How Subaru AWD Works: Unlocking the Secrets of All-Wheel Drive

How subaru awd works – Prepare to delve into the captivating world of Subaru’s All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system, a technological marvel that redefines driving experiences. As we embark on this journey, we’ll unravel the intricacies of this exceptional system, exploring its components, working principles, and the myriad benefits it offers.

Subaru’s AWD system stands as a beacon of innovation, empowering drivers with unparalleled traction, stability, and handling in diverse driving conditions. Join us as we uncover the secrets behind this automotive masterpiece, understanding how it distributes power seamlessly to all four wheels, enhancing your driving experience like never before.

Introduction: How Subaru Awd Works

All-Wheel Drive (AWD) is a drivetrain system that distributes engine power to all four wheels of a vehicle. This is in contrast to two-wheel drive (2WD) systems, which send power to only two wheels, typically the front or rear wheels.

Subaru’s AWD system is renowned for its stability and traction, using a symmetrical layout that distributes power evenly between all four wheels. However, some older Subaru models have experienced issues with RTV silicone sealant leaking from the engine. To address this, Subaru has implemented improvements to its manufacturing process.

If you’re concerned about this issue, it’s worth checking if your Subaru is affected by visiting has subaru fixed the rtv issue . Subaru’s AWD system continues to provide excellent handling and performance, making it a top choice for drivers seeking a capable and reliable all-wheel-drive vehicle.

AWD systems provide a number of advantages over 2WD systems, including improved traction, stability, and handling. This is especially beneficial in slippery conditions, such as snow, ice, or rain.

The Subaru all-wheel drive system is a complex and sophisticated piece of engineering. It works by using a series of differentials and clutches to distribute power to all four wheels, providing excellent traction and stability in all conditions. However, some Subaru models have been known to experience oil consumption problems.

Has Subaru fixed the oil consumption problem ? The answer is yes, Subaru has taken steps to address this issue in recent years. By redesigning the piston rings and using a different type of oil, Subaru has been able to significantly reduce oil consumption in its vehicles.

As a result, Subaru owners can now enjoy the benefits of all-wheel drive without having to worry about excessive oil consumption.

Significance of Subaru’s AWD System

Subaru is a Japanese automaker that has been producing AWD vehicles since the 1970s. Subaru’s AWD system is considered one of the best in the industry, and it is a major selling point for the company’s vehicles.

Subaru’s AWD system is unique in that it uses a symmetrical layout, with the engine, transmission, and drivetrain all located in the center of the vehicle. This layout helps to distribute weight evenly and provides for a more balanced and stable driving experience.

Components of Subaru AWD

Subaru’s AWD system consists of several core components, each playing a crucial role in distributing power to all four wheels for enhanced traction and stability.

Central Differential

The central differential is the heart of the AWD system. It divides the engine’s power between the front and rear axles, ensuring a balanced distribution under various driving conditions.

Front and Rear Differentials, How subaru awd works

The front and rear differentials are located at the axles and further distribute power to each individual wheel. They allow the wheels to rotate at different speeds when cornering or navigating uneven terrain, preventing wheel slip.


Driveshafts connect the transmission to the differentials and axles, transferring power from the engine to the wheels. They ensure smooth and efficient power delivery.


Axles are solid shafts that transmit power from the differentials to the wheels. They are responsible for carrying the vehicle’s weight and providing a stable connection between the wheels and the suspension.

Electronic Control Unit (ECU)

The ECU is the brain of the AWD system. It monitors driving conditions and adjusts the power distribution between the wheels accordingly. It ensures optimal traction and stability by managing the system’s components.

Working Principle

Subaru’s AWD system is renowned for its ability to distribute power to all four wheels, providing exceptional traction and handling in various driving conditions. The key to this system lies in the center differential, which plays a crucial role in power distribution.

The center differential is a mechanical device that allows the front and rear axles to rotate at different speeds, ensuring that power is distributed evenly between the wheels. When driving on a straight road, the center differential locks, sending equal power to both axles.

However, when the car encounters turns or uneven terrain, the center differential unlocks, allowing the wheels to rotate at different speeds, preventing the car from binding or losing traction.

Role of the Center Differential in Power Distribution

The center differential plays a critical role in ensuring optimal power distribution to all four wheels. It operates in two primary modes:

  • Locked Mode:In this mode, the center differential locks, sending equal power to both the front and rear axles. This is ideal for driving on straight roads or in situations where maximum traction is required.
  • Unlocked Mode:When the car encounters turns or uneven terrain, the center differential unlocks, allowing the front and rear axles to rotate at different speeds. This prevents the car from binding or losing traction, ensuring smooth handling and stability.

Advantages of Subaru AWD

Subaru’s AWD system provides numerous advantages in various driving conditions. It enhances traction, stability, and handling, making it an ideal choice for drivers who demand performance and safety in all-weather conditions.

Enhanced Traction

AWD distributes power to all four wheels, ensuring that each wheel receives the optimal amount of torque. This results in improved traction on slippery surfaces, such as snow, ice, and mud. The system helps prevent wheels from slipping, providing better acceleration and control.

Improved Stability

By distributing power to all wheels, AWD helps maintain vehicle stability, especially when cornering or driving on uneven terrain. The system reduces the risk of oversteer or understeer, making the vehicle more responsive and predictable.

