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4wd is only for slipery surfaces (dirt, gravel, snow), since there is nothing in the driveline to relieve binding between front and rear. More wear on the rear tires for example, will cause them to want to spin at a slightly different speed than the front tires. the driving surface will allow the tires to slip a little and releive this stress. Driving on pavement with 4wd engaged will bind and accelerate wear on the driveline.

Awd uses essentially a clutch/torque converter that can slip itself between front and rear axles so it can be in effect all the time.

The rear wheel ABS is only there to keep the rear end from swinging around. Not to allow you to steer under brake lockup situations as normal ABS allows.

What confuses me is the whole "auto-4wd" idea. is it just a slip sensing system that engages the transfir case on the fly?
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