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Old 11-15-2009, 09:31 PM   #1
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Rear wheel drive woes...

Hey guys, I was thinking about getting a camaro, but I have heard bad things about RWD and fishtailing. I live in a city that gets a lot of snow in t he winter and my pops thinks a RWD car is a dealbreaker whatever the cost. Thoughts?
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Old 11-15-2009, 09:52 PM   #2
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FWD is just as dangerous for different reasons. The risks of RWD are just a fabrication of the early days of FWD to get people to adopt this form of drive. Back then, few cars were FWD and everyone had RWD cars and so people were reluctant to try them. The car companies and gov't wanted people in FWD cars because they could make them more fuel efficient and so they cooked up a lot of myths about FWD cars being more "safe" to trick people into adopting them. It worked.

Any car can go out of control in the snow.

However, cars these days come with stability and traction controls which greatly assist the driver in the snow.

Bear in mind that a perfomance car of ANY type will not be great in the snow because of their high horsepower, and wide tires. You will have a handful in any sporty car in ice and snow.
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:02 PM   #3
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FWD is just as dangerous for different reasons. The risks of RWD are just a fabrication of the early days of FWD to get people to adopt this form of drive. Back then, few cars were FWD and everyone had RWD cars and so people were reluctant to try them. The car companies and gov't wanted people in FWD cars because they could make them more fuel efficient and so they cooked up a lot of myths about FWD cars being more "safe" to trick people into adopting them. It worked.

Any car can go out of control in the snow.

However, cars these days come with stability and traction controls which greatly assist the driver in the snow.

Bear in mind that a perfomance car of ANY type will not be great in the snow because of their high horsepower, and wide tires. You will have a handful in any sporty car in ice and snow.

Hmm..I would think that wider tires would be better in the snow. But here is a question for you. If I put snow tires on a Camaro 2010, will it be worse, better, or approximately the same as...say a Mazda 3 2.3L sport in the crappier weather conditions? Also, do you know if there are any recent articles proving RWD or AWD being notably better than the other? My dad mentioned that he remembers people with RWD getting stuck in places he wouldn't even have to think twice crossing in a FWD car. Not sure exactly how recent that was--I was also thinking that the traction control, etc of newer cars makes up for the differences. Thanks again.
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:15 PM   #4
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i live in south bend, IN and trust me i dont have must trouble in my mustang.

especially with the TCS nowadays. you'll be fine
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Old 11-16-2009, 12:19 AM   #5
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You will not die in a fiery crash should you drive a RWD in the winter. There are subtle little differances though. Put a little weight in the trunk and you'll be fine.
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Old 11-16-2009, 04:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IWannaCamaro View Post
Hmm..I would think that wider tires would be better in the snow. But here is a question for you. If I put snow tires on a Camaro 2010, will it be worse, better, or approximately the same as...say a Mazda 3 2.3L sport in the crappier weather conditions? Also, do you know if there are any recent articles proving RWD or AWD being notably better than the other? My dad mentioned that he remembers people with RWD getting stuck in places he wouldn't even have to think twice crossing in a FWD car. Not sure exactly how recent that was--I was also thinking that the traction control, etc of newer cars makes up for the differences. Thanks again.
Narrower tires are better. The wide tires pile the snow up in front. Front wheel drive will get you moving easier as the weight is over the drive wheels After that you have your choice. Understeer off the road in the fwd or go off backward with rwd. Laws of physics in effect. Rear drive is fine if you:

1) buy snow tires. If you also get new wheels, make sure they fit over the brakes. All weather tires not good enough if you have to go out every day.
2) leave your traction and stabilty controls on.
3) put some salt or kitty litter in the trunk to add weight over the rear wheels thus improving traction. Can be used under the tires also if you get stuck.
4) drive carefully for the conditions.
5) if weather really bad, take a cab.

Good luck.

Cheers.
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Old 11-16-2009, 07:44 PM   #7
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no matter what anyone says, it is easier to get around in the winter, with everything being equal, in a front wheel drive car over a rear wheel drive. It's just common sense. Unless, of course, you are driving a volkswagon or a porsche.
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:00 PM   #8
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no matter what anyone says, it is easier to get around in the winter, with everything being equal, in a front wheel drive car over a rear wheel drive. It's just common sense. Unless, of course, you are driving a volkswagon or a porsche.


RWD's are better now day's but they do not compare too FWD in the snow. Try stopping that RWD car on a hill with snow and then in a FWD car, after that try to continue driving up that hill. If you only have one car and are concerned then FWD AWD or 4WD are the best choices........ No eception's!!!
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
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RWD's are better now day's but they do not compare too FWD in the snow. Try stopping that RWD car on a hill with snow and then in a FWD car, after that try to continue driving up that hill. If you only have one car and are concerned then FWD AWD or 4WD are the best choices........ No eception's!!!
Totally disagree... I put a good set of snow tires on my Mustang and I would comfortable drive down the street with 6 to 8 inches of unplowed snow, while the people in the FWD cars with their all-season tires would sitting and spinning!
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:22 PM   #10
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Totally disagree... I put a good set of snow tires on my Mustang and I would comfortable drive down the street with 6 to 8 inches of unplowed snow, while the people in the FWD cars with their all-season tires would sitting and spinning!
Try making all thing's fair. Like putting snow tire's on the other car. What about the size of that car and the driver. With all thing's equal the FWD is better in that situation. And they probably were'nt smart enough to realize that flooring it does'nt do any good in the snow.

