Jeep Wrangler Crawling at Ocotillo Wells
Image by Matt Finley, Licensed to About.com
If you're new to 4 wheel drive you may be curious about the difference between 4x4 and 4x2. One of the most common misconceptions is that 4x4 means that all four wheels are turning at the same speed at the same time.
That's not the usually the case, especially when you're in a turn. The wheels travel at different speeds when the vehicle is turning or climbing over obstacles. If the wheels turned at the same speed all the time, they would skid any time the offroader was not going in a straight line.
When an OHV is in four-wheel drive mode the front and rear axles are synchronized so there is always at least one wheel on each of the drive axles that can be driven by the engine's power effectively.
Find out more about the difference between 4x4 and 4x2 by reading 4WD vs 2WD - The Differences Between 4x4 and 4x2.