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AWD Design Characteristics


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9 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   philjacq

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 10:46 AM

All-wheel drive is standard with the twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 and optional on the 3.7-liter V6. In good weather, over smooth roads at modest speeds and when AWD is not needed, the system intelligently routes power only to the front wheels for improved fuel efficiency.

When driver input or road conditions indicate that slip might occur, the system sends power to the rear wheels to help prevent tire slip, for example on rain-soaked or snow-covered roads. Beyond providing more traction, AWD also improves handling by helping to reduce understeer, the tendency of the vehicle to "push" in a corner.

A myriad of inputs enables the computer-controlled system immediately to identify and react in as little as 16 milliseconds to changing road conditions and driver demands. The amount of torque sent to the rear axle varies depending on road conditions and dynamic needs.

Above is a published description of the AWD in the new 2013 MKS that will be available in the spring of next year. I'm wondering how much of that description applies to my 2010 MKS AWD 3.5L. Am I really driving a FWD vehicle while driving over smooth roads at modest speeds?








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#2 OFFLINE   ctrcbob

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 01:36 PM

All-wheel drive is standard with the twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 and optional on the 3.7-liter V6. In good weather, over smooth roads at modest speeds and when AWD is not needed, the system intelligently routes power only to the front wheels for improved fuel efficiency.

When driver input or road conditions indicate that slip might occur, the system sends power to the rear wheels to help prevent tire slip, for example on rain-soaked or snow-covered roads. Beyond providing more traction, AWD also improves handling by helping to reduce understeer, the tendency of the vehicle to "push" in a corner.

A myriad of inputs enables the computer-controlled system immediately to identify and react in as little as 16 milliseconds to changing road conditions and driver demands. The amount of torque sent to the rear axle varies depending on road conditions and dynamic needs.

Above is a published description of the AWD in the new 2013 MKS that will be available in the spring of next year. I'm wondering how much of that description applies to my 2010 MKS AWD 3.5L. Am I really driving a FWD vehicle while driving over smooth roads at modest speeds?



To answer your question, yes. Our cars are FWD with the AWD cutting in only as needed. Unlike a full time AWD.

On my SHO, the AWD part is "mostly" seamless, as when starting off on a rain soaked road, however a couple times, when I was already moving at a slow speed, and I had to floor it, the system took a half second or a second for the rear wheels to cut in. How do I know this? Because only on those couple times did I get "torque steer", and voilent torque steer at that. Once the rear drive cut in, no more torque steer. (happened to me twice). Does not happen if i floor it from a stop sign.
Bob CTRC
USN Ret.

Mt. Dora, FL (It Could Be Better)
Penfield, NY (A Quiet Suburb)
Roswell, NM (Alien Central)

2010 Ford Taurus SHO
2011 Lincoln MKZ

#3 OFFLINE   Waldo

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 08:07 AM

The 2013 system is pretty much exactly the same as the one in the 09-current MKS.

But saying it runs in FWD mode for "improved fuel economy" is a real stretch. You'd never be able to calculate the improvements even if you had a certified test lab.

#4 OFFLINE   anthony18_7

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Posted 18 December 2014 - 10:36 AM

I fear my AWD is having some issues. I accelerated at an intersection yesterday on a snow covered road and when it slipped all I heard was the traction control on the front wheels. Why wouldn't the AWD have kicked in at that point? There has to be something wrong doesn't there?


Edited by anthony18_7, 18 December 2014 - 10:37 AM.


#5 OFFLINE   RedMKS

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 03:26 PM

Question I have is I'm getting poor gas milage and I'm thinking my AWD is engaged all the time. I'm looking for a why to turn off the AWD and turn it back on as I chose. Has anyone learned how to disengage the AWD and go just to front wheel drive?



#6 OFFLINE   robertlane

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 09:26 PM

Question I have is I'm getting poor gas milage and I'm thinking my AWD is engaged all the time. I'm looking for a why to turn off the AWD and turn it back on as I chose. Has anyone learned how to disengage the AWD and go just to front wheel drive?

 

Can you selectively turn this off or is it something controlled by the computer?


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#7 OFFLINE   brucelinc

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 09:59 AM

You cannot selectively turn this off.  Technically, it can be defeated by disconnecting some wiring at the rear differential but that should NOT be done.  The result in doing that would be torque steer with the ecoboost power, reduced handling capability and near ZERO impact on fuel economy.  The weight of the AWD system would still be there and all of the parts would still be turning.



#8 OFFLINE   Waldo

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 11:59 AM

Yep, you're still going to be carrying the weight of the AWD components and they still spin even when not transferring power to the rear, so there is no way to improve fuel economy without physically unbolting all the parts.



#9 OFFLINE   CarThrasher

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 03:56 PM

Has anyone done an oil change on the rear AWD unit?  Not sure if there is one "compartment" for lube or two. Been looking for a diagram/drawing. Fill plug in the cover. Thanks



#10 OFFLINE   brucelinc

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 08:01 AM

Has anyone done an oil change on the rear AWD unit?  Not sure if there is one "compartment" for lube or two. Been looking for a diagram/drawing. Fill plug in the cover. Thanks

 

I have changed the lube in the RDU.   Just suck out the old and refill with new.  There is only one "compartment."


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