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My 98 OBW has been running great for the last couple years so I haven’t been around the forum lately but now I need some help. I just put two new tires on today and the guy at the tire shop cautioned me about transfer case problems with AWD. I have heard about this before but really don’t understand how it works. I broke my left rear wheel speed sensor a while back when replacing the bearing (cast aluminum does not like to be tapped:17:). Naturally, my ABS doesn’t work now, but it got me thinking about the AWD. So, three questions (1) Does the AWD system use the wheel speed sensor? (2) Am I doing any damage to my car not having a wheel speed sensor (other than no ABS)? and (3) How does the AWD system work? I tried to search the forum for my answers, but I really wasn’t sure what to search for. Any advice or links are much appreciated. BTW, it is 2.5L automatic.
 

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My 98 OBW has been running great for the last couple years so I haven’t been around the forum lately but now I need some help. I just put two new tires on today and the guy at the tire shop cautioned me about transfer case problems with AWD. I have heard about this before but really don’t understand how it works. I broke my left rear wheel speed sensor a while back when replacing the bearing (cast aluminum does not like to be tapped:17:). Naturally, my ABS doesn’t work now, but it got me thinking about the AWD. So, three questions (1) Does the AWD system use the wheel speed sensor? (2) Am I doing any damage to my car not having a wheel speed sensor (other than no ABS)? and (3) How does the AWD system work? I tried to search the forum for my answers, but I really wasn’t sure what to search for. Any advice or links are much appreciated. BTW, it is 2.5L automatic.
1) As far as I know, wheel speed is measured in the transmission for the AWD...so no.

2) If my response to 1 is correct, then the answer here is no too.

3) Basically, the system continuously varies power front-to-back depending on speed, throttle position, slipping, etc. According to tests done by forum members, it always has a pretty significant amount of power going to the back wheels. See here: http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/61-general-discussions/45751-official-subaru-torque-split-information.html and here: http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/65-parts-accessories-performance/39426-freessm-complete-access-your-ecm-tcu-4.html (start around post 38).

Just two new tires? The guy at the shop was correct (even though there really isn't a transfer case in AWD Subarus)...Bad idea! I would put in the FWD fuse to prevent damage to the drivetrain or replace the other two to match before you do permanent damage or wear down the two you did replace enough to have to buy four new ones again.
 

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Just two new tires? The guy at the shop was correct (even though there really isn't a transfer case in AWD Subarus)...Bad idea! I would put in the FWD fuse to prevent damage to the drivetrain or replace the other two to match before you do permanent damage or wear down the two you did replace enough to have to buy four new ones again.

Great links, thanks. I'd never heard of the FWD fuse till now. I did some reading on the forum and in my manual about it.
 
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