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Snow Driving

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by 1995E, January 21, 2012.

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    1. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      We had a lot of snow here a couple of weeks ago. One day we received 13" of the white stuff. I was actually plowing it with the front air deflector at times. Only used the SNOW setting when I had to stop in a snow bank the plow created at the stop sign. One through that I set back to NORMAL. Having a good set of Winter tires also helped.

      Peter
       
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    3. hosedagain

      hosedagain Member

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      AWD is more of a performance feature not a safety feature, at the first sign of snow on our roads its usually the AWD vehicles that are in the ditch. FWD with a good set of winter tires is all you might need. just a thought.
       
    4. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I disagree to some extent unless you are putting stability under performance rather than safety. Having 4 wheels providing traction is better than only having 2 wheels doing the job. I do agree that a good set of Winter tires is very important as is the way that you drive, whether AWD, FWD or RWD.
      I preferred the Highlander's 4WD system where power/taction under normal circumstances was split 50/50 front and rear.
      Performance is also an important feature, especially if it gets you where you want to go. There have been many times when other vehicles have been stopped on a bit of an incline leaving the parking lot waiting for highway traffic to clear. When traffic on road cleared many of them sat spinning their wheels on the snow packed incline while I just pulled away without any problem.
      Many more manufacturers are now adding AWD to their product lines. Having driven for 50 years but only the last 12 with 4WD/AWD vehicles, I can't see me going back to 2 wheel drive.
      Anyway, that is my small contribution to this thread. I was going to say '2 cents' but as of yesterday, the production of the penny in Canada is no more.

      Peter
       
    5. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      When I had my first Highlander ('02) I tried doing that in a parking lot and try as I might, there was no way the vehicle would allow me to do it.

      Peter
       
    6. Joeymustang

      Joeymustang Member

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      yeah...its such a performance feature that when on snow mode the transmission starts in 2nd gear instead of 1st to decrease wheelspin, that should give some awesome 0-60 numbers! :thumbsup:
       
    7. HughCares

      HughCares Active Member

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      Where safety is concerned and assuming proper winter tires have been installed.....an AWD vehicle can not stop any better than a FWD vehicle. Too many AWD owners get a false comfort level of speed and safety since they do have better traction control and then they start to drive a little faster due to the improved traction. But stopping is another story....hence why AWD vehicles are usually the first ones in the ditches on bad road condition days like hosedagain stated.
       
    8. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      No argument there. That is why I stated the way you drive is also very important. When I was still working I recall one morning that the highway was quite bad. Snow and ice every where. In a 10 mile stretch I saw 5 vehicles in the ditch. Four of them were pickups with one being a fatality.
      In my previous Highlander with full time 4 wheel drive, I was able to gear down using all 4 wheels to slow the vehicle before using the brakes and that might have given it an edge in stopping ability but that won't help on ice.

      Peter
       
    9. 1995E

      1995E Well-Known Member

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      Sounds like you had it in sand mode. Nice to know the Explorer can throw the rear end out if conditions are right.
       
    10. JohnnyDop

      JohnnyDop Active Member

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      MikeFreas,

      Please confirm if you were in fact in Sand Mode?
       
    11. Joeymustang

      Joeymustang Member

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      I'm pretty sure he was in sand mode, if not the traction control would have kicked in and end the fun real fast
       
    12. MikeFreas

      MikeFreas Active Member

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      Yes I was in sand "mode."

      For those who have driven their AWD in snow you know that the truck is basically castrated i.e. very hard to impossible to get the wheels to spin.

      The sand mode disables the traction control, keeps the transmission in lower gears to keep the engine in the peak torque range. I'm not sure what the power split front to rear is but it's good enough for doughnuts. :D
       
    13. 77rednecktruck

      77rednecktruck Active Member

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      it is both. The fact that a false sense of security is given or that AWD vehicles crash because of poor driving is not a reflection on the car's driveline. I have a FWD Fusion, an AWD Explorer Sport, and a Jeep YJ at home now. They all handle snow just fine with regular all season tires and the Explorer with AWD is by far the best one. Point it in a direction and go, the FWD will just not steer if the front tires lose traction and the RWD (Jeep in 2wd) will spin out at the worst times :) . AWD is definitely a safety feature if you know how to drive. I bet those people in the ditches would still be in the ditches no matter what car they are driving. They would be going too fast for the conditions and not know how to correct the slide once it started.

      I can't wait to get out on a parking lot filled with snow in my new Sport. My kids love donuts. :)
       
    14. trysixty

      trysixty Member

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      First winter snow and the 14xsport in snow mode was fantastic. And using snow mode and the paddle shifters was downright fun.

