, and the like. However, if you use the vehicle over paved roads as well as on rough roads, it can be good to have the option to disengage the 4WD system.
Will upgrading to snow tyres be sufficient for rough roads?
Tyres that are meant for rough road conditions can give you better traction in snow, mud, sand, and the like, as these will usually have deeper tread that is designed to push snow and mud out of the way of the vehicle. However, without a 4WD system, you would still have two tyres that aren't actually powering the vehicle through those rough conditions. That added power can be especially important for heavier vehicles and if you're towing something, as your vehicle may needed more power to manage that extra weight. Rather than relying on snow tyres alone to get you through rough road conditions, invest in a 4WD vehicle if needed.
To learn more about 4WD vehicles, contact services who perform 4-wheel drive transmission maintenance.