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© 1996-2009 Harald Pietschmann



How to use part time 4WD on slippery pavement

Remember that 4WD pretty much only helps you to get going. Once moving, pt 4WD has significant drawbacks when used on slippery surfaces.

Here is how you use your pt 4WD vehicle most efficiently:

• Drive in 2WD most of the time (that's where the name "part time" is coming from - you use 4WD only part of the time)

• shift only into 4WD (don't forget to lock your hubs - if you have them) when you encounter snow, ice, or a rain slick road (if you have manual hubs keep them connected during the entire bad weather season).
• shift back into 2WD as soon as you encounter dry surface (pretty much all vehicles now have "shift on the fly" that allows shifting without stopping)
• you may even want to shift back to 2WD while still on snow - because some vehicles display a binding effect even on snow.
• if you encounter turns while in 4WD just know that the steering will not be as crisp as in 2WD (understeer will occur - the turn might be a little wider than planned)
• please be aware that ABS does not work properly with part time 4WD
• make sure the bed (if you own a pickup) carries about as much weight as the front (especially valid when using 2WD - because the rear is powered and has, because of the empty bed, the least traction of both axles, ). More weight = more traction

For off-road use part time 4WD system is perfect.

Only full time 4WD or AWD offers the performance on pavement you would expect from a vehicle this century. Most importantly: it can be used safely on pavement
(even "fake" full time AWD aka automatic AWD)

Here is more about why part time 4WD should not be used on the road

And here is the damage that can occur when you do use part time 4WD on pavement.