terrain management (snow mode) rear torque bias? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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terrain management (snow mode) rear torque bias?


July 18, 2017
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City, State
Cincinnati, OH
Year, Model & Trim Level
2015 Ford Explorer Sport
Drove my 15 sport for the first time in several inches of snow we just got in Ohio. I was absolutely baffled to see that when driving and just giving very little throttle while in snow mode, the 4wd screen showed torque ONLY going to the rear wheels. It was only when I gave more throttle that the front wheels started to get involved.

I then when to an area where the street had been plowed and was only wet and began to slowly accelerate slowly from a standstill, again in snow mode. I was having no slippage and the same result, all torque to the rear wheels. Here's where I'm really confused, to get the front wheels to get any torque, required me to give more throttle than I would want to, given the road conditions. So I realized that in snow mode while driving around just feathering the throttle, I was essentially driving a rear wheel drive vehicle?

(I know the terrain management can transition torque front to back as needed) but i'm talking about driving where I'm going slow... 25-30 mph, I don't understand why one would want power to the rear wheels FIRST on slippery roads and then add power to the front wheels if more throttle was given and/or the rear wheels were slipping. I would expect on snow covered roads the front wheels would likely have the best traction most of the time and give better control.

I know from my days of having rear wheel drive sports cars, when taking off under hard acceleration, weight is distributed to the rear wheels helping traction in the rear, could that be the concept here? Even so, I still don't know why you wouldn't want some power going to both the front and rear in snow mode when beginning to accelerate for optimum traction which should be the purpose of snow mode. Or is my terrain management acting differently from others?

Just for clarification, the front wheels are always receiving power. Just because the display is showing bars on the rear only doesn't mean it's only driving the rear wheels.

Under normal driving, there is little power being sent to the rear wheels, it's mainly front wheel drive. You might not see any bars, but power is applied to the front wheels when you are accelerating or cruising at a constant speed.

I'm not sure how they set up the display, because I don't think it's showing the true power distribution.

Hi Brian. I drove mine in 'Snow' mode last week in town and on the highway. Unfortunately I didn't set up the display. I'll try to remember the next time. What I have experienced is that in 'Snow' mode, accelerating from a stop doesn't have the same 'get up and go' as it usually has. Acceleration appears to be a little more hesitant or as I like to call it, "dumbed down".