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Published On: Sat, Aug 3rd, 2013

✔ How four wheel drive car works.

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In the beginning stage of automobiles, we had single wheel drive vehicles; the drive from the engine was supplied to the rear LH or RH side wheels. Later this system was discontinued due to the slippage of the driving tyres. So the new revolutionary system the differential technology was invented and the two wheels drive vehicles as we see came into existence.

But still, for uphill drives, greasy roads, offroading a demand of a vehicle with more traction came up. This gave to the birth of the “four wheel drive” vehicles.

What is four wheel drive?

It’s simply the drive been distributed to all the four tyres of the car or vehicle. As you can see in the figure, the four wheel drive layout has the components such as.

1. Engine
2. Flywheel
3. Clutch
4. Gear box
5. Transfer box
6. Front axle differential
7. Rear axle differential
The component which differentiates a 2 wheel drive from the 4 wheel drive is the “transfer box” this is that particular unit which divides the drive coming from the gear box (transmission) to the front axle and rear axle differential.

Four Wheel Drive Layout

Four Wheel Drive Layout

How does a four wheel drive car works?

As you know, there are various types of 4 wheel drive vehicle like:
1. Automatic four wheel drive vehicle.
2. Semi-automatic four wheel drive vehicle.
3. Manual four wheel drive vehicle.

The basic function of the four wheel drive is similar to all wheel drive.
The drive comes from the engine and it reaches the flywheel, from the flywheel it is taken by the gear box.

Case 1: if it’s an automatic transmission vehicle the drives goes to the gear box through torque converter, CVT (continuously variable transmission) or any other similar methods.
Case 2: if it’s a manual transmission vehicle the drive to the gear box goes through the clutch mechanism.

The drive from the gear box is further taken by the transfer box, this is a critical unit which helps to transfer the drive to the:

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1. Rear axle differential.
2. Front axle differential.

From these axles the drive gets transferred to the rear and front wheels. That’s how simply a four wheel drive car works.


Video Explaining Four Wheel Drive Mechanism

Video Explaining – How Four Wheel Drive Works

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