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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. 1995E

      1995E Well-Known Member

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      So it starts snowing yesterday night in Maryland yesterday so I decided to just take the Explorer out to whip it around in the snow because the roads were extra slipper with about a half inch of snow.

      I have the 4WD so I wanted to test out all the terrain management settings.

      Normal Mode: Very spot on, even though I didn't have it in snow mode, I would turn and I didn't even feel the car slipping at all and the traction control fired perfectly. No understeer or oversteer and easily kept the vehicle where I wanted to go. I did this multiple times whipping the car faster and faster as I go moderating the accelerator.

      Snow mode: Controls my accelerating so nicely and no slippage whatsoever. I tried punching the gas but the car controlled the throttle perfectly. Kept my inputs well controlled and really prevents any lead foots from screwing you over. Much improvement from traditional 4WD systems in my opinion.

      Sand Mode: For the heck of it, I wanted to see how sand mode would perform since it provides killer torque and power. You can really notice the difference from having traction control to no traction control. You'd be in so much trouble with the car whipping around. I understeered like crazy and the car wouldn't stop. It kept going straight wherever I turned. I would only put sandmode in if I was driving over like 10 - 12 inches of snow like I did last year to get out of a situation where I got stuck.

      The vehicle electronics are dead on accurate in this car,much better than the traction control on my friend's 2007 Cadillac CTS which you would feel the body slipping for about 1 - 2 seconds before it responds. Also much better in keeping the vehicle in control than the traditional 4WD. I did this on pavement that hasn't been plowed or salted yet.
       
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    3. NEWPORTNJ

      NEWPORTNJ Active Member

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      I also today took my baby ex out on the snow and tested then features and let me tell you this new explorer is awsome handled like a baby love it :) :)
       
    4. gdecamp

      gdecamp Active Member

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      Have to agree with above, just got back in and the ride was smooth as silk,Tried only the snow mode and the normal to see the difference, both worked well around the neighborhood.
       
    5. Bill #5 Explorer

      Bill #5 Explorer Well-Known Member

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      Drove a bunch yesterday in +6 inches of snow. My AWD Limited did great. Even after 32,000 miles on the Hankooks.
       
      Last edited: January 22, 2012
    6. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      AWD:thumbsup:
       
    7. dco43054

      dco43054 Well-Known Member

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      Last week we had a night with a little snow and near freezing conditions. The roads were slick and snotty when I was headed out after rush hour. Oh - and Columbus, Ohio doesn't believe in pretreating side strees and collector roads in their urban areas.

      Not many cars on the roads I was on, so I thought I would see what the snow mode would do, and how the ABS would react. I was coming down a slight hill about 20mph on a wide two lane with a continuous right turn at the next intersection. Rather than gently applying the brakes to slow for the turn, I hit the brakes and held them to see what the ABS would do. I just slid straight ahead. Very little, if any, pulsing out of the system, and no steering control. Not a problem as I was going slowly and was the only car around.

      But then It did get kind of interesting when another vehicle made a turn from the intersecting street into my lane, right at the start of the intersection.

      Got off brakes and stabbed at the gas. Regained traction and made the turn without hitting anything. Next similar situation, I just braked myself. I was much better than the ABS.

      Too early to tell what the issue was with the ABS not doing much to maintain traction while stopping. Could have just been particuilarly slick road conditions in that intersection. Have to play with it some more to tell.

      In general, I would describe snow mode as "dulling the senses" of the driveline. It seems to retard acceleration and accelerator input. I looked in the manual again to see if it said exactly what each mode did, and didn't find it. I know there is a thread in here somewhere with the info.

      In general, I'd rather do it myself and modulate the gas and brake for normal winter driving. But I will have to use the different modes more to see what works best. Ultimately, it may be "normal" mode all the time for me.
       
    8. gregross

      gregross Member

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      My experience wasn't as positive. On a snowy road (my street) in both Normal and Snow as I cornered the vehicle, the rear end fish tailed on me. Handling didn't feel as sure as my previous 4Runner 4wd. Wonder if it is the dif between front wheel drive and rear wheel drive. Had Michelen Mud/Snow tires on all 4 wheels. Any thoughts?
       
    9. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Were they dedicated Winter tires or so called all season? I have seem many tires that say M&S but are not a Winter tire. These so called all season tires begin to lose grip at 44 degrees F.
       
    10. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I read that if you lock all 4 wheels on an icy road, ABS could actually increase your stopping distance.
      I've driven on moderately snow covered/icy roads and have done so in Normal mode without any problems. I have not had a chance to drive in any kind of accumulated snow because the plows are out quite early here.
       
    11. 182RG

      182RG Active Member

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      Snow mode uses ABS braking to keep the wheels from spinning. The sense of dull is the Ex riding it's own brakes when it detects wheel spin.
       
    12. ichiro360

      ichiro360 New Member

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      yet newjersey got jit as well and it was funn driving all day lol
       
    13. gregross

      gregross Member

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      Not sure what you classify them as but they are Michelin LTX M-S.
       
