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Archive for January, 2013

Snow and icicles are beautiful in theory – but when driving, it’s the last threat drivers want to encounter. Brought to you by Chapman Payson, we’ve outlined the benefits of all-wheel and four-wheel drive, to ensure that the remainder of your winter in Northern Arizona is safe and pleasurable.

First, driving either a four-wheel drive or all-wheel vehicle drive in the snow definitely gives an advantage as far as traction is concerned. Therefore, both cars are suitable for rain, sleet and snow.

The main difference

One of the biggest differences between all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive is whether the driver or the car decides when all four wheels get power. With all-wheel drives the inlaid system sends torque to the different axles. Four-wheel drive gives the driver freedom, through levers and controls, to control all four wheels.

What type suits what driver is dependent upon their habits. First, let’s explore the differences of both more thoroughly.

All-wheel drive

All-wheel drive (AWD) is always “on.” Electronic sensors send power to all four wheels dependent upon the surface the vehicle is driving on – whether it be rain, snow or unaffected pavement.

For individuals who live in snowy/icy conditions, AWD vehicles are advantageous because they provide a safe amount of traction and prevent wheelslip. This protection is guaranteed without dealing with the buttons or levers in four-wheel drive vehicles. However, they are less gas-friendly.

The invisibility and easy operation of an AWD system are attractive assets. They are also easier to maintain.

Four-wheel drive

Four-wheel drive (4WD) is engaged manually.

With true four-wheel drive, the operator decides when they need the extra traction of all four wheels and (either by inside switch or outside wheel lugs) turns on the four- wheel-drive. When all four wheels are engaged the vehicle should not be driven on dry pavement. It is designed for rain, icy conditions, snow and mud.

What suits you?

For Northern Arizona drivers, car dealers in Payson note either type of driving experience could be of benefit. Choose your vehicle by the way you drive. Off-roaders will have a better, and safer, experience with four-wheel drive. For those who drive daily on snowy roads, the convenience of AWD may be preferable as it takes away the stress of knowing when to switch into four-wheel drive.

The trick to operating either system in winter weather is being constantly aware of your tire’s health. Be sure to check their pressure and tread with regularity to protect yours and other’s safety.