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  #1  
Old 11-13-2013, 12:09 PM
yankeeslover yankeeslover is offline
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Default 4WD question for newbie???

I have a 2013 ram 1500..has 4wd lock and 4wd lo.. this is my first ever pickup truck.. I have always had suv that had fulltime 4wd or auto 4wd.. I do know that 4wd lock locks the front and rear... my question is when to safely use it in a pickup?
I live in snowy upstate NY... even though we haven't really had snow yet, I have driven the truck on wet grass and wet roads.. I noticed it give out while in 2wd.. I have to get used to driving a truck in 2wd.. I know that 4wd lock should not be used on dry pavement but what about wet roads on say the NYS thruway in the winter? if its snowing and the road is wet, and abit slusshy is it ok to use the 4wd? I just don't want to ruin it... is it ok to use it in the rain? or only if there is a lot of snow/ice on road? If im driving on highway and there is slush on the highway im afraid driving in 2wd will make me lose control, but also afraid that 4wd will ruin drivetrain if not slippery enough... Is a wet highway slippery enough for 4wd lock? im sorry if this is dumb questions, but im just not used to this system and I wont know unless I ask..thank you
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  #2  
Old 11-13-2013, 12:38 PM
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Lock is fine for slippery road conditions. Although the manual does not specify as maximum speed for 4WD Lock, if the road is slippery enough that you think you need 4WD, it is slippery enough for you to reduce speed for safety whether you are in 4WD or 2WD.
Technically, a wet road isn't inherrently slippery in and of itself...the surface of the water that is on the road is what is slippery. It doesn't matter how many wheels have power going to them if you are hydroplaning.
Ice is a slippery surface. Snow depends on the depth, the pack, the type, etc...
SO in general: Wet road = slow it down; icy road = 4Lock and slow it down; deep snow = 4Lo and go slow

ETA: Something else to remember is that your truck is not like your SUV in that the rear end is a lot lighter and will tend to slip more easily. If the surface is questionable, do not make sudden accelerations, decelerations, or turns. The nice thing about a truck bed is that you have plenty of room to add some weight.
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Old 11-13-2013, 12:58 PM
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If the road is just slippery because its wet I would reduce my speed and keep it in 2wd. If it has ice or snow you'll be fine in 4wd.
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Old 11-13-2013, 01:14 PM
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Here's the best advice for driving in the winter with the truck....when your driving and you feel the back end start to give out, just take your foot of the gas...don't slam the brakes...just let it coast until you feel it come back into control (also when this happens make sure that you use small movements on the steering)

In regards to your questions:
if its snowing and the road is wet, and abit slusshy is it ok to use the 4wd? Yes, but only if there is a tracktion issue...also don't be going down the road full tilt and pop it into 4wd

is it ok to use it in the rain? If it's freezing rain then yes...otherwise no..besides if it's not freezing rain then why would you?????

Don't be shy asking questions on here...this community is great! But it also sounds like you need to get comfortable with your truck...if you know somebody that has a SAFE wide open area (that's rather large), take your truck there when there's lots of snow and ice....and do some doughnuts...have some fun but it will also show you in a safe way how your truck handles on slippery surfaces
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:10 PM
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My rule of thumb, grossly simplified is, if wheels are slipping 4WD is OK.

The way 4WD breaks (or breaks things) is when there's no give or slip in anything other than a straight line.

If wheels can slip, i.e. the inside wheel can keep up with the outside wheel in a turn and so on, that's the give you need.
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:24 PM
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Do you have an "Auto 4x4" setting? This is like a faux AWD, but not really. If you have that, you can switch it on in wet/inclement weather and be fine. I personally don't do that (I just slow down), but if you are uncomfortable or still feeling out your truck, it would be fine. One of my friends has his wife drive around in 4Auto all winter long in their '07 Cherokee. It is just better piece of mind for him and easier for her.

The only time I am in 4Lo is if I am in some TOUGH sh*t (very deep snow, extreme off road, etc). I will use 4High/Lock if there is ice or really slick snow conditions. 4Auto might be a good solution for you in upstate NY (I lived around Buffalo for awhile, so I know the conditions) IF you have it. If not, I would slow down. If you still feel the truck is sketchy, the slow down more and use 4High/Lock.

FWIW, I think 4Auto might only be for the 8 spd transmissions. Someone correct me if I am wrong.
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macabra11 View Post
FWIW, I think 4Auto might only be for the 8 spd transmissions. Someone correct me if I am wrong.

I have an 8 speed transmission and only have 4WD Lock and 4WD LOW
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Old 11-13-2013, 03:23 PM
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Here's a quote from Pickuptrucks.com:

Quote:
Both four-wheel-drive options look to be carryover models from Borg-Warner. The first is the part-time two-speed 44-45 transfer case that will be available with all three engines and multiple trim packages. Selector choices include 2WD, N, 4WD LOCK, 4WD LOW. The second Borg-Warner transfer case option is the 44-44 “on-demand” system that allows for an “auto” mode that can be selected at any time and will adapt to all road conditions. Selector choices for this model inlcudes 2WD, 4WD Auto, N, 4WD LOCK, 4WD LOW. This four-wheel drive system will only be offered with the Hemi V-8.

The setup in the part-time system is a rotary dial on the dash (will usually be mated with the 65RFE), while the full-time-capable selector uses a set of push button settings just below the 8-speed transmission’s knob. To help keep the driver informed of exactly what the tires, suspension and transfer case are doing, there is a dedicated information screen (in the 7-inch screen space between the speedometer and tachometer) to communicate all the incoming data and settings.
http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2012/04...deep-dive.html

Sounds like the Auto mode is only available on Hemi V-8's with the 8-Speed. The V-6 with the 8-speed doesn't get it.
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Old 11-13-2013, 03:27 PM
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Here's an interior pic from a V-6 Ram with the 8-speed. The place where the 4WD Auto button is usually, is just a blank here. It is push button rather than the rotary 4wd selector, though:
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Old 11-13-2013, 03:54 PM
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I wouldn't use 4wd on wet pavement or any other surface that doesn't allow the tires to slip frequently.

This may be helpful:
http://www.4x4abc.com/4WD101/def_turnpart.html
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