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Old 12-22-2012, 01:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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MDX 2007 sliding in ice

Hi All,

First time poster here I have a 2007 MDX with Yokohama Geolandar HTS (I think G051) tires with less than 10k miles on them.

Last weekend I took my X up to the snow at Lake Tahoe for the first time. I was heading back to the hotel from a friends at night when temp was maybe 25 or 30 degrees outside and was already expecting the hill to be very icey. It was maybe 30 degree downhill slope and was trying to keep it in first gear going 5-10mph. When I got towards the bottom of the hill the car started sliding and I think ABS eventually kicked in, so I couldn't do anything other than turn, which luckily I didn't have to do because I was going so slowly. Letting off the breaks for a couple seconds and reapplying didn't help at all. Of course the slide happened to be down the last part of the road coming up to the highway, but I was going slow enough that I didn't make it to the highway

Anything I should have done differently to avoid the sliding, or did mother nature and physics leave me helpless?

Also when going downhill is there anything to do to keep an X in 1st gear other than breaking to keep the mph low?

Thanks!
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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All the technology in the world won't help if you don't have any traction. There are two variates at work here:
  • the road conditions
  • your tires

With the ultimate goal of traction, tire traction is dependent on road conditions. IMHO, there's not a whole lot you could have done with your listed circumstance outside of driving slower (limits potential error).

I'm not aware of a way to keep an MDX in 1st gear. However, something tells me there's got to be an undocumented technique for doing this.
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by bryan123 View Post
Also when going downhill is there anything to do to keep an X in 1st gear other than breaking to keep the mph low?
While in Drive mode grab the gear shift and move it left. Now you are in Manual mode. This gives you the ability to shift up or down to your hearts desire.

How long have you owned your 2007 MDX?
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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lol, with drive the 2007 for so long you don't know how to correctly use the automatic transmission?

for the traction problem, yes, it's the physics that will keep you helpless, goes chain or snow tire may help or may not.
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Old 12-22-2012, 03:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't know if the earlier versions allow you to, but my 2012 shifts to second gear automatically even in manual mode.
Releasing the brakes is not the right thing to do as your abs is a way better braker than you are.
Lastly, and as someone mentioned before, here is where tires come into play...people give praise to awd for helping you go, but they don't realize it doesn't help to turn or stop, a proper set of tires does.


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Old 12-22-2012, 03:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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While in Drive mode grab the gear shift and move it left. Now you are in Manual mode. This gives you the ability to shift up or down to your hearts desire.

How long have you owned your 2007 MDX?
it is also called sequential sportshift mode. set to 1 and it will stay there until you shift it to 2.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I don't know if the earlier versions allow you to, but my 2012 shifts to second gear automatically even in manual mode.
Releasing the brakes is not the right thing to do as your abs is a way better braker than you are.
Lastly, and as someone mentioned before, here is where tires come into play...people give praise to awd for helping you go, but they don't realize it doesn't help to turn or stop, a proper set of tires does.


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Wrestrepo is totally correct. With ABS you never pump the brakes, hold it down the ABS pumps it for you! Whats the point of having a great 4x4 or AWD vehicle if the tires arent suitable for snow. I just bought a set of snow rated general grabber at2's for my other suv, cant wait to put it around in the snow... the X will be nice n clean in the garage lol.
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Old 12-23-2012, 12:10 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Wrestrepo is totally correct. With ABS you never pump the brakes, hold it down the ABS pumps it for you! Whats the point of having a great 4x4 or AWD vehicle if the tires arent suitable for snow. I just bought a set of snow rated general grabber at2's for my other suv, cant wait to put it around in the snow... the X will be nice n clean in the garage lol.
+1. just got here and the steep driveway has about 3" of untouched snow and of course ice underneath! the general grabbers snow tires worked its wonder!!! imho these snow shoes are well worth the investment.
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Old 12-23-2012, 12:46 AM   #9 (permalink)
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While in Drive mode grab the gear shift and move it left. Now you are in Manual mode. This gives you the ability to shift up or down to your hearts desire.

How long have you owned your 2007 MDX?
Yes I was using manual mode. It was up to maybe 2k rpm max before it kept shifting to 2nd, and I was having trouble keeping it in 1st even going under 10mph. Was just seeing if others have experienced the same thing.
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Old 12-23-2012, 12:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Wrestrepo is totally correct. With ABS you never pump the brakes, hold it down the ABS pumps it for you! Whats the point of having a great 4x4 or AWD vehicle if the tires arent suitable for snow. I just bought a set of snow rated general grabber at2's for my other suv, cant wait to put it around in the snow... the X will be nice n clean in the garage lol.
Sorry when I said pumping I didn't mean literally, was just putting break on and off every few seconds when going down the hill. When ABS kicked in it did a lot better. Geolandars are mud+snow tires but you are right maybe they aren't as suitable as some of the other nice ones out there like Pirellis or Goodyear Forteras.
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Old 12-23-2012, 06:22 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Sorry when I said pumping I didn't mean literally, was just putting break on and off every few seconds when going down the hill. When ABS kicked in it did a lot better. Geolandars are mud+snow tires but you are right maybe they aren't as suitable as some of the other nice ones out there like Pirellis or Goodyear Forteras.
Releasing the brake and applying it again is kind of pumping. If you have snow tires and that happened is just physics, sometimes you just don't have grip. If that's really an issue (sliding) the next step is studded tires.
I am with you, I wish the car stated in first gear.




