Front-wheel drive

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Updated: 3/28/2003 1:53 pm
Most new cars that you can purchase today are equipped with front-wheel drive. Front-wheel drive simply means the car uses only the front wheels to pull the car along. It also means the car is steered by the front wheels. This feature was designed to make cars run more efficiently, as it's simpler for a car to get the engine power to the pair of wheels on the same end of the car as the engine. Less distance and fewer parts between the engine and the driving wheels can reduce production costs and, ultimately, lower the price of the car. Front-wheel drive is also particularly advantageous for improving traction on slippery or snow-packed roads, as it puts the engine weight directly over the driving wheels. A major disadvantage of front-wheel drive, however, is that the car puts the stress of steering, braking, and acceleration on only two wheels. Cars equipped with four-wheel drive use all four wheels to pull the car along. Though much more expensive, these cars usually perform better in all types of weather and road conditions. As a result, before deciding if front-wheel drive meets for your needs, examine the location where you'll be driving your car. Generally, front-wheel drive is adequate for most drivers unless you experience frequent inclement weather or are plan on driving through rough terrain.

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