What Is All-Wheel Drive?


Quick Answer

All-wheel drive is a complicated system in a vehicle's drive train that allocates power to different wheels depending on the traction, as monitored by electronic sensors. The sensors relay data to a computer several times a second, and the system adjusts for varying road conditions automatically.

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Full Answer

The all-wheel drive system accomplishes this by using three differentials, or gearboxes, that transfer power to the front and rear tires to improve acceleration and power in on-road conditions.

By contrast, four-wheel drive systems use two differentials to deliver traction to the front and back tires and is considered better for off-road driving than all-wheel drive.

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