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waterwheel 12-15-2011 09:31 AM

4WD question
I'm pretty sure I'm going to get hit with 'stupid poster of the day' tag, but here goes.

On my 2011 Ram 1500, is there no AWD setting? I've got 3 spots on the dial - 2wd, 4wd LOCK, and 4wd LOW.

I assume the 4WD lock position means the differential is locked and it's solid 4wd all the time - when I put it in this setting and go down the road it's skidding as it goes around corners, etc.

2WD, I guess that's just 2wd.

No way to just put it in AWD so my kid can do down the road in the winter with 4wd on?

Or are the setting misleading, and the 2wd is actually AWD/4WD on demand?

Thanks :).

huntergreen 12-15-2011 10:27 AM

not sure why your 11 doesn't have the AWD setting. this allows you to drive from dry conditions to slippery conditions without damage to your 4wd system.
in my 03 and 04, when going through various conditions, i would turn 4wd on and off as needed. have to be under 50mph to this though.

articcatbill 12-15-2011 10:47 AM

There are a couple transfer cases/4wd set-ups you can get. It sounds like you have the "electronically shifted 4-position transfer case" If you look in your owners manual on page 329 (or you can look on-line at this site: if you do not have the printed manual). You will see the write-up on how this transfer case works.

There is another transfer case and it is written up on page 336 it includes the AWD option and can be used in the way you describe. Unfortunately it does not seem you have that option. I believe that it is generally only an option on the higher end models.

I hope that helps explain.

whatroads 12-15-2011 06:06 PM

It does sound like you have the part time 4wd system with no AWD option.

It may suprise you how well the automated traction system works without using 4wd. Throw some additional weight in the back will yield even better results.

Prior to my 2011 truck I had a 2008 4dr Jeep. Using 2wd the traction control system would allow my Jeep to easily go up snowy unplowed streets where my wifes 2003 Jeep TJ, and the neighbors new FJ, both required 4WD. Wife's TJ even had new 31 in BFG's

This said, if it were me, I would teach my son how to properly use 4wd. I did.

benefactr 12-15-2011 09:40 PM

I have a Auto 4WD option on my truck plus the 3 you mentioned, which I'm guessing is the AWD option. If those are the only options you have on the knob then you don't have the AWD option.

Old Dodger 12-15-2011 10:50 PM

Good information. Thanks much to all who contributed.

wbowyer 12-16-2011 01:14 AM

I'm not sure but you may want to check and see if you're able to add the AWD function. I'm not sure what all it entails as far as the transfer case, but I'd imagine there are an array of sensors to be added.

GTyankee 12-16-2011 01:26 AM

I hope that you know that you don't want to use the 4 wheel drive on non slippery surfaces, you need mud, snow, sand, etc. to use the 4 wheel drive

if you use it on say dry pavement, it will skip, hop, & do other strange things, especially in corners. It may eventually hurt parts

wvcoolvinilla 12-16-2011 10:25 AM

That is the one option my new 2011 Ram 1500 Outdoorsman did not come with. It is listed as an option but could not find one anywhere. My 2008 did not have it so I guess I will never know what I am missing. I'll take the 4 wheel anti-lock and traction control my 2008 did not have.

waterwheel 12-17-2011 10:40 AM

Well, that is absolutely bizarre. All my vehicles in the last 5-10 years have had AWD, I just assumed when I bought it and got the 4WD that in fact I was getting AWD. Since it was primarily purchased for my daughter to commute in snowy conditions, AWD would've been nice.

I guess this wasn't such a stupid question after all:).

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