Go shopping for a vehicle, especially an SUV, and you may find all-wheel drive (AWD) and four-wheel drive (4WD) recorded as the available choices. In both cases, power goes to all four wheels when these systems are running. While these two approaches work well in many situations, there are differences between them that can affect your driving experience.
How Does AWD Work?
All-wheel drive is a type of vehicle traction control system that splits power between the front and rear wheels to ensure they have equal grip on dry or wet roads. AWD is designed with a center differential that allows different amounts of torque to be sent to each axle, which helps prevent wheel slip by sending more torque to the wheels that need it most. An additional benefit of AWD is that it uses less fuel than 4WD systems because it doesn’t constantly engage both axles during normal driving conditions like many 4WD systems do in order to maintain traction in low-traction situations.
How Does 4WD Work?
Four-wheel drive works much like AWD but also includes additional components that allow you to lock your front or rear axle together so they spin at exactly the same speed as one another — this means you can use 4WD