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Discussion Starter #1
I've got a 2016 Tuscon AWD. And, yes, I've watched the video on the powertrain.

As you know there is a 4x4 switch on the console. Now that we have some nasty (ice and snow) roads I'm wondering just when would I use this switch? The auto sensing/switching seems to work quite seamlessly and I have yet to hit this button :)
 

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Only press when stuck and for slow speed crawling on really slick/off-road situations.

Leaving it on all the time will just add wear to the clutch pack, potentially meaning it’s less useful when you really need it. Will also add to your MPG.


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2016 Tucson Sport 1.6T DCT
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I agree with josedebardi; engage it only when necessary.

Also, I recall reading in the manual that the speed should be limited to no more than ~20 MPH (~32 KPH).
 

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I've often wondered if there was an easy way to figure out if the 4x4 is actually working .... I get that it's seemless, but so seemless, it's not noticeable :)
 

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Don't worry about screwing it up, even if you do engage it, it'll automatically kick off at 20mph. I would typically use it not in slippery weather, as 4wd lock will cause less stability at higher speeds, but rather use it for deep snow, to keep yourself from getting stuck. Like if you're trying to get up a snow covered hill, or you park curbside and the plow truck plowed you in.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the comments on this!

Guess what I have trouble figuring out is that if the traction control figures out what wheels need to be powered all by itself, why would I be smarter than the computer when I hit the button?

Went out last night and my driveway was pretty bad. I put the 4x4 on going out and let the Tuscon figure it out coming back. Can't say I noticed any difference.
 

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With lock off the T/C is reactive, if lock is on its proactive. Basically, by reacting it may be too late, but if you see an obstacle where’s it’s likely to need to move power around, proactively engage it and reduce the risk of getting stuck.


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Pressing the button would be a preemptive step like for when you're plowed in by a snow plow and know you'll need the maximum AWD clutch clamping for that situation. Otherwise, it's a ratio that the car uses, and ramps up and down as needed to balance fuel economy, stability, traction and grip.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So, I understand that the auto AWD delivers a varying amount of power to the front or rear wheels depending on a bunch of variables. If the lock button is pressed is the ratio constant?
 

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Yes, constant 50:50 (although it will slip slightly under heavy load as the clutch pack is not very manly so it might wonder towards 60:40 front:rear if you were really stuck and giving it beans to get out).


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As a person that drive the car everyday in Alaska's Snowy and Icy road, I can say that, I NEED the 4x4 on everyday.
Yes, the AWD is alright, just alright. I won't say it is very good or very bad, but too many times that the AWD traction control kicks in and I lost 99% of my power while making some turns on low speed.
I do agree people say that the AWD is good, yes, but only if you are on lighter snow and up to speed.
While in low speed or stand still, if the traction control kicks in, which happens a lot, you will lose most of your power. All you see is HIGH RPM but the car acts like in N gear.
Like other said, the 4x4 will only works during low speed, but that is WHEN you need it the most.
Without the 4x4 on, if you are stopped and trying to gas it to go on snowy or very icy road, the wheel will slip. Yes, the tires will slip and you can tell that easily. That time, the TC will kick in AHEAD of your AWD Rear Wheel, and that will kill off all your power to the wheels. In a easier way to say, This Is Stupid As FXXX. From stand still and going straight forward is less likely to see the TC locks you up, but it will takes you a lot more time to pickup the speed without the 4x4.
The worse case and situation that you can encounter with this AWD system is that if you are making a turn from stand still. Imagine you are at an intersection, and you are about to cross 2 lanes to enter the middle lane for merging into lanes that are 3 lanes away from you. Many Many times that the TC will kick in as I enter the first 2 lanes, and my power to wheels are gone. All I heard was engine RPM goes up and TC locks me up. The idea for allowing the TC to get traction on slippery road is fine. However, if the TC locks me up while making turns..... it is more likely killing me. Same problem will occur when you are about to turn into a snowy road from a street that was already plowed. Slowed down is a must, but if you are going onto thicker snows, the TC may kicks in and you may have your rear end still sticking out on the main road.

The 4x4 indeed help the first situation. Since the Rear Wheel already has power, most of the time, even on ice, the TC may not be needed as bad. Most of the time, my wheels will get traction before the TC kicks in.

The 4x4 does help a lot on low speed, and you can definitely feels it if you drive on very slippery road.
If you drive on dry road or such. Turn it off, your AWD will work very fine.

I do have studded winter tires. Nokian.
 

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Thanks for the comments on this!

Guess what I have trouble figuring out is that if the traction control figures out what wheels need to be powered all by itself, why would I be smarter than the computer when I hit the button?
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Because you can see what is going on around you. As someone else noted, the system only reacts to conditions it detects. But you can see the situation, and can pro-actively select 4X4 to get yourself out of a situation that the vehicle may or may not detect.
 
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