Subaru Forester: How to Turn on All-Wheel Drive

When it comes to buying a vehicle, there are a lot of things to consider: size, cost, and safety features, to name a few. The drive system is always a good thing to think about and if you want an all-wheel drive, it’s helpful to know how to turn it on. If you are wondering about your Subaru Forester’s all-wheel drive, then you definitely need to keep reading!

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How do you turn on AWD in a Subaru Forester?

All-wheel drive is always active in any Subaru vehicle. This means you don’t have to turn it on or off. Subaru has a symmetrical all-wheel drive system that provides power to all four wheels equally all the time, so there isn’t any need to turn it “on.”

This article is very important if you have a Subaru Forester and want to know about its all-wheel drive. If you own a Subaru Forester, make sure to keep reading the rest of this article! We have done all of the research and have all of the information you need to know! For more information about all-wheel drive and its benefits, keep reading.

Subaru Symmetrical AWD

One of Subaru’s main focuses and selling points is its symmetrical all-wheel drive (AWD) system. It’s designed so that if it was split in half vertically, each side would look the same, weigh the same, and function the same.

Subaru’s system is designed to distribute power to the wheels that need it when they need it and take away power from the wheels that don’t. So when a wheel slips, the system gives more torque to the wheels with more grip and moves it away from the problem wheel.

Additionally, it evaluates the current driving conditions and how much power to distribute based on them. Whether the car accelerates, brakes, or turns, the system determines the best distribution of torque and applies it.

Difference Between 4WD and AWD

Four-wheel drive (4WD) and AWD are often used interchangeably and the differences between the two can often get lost or disregarded. Though the two systems are similar, knowing their differences is always important.

4WD systems provide power to all four wheels just like AWD systems do. It doesn’t, however, analyze which wheels need more torque and shift the power around. In a 4WD system, all four wheels receive the same amount of power all the time. It’s more robust than AWD and better for off-roading. 4WD is designed, like AWD, to provide greater traction but also handle more rugged terrain than vehicles with other drive systems.

Safety and Other Benefits

Subaru employs this AWD system in order to increase safety. Because power isn’t apportioned equally and instead goes to which wheels need it most, the driver has more control over the car in both the best driving conditions and the worst.

When it comes to AWD, most people think of the benefits that come when driving through snow and ice and the Subaru AWD certainly gives those. But, the unique power distribution also allows for better control if a car hydroplanes or a tire blows. The drive system will put more power toward the tires with better grip and traction, take it away from the tire that hydroplaned or blew, and creation a situation that’s safer overall.

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Another plus is the effect on tires. Front-wheel and rear-wheel drives apportion power to the front wheels or the rear wheels, meaning the majority of the wear that comes from acceleration and braking affects those wheels disproportionately. With an AWD, the wear is distributed more evenly and all four tires will last longer as a result.

AWD also greatly affects acceleration. As all four wheels are receiving power, “torque steer” (common in FWD) and “fishtailing” (common in RWD) are less likely to happen when accelerating because there’s more control. Additionally, the acceleration itself will be quicker because the Subaru AWD system transfers the weight of the car so all four wheels have good grip and don’t lose road bite.

Fuel Economy and Other Disadvantages

One drawback to an AWD is the fuel economy. Because AWD systems provide power to all four tires instead of just two and have drives that calculate which wheels need more power, the system itself is heavier and increases the total weight of the car. This, in turn, affects how much power is needed for acceleration and decreases the MPG. It also makes your Forester tow less efficient. Over time, the smaller MPG could have a greater cost on how much a driver spends on gas.

Part-time AWD or automatic AWD systems make a good compromise for those wanting AWD and decent fuel economy. With an automatic AWD, the system functions as a two-wheel drive system the majority of the time and engages AWD when it’s needed, cutting down on the fuel costs associated with AWD but still keeping the benefits an AWD provides. Unfortunately, Subaru models have full-time AWD systems.

AWD can also often create a false sense of security. People think that the greater traction and proportionate distribution of power to the wheels in poor conditions means that an AWD system will be equally helpful when braking and turning in poor conditions, but it isn’t. It doesn’t do anything to help the car stop or turn on snow, ice, or any other tricky situation.

When driving in bad conditions, like on snow or wet roads, drivers determine their traction based on how easy wheels spin when they press on the gas. AWD reduces wheelspin (loss of traction) and can often make drivers think that their traction is better than it really is, leading to a false–and dangerous–sense of security.

Why is This Important?

You may be wondering why this information is important. Well, being a car owner can seem difficult and complicated, so knowing information like this above can really help you. It can make or break your car-owning experience and even your car-driving experience. Knowing your car will even help you drive your car more safely and help you remain experienced with your Subaru.

If this information seems unimportant or irrelevant, it is definitely not! This information is essential for your Subaru-owning experience. We hoped this article fulfilled your needs and answered your questions! Good luck!

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