Acura MDX SUV Forums banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
First time with my new MDX after four miles of driving turn back.
Here's why! On 30 degree decending grade coming to a stop, the front brakes locked and the ABS took over leaving only rear brakes active. Then when I tried to go forward the VTM saw that the front was in a bind and transfered to the back only! This caused the back of the MDX to slide around leaving only rear wheel drive. The problem here is the wheel well opening size and the mud flaps are way to restrictive not allowing the snow to leave and build up! Add an aggressive tread design of the tires and the build up is very quick. I have owned 14 4-wheel/allwheel vehicles in my lifetime and this one is the worst I have ever driven in the snow. With the ABS/VTM you have little braking and lost traction anytime it feels like it!
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
Snow Lock

Did you ever try pushing the VTM lock? That should power all of the wheels and avoid the rear wheel drive?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,321 Posts
William-

Can't question your experience, but it seems pretty unusual. Thousands of folks, and hundreds of members here, have been driving in the snow for two winters...

Your closing statement:

"With the ABS/VTM you have little braking and lost traction anytime it feels like it!"

I can't buy- you may be ticked off, but this isn't what thousands of owners are experiencing.

There was another report of unusual 'vtm4 behavior' here, and it was never resolved (at least on the board, to my recollection).

I'm not questioning the build up issue- I've not had a problem, but I rarely spend more than a few days in the snow- it just seems there might be something else going on.


Ard
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,724 Posts
What you thought happened can't happen -- the MDX is basically a front-wheel-drive vehicle; when front-wheel slippage is detected, the VTM-4 kicks in the rear wheels also. The front wheels (at least one of them, due to the differential) are ALWAYS connected. And exactly what do you mean by "front brakes locked and the ABS took over leaving only rear brakes active"? 4-wheel ABS is designed to pulse each brake individually to allow the wheel to turn. The snow/ice buildup could have locked up the wheel(s), but ABS wouldn't work like that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Wanted to share my snow story. I was driving in New Hampshire over the weekend and it snowed a few inches the morning of my drive. I was on a straight stretch of highway, going about 45 mph and my MDX started fishtailing. I slid across the highway and into a ditch. Fortnunately, I did not hit any cars or side rails. Wife and kids in the car and they are alright. Had to get towed to get out. I am not sure what started it all, I suppose a patch of ice, but there were no sudden turns or maneuvers to set off that kind of spin. I have Michelin cross terrains with about 11,000 miles on them, and tread looks good. I had not considered snow tires before this event, but am thinking seriously about it now. I live in Boston and like to ski most weekends, but this has me worried now. I reviewed past threads and am aware of emergency handling issues and was interested to see addition of VSA for the 03 models

I would appreciate thoughts from users with snow tires and how that might compare with VSA in an 03 to avoid future trouble like this
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,218 Posts
Glad that you're okay.

VSA probably would have been of some help in your situation, but one can't be sure because VSA only works up to the limits of your vehicle's traction. That's where snow tires can really help. Given that you're in New England, snow tires are an excellent idea (as good as the Cross Terrains are, snow tires are better for snow).

In theory, VSA would have tried to reduce the severity of the fishtailing by braking selected wheels, and then reducing or even cutting your power if that fails.

The other contributing factor was probably the MDX's very uneven weight distribution. Acura has published 2003 numbers that are more favorable but I don't think they're accurate.

Again, glad that you and your family are okay.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
BuzzMDX, glad your and your family & MDX are OK.

Where you driving on a plowed road or non-plowed?
I drive a lot in snow storms on the way to VT each weekend in the winter. My current vehicle is an Outback and I have not had that type of fish-tailing while going straight and not accelerating. I have experienced a type of alternating pulling from the right/left front tires when the snow piles up under the front tires, but not enough to move the rear end.

I would be interested in other snow experiences from the forum since I will be getting my MDX right in the middle of snow season.

:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
Spin out last winter

This recent post brought back to memory an incident from last winter. While driving my 5th grader at 15 - 20 MPH on a wintery morning on a local curved street road. My car went into a full 360 degree revolution. Fortunately the curb broke the spin and stopped the MDX. My son exclaims "Dad, why did you do that?"
I presumed the road had a thin fine layer of an ice patch that I overlooked or couldn't see.

How do snow tires work on ice?

Has anyone used snow tires for the MDX. I've considered them but comparing the Michelin brand snows didn't seem that different from the Michelin Cross Terrains that I currently have on the MDX.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
ANY snowtire will be useless on ice.

You'll have to either get studded tires or use chains to have a "snowball's chance".

If you do get snow tires I would recommend you put them on all four wheels.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
880 Posts
Surprised that this tire would be so bad in snow as far as accumulating snow, etc. At the tire-rack web page, which has various survey results from owners, the Michelin Cross-Terrain tire has a snow-traction rating of 7.3 out of 10: http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Michelin&tireModel=Cross+Terrain+SUV&vehicleSearch=true&partnum=365TR7CTSUV

Obviously a true snow tire will do better (such as the Michelin Artic-Alpin which is rated at 8.6 on this web site), but the Cross-Terrain should at least be dependable in average snow conditions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
Michelin Winter tire & Cross Terrain comparisons

http://tires.michelin-us.com/catalog/tires/arcticalpin.html

I gleaned the following info from Michelins Web site comparing various qualities of their snow tires and the All Season Cross Terrains.

I chose not to purchase their snow tires (either the Artic Alpin or Pilot Alpin) although the Cross Terrains receieved a 9 for Winter traction it seems to have a superb rating in all the other driving categories.

Scale: 1 Worst-10 Best

Michelin Arctic Alpin:

High Performance: 2
Everyday Handling: 4
Wet Traction: 5
Winter Traction: 10
Maximum Tread Life: 5
Quiet Ride: 5

Michelin Pilot Alpin:

High Performance: 4
Everyday Handling: 6
Wet Traction: 7
Winter Traction: 10
Maximum Tread Life: 5
Quiet Ride: 4

Michelin Cross Terrain SUV:

High Performance: 9
Everyday Handling: 9
Mud Traction: 6
Winter Traction: 9
Maximum Tread Life: 10
Quiet Ride: 10
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
About this Discussion
10 Replies
10 Participants
mystMDX
Acura MDX SUV Forums
Acura MDXers Forum - a community where enthusiasts discuss engines, tires, service and everything you need to know about the MDX!
Full Forum Listing
Top