After having owned several 4wd Ford Explorers, I took the plunge into AWD in the form of a 2017 AWD GMC Acadia. I love the stability and control that the AWD provides (as compared to the FWD option). I can discern no MPG difference, and if there is, the additional safety of the AWD is worth the any minimal operational expense difference (Yes, I understand I am paying to haul around the extra weight.)
… To my question. Are there any concerns or disadvantages to using the GMC AWD system full time? I called GMC and their response was ‘you may possibly wear out the AWD components faster, and they are expensive to repair’. When I challenged that the same theory would apply to the braking system, the agent suddenly became silent and referred me to the dealer.
I then read the owner’s manual from cover to cover, and found no caveats regarding AWD use.
I then posed the question to the dealership service adviser. He consulted with the ‘transmission guy’ who said ‘AWD should NEVER be used for city driving’, and should only be used ‘when you need it’. …… That’s just the problem. You don’t need it until you need it, and by then it’s too late!
I get it that using 4WD on dry pavement can tear up tires and drive train components, but I thought AWD was designed to be used everywhere? Heck, some cars come in AWD only.
I can’t find any definitive answers on the topic. What’s your opinion?