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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Chris

19 years of experience
416 reviews
Chris
19 years of experience
BMW X5 - Axle / CV Shaft Assembly Replacement (Driver Side Front, Passenger Side Front) - Portland, Oregon
Chris did an amazing job fixing and replacing what needed to be done on my vehicle, now it drives like it is almost brand new, I could not be happier! Thank you so much for your time and hard work, I appreciate it!
Acura Integra - Axle / CV Shaft Assembly Replacement (Driver Side Front, Passenger Side Front) - Vancouver, Washington
As always, Chris is on time and on the job. Very happy with his work ethnic and how informative he is with what needed to be done. Look forward to having him working on our vehicles in the future!

Steve

14 years of experience
95 reviews
Steve
14 years of experience
Subaru Forester - Axle / CV Shaft Assembly Replacement (Driver Side Front, Passenger Side Front) - Teaneck, New Jersey
Nice polite gentleman. Did the work with no problems. On time. Made another appointment after his recommendations. Seems to be the way to go. I'm recommending the services to others I know 

Nikolay

19 years of experience
49 reviews
Nikolay
19 years of experience
Dodge Ram 1500 - Axle / CV Shaft Assembly Replacement (Driver Side Front, Passenger Side Front) - Poway, California
Nikolay is a great man. He was friendly throughout the visit and did a great job with the maintenance on my truck. I feel 100% confident that the job was done properly and everything was by the book. I would definitely trust him again to do any kind of service for all my vehicles. Thanks for the hard work and getting in done even quicker than the quoted time.

David

12 years of experience
287 reviews
David
12 years of experience
Toyota Camry - Axle / CV Shaft Assembly Replacement (Driver Side Front) - Woodstock, Georgia
David is great, he has worked on our cars before, He is one of the reasons I came back to Your Mechanic for this repair.

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