Today’s BMWs are engineered to offer you the most comfortable, reliable, and safety-conscious drive possible. This comes in the form of many different features, but two of the most well-known are 4-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. Think they’re the same? Think again!
As opposed to front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive, a 4-wheel drive system distributes power between both axles and is often a mode that you can switch on or off when driving your vehicle. Both axles are given a fixed and equal divide of torque so that a greater degree of control is possible. Its strength lies in its ability to prevent you from spinning out or losing control in unpaved, uneven, and low-traction conditions, such as heavy slush and snow or off-road areas. As a term, it is sometimes used interchangeably with all-wheel drive, but this is a mistake, as there are many important differences.
4-wheel and all-wheel drive have many of the same ideas behind them, but they are executed in distinct ways. Firstly, all-wheel drive isn’t really a switchable feature in the same way that 4-wheel drive is, as vehicles equipped with it are specifically designed to provide the advantage of dynamic distribution of power between all four corners of the vehicle. All-wheel drive vehicles do the dirty work for you, changing the behaviour of the drivetrain and differential based on constant input from the wheels so that you don’t have to “activate” it. Unlike 4-wheel drive, this also allows your system to adapt when switching between different conditions and terrains.
Safety and Maintenance
As great as these features can be for giving you a helping hand in adverse conditions in order to stay safe and in control of your vehicle, you should be wary not to depend on them too heavily. Smart driving habits are mandatory no matter what features your BMW comes with, and the same goes for smart maintenance. Routine preventative checkups are the best way to make sure that your drivetrain, axles, and other components are in good shape. Don’t delay your repairs, otherwise you’ll pay a hefty price later on, both in terms of your budget and your safety!
The better you know the inner workings of your BMW, the better you’ll be able to spot a problem before it gets worse. Always be conscious of your vehicle and seek out quality BMW-certified maintenance. Call Motorwerkes at (403) 768-3168 to find out what we can do for you!