Automotive Column 57 AWD or 4WD
Syndicated Newspaper Column
Purchasing a new car can be a huge decision. Add in all the features and the differences they have and you could pull your hair out before you are done. Check with others who have the same type of vehicle you are looking at if possible and get their opinion of the features they choose.
CAR QUESTIONS TAKEN FROM
OUR WEEKLY TALK RADIO SHOW
Dear Motor Medics,
You guys make it easy for us when we need to repair our cars and I’m hoping you can shed a little light on a purchase question too. I have narrowed down my search to two vehicles that are relatively the same except that one is a Front-wheel drive while the other is All-wheel drive. The AWD drive vehicle has 10,000 more miles but has the extra feature so it is priced the same. I don’t see a lot of snowfalls in my area and until now have managed to get by every season with nothing more than a FWD car. If I go with the All-wheel drive system will fuel mileage suffer significantly, and will the overall maintenance cost be a lot higher?
David in Manhattan Kansas
You will have to make you own decision as you will be the one making the purchase but we can hopefully help you a bit. All-wheel drive vehicles get around better in the snow than their Front-wheel drive counterparts, but if you are in an area that does not see much snow or ice and they plow it quickly, do you really need it? The fuel mileage will be a little lower, there will be slightly faster tire wear, and there are more parts to wear out. While the Front-wheel drive is not as nimble in snow, a lot of people give that up for the savings they gain in other areas.
Take care, the Motor Medics
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Advice given by the Motor Medics is for entertainment only. Each problem is different and requires different approaches and answers given here are opinions and just one possibility. In order to make an accurate diagnosis a qualified technician should make a hands-on diagnosis. Always follow all recommended safety procedures and consult with your own qualified technician before attempting repairs of any kind.