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How to Know If Your Vehicle Is All Wheel Drive?

by Jess Jones

All-Wheel Drive, or AWD, is a system some vehicles use to engage either the front or rear wheels when traction is lost while driving. All-wheel drive is really “Best-wheel drive.” With this system, the vehicle actually transfers power to the wheel or wheels that have the best traction so your vehicle can grip the road at all times. These vehicles are the safest in adverse weather and driving conditions. All-wheel drive is best for driving on roads and streets, but not as helpful for off-road adventures.

Step 1

Check your owner's manual for your vehicle to find out if your vehicle is AWD. It should be listed under the features. If nothing is mentioned about AWD, your vehicle probably isn't equipped with it.

Step 2

Look underneath your vehicle while it is turned off for the axle shaft. The shaft simply looks like a large bar going from the front to rear axle. If you see an axle shaft running from the front to rear axles, you have an all-wheel drive vehicle.

Log on the Internet with your computer. Go to the Experian Autocheck site listed below: http://www.autocheck.com/?utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=partner&utm_source=Carbuyingtips&WT.mc_id=1316&siteID=1316 You can enter your vehicle's VIN number and purchase a car report for your vehicle. This report will include any accidents this vehicle has been in as well as previous owners and if you have all-wheel drive or not.

Tip

  • You can also consider taking your vehicle to your local mechanic and ask them to check if your vehicle is AWD.

Items you will need

  • Computer
  • Internet access
  • Valid debit or credit card in your name

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