From: "Evan Osler" <[log in to unmask]>

> Which always made me wonder... (perhaps a stupid question
because I know
> far less about cars than some on this list) what exactly
happens when you
> manually disengage the AWD system on a subaru? I know its
possible - I
> think for towing purposes among other things - but I never hear
of it being
> done or recommended for actual driving.

Pull the proper fuse and the center diff can't lock.  Automatic
non-VDC models only.  Older models would even indicate "FWD" in
the instrument cluster when the fuse was pulled/blown.  Pull yet
another fuse and no more ABS (useful in the snow where panic
stopping distances are shorter if you can lock the wheels to pile
snow in front of them).

> In dry conditions, wouldn't it make
> sense to switch to front-wheel drive, for better gas mileage
alone? Or is
> this something that was never intended in Subaru AWDs?

I don't think they were ever intended to operate that way except
in emergencies.  The recommended towing method is on a flatbed or
with the front raised and the rear wheels on a dolly...

Little known trick for automatic subies:  Putting the gear
selector in second fully-locks the center diff.  Lets you leave
snowy stoplights in a hurry.

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