Differences between FWD, RWD, 4WD and AWD
Vehicles of all shape and types act differently on various surfaces depending on whether they feature front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, Four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Each drive has advantages and disadvantages and you might know which drive system your vehicle has. One of the most important is to find the right drive train for you depending on your driving needs.
Let’s take a brief look at how each drive train works; therefore you can determine which one will suitable for your needs.
Front-Wheel Drive (FWD):
Easily the most common drive system found in today’s vehicles. FWD means that the power from the engine is delivered to the front wheels of your vehicle. With FWD, the front wheels are pulling the car and the rear wheels don’t receive any power on their own. A FWD car can be less appealing for a few reasons. First of all, it forces the front tires to do a lot more work. They have to handle turning and acceleration. The majority of the weight is positioned over the front wheels; maintain better traction in the snow. The pros of a FWD vehicle are that they typically get better fuel economy and emits less carbon dioxide. However, performance enthusiasts have claimed FWD vehicles are less fun to drive.
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Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD):
RWD means that the power from the engine is delivered to the rear wheels and the rear wheels push the car forward. The front wheels do not receive any power and are free to maneuver the vehicle. This is an improvement in weight distribution over the FWD system but is less efficient. Rear drive cars and trucks generally don’t do well in slippery conditions, since the rear wheels don’t carry as much weight as the front. However, RWD vehicles can handle more horsepower and higher vehicle weights, which is why it is often found in sports cars, performance sedans, big trucks and race cars. The disadvantage of RWD vehicles is that they do not perform well in poor weather conditions such as rain or snow.
Four Wheel Drive (4WD or 4*4):
4WD means that the power from the engine is delivered to all 4 wheels all of the time 4*4 is engaged and has an option to operate in a RWD format to conserve fuel. The biggest advantage of a 4WD vehicle is that it provides the versatility and power to take on any terrain or weather condition. The con of a 4WD vehicle is that it operates in RWD format most of the time and has less traction then the AWD vehicle.
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All Wheel Drive (AWD):
The AWD system solves the problems associated with FWD and RWD cars. Generally, an AWD system operates as a RWD or FWD vehicle. AWD means that the power is delivered to any 2 of the four wheels at any time. The biggest advantage of an AWD vehicle is that it provides the best traction in all kinds of conditions. When you’ve got four to choose from, instead of only two, your chances of getting some grip improve quite a bit. AWD vehicles do very well in slippery conditions, but tend to sacrifice a small amount of fuel economy.