Originally Posted by sparky2708
Pew had big snow storm a couple of days ago. Pathy was awesome. The only thing I couldn't figure out is how the 4wd lock works. I would turn it on and then a couple of minutes later it would turn off and then I would have to turn it back on. Why does it turn off?
LOCK mode is only intended to get you out of a completely stuck situation. It will hold for some time, but it's not a good idea to keep it on as it is possible for the wheels to bind, particularly when making turns, and could therefore damage the drivetrain.
AUTO is the correct mode for driving in inclement weather or light-to-moderate off-road conditions (obviously CUVs are not meant for hard-core off-roading). In AUTO mode, a certain amount of power is automatically sent to the rear wheels when you start from a stopped position. During normal maneuvers, power will be automatically transferred to the rear wheels as needed.
Splitting the power evenly between front and rear wheels 50/50 may seem like the best way to maintain traction, but it is not. Depending on engine RPM, the amount of power being sent to the wheels will vary significantly. Consider that you're at low throttle, perhaps producing 50 HP at the wheels. You have the vehicle in LOCK and you're slowly trudging up a hill in deep snow. Now, you have 25 HP front and rear (12HP at each wheel) - but your vehicle weighs 4500lbs, so you either have to get on the throttle, increasing the chance of wheel spin, bogging you down (and approaching a "stuck" condition) or hope that your momentum is enough to carry you through. With the weight over the front wheels, they will typically have the most traction, having the system automatically transfer torque front to rear ensures that you have adequate power AND optimal traction at the same time. In short, it is the best of both worlds.
In a truly stuck condition, where it's impossible for the system to react in a reasonable way to get you unstuck, the 4WD LOCK makes sense. However, most of the time, assuming you are underway under limited traction conditions, it's better to conserve how power is being distributed and doing so in logical way. This is exactly what AUTO mode does. In situations like rock crawling, stuck conditions, pulling a boat out of the water on a slippery ramp, LOCK is the right choice - but again, in those cases, you're only going to need the full-time split 50/50 for a short stint.