Last post on Sep 02, 2011 at 7:04 PM
You are in the Chevrolet Equinox
What is this discussion about?
Chevrolet Equinox, SUV
#6 of 8 Re: Sure-footed AWD 07 Eqi [dean53]
Oct 08, 2010 (2:25 pm)
I live in central Illinois and we get plenty of snow, last winter after coming home from work and our uphill driveway had about 6 inches of snow the Nox ran right up it and into the garage. I can't remember how many times our other cars couldn't make it until the driveway was shoveled out. Absolutely no complaints here.
#7 of 8 Re: 2006 Chevrolet Equinox AWD [grosloup]
Mar 27, 2011 (10:30 am)
Real time 4wheel drive is when the front tires start to slip and the back tires kick in, AWD and 4wheel drive are the same But 4wheel drive has 4 hi and 4 low. Thats why the AWD equinox gets 29 on highways causes it is always on
#8 of 8 Re: 2006 Chevrolet Equinox AWD [thu10661]
Sep 02, 2011 (7:04 pm)
To clarify the difference between AWD (which the Equinox & most other SUV's have) and 4WD is this: AWD is a system in which the primary drive axle (in the Equinox is the front axle, in my Jeep Commander is the rear axle) only powers the primary drive axle under normal circumstances. When the computer detects a difference between the rotational speed between the front and rear wheels it sends commands to the transfer case (which is located directly at the end of the transmission). The computer tells the transfer case how to apply the power to which axle to gain traction. In AWD systems the front and rear axle are never directly connected to each other. Most of these AWD systems can distribute power to seperate axles up to 90%. So in the case of the Equinox when you are driving down the road normally 100% of the drivetrain power goes to the front axles. When the computer detects wheelspin or rotational differences it could send up to 90% of the drivetrain power to the rear axles to try to correct the imbalance. The computer is constantly monitoring this thousands of times per second while you drive. Many AWD systems are also integrated into crash avoidance situations where the driver exceeds pre programmed parameters (panic stops, panic lane changes, hard cornering etc...) and work in tandem with Anti-Lock Braking Systems to try to maintain control. There is a lot going on in modern drivetrains that we as drivers take for granted. Somebody had to design, program and test all of this for each manufacturer. And they all are different. So all of that sounds pretty good until you realize that AWD systems are a reactive system that don't engage until after there is a problem. So if you are driving through snow or ice and not spinning you are only in either FWD or RWD. That is why many people with AWD systems will spin out trying to navigate corners or turn because until the point they turn everything is hunky dory. Now all of a sudden you're not turning or maybe you're sliding so the instinct is to jam on the brakes which activates the ABS but does nothing to help you out except prevent the wheels from locking up (which isn't necessarily a bad thing). What you should do is give the vehicle some throttle to get all 4 wheels working to help you out. I know that sounds counter intuitive but that's the only way the AWD system will engage.
4WD is where the front and rear axles are directly connected through the transfer case all of the time mechanically. Usually believe it or not with a chain in the transfer case. True 4WD systems cannot be operated in 4WD on hard surfaces. Having both axles physically joined together on hard surfaces is no bueno. It causes a lot of stress on the transfer case and differentials. I have personally seen transfer cases fail in less than 100 miles of being operated on paved surfaces. That is why there is a lever on the floor of pickups or some SUV's to manually engage the transfer case.
What about the new pickups and SUV's that have push button selection of AWD, 4WD, Center Differential Lock or 4WD Low? In normal mode AWD it's just like the Equinox, ready to split power to whichever axle needs it. In 4WD & 4WD Low it physically connects the two axles together to provide you with constant power to both axles providing the maximum amount of traction and control.
Which is better? From a pure technical standpoint true 4WD is always better than AWD. Your front and rear axles are physically connected but you can't operate on hard surfaces. So although this doesn't apply to the Equinox because you don't have a choice if you have a vehicle that allows you to select your drive mode leave it in AWD until the road becomes snow, ice, mud etc.. covered then select 4WD or Center Differential Lock. This will give you the maximum amount of traction available.
Sorry this is so verbose, but there is a lot of confusion and misinformation out there.