• Inspect your 4WD/AWD system
• Service the system by cleaning out debris, exchanging bad fluid, introducing additives, and lubricating its key components
• Repair broken parts such as the transfer case or differentials
• Small and large trucks
• Passenger cars
• Popular brands such as Jeep, Subaru, Ford, Chevy, GMC, Dodge, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, VW, etc.
Four-Wheel and All-Wheel drive vehicles are common in Denver and across Colorado. Precipitation, both rain, and snow create hazardous situations because vehicles lack traction. Particularly at low temperatures, ice on roadways can make driving conditions even more dangerous. Driving in the mountains or along the front range brings with it a greater challenge due to roads at steep grade. These circumstances make 4WD and AWD vehicles a must for Colorado drivers. Beyond Colorado, these vehicles are becoming more popular. According to an Edmunds report of IHS Markit data, 45% of new vehicles sold in the United States are 4WD or AWD.
The distinction has to do with the frequency in which power from the engine and transmission is transferred to either 2 or 4 wheels. An AWD system normally sends power to the 4 wheels all the time. There are some part-time AWD systems that allow electronic sensors to automatically shift between the amount of power directed to each wheel. For simplification, it is a reasonable assumption that AWD vehicles are continuously operating with 4 wheels receiving power. A key AWD feature is the lack of input from the driver although some models allow various modes of the system based on the driving conditions. Wheels in AWD vehicles get torque from the numerous components of the system including multiple clutches, viscous couplings, and a series of clutches.
4WD vehicles tend to have more robust handling capabilities for rugged terrain. Driver input is often required on these vehicles as an electronic switch or mechanical lever must be engaged to operate at “4-High,” “4-Low” or more complex modes in recent models. The low setting tends to provide the most traction for off-road situations or exceptional circumstances. The high setting is designed for slippery conditions on roadways at more regular speeds. The transfer case and differentials are some of the key components of the 4WD system.
Each vehicle has its own unique original manufacturer recommendations for maintenance activities. It is advised to follow these recommendations to ensure the longevity of your vehicle. Regular maintenance must be followed for your 4WD/AWD system just like you would regularly change your motor oil. Each driver is unique in their driving habits and vehicles are put under varying levels of stress depending on its geography and use. A truck used for snowplowing or hauling might aim to service its 4WD system with greater frequency than a Subaru with an AWD system that is exclusively used for city driving.
We recommend a free TrueTest Inspection that will help diagnose any issues within the drivetrain including the transfer case and differentials. Our ASE Certified technicians regularly service and repair these components and would be happy to assist in determining the appropriate fluid and potential additives to extend the life of your 4WD/AWD system.