Things You Should Know About Drivetrains


When you plan to purchase a new car, you should consider what drivetrain that you can to choose. There are a number of drivetrain options that are available in the market. In general, drivetrain is a system that connects the wheel and the engine. The type of drivetrain that you use should depend on the driving condition and the type of wheels. Here are types of drivetrain that you can choose

  • Front wheel drive: Front wheel drive or FWD is if the engine sends the power only to two front wheels. It means that the FWD system pulls the whole car on the road. The powertrain, engine and transmission are located at the frontal part of the car. This will allow the car to carry more passengers in the cabin. FWD is common, because the car can be made less complex. Critical components can be placed close to one another. FWD cars are usually cheaper to maintain. You can also expect to get higher dependability and stability from FWD cars. These cars also have good tractions, because the weight is concentrated at the front part of the car.
  • Rear wheel drive: Rear wheel drive or RWD is when the engine sends the power to two rear wheels. By using this arrangement, the car is essentially being pushed by the system. However, RWD cars are not advisable during the winter, due to lack of traction on slippery roads. RWD cars should have stability control to overcome this disadvantage. In general, RWD cars provide well balanced arrangement, Handling and braking performance is also better with RWD cars.
  • All wheel drive: All wheel drive or AWD is if the engine sends power to all four wheels. AWD cars need to use advanced electronics and well designed differentials to make sure that power is sent equally to each wheel. Some cars allow drivers to set, whether more power is sent to front or rear wheels, depending on the situation. AWD cars should perform quite well during winter, when they are driven on wet and slippery roads.
  • Four wheel drive: Four wheel drive or 4WD is generally similar to AWD, but it is more robust and designed more for off road performance. Hummer H2 and Land Rover series are well known car models that use 4WD arrangement. The system is strengthened to deal with shocks and rough road conditions. Regular AWD cars may not be durable enough to deal with bad road conditions.
  • Part time AWD: Part time AWD is almost the same with any two wheel drive cars. However, the driveline configuration is sent only to the rear or front wheels, when proper traction is needed. The system helps to maintain good traction, but it is generally not usable for heavy usages on rough road conditions.
  • Part time 4WD: In normal condition, engine with part time 4WD drivetrain sends power to the rear wheel. However, when the car loses the traction, the power is sent to all four wheels using electrical, mechanical or hydraulic switching systems, depending on the model.