If you are uncertain which type of vehicle to get, here’s our 4WD lock vs 4WD low comparison just for you!
We understand that there appears to be so many similarities between the two. But at the same time, there is more than what meets the eye. While both are four wheel drive systems, the key factor to consider is when to use these vehicles. Different road conditions affect the overall experience in your driving.
So, which one is more powerful and for what type of road are they best? Check out our comparison right here.
4WD Lock Vs 4WD Low – Understanding the Difference
In a nutshell, the 4WD lock is basically a four wheel drive system, which enables all of the four wheels to rotate at a similar speed. When you need to drive in an off-road condition, or perhaps you need more traction on the road, then a 4WD lock is ideal for such situations.
On the other hand, a 4WD low is also a four wheel drive system. But instead of the wheels rotating at the same speed, they rotate at varying speeds. When you require less traction or you are in an on-road condition, then this is the best choice for you.
Now, the 4WD lock enables you to lock your rear and front axles together. Thus, you can get better traction when the surface is slick and slippery. You can also easily drive up a very steep incline, as well as find your way out of a very challenging off-road condition.
As for the 4WD low, this uses a low gear ratio when there is a need for more torque. You can count on this type of vehicle when you drive in extremely rough terrains such as deep sand. The system enables your engine to efficiently run at a low RPM while at the same time giving ample power to your wheels to make sure the vehicle gets to move at an ideal speed.
If you have a four wheel drive vehicle, the best situation to use your 4WD lock is when driving on ice or snow, or any surface that is pretty much low traction. The moment you activate the 4WD lock, this locks all of the wheels together, which causes them to turn at a similar speed. Hence, your vehicle will remain stable and prevent any loss of traction or slipping.
But if you drive in sand, mud, and thicker snow, the 4WD low is a better option. You can count on the better traction that it provides since the wheels are given more torque to achieve better grip on the surface. You should be able to pull through a tough road condition because of the grip and more power.
There are a few reasons why it may be worth using a 4WD low in your vehicle. For instance, if you want to gain more power and more traction to your wheels. This is why if you are driving in extreme weather conditions or you are doing some off-road driving, then this is the ideal option for you.
With a 4WD low, the weight of your vehicle is distributed more evenly. This is very important when you are towing a very heavy load or when you are climbing steep inclines. With a 4WD, you can expect better fuel economy as engine and vehicle speed are both reduced as needed.
As for the 4WD lock, it is best to use when you drive on surfaces that are unstable such as snow, gravel or sand. These materials tend to make your wheels spin uncontrollably, which makes driving extra difficult. Thus, by engaging your 4WD lock, the tires are locked to ensure the same speed when turning. As a result, your wheels are prevented from getting stuck and spinning out of control.
On the other hand, driving on more stable roads or dry pavement do not require the 4WD lock. You should even avoid this since it only causes damage to the drivetrain. In case you do not require the 4WD lock, simply switch the 2WD mode on, which will cause the tires to turn at varying speeds. This is more than enough on dry pavement.
You will have to turn the 4WD lock on, though, when the road is icy or slippery. This prevents the wheels from sliding and slipping as you drive.
Moreover, there are 4WD vehicles that come with a low-range gear. You can use this along with the 4WD lock for more traction and power.
Interestingly, there are 4WD auto vehicles, and this system enables you to switch automatically from two-wheel and onto four-wheel drive as needed. However, you need to engage the 4WD lock manually.
Compared to 4WD low and 4WD lock, the 4WD auto is the most convenient. You do not have to “remember” to disengage or engage your system. But at the same time, you can get more traction from the 4WD lock in certain situations. This is because of having the option to engage the 4WD lock system manually when need be.
We hope this 4WD lock vs 4WD low comparison has been helpful for you and answered your questions about these two systems. Now you understand that when you want to do some off-roading, the 4WD low is more suitable because it lets you disengage the system and drive steeper inclines and road conditions that require more traction.
As for the 4WD lock, your four-wheel drive is locked and you cannot easily disengage it. Hence, you should be able to drive on icy or slippery roads safely and securely as the tires are prevented from sliding uncontrollably on these roads.
But for even more convenience, the 4WD auto is a great choice because you can go from two-wheel and back to four-wheel automatically when necessary. This adds to the ease in driving when the road conditions are constantly changing.