Wheel Hubs – Can You Just Leave Them In Lock? You Might Be Surprised

Free Wheeling Hub Assembly – Lock Position

For those that drive 4WD’s with the conventional Free Wheeling Hub assembly, you may have heard that the 4WD cannot be driven back on a sealed road with them in the Lock position?

This is a myth and the only harm done is to your wallet or purse as leaving them constantly locked will raise fuel consumption by a small amount and slightly increase wear, as there are rotating components but this wear is so minimal it is not even worth consideration in my opinion.

Dial Checking

So YES you CAN leave them constantly locked if you so wish without any mechanical repercussions although at least once every few weeks do check that the dial still turns freely as they can seize up if used in wet muddy conditions. The benefits of having them in the Lock position is that the 4WD can simply engage ‘On the Fly (While in motion) at speed without having to keep stopping to manually rotate before heading off-road.

Do remember that they MUST be both in either the Free or Lock position as what can cause damage is to have either side in a different position.

4WD Manual Locking

In the past 20 years, every 4WD I have owned has had manually locking hubs and they have spent their entire lives in the Lock position as does all the vehicles in my workplace some having done hundreds of thousands of kilometres with NO mechanical side effects. At the end of the day, it is your decision.

– Pete Deas