When to use 4x4 mode?

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FtWorthRam

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So in the last month I purchased a 2023 Limited Longhorn Crew Cab 4x4 1500, with the Anti-spin Differential rear axle option. I've never owned a 4x4, but was convinced by a friend and my son that's what I should purchase.....not to mention the vast majority on the dealer lots here in TX are all 4x4. My question is when is it acceptable/advisable to use the 4x4(hi)? I've only put it in 4-wheel Hi once to check it out. It was on some grass, and I heard some popping sounds when I was turning. Is this normal? I read in the owner's manual that 4wd(Hi) mode should only be engaged in loose/slippery conditions. We plan to take it to NM skiing during the holidays, and I want to make sure I utilize the 4wd mode correctly!!
TIA for all your insights, thoughts, and recommendations!!
 

Riccochet

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you'll hear some popping from the front diff when turning, that's normal.

As the manual said, use on slippery/loose conditions. Snow, mud, gravel, wet grass. You can even use it on dry conditions, like over terrain/obstacles when off-road. Just don't use it on dry pavement at much over a few MPH. You'll burn up the front diff and transfer case. You'll also notice diminished turning radius since there's no limited slip in the front.
 

rzr6-4

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Going in a straight line won't hurt it, but how often does anyone ever really only go in a straight line? When you are in 4x4 you are forcing the wheels to all turn at the same speed, but when you turn, the outside tires are going further than the inside tires. You will feel a binding/lurching feeling, that is your tires slipping as they fight each other. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do but it does add substantial wear and tear.

I consider myself to be a good driver when roads get bad. I frequently throw it sideways just for the lolz. That said, I only use 4x4 when I physically can't get the truck to move in 2wd (deep snow/mud/pulling something heavy on gravel). Some people use it when there is even moderate snow and heavy rain. This seems excessive but to each their own.
 

Mister Luck

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The type and size of your trucks wheels are going to play a significant roll in how well your truck preforms.
Is your truck lifted and how much room is there between your tires and body in the event that you are going to use chains in icy or frozen conditions…?
 

crash68

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If the truck has an "Auto 4X4" mode, that can be used anytime the roads could be slick, including rain. For 4X4 Hi and Low you'll want to use that when the surface your driving on is slick or loose like sand, mud, snow, etc.
 

Tulecreeper

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Going in a straight line won't hurt it, but how often does anyone ever really only go in a straight line? When you are in 4x4 you are forcing the wheels to all turn at the same speed, but when you turn, the outside tires are going further than the inside tires. You will feel a binding/lurching feeling, that is your tires slipping as they fight each other. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do but it does add substantial wear and tear.

I consider myself to be a good driver when roads get bad. I frequently throw it sideways just for the lolz. That said, I only use 4x4 when I physically can't get the truck to move in 2wd (deep snow/mud/pulling something heavy on gravel). Some people use it when there is even moderate snow and heavy rain. This seems excessive but to each their own.
As a lifelong 4x4 owner (except this one), I found out years ago that if I wait until I am actually stuck in snow/mud, etc., it's already too late. I should have engaged the 4x4 when I even had an inkling that this might happen before I got stuck.
 

rzr6-4

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As a lifelong 4x4 owner (except this one), I found out years ago that if I wait until I am actually stuck in snow/mud, etc., it's already too late. I should have engaged the 4x4 when I even had an inkling that this might happen before I got stuck.

Technically yes I would agree and most people should stick to that. That said, I'm careful to not push the limits and switch to 4x4 as soon as I start to spin, before I bury it.
 

runamuck

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Hurst here..you can throw it in 4h anytme but I would save it and use 4 auto if in doubt. I use that whenever I'm in a driving rain storm or it's below freezing and cant tell if the roads are dry or not. we drive up to new mexico or colorado a cpl. times a year for skiing and I either leave it auto or 4h the whole time there. 4 auto down on the beach. 4h pulling the boat out at the ramp. remember 4w can get you down roads that are crapped out but it doesnt help braking so dont go nuts on snow or ice. I have had only 4w trucks since the 70's and only had to use low low a couple of times pulling someone else out of trouble.
 
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FtWorthRam

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If the truck has an "Auto 4X4" mode, that can be used anytime the roads could be slick, including rain. For 4X4 Hi and Low you'll want to use that when the surface your driving on is slick or loose like sand, mud, snow, etc.
Yes, I do have the 4 Auto mode. I have a standard street package, with 20" Rims with all season tires.
 

Stavinksi

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My ‘17 I just left in 4 auto 100% of the time. I feel like my 5th gen prefers 2H so that’s where I leave it.
 
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