Many people do not know what wheel system in their car they need before going to dealership. The assumption is that the more wheels you have powered, the better the overall experience a car will give you. This is not necessarily the case. Depending on where you live, the weather, and road conditions, the system you have in your car can help you or only get in the way. We are here to explain the difference in all of them and hopefully give you the knowledge to help you purchase the proper vehicle for your lifestyle.
Rear vs. Front Wheel
It can be noted that whatever positives a rear-wheel drive has is the opposites in the front-wheel and vice versa. Rear-wheel drive is best fit for racing because it gives better initial acceleration and it allows for certain turning techniques to be achieved. It has increase weight and balance because the weight is transferred from the front to the back, making it almost 50/50. If you have an SUV, a rear-wheel driving car is a necessity, so your car doesn’t have its rear wheels in the sky. Front-wheel drive makes a vehicle weigh less and brings down the production and fuel cost. Front-wheel drive also allows for better traction. A front-wheel driving car also has the perfect weight split, but with just less weight. Acceleration and speed wise, a front-wheel drive will best a rear wheel driving car in the long-run due to it’s lower weight. Technology has advanced enough so that anti-lock braking and traction control keep either front or rear-wheel drive is as competitive as full or all-wheel drive. It can be said that most cars have front wheel driving systems, but rear-wheel driving cars are still around, even if they aren’t SUVs.
All-Wheel vs. Four-Wheel
The difference between these two systems has only decreased. There seems to be almost no difference now. Even the lead engineer on the Jeep Grand Cherokee said, “today, there’s no clear line between all-wheel and four-wheel drive”. The main difference, a decade ago, was that four-wheel driving cars are best built for off-roading and that all-wheel drive best suits on-road vehicles. Some all-wheel driving cars are part-time, meaning that the front wheels are powered and power to the other two wheels are only given when needed. The other kind of all-wheel systems is full-time, which operates much like a 4-wheel driving car, but it is not meant for serious off- roading. Four-wheel driving cars have two systems as well and they operate almost the same. The driver must make it so their SUV or truck powers all four wheels are powered to off-road. A full-time four-wheel driving car is simply on an off-roading system all the time.
Which is Right for You?
Many people would prefer a four-wheel or all-wheel drive. However, these systems will make a vehicle and maintenance more expensive. Weight will also increase along with worse fuel efficiency. However, resale prices will not depreciate as much as a two wheel system. Also, a four-wheel system will not cost you as much as two-wheel systems in the long-run because they are more efficient on most roads and surfaces. Two-wheel driving cars are still effective for them. If you aren’t rocking an off-road vehicle or a sports car, two-wheel systems will be great, but preferably front-wheel systems (because that’s just how most cars nowadays are made).
The Right Tires
No matter what system you end up getting, make sure that you have the right wheels on your car. The wrong tire can slow you down or even ruin your vehicle if you are on the wrong surface. Obviously, don’t use snow tires on pavement or on-road tires on the snow. You want the proper tires, so you can get the best performance from whichever system you have. A two-wheel drive can outperform an all-wheel or four-wheel drive with the correct wheels for the surface. Your car should come with the right tires for your lifestyle anyways, but if you are visiting a different state that has different roads and weather, ask your local repair shop to give you a change of tires.
We hope that this information can help you at a dealership or possibly make you reconsider the car in your life that will service you better. Most dealerships should give you this information, if not ask, but this will surely save you some time at the dealership.