A four wheel drive ATV or Side By Side (Ranger and RZR) can be either manually or automatically engaged. The system is ideal when you are driving in all kind of Terrains or through some tricky conditions. Normally, your vehicle uses a two wheel drive. This means that power from the engine is transferred through a drive shaft to the rear wheels. They propel the vehicle to move forward. Under normal driving conditions, this should not pose a challenge. However, there are instances where the going can get tough. You may encounter mud or ice. Once the rear wheels start skidding on the slippery surface, your car loses traction.
Four wheel mechanisms use a differential in order to split driving force to all the wheels. In order to engage the system automatically, you only need to press a button or turn a lever. This varies from one make of the car to the other. The RZR or Ranger is one of the most demanding vehicle models for the rugged off-road drives. It is important to understand how this system works especially when you get to a muddy or icy stretch. Say you encounter ice/marshy areas and one of the wheels start spinning. There is a high possibility of getting stuck as the wheels at the rear are the only ones that are in motion.
By engaging all the four wheels, the front ones are able to rotate as well giving the vehicle more power and traction. Thus, you can get out within no time. But you realize that there is still a challenge when one of the spinning wheels gets stuck. With modern traction systems, the vehicle automatically causes the affected wheel to brake while the others get a firm grip allowing you to maneuver your way out. You need some level of skill in doing that.
You should only engage the four wheel drive system during tricky driving conditions. Otherwise if you do this on a normal stretch, the vehicle consumes a lot of fuel. It can also overwhelm you with its power and make it difficult for you to control.