Get Familiar With Life On The Trail With These FAQ’s
As adventurous and fun as off-roading can be, it can also be extremely dangerous for an inexperienced driver. Fortunately, today, Jeep brand vehicles make it easy for off-roading enthusiasts to take on even the most difficult trails thanks to the 4×4 systems available.
What is the difference between all-wheel drive, full-time, and part-time 4×4 systems?
Full-Time 4×4 Systems
Full-time 4×4 systems can operate in four-wheel drive (4WD) and can travel safely on all surfaces. Using either a clutch or a center differential, the front and rear drive shafts are able to turn at various speeds.
All-Wheel Drive (AWD)
Much like a full-time 4WD, All-Wheel Drive also delivers power to all four wheels of the vehicle continuously. Additionally, AWD can also be utilized full-time on all surfaces.
Part-Time 4WD Systems
Operating as a two-wheel drive, part-time 4WD doesn’t use a center differential. Instead, the system locks the front and rear drive shafts, making those off-road trails a more enjoyable adventure. Once the drive decides to return to dry pavement, the driver should switch the vehicle back to 2WD mode. BE AWARE! If the vehicle isn’t switched back to 2WD mode, the tires can potentially lose traction and result in a loud “bang” or “vehicle shudder” called “Crop Hop”.
On-Demand 4WD Systems
Primarily operating in 2WD during normal driving conditions, on-demand 4WD systems are automatically engaged and deliver power to the secondary axle – specifically when confronting slippery surfaces like snow or mud.
Does the vehicle need to be parked or moving to operate the Quadra-Lift Air Suspension or Selec-Terrain System?
Fortunately, both systems can be utilized when the vehicle is either parked or moving. The Quadra-Lift Air Suspension System allows for the vehicle to either be lifted for additional ground clearance or can be programmed to automatically lower for easier entry and exit. In the event that the vehicle is moving, the driver can manually select the height for the Quadra-Lift or have the vehicle automatically select the highest setting. Additionally, when traveling on the highway, the Quadra-Lift Air Suspension System will automatically lower the vehicle in order to preserve efficiency and improve handling.
When do drivers use the 4×4 Low-Range Mode?
Low range mode is only necessary during extreme off-road situations that require more torque and low speeds – specifically when trying to get out of a difficult driving spot or steep climbs. Keep in mind, additional torque does not mean more traction, so driving on slippery surfaces like icy snow or mud can be very dangerous. The driver is also limited to a maximum speed of 25 mph when in 4×4 low range. Additionally, when the driver is engaging and disengaging in 4×4 low-range mode, the vehicle can only move 2 to 3 mph or slower.
When do drivers use the 4×4 High-Range Mode?
Contrary to 4×4 Low-Range, 4×4 High-Range is used when the driver requires more traction over icy snow or rocky roads, and needs to go faster than the 4×4 Low-Range 25 mph limitation. As a result, drivers using High-Range aren’t restricted and are only required to abide by local traffic laws.
How do I prepare my vehicle?
While speed and power aren’t necessarily required in extreme off-roading, it is essential to thoroughly inspect your vehicle before going off-road. It is encouraged to service your vehicle and check that all four tires are in good condition. Furthermore, make sure the battery is secured, all hoses are good, and fuel is topped off. Once off-road, the driver should have already switched to 4WD if additional traction is required. In the event that the driver gets stuck, it could be a challenge to get out if the vehicle isn’t in 4WD. Also, make it a habit to constantly be aware of your surroundings, by scanning left to right and looking over your hood.
As previously mentioned, off-roading can be dangerous for an inexperienced driver so we hope these FAQs have been insightful. Keep in touch with us on social media and stay updated with all things Jeep and off-roading.