    14. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      That is an all season tire. Looking at customer reviews on 1010tires.com, the lowest rating was for snow performance 3 out of 5. This is a Canadian site and most complaints were about snow traction. On the tirerack.com, reviews were more favourable about snow performance.
      Overall, it seems to be quite a decent tire. The other thing to remember is that dedicated Winter tires, because of their softer rubber compound, provide superior grip on cold, bare pavement.
       
    15. 1995E

      1995E Well-Known Member

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      Really? In snow mode, I didn't feel or hear the ABS braking at all. It felt like my accelerator input was numbed down so if I smashed the accelerator, the engine RPM wouldn't spike.
       
    16. 182RG

      182RG Active Member

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      It says it dials back the throttle response, and turns up traction control. Traction control uses positive hydraulic pressure to apply braking to individual wheels, while the transmission transfers power to others. It uses a different modulator than the ABS modulator, since its applying positive pressure to the brakes, vs. antilock which is relieving pressure to the brakes, hence the clicking sound.

      All can be found here

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_stability_control
       
      Last edited: January 22, 2012
    17. TimGinCentralNJ

      TimGinCentralNJ Member

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      My first experience in slippery stuff - 2011 Explorer XLT

      After getting to see what it would do in the deep sand of OBX / North Carolina last Sept (awesome, by the way), I finally got a chance to try out our '11 Explorer in the white stuff this weekend when NJ got 3-4" of snow.

      One of the most noticeable things to me about this AWD system (as compared to either traditional 4WD or even a current-generation Subaru's Symmetrical AWD system) is how smooth it functions; the front and rear wheels don't "fight" with each other like a 4WD or Subaru does, like when you're trying to make a turn from a stop, and the rear wheels keep trying to push you straight regardless of which direction the front wheels are pointed.

      Overall, I was very impressed with the new AWD system--even when in "Normal" mode. I could definitely see where "Snow" mode would be beneficial 99% of the time in slick conditions, however, I would definitely try "Sand" mode in the event I was in deep stuff--or found myself stuck.

      Very happy with this truck...er....cross-over! :thumbsup:

      Thanks for the bandwidth,
      Tim
       
    18. pwscott

      pwscott Active Member

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      4WD Indicators in Dash- Documentation???

      I was very impressed with my 2012 LTD in the snow as well here in CT.

      The dynamic displays in the top left dash display are very cool showing power to the wheels and braking I gather.

      I looked through the 4WD PDF document and the Explorer Owners' Manual PDF and I don't see any documentation that shows what the different densities and lights in blue indicate there really. Anyone?


       
      Last edited: January 26, 2012
    19. TimGinCentralNJ

      TimGinCentralNJ Member

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      I think you may be reading too much into the dash read out; I believe it simply illustrates how much torque is being sent to front and rear wheels by the AWD system.

      If you're looking for a more technical answer, like how much/what percentage of torque does each gradation means, I wish I knew, too. Ford has been very elusive on sharing any information which truly explains what % of torque can be shifted from front to rear.

      Good thing is, it sure seems to work well!

      Tim
       
    20. pwscott

      pwscott Active Member

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      Torque | Braking Readout

      There seems to be some good info shown there.

      Even in Normal Mode if you have that pictogram showing you can apparently see any slippage indicated and other modes being called on it would seem.

      At each wheel there is a blue block show when it is being powered I guess- often just fronts then rears will come on in Snow Mode. Then the block may get more opaque under acceleration, and the block will, esepcially on the rears be extended twice as far away from the wheel and darker or more opaque blue- I suspect that may indicate braking?

      Not sure I have watched it in Hill Descent but want to check that out next time too.


       
    21. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Now if Ford would only put the correct emblem (AWD) on the back, everything would be good Tim.:thumbsup:

      Peter
       
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    22. TimGinCentralNJ

      TimGinCentralNJ Member

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      Haha! You are correct, sir ;) I believe that decision was likely one of Ford's Marketing department. Although it's a vastly more capable AWD system than any of the other vehicles in its class, clearly it's still not 4WD.

      Gone are the days where one could take a trunk emblem for granted, huh? ;)

      Tim
       
    23. suzook

      suzook Active Member

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      Then the ex would definitely be a crossover, not an suv!;)
       
    24. JFUSION

      JFUSION Active Member

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      I wish they gave us a traction control button like they do on other fords, sometimes you want some more power going to the wheels and it takes too long to scroll through the side menu when you are trying to get out of a sticky situation .
       
    25. MikeFreas

      MikeFreas Active Member

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    26. FIND

      FIND Well-Known Member

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      Looks like you had some fun....



      By the way, a trick when posting videos in the forum. You can directly imbed them by copying the video code that is usually found at the end of the youtube link, in this case -evFIG_NjC4, then putting it between the tags [ youtube ] your code goes here [ / youtube ]. Just remove the spaces.

      I have to laugh at your video a little bit though. One of my friends just move to Virginia Beach this summer because she was tired of South Dakota winters, and thought it would be great fun on the coast... Yet we have had about a weeks worth of winter this year.

      Enjoy the snow!
       

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