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2 Things Every All-Wheel-Drive SUV Owner Should Know

 Many drivers assume that both the 4x4 and AWD rating both mean about the same thing, these two drive systems are actually quite different. AWD, the more modern of the two, is actually a lot more complex and complicated than the typical 4x4 system. If you happen to have an AWD sport utility vehicle in your driveway, there are a few things that you should know about this drive system.

Understand the Traction Control System

The AWD vehicle is equipped with what is commonly referred to as a traction control sensor in the transmission. This sensor is is directly responsible for activating the traction control action of a wheel when it starts to slip. The sensor does not just measure if a tire is slipping because of mud, water, or ice, it will also sense and activate if a wheel is not moving at the same rotation speed as the other three tires. This sounds like a good thing, but if you have a tire that is out of alignment, worn more than the rest, or even a slightly different size, the traction control sensor will detect the problem and act accordingly.

What you have to understand about the traction control sensor is it can easily cause transmission failure if it is misreading slip indications. Therefore, to prevent the sensor from consistently pushing the AWD transmission to work harder, you have to be careful when tires are replaced and never run the vehicle with tires that are misaligned.

Know the Limitations of an AWD

Four wheel drive systems are known to be tough and rugged, boasting the ability to climb major mountains and walk over large rocks like it is nobody's business. However, this is not the type of work that the AWD is designed to do. AWD is a little more conservatively designed to help the average driver maintain traction on the roadway. This type of vehicle is more suitable for daily driving than heading out for the mud or local off-road trail. While the AWD vehicle can do a lot of the things that a 4x4 can, it will not handle extreme situations will and you could end up with transmission issues if you do not know the limitations.

When it comes down to it, the AWD system is basically a four wheel drive transmission that is designed to stay active at all times instead of with a push of a button or change in gears. This complex approach to 4x4 will require a little more attention in order to avoid the need for transmission repair. For more information on transmission services for your SUV, contact a company like Budget Automotive Center.