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I can say on snow and ice it wouldn't help if the AWD is working properly.

 

correct.  If working properly.

 

But if there is a large delay, it can be dangerous on snow/ice. 

 

I've experienced white knuckle situations in the old 4eat equipped turbo GL.  While negotiationg a turn, it would begin to "push" through the corner, front wheels start spinning just a bit and WHAM!!! the rear drive kicks in and send the car into an oversteer skid.  Very abrupt and unsettleing.

 

In that case, I would recommend using the LOCK switch in very slick conditions.

 

Again, I have no problem with my newer, current cars with AWD working proper.

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One real hazard of the switch- (I had one for awhile after learning after a trans swap that in 2004 the transfer solenoid operation was reversed)

 

When going down a slick hill with the TCU in control, with the throttle at idle the rear engagement is very low.

With the front/rear locked together, braking force from the front wheels will be 'sent' through to the rears, breaking the rears loose surprisingly easily. The rear will swing out.

The ABS will seemingly not kick in as the rears aren't quite locking up.

 

When this happened to me I did quite a bit of experimenting with the effect.

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I travel 130 miles daily round trip to work and back, so I am interested in FWD to hopefully save on gas when the roads are bare. There is an unplowed alley behind my house that gets some deep drifts, so that is when I would use the 4WD. Otherwise, in inclement weather, I would be using the normal AWD.

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you won't save any measurable amount in FWD. the frictional stuff is still turning and the xtra mass of the parts is still on-board.

Edited by 1 Lucky Texan

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what he said - still have hundreds of pounds of extension housing, additional fluid, driveshaft, rear diff, axles and the rotational drag off all those items as well. average daily drivers you won't notice a difference with FWD mpg. if you have a consistent commute and can drive light on the throttle and brake, coast a lot, and maintain a fairly consistent 55mph you might notice, but that's hard to accomplish for the majority of commutes. just like the AWD/4WD/diff stuff this is another topic that's been covered extensively over the decades.

Edited by idosubaru

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FWIW, running in forced FWD WILL alter the handling in turns, is semi-easy to spin the fronts, and if like mine, might make some clunking noises. With regards to turning, it'll oversteer like any other FWD and is easy to spin the fronts. AWD, it definitely understeers.

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FWIW, running in forced FWD WILL alter the handling in turns, is semi-easy to spin the fronts, and if like mine, might make some clunking noises. With regards to turning, it'll oversteer like any other FWD and is easy to spin the fronts. AWD, it definitely understeers.

 

somethings wrong if you get clunking.

 

And typically FWD cars tend to Push or understeer.  Adding in the rear drive makes it more nuetral, and even likely to throttle on oversteer.

 

Last summer I got a deal on 2 sets of 2 tires each same size but different type.   Ran in FWD to use these on pavement until winter came and I switched to a matched set of snows. 98 forester

 

No clunks or other issues.

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Nah it doesn’t matter, you can run in FWd all day long on a properly working system. I’ve driven many 10’s of thousands of miles with the FWD fuse installed on many different cars and others have as well. No big deal.

 

If you had clunking then something was wrong.

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