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Auto Talk: AWD, FWD, or RWD?

automotive service Falconer

Have you ever talked with someone who insisted they were right about which drive type is preferable? It is a common topic that gets brought up, but who is really right? Which drive type is best? 

There is probably not a "right" answer because each type has its benefits. People usually choose their vehicles and drive types for specific reasons.

Take, for example, FWD. Not many individuals would buy a sports car that operates through FWD, because of its poor handling and the understeer that occurs from the power being directed into the front wheels. So it doesn’t make sense to buy a FWD if you want a track ready sports car.

What if you live in an area with icy winters? You probably don't want RWD. RWD cars are notorious for getting stuck in the snow. We have known auto owners who swore by RWD before they had to navigate a snow-packed road and subsequently started to rethink their preference and better appreciate the advantages of FWD.

What are the advantages of RWD? There is ample evidence that they are sturdier and less prone to being damaged and needing a pricey repairs. They also provide better handling than AWD due to the drivetrain weight being more evenly distributed.

Some drivers appreciate RWD for a less-utilitarian characteristic. RWD is best for "spinning doughnuts," or making handbrake turns. For those of you who have never dreamed of being a stunt driver, "spinning doughnuts" is a common term for drifting tightly in a circle as fast as possible, just for the fun of it. It is best performed off public streets in a wide, open area without any other cars around. Of course, the team at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair certainly doesn't endorse any type of irresponsible driving. (If I passed a large, empty, parking lot, it would never cross my mind to take a few minutes to practice my James Bond moves.)

You might be asking at this point; "Isn't the AWD type the best choice because it works well in bad weather conditions while delivering decent handling?"

Though we see AWD in some big ticket sports cars, even AWD proves to have its disadvantages. For one, AWD significantly ups the sticker price, in some cases up to $3,000. The increased complexity of AWD is more costly to maintain and repair and while your car's handling improves, the overall power going to the wheels is reduced. AWD also adds considerable weight to the automobile which affects MPG.

Another essential element to look at is that features such as electronic stability control and traction control improve handling power for all drive types. Only you can determine which drive type is best for you. Regardless of your choice, I-86 Truck & Auto Repair will take care of your car.