October 20th, 2020 by Fix Auto USA
Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD) is a transmission system where the power from the engine is sent to the rear wheels. SUVs and pickup trucks with RWD are fun to drive, not to mention RWD sports cars like Corvette and Porsche. The weight is distributed and balanced more evenly than in a Front-Wheel Drive car, resulting in better handling and control. That being said, RWD vehicles don’t have the best reputation for performing in inclement weather, especially snow. Accelerating can prove difficult, and RWD vehicles are also prone to sliding, spinning out, or losing control on slippery and wet roads.
Does that mean you should never take your RWD to the mountains during winter? No, it just means that you should adjust your expectations and take reasonable precautions to ensure your safety and that of your passengers. To some degree, technological advancements have made driving a RWD truck in snow a lot easier. Examples include traction control capabilities along with stability control, as well as new tire technologies that underpin winter tires. But since not everyone’s RWD is equipped with those luxuries, here are some things you can do to avoid or at least minimize the performance problems that some RWDs experience in snowy weather.
Best practices for using RWD truck in snow
RWD vehicles have most of their weight distributed over the front wheels, causing an imbalance. You can improve your car’s traction capability and stability control by simply adding weight to the rear of your vehicle – bags of rocks, sandbags, or cinderblocks should do the trick. The extra weight on the axle gives your vehicle the power to accelerate on snowy roads and gain traction on slippery surfaces.
You already know how to drive, so why practice? Winter driving is an entirely different beast and takes a good amount of time to adjust. Find a large and preferably empty parking lot where you can take your rear-wheel-drive vehicle for a spin. Observe how it handles in less than ideal conditions. Practice staying calm on slick surfaces and driving at a slow, steady speed. Avoid sharp turns and accelerate gradually so as to not lose traction. Also, remember to give yourself a little extra time to apply the brakes.
Invest in snow tires
Snow tires are specially manufactured to give you a better driving experience on icy and snowy surfaces. Snow tires give your RWD truck enhanced traction in inclement weather and in unsafe road conditions. Without winter tires, you risk losing control and spinning out or hydroplaning across an icy surface.
If you do get into an accident when driving a rear wheel drive truck in snow and are looking for a reliable body shop, your friends at your local Fix Auto USA are ready to provide you quality repairs and get you back on the road at a timely fashion. Use our store locator to find the closest location near you.
Share your experience with us. How do you handle your rear wheel drive truck in snow?
This blog post was contributed by Fix Auto Hemet, a leading industry expert and collision repair shop serving Hemet and the Inland Empire.