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How to Get the Best from Your 4WD Vehicle

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Are you wondering why your 4-wheel drive vehicle keeps developing transmission problems? Read on and discover some of the things that you can do to reduce the frequency of defects to that expensive transmission system.

Keep Axles Uniform

Modern 4WD transmission systems are now controlled by sensitive computers that will be affected by any variation from the desirable settings or operating conditions. For example, the 4-wheel drive function may fail to engage sometimes when the system detects that the front and rear axles aren't uniform. Lack of uniformity can result from the installation of different sizes or types of tyres at the front and back wheels of the vehicle. Axle wear can also cause the front axle to differ from the attributes of the rear axle. Using identical tyres on all wheels can prevent such malfunctions of the transmission system.

Limit Wheel-Spinning

The 4-wheel drive transmission system will also last longer and perform better if you limit the situations in which the wheels of the vehicle spin excessively. For example, avoid accelerating hard when driving through snow because the wheels may spin excessively and cause the 4-wheel drive function to disengage itself. The system turns itself off in this way in order to protect the mechanical components of the transmission system from any damage that they can sustain once they overheat as the wheels spin.

Adjust Your Braking

You may also need to adjust your driving habits, especially regarding how you brake. The anti-lock braking system may be deactivated when the 4WD system is engaged. This allows the vehicle to lock some wheels while providing more torque to those that have sufficient traction. Your vehicle may therefore brake within a shorter distance as compared to the normal braking distance when the ABS is working. Avoid hard braking when using the 4WD function so that you don't overstrain the transmission system.

Engage the 4WD Mode Correctly

The transmission system is also likely to wear out prematurely if you frequently engage the 4-wheel drive mode at the wrong time, such as when you are reversing, when cornering or with wheels spinning. Activate this function when driving straight. Better still, stop the vehicle before engaging the 4WD function. Drive slowly so that you maintain sufficient control of the vehicle during those challenging conditions (slippery road surfaces, for example).

Take your vehicle to a mechanic as soon as you see any 4WD warning light flashing on your control panel. That professional will inspect the transmission system and fix any defect before it worsens and destroys the entire system.