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Old 01-01-2013, 04:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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SH AWD in Deep Snow

Hi

I got pretty stuck using the SH AWD in deeper drifted in snow (12+) with all-seasons. The traction control went wild slowing it to a crawl so I could no longer make headway.

I was able to back up and then disable the VSA and go forward. It smelled like burning brakes.

Is this normal? My wife's 05 Subaru Legacy GT motored right through.
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Old 01-01-2013, 06:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You should have shut off the VSA when you got stuck, then turned it back on after you got free.

At least that's what my owner's manual states.
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Old 01-01-2013, 06:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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That sounds pretty normal to me. In that situation, you just want all of the wheels chewing away at the snow.

Don't forget that Subaru has one of the best all-wheel drive systems available as far as traction (although at the cost of having to be very careful with tire circumferences to prevent damage).
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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raj, there may have been a couple things contributing to your problems. First was the VSA. In deep snow, where some tire spin is required (or even offroad), you should deactivate the VSA. The odor you experienced may have been from tires spinning on bare concrete/asphalt, which would probably indicate that your MDX was high-centered on the drift. Meaning, it was literally suspended above the street surface by the under carriage of the vehicle.

Your wife's subi, may not have a VSA system at all or have one as sensitive as the MDX, allowing it to power through the snow. And if the subi went through after the MDX, then it had a better "line" through the deep stuff allowing it to maintain traction.

Keep in mind that traction is a factor of two things: power distribution and ground contact. I have no doubt that the MDX can provide adequate power distribution, but the traction may have been hindered by the tires, and the snow lifting your MDX away from the road surface.

We had some snow over the last week and powered my MDX through an 18" drift without much issue. VSA was off and it did spin the tires, but never got hung up.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Okay VSA off.

The Subaru was actually the lead car earlier. However it does not have a stability control or traction control system just symmetrical? AWD. My only AWD is experience is Subaru and oddly AMC Eagle which both were excellent.

The driveway is gravel and ranged in depth of 4"-12"+ due to drifting since it crosses an open field.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Update. Driveway drifted in again. (daily occurrence it seems)

It was better with VSA disabled only getting stuck once in 14" deep snow one side and 4" other wheel. Just backed up a bit and motored on. I have the Michelin Latitudes HP with 50% wear which is likely contributing to the the rest of difficulties. The driveway(1/8 mi) also is a slight incline and is gravel(likely ice below).
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:39 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The Michelins are clearly not deep snow treads....you can have the most fantastic 4x4 system in the world and if connected to inappropriate tires you're still going to struggle. With good snow tires this thing would probably be quite impressive. We don't see enough bad weather to mess with it...4x4/awd and decent tires will do the trick 90% of the time around here. But my Pathfinder with AT's and basic 4x4 feels more secure in deeper snow than the MDX, as you just can't get beat a superior tire tread. We've had about 12" around here in the last week which is more than we've had the last couple years combined. MDX struggles a little climbing out of the steep section of our drive but it manages fine. My Pathfinder goes up in 2wd with a little drama and will climb out in 4x4 with no traction control beeping/blinking.
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The Michelins are clearly not deep snow treads....you can have the most fantastic 4x4 system in the world and if connected to inappropriate tires you're still going to struggle. With good snow tires this thing would probably be quite impressive. We don't see enough bad weather to mess with it...4x4/awd and decent tires will do the trick 90% of the time around here. But my Pathfinder with AT's and basic 4x4 feels more secure in deeper snow than the MDX, as you just can't get beat a superior tire tread. We've had about 12" around here in the last week which is more than we've had the last couple years combined. MDX struggles a little climbing out of the steep section of our drive but it manages fine. My Pathfinder goes up in 2wd with a little drama and will climb out in 4x4 with no traction control beeping/blinking.
Raj, what "skinny2" and "MDX13" have said is exactly correct. I have winter tires on my X and it performs like a dream. With the amount of snow we've had this year alone I am absolutely confident in the Xs ability in snow; I live in Canada. I have parked my X in a parking lot filled with a foot of heavy snow, I've driven up on a snow bank on the side of a road to park, I've driven on roads where other cars are being towed out or can't get traction and simply spinning their tires. Once you have appropriate tires for your X you'll be impressed. I've had to turn my VSA off on three separate occasions due to extreme road conditions. I drove my x when the temperature went from melting snow to a deep freeze, within 12 hours, and the wet and slush turned to miserable hard and jagged ice. In order to get going and dig in I've had to turn the VSA off so the tires would work independently and keep spinning to give me the power I needed. You'll note a huge difference in the X's ability with winter tires. In fact I look forward to heavy snow falls now. Before I use to be the person who would avoid coming to a full stop on the road, or avoid driving in bad weather. now I just get it in and go.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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What tires are u using aucjmo22??? TIA
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm using Toyo Open Country G-02 Plus.

