what road condition will i engage in 4×4?

i have a 4×4 automatic transmission SUV.

few days from now, i will be travelling out-of-town. and there’s a lot of ascending and descending roads and it’s all concrete

should i use the 4H or 4L? what about my transmission, should i shift to lower gear?

but the manual said i should NOT use 4×4 in dry roads…what should i do if the road is dry and concrete but has inclined /declined surface?
can it possibly damage my transmission?

pls advice. thanks

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5 Responses to what road condition will i engage in 4×4?

  1. Winger October 12, 2010 at 7:51 pm #

    It’s unlikely that you’ll ever use four wheel drive in the L drive position unless you’re pulling another vehicle out of a ditch or a snowbank or some such situation.

    Never use 4 wheel drive on dry pavement unless the vehicle specifically says you can/should do this, like Subaru and other full time four wheel drive vehicles.

    4 wheel drive is not for steep paved roads it’s for off road conditions or ice and snow, and only then if you really need it since using 4 wheel drive without proper understanding of how it affects handling will get you in trouble. For example you taking curves in 4 wheel drive generally requires you to keep the front wheel under power or you may push, or tend to go straight instead of around the corner.

    I’d guess that 95% of the people that have 4 wheel drive really have no need for it unless they go off-road. The other 5% of the people may need it about 1% of the time. Note that these numbers, as I said are a rough guess, but I think probably pretty close to reality, and I live in NH where we do get a lot of snow.

  2. Mr. KnowItAll October 12, 2010 at 7:51 pm #

    Snow, ice or mud.
    That’s it!!

  3. mrhuangsta October 12, 2010 at 7:51 pm #

    It’s most likely you wouldn’t be needing to use neither or them. Turning off your overdrive might help.

  4. Mr. T October 12, 2010 at 7:51 pm #

    Do not drive on dry payment the transfer-case engaged. Serious damage to front differential will result. Use of 4 wheel engagement is restricted to slippery conditions, and loose washboard gravel roads only.

    The vehicle will handle differently

    1. If you happen to pull off the pavement & the rear wheels loose traction then lock it in.

    2. On slippery roads.

    3. On washboard gravel roads – keeps the rear of the vehicle from bouncing sideways & loosing control.

    4. When you are locked in 4WD, especially in the snow & ice. The rear end does not spinout. The truck tends to slide in the opposite direction of travel.

    e.g.
    Your are accelerating while turning to the right, the vehicle may stay straight of slide to the left.

  5. casey c October 12, 2010 at 7:51 pm #

    you dont need the four wheel drive unless the tires start slipping then you can engage it.