Some people buy 4-wheel drive trucks with the intention of realizing the full potential of the vehicle. However, some individuals buy 4-wheel drive vehicles without the slightest of intentions of taking the car off-road. If you are in the latter group, my guess is you just like the idea of switching between 2WD and 4WD for the fun of it. While there is nothing wrong with how you decide to put your car to use, you must wonder what functions the many controls in your 4WD hold. Understanding the functions of 4WD checks and where to apply them would assist you when you find yourself in unfamiliar terrain.
Part-Time 4WD -- If your vehicle has a part-time 4WD transmission, then it has the capability to operate between 2WD and 4WD while on the go. Depending on the brand of car, a part-time 4WD setup is activated by either a switch or lever. However, you should note that due the superior traction offered when using part-time 4WD option, this capability is best felt when driving on slippery surfaces. It can be attributed to the fact that both the front and rear wheels are locked into position for maximum traction. Nonetheless, you should avoid using the part-time 4WD setup on your truck on dry terrain since you risk damaging the car's drive train.
Low-Range 4WD -- If you use your 4WD truck in the city virtually all the time, then it is more than likely that you have not used the low-range 4WD system. This system is designed to allow cars to creep at very low speeds and achieves this by changing the gearing in your vehicle. The low-range 4WD lacks traction, but it makes up for the same with torque. Manufacturers recommend that when driving your truck in low-range 4WD, you should not exceed 45 mph. If you find yourself in deep mud, steep hills, rocky hills, deep sand, or knee-high water, engaging the low-range 4WD will promise a smooth ride.
High-Range 4WD -- For this transmission setup, you have the opportunity to drive at full speed whenever you want because the system does not alter your gearing system. However, it is critical not to drive at full speed on dry roads because torque is reduced. When there is ice on the road that causes the vehicle to slide, engage high-range 4WD to get the much needed additional traction. Additionally, when you drive your truck on a slightly steep terrain and want a comfortable ride, high-range 4WD transmission is your best bet.