What are the difference between all-wheel drive, full-time and part-time 4x4 systems?

 Jeep Grand Cherokee

What are the difference between all-wheel drive, full-time and part-time 4x4 systems?

Cars have come a long way, and thanks to improvement in automobile technology, modern vehicles deliver on all fronts. Car manufacturers now equip their products with various types of drives designed to improve ride quality. When buying a car, you must make the effort to learn everything there is to know about the vehicle’s drive. When it comes to choosing one, some of the most common options include all-wheel systems, full-time systems, and part-time 4X4 systems. We, in this post, highlight a few differences between all-wheel drive, full-time, and part-time 4x4 systems.

All-wheel drive
All-wheel-drive or AWD systems are advanced versions of their 2WD counterparts. Some fancy names used by manufacturers for these systems include intelligent AWD and Real-Time 4WD systems. An all-wheel-drive system is capable of providing power to all four tires, both full-time and on-demand. These systems are usually found on sedans and crossovers. As opposed to prevalent belief, AWDs are not the same as 4WDs. While a four-wheel-drive is designed to send as much power as possible to all four wheels to ensure maximum traction, AWDs control the output sent to each wheel.

Full-time system
Also known as permanent 4WD, full-time 4WD supplies torque to all four wheels of the car. The system can be used on almost any surface, including pavements. Thanks to a differential incorporated into the transfer case, the system can be used all the time. A 4WD drivetrain automatically shifts the driving mode in accordance with the terrain. The feature is designed to eliminate the hassle of manually changing drive modes. Additionally, a full-time 4WD can be used on the driest of roads and rough terrain without any driver inputs.

Part-time 4X4
A part-time 4X4 lets you choose the best drivetrain mode according to your driving conditions. When commuting within the city, you can activate the rear-wheel-drive setting to achieve maximum fuel efficiency. You can also shift the center differential to activate 4WD. Doing this will create a mechanical lock between the front and rear wheels of your vehicle. So when driving on dry pavement, always use 4WD.

Source: Jeep