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4WD = Low range and High Range gearing

AWD = Only high range gearing

Part-time 4WD: No centre differential. Cannot be used on dry/wet, semi-slippery roads due to the lack of the centre differential. When activated, both front and rear axles are physically locked to each other and have to spin at the same rate. This becomes a problem when turning on sufficiently high friction surfaces. Examples: Suzuki SUVs, most 4WD pickup trucks, cheaper SUVs.

Permanent 4WD:. No two wheel drive mode. System is equipped with a centre differential, and hence is safe to use on all surfaces. All four wheels are powered all of the time (usually 50/50 front and rear axles). This is arguably the best system since the torque split ratio does not change and is the most predictable. All wheels "help out" all of the time and this stabilises the vehicle + improves handling. With the extra two drive wheels, the vehicle has twice the amount of traction all of the time (even in no-slip conditions) vs. a 2WD vehicle. Examples: MB M-class SUV, the Range/Land Rovers.

Full-time 4WD: Basically permanent 4WD but with a 2WD mode. This was born out of customer demand (for a 2WD mode). Examples: Toyota Sequoia, Mitsubishi Montero.

Permanent AWD: Basically permanent 4WD but without low range gearing. Examples include the Audi Quattro AWD system, the MB's 4-matic AWD system, Subaru's manual transmission AWD system.

Full-time AWD: System is active at all times, however in most cases, the one set of wheels (usually the rears) only receive 5-10% of the engine's power unless slippage occurs. At that point, power is progressively transfered to the opposite axle to help out. Some systems can transfer power to the rear upon acceleration to improve traction. However, they revert to 2WD mode when coasting. How is the new GM AWD system categorized in the Denali's. They are labeled as AWD and have no low range. They are rear wheel biased with a limited slip rear differential. This is a permanent AWD. Good choice since the system is proactive (vs reactive) and gives you additional traction in all conditions (doesn't need slippage to activate). I believe it has a torque split of 35/65 front/aft. GM's 4WD system (called AutoTrac) is a full-time part-time 4WD system. It's full-time in that it has an "Auto", 2WD, 4WD High, and 4WD Low mode, as well as the fact that in "Auto" mode, it is active at all times and monitoring for slippage. It's also part-time because it doesn't have a centre differential and hence cannot be used continuously on dry pavement (hence the reason why the auto mode only sends power to the opposite axle when slippage occurs). To simplify things, I refer to these systems as "Auto 4WD systems". Ford's Control Trac 4WD is another example of an auto 4WD system. Hope I didn't confuse you!

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Q: What is the difference between an AWD and 4WD vehicle?
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Which is better 4WD or AWD?

4WD is better in my opinion. I'f you don't know the difference it is that 4WD is were you have the option of engaging the 4WD feature whenever. AWD is common among more luxuriated "off road vehicles" and when the tires lose traction a computer within the vehicle will activate the AWD feature to re-gain traction.

What is the difference between 4WD and AWD?

AWD is using all of the wheels on the car 4WD is selected and not used all the time, only when your driving in dirt or snow so basically hard terrain

Difference between AWD and 4WD?

Part-time 4WD is the original 4WD system and the most basic. As with Full time 4WD there are several options available to the driver. In normal conditions the vehicle is driven in two-wheel drive, usually powering only the rear wheels. 4WD mode can be selected either by a separate mechanical lever or by an electronic switching system AWD systems also lack the 'low range' feature which is common in most 4WDs. The AWD system is less effective and more fragile than the 4WD system in a situation where high torque is required. Indeed, the viscous coupling units simply cannot satisfy high torque demands when the vehicle is offroad. AWD vehicles tend to be more 'car' like than obvious offroaders.

Will a lift kit for a 1996 ford explorer 4wd fit on an AWD?

Yes, transfer case is the only difference between the two. it will work

Why would four wheel drive engage but then not disengage?

If you're in 4WD low, then the vehicle needs to be put in neutral before you can switch it back to 4WD HIGH or AWD.

Which is better a 4WD car or AWD car?

it depends, if you like offroading 4WD, AWD gives better fuel econemy and more control of the car

Is the 2006 Chevy Avalanche AWD?

Nope it is 4WD you can change the settings to 4WD & 2WD

Does all Jeeps have all wheel drive or are they 4 wheel drive?

Some are 4wd, some 2wd, and some are awd.Some are 4wd, some 2wd, and some are awd.

What is the difference between awd and fwd?

AWD = All Wheel Drive FWD = Front Wheel Drive

What is the difference between Cadillac CTS and Cadillac CTS4?


Are Audi quattros AWD or 4WD systems?

Audi quattros are an AWD system. There is a predesignated split usually 60/40 front/rear. It is a lighter system weight wise than 4WD. AWD is intended for slipery conditions, not severe off raod use.

How do I switch into four wheel drive in my 1995 Kia Sportage?

the 1995 kia sportage came as FWD or 4x4 and was never introduced as an AWD vehicle. There is a HUGE difference in AWD to 4wd. If your model is a 4wd model, you will have a 2nd level under the stick shift (or just the 4wd lever above the center console). If you have no 2nd lever, you only have the FWD model. **side note, if you have the 4wd model, do not push it over 30 mph max. The transfer case isn't meant for high speeds for any reason. You also may have to make a full 90 degree turn after switching back to 2 High in order to dis-engage the 4wd.