Exceptional Handling

AWD improves handling by providing better grip and control in all driving conditions. The system helps keep the vehicle planted on the road, reducing body roll and improving overall agility. This enhances the driving experience, making it more enjoyable and confident.

Types of Subaru AWD Systems

Subaru has developed several types of AWD systems to cater to different vehicle models and driving conditions. These systems vary in terms of their design, capabilities, and applications.

The three main types of Subaru AWD systems are:

Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (SAWD)

The Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (SAWD) system is the most common type of AWD system used by Subaru. It is a full-time AWD system that provides power to all four wheels at all times, even when driving on dry pavement. The SAWD system is designed to provide optimal traction and stability in all driving conditions, including snow, ice, rain, and off-road.

Active All-Wheel Drive (AWD)

The Active All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system is a part-time AWD system that only engages the rear wheels when needed. The AWD system is designed to improve fuel economy by reducing power loss when driving on dry pavement. The AWD system is typically used on smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Variable Torque Distribution (VTD) AWD

The Variable Torque Distribution (VTD) AWD system is a full-time AWD system that can vary the amount of torque sent to the front and rear wheels. The VTD system is designed to provide optimal traction and stability in all driving conditions, including snow, ice, rain, and off-road.

The VTD system is typically used on higher-performance vehicles.

Maintenance and Care

Maintaining Subaru’s AWD system is crucial for optimal performance and longevity. Regular inspections and fluid changes are essential.

Inspections should include checking fluid levels, inspecting driveshafts and boots for leaks or damage, and examining tires for uneven wear. Fluid changes should be performed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, typically every 30,000 to 60,000 miles.

Subaru’s All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system provides impressive traction and stability on various terrains. Its unique design distributes power evenly between all four wheels, ensuring optimal grip and handling. Additionally, AWD plays a significant role in enhancing towing capabilities. Can Subarus tow ? Absolutely! The AWD system, combined with the vehicle’s robust construction, allows Subarus to tow trailers with ease.

When not towing, the AWD system continues to deliver exceptional performance, providing a smooth and confident driving experience.

Fluid Changes

  • Use high-quality synthetic fluids recommended by Subaru.
  • Replace both the front and rear differential fluids simultaneously.
  • Check the fluid level regularly and top up if necessary.

Tire Maintenance

  • Maintain proper tire pressure as specified in the owner’s manual.
  • Rotate tires regularly to ensure even wear.
  • Inspect tires for uneven wear, cuts, or bulges.

Additional Maintenance

  • Have the AWD system inspected by a qualified technician during regular service intervals.
  • Avoid aggressive driving and excessive wheel spin.
  • If the AWD system warning light illuminates, have it checked by a mechanic immediately.

Comparisons with Other AWD Systems

Subaru’s AWD system stands out from other popular AWD systems in several key aspects. Here’s a comparative analysis:

Unique Features of Subaru’s AWD

  • Symmetrical Design:Subaru’s AWD system is designed with a symmetrical layout, which means the driveline components are evenly distributed on both sides of the vehicle. This provides excellent balance and stability, especially on slippery or uneven surfaces.
  • Permanent All-Wheel Drive:Subaru’s AWD system is permanently engaged, meaning power is continuously sent to all four wheels, regardless of driving conditions. This provides consistent traction and control in all situations, from dry pavement to snow-covered roads.
  • Active Torque Vectoring:Some Subaru models feature active torque vectoring, which uses sensors to monitor wheel slip and distribute torque to individual wheels. This enhances handling and stability, especially during cornering and on uneven terrain.

Advantages of Subaru’s AWD

  • Improved Traction and Control:Subaru’s AWD system provides superior traction and control in all driving conditions, ensuring a safe and confident driving experience.
  • Enhanced Stability:The symmetrical design and permanent all-wheel drive contribute to excellent stability, reducing the risk of rollovers and other accidents.
  • Better Handling:The active torque vectoring feature improves handling, allowing drivers to navigate corners with confidence and precision.

Overall, Subaru’s AWD system is highly regarded for its unique features and advantages, offering drivers exceptional traction, control, and stability in a wide range of driving conditions.

Applications and Examples

How subaru awd works

Subaru’s AWD system shines in various real-world applications, enhancing driving experiences across diverse environments.

AWD provides exceptional traction and stability, making it an ideal choice for navigating slippery roads, tackling off-road trails, and ensuring safe and confident driving in adverse weather conditions.

Enhanced Driving Experience in Different Environments

In snowy and icy conditions, Subaru’s AWD system ensures optimal traction, allowing drivers to maintain control and navigate treacherous roads with ease.

When driving on unpaved roads or off-road terrain, AWD provides enhanced grip, enabling drivers to traverse rough surfaces and navigate obstacles with confidence.

In rainy weather, AWD improves stability and handling, reducing the risk of hydroplaning and ensuring a safer driving experience.


In conclusion, Subaru’s AWD system is a testament to engineering brilliance, providing drivers with an unparalleled driving experience characterized by exceptional traction, stability, and handling. Its versatility extends across various driving conditions, making it an ideal choice for adventure-seekers and everyday commuters alike.

As we bid farewell to this exploration, remember that Subaru’s AWD system stands as a beacon of automotive innovation, continuously pushing the boundaries of driving performance. Embrace the thrill of all-wheel drive with Subaru, and unlock a world of limitless possibilities on every journey you undertake.

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