Driving in snow and poor road conditions can be tricky, especially for new drivers. To give people better traction, many cars, crossovers, SUVs, and trucks these days have part-time 4WD or AWD systems. If you’re not sure whether you should switch your transfer case to 4WD in tricky conditions, Team O’Neil Rally School tested it out! They filmed two videos exploring the difference in braking with 2WD or 4WD engaged. In the end, they found that 4WD actually helps a vehicle brake to a full stop, whether or not the vehicle’s ABS engaged.
Team O’Neil members put two Jeeps on the same tires and set them loose on some snow and ice. Their test videos show that the 4WD Jeep comes to a full stop before the 2WD Jeep can. They also switched the designated 4WD Jeep and ran the test again, just to make sure. These test vehicle are part-time 4-wheel-drive systems, which means you can turn 4WD on or off. If your vehicle has full-time 4WD or 2WD, it behaves differently than these Jeeps do. However, if you have a crossover or SUV with a part-time 4WD option, it’s good to keep this in mind!
Team O’Neil Rally School: Braking Test
As we’ve discussed before, 4WD and AWD systems usually help your vehicle move, not stop. However, Team O’Neil’s videos lets you see the results in action. It’s an added safety benefit to your vehicle, especially during the winter months. There are a few things to keep in mind about this tip, though. With part-time systems like these Jeeps have, 4WD really shouldn’t be engaged on dry roads. It’s really meant for off-roading, but you can keep it in mind for when you encounter loose surfaces. Plus, these Jeeps were tested on the same kind of tires. As always, make sure that you have good winter tires on your vehicle, no matter what kind of drivetrain you have!