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A vehicle with a four-wheel drive (4WD) has a drive train that can send power to all four wheels. This system locks the front and rear axles together to provide additional traction when there is not enough friction on the road. It also provides additional traction, especially when transporting heavyweight loads up a steep incline.

  • When one tire loses traction, the other continues to spin, propelling your vehicle forward. But the four-wheel-drive system is not intended to be used regularly. It is only applicable to particular types of roads and is dependent on driving conditions. Some vehicles come equipped with a four-wheel-drive system that automatically engages when its sensor detects a change in the wheel's rotational speed due to loss of traction.
  • The power transmitted will flow to the wheel with the most friction to synchronize its rotational speed and regain traction. Other cars have a selective arrangement that permits the driver to shift the drive mode. You may notice a range indicator of the drive mode, such as 4L and 4H four-wheel drive. You can use 4H to improve traction on the roadway during snowy paved roads or rainy weather if you're going at a high pace, not faster than 55MPH. On the other hand, you can use the 4L range strictly for harsh off-road conditions and sluggish speeds since it requires more traction and torque multiplication.

4WD Light

A 4WD light illuminates on the dashboard to signify that your vehicle is engaged in four-wheel-drive mode. The light indicator will turn a solid color, commonly orange or green, once the 4WD is effectively activated. This light indicator can be switched off manually with the touch button when you switch the drive mode from 4WD back to 2WD.

  • A fully advanced four-wheel-drive automatically switched the light indicator on and off since it identifies and engages 4WD mode when the sensor detects a need for extra traction. On the other hand, when you notice a repeated flashing of the 4WD light for more than 30 seconds, it notifies that there's a problem with your drivetrain system, and the 4WD mode isn't working. You will find this notification unpleasant and inconvenient. Thus, it's usually a good idea to contact a service technician for advice if you're having problems.