      Now I understand why this vehicle is so popular and useful in snow laden Canada, and also why having a nav system which is worthless makes more sense for the Canadian market since there are hardy any roads in a lot places. I'm still trying to figure out Ford's angle on marketing fabrication of the Ecoboost. Maybe Ford thinks Canadians believe higher gas mileage numbers in liter/km are better?
      Maybe the Ford IVT team could confirm this?

      Gotta go play in the snow while it lasts ;)
       
    15. mctee

      mctee Member

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      PNW - snow? I'm guessing but you are in Oregon? I saw the news - try to stay shiny side up...

      And you're correct. We have no real roads in Canada what-so-ever to get from igloo to igloo.
      Our Ford Canada nav systems work great, tho, on cow and polar bear trails plus on those leftover wagon trails from that Yukon gold rush in the late 1800's when all those Americans rushed up here to pillage our gold. Now China is rushing to take our black gold... (or we're rushing to sell it to them).

      Further, CDN's get better mileage with their Explorer Sports because we use miles per Imperial gallon and not that mini US gallon or complicated metric system.
      Try it - calculate your fuel mileage in Imperial gallons and enjoy an instant +/- 12% increase in MPG!
      Or, drive 12% harder and enjoy the same mileage you are currently getting!;)
       
    16. Sgt1411

      Sgt1411 Elite Explorer

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      LMAO

      Are we getting that Oregon snow up north, or is it going east?

      I got my brand new Blizzaks burning a hole in the garage, so they need action.
       
    17. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Most of the big storms we have had in Ontario and eastward have been the result of weather fronts moving up out of Texas. Those storms have made it hard to see those chuck wagons on some of the trails out here. Looking forward to some asphalt driving so I can finally take the TMS out of the 'mud and ruts' mode.

      Peter
       
    18. CDN_Explorer

      CDN_Explorer Active Member

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      WOW.....OK. So there are "HARDY" any roads in a "LOT PLACES"? How is the navigation system "worthless"? Have you had it appraised? I'm sure you meant to say "useless". But that's probably just because you don't know how to use it, much like the english language.

      Oh and congratulations, I heard you have been nominated for the Canadian version of the Nobel Prize, the Golden Snowman, for revealing to us dumb Canadians that higher fuel consumption numbers in litres / 100km is in fact NOT the way to go....thank you so much for your enlightenment!
       
    19. J Pascoe

      J Pascoe New Member

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      Hi All,
      New owner of a 2015 Explorer limited!

      Last truck was a 2009 VW Touareg TDI. Amazing truck in the snow.

      That being said, I have played around with the Explorer and found a real difference in the driving styles between Normal / snow and sand.
      The sand position seemed to remind me the most of the VW. If not a little harsh with the throttle movement.

      In snow mode it seems almost lethargic!

      As a side note, I have snow tires mounted all the way around.

      Thoughts?

      Joe
       
    20. Rubberhead

      Rubberhead Active Member

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      The snow mode is designed to slowly gather speed without slipping on a slick surface. That's what you're feeling in the snow mode. The traction control stays active, again, to keep the wheels from slipping

      The sand mode is programmed to aggressively spin the wheels to keep it 'floating' on top of loose sand. Traction control is off to allow the wheels to spin.

      Mud/rut keeps the gearing low for power but still allows for some wheel spin. Like sand mode the traction control system is off in the mud/rut mode.
       
    21. tmg19103

      tmg19103 Active Member

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      The sand mode and can help or hurt. If you are going to be entering real soft sand, you need to keep your momentum going, so that helps.

      However, if you are at a stop in soft, deep sand, you want a low gear with slow revolutions to slowly get you going so you don't dig in. Mud/rut may be better for that.

      My primary beach vehicle is a 2009 Escape with just the normal mode AWD and I get around in soft sand just fine giving it the proper amount of power depending on the situation.
       
    22. J Pascoe

      J Pascoe New Member

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      Thanks for the input!
      Not saying it's bad... Just different from what I am use too.
      The diesel was very linear with its power output. So it is taking some getting use to.
      Joe
       
    23. 182RG

      182RG Active Member

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      Snow mode uses the ABS system to control wheel spin. Hence, it feels like you are driving with the brakes on.
       
    24. PJR202

      PJR202 New Member

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      does my 2013 xlt have those settings? i thought it was just auto 4WD without me touching a thing.
       
    25. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I don't believe the XLT has the Terrain Management System. The TMS is controlled by a dial located on the center console between the shifter and the armrest. It is shown on page 243 of the 2013 Owner's Guide (4th printing).

      Peter
       
    26. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Welcome to the Forum J Pascoe.:wavey:
      In the 3 years I had my 2011 Limited I only used 'Snow' mode once and that was to get through a large pile of snow that the plow had deposited at the stop sign of the street I was exiting from. Other than that instance, 'Normal' mode was used exclusively.

      Peter
       

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