When your vehicle is supplying power to all four wheels it is called four-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive systems are designed to give your vehicle better traction in off-road conditions and on ice and snow. Most four-wheel drive vehicles are only used part-time as four-wheel drive vehicles. That’s because the vehicle’s four-wheel drive system can be turned off or on at will, so people only activate it in off-road conditions and on ice and snow.
An all-wheel drive vehicle is another type of four-wheel drive vehicle. An all-wheel drive vehicle is always in four-wheel drive and is made to drive in any condition, such as off-road, snow, and ice. To prevent each wheel from slipping, your four-wheel drive system is designed to send a precise amount of torque to each wheel, whether you have a part-time four-wheel drive or an all-wheel drive vehicle.
It is important to understand a little bit more about wheel slip and torque to get a better understanding of how four-wheel drive systems work. Torque is a force used to turn things. When your four-wheel drive system is activated, your vehicle’s wheels are turned by the torque that is produced by your engine. Your vehicle’s torque is actually determined by traction in bad weather conditions, not your engine. To be more specific, the amount of traction your tires have on the road surface is what determines the torque.
Wheel slip is all about whether your wheels have bad traction or good traction and your wheels’ contact with the surface of the road. Your wheel experiences wheel slip when its torque is greater than its traction. What four-wheel drive systems do is supply the right amount of torque to sustain good traction in poor conditions and they also offer a greater amount of possible torque to your wheels.
Additionally, four-wheel drive vehicles provide better traction to all four wheels, thus increasing the amount of torque, or force, that your tires can receive. Your vehicle is able to travel up slippery hills and through snow more efficiently because of this. Four-wheel drive vehicles are made possible by many parts in the four-wheel drive system.
The transfer case is one such part. The transmission’s power, or torque, is divided by the transfer case and sent to both the rear and front driveshafts. The rear and front driveshafts are also locked together by the transfer case. Both the rear and front wheels are forced by this to turn at the same speed.
Transfer cases actually allow the front and rear driveshafts to operate at different speeds in all-wheel drive vehicles. This makes steering easier and helps the vehicle drive on any surface. Your vehicle is allowed to lower its transmission’s gear ratios into what is called a low-range by an extra set of gears that are also given to your four-wheel drive vehicle by transfer cases.
Your vehicle is able to travel through muddy and snowy surfaces and up steep hills because this provides it with more torque thanks to the transfer case. All the moving parts of transfer cases are lubricated by the fluid that they contain. Whether you have a new four-wheel drive vehicle, which contains a transfer case that uses a chain to supply the front driveshaft with torque or an old four-wheel drive vehicle, which contains a transfer case that uses gears to supply the front driveshaft with torque, the transfer case creates a tremendous amount of friction and heat.
The transfer case’s fluid can be contaminated by this friction and heat. Water entering the transfer case can also contaminate its fluid. The old fluid is drained and new fluid added, in order to keep the transfer case working properly. During a transfer case service, the shafts and gears are inspected and tested. The transfer case is also inspected for any holes or leaks.
Your transfer case should be inspected according to the recommendations of your vehicle’s manufacturer. Go-Green Auto Service Corp has rich, expert experience in repairing and replacing four-wheel and all-wheel drive systems, their parts, their transfer cases and locking hubs at the fairest prices in the Big Apple. So please feel free to pass by our one-stop shop in Brooklyn if you ever feel you’re having difficulties with your vehicle’s four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive system. Thank you.