I use to use my ex wife's old Corsica to pull people out of the ditch in the snow(actually only two) and use too take it mudding and I have no doubt that if it was'nt FWD it would have never done that
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:40 PM   #11
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I don't like either that's why I park the camaro and drive the jeep in the winter. It always wins over RWD and FWD. RWD works good with a locker and snow tires and thats about it. They are better with Traction control but still not great.
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:44 PM   #12
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If you learned to drive BEFORE there were FWD everywhere (like me) the 2010 CAMARO will just be fine in the snow with Actual snow tires vs all season.

I learned how to get the rear back in 40 years ago.... Losing traction is one thing ...loosing the steering at the same time is another.
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Old 11-16-2009, 10:44 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by meanmike View Post
Try making all thing's fair. Like putting snow tire's on the other car. What about the size of that car and the driver. With all thing's equal the FWD is better in that situation. And they probably were'nt smart enough to realize that flooring it does'nt do any good in the snow.

I use to use my ex wife's old Corsica to pull people out of the ditch in the snow(actually only two) and use too take it mudding and I have no doubt that if it was'nt FWD it would have never done that
Bzzzzt! Wrong.

Most FWD cars have no option for a limited slip differential. You can get a limited slip in most RWD cars. With that option, you can drive circles around a FWD car on hills and everything else.
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Old 11-16-2009, 10:45 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by OUR72GTO View Post
If you learned to drive BEFORE there were FWD everywhere (like me) the 2010 CAMARO will just be fine in the snow with Actual snow tires vs all season.

I learned how to get the rear back in 40 years ago.... Losing traction is one thing ...loosing the steering at the same time is another.
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Old 11-16-2009, 11:49 PM   #15
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Bzzzzt! Wrong.

Most FWD cars have no option for a limited slip differential. You can get a limited slip in most RWD cars. With that option, you can drive circles around a FWD car on hills and everything else.
Like I said, try it!!
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Old 11-16-2009, 11:56 PM   #16
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Last winter I was dropping some groceries off for some friends who didn’t really want to drive their Civic in the snow and got to watch their neighbor get their Golf stuck on a pile of snow they’d tried to drive though. I think we had 6-8 inches on the ground for a little while and the only time I took my Bronco out of 2hi was to drive though the mounds the plows had left so I could parallel park.

OP’s dad is thinking about the bad old days when everything was nose heavy and it could be (a little) hard get going in the snow. But the is the 21st century and modern RWD cars are fairly evenly balanced. I kind of like RWD because you can down shift (carefully) to slow down without effecting your ability to steer.

I think what you really need are real snow tires and a little ground clearance if you won’t be sticking to plowed roads. And don’t drive like a fool, I’ve seen all kinds of cars get stuck I had no issues driving. I worked my way through college driving a wrecker and most getting stuck in the snow is due to being dumb, like most other one car accidents.

ETA: If the Golf driver had had RWD, he probably would have noticed when the snow lifted the front up so he couldn’t steer and been able to back off of the pile.
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:37 AM   #17
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You are in Philadelphia...............it is a moot point. So do not take the car out for the 8 days a year it snows!!

It is dumb to buy a car worrying about MAYBE 10 days a year. Now if you lived Upstate NY or in Canada, then dad would MAYBE have a point, otherwise, tell him you will not take it out when it snows!!

But I agree, with snows and traction control, Rear and Front Wheel drive is the same crap...........I pass all of them in my 4 Wheel drive Truck every winter!
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Old 11-17-2009, 05:32 AM   #18
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I pass far more '4wds' in the ditch during snows than anything else...
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:39 AM   #19
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i would use a old beat up cheap car for snow, mud and rain and keep the camaro for nice days !!!
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:43 AM   #20
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Your thinking of taking an awesome new camaro out in the snow?

Get a go to work front wheel drive crap car and keep the camaro in the garage.
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:02 AM   #21
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I pass far more '4wds' in the ditch during snows than anything else...
That's because they are mostly dumb ass people that think just because they have a 4WD it will turn and brake better.

Last edited by coolman; 11-17-2009 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:12 AM   #22
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My 300 goes great in the winter better then some FWD drive cars I have had. I never get stuck an I'm in Mid-Michigan were we get hit hard with snow. It's funny pushing through the snow while you watch others in there suppose better FWD cars stuck. Plus the fishtailing when getting stuck actually helps you get out because it swings around and grabs unmarked snow, providing fresh tracks oppose to run over tracks which ice up.
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:31 AM   #23
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Wide tires act like Skis and ride on top of the snow, narrow tires will sink down into the snow for better traction..
I have had many rear wheel drive cars and driven in the snow... My 1974 Camaro and 1976 Malibue were two cars that you would think would never go anywhere in the snow, but I never had a problem, and I live in the mountians of East Tennessee....

PS. main thing, easy on the gas and easy on the brakes and definatelly do not accelerate in curves... keep a steady pace going up hills. accellerate BEFORE getting to the hill...
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:41 AM   #24
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Out of the Camaros I have owned, the only one that I ever drove in the snow was my 87 5.7 IROC and I backed out of my driveway and put it in drive without touching the gas and the tires were spinning slowly and the car was sliding, so I carefully went back into the driveway, so my 09 Jeep with all wheel drive is my snow driver, my 2010 will never leave the garage this winter, but definitely be careful if you have to drive a Camaro in the snow
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Old 11-17-2009, 11:10 AM   #25
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I pass far more '4wds' in the ditch during snows than anything else...

Same thing up here.
Their drivers become over confident and refuse to drive prudently for the conditions.
And in most metropolitan areas 4-wheel drive is just expensive over-kill.

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