Winter Driving Tip: Back Up With Front Wheel Drive

March 18, 2023 0 Comments

Winter driving can be challenging enough without someone telling you to drive in reverse, but that’s exactly what I’m going to recommend for rare situations where driving forwards with front-wheel drive just isn’t enough.

Admittedly, the idea of ​​driving backwards is a bit strange, but in special circumstances it works better with a front-wheel drive vehicle than going forwards. Special circumstances are deep snow and uphill.

For those of us who live with a long, steep driveway, it can be a challenge going up a hill in deep snow, even with front-wheel drive. Going backwards with a front-wheel drive vehicle can help overcome the difficulty. This is why:

  • Its drive wheels are lower, so gravity shifts more weight over them for better traction.
  • You have to drive slower to maintain steering control, and that tends to promote traction rather than wheel spin.
  • The front wheels of the car are now on packed snow (thanks to the rear wheels) instead of loose snow, providing additional traction.
  • If you feel like you’re going to “focus high” in deep snow, you can stop and go (downhill) because the drive wheels aren’t in deep snow yet, so they’ll have better traction. Also, the weight of the engine and gravity are in your favor.

So when winter driving presents a challenge, such as going up a hill in deep snow, you can overcome it by backing up your front-wheel drive vehicle.

Do not attempt this, except in situations where your route of travel is relatively straight, there is no traffic to deal with, and there is no ditch or embankment nearby that would present a hazard if you stray slightly while attempting. driving in a direction you are not used to.

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