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I'm thinking of buying a car with automatic 4x4 - meaning it's front wheel drive most of the time, but becomes an all-wheel-drive when necessary. I heard rav4 is one such car.

My question is, when it detects wheel slip it engages all wheel drive. But when does it DISengage all wheel drive? As soon as the wheels stop slipping? If it does that, wouldn't that case the wheels to slip, not slip, then slip, then not slip when on slippery surface?

Also, when it is in all wheel drive mode, does it have a limited slip center differential, or are front and back wheels lock together?
 

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they system uses wheel sensors to monitor and predict traction like 1000 times a second.. and will divert up to 50% torque to the rear if needed. and when the traction control is on, it will brake wheels that lose traction and send power to the one that do.. if you have the awd lock button turned on. it will do a 50\50 split front to rear up to 25 mph. system works great.. i have a cabin that has very steep and rocky\dirt road to get there.. did not have any issues.. cant wait till winter... i had no issues going where my dads jeep liberty went.. hope this helps.
 

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Nice! I've wondered how the awd works, very informative.

Quick question though, when I press sport mode.. i notice that the 'sport' icon on the dash will disapear after a while. Is this normal ?
 

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not sure about it turning off on its own while driving, but sport mode will turn off when you turn off the car.. eco\normal will stay at what ever setting you leave them at.
 

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Sport mode turns off via button or ignition switch. When on you can turn it off by pushing the sport mode button or by turning off the ignition to the vehicle.
 
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