BUYING A CAR IN 2015

BUYING A CAR IN 2017

(WITHOUT HAVING HEADACHES IN 2018)


Front, Rear, or 4 Wheel Drive

FRONT, REAR, OR 4 WHEEL DRIVE Ö OR ALL WHEEL DRIVE

 

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1967 OLDSMOBILE TORONADO
It was about 35 years ago when just about everything made in America was rear wheel drive.There was the occasional front wheel drive Oldsmobile Toronado or Cadillac El Dorado, but that was just to be different.A few pickups, Suburbans, and Jeeps were four wheel drive, but they were marketed as off-road vehicles.With the gas crisis of the early 1970s, manufacturers started trying to design efficiency into their vehicles.In theory, front wheel drive (with a sideways mounted front engine) is more efficient and takes up less passenger and trunk space than other configurations, so thatís why most American cars are now made in that configuration.The small European economy cars had been made that way since the 1960s, since gas there costs three times what it does in America.Lately, some cars, mostly sports cars have been coming out with four wheel drive, not just for weather driving, but for sports handling.Of course, four wheel drive trucks and SUVs are also very popular, but their drive systems are designed more for off road and bad weather driving.

 

Deciding on front/FWD -, rear/RWD -, or four-wheel drive (4WD)/All Wheel Drive (AWD) - may sound like a major decision, but itís easier than most decisions.If you drive in snow or mud more than just a little, you should look more towards front or four wheel drive vehicles.With the weight over the drive wheels (or all wheels) and the heavy end in front, they are easier to make headway with.Problem with rear engine and rear wheel drive is that with the heavy end in back, when you lose traction, the back end will tend to try to pass the front end.Heavy snow or mud will dictate 4 wheel drive or All Wheel Drive.

 

The difference between 4WD and AWD is that 4WD is a manually selected system, mostly used on trucks, usually involves low range option and has the ability to actually lock the wheels together such that they all turn at the same time.AWD is normally a computer selected system such that the vehicle remains in 2 wheel drive unless the computer senses slippage.It will then engage the other two wheels.

 

If you tow a boat, the rear drive vehicles will more easily pull the boat out of the water than front wheel drive since the trailerís weight and the incline of the launch ramp help hold down the tow vehicle's rear wheels for traction.Four wheel drive or All Wheel Drive is, of course, even better at this.The problem with front wheel drive is that the steeper the launch ramp, the less weight is on the front wheels, and therefore, the less traction they get.Add a slick ramp, and a front wheel drive vehicle is at a definite disadvantage.

 

 

DRAGGING A LOADED BOAT TRAILER UP AN INCLINED .......... WET ...... BOAT RAMP

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


4WD and AWD are great in lousy weather and just about anywhere else, but you sacrifice gas mileage, and maintenance costs are significantly higher than front or rear wheel drive vehicles.Not only are there more things to go wrong and gas mileage is worse, but, also, the front end alignment people are absolutely lying in wait for you.Also, with a four wheel drive system, all maintenance that has to do with getting under the vehicle will cost more due either to the necessity of working on the greater number of parts required for four wheel drive or to getting those parts out of the way.

 

Of course, driving a four wheel drive Porsche Carrera 4, Audi AWD, Subaru WRX, or Lamborghini Aventador might just be fun with more control mixed in.

 

If you drive in a desert city and do not tow a trailer, it does not really matter which you choose.