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  #1  
Old 11-24-2013, 03:59 PM
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Default 4wd auto vs 4wd lock wear and tear

We just got our first dump of snow here in Newmarket and I had some fun with the truck. When the roads are partially snow covered would be best to use 4wd auto? Is there risk to any parts if the front drive is automatically being engaged on and off a lot as roads get slipperier? In this condition, is it better to just engage 4wd lock so that the front drive stays engaged-will this reduce wear on the linkages etc? In cases where you just need 4wd 100% it's a no brainer.

I'm sure there will be different views on this. I'm just looking to hear some logic either way.

On another note the stock 20" tires passed the test. They don't compare to any snow tires I have owned but as long as I braked early and didn't try to turn quick I was ok.
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  #2  
Old 11-24-2013, 06:10 PM
Monster5601 Monster5601 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemi13 View Post
We just got our first dump of snow here in Newmarket and I had some fun with the truck. When the roads are partially snow covered would be best to use 4wd auto?
Yes.

When you go to 4 wheel lock, you are locking in the gears for the front axle. You should only use this mode on slippy surfaces and off road. As you can imagine, the gearing between the front and rear isn't perfect and if the front wheels are not allowed to slip on occasion, you would create a bind and add stress to the drive-line.

4 auto mode only engages the front axles (this is what the owners' manual indicates), gearing is engaged as needed based on detected slippage.
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  #3  
Old 11-24-2013, 06:21 PM
Asur Asur is offline
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From the Manual

4WD AUTO mode, the front axle is engaged, but
the vehicle’s power is sent to the rear wheels. Four-wheel
drive will be automatically engaged when the vehicle
senses a loss of traction. Because the front axle is engaged,
this mode will result in lower fuel economy than
the 2WD mode. When additional traction is required, the transfer case

4WD LOCK and 4WD LOW positions can be used to lock
the front and rear drive shafts together forcing the front
and rear wheels to rotate at the same speed. The 4WD LOCK and 4WD
LOW positions are designed for loose, slippery road
surfaces only. Driving in the 4WD LOCK and 4WD LOW
positions on dry hard surfaced roads may cause increased
tire wear and damage to the drive line components.
4wd Auto can be run on any surface at any speed.


For variable driving conditions, the 4WD AUTO mode
can be used. In this mode, the front axle is engaged, but
the vehicle’s power is sent to the rear wheels. Four-wheel
drive will be automatically engaged when the vehicle
senses a loss of traction. Because the front axle is engaged,
this mode will result in lower fuel economy than
the 2WD mode. When additional traction is required, the transfer case

4WD LOCK and 4WD LOW positions can be used to lock
the front and rear driveshafts together forcing the front
and rear wheels to rotate at the same speed. This is
accomplished by rotating the 4WD Control Switch to the
desired position. Refer to “Shifting Procedure” for specific
shifting instructions. The 4WD LOCK and 4WD
LOW positions are designed for loose, slippery road
surfaces only. Driving in the 4WD LOCK and 4WD LOW
positions on dry hard surfaced roads may cause increased
tire wear and damage to the driveline components.

Last edited by Asur; 11-24-2013 at 06:24 PM.
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  #4  
Old 11-24-2013, 08:09 PM
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I personally do not like the auto option. I know quite a few GM guys that had to rebuild tcases because of this. I don't know if the ram setup is better or not but I'd be willing to bet it is similar. Too easy for it to engage under hard acceleration, it will only do that so many times till it breaks
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Old 11-24-2013, 08:12 PM
benefactr benefactr is offline
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I love the 4WD auto, will not get another truck without it. Also works great when the roads are wet from the rain.
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Old 11-24-2013, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benefactr View Post
I love the 4WD auto, will not get another truck without it. Also works great when the roads are wet from the rain.
4 lock works just fine too
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  #7  
Old 11-24-2013, 10:46 PM
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Thanks for the details.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asur View Post
From the Manual

4WD AUTO mode, the front axle is engaged, but
the vehicle’s power is sent to the rear wheels. Four-wheel
drive will be automatically engaged when the vehicle
senses a loss of traction. Because the front axle is engaged,
this mode will result in lower fuel economy than
the 2WD mode. When additional traction is required, the transfer case

4WD LOCK and 4WD LOW positions can be used to lock
the front and rear drive shafts together forcing the front
and rear wheels to rotate at the same speed. The 4WD LOCK and 4WD
LOW positions are designed for loose, slippery road
surfaces only. Driving in the 4WD LOCK and 4WD LOW
positions on dry hard surfaced roads may cause increased
tire wear and damage to the drive line components.
4wd Auto can be run on any surface at any speed.


For variable driving conditions, the 4WD AUTO mode
can be used. In this mode, the front axle is engaged, but
the vehicle’s power is sent to the rear wheels. Four-wheel
drive will be automatically engaged when the vehicle
senses a loss of traction. Because the front axle is engaged,
this mode will result in lower fuel economy than
the 2WD mode. When additional traction is required, the transfer case

4WD LOCK and 4WD LOW positions can be used to lock
the front and rear driveshafts together forcing the front
and rear wheels to rotate at the same speed. This is
accomplished by rotating the 4WD Control Switch to the
desired position. Refer to “Shifting Procedure” for specific
shifting instructions. The 4WD LOCK and 4WD
LOW positions are designed for loose, slippery road
surfaces only. Driving in the 4WD LOCK and 4WD LOW
positions on dry hard surfaced roads may cause increased
tire wear and damage to the driveline components.
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  #8  
Old 11-24-2013, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swaggerville Ram View Post
I personally do not like the auto option. I know quite a few GM guys that had to rebuild tcases because of this. I don't know if the ram setup is better or not but I'd be willing to bet it is similar. Too easy for it to engage under hard acceleration, it will only do that so many times till it breaks
That's the reason for my concern, I love the functionality of auto 4wd. Anyone have issues running it a lot through a few winters?
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  #9  
Old 11-25-2013, 09:02 AM
Asur Asur is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemi13 View Post
That's the reason for my concern, I love the functionality of auto 4wd. Anyone have issues running it a lot through a few winters?
Had it on my Jeep grand cherokee 2001, still working today, when I got the truck the first day the Mechanic ( a friend) came out and showed me how to engage and disengage all the different 4x4 possibilities on the truck, I always shifted it as prescribed, the truck is still on the road today and Zero Issues with the transfer case. I am not saying that these are the same units, what I am saying is if done correctly you will probably not have any issues with it. The truck does have a 5 year 100k mile drive train warranty, I don't think that one major parts in the truck should be a week point and because it was used. Over the years I have talked to many that have had issues with there's only to find out that they were the reason that there 4x4 would screw up, usually due to misuse. Most never even read the manual on how to use them, they just figure its above them. JMO
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  #10  
Old 11-25-2013, 09:18 AM
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I'd be very surprised if using 4wd Auto caused any appreciable accelerated wear. Using 4WD lock on any surface that has anything above mediocre traction (including wet pavement) is likely to do much more damage.
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