4WD question

My '95 Chevy K2500 is the first four wheel drive vehicle I have ever owned. It's the kind you control the transfer case by the lever on the floor, instead of the button on the dash.
I would like some input on the basic rules of operation for the 4WD part. 1.) For example, I know that driving it in 4WD on dry pavement is hard on them, which is understadable. But what about if you're going on a trip which involves roads which are, say, 90% dry -- but have scattered patches of snow or ice the entire length of the trip? What are the effects of driving it that much on dry pavement? 2.) Also, someone told me that, when driving in 4Hi, you shouldn't drive at higher speeds, like interstate speed. I hadn't heard that before. Is that true? 3.) I know turning sharp in 4WD is hard on them, but when just making a normal turn -- like taking off from a stop around a corner on a snow packed road -- should you try to avoid giving it much gas (and kind of baby it through the turn), or is it ok to accelerate pretty much normally? The 4WD works good in it now and I do not want to hasten the wear on it -- but I also want to get the benefit of having it with all the snow here, and not worry that I am not using it correctly. TIA
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burboun supreme wrote:

If it is 90% dry, you probably won't want or need the 4WD. If you are cruising at 70 mph and hit an ice patch, it won't matter how many wheels are driving.

If you need 4WD, you probably won't hit those speeds.

When on snow packed roads you should be gentle anyway.

Every year I see 4WD vehicles off the side of the road because the drivers think it works miracles on slippery roads at high speeds. 4WD is great for deep snow and off road use, but it does not make you stick to ice very well.
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burboun supreme wrote:

If the roads are 90% dry 4X4 is probably not needed. Unless the other 10% are snow drifts or slush. In that case you're going to slow down before you hit those spots. Or at least you should slow down.

Increased tire wear and maybe a small amount of wear in the transfer case and front end.

If you can drive at highway speed it's VERY doubtful that you need 4X4. If you're under the impression that because you have 4X4 you can drive faster in bad weather, Hope you know a good tow company.

If you're on a surface where 4X4 use is appropriate turning sharp won't matter. Loose dirt, snow, sand and such provide enough slippage to prevent problems.

Keep this thought in mind. 4X4 will allow you to drive in conditions where many other vehicles will not go, that includes the TOW TRUCK....
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What about the cars that are full time 4WD, Steve...Subaru, Audi, and others have had this configuration in some of their models, but I have not heard pros nor cons about them.
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hls wrote:

AWD cars usually sit lower and don't get taken out into areas that a truck will. However I get to see a LOT of them off the road due to folks who think that AWD means nothing will stop them.
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Steve W. wrote:

Nothing will stop them. Like brakes, for instance. They do have more traction is snow, going up a hill and the like, but on slick ice, they will slide like any other car and stop (or not) like any other car. Too many drivers think they will stick to the road better, but tire traction is no better on black ice
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Too right. AWD just allows your car to go as well as it already stops and corners. It won't make it stop nor corner any better. Only tires can do that.
nate
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wrote in message

I guess I was thinking principally about the use on dry pavement, wear comments, etc.. I never heard that the modern 4WD versions were much worse than 2WD.
I used to own a Cobra Mustang with the limited slip differential. Now THAT car was a hazard on slick pavement and curves. The limited slip seemed to make it worse than normal.
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hls wrote:

Well to be truthful most of the AWD vehicles built today started life as front wheel drives. They tack a tiny differential in the back and call them AWD. However the rear axle could not handle the full load of the vehicle under constant use. They use either a mechanical open gear set or a vicious coupling to power the rear axle. They do see some increase in tire wear and you need to change all 4 tires at the same time or risk damage to the system.
Compare the current AWD systems and the old systems used in the Scouts and Blazers and there is a HUGE difference. In those they have very little slip between each tire. They used a hard drive system usually with limited slip differentials in both ends. Really increased tire wear as a result.
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On Mon, 28 Dec 2009 20:40:34 -0800, burboun snipped-for-privacy@msn.com (burboun supreme) wrote:

Just as bad as driving on all dry pavement. Not more than a few feet is acceptable, except in an absolutely straight line, where you can maybe go a hundred feet. If there are strips of bad traction, slow down... That's NOT what 4WD is for.

Yes, generally you'd want to keep it below about 35 or so. Not because it is hard on the vehicle, but that the road conditrions are so bad that you can't safely drive any faster.

Again, slippery not dry pavement you are OK. If the pavement is dry, don't use 4WD.

Normally is fine, but don't spin the tires, you will have little control in that case.

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burboun supreme wrote:

My friend from Wisconson says people with 4WD usually are the ones that wind up in the ditch. From being over confident.
Based on my experience with M35A2 trucks, you keep the vehicle in 2WD until your loosing traction.
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