Cars come in all different shapes and sizes, and the car you drive is often based on your needs. Whether it is a family car with plenty of seats or a sports car with room for just you and your partner, there are plenty of different vehicles to choose from when it comes time to buying a new model. Whilst we tend to make a lot of considerations when buying a new car one of the ones that rarely enter the mind is the drive train of the car.
The drive train is often referred to as being either front wheel, rear wheel or four wheel drive. Most cars will come with either of the first two options with larger vehicles like sports utility vehicles being four wheel drives. Each variety has certain characteristics and can vastly affect the handling of your car not only in general but especially in poor weather conditions.
Front Wheel Drive (FWD)
Front Wheel Drive means that your car is steered and powered forward by your front wheels. This means that your car is not going to hold a turn as well as other drive train types as your rear wheels are essentially doing nothing, they are along for the ride as the saying goes. It does have its advantages though as it is much harder to induce a spin making FWD cars much more stable to drive.
Rear Wheel Drive (RWD)
RWD cars can hold a harder turn much better than the FWD cars as, the throttle can also be used to boost steering, the underground motorsport of “drifting” is famed for using high powered RWD cars as they are able to maintain power in a skid. Obviously you won’t be doing this during safe, regular driving but rear wheel drive can be prone to skidding so you should be careful in adverse conditions as the back end can try to take the lead.
Four Wheel Drive (4WD)
Four Wheel Drive is famously used in 4x4s, larger Sports Utility Vehicles like Land Rovers and cars which will be dealing with varied terrain and their large weight would need torque delivered to all four wheels. This means that snow, ice and mud can be handled (at controlled speeds) easier than the other two drive train types but can be risky as 4WD drivers can have a false sense of security and confidence which may mean they drive more recklessly.
As with every other car type you should make sure that in poor weather that you take care, drive slower than usual and avoid worst hit areas. Snow in particular in the past few months has caught drivers of all types: Front, Rear and four wheel drive out so make sure you drive conservatively when the weather sours.