All-Wheel Drive (AWD) and 4-Wheel Drive (4WD) are actually two different things. In the past, if you wanted four driven wheels, you were limited to full-size SUV’s and trucks. Nowadays, 4WD has become more sophisticated, and AWD is getting more robust and gaining in popularity. Both are available in cars and SUVs and account for more than half of new vehicle sales in the U.S.  

All-Wheel Drive (AWD)

When a vehicle is equipped with an AWD system, the drivetrain’s power gets transferred to all four wheels. There are several AWD systems available, some full-time and others with on-demand AWD. The newer technology allows torque to engage on all four wheels but can allocate more torque to the rear wheels when the drivetrain computer senses traction loss. Systems that are primarily front-wheel drive will supply torque to the rear wheels through the AWD processor if the front wheels slip.

The different types of AWD include part-time, full-time, automatic, and selectable.

Four-Wheel Drive (4WD)

Through the years, 4WD has become more refined, including a high and low-range setting. Low range is useful for mud, sand, or heavy snow. High range is the default setting for everyday asphalt driving. More advanced systems offer a selection of modes for drivers to control how much power and torque are distributed between the front and rear axles.

AWD and 4WD are great options for those who regularly drive in challenging conditions, including harsh winters or off-roading. These vehicles are heavier and more complex to service.

Still have questions or want to service your AWD or 4WD vehicle?

Contact the car care experts at Team CAMC today.

Team CAMC is your Complete Auto Maintenance Center. For over 30 years, we have followed a single guiding principle: we never push or sell services a vehicle doesn’t need.  Our team of trained technicians welcomes you like family and discusses all types of oil and fluid changes offered. Critical points are reviewed through a 13-point inspection to ensure your vehicle is ready for the next adventure on the road ahead. Contact us today to schedule the professional service you deserve from a team you trust.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: