Using 4x4 in summer

A friend of mine took his new kia 4x4 to the dealership and was told to engage his 4x4 occasionally and briefly during the summer to maintain the motor that engages the 4x4. Is this true and should I do this with my Ford Explorer 4x4. Or should I follow my manual that says never engage on dry road, only on slippery roads ( snow, or wet}.

Just engage it, drive it in a straight line for about 10’, and disengage it. It’s kind of like your air conditioner. It will last longer if you run it a little when it doesn’t normally get used.

The danger of engaging it on dry roads only occurs when you make turns. Just don’t make turns when you have it engaged on a dry road.

Gravel and sand are also great for testing out the 4x4.

My 92 Explorer would not engage sometimes if unused for a season or so.
Its problem was the electrical contacts just under the cover of the 4x4 motor at the rear of the t/case.
Take off the cover, clean the contacts and away we go.

The owner’s manual on our 2003 Toyota 4Runner says that the 4 wheel drive should be engaged and the car driven for several miles each month. The 4Runner has selectable 4 wheel drive and it can be left engaged all the time. However, the mileage is better in 2 wheel drive.

As stated, you should follow the manual and engage the 4wd regularly as indicated and really only turning on dry pavement should be a concern and only if it’s a part time system. As it appears it is, take the stated precautions. If you DON’T use it, like AC and a parking brake, you’re begging for problems. It should be driven for a mile or so at least, once a month minimum.

Yes, you should engage it now and then. That way, when the Micky-Mouse “system” they use to engage/disengage fails it won’t come as a surprise to you when you really need it…Also, this way you catch the failure before the warranty expires…

One of the few but distinct reasons I miss manual hubs; fewer “Micky Mouse” crapola problems. Just real ones, like getting out in the mud and snow to engage or heaven forbid, thinking ahead of time.

Try living in upstate NY with Lake Effect snow.

Drive on a nice sunny day…then within 10 miles…SNOWING real hard…keep driving…and within another 10 miles…you’re in a full blown blizzard…drive another 10 miles…no more snow…in fact no trace of snow…