The Differences Between All-Wheel Drive and Four-Wheel Drive

When it comes to choosing a vehicle with enhanced traction and control, the terms "all-wheel drive" (AWD) and "four-wheel drive" (4WD) are often used interchangeably. While both systems offer improved handling and stability, there are some key differences between them, which you will see if you continue reading! 

Explaining The Four-Wheel Drive (4WD)

Known as 4WD, 4x4, or four-wheel drive this mechanism is a drivetrain system commonly found in off-road and SUV vehicles. AWD systems, which typically operate full-time, 4WD is often manually engaged by the driver when needed. 4WD systems have a few benefits, so let's take a closer look at them:

  • 4WD systems are designed for off-road adventures and challenging terrain. They provide maximum torque to all four wheels, improving traction and allowing the vehicle to navigate through mud, sand, or rocky terrain.
  • Ideal for towing heavy loads or hauling cargo, as the additional torque distributed to all wheels enhances the vehicle's towing capacity.
  • Unlike AWD, 4WD systems require manual engagement by the driver. This allows the driver to customize and have more control over the vehicle's handling.

Explaining The All-Wheel Drive (AWD)

All-wheel drive is a drivetrain system that provides power to all four wheels of a vehicle simultaneously. Unlike traditional two-wheel drive systems, AWD distributes power to all wheels, either full-time or automatically when needed. Here are some key features which the AWD system offers:

  • AWD vehicles offer improved traction on various road conditions, including wet or slippery surfaces. Power is distributed to the wheels with a lot of grip, maximizing stability and control.
  • Distributes power to all wheels, which helps improve cornering and overall handling. This provides a more balanced and stable driving experience, especially in challenging road conditions.
  • Better control and stability, especially in bad weather conditions like mud, rain or snow.
  • Modern AWD systems are designed to operate automatically, continuously monitoring road conditions and adjusting power distribution accordingly. By doing so, the maximum amount of tractions is delivered while the driver isn't involved at all.

If your 4WD or AWD vehicle is in need of some repairs, make sure you visit Dickerson Automotive! We will make sure that everything from your suspension to fluids is good to go so you don’t have to worry about it!