It is a common misunderstanding that 4x4 means that all four wheels are turning at the same speed at the same time. When a 4-wheel car turns, the outside tires usually spin faster than the inside tires. The axle differential will pay for the further distance than the outside wheel travels than the inside one. You can learn more about this with 4x4 cars' service manuals.
When you drive on a slippery surface, the power from the engine will go to the wheel with the least sum of traction, so whichever wheel is slipping the most gets the maximum power. That's becauseof the laws of nature. Physics; tell us that force will at all times take the path of least resistance. Polaris Ranger 500 EFI 2x4, 4x4, and 6x6 1999 to 2012 Service Repair Workshop Manual is available here for download.
When an OHV is in four-wheel-drive mode, the front and rear axles are coordinated, so each time, at least one wheel on each of the drive axles can be driven by the engine's power effectively. Download four-wheel-drive manuals here.
If you're in a 2x4 car, you can trick it into acting like a 4x4 by pressing the brake pedal a little to slow down the wheel that's rotating and transfer that wheel's energy to the wheel with traction. 2x4 vehicles' workshop service manuals and repair manuals are available here.
4x4 (4WD) Vehicles
"4x4" in a 4WD car means there are 4 wheels total and 4 wheels that are driven. Utility quads are typically an example of 4x4 (4WD) vehicles.
2x4 (2WD) Vehicles
A 2x4 or 2WD is a car that has a two-wheel-drive (2WD) with four wheels. "2x4" in a 2WD car means there are 4 wheels total and 2 wheels that are driven. The driven wheels can be either front or back wheels but are commonly the back wheels. Sport ATVs are typically an example of a 2x4 vehicle. You can download the 1996-1998 Polaris ATV and Light Utility Vehicle Service Repair Workshop Manual DOWNLOAD (1996 1997 1998) here.
Part-Time 4WD Vehicle
This refers to an OHV that has a 4-wheel drive system that functions on-demand and powers all four wheels by coordinating front and rear axles together through a shift lever. Part-Time 4WDs vehicles usually include two-speed ranges, Hi and Lo. Learn more about this with the 4-wheel drive manual.
Part-time 4WD vehicle systems have to be used in 2WD mode on cement, pavement, or other hard, sticky surfaces. They are made to be engaged only in specific conditions when you require extra traction, and damage can happen if driven on hard surfaces.
Full-Time 4WD Vehicle
This refers to a 4-wheel-drive vehicle system that can be run at all times on all surfaces. Full-time 4-wheel-drive systems typically have the option of part-time operation, so you can shift to 2WD while on pavement or cement. Full-Time 4WD systems do not at all times have the Hi and Lo speed ranges. Download Polaris Ranger 500 2x4, 4x4 Repair and Service Manual 2009 here.
Automatic Four-Wheel Drive (A4WD) Vehicle
This type of vehicle drive system automatically turns on 4WD when it requires it. This is done with monitors that sense different wheel speeds then engage 4WD. The Polaris Ranger Electric Car has this kind of automatic system. Pontiac Vibe 2009 to 2010 Work Service Repair Manual Download is available here.
Shift on the Fly 4WD
This 4-Wheel-Drive system lets the driver manual shift from 2WD to 4WD Hi without halting first. These systems usually have a speed limit at which you can engage the system; normally, it's under 60 mph. OHVs that use an electronic actuator (like a shift lever vs a push-button) will only let shifting to 4WD-Hi while under the rated speed, so pushing the button will not try to engage 4WD.
Cars with a shift lever may not be aware when they are going too fast to shift into 4WD Hi, so doing this can lead to damage. Consult your 2x4 or 4x4 owner's manual if you have an On the Fly 4WD system.
All-Wheel Drive (AWD) Vehicle
An all-wheel-drive is a full-time single-speed 4WD vehicle system that will give power to all four wheels. Each system has a different front-to-rear power supply ratio.
You can really learn a lot with the aid of your 2x4 or 4x4 car service or repair /manual download.
At https://www.repairloader.com/c.php/2x4 , you can download different 2x4 and 4x4 Workshop Service and Repair Manuals. Use the search bar here to find the year and model of the 2x4 or 4x4 vehicle manual you want.