Understanding Your Drivetrain - RWD, FWD, AWD



When you are purchasing a car, one of the core features you have to carefully consider is your car's drivetrain. The drivetrain refers to the feature that monitors the exchange of power between the wheels and the engine of your car.

Which drivetrain is suitable for your car?

If you want to buy a car from Ford dealerships in NC, then you should know what kind of weather and terrain you are most often going to drive in. The reason behind why different drivetrains present different benefits and obstacles has to do with how the power from the engine is distributed among the car's wheels. 

  1. Front-wheel drive: In a car that utilizes front-wheel drive (FWD), the power from the engine is sent to the front two wheels of the car. This creates a pulling motion whereby the front two wheels shoulder the primary responsibility of building motion in the car. Not only do cars that use FWD have better fuel economy, but they are also better at retaining and maintaining traction in harsh weather conditions such as rain or snow. 
  2. Rear-wheel drive: These drivetrains send power to the rear wheels of your vehicle, and this creates a pushing motion when driving, in direct contrast to FWD drivetrains. The real-wheel drives (RWD) have better balance distribution but do not fare well in harsh weather and terrain such as rain or snow as these cars tend to lose traction in harsh weather. 
  3. All-wheel drive: The All-wheel drive (AWD) has slowly become more popular, and is often seen as a direct competition to the popular FWD drivetrain. AWD's come in two varieties - the first is the full-time AWD, where all the wheels get power all the time, and the second is the automatic AWD, where power is usually provided to either the front two or the rear two wheels and may be sent to all the wheels if necessary. AWD drivetrains have great flexibility and versatility while driving, but FWD's have better overall traction for snowy and harsh weather. 
  4. Four-wheel drive: Four-wheel drives (4WD)'s send power to all four wheels, and are less common than the previous drivetrains. Some 4WD's also operate as RWDs for fuel economy unless all four wheels are necessary. 

The two most popular drivetrains are the Front-wheel drive and the All-wheel drive. Between the FWD vs AWD, both drivetrains provide great performance, but the FWD is better suited to harsh weather and snowy or rugged terrain, where the AWD performs better in normal weather conditions. 

Each of the drivetrains come with their own set of advantages that make them suitable for diverse environmental, climatic, and terrain conditions. You can visit Ford dealerships in NC, such as Deacon Jones Goldsboro, to learn about cars and their drivetrains in Goldsboro, Wilson, Benson, and Greenville. 


Source: Ford