How is four wheel drive used on a 1999 durango
I do not own a Durango, but have owned many 4WD vehicles and can offer tips for proper usage.
The "L" and "H" after the 4 and 2 stand for "Low" and "High" ranges. The 2 and 4 stand for the number of wheels that can receive power from the engine and transmission. Most 4WD vehicles only provide power to 1 wheel on each axle (front at rear for a total of just 2 wheels powered) at any given time (but for purposes of discussion, we'll call it 2WD & 4WD, as advertised).
Generally, "2WD" is only offered as a High range and is the same as a "normal" 2WD car or truck. I haven't seen a car or small truck that offers 2L (but I haven't seen a Durango - so I don't know), but generally 2WD traction can be increased easily enough by simply shifting the transmission to a lower gear (From "D" to "2" or "2" to "1", etc.).
4WD is designed to provide additional traction whenever 2WD isn't sufficient. This can be when surfaces are slippery such as sand, mud, snow and ice or, when pulling a heavy load such as a trailer and tires are not gripping the surface well. Shifting from 2WD to 4WD High will provide more traction at the same tire speed. Maximum power from the engine does not come at low RPMs, so in order to get more pulling power from the engine with out increasing speed (or spinning tires), the transmission should shifted into a lower gear. This is especially helpful when pulling a trailer up a wet incline, etc. If 4WD High in 1st gear is still allowing tires to spin or not providing enough pulling power, then shifting the transfer case from 4WD High to 4WD Low will allow the engine speed to increase (providing more power) without increasing the speed of the wheels (reducing the chances of spinning tires).
4WD should never be used while operating on dry pavement. Since tires wear at different rates, and turning left or right slows the inside tire and speeds up the outside tire when compared to the rear tires, a certain amount of slip is required. Wet surfaces provide this necessary amount of slip - as does sand, mud, snow, ice, dirt, gravel, etc. You should take the time to see how each selection of High and Low affects engine speed and vehicle speed and how the surface and any trailer further changes traction. With a little experimentation, you'll see how it works and be able to choose the right range with little thought.
Don't forget to have the transfer case & front differential fluids checked and changed as per the manual. Neglecting this simple service intervals can leave you stranded when you need 4WD and can be very expensive to repair.
I hope this helps & good luck!
Aug 24, 2012 |
1999 Dodge Durango