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Cars: Is There A Difference Between AWD And 4WD?  
User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 52
Posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 2479 times:

Hi,

Im not really a car person but I know loads of them are out there so I figured I'd ask this here...is there a difference between "All Wheel Drive" (AWD) and 4 Wheel Drive (4WD)?? If so, what is it??

Thanks,
Greg


Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinePl4nekr4zy From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 465 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 2468 times:

I'm no car expert either, but I believe if the vehicle is 4WD, you can choose to put it in 4 wheel drive or 2 wheel drive like most cars. All wheel drive is like permanant 4 wheel drive.


"Don't forget to bring a towel!"
User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7811 posts, RR: 16
Reply 2, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 2462 times:

I'll probably butcher this, but in principle is should be mostly right.

4WD refers to systems that are part-time and use a fixed front wheel/rear wheel torque split, IE: 50-50.

AWD refers to systems that are full-time and have a variable front/rear torque split. Such that under most conditions most of the power will be sent to one set of wheels. A slippage is sensed the center differential shifts the torque split.



Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineEGGD From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 12443 posts, RR: 35
Reply 3, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 2451 times:

I was thinking AWD included the spare tire  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

User currently offlineNWA742 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2446 times:

To be basic:

4WD: Allows the vehicle to use the two rear wheels for traction, or in 4WD, use all 4 wheels. In a 4WD mode, you have 4 wheels gripping at ALL times.

AWD: AWD is basically an automatic 4WD system, it goes on and off whenever it is needed, and it doesn't have to use 4 wheels at the same time. It'll sense what wheels need the traction.



-NWA742


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 5, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2436 times:

I´m pretty certain it´s merely a marketing tool to differentiate from "the other" manufacturer´s slogans.

Unless you´ve got more than four wheels, of course.  Wink/being sarcastic

In that context, EGGD´s explanation can make a lot of sense.  Big thumbs up

[Edited 2004-08-11 02:17:27]

User currently offlineVafi88 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 3116 posts, RR: 17
Reply 6, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 2419 times:

NWA got it right!

4WD you have an option to go 2 wheels grip or 4 wheels grip

AWD senses when you need the 4 wheel grip automatically and switches to 2 wheel grip when you don't need the traction.



I'd like to elect a president that has a Higher IQ than a retarted ant.
User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 7, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 2405 times:

Most AWD systems these days have either a 90/10 or 80/20 distribution of power during normal conditions.

N


User currently offlineSkyway1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 2388 times:

All I know is that AWD systems add some heft to the vehicle's weight and also suck some horsepower from the engine as well. The AWD on te Pontiac Vibe(stock motor) takes away 7 horsepowerk(130 VS. 123). Even the quick G35X loses a bit with it's AWD system. Didn't add much to the thread I'm afraid.....oh well.

Chris


User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 52
Reply 9, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 2387 times:

Ok...thanks so much for your help everyone...now...is one better than the other or is it some kind of personal preference just like manual vs. auto?

Thanks again,
Greg



Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29836 posts, RR: 58
Reply 10, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 2365 times:

On a HEMTT the 4WD would only engage the back two axles.

AWD would engage the front two axels.

8WD rules the Day  Laugh out loud

Damm I miss that truck



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineN6376m From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 2347 times:

I have a Honda Pilot with AWD. The car's great. It's roomy and has a tremendous amount of cargo space. I've never had any problem getting through anything (I do some very light off roading). The AWD sends power to the individual wheels when the computer senses them slipping. There's an option to lock the wheels into 4WD if you need it.

My understanding is that AWD is a good mix between performance and economy.

-76m


User currently offlineTristarenvy From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2265 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 2337 times:

I read somewhere that carmakers will use the term "AWD" instead of "4WD" on vehicles that have drive power to all wheels, but were NOT meant to go "four wheelin" in a mud bog somewhere.(Probably keeps the Lawyers out of their hair, too) So don't try and go crazy in a field with a Subaru Legacy, as opposed to an old CJ-7 with big ass tires and a honkin' V-8 under the hood.

[Edited 2004-08-11 15:35:22]


If you don't stand for SOMETHING, you'll fall for ANYTHING.
User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7811 posts, RR: 16
Reply 13, posted (10 years 4 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2336 times:

Of course they are also marketing terms too.

But the important distinction is how the system is activated and what the torque split is (and whether it is variable). Go to Subaru's or Audi's website... both have pretty decent explanations on how their AWD systems work.

Now there are variations within all of this to make it even more confusing. Most conventional AWD systems like you see in a Subaru or an Audi or your mass market SUVs for that matter are strictly designed for on-road use only. There are some AWD systems that have been designed for off-road use. This will include a low-range (which is pretty much common in conventional 4WD set-ups) as well as one or more locking differentials. A locking center differential will keep the front/rear torque split constant, like in a conventional 4WD system.



Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
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