How to Add Weight to a Front Wheel Drive Car

by TS Jordan

Adding weight to a vehicle can help with traction in questionable conditions, such as during the winter. The additional weight will press the car down harder on the road and increase the overall coefficient of friction, making it less likely for the car to begin sliding. Although adding weight to a front wheel drive car will not have the exact same effect as adding weight to a rear wheel drive car, there is still some benefit to be gained.

1

Understand the rationale behind adding weight to a car and the problems with adding weight to a front wheel drive vehicle. As the vehicle presses down harder on the pavement from the additional weight, the tires will have a higher coefficient of friction. Weight is normally added in the trunk of a car, which is a problem for a front wheel drive car as it does nothing to increase traction over the driving wheels, resulting in no gain in traction while accelerating. However, adding weight to the rear of a front wheel drive car can help with braking, by making it less likely that the rear wheels slide under heavy braking in adverse conditions.

2

Add roughly 100 to 200 pounds in sand bags or cinder blocks to the trunk of your car, positioning the weight as close as possible to the rear axle. This will assist your front wheel drive car with braking, but it will do little to help with acceleration as the front wheels will not be weighted using this strategy.

3

Add weight (sand bags or cinder blocks) to the footwell in the passenger's seat, placing the weight as far as possible towards the front of the car and as close as possible to the center to achieve an equal weight distribution across both wheels. Although cumbersome, this will help to add weight over the front axle, providing help with both acceleration and braking in poor conditions.

4

Consult with a local mechanic about the viability of adding weight under the hood of the vehicle. The viability of this will depend on how much space is available under the hood. If you have a more modern car, the various parts are often crammed together quite tightly, leaving little room for additional weight-bearing items. However, a good mechanic should be able to devise a scheme to add weight, working with the space that you have available to add tonnage directly over the front axle, improving handling in adverse conditions.

Items you will need

About the Author

TS Jordan is an Ohio licensed attorney living and practicing out of the Cleveland area. In addition to his Juris Doctorate, he holds a Bachelors' Degree in Information Systems. He has been writing professionally for less than a year.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images