The Toyota FJ Cruiser is equipped with a part-time 4-wheel-drive (4WD) system rather than a full-time 4WD system. This means that the FJ Cruiser primarily operates in rear-wheel-drive (RWD) mode under normal driving conditions, and the driver can manually engage 4WD when additional traction is needed, such as in off-road or slippery conditions.
The part-time 4WD system in the FJ Cruiser typically includes high-range (4H) and low-range (4L) modes, which can be selected by the driver using a transfer case lever or switch. In high-range mode (4H), power is sent to both the front and rear axles to provide improved traction in challenging conditions. In low-range mode (4L), the gearing is adjusted for increased torque and control in extreme off-road situations, such as climbing steep inclines or traversing deep mud or sand.
While part-time 4WD systems like the one found in the FJ Cruiser offer excellent off-road capability, they are not designed for continuous use on dry pavement. Engaging 4WD on dry roads can lead to drivetrain binding and excessive tire wear. Use 4WD only when necessary and to disengage it when returning to normal driving conditions.