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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry if some of you have seen this before on another site. I am aware of the 3 selection types as in the topic title. However, what is the general feeling on which is best to use. MY XT never goes off road and I live in a very flat part of suburban UK. I have heard that when using 2WD it can cause excessive front tyre wear, when in Auto can cause mechanical issues, and in 4WD will provide poor fuel economy. I am good at keeping tyre pressures at the recommended level and do check/top up as required. Anyone out there have thoughts/exeperience on this?
 

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First question is do you need a four wheel drive?
Personaly I keep it in Auto, as it is only used when required and if it is required I want to use it!!
Can't see where you are coming from with the comment of this causing mechanical probs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
In all honesty, probably don't need a 4x4, however i do have a large German Shepherd and she loves the XT! With regard to the AUTO selection there is a debate regarding permanent usage of the AUTO mode. Nissan people told us is not very good for certain elements of the transmission.
 

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I've always been advised to just leave it in auto, never had any problems with the transmission in 4 years either.
 
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Hi spm1801

1. If you live (and drive) in a flat part of suburban UK then you do not NEED 4WD. But, if you and your dog like the X-Trail, then you get one. Simple as that. It's a lovely car.

2. Usage of 4WD. With the type of 4WD used on the X-Trail, never NEVER use 4WD on any normal road. Because there is no differential twixt the front and rear wheels, you will get a nasty thing called "Transmission Windup". You will notice this when you need to use more throttle (gas) to maintain speed. Eventually you will grind to a halt. It may be that on the X-Trail you can get out of this by switching the drive selector off of 4WD, but damage may have already been caused. So, only use 4WD in muddy/snowy situations and only then when Auto can't cope.

3. Usage of Auto. This is OK to use on normal dry roads but it will cause very slightly higher fuel and tyre consumption. The reason is that the vehicle will be in 2WD when driving in a straight line, but on cornering, there will be a slight difference in the wheel speeds relative to each other which may cause the clutch driving the rear wheels to engage. This will cause a very slight amount of transmission windup while cornering, but will be released once the wheels are rotating at the same speed again. However, using Auto in bad weather, rain, snow etc would be a good thing giving better grip on acceleration.

4. Usage of 2WD. This is the setting for most of your driving (flat urban). Any front wheel drive vehicle will have slightly more wear on the front wheels 'cos they are doing all the work. Excessive wear, however, is mostly due to a heavy right foot.

4. Conclusion. In your case, it would seem that 2WD drive would be the preferred setting, with Auto used as needed in bad weather. I should add that the extra fuel and tyre consumption in Auto will be miniscule compared to the extra caused by a heavy right foot, so don't worry about it.

Roger.
 
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If you tow with your Xtrail, I'd say leave it in auto when towing. We changed from a 2.7 TDI Terrano to the XT, and when towing in 2wd grip isn't good - auto solves this nicely.

Agree with the above points about not using 4wd lock on hard surfaces due to risk of damage.
 

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Hi

I suppose it depends on what you're towing and the type of roads.

I tow around 4,000 miles per annum with a 1366kg caravan, but mainly on motorways and A class roads.

My 04 2.2 dci was only put into 4wd once (showing off to the grandchildren) and I never used Auto. Sure enough the front wheels did spin a couple of times, mainly when pulling away sharpish at a junction where plenty of loose grit was on the tarmac.

I shall probably use my 08 model in exactly the same way.

Xacre
 

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2WD in the dry, AUTO in the slippery, 4WD in the rough.

The car will put itself into AUTO mode when it likes, regardless of the switch position. However, the switch provides the bias that you require for pulling away.

Never drive on dry hard surfaces in 4WD mode for the reasons explained in previous posts.
 
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I've had my exxy in Auto for the last 3months - I live at 750metres, in the clouds. It's been the Wet season here in the tropics with continual rain and water over the roads. Got good wet weather tyres (Cooper CS4s). If it fines up for more than a week I might put it back into 2wd. If you're in flat suburban area I'd keep in 2wd most of the time, unless it rains - or snows of course.
cheers
Julie
 
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4 wd lock is the only one to be weary off.if you wind up the transmission the shock when it releases can damage the clutch.
 
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A mate of mine is head mechanic at a Nissan dealer in the North West, he has told me to drive in 'AUTO' about 85% of the time and every now and then put it back in to 2WD (unless the weather is dodgy). LOCK is really only for difficult conditions as mentioned earlier on in the thread. And in case anyone was wondering why I joined this forum in the first place - I dont like ringing him all the time and also I can pass information on to people on here!
Hope that helps
 

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Hi Guys.
I agree with all thats been said on this subject, and i too use my XT mainly in 2wd with occasional Auto use if its slippery. But, does anyone know if i would suffer the issues mentioned using prolonged 4wd with my XT having automatic transmission ?
Cheers.
Andy.
 
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Hi Andy,
Yes, you can suffer transmission problems in 4WD with an auto box.

Reason:
The drive train is from the engine, through the gearbox (auto or manual) then splits between the front and rear axles. The final split is between the two pairs of wheels via a differential in each axle. The problem arises because there is no differential between the front and rear axles, so the type of gearbox has no bearing on the problem.

Roger.
 

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Ive read the posts that say if you use the 4 wheel drive option you could suffer transmission problems but how long are we talking about before damage occurs.If it snowed for a week or two could you leave it in permanent 4 wheel drive or would this be risky just how long would be ok.New to all this so alot to learn.Thanks Dave
 

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Can't understand what all the confusion of which mode to have the 4X4 system in.

The simple answer is AUTO.

You don't need to go "off road" to need a 4X4 these days with the ever changing conditions of rain, ice and snow on British roads let alone the quality of them.

The innovative design of the X-Trail 4X4 system makes the decision for you when in auto, it engages the system when it senses it needs it, not an afterthought like in other 'out of date' 4X4's where you are most likely in trouble by the time you have manually engaged 4WD, which you have had to stop to do so.

Had my X-Trail for 3 years now and its has been permanently in Auto mode with no transmission or tyre problems.
 

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To be honest, I regret that I didn't bought a four wheel drive. It's better in the mud and snow. I know: when dó you have that much snow? Hell yeah, but when you need a four wheel drive and you have one, you go where others stop... And if you have one of your crazy days and want to take a drive through the rough, you can. More fuel? I don't know, but hardly.
 

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Just checked my T31, and I thought is was the same on the T30, the switch says
2WD
Auto
Lock

And it is lock that should not be used in dry conditions.

I have been using Auto for months and faily recently switched to 2WD and have notice no difference in mpg and I am one of those nerds that logs every litre that goes in.
 

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Roger43 said:
Hi Andy,
Yes, you can suffer transmission problems in 4WD with an auto box.

Reason:
The drive train is from the engine, through the gearbox (auto or manual) then splits between the front and rear axles. The final split is between the two pairs of wheels via a differential in each axle. The problem arises because there is no differential between the front and rear axles, so the type of gearbox has no bearing on the problem.

Roger.
Is it true that an X-Trail has no centre diff then? How does it engage 4WD - is there some sort of dog clutch between the back of the gearbox and the rear proshaft (or something like that)? Also, when in "Auto" how does it decide when to engage the rear propshaft? Is it when there is enough loss of traction on either front wheel to make the orange traction control light flash?
 

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I am sure ,it states in my hand book thet 4 wheel lock only works up to speeds of 18mph, any speed above 18mph and the 4wd reverts back to auto
 
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