Auto 4 wheel drive mode... Why? - Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-29-2017, 12:59 AM Thread Starter
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Auto 4 wheel drive mode... Why?

Do you actually use auto 4 wheel drive mode? I dont really understand why you would use this. I mean I live in colorado, either snow is on the ground or its not. Either Im doing gnarly off roading or Im not. Am I missing something? Who uses this mode and why?
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-29-2017, 03:40 AM
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I like it for when I keep transitioning from roads that are unplowed or packed snow, to roads where the pavement is just wet after being plowed, because it can get annoying to keep having to switch back and forth manually. It's also nice if you're on snow and need to take a sharp turn. I much prefer 4WD High though when I am not worried about binding.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-29-2017, 06:32 AM
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I like Auto for mornings when we have black ice on the roads under certain conditions, heavy rain with water ponding, and for when the roads are mostly clear and dry but blowing snow is glazing or accumulating on stretches in open areas. If the roads are snow covered so that the front wheels won't bind, then it is 4H.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-29-2017, 06:55 AM
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AUTOMATIC TRANSFER CASES

The last category is a combination of 4WD and On Demand AWD. These transfer cases have a 2HI, Auto-4WD, 4HI, 4LO and Neutral position and would fall in the general 4WD category. This transfer case has the operating characteristics of both an On Demand AWD and a Part-Time 4WD system depending on the mode selected. This transfer case uses a clutch pack to allow for a difference in speed between the front and rear axles in the Auto-4WD mode. In the 4HI or 4LO modes, there is no allowance for the difference in speed between the front and rear axles.

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Last edited by Z15_34396; 03-29-2017 at 06:59 AM.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-29-2017, 07:01 AM
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Here it is great when we have snow in some places and when the road is dry in between.

We can get snow and they can clean the roads but a high wind will bring drifting. The auto is perfect for that.

I can have a mile of clean road and a section of 8" snow for a 100 ft every mile.

Farm fields exspecialy.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-29-2017, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryno Matheno View Post
Do you actually use auto 4 wheel drive mode? I dont really understand why you would use this. I mean I live in colorado, either snow is on the ground or its not. Either Im doing gnarly off roading or Im not. Am I missing something? Who uses this mode and why?
I dont leave it on all the time since it impacts MPG, so it comes off in summer...But spring/fall in Colorado its perfect for it.

On my drive from Larkspur to Denver this morning I left the house with 4" of snow, it went to wet pavement within a few miles was Dry in Castle Rock, on top by Castle Pines went back to Snow, back to rain by the time I hit Park Meadows and dry by the time I was at Highlands ranch.

Driving to Deckers or Rampart, you switch between gravel and pavement 2-3 times. Same thing for Eastern Colorado, NE, and KS when I jump between gravel, corn field, and pavement.
I think Colorado is a perfect example of why Auto is useful. Never know when you are gonna need it:
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Last edited by drewabbs; 03-29-2017 at 09:47 AM.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 02:56 AM
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Heck I used it several times here in SoCal this past winter.
It's good for when it's raining hard, you're stopped at a multi-lane intersection and you have a need to accelerate quicker than the other vehicles stopped with you(i.e. you need to get over to the turn lane etc).
It allows you to take off(over the slippery white crosswalk/intersection marking lines) hard without spinning up.
Several times I simply left it in Auto the whole time I was driving on surface streets

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 07:36 AM
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I use it all the time when the roads are wet......

There's a few intersections on hills that I drive everyday that are rather busy and you need to get out quickly. Wet roads and 2WD is horrible in these situations. Step on the gas and the tires just spin. The Auto does help me get out of those situations quicker.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 09:40 AM
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Auto 4 is good for rainy or light snow conditions. I flip it on when making turns from a stand still to get a little extra traction. But when I am straight again, I turn it off. I hardly ever run down the road straight with it, because that's useless and just adds wear to the drive train and reduces MPG.

