I have recently purchased a 2000 Toyota Tacoma pick up truck with 4 wheel drive. This is my first experience with a 4x4, and want some advice on its use.
This truck has the front wheel hubs that you have to lock, and an extra shifter that you shift into 4 wheel drive at up to 25 mph.
I drive about 45 miles to work every day, mostly on country roads. This means that I need to make the decision to engage the front wheel locks before I begin the trips each morning or afternoon.
Here is what I have been doing.
If there is any possibility that I may need the 4 wheel drive (which has been most days this winter) I engage the front wheel hubs. However, most days I do not actually use the 4 wheel drive. This brings up the first question: Is there any harm in driving the majority of the miles with the front wheel hubs engaged? Do I wear anything out?
Then, once I hit the road, if there is any snow drifting, I slow and put on the 4 wheel drive. Once I have it on, I usually leave it on, because you never know when you are going to run into a patch of snow that will need 4 wheel drive. So there are frequent trips that I put on the 4 wheel drive at the beginning of the trip and leave it on the whole trip, even though it is often not necessary for the rest of the trip. This brings up the next two questions: it there any downside to leaving the 4 wheel drive on for 30-40 miles even when it isn?t necessary? Do I wear anything else? The other option would be to continually slow down to 25 mph, kick in the 4 wheel drive, pass the snow spot, slow back down to 25 mph, turn off the 4 wheel drive, and continue to repeat this shift in shift out behavior. Which is better? Or I should ask, which is easier on the truck?