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Old 12-23-2012, 06:52 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Physics will get you and sometimes there is nothing you can do! I was once stopped in traffic on a road that had a very slight slope. My car started sliding back and to the right side. Luckily traffic started moving or I would have been in the ditch.

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Old 12-23-2012, 12:26 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Geolandars are mud+snow tires but you are right maybe they aren't as suitable as some of the other nice ones out there like Pirellis or Goodyear Forteras.
The Geolandars are all-season tires. All-season tires are compromise tires, designed to be okay in warm weather and okay in winter conditions. On ice and snow, and in frigid temperatures, all-season tires won't give you anywhere near as much traction as winter tires. All-season tires carry the M+S (mud+snow) symbol on the sidewall. True winter tires have a mountain/snowflake symbol on the sidewall.

Similarly, the Goodyear Fortera is only an all-season and won't give you anywhere near as much traction as winter tires. Goodyear's winter tires carry the "Ultra Grip" name.

If you expect to be driving on ice from time to time, you really need to get some true winter tires, especially the "studless ice and snow" type. The best for the MDX are the Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2 and the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1.

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If you have snow tires and that happened is just physics, sometimes you just don't have grip.
He doesn't have winter tires (sometimes called "snow tires", although they are designed grip better in frigid temperatures, even when the roads aren't covered with snow and ice).

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If that's really an issue (sliding) the next step is studded tires.
No, it isn't. Don't get studded tires. The "studless ice and snow" winter tires give better traction in most winter conditions than studdable tires with studs installed. Also, studded tires are illegal in many northern states that normally experience winter conditions.

Here's what I wrote in the big winter tire discussion:

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In winter conditions, the difference between all-season tires and winter tires is HUGE. What many people don't realize is that they're not just for snow and ice; winter tires grip much better in frigid temperatures, even when the roads are dry, thanks to their ability to remain soft and pliable at those temperatures. All-season tires are designed as a compromise - okay in warmer temperatures (not as grippy as summer tires, but okay), and okay in cold temperatures (not as grippy as winter tires, but okay). Winter tires do better at the specific conditions for which they were designed.

Note that there are three types of winter tires. Using the Tire Rack terminology: "studless ice and snow" winter tires, "performance" winter tires, and "studdable" winter tires. The "studless ice and snow" winter tires give the best grip on ice and snow, but their handling when temperatures aren't so cold can be only so-so and less responsive. The "performance" winter tires offer better handing on warmer days than the studless variety, but aren't quite as grippy on ice and snow. "Studdable" winter tires really aren't a good choice, because tests have shown that in most winter conditions, today's modern "studless" winter tires give better traction than the studdable tires with studs installed. (Ref 1) (Ref 2) The use of studded tires is also illegal in many of the states and provinces with some of the worst winter weather.

Whether you need winter tires, and which type you choose, may depend on the conditions you face. If you live in an area with mild winters, or if you have another vehicle you would use when winter strikes, all-seasons might be sufficient for your needs and you might not need winter tires at all. If you do a lot of long-distance interstate driving, the performance winter tire might be a good choice. If your winter driving is mostly on local streets that aren't always kept clear, the studless ice and snow tires might be best. If you have no alternative but to drive even in the worst winter weather - maybe you're an emergency responder, or maybe you just HAVE to drive to work - and you absolutely must get where you're going no matter what, then the studless ice and snow tires are probably a good choice. And if you live in a cold climate with a fair amount of snow and/or ice as well as frigid temperatures, again, the studless might be best.

If you want to use winter tires, it's worth it to get an extra set of wheels, so you only have to get the tires mounted and balanced on the wheels one time. If you don't already have an extra set of wheels, you can find a used set of stock wheels for as little as $200, on eBay or at car-parts.com as well as in the Classifieds forum here.

I've considered winter tires money well spent. As I see it, all they have to do is prevent an accident once, and they've paid for themselves (depending on the amount of your insurance deductible). And because I only use them for 2-3 months a year, they don't get many miles on them each year; I just buy them once, and that one set then lasts many years.

Last year I needed to buy a set of winter tires for my MDX. Because I live in an area with extreme cold temperatures (temps of -10F or colder are not uncommon) as well as plenty of snow, I wanted the studless ice and snow tires. On the advice of the knowledgeable folks at Tire Rack, I got the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1. I love 'em.

Of course, there's also the "jinx effect". If you buy a set of winter tires, you will then have very mild winters. If you don't buy them and try to get by on all-seasons, you will then have very harsh winters. In which case, it's easier to get around on winter tires when you don't need them, than on all-seasons when you really need winter tires.
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Old 12-23-2012, 12:50 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Of course, there's also the "jinx effect". If you buy a set of winter tires, you will then have very mild winters. If you don't buy them and try to get by on all-seasons, you will then have very harsh winters. In which case, it's easier to get around on winter tires when you don't need them, than on all-seasons when you really need winter tires.
Love this. Quite a few friends in Chicago, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, tell me that this is a very real and relevant "effect" aka Murphy's Law.
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Old 12-23-2012, 12:56 PM   #15 (permalink)
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As a long-time Minnesotan, another tip. When you buy a new vehicle, take it out in an empty parking lot or even neighborhood road and test it during the first snow of the year. Every car/SUV I've owned behaves differently. Tires, steering, how the ABS works are factors. I've never been a big snow tire guy since I live in a metro area, but I am big into learning how to drive during the winter. Most of the time I'm more concerned about the guy behind me!
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