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What Are the Benefits of All-Wheel Drive?


It seems difficult to believe that people are still on the fence about the benefits of a vehicle equipped with all-wheel drive. But, it’s a discussion that occurs quite regularly in the Southside Dodge showroom. Any discussion of all-wheel drive and its benefits needs to start with the function it performs and ends with how it applies to the unique driving situations many Canadians need to deal with. People considering taking home a new vehicle from our Southside Dodge dealership will have several appropriate options to consider. Let’s take a look at some basic information you might need to know.


READ MORE: How Do You Know You Need a Coolant Flush?


What Does All-Wheel Drive Do?


As the system’s name implies, all-wheel drive makes all of the wheels drive the vehicle. That is, all four wheels have power (in the form of torque) applied to them. Depending on a vehicle’s manufacturer and its available AWD technology, all-wheel drive is in use either part of the time or all of the time. Part-time all-wheel drive works by sending power to either the front or rear axles to turn the wheels, the other one can be engaged when necessary. With full-time AWD, both axles always have power (torque) always applied to them by the engine.


When someone is driving on snow- or ice-covered roads, the slick surface causes the wheels to lose traction. This is what causes hazardous slipping and sliding. A vehicle equipped with all-wheel drive can send additional torque to the slipping wheel, or wheels, to help the driver maintain positive control.


Does AWD Affect Fuel Economy?


Vehicles with all-wheel-drive are generally heavier and have more complex mechanical systems than front- or rear-wheel-drive models. This is going to equate to slightly lower fuel-economy scores. It’s also worth noting that because of the advancements in both engine and AWD technology, the difference in fuel economy scores is negligible – as little as one or two L/100 km, depending on the model in question.


Are AWD More Expensive to Maintain?


An all-wheel-drive-equipped platform will have some additional maintenance needs. The fluid inside the system’s transfer case will need to be replaced at some point. However, the service interval for servicing the all-wheel-drive system can be as high as every 156,000 km (97,000 miles), depending on the model and how aggressively it’s driven. It’s entirely likely that a vehicle owner may only need to worry about their AWD system once, if ever. A Southside Dodge service technician will let you know when it’s time for a transfer case fluid flush.


Make an appointment with a Southside Dodge representative if you have any additional questions about the benefits of all-wheel-drive and the vehicles on which it’s available.

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