Why Is It A Bad Idea To Drive In A 4-Wheel Drive On Dry Pavement?

Driving on dry pavement or highways with a 4×4 vehicle (especially while the center diff-lock is switched on) is always a bad idea. You should aim to never take your 4×4 out on the dry pavement, as four-wheel drive simply isn’t suited to such a surface, and this can increase the risk and danger while you’re on the road. 

The reason that you should never take your 4-wheel out on dry pavement is due to the drivetrain design, as it is not intended for high-traction surfaces. Instead, it better suits slippery and low traction off-road terrain where traction is limited, as this is the intended use of a 4×4 vehicle.

You can expect to experience drivetrain binding if a 4-wheel is driven for many miles on dry highways, and transmission windup can occur due to the front and rear drive-shafts not rotating at the correct speed or frequency influenced by the direction in which you’re driving. But what actually happens to your drivetrain when you engage the 4-wheel-drive setting when you’re on dry pavement, or if you forget to disengage after leaving the dirt roads? How long will it take for drivetrain binding to occur inside your vehicle? Even the most experienced 4-wheel driver can fall victim to issues when driving on dry pavements, so read on to find out more about why. 

Drivetrain Binding Explained

Unfortunately, drivetrain binding can cause all manner of dangerous (and often very expensive) damage, including degradation of U-joints, driveshaft twisting, and even a serious case of transmission torque build-up which can eventually lead to major damage to your vehicle’s internal gears. Of course, this is something that you most definitely want to avoid, and the best way to reduce the risk is by stopping yourself from cruising on dry pavements with a 4-wheel drive. 

So, how does this actually happen? The explanation might sound a little contradictory, as it’s common knowledge that you need to engage 4-wheel drive to achieve improved traction. However, the main issue that boggles the mind is the fact that your wheels need to have the ability to lose traction to allow them to work safely. Confused? Don’t worry – it will all be clear soon enough. 

The reason behind this contradiction is the fact that 4-wheel-drive requires the wheels to slip or slide in very small amounts, specifically when turning or performing any other similar maneuvers other than driving in a simple straight line. Unfortunately for 4×4 lovers, the materials that make up concrete pavements have been specially designed or chosen to offer the average users the best level of grip and traction, no matter what kind of weather conditions are taking place. Steep inclines, wet slippery roads and harsh bends are all easy to tackle on concrete without 4-wheel drive, but the tables turn completely if you were to attempt to take on a sharp bend on a dry surface in your 4×4 vehicle. 


Tires, Custom Modifications, And More 

Due to the fact that most 4-wheel-drive vehicles come equipped with all-terrain tires, they can generally grip very well. This of course will become a problem when the dry pavement also wants to grip to its heart content, which is why it better suits a 2-wheel-drive setup that demands less control. Fortunately, you can choose between a variety of custom truck builds that maintain expertly made tires – this can provide you with ultimate peace of mind knowing you have made the safest choice for your 4-wheel-drive vehicle. Upgrading your 4×4 can help to improve the drive on dry pavements and all other surfaces, so custom modifications to your current truck might also be something you wish to consider. 

Taking the time to upgrade and adapt your 4-wheel-drive vehicle so that you can drive with confidence on any surface type is an opportunity that should not be missed, as your driving experience will improve dramatically as a result of your efforts. Both you and your passengers can cruise in peace and harmony, knowing that there are no serious risks or dangers that could put you in harm’s way. Having confidence in your truck will make driving much more enjoyable for you, too, so there’s no time like the present to source the best quality upgrades and extras for your 4-wheel-drive vehicle today.  

Even if you modify your truck to within an inch of its life, you must still aim to avoid driving on dry pavement – it’s not worth the risk, as it can do serious damage to your vehicle that could even be irreparable in the worst-case scenario. 


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