5 Essential Things to Know About Front-Wheel Drive (FWD)

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Many new (and old) vehicles have front-wheel drive (FWD). However, it helps to have a good understanding of exactly what that means before you make the decision on which car is the right one for you. Here, you’ll find out five essential things you need to know about front-wheel drive.

What It Is

Front wheel drive simply means that the front wheels receive the available torque from the engine. Essentially, the available power is sent to the front wheels of the vehicle to provide the traction and make it move. As the weight of both the transmission and engine are over the front wheels, FWD often delivers improved traction.

Better Fuel Economy

Front-wheel drive cars are generally lighter than those with rear-wheel and all-wheel drive as it does not require the same driveshaft and differential components, or a chassis that can withstand the added stress from the torque traveling through it. As a result, the lighter weight helps to boost overall fuel economy since the vehicle isn’t toting around all that extra weight.

Decreased Acceleration

FWD cars do have a decrease in acceleration due to all the weight being on the front tires. When the driver accelerates, the weight of the vehicle transfers to the rear tires, rather than remaining on the front. As a result, there is less traction available on the wheels receiving the power, which in turn decreases the acceleration of the car.

Braking

It’s also important to understand how front-wheel drive cars handle when braking. In most situations, braking occurs normally regardless of what wheel drive the car is. However, if you have to brake suddenly in a FWD vehicle, it will result in the weight being transferred to the front wheels. When this happens, it causes the rear of the car to become lighter. If the driver makes a sudden turn with the steering wheel, it can lead the car to start spinning.

Know Your Driving Needs

If you know you typically drive over flat terrain on paved streets, a front-wheel drive vehicle will typically work just fine for your needs. However, if you have a steep driveway or often encounter rough terrain, you may find that a rear-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicle is the better option.


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Rigoberto

9 years of experience
706 reviews
Rigoberto
9 years of experience
Chevrolet Equinox - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Niles, Illinois
Rigo was great! He got there early, finished the job early, left everything clean. He changed my rear pads and rotors. The original quoted time was 90 minutes, he was done in about 60. He knows what he is doing and I am recommending him to all my friends and coworkers.
Mercedes-Benz C250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Chicago, Illinois
Rigo is a maverick hands down. Don’t take your car for work elsewhere. Especially great at Mercedes—this guy knows his profession! I will be using him for everything related to my car going forward.

Arturo

25 years of experience
35 reviews
Arturo
25 years of experience
Kia Forte - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Diego, California
ARTURO is great! very professional , fast, replaced my front brake pads and oil an filter change. everything now works and works well. Brakes have much improved stopping power and engine is smooth and quiet.Arturo is also kind and thoughtful. "Your mechanic" is very fortunate to have Arturo Lopez represent your company. I enthusiastically recommend him and "Your mechanic> as a fine operation Best regards to the Team Peter Marto
Nissan Maxima - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - San Diego, California
Arturo was prompt and completed my brake repair, including new rotors in a very efficient manner. I am very pleased with the quality of the work and the parts and will definitely look to have him service our other car in the near future.

Scott

32 years of experience
345 reviews
Scott
32 years of experience
Lexus IS250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Denver, Colorado
Always on time, speedy, professional, and pleasant to interact with. The work is always consistent and we'll done. I can't reccomend Scott highly enough!

Michael

10 years of experience
15 reviews
Michael
10 years of experience
Nissan Sentra - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Conyers, Georgia
He was promptly on time and got the job done efficiently in a timely manner. I really appreciate the rapid respone on getting the job done! I would most definitely use this service again.

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