Dear Dr. Boli: What’s the difference between “four-wheel drive” and “all-wheel drive”? I counted all the wheels on my car, and I only came up with four. —Sincerely, Elon Musk.

Dear Sir: You left one wheel out of your reckoning. With four-wheel drive, the four external wheels are powered and move the vehicle. With all-wheel drive, the same is true, but in the event of a loss of traction, the steering wheel will get out and push.


  1. Von Hindenburg says:

    Does this mean that Teslas with a steering yoke, rather than wheel are 4WD, or do they just have an irreparable flat? (Even more irreparable since Teslas don’t come with spare tires.)

  2. RepubAnon says:

    Perhaps “all wheel drive” includes the Wheel of Karma? Loss of traction may be the consequences of the driver’s past poor decisions.

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