Thursday 23 November 2023

Viral Car Backs Up on Spongebob Hill, This is the Advantage of Front Wheel Drive Cars


The Spongebob hill in Lembang, West Java is going viral after several videos on social media showed many cars failing to conquer the steep route.

Some of the vehicles that failed to pass the incline were front-wheel drive cars. Many then conclude that front-wheel drive (FWD) cars are not suitable for going up extreme hills.

Daihatsu, one of the automotive manufacturers that has a line of front-wheel drive cars, admits that one of the FWD systems is a ramp. If the driver is not fluent, it will be difficult on hills.

Apart from that, here are some of the advantages of front-wheel drive cars according to Daihatsu:

1. Lighter

Front-wheel drive cars do not have an axle, a component whose function is to transmit engine rotation from the transmission to the drive wheels. In FWD cars, the drive tires are directly connected to the engine and transmission which are positioned at the front of the vehicle.

2. More economical

Because of its light weight, the engine performance in front-wheel drive cars is not too heavy, thereby saving fuel. Apart from that, because it has fewer components, maintenance costs are also lower compared to rear-wheel drive cars.

3. Better acceleration

Because the distance between the engine and the drive wheel is close and can be channeled better, the performance of a front wheel drive car is faster.

4. More space

Compared to rear-wheel drive cars, the space in FWD cars is wider because there are fewer components at the rear of the car. Rear-wheel drive cars usually stack components such as the propeller shaft and transmission system in the tail of the vehicle.

With the four advantages above, front-wheel drive cars also have several disadvantages when compared to rear-wheel drive cars. The following are the weaknesses:

1. Difficult to turn (understeer)

Front-wheel drive cars tend to experience understeer more easily because the front wheels, which function to turn, also work as the main driver of the vehicle. As a result, the potential for understeer is greater.

3. The wheels and drive shaft are easily damaged

This can happen because there are too many components on the front of the car. So sometimes it causes loud noises from the cabin. And it is caused by the wheels slipping too often when the car goes uphill.

3. Difficult to go uphill

When the car goes uphill, the position of the car will fall further backwards. This happens because the load will move to the back of the car.

How to go over hills with a front-wheel drive car

Driving safety expert from Jakarta Defensive Driving Consulting (JDDC), Jusri Pulubuhu said front-wheel drive cars can still go up extreme hills as long as the driver knows the right way.

“If everything is ideal, the slope is steep, the tires are ideal, the driver also knows everything, there is no problem with front drive. The difference is not significant. Moreover, if the traffic is not congested, there is no problem,” said Jusri Pulubuhu.

One of the main requirements, he explained, is to create and maintain the momentum of the car’s movement before and while on the hill.

“Overall, if the car is moving, there is motion (moving momentum before the incline) there is actually no problem for front or rear drive,” continued Jusri.

He said that when going uphill, the driver should not slow down the car, aka keep pressing the gas.

“Try not to slow down when going uphill. The way to do this is to keep your distance from a distance, so you don’t slow down. If you are too tight, you will definitely slow down when the vehicle in front slows down or stops. Keep your distance so that you continue to maintain momentum (movement),” continued he.

He said the movement of the car will create momentum, which ultimately makes the car lighter.

“This means the engine load will be lower,” emphasized Jusri.

Meanwhile, according to racer Rifat Sungkar, if what is being taken is an incline as well as a bend, then the driver should take the outer corner and never insist on taking the inner corner which is narrower.

“The deepest corner in a turn is the corner with the deepest bend. The corner with the sharpest bend will automatically make it more difficult for the car to go up compared to the outer corner. That’s why no trucks going through that turn will take the deep part,” explained Rifat.

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