It's designed to be flipped on and off on-the-fly so I will do it.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 09:57 AM
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I turn mine on when I hit my knee on it.
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Last edited by hyperv6; 04-13-2017 at 02:03 PM.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryno Matheno View Post
Do you actually use auto 4 wheel drive mode? I dont really understand why you would use this. I mean I live in colorado, either snow is on the ground or its not. Either Im doing gnarly off roading or Im not. Am I missing something? Who uses this mode and why?
I moved here from CO so I'm a little puzzled as to why you don't get this. Its amazing for roads with patchy ice and snow. You get that a lot there.

Its also great for my ex who was not mechanically apt at all and could not grasp when to use and when not to use a part time 4wd system.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-14-2017, 02:20 AM Thread Starter
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I moved here from CO so I'm a little puzzled as to why you don't get this. Its amazing for roads with patchy ice and snow. You get that a lot there.

Its also great for my ex who was not mechanically apt at all and could not grasp when to use and when not to use a part time 4wd system.


Patchy roads? I am either in neighborhoods that have snow or Im on major streets that also have snow (Why I just put it in 4wheel drive) once i get out of the neighborhood the roads are fine. Its not like snow conditions change every 5 blocks on major streets/ highways.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-14-2017, 09:15 AM
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Ryno Matheno View Post
Patchy roads? I am either in neighborhoods that have snow or Im on major streets that also have snow (Why I just put it in 4wheel drive) once i get out of the neighborhood the roads are fine. Its not like snow conditions change every 5 blocks on major streets/ highways.
Ok but is it so hard to imagine that terrain/conditions can in fact change constantly enough that having Auto mode engaged makes much more sense than constantly switching in and out of 4x4? Not only that but Auto is great for scenarios in which there is a possibility of losing traction but otherwise you have 100% traction. Like let's say there is a possibility of black ice on the road or patchy snow (which does happen though not as much on major roads). You turn Auto mode on in the off chance you could loose traction.
Like I completely understand its something you don't use and that's fine but the reason why everyone is a little confused is because it's pretty clear that Auto is in fact useful for certain scenarios.

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Last edited by Gregguz; 04-20-2017 at 08:23 AM.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 12:02 PM
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I turn mine on when I hit my knee on it.
I've done this a couple of times now. Its driving me nuts. Design fail. We need a DIC warning system for 4x4 changes, WTF...
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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 12:30 PM
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I've done this a couple of times now. Its driving me nuts. Design fail. We need a DIC warning system for 4x4 changes, WTF...

To be honest mine will show a note it is being shifted. The problem is once it changes the info in the screen goes away.


The knob is lighted but behind the wheel.


Even if it were a light it would be nice if it shows on gauge panel what mode it is in.
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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 12:56 PM
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Like let's say there is a possibility of black ice on the road or patchy snow (which does happen though not as much on major roads). You turn Auto mode on in the off chance you could loose traction.
Exactly. I lived 30 years in CO. Driving through a mountain valley may be completely dry until you come around a bend where the sun hasn't been shining and it's covered in ice/snow/slush for 20-30 yards and then dry again. Perfect for auto mode.

Last edited by Aaronpaul; 04-20-2017 at 12:58 PM.
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 01:16 PM
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Like everyone else has said, its perfect for snow/hard wet and rainy/icy conditions. I live in Oregon and we had one of the hardest hit winters since 2008 this year. we had consistent snow storms hiting the zero elev level within days of eachother and the fact that clearing roads thr DOT suck at it here. I got my truck in Oct, 1st snow storm hit in Nov and auto 4wd was awesome. it was like driving a subaru with AWD. i always had traction when i needed it and didnt have any problems and felt comfortable driving than i ever had in icy/snow conditions.
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 05:36 PM
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Found it pretty useful about a month ago driving in the Sierras. Most of the road was clear but damp, but occasionally I'd round a corner into a protected valley and the road would have 1" of packed snow/ice on it. The system isn't as sophisticated as say an Audi or Subie AWD, but it worked well enough.
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