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  #1  
Old 12-05-2013, 11:14 PM
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Okieram Okieram is offline
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Default 4WD vs 4 Auto.....opinion

Just curious about what others feel when driving in 4 wheel lock vs 4 wheel auto. I understand the concept when in 4 wheel auto as both axles are tied together but not power to front and back. When in 4 wheel lock there is power to the front and back. And I am only talking about driving when the weather is really bad like now with all the ice and snow we have.

When in auto I don't get the same secure feeling as when I am in 4 lock. I like the fact that the 4 wheel lock seems to help slow me down when traveling in ice and snow covered city streets using less brake. The feeling is just not the same when in 4 auto. If there is slippage from the front wheels I get the point that power would be applied but to help stop and not slide it just seems 4 lock feels better.

Anyone have any opinions on this?
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Old 12-05-2013, 11:52 PM
kev12345 kev12345 is offline
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i thought auto put power to the front when the back slips??? I'm confused
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:25 AM
ferret ferret is offline
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My opinion is for light to mild conditions I use 4 auto and for extreme conditions like unplowed back roads 4 lock.
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Old 12-06-2013, 01:13 AM
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In 4 Auto when the computer senses the tires spinning it will shift in to 4 wheel drive in 300 milliseconds. That is literally in the blink of an eye. So, basically faster then the time it would take you to turn the selector knob.

In the real world the recent snow storm has let me try it out. I was plowed in three times over the course of the storm. Each time I blew through the snow bank (Over 3 feet the last time) in 4 Auto so it works very well.

Technically, 4 Lock will slow you down faster if you were to compare rolling to a stop in 2 wd since your truck has more rolling resistance in 4wd. It does not help you stop faster if you apply the brakes in 4 wd vs 2 wd. That is just physics. Not sure how many times to just let your truck roll to a stop but I know I never have.


Here are a few articles:

http://www.4x4abc.com/4WD101/need.html

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...2194501AAT8anD

http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars...drive-15202862
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Old 12-06-2013, 04:33 AM
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In the old days, like 2003 and before, I would lock in four wheel drive when road condition became snow covered and slippery. Back then, the technology associated with auto four wheel engagement wasn't fast, that is, by the time the computer realized the rear wheels were slipping the vehicle was already side-tracking and rear wheels went from slipping to spinning causing a harsh front wheel engagement (likely the reason for Ford's proportional system).

Current systems in four wheel auto detect a rear wheel slippage in milliseconds and four wheel drive engagement is nearly transparent to the driver. Because of this, I never lock anymore, four wheel auto is all I use and never have to worry about forgetting to unlock when I hit clear roads.
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:12 PM
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i have only used 4wd in deep snow. rest of the time it is in auto mode.
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Old 12-06-2013, 01:02 PM
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I have posted my direct experience before and why it leads me to suggest 4 lock for bad road conditions most of the time. First time we had some icy roads around here I hit the throttle going around a turn in 4 auto to gauge how well the kick in to 4 wheel went. I was not going fast--but the back end started sliding before it engaged (in other words, it did NOT engage nearly as fast as some here claim it will--fractions of a second probably, but certainly not milliseconds!) and when it kicked in, there was a pretty stong jolt. Strong jolts=stress on the drive train, maybe even the possibility of damage.

I haven't noticed that as much recently though--but if roads are bad I still will only use 4 lock. My rule is if roads are clear and plowed but just slippery--and I am driving at or close to highway speeds or around town at low speed--4 auto is OK. If roads are very bad, snow has not been plowed etc.--it's 4 lock and I slow down to suit the conditions.

You pass a lot of 4 wheel drive rigs in the ditch around here. People who usually thought 4 wheel would allow them to drive faster than the conditions called for.
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Old 12-06-2013, 02:15 PM
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I use 4wd auto if I will be going from dry pavement to a very slippery surface and back onto dry pavement quickly. If I will be on a slick surface for a while I use lock.
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