The Benefits of Four Wheel Drive


The global automotive differential market is rising to almost 20 billion dollars due to several drivers adopting four-wheel drive. The importance of four-wheel drive is beginning to grow.

There is a reap of beneficial qualities to buying into and upgrading your car to a four-wheel drive. This short guide will give you all the ins and outs of the benefits of a four-wheel drive.

Four Wheel Drive Cars

Any type of 4×4 vehicle represents a system that utilizes an engine to power all four-wheel simultaneously. These four-wheel-drive cars are separated into three different categories.

These categories are all-wheel drive, part-time four-wheel, and full-time four-wheel drive. These are broken down into different types of drive trains. Even for car owners, this concept can be tricky to comprehend.

The major difference between your run-of-the-mill car and a 4×4 is traction. Traction defines the grip of a car’s wheels on the pavement or a wheel on rails. Four-wheel-drive vehicles have inherently more power than two-wheel-drive build.

Acceleration & Handling

Cars that travel through rough terrains, such as snow or mud, require car tires with the right amount of traction. Other drivers seek traction to increase their overall handling and speed. If you are stuck in this type of terrain, a two-wheel-drive system will lose grip on the ground.

For years, the systems containing all-wheel and four-wheel drive parts were in development. Different market systems have implemented all-wheel-drive into many different vehicle platforms. These systems are developed under a ton of different names, no set system is in place to define the terminology.

Open differentials aid in pulling the car out of sticky situations. The power of the vehicle distributes to the wheel with the least amount of resistance.

In these circumstances, the wheels slipping will often receive most of the power. With that said, the weight distributes to the opposite end of the car, meaning the wheels are unable to help pull the car out of being locked state.

All-wheel-drive cars can pull the weight of the car instead of pushing it. This even distribution of weight on the body can help maneuverability. You can build friction between the wheel and the pavement when you place more power on the wheels.

Four Wheel Drive Components

As you accelerate, distributing power to all four wheels develops more grip. The grip on every wheel helps you power through any situation.

But, in some situations, equal power on all four wheels may not be ideal. This, in particular, does not help sharp turns as it creates an effect known as binding. Binding occurs when the front wheels move faster than the back wheels, especially so on turns.

In addition, outside wheels travel at a greater distance than the inside wheels on these turns. This can allow a car to lose control of its maneuverability due to the building of tension. This binding occurs on high traction terrain where there is less slippage.

Differentials allow the vehicle to specifically funnel that energy into each wheel. All-Wheel Drive technology is beginning to see innovations since its primitive form five to six years ago.

The reoccurring fuel emission standards sweeping the nation began threatening All-Wheel component manufacturers. Services began requiring manufacturers to reduce weight and drag on the engine.

But, the rising demand of customers requiring All-Wheel drive on their vehicles gave way to more innovations. Transfer cases and manual locking hubs began to appear on these builds.

Torque Vectoring Differentials

A computer module began controlling the mechanisms in conjunction with lock hubs. The power distribution, via the torque-vectoring rear differential, begins transferring to each wheel through its axles.

In some front-wheel drive vehicles, like the Ford Fiesta, a foundational torque differential controls the torque steering. The PCM and control system can work in tandem with the torque differentials to enhance traction while accelerating.

This can allow various all-wheel-drive vehicles to gain control and momentum in off and on-road terrain. This can deliver performance at a wide range of speeds.

The union of the torque vector differentials and the on-system modules can help correct the vehicle’s actions. This can help guide the vehicle in the right direction. The yaw sensor and steering sensor can help determine the direction of the vehicle.

Torque vectoring differentials can provide a variety of advantages. One of which includes efficient disconnection of a drive axle. The torque differential can exceed any locking hub when it comes to disconnecting the axle.

Commercial 4WD & AWD Vehicles

As auto companies continue to outperform each other, we will only see more advancements. The Land Rover began to outshine the market with their more advanced modules conforming to different types of terrain.

You can research all of the different types of four-wheel and all-wheel capabilities at Different manufacturers implement these systems in their own way. The introduction of bigger SUV-type vehicles in the 1980s and 1990s paved the way for the commercial implementation of internal 4WD control.

Most of the current vehicles on the market offer more than one type of 4WD or AWD system. Certain vehicles will offer different perspectives depending on the type of transmission.

The All-Wheel-Drive system is usually designed to conform to severe weather patterns. But there are many vehicles on the market that are equipped to handle the more extreme off-road racing style.

Four Wheel Drive

Once you understand the Four Wheel Drive capabilities you can better narrow your decision. The question becomes: where and how are you driving the vehicle?

Ask yourself whether you’re navigating unpredictable terrain or are driving long stretches of dirt road. Either way, a Four Wheel Drive vehicle will help guide you through thick and thin.

Follow our blog for more information on all kinds of Four-Wheel Drive and All-Wheel drive vehicles.