5 Essential Things to Know About Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD)

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With all the options available for drive wheels in vehicles, it can become confusing as to which is best for you. Here, you’ll learn five things you need to know about rear-wheel drive (RWD) so you can make a better-informed decision.

What It Is

RWD simply means that the power from the engine is transferred to the rear axle via a driveshaft. Once the driveshaft sends the power to the rear axle, it transfers it to a set of rear gears that distribute it between the wheels. In this drive setup, the rear wheels of the vehicle are responsible for moving it, while the front wheels handle the steering.

Benefits

Rear-wheel drive is most often seen on performance vehicles and trucks. With trucks, RWD provides increased traction when a heavy load is being carried. This traction boost helps move the load and increases the durability of the truck. With performance cars, RWD provides the strength needed to accommodate larger engines and increased horsepower.

Increased Acceleration and Balance

RWD also benefits acceleration. When a driver hits the gas, it causes the weight of the vehicle to shift backwards. With a rear-wheel drive car, this puts more pressure on the driving wheels, facilitating a faster takeoff than one would see with a front-wheel drive. Additionally, RWD vehicles usually have a better balance of weight across all four tires, which contributes to improved balance and handling.

Fewer Repairs

RWD systems are popular because they can offer increased durability over the other drives available. The systems are designed to provide durability, which means you won’t have to worry about causing significant damage if you happen to hit a pothole or even run up on the curb. If that happens in a front-wheel drive car, you’ll likely be in the shop waiting for an axle or CV shaft replacement or repair.

Not Bad-Weather Friendly

For all their benefits, rear-wheel drive vehicles are not the best option in snow and ice. While traction control and other such systems help maintain control, you are much more likely to slide and even spin when dealing with slippery road conditions. If you own a RWD vehicle, your best bet might be to either use snow chains, add plenty of weight to the back of the vehicle by loading up the trunk, or if possible, drive a different vehicle in inclement weather conditions.


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YourMechanic CV Axle / Shaft Assembly Replacement Service

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Number of Reviews

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Joaquin

3 years of experience
77 reviews
Joaquin
3 years of experience
Hyundai Veracruz - Axle / CV Shaft Assembly Replacement (Driver Side Front) - Plano, Texas
great job, very prompt, explained all that needed to be done and why. would certainly ask for his services again. Bill
Hyundai Sonata - Axle / CV Shaft Assembly Replacement (Passenger Side Front) - Dallas, Texas
He was very nice and friendly, did everything in a timely manner. Was extremely respectful saying “ma’am,” for everything. Like most was that he explained what the issue was with my car (in simple terms for me understand) and how to prevent further damage to my car. Would us Your Mechanic again for any future services.

Matthew

31 years of experience
633 reviews
Matthew
31 years of experience
Land Rover Range Rover - Axle / CV Shaft Assembly Replacement (Passenger Side Front) - Williamsburg, Virginia
Matthew was great! He was on time, professional, knowledgeable, friendly and finish the work ahead of scheduled. He took additional time to answer my questions on other issues with my vehicle. I will book Matthew again in the future. Thank you Matthew and yourmechanic.com!
Mazda 626 - Axle / CV Shaft Assembly Replacement (Passenger Side Front) - Hampton, Virginia
Matt was timely, professional, very knowledgeable and courteous. I will be booking him again for future services. I’d recommend him to anyone. Thanks again Matt.

Scott

34 years of experience
593 reviews
Scott
34 years of experience
Chevrolet Trailblazer - Axle / CV Shaft Assembly Replacement (Driver Side Front, Passenger Side Front) - Phoenix, Arizona
Scott was great. He was up front and honest about all the work. He did do the repairs I asked for, only for us both to find that the noise it was making was still there . That wasn't his fault, or anyone's really. It needed much more extensive repairs than I was prepared to make, such as a rebuild if a front differential. I ended up trading it in that evening. With that said, I would absolutely use this service again and even invite Scott to service any vehicle in the future. He was honest in a nice way.
Mitsubishi Eclipse - Axle / CV Shaft Assembly Replacement (Driver Side Front) - Phoenix, Arizona
Scott was great. Showed up right on time and completed the work quickly. I will definitely book Scott when I use Your Mechanic.

Steve

13 years of experience
61 reviews
Steve
13 years of experience
Nissan Sentra - Axle / CV Shaft Assembly Replacement (Driver Side Front) - Bronx, New York
Steve is an excellent mechanic and very knowledgeable . I would definitely use your service again. Thank you.

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