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

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.


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.

Next Step

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23 years of experience
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23 years of experience
Ford F-150 V8-5.4L - Axle / CV Shaft Assembly Replacement (Driver Side Front) - Chandler, Arizona
greg was awesome!! This the second time he has came out and worked my truck and he knocked it out!! totally recommend him!!
Buick Park Avenue - Axle / CV Shaft Assembly Replacement (Passenger Side Front) - Chandler, Arizona
Greg was very professional and knew his stuff well prepared couldn’t of asked for a better mechanic


35 years of experience
731 reviews
35 years of experience
Hyundai Sonata V6-2.7L - Axle / CV Shaft Assembly Replacement (Driver Side Front) - Glendale, Arizona
This is the second time I've had William wolf work on my vehicle William always does a great job and my vehicle runs much better after he works on it!
Jeep Patriot - Axle / CV Shaft Assembly Replacement (Driver Side Front, Passenger Side Front) - Peoria, Arizona
I've used William before and I will use his services again. He's very honest, honest, honest. Did I mention he's honest. He does whatever he can to keep the bill down, but does top notch work.


14 years of experience
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Toyota Camry L4-2.4L - Axle / CV Shaft Assembly Replacement (Passenger Side Front) - Houston, Texas
Genaro was great and very professional. He showed up early, discussed what we were doing, showed me the issue, and got to work. He was very efficient and we were checked out in just over an hour. This was my first time using a mobile mechanic and it was an a smooth experience! Thanks Genaro!
Nissan Rogue - Axle / CV Shaft Assembly Replacement (Passenger Side Front) - Houston, Texas
He gets 5 stars!! Thank you Mr. Genaro for being early and very effecient. I had a mechanic through this service cancel on my twice. I almost went through another service because of that. I’m very thankful Mr. Genaro came through and worked his magic. He didn’t let the sprinkle of rain stop him either. I am very pleased with his service and will book through him again. Many, many thanks to you Sir!!! I’ll be recommending him to all my friends.


27 years of experience
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Chevrolet Impala V6-3.5L - Axle / CV Shaft Assembly Replacement (Passenger Side Front) - Romulus, Michigan
Mike was great. I would recommend him, and this service. If and when I need another repair, I will utilize this site.
Ford Fusion - Axle / CV Shaft Assembly Replacement (Driver Side Front) - Southgate, Michigan
My car doesn't move and this help me to lower the cost of towing,. convenience. Mike worked in parking lot

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