All-Wheel Drive & Two-Wheel Drive | What Does This Mean?

Learning the Difference Between 4x2 and 4x4 Drivelines

If you're new to the automotive world, especially that of pickup trucks, you might have seen terms like 4x2 and 4x4 before and been left confused. We here at Salsbury's Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram are here to help you out and make learning the meaning and difference between these terms as easy as possible! Take a look below to get all the details and make your next foray into the automotive world a more knowledgeable one.

The Meaning and Use of 4x2

The term "4x2" can also be written as "2WD," which means "two-wheel drive transmission." This can refer to two different things: front wheel drive and rear wheel drive.

Front wheel drive means all the power is put into the two front wheels of your vehicle and has a couple of benefits such as reduced weight and production cost, improved fuel economy, and typically offers better traction. This is because the weight of the engine and transmission is directly over the driven wheels.

Rear wheel drive means all the power is put into the two back wheels of your vehicle and offers its own benefits. You'll get increased acceleration and it offers more equal weight distribution (as the engine weight is in the front and the transmission weight is in the back) for better overall balance and handling. For trucks, RWD is essential because the rear of the truck is generally much lighter than the front; a FWD truck would be nearly impossible to drive as the rear wheels would easily lose contact with the surface of the road over even small bumps. With the development of anti-lock brakes and traction control systems to improve 4x2 vehicle handling, a two-wheel drive system is often perfect for most drivers.


The Meaning and Use of 4x4

As you may have guessed, the term "4x4" can also be written as "4WD," meaning "four-wheel drive transmission." However, there's also "AWD" meaning "all-wheel drive transmission." There is a distinct difference here.

Four wheel drive means that power from the transmission is sent to the transfer case, which then ensures that all four wheels are turning at the same speed. This can cause some problems when trying to go around a corner (as the inside wheel needs to spin slower than the outside wheel to turn properly) so modern vehicles have 4WD activated with a button or switch; when activated, poor conditions like mud and large rocks become a problem of the past. When you're done, switch it off to increase fuel efficiency and get back to normal driving.

All wheel drive, on the other hand, is a much more recent innovation that is on all the time as opposed to how 4WD can be switched on and off. AWD works by providing power to all four wheels but, also unlike 4WD, it provides more power to the individual wheels with the most traction to make up for the other wheels that are slipping. AWD isn't as useful as 4WD during off-road adventures but, if you're sticking to the paved roads, it's the best for getting you through wet or icy conditions with ease.

We hope this information helped all of you and, if you have any more questions, we'd love to see you come out to Salsbury's Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram at talk with our experts. We're ready and waiting to offer you a car-buying experience like nowhere else!

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