Why All Wheel Drive Doesn’t Make Your Car Invincible in Winter Weather

So many car manufacturers brag about their latest all wheel drive vehicles, but is AWD really safer for winter weather driving? Are you better off with a good set of winter tires? With car repair shops in Minnesota, Kennedy Transmission is uniquely positioned to answer that question.

Are There Advantages to All Wheel Drive?

An all wheel drive system senses which wheels are connecting to the road with the most traction and transfers power to those wheels. However, it isn’t designed for rugged terrain like a four wheel drive system.

AWD moves well from a dead stop, and it’s usually a dependable drive on wet roads. Unfortunately, its performance can give you a false sense of security when you’re trying to navigate snow and ice.

Why Doesn’t AWD Make Winter Driving Safer?

While it outperforms front- and rear-drive systems, all wheel drive does have limits. Car dealerships stress its good points, but the system doesn’t guarantee your safety on slick roads. Consider these drawbacks.

  • AWD doesn’t help you brake faster on snow and ice.
  • It doesn’t add extra control over sharp turns on winter roads.
  • The drivetrain doesn’t perform well during slow-crawl driving through snow.

Do Winter Tires Make a Difference?

Winter tires make a big difference on all makes and models, regardless of a car’s drivetrain. They keep you safer on winter roads with these important features.

  • Specialized Materials – The rubber compound in a winter tire stays pliable and soft in sub-freezing temperatures.
  • Better Traction – The tires grip the road by conforming to the surface with better contact than all-season tires.
  • More Stability – Winter tire tread is designed to cut through snow and keep the car stable on icy roads.

What’s the Best Choice for Winter Driving?

Whether your car has all wheel drive or even four wheel drive, you’re safer on the road with a good set of winter tires. It’s a smart upgrade that can prevent a sudden skid into a ditch or an icy slide through a busy intersection.

Cost is always a factor when you add a new feature to the car, but winter tires are cheaper than dealing with an automobile accident. The tires also cost much less than the premium most dealerships charge for a car with AWD.

Get Ready for Winter Driving With Us

It’s our pleasure to share information that helps you stay safe on the road. Navigating Minnesota snow and ice is always a challenge, so bring your car to us. Let our automotive pros get it ready for winter weather driving. You can depend on Kennedy Transmission in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area for seasonal car care year-round.

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