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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, never having had a 4wd vehicle before I'm trying to fully understand how and when to use 4wd.

I was out driving last night and got to a backroad that was pretty muddy / icy / just spring time snow melt slush-yness so I shifted into 4-HI when I got to the road. When leaving on that same backroad it basically went:

Gross muddy road -> Pavement for about 2 miles -> Slightly muddy super steep driveway

I left it in 4-HI for that short trip the whole time because I figured it was just down the road.

Then I came across stuff like this thread online while doing my research:

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f202/4-wheel-drive-1131178.html

as well as seeing that driving on pavement with 4-HI / 4-Lo is a no-no.

But I'm sort of at a loss with a few questions:

  • Should I have shifted out of 4-HI to 2WD then back to 4-HI or 4-LO at the next driveway?
  • Do I need to depress the clutch on my standard whilst shifting into 4-HI / N / 4-LO?
  • What about highway driving whilst snowing? It's still pavement... but it's unsafe. What if there's a light coating and I'd rather have 4WD on? I'm at a loss for situations like these considering rear wheel drive is typically the worst in snow.
  • Surely I haven't done anything bad in that short 2 miles average suburan driving down the road conditions, correct?

I feel like this subject is way overly complicated than it really is but I want to understand when to use it to my advantage.
 

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Don't worry you didn't do any damage on a straight flat paved road. I would have put it in 2wd then but if you did any damage you'd know it.

You can use 4WD on pavement if there is snow or ice on it. The wheels need to be able to spin freely if you turn and on a slippery surface they can. On dry pavement they can't slip and that's when you'll do damage.
 

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Go to www.jeep.com and downoad the full owner's manual. Read the off road section. It will fully detail the operation. Basically you should not use 4wd on pavement. It's fine to shift in and out as necessary.
 

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your fine in 4high. everyone is going to have there take on it. I go with the rule of thumb "I don't use 4wd until I have to" I am surprised at how much the JK can do in 2wd.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Don't worry you didn't do any damage on a straight flat paved road. I would have put it in 2wd then but if you did any damage you'd know it.

You can use 4WD on pavement if there is snow or ice on it. The wheels need to be able to spin freely if you turn and on a slippery surface they can. On dry pavement they can't slip and that's when you'll do damage.
Thanks for your input!

Go to Jeep SUVs & Crossovers | Official Jeep Site | Jeep and downoad the full owner's manual. Read the off road section. It will fully detail the operation. Basically you should not use 4wd on pavement. It's fine to shift in and out as necessary.
Thanks, I had looked at the owners manual that came with the car and read through it but I gave it a look through again.

This answers my question about utilizing the clutch pedal. It seems as though you only need to depress the clutch going from 4-HI -> 4-LO and vice versa. Not from 2-HI -> 4-HI, however not pressing the accelerator allows 2-Hi / 4-HI switching to go more efficiently.

After reading through the off-road section though this doesn't really answer any sort of civilian driving during winter time. Sure I might not be on a ridiculously off-road snow 6 inch depth trail but my issue is more with driving around town or on the highway whilst snowing heavily or even mildly. It's still pavement but it'll be patchy and/or starting to get slippery.

your fine in 4high. everyone is going to have there take on it. I go with the rule of thumb "I don't use 4wd until I have to" I am surprised at how much the JK can do in 2wd.
Thanks!
 

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You can use 4wd on any surface where your tires will slip. To really understand this you need to realize how 4wd really works. 4wd is essentially a lie because only 2 tires have power. One in the front and one in the back. To have any more than that you need lockers. Next part gets complicated. If you can do a full 360 in your jeep while marking the ground of the path of each tire you can then measure each path. You would find that each tire traveled a different distance. When you are in 4wd two tires are locked together but while turning have to travel different distances. On snow, ice, or mud it unnoticeable. Once the surface becomes dry like dirt you will feel it chatter while turning. That is it binding then breaking loose. Problem on dry pavement is that the traction will exceed the parts strength.

In the end if your sliding then put it in 4wd. It won't hurt anything. I have used mine in really bad rain storms but normally rain and pavement usually isn't slick enough to really warrant 4wd.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You can use 4wd on any surface where your tires will slip. To really understand this you need to realize how 4wd really works. 4wd is essentially a lie because only 2 tires have power. One in the front and one in the back. To have any more than that you need lockers. Next part gets complicated. If you can do a full 360 in your jeep while marking the ground of the path of each tire you can then measure each path. You would find that each tire traveled a different distance. When you are in 4wd two tires are locked together but while turning have to travel different distances. On snow, ice, or mud it unnoticeable. Once the surface becomes dry like dirt you will feel it chatter while turning. That is it binding then breaking loose. Problem on dry pavement is that the traction will exceed the parts strength.

In the end if your sliding then put it in 4wd. It won't hurt anything. I have used mine in really bad rain storms but normally rain and pavement usually isn't slick enough to really warrant 4wd.
Thanks for the description, yeah I'm trying to fully understand it and how it works.

I found this youtube video that a lot of people seem to reference from Jeep but they don't go over that sort of turning issue on dry pavement with different distances: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6uAKtb0Q6U
 

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Well, if you ask me - if you find yourself pondering wether or not you should engage 4h, then you should engage 4h. Just remember to disengage it before before sharp corners or tight/slow turns. It was raining the other day and I found myself debating if I should engage or not - it was asphalt but slippery and bla bla bla bla. Ended engaging and enjoying the sense of added stability. My thought is that there is no need to treat it like a red emergency button that must only be pressed when all other things have failed. Just be aware of its limitations and you're good to go.
 
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