Different vehicles come with different drive-trains. These include four-wheel drive (also known as 4WD or four-by-four”, all-wheel drive (AWD), front-wheel drive, and rear-wheel drive. The all-wheel drive and the four-wheel drive trains are the topic of today’s article. The other drive trains will be discussed in the next one. The main issues involved in the different drive trains are safety and fuel efficiency. Both of these are very important in Minneapolis. This winter has seen its share of snow and ice, and the drive train a driver chooses is important in terms of safety. At the same time, with Twin Cities gas prices ranging from $3.05/gallon to $3.29/gallon, fuel efficiency is important. Prices are not the only factor that comes into play with fuel efficiency, though. The environmental impact also matters. The following is a discussion of how four-wheel and all-wheel drive trains impact safety and fuel efficiency.
The four-wheel drive is a system that has existed since 1899 and it “powers all four wheels at all times and can be used full time on all surfaces including pavement…Driver has a choice of a “4-high” (that’s your every day setting) and “4-low”. The 4-low setting is helpful for towing. Also, many four-wheel drive systems can switch between a two-wheel drive and a four-wheel drive mode.  The four-wheel drive has a number of advantages: better control, safety, easier to tow, and good for off-road driving. There are also a number of disadvantages. They tend to cost more, both to purchase and to insure. Also, four-wheel drive vehicles have lower fuel mileage. This is a disadvantage not only to the driver’s pocket, but also to the environment and human health.
All-wheel drive (AWD) “s similar to full-time 4WD in that the system is always sending power to the wheels, but AWD has no 2WD switch.”  In addition, a “4-low” setting is not available in AWD cars. Due to the lack of “low range” AWD vehicles are much less capable in off-road settings than full time 4WD vehicles, but work perfectly well on-road.” The AWD has a number of advantages, such as superior traction, performance, handling, weight distribution, as well as a number of disadvantages, such as lower fuel efficiency, higher cost, and false sense of security: more dangerous driving.
In conclusion, both all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive offer a number of advantages, such as safety and control. However, both drive trains tend to be more expensive and less fuel efficient. This increases not only costs at the pump (with, but releases more toxic emissions into the atmosphere, harming both the environment and human health. More research is needed to make these vehicles both safe and efficient.
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