Toyowest Automotive


4WD Service & Repair

What is it and what’s the big deal any?  It seems as though every manufacturer has several different designs for providing power to all of the wheels. The universal term used is 4wd; however different manufacturers can sometimes be a confusing so terminology can vary from one manufacturer to another.

  • Four-wheel driveTypically, when manufacturers say that a vehicle has four-wheel drive, they are referring to a part-time or full time system. These systems can be engaged or disengaged and are meant only for use in low-traction conditions, such as off-road muddy conditions or on snow or ice.
  • All-wheel driveThis design is sometimes called full-time four-wheel drive or all track quad. All-wheel-drive systems are designed to function on all types of surfaces, both on- and off-road, and most of them cannot be disengaged.

Part-time and full-time four-wheel-drive systems can be evaluated using the same criteria. The best system will send exactly the right amount of torque to each wheel, which is the maximum torque that won't cause that tire to slip. Today’s systems are computer controlled using various sensors to determine optimum traction with minimum wheel slippage.

Full-time 4WD


Full-time 4WD is just that--a system that can continually remain operating. This more advanced, convenient form of 4WD allows you to choose between all of the same settings, but can remain engaged while on dry pavement.  High and Low settings are an automatic or full-time 4WD setting. An example of this would be “shift on the fly or on demand” As with part-time 4WD, the shift from High to Low must be made during a complete stop on most vehicles. Full-time 4WD is best for people who regularly drive in slippery conditions where constant shifting between 2WD and 4WD is frequently made

All-Wheel Drive


All-wheel drive is similar to full-time 4WD in that the system is always sending power to the wheels, but AWD has no 2WD switch. It is always operating in 4WD mode. When the road gets wet or slippery, the AWD system locks the axles and automatically distributes power to all four of the wheels. In many cases, AWD vehicles have no on/off switch. Some AWD systems are more rugged than others, though most can't be taken into extreme off-road situations.


 If the AWD system allows the driver to switch to a "low" range gearing setting, like in the Toyota 4Runner & land cruiser, then it is probably intended for severe off-road use. AWD systems work well in cars and crossover vehicles because they don't add much weight and make them true all-weather vehicles.

Safety Misconceptions


While 4WD and AWD may maximize traction better than 2WD, that doesn't necessarily translate into making it a safer vehicle. Oftentimes, drivers believe that because they can accelerate in snow just as quickly as on dry roads, they can do the same in terms of cornering and braking.  Contrary to belief, 4WD and AWD do very little to aid in cornering stability and do next to nothing for braking ability on wet snowy or icy roads.





All of these systems require a competent experienced professional to diagnose and repair. More importantly they require routine maintenance and inspection to ensure smooth trouble free operation. Our goal is save you time money and stress by using better methods when comes to your vehicles maintenance. We accomplish this by being proactive and having the proper training & equipment to service today’s vehicles.

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