Q: So Snow Mode is for Snow/Ice Conditions, but What if on the Highway?

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Expedition Dave

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Q: So Snow Mode is for Snow/Ice Conditions, but What if on the Highway?

I get that the system is set up for what I would assume: slow going through bad weather--to get you through it.

But if you are traveling with traffic at highway speeds
, and there are some snowy, icy bits what mode would you all recommend?

Not a trick question, but I am curious the hive's thoughts and please state why. Please refrain from long talks about safety, snow tires and chains b/c obviously, one must drive the conditions, but curious the opinions here. And also b/c most people who don't live in the snow belt, but drive through it briefly, usually don't run snows but all seasons/ATs (like me lol).

My thoughts that a locked center diff and/or locked rear (unless going through the thicker, less than 10 mph stuff) on the highway or carrying any real speed might cause the vehicle to go into a skid/slide more readily since spinning tires offer no traction, but a tire rolling along will offer some directional stability.

So, I personally feel that AWD and traction control are the way to go, either in SNOW mode or ECO mode to soften throttle inputs.
 

Mlarv

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First off snow mode is for snowy and icy roads. If you are on a highway going highway speeds I would hope it is not snow and ice. It helps you get going not stopping.

I use snow and ice mode when traveling at highway speeds some times, because to get to the highway I have to travel some backroads that had not been cleared. I will just leave it in what ever mode it is in when I hit the highway. When I got off the highway I most of the time I am back on back roads.

If I knew I would not hit back roads or snowy icy roads again I would turn it off.
 

carymccarr

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If you’re going “highway speeds” then obviously the rear diff shouldn’t be locked.

But frankly if you’re going “highway speeds” and the conditions are deep snow that warrant a locked diff or deep snow/mud ruts setting (nav) that’s a whole different discussion.
 

shane_th_ee

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But if you are traveling with traffic at highway speeds
, and there are some snowy, icy bits what mode would you all recommend?
The conditions you describe here are the exact conditions that prompted the development of 4A systems. Traditional 4x4 systems had two problems in these conditions; first, on the "dry" sections of pavement the driveline would have a tendency to bind in the turns. Second, on the snowy/icy patches, a throttle impulse can cause a spin out as the torque "steer" on each axle is in the opposite direction which results in a rotational force around the center of the vehicle. 4A systems solved both of these problems by 1) allowing the front and rear drive shafts to rotate at different speeds and 2) reducing torque when wheel spin is detected. Stability control systems built on this foundation by adding yaw sensors, steering input sensors, etc, etc.

In summary: Snow mode for compact snow and ice, 4A for roads with patches of clear and snowy/icy.
 

Fizzy

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This is a moot point. As per the manual:
The locker mode may automatically disengage based on certain conditions such as vehicle speed. When engaged, a telltale in the instrument cluster will illuminate amber and the switch button will be illuminated. When the speed is exceeded the telltale will turn gray, the locker will be disengaged and be in standby mode until the speed conditions are met.

The locker disengages at city speeds, let alone highway speeds.

As for experience - up here we spend 6 months of the year driving on deep or packed snow and black ice. On the highway it's either in 4A+Normal or Snow mode, depending on whether it's full coverage on the highway, or patchy.
 

Meeker

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This is a moot point. As per the manual:


The locker disengages at city speeds, let alone highway speeds.

As for experience - up here we spend 6 months of the year driving on deep or packed snow and black ice. On the highway it's either in 4A+Normal or Snow mode, depending on whether it's full coverage on the highway, or patchy.

I'm going to be the dissenter here - for any highway driving in the winter, I will switch to Normal or Eco and 2WD. AWD in my opinion, even though it frees up the wheels, still adds resistance to your front wheels. The most traction you can get for steering is freewheeling front wheels. It's not a big thing - if I have any notions of getting off the highway I'll leave it in Snow mode. But to me, on the highway you only care about stopping and steering, so maximize your traction for those parameters by driving only 1 wheel...
 

Fizzy

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I'm going to be the dissenter here - for any highway driving in the winter, I will switch to Normal or Eco and 2WD. AWD in my opinion, even though it frees up the wheels, still adds resistance to your front wheels. The most traction you can get for steering is freewheeling front wheels. It's not a big thing - if I have any notions of getting off the highway I'll leave it in Snow mode. But to me, on the highway you only care about stopping and steering, so maximize your traction for those parameters by driving only 1 wheel...

I think it was you I passed in the ditch on Highway 1 last week?? :D
 

carymccarr

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I'm going to be the dissenter here - for any highway driving in the winter, I will switch to Normal or Eco and 2WD. AWD in my opinion, even though it frees up the wheels, still adds resistance to your front wheels. The most traction you can get for steering is freewheeling front wheels. It's not a big thing - if I have any notions of getting off the highway I'll leave it in Snow mode. But to me, on the highway you only care about stopping and steering, so maximize your traction for those parameters by driving only 1 wheel...

On a snow covered highway while it’s snowing you’re in 2wd? I’m not going to argue because you’re in Canada but I’m pretty far north in the US and drive all the time through snowstorms and there’s no way I’d keep it in 2. I do it every now and again (of the road is empty) to see how it behaves but it’s spooky.
 
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