AWD vs 4WD


AWD vs 4WD

What is the All-Wheel-Drive?

All-wheel-drive systems control both the front and rear wheels all the time. Two types of drivetrains are called AWD. One drives all the wheels continuously and can also be referred to as full-time AWD. The second system, often called part-time AWD or automatic AWD, operates most of the time in two-wheel drive mode. In these systems, control is provided to all four corners only when additional traction control is needed.

What is Four-Wheel Drive?

Four-wheel drive is the more traditional system that most think of drivetrains that power all four of the wheels of a vehicle. Through the years, 4WD systems have become increasingly sophisticated. Although it remains capable of severe off-road use, 4WD can be on various luxurious models. A 4WD system transports torque through the rear, front, and centre differentials, transfer cases, which allow the vehicle to operate maximum traction under various conditions.

How Does All-Wheel Drive Work?

AWD systems, both full-time and part-time, operate with nothing from the driver, although some offer selectable modes that control how much power goes where. All the wheels get torque through a series of differentials, viscous coupling, and multi-plate clutches, which help distribute power to the wheels to optimize the car's traction.

How Does Four-Wheel Drive Work?

Like AWD, 4WD comes designed to send torque to all four of the vehicle's wheels to increase traction. But 4WD systems tend to be more challenging than AWD ones and can handle more rugged terrain.

Differences Between All-Wheel Drive and Four-Wheel Drive

  • AWD is ideal for everyday all-weather conditions, light off-roading, and some performance driving.
  • 4WD is the better choice for taking on heavier workloads and travelling over challenging terrain.

Contact Us

Contact us at Hildebrand Motors in Old's, Alberta, to schedule a service appointment through our Service Centre, to learn more about All-Wheel Drive and Four-Wheel Drive systems and which one is best for you.

Make an Inquiry


Hildebrand Motors Ltd.

6401 - 46th Street
Directions Olds, AB T4H 1L7

  • Sales: 403-556-3371
  • Service: 403-556-3371
  • Parts: 403-556-3371


  • Monday 8:00AM-5:00PM
  • Tuesday 8:00AM-5:00PM
  • Wednesday 8:00AM-5:00PM
  • Thursday 8:00AM-5:00PM
  • Friday 8:00AM-5:00PM
  • Saturday 9:00AM-3:00PM
  • Sunday Closed
  1. Hildebrand Motors Ltd.

    6401 - 46th Street
    Olds, AB T4H 1L7

    • Sales: 403-556-3371
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