A transfer case is a specialized component that is used on four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles. It is essential on vehicles that use both front and rear axles to drive. And in the case of 4x4s, each of the four wheels need to be powered.

In the simplest of terms, a transfer case will split up the engine power and send it to all four wheels using the front and rear axles. It is the center of the drivetrain system on all-wheel and four-wheel drive vehicles. Off-road vehicles may utilize a transfer case that contains one or more sets of lower gears to handle the most demanding terrain.

There are many different types of all-wheel and four-wheel drive configurations, and each will require a different type of transfer case. For instance, a vehicle that is always in four-wheel drive will have the simplest type of transfer case. This is compared to a part-time 4WD or a more modern “Active” 4WD, which will have more complex systems to run the vehicle in different drive modes.

A transfer case receives power from the engine and diverts it to the front and rear axles. The differential(s) will also aid in disbursing the power so that the car handles as well as possible. Some transfer cases will use chains, some will use hydraulics and some will use gears.

Transfer cases on AWD and 4WD vehicles are just one example of the complex drivetrain system that powers your car. Power goes from the engine to the transmission, and then the transmission sends power to the rest of the components that actually move the car. Driveshafts, differentials, transfer cases, drive axles, and wheels all must be working in perfect unison for your vehicle to perform well.

That’s why when it comes to your transfer case, transmission or any key drivetrain components, you want an expert on your side who will help your vehicle run as well as possible. Count on the team at Ralph’s Transmission to provide the knowledgeable service and quality repairs you need. Call today at 209.526.1909.