The winter weather has already covered some places in Canada and for those who haven’t been visited by slush and snow yet, it is just around the corner. The transition from fall to winter is one of the most critical transitions for your car. There is a lot of preparation required in order to ensure optimal safety in the harshest season. For many, winter means bringing out that economical SUV and storing away that beast of a sports car. For some, however, they prefer to drive their fast ride all-year-round. A lot of sports vehicles are equipt with RWD (Rear-Wheel-Drive). Although RWD boasts incredible performance in the summer, it’s not ideal in winter conditions. Rear wheel drive vehicles are typically cheaper when compared to AWD (all-wheel-drive), FWD (front-wheel-drive), and 4WD (four-wheel-drive) and typically provide the most power. For these reasons, RWD vehicles are still widely considered and purchased across Canada when one is looking for a powerful new vehicle for a good deal.
Most sports and performance vehicles are equipt with rear-wheel-drive. With a RWD vehicle, the power is transferred from the back two wheels, providing substantial power. Whilst they offer speed, performance, and a smooth drive, they are not the ideal drive type in the winter. RWD vehicles tend to fishtail which can lead to spinouts on the road. However, it’s important to keep in mind that RWD vehicles aren’t useless in the harsh winter weather. As a matter of fact, all vehicles were once rear-wheel-drive, prior to the days of high-end, great traction tires. A majority of cabs and law enforcement vehicles still use rear-wheel-drive in today’s day and age. Although not ideal, RWD vehicles can still perform in the winter; they simply require a little more care when facing the brutal winter elements.
Winter tires are essential
Winter tires provide significantly more traction than all-season or summer tires and while it’s important to put them on any vehicle, it’s especially important when it comes to a RWD vehicle. Rear-wheel-drive vehicles tend to lose traction quite easily, ergo, having tires with increased traction can help reduce the chances of fishtailing. Typically, winter tires should be put on when temperatures reach 0 and ideally before any snowfall hits. In Canada (with the exception of Quebec), it is not illegal to not have winter tires on your vehicle throughout the season, however, it is highly recommended as a safety precaution.
Have extra weight in the back of your vehicle
Fishtailing is the main downfall of RWD vehicles in less than ideal weather and while it cannot always be prevented, it can be minimized. Often times, those who drive their RWD vehicles all year-round find that adding extra weight to the back of their vehicle can minimize the effect of fishtailing. Adding extra weight to the back of your vehicle can help evenly distribute weight throughout the entire car. Cinder blocks and bags of sand are efficient in providing a good amount of weight to distribute throughout your vehicle. Although you may have to sacrifice some trunk space or your back seats for a few months, it really does help when it comes to reducing the effects of the dreaded fishtail.
Slow it down
Rear-wheel-drive vehicles are typically known for their performance. Many sports and racing vehicles are equipt with RWD because it offers the most power in correlation to speed and performance when compared to other types of drivetrains. In the warmer months when the roads are free from slush, snow, and ice, RWD exude powerful performance, however, in the winter months, it’s important to slow down. When driving a high-performance sports vehicle, it’s tempting to utilize all its power, however, this can be especially dangerous in the winter. High rates of speed can cause the tires to spin out and if traction is broken, skidding is inevitable. Take your time, ease off the gas, and avoid high rates of speed. No matter what vehicle you drive, taking it slow is essential, especially in winter!
Understand your vehicle
You just purchased your new RWD vehicle. You scored a great deal using our dealer invoice reports and you are elated. You cannot wait to get your new vehicle on the road, but before you do, it’s best to fully understand how it works. Before you get in your new RWD vehicle and hit the highway for an hour-long commute in the dead of winter, take your vehicle for a short spin around the block or to an empty parking lot. Provided you are in a controlled area where you cannot hurt yourself or others (i.e., an empty parking lot), practice skidding, accelerating, and braking. Knowing how your vehicle moves in these instances and what to can vastly improve your confidence and safety on the road as the driver of a RWD vehicle. It takes time to fully understand how your new vehicle works, so don’t be discouraged if you aren’t getting the hang of it just yet. Understanding how to maneuver a RWD takes research and practice, but once you get into the swing of things, the differences will start to seem minimal.
Although RWD vehicles are not known as “winter-made vehicles”, you can still safely commute in them provided you follow the steps outlined above. Choosing a RWD vehicle and doing so with our dealer invoice report can save you a significant amount of money and come the warmer months, you won’t want to drive anything else!
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