Tips & Advice
What is the difference between 4x4 and all-wheel drive (AWD)?
While identical in concept, the main difference between 4x4 and all-wheel drive (AWD) is that AWD is a permanent setting, whereas a vehicle with typical 4x4 can shift between two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. In both scenarios you are using both axles to turn the wheels, but in an AWD vehicle that is constant and in a typical 4x4 you can opt between 2WD and 4WD for power.
Which parts of a 4x4 get put under the most stress when off-roading?
When off-roading, the suspension is put under the most stress. The shocks, springs, control arms, etc., are all absorbing the impact, and, in extreme driving, it can put great stress on these parts. Tires can also be put under stress when on unusual, sharp, or extreme surfaces. It can cause wear and even failure.
How much do 4x4 replacement tires usually cost?
The cost of replacing 4x4 tires varies widely. If you drive a standard 4x4 you can find replacement tires for as low as around $75 dollars. That is for a predominantly street-driven vehicle. If you want larger or more heavy-duty or off-road based tires, they can reach upwards of $500 or more, in extreme custom-vehicle situations. If you research thoroughly, you’ll find quality and affordable tires that will fit your budget. As always, there are many variables like size, brand, and speed rating, etc. to consider when buying tires.
What are the most common 4x4 repairs?
The most common 4x4 repairs on modern vehicles are tire replacement, brake replacement, tire pressure monitoring system replacement, and suspension parts replacement. These are in addition to services like oil changes, tune-up,s and battery replacement, which are standard in all vehicles.
A skid plate is a heavy-duty plate that is mounted to the underside of a vehicle to prevent contact with the ground during extreme driving. It is affixed near the underside of the engine to prevent oil pan damage, and other issues that can occur when the vehicle makes inadvertent contact with the ground during extreme driving. Skid plates are common on off-road vehicles and also in custom low-rider vehicles that are at high risk of scraping the ground.
How is a 4x4 suspension different than that of a passenger car?
A 4x4 suspension is different from a passenger car’s suspension in that it is heavier duty. This gives it greater capacity to absorb impact from larger and more extreme impact sources typically found in off-road environments such as rocks, ditches, and extreme angles. Standard passenger car suspensions are not built to accommodate heavy duty or off-road environments.
What are off-road shocks?
Off road shocks are a style of shock absorber used to dampen the vibrations and impact to your vehicle while driving. Off-road shocks work in concert with your springs and other suspension components to lessen the wear of all the components and to add leverage to keep all four tires on the ground.
How are off-road tires different than conventional tires?
Off-road tires are different than conventional tires in that conventional tires are made for everyday driving on standard streets in varying degrees of weather conditions. Conventional tread patterns can be designed for high performance (speed and cornering) or standard driving. Off road tires traditionally are taller with deep grooves or nubs that provide extra grip on rock, dirt, water, and soft or muddy terrain. They can be used for regular driving as well but tend to wear out faster on cement surfaces, due to the softness of the rubber. Off-road tires can also be noisy on standard surface streets.
A lift kit is an after-market suspension kit that lifts the body of the car or truck higher off the frame to achieve more ground clearance, either for show or for higher off-road performance. This is commonly done by replacing the stock front and rear shocks and leaf springs. Extreme lift kits can also necessitate more changes, such as replacing drive shafts with increased length and reach and custom steering columns.
What are the most commonly replaced 4x4 parts?
The most commonly replaced 4x4 parts are brakes, tires, suspension parts (shocks, springs, upper and lower control arms, etc.) and batteries.