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Do I Need 4 Wheel Drive for My Car?

Black Car - 4 wheel drive

When purchasing a new car, you’ve probably wondered, “Do I need 4 wheel drive?” There are many advantages to owning a 4WD. However, the purchase price and additional costs of a 4WD might not be worth it for all drivers. Therefore, it’s important to consider your location and interests before deciding if it’s something you need for your car.

In this article, we’ll explain the pros and cons of owning a 4WD. We will also compare 4WD to other wheel types so you get a clearer picture of the mechanics and power options.

What Is a 4 Wheel Drive?

A car with 4 wheel drive has power in all four wheels of the car. The engine distributes the power evenly to each wheel, allowing the wheels to gain traction independently from one another.

This is unlike a 2 wheel drive, where only two wheels are powered by the engine. The other two wheels simply spin based on the power from the others. Depending on the make and model of your car, this could be the front two wheels or the back two wheels. We’ll explain which types of cars have which type of wheel drive a bit later.

What’s the Difference Between 4WD and AWD?

When shopping for cars, you might notice that some have 4 wheel drive while others have all wheel drive. At the end of the day, there is very little difference between the mechanics of 4WD and AWD. Both send power to all four wheels of the car. However, AWD is usually always on, while 4WD can be toggled on and off depending on the situation.

Still, looking for more information on 4WD vs. AWD? We have a more in-depth article explaining the difference between these types of vehicles.

What Are the Benefits of 4WD?

tire chains - 4 wheel drive

Having a car with 4 wheel drive provides better traction on the road. This can be extremely useful for harsh weather conditions where you need more grip, like on snow or ice. Tire chains or studded tires may still be helpful, but AWD can help you safely accelerate when things are slippery. If you are looking to compare snow chain products, we put together a list of the best ones to help you.

The 4WD system can also help in off-roading situations over rocks, gravel, hills, or other rugged terrains. They also increase your towing power so that you can travel with a caravan or trailer.

What Are the Disadvantages of 4WD?

While there are many advantages to owning a 4WD, there are some negatives that you should also take into consideration. For example, 4WD cars tend to be more expensive. Not only are they more expensive to purchase upfront, but they also burn through more fuel on the road. That means you’ll be filling up your tank more often than if you drove a 2WD.

What Kinds of Cars Are Usually 4WD?

Because of the increased power and towing capacity, you’ll find that most 4WDs are found in trucks or large SUVs. That’s because they generally have the clearance to tackle rough terrain.

However, 4WD is becoming increasingly common for sedans – especially luxury sedans. But in the past, sedans have traditionally been front wheel drive. On the other hand, performance cars (like sports cars) and luxury vehicles are typically front wheel drive.

So, Do You Need 4 Wheel Drive?

Brake pads - 4 wheel drive

Before you purchase your next car, consider if you’ll be driving on rugged terrain or in snowy or icy conditions. If so, then a 4WD could be a great investment.

If you need to replace anything, then BuyAutoParts has you covered. They have affordable parts specifically for your car, including brake pads, axle fronts, and AC compressors.

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