Winter Tires | Toyo Tires

Toyo has come out with another winter tire, the "observe garit kx" you may want to look at that as well.

Good luck!
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:05 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I'm using Toyo Open Country G-02 Plus.

Winter Tires | Toyo Tires

Toyo has come out with another winter tire, the "observe garit kx" you may want to look at that as well.

Good luck!
I have Toyo Observe Gsi-5 on my MDX and they are amazing as well, also I think that Gsi-5 is Toyo's latest winter tire that fits MDX.

Garit KX is a few years old and while it is great High performance winter tire it is intended for cars and is not suitable/available for MDX. (great on an Integra or TSX)

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Old 01-10-2013, 09:01 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I have Toyo Observe Gsi-5 on my MDX and they are amazing as well, also I think that Gsi-5 is Toyo's latest winter tire that fits MDX.

Garit KX is a few years old and while it is great High performance winter tire it is intended for cars and is not suitable/available for MDX. (great on an Integra or TSX)

Regards,

Nino
Nino thanks for the clarification. I hadn't realized that Garit KX was for cars. I was looking at the Toyo's winter tire page and failed to recognize that this page was for all winter tires and not specific to SUVs...ooops.

How long have you been using the GSI-5 tires and how do the handle? I bought the G-02 when I originally purchased my X and they're, in my opinion, excellent. I find I don't lose any milage, compared to my summer tires, and the tread wear has been minimal. I put them on in the beginning of November and they come off in mid April, which is half the year. I'm on my 4th year and I expect to have them for at least for another 3 more winters. Let me know how the GSI-5s handle, if they're as good as the G-02s and they fit the MDX better I'll try those next.
Thanks.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:49 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Nino thanks for the clarification. I hadn't realized that Garit KX was for cars. I was looking at the Toyo's winter tire page and failed to recognize that this page was for all winter tires and not specific to SUVs...ooops.

How long have you been using the GSI-5 tires and how do the handle? I bought the G-02 when I originally purchased my X and they're, in my opinion, excellent. I find I don't lose any milage, compared to my summer tires, and the tread wear has been minimal. I put them on in the beginning of November and they come off in mid April, which is half the year. I'm on my 4th year and I expect to have them for at least for another 3 more winters. Let me know how the GSI-5s handle, if they're as good as the G-02s and they fit the MDX better I'll try those next.
Thanks.
I have GSi-5 since December 2011 ( I think they came out in 2011). I can't compare them to g-02, I never had those, but I can tell you that they are amazing on MDX. I can't find anything wrong with them and it looks like they will last "forever". We had a dump couple of weeks ago and since they got "surprised" as usual, nobody plowed through the rush hour, so everything turned into ice under the snow and slush. MDX went like it was on dry road, but even stopping was unreal, I half expect sh-awd to do miracles, but when it comes to stopping one has to be careful, GSi-5 were incredible.

In dry they are great as well, overall excellent and since I have 275/45/19 for summer tires, I don't even notice any drop in mpg either.

I had Garit HT (older model) on my TSX for 8 winters, and those were incredible, still had 75% left in them, but I was getting nervous running on such old rubber, replaced with Dunlop M3 Sport, and still kick myself for not buying Garit KX. Honestly Toyo was always great for me, for such a small tire company, they are almost not supposed to be able to make such good tires...

Regards,

Nino
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:48 PM   #15 (permalink)
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You should have shut off the VSA when you got stuck
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