How to Maintain a Four-Wheel Drive System?

A stock photo of a technician working on a truck.

Four-Wheel Drive Maintenance

A four-wheel drive system definitely has its advantages when driving off-road or on snow- and ice-covered roads, which is why it is such a popular choice for drivers who live in cold weather climates and for those that enjoy off-road adventures. When it comes to the maintenance needs of a four-wheel drive system, you’ll find that it is much different than that of a standard two-wheel drive system. Maintenance needs of a four-wheel drive system can also depend on how often you drive off-road and if you frequently tow heavy trailers. With a vehicle that has a four-wheel drive system that is working so hard, four-wheel drive system parts such as the differential and transfer case will require more maintenance and care if you want it to continue giving you the reliability you want on or off the road. Keep reading to learn more about how you can maintain your four-wheel drive system to keep it in excellent condition.

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What is a Transfer Case?

A four-wheel drive transfer case is a gearbox that delivers power from the transmission to the vehicle’s tires. The transfer case uses fluids to lubricate the gears in order to keep them cool and operating smoothly. It is important to check the level of the transfer case fluid and change it at the manufacturer’s recommended intervals if you want your four-wheel drive system to continue to perform properly. Replacing the transfer case fluid on a regular basis will help prevent it from breaking down and help provide protection from wear and tear.

What is a Differential?

A vehicle with a four-wheel drive system also has a component that is called a differential. The differential is a gearbox that allows the wheels to turn at different speeds when cornering, driving off-road and when driving on slick road surfaces. The internal temperature of this gearbox can get hot and cause the differential fluid to break down over time, which can compromise its ability to lubricate and protect the gears. So, it’s important to replace the differential fluid at the manufacturer’s recommended intervals.

Recommended Four-Wheel Drive Maintenance

To help ensure that your four-wheel drive system continues to function and perform the way it was designed to, you’ll need to have it serviced so a professional can replace your vehicle’s transfer fluid and differential fluid with new fresh fluids. It’s important to remember that any vehicle, especially one with a four-wheel drive system, will need preventative maintenance like this. 

[Schedule: Four-Wheel Drive Maintenance]