Four wheel drive (4WD) vehicles offer superior performance on uneven terrain and in off-road driving situations. Understanding the various types of 4WD can help you make the right choices when purchasing and upgrading your truck or Jeep. Your local Houston truck accessories store can provide added guidance on the best upgrades and additions for your vehicle. These Houston truck parts experts have the knowledge and experience to answer any questions you may have. Here are some of the most common types of 4WD systems currently available on the market.
Trucks and cars that have full-time 4 wheel drive capability are generally referred to as 4X4 vehicles. These systems are most often found on sports utility vehicles and pickup trucks. Your 4X4 vehicle is well-suited to off-roading and can provide added traction in sand and loose dirt, making it a solid choice for adventurous types. Most full-time 4WD vehicles are equipped with a center differential that ensures that all four wheels drive at the same rate when the appropriate locking mechanism is engaged. While this is preferred in many off-road situations, the center differential must be unlocked when driving on hard surfaces to prevent damage to your vehicle's drivetrain and transmission. True 4WD systems usually include 4-low range capability for greater torque and increased towing ability.
For drivers who spend most of their time on paved streets and highways, part-time 4WD vehicles offer a solid compromise between superior traction and improved gas mileage. Part-time 4WD systems can be switched on when needed and generally require a full stop on the part of the driver before making this change. Full-time 4WD systems require power to all four wheels at all times, making them more expensive in terms of fuel consumption. Part-time 4WD vehicles do not offer the option to lock the center differential and perform slightly less well on rough terrain than their full-time 4WD counterparts.
Drivers who want the convenience of switching between two-wheel drive (2WD) and 4WD capability while underway can select vehicles that feature shift-on-the-fly 4WD. Most of these trucks are designed to allow drivers to change between 2WD and 4WD at speeds up to 60 miles per hour, making them an outstanding choice for variable weather conditions and managing off-road trips with ease.
One of the most advanced options for Texas drivers is the automatic 4WD system. Rather than requiring a manual shift between 2WD and 4WD, these computerized technologies sense when 4WD is necessary and shift automatically to provide greater traction and increased control for drivers in a wide range of road conditions. Automatic 4WD systems can reduce fuel consumption by engaging the 4WD only when it is needed, lowering the overall cost of operation for most drivers.
All-Wheel Drive Systems
All-wheel drive (AWD) systems use a specialized 4WD system that differs from full-time and part-time 4WD in the following ways:
AWD systems are common on many luxury cars and offer increased traction for driving in inclement weather.
The best 4WD option for you depends on the ways in which you typically use your car, truck or SUV. Your Houston truck parts store can offer added information about the right accessories and the most effective solutions for your on- and off-road needs. Whether you need Houston bed covers or a lift kit for taking on uneven terrain, these automotive experts can deliver the most accurate advice for upgrading your vehicle and making sure it is ready to take on the challenges ahead. This can allow you to enjoy greater confidence when heading off-road or taking a drive down Texas streets and highways.