All Wheel Drive
All-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive systems are designed to provide the maximum amount of torque to each wheel without causing the tyre to slip. All-wheel drive means full-time 4-wheel drive. This system typically can’t be switched off and is designed for all types of surfaces. 4-Wheel drive usually refers to a part-time system that can be switched on or off. It is meant for low traction conditions only. Engaging 4-wheel drive causes the transfer case to lock the front drive shaft to the rear one so that each axle receives half of the torque produced by the engine. This gives you better traction than a 2-wheel drive vehicle.
All-Wheel Drive and 4-Wheel Drive Components
The main components of all-wheel drive and 4-wheel-drive systems are the front and rear differentials, transfer case and advanced electronics such as ABS brakes and sophisticated clutches for better torque transfer. 4-wheel-drive systems also have locking hubs. Differentials come in various forms: open, limited-slip and locking. Each kind has a different effect on how a vehicle can utilise available traction.
Why Your Differential Is Important?
An axle connects the two wheels on opposite sides of the vehicle. The differential is a special gear box located between the drive wheels of your vehicle. The differential is comprised of the gears and bearings, either inside the transmission or in the housing of the axle. It allows the drive wheels to turn at different speeds as required when turning a corner. The differential lubrication level should be checked with every oil change. Over time, high operating temperatures can cause the lubricating fluid in the differential to break down, developing a gummy texture that doesn’t properly lubricate the gears. Replacing the fluid can help you avoid premature wear on the gears in the differential, help reduce wear on drive-wheel tires, and maximize the life of your differential.
Drive Shaft and U Joints
A drive shaft and universal joints (U-joints) connect the transmission to the rear axle on most rear wheel drive vehicles. 4-Wheel drives also use drive shafts and U-joints. U-joints should be inspected at every oil change. SUVs and light trucks often have drive shaft slip joints that require lubrication. Your owner’s manual will recommended maintenance intervals for your specific vehicle. Bad U-joints often squeak when accelerating from a stop, exhibit a clunking noise when shifting between drive and reverse, or a shuddering when accelerating or driving. Bad U-joints can cause the drive shaft to separate from the vehicle, causing damage to the vehicle and requiring potentially expensive repairs. Bring your vehicle in to the experts at Rotorua Motor Works if you notice any of these symptoms.
4-Wheel Drive & All-Wheel Drive Transfer Case Service
The transfer case is a special gear box found in 4-wheel and all-wheel drive vehicles. It connects to both the front and rear axes on a four wheel drive vehicle sending drive power from the engine to the front and rear axles. In all-wheel drive vehicles, the transfer case helps to shift power from one axle to another, depending upon traction conditions. Lubricant fluid in the transfer case helps to keep its gears cool and turning smoothly. Replacing this fluid at intervals is recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer and will help prevent premature wear and damage caused by contaminated or broken-down lubricant. The transfer case should be checked at every oil change for adequate lubrication. Many transfer cases require a regular, periodic change of oil or fluids. Check your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance intervals for your specific vehicle.
Constant Velocity Shafts And Boots
Constant velocity (CV) shaft, boot and joints are used on front-wheel drive and many 4-wheel drive vehicles. CV boots should be inspected with every oil change. CV boots can be torn or cracked over time allowing dirt into the joint. Unless such damage is discovered and addressed quickly, both the boot and the joint can become so damaged that they need replacement. The main sign of a CV or boot issue is you may hear a clicking noise or a clunk while turning. Give us a call or drop in if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
Bearings in the wheels are about the only bearings requiring routine maintenance. They're common in rear wheel drive vehicles and these bearings should be cleaned, inspected and repacked with grease about every 2 years or 24,000 miles. Please refer to your owner’s manual for factory recommended maintenance intervals for your specific vehicle.