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RearWheelDrive.org Driveline Quiz

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See how you score on the following questions. Have a good question to add? Please E-mail it to us.

Question 1 : What drive line will STOP quickest on a slippery surface?

A. All Wheel Drive.

B. Rear Wheel Drive.

C. Both A and B will stop equally well.

Answer 1 : B. Rear Wheel Drive. Every car has four wheel brakes. In a stop the weight and speed of your car determines the kinetic energy the brakes/tires must overcome. Most all wheel drive cars are 150 to 300 pounds heavier than an equivalent rear wheel drive car. The rear wheel drive car stops quicker because it is lighter.

Question 2 : What drive line accelerates best from a standing start on dry pavement?

A. Front Wheel Drive.

B. Rear Wheel Drive.

C. A and B accelerate equally well.

Answer 2 : B. Rear Wheel Drive. The traction of the driven wheels along with engine torque determines how fast you can accelerate. In a standing start the weight of the vehicle shifts to the rear of the vehicle. In a rear drive car this puts weight on the driven wheels giving better traction. In a front drive car the weight is taken away from the driven wheels causing a loss of traction.

All Wheel Drive would win this one as long as the engine output exceeded the added weight of the All Wheel Drive drive train

Question 3 : Which drive line corners best (not accelerating at the same time but in the middle of a corner).

A. Rear Wheel Drive.

B. Front Wheel Drive.

C. All Wheel Drive.

D. All of the above will corner the same.

Answer 3. A. Rear Wheel Drive. Front wheel drive cars generally have most of their weight on the front wheels causing the front wheels to be overcome by the lateral forces. All Wheel Drive is heavier over all creating a larger lateral force. Rear wheel drive cars are balanced and lighter distributing the lateral forces evenly over all four tires.

If a car is accelerating hard out of a corner then All Wheel Drive will be better since it can distribute the acceleration forces among all four tires.

Question 4 : In a panic stop which car will steer best? Assume a perfectly working 4 channel anti-lock brake system.

A. Front Wheel Drive.

B. Rear Wheel Drive.

C. All Wheel Drive.

D. All of the above will steer equally well.

Answer 4 : B. By a nose. Assuming a perfectly working four channel Anti Lock braking system the load on the front steering wheels should be nearly the same in a panic stop. There will be a slight advantage to Rear Wheel Drive because it will probably have a lower unsprung weight at the front. A lower unsprung weight allows the suspension of the car to work more efficiently. The Rear Wheel Drive car will also tend to steer easier since their is less total mass (thus less inertia) to resist a change in direction up front. The All Wheel Drive vehicle would be saddled by the extra weight of the AWD system.

Question 5 : In slippery conditions (snow) which will drive best through corner.

A. Front Wheel Drive

B. Rear Wheel Drive

C. A and B will drive equally.

Answer 5 : B. Rear Wheel Drive. Just like in the dry Front Wheel Drive cars must use the same tires for accelerating and for steering. In slippery conditions these tires must share their very limited traction among both acceleration and steering forces. In a Rear Drive car the duties are shared among all four tires. Even though a Front Wheel Drive car has more weight over the drive wheels in the slippery stuff this extra weight causes more lateral forces on the front tires.

Question 6 : In slippery conditions (snow) which drive train will accelerate best from a stop.

A. Front Wheel Drive.

B. Rear Wheel Drive.

C. All Wheel Drive.

D. C then A then B.

Answer 6 : D. All Wheel Drive cars can use all four tires for acceleration. Front Wheel Drive cars have more weight on the front wheels. Since the acceleration is light in slippery conditions this weight does not shift to the rear of car. The acceleration of a rear drive car in slippery conditions can easily be improved by adding weight to the rear of the car. A couple of sand bags in the trunk will generally make a Rear Drive car accelerate equally to a Front Drive car.

Question 7: Which type of vehicle accelerates and handles best while driving backwards?

A. Front Wheel Drive.

B. Rear Wheel Drive.

Answer 7 : A. Front Wheel Drive, since it is functioning as Rear Wheel Drive at the time!