Auto Servicing Two-Wheel Drive Systems

Posted on: 8 January 2018

When driving your car, you rarely think about its method of transmission until you get stuck in a pool of muddy water on a dirt road. That is when you may begin to realise that there is a power and operational difference between 4-wheel drive and 2-wheel drive systems.

By definition, a two-wheel drive system is one in which the full driving package is located at the front of the vehicle. This means that the engine, differential of the wheels, and the entire transmission are controlled by the engine, and are located at the front of the system. On the other hand, 4-wheel and all-wheel drive systems have control of the wheels spread out across the entire vehicle.

Auto servicing of different drive systems can vary significantly. The transmission of a two-wheel drive system is noticeably different from that of a 4-wheel drive system, thus repair work will also differ.

It is important for you to understand what your drive system is and how it operates so you can be prepared when you need auto servicing. For this piece, the focus will be on the various types of two-wheel drive systems that are commonly used.

Two wheel drive systems: Real wheel vs front wheel drive

As previously explained, two-wheel drive systems have the entire driving assembly located at the front of the engine. Two wheel systems typically occur as front wheel or rear wheel drive systems. The front wheel systems are the ones where the driving assembly simply lies at the front of the vehicle and control is carried out mainly via the two front wheels.

On the other hand, rear wheel systems use the two rear wheels to control and provide power to the vehicle. Commonly used in larger vehicles such as trucks and SUVs, a long driveshaft is used to transmit power from the engine to the back wheels. To make this system work, a differential is used to transmit this power and to allow for the making of a turn to get to the rear wheels.

During auto servicing, a rear wheel drive system often needs repairs carried out on the drive shaft or the differential. The drive shaft is located at the bottom of the vehicle and tends to be exposed to multiple exterior conditions. On the other hand, auto servicing a front wheel drive system mainly involves working under the engine and near the two front wheels. Common problems of front wheel systems may include transmission and alignment issues.

For more information, contact a local car service.