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Discussion Starter #1
Bought the '17 Tundra last year. First brand new vehicle after driving 35 years and truly love the truck.

However, was reading an article the other day saying, "to keep the 4x4 lubricated you should drive at least 10-miles a month in 4-High." Our winter was very mild last year and I have only used 4H once all summer when she got into some sand. Less than 20 yards.

Thought I would ask the 4x4 pros. Is it a myth or should I try and drive a bit in 4x4 to keep everything lubricated? AND before you say it, I SHOULD be out rock climbing and crawling every weekend. And someday will...once the "new" wears off...

Thanks for you patience with a newbie...
 

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It's a good idea to run a 4WD in 4WD every now and again. What Toyota recommends? I find it a bit excessive myself. I have a 2017, 5.7L, 4WD. I DON'T rock climb/crawl or even off road. So whenever I can remember and the time/place are right I'll run it in 4WD high for a few miles. Never really more than that.

YMMV.
 

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LOL, in the 9 years I had my tundra I think the 4WD maybe got used a dozen times, last winter it got used the most. I never did the whole engage the 4WD and drive 10 miles nonsense and have never had an issue with any 4WD system in any of my vehicles. You'll do more damage to it running oversize tires and pounding on it offroad than you will by not following the 4WD lubrication suggestion. Sure it won't hurt anything...except your fuel economy, but I doubt it would make any difference to the system one way or the other.
 

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The recommendation to engage 4x4 on occasion is preventive maintenance to keep what needs to slide/engage/disengage from locking up over time. It's a very real occurrence, be it rare for most.

Turn the 4x4 knob on and off a couple times a year and pat yourself on the back...job well done.
 

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The recommendation to engage 4x4 on occasion is preventive maintenance to keep what needs to slide/engage/disengage from locking up over time. It's a very real occurrence, be it rare for most.

Turn the 4x4 knob on and off a couple times a year and pat yourself on the back...job well done.
This.

Or make a point to enjoy a little dirt now and then. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I knew this would be the group to ask!!!

Many thanks for the advice and I'll just use the 4x4 a few times a year just to be safe but not go overboard.

And, Luminoz, someday I'll be taking your advice. In a few years, I'll be asking about a beginners guide to off roading. Would LOVE to try it, but not sure where to start. I can't do a lift kit or anything (at 52 might be a bit long in the tooth for that), but would like to really test the truck/me someday.
 

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Don't feel like you have to have a lift, lights, and <insert name of aftermarket thing here> to go off road. A stock truck, some basic recovery gear, and common sense will get you to a TON of awesome places.
Absolutely!

And to respond to the OP's OQ, the seals on 4wd parts can dry out and crack if not lubricated on a regular basis. Greased items such as u joints on the driveshaft can also develop flat spots or spots where the grease has migrated to one side and left the needle bearings on one side without lubrication. The centrifugal force of the spinning driveshaft normally drives the grease out of the center and in to the arms of the u joint where the needle bearings are. Engaging 4wd on a regular basis helps prevent these things from happening. So, even though I don't often use 4wd for extended periods of time, I try to engage 4wd as oft as is convenient. For example, even though I don't need to use 4wd on a dry dirt road, I'll put it in 4wd for a bit just get things lubed. Gives me a good excuse to find a dirt road every now and again :)
 

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I don't have a 4x4 tundra but when I had my 95.5' Toyota Pu (non-Tacoma) I had heard that you wanted to activate your 4x4 at least once a month or so. As for the distance, I was told that driving the distance of one or two city blocks (dirt alley) or the equivalent was sufficient.

10 miles of 4x4 engagement seems a little steep to me. As just a guess, 75% of 4x4 owners might engage their 4x4 once or twice a year. The actual percentage will obviously change due to each individuals geographic locations.

It's a good idea to exercise your equipment every now and again. It's more fun that way.
 

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What about 4wd Lo? Should we also put our truck in LO every now and then so LO stays lubricated too?
There are two objectives. One is to keep the 4WD system (u-joints etc.) lubricated. This can be accomplished by driving some distance in 4Hi. A good excuse for doing some driving on a gravel road each month. The second objective is to keep the electromechanical actuators exercised to avoid atrophy. This would involve also engaging 4Lo, which could be done in your driveway.

I like the idea of accomplishing this on or about the 4th of each month. Fourth day for four wheel drive. 4 for 4. See:

It's Time to Exercise Your Actuators - Toyota Tundra Forums : Tundra Solutions Forum
 
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