Automotive Column 54 All Wheel Drive
Syndicated Newspaper Column
Do you know what kind of drive system your vehicle has? Is it All Wheel Drive, 4 Wheel Drive, Rear Wheel Drive or Front Wheel Drive. Most people do but do you know the different kinds of care needed for each one. Familiarizing yourself with the type of system and its care can save money on repairs.
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Dear Motor Medics,
I have recently purchased my first all-wheel drive vehicle which is a 1999 Audi A6 Quattro. I have owned several 4x4 trucks but never an all-wheel drive car. My last vehicle was a Jeep that was all wheel drive and it still had a lever to change from low to high range. I can’t seem to find any knob or lever or reference to one in the Audi. Do all-wheel drive cars have such things? Is there anything I need to do to make it operate? What about service? Is there something more I need to do being that it is all-wheel drive? I value your opinions which have greatly helped me I the past.
Tina in Dumas Texas
All-wheel drive cars have been around for quite some time and most have never had a choice of range selection. A few have them but in most cases such as yours the system is fully automatic and to operate it you simply need to drive the car as you normally would and when the system senses a slipping condition will engage both the front and rear driving wheels to gain traction. This is done either by means of electric clutches or viscous fluid couplings on most vehicles. The electric version uses sensors while the viscous version locks up by means of fluid in the clutches when a slip is sensed. As for maintenance, follow the severe service recommendations in the manual.
Take care, the Motor Medics
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Advice given by the Motor Medics is for entertainment only. Each problem is different and requires different approaches and answers given here are opinions and just one possibility. In order to make an accurate diagnosis a qualified technician should make a hands-on diagnosis. Always follow all recommended safety procedures and consult with your own qualified technician before attempting repairs of any kind.