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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I go to college in the northern part of West Virginia and I recentely brought my 2010 Ford Escape XLT FWD V6 up to campus. We just started getting bad weather :frozen: and to get on my campus and to my dorm buildings, I have to go up some steep inclines. :doh: When driving up it today, I experienced a fair amount of spin getting up the hill. I was wondering if anyone knew any advice/tips to help me get up the hill without spinning out or loosing control of the vehicle. That would be awesome!
 

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My tip would be to remember that momentum is key... and that gunning it vs. slow crawl will surprise you.
 

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I was a driving instructor for many years, and one of the best tips I used to teach people for going up hills, whether snow/ice covered or rain slick, is give yourself a run at it. Like Tang mentioned, you need momentum to keep your vehicle going where you want it to go. Remember.....you're fighting gravity all the way up. Also, make sure you're using the right tires for this type of driving. Winter tires on all 4 corners is the best way to go.

One important item I should also mention: 4 wheel drive doesn't mean 4 wheel stop! 4WD gets you going, but it doesn't stop you any faster than an ordinary 2WD vehicle. It's basic physics. :)
 

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+1000 to what fotojack said above.
I just feel over stressing the necessity of winter/snow tires for every day commute like yours.
You may also want to experiment with 2nd gear in the tranny instead of D.That may limit the tendency for slippage.
 

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Tires please. There are tires designed for winter conditions and these can make a difference and minimize the need for excess speed "run-up" to make it over hill. I live north of your location, across the state line.
 

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When snow started falling in Buffalo, I made a note to drive on the stock Michelin Latitudes before my snow tires were put on the car. They were sliding on mere grease. Now, they weren't horrible, but when I put on my snow tires, it was an absolute night and day difference - in fact, they've stopped my Escape in situations I previously would expect a fair bit of slide / ABS action even with snow tires.

Snow tires make the difference. Other than that, build momentum, and always be aware of your vehicle's limitations. And then stay away from said limitations. We've all seen how many SUVs end up in the ditch from overconfident drivers.

Last night, the speed was 55, I did 40-45 on greasy roads, even though I know my tires could handle the higher speeds. But that would be approaching the limit. I made it home safe. Other drivers weren't so lucky.

And that's my snow driving rant for the week.
 

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edescape10 said:
Thanks for the advice everyone.
SUV Ford- I have heard many times if going up a steep incline in these conditions, it is best to put the vehicle in low gear. Is this true?
If the aim is to minimize slippage under winter conditions then one has to drive at a constant speed with the lower possible ratio in the gearbox, be it manual or automatic.The higher the gear the lower the ratio.The idea is to pass on to the wheels the lowest possible amount of torque which can handle the limited friction factor between the wheels and the road surface.
That is not the quickest way to go up the hill but it is the safest and the one I recommend.
And once again...proper winter tires make all the difference in the world.And by proper I mean winter tires and not the ones marketed as mud and snow.
I wish you all the best with your studies and safe driving.
 

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i agree with you, great advice

And please put good winter tires!!!!

Security First, don't mess with the security of yours and others.

French
 

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Hills +snow/ice = winter tires. And decent ones, not the Walmart Brands.

Try Firestone Winterforce, or General Altimax Arctic as you are a student on a budget. Or GY Triple Treads for a good all weather option (but still not a winter tire...)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yesterday, I was going up the second to last steep hill to park my car. It was spinning, so I deactivated the TCS and gave it alittle gas to dig my way out. It did not go anywhere so I re-activated it. Then, the vehicle stalled and would not let me start it for atleast 5 minutes. Is this a normal situation when the wheels are spinning?
 

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That's a strange one.

Typically in deep snow I would disengage the TC right from the get go. All that braking kills your momentum when you do slip the tires. I drove for 25 years without traction control (and 15+ without ABS) so I learned early on how to keep a car moving in a straight line - and stopping in a straight line - on snow and ice. I find the Traction control a real nuisance in these types of situations.

Never heard of a 5 minute shutdown. Did Microsoft program the whole car, not just the sync system??? :confused:
 

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edescape10 said:
Yesterday, I was going up the second to last steep hill to park my car. It was spinning, so I deactivated the TCS and gave it alittle gas to dig my way out. It did not go anywhere so I re-activated it. Then, the vehicle stalled and would not let me start it for atleast 5 minutes. Is this a normal situation when the wheels are spinning?
Seems weird. My only guess is that water got into the system, or you managed to overheat something so hot that the car forced the stop. But, no, it's not normal at all
 

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Did it crank and never start, or did it just lie dead in its spot without crank?

Any messages in the message center (if equipped) to indicate engine conditions? Especially of the FAILSAFE variety?
 

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My tips for winter driving...

STRAP IN! Always wear your seatbelt, remember there are morons abound in the other cars that may hit you.

TAKE YOUR TIME. No need to rush, you won't be going anywhere if you are in a ditch or on your roof.

TIRES! ABS, Traction Control, 4WD, etc. do NOTHING if you can't grip the road. You don't necessarily need dedicated winter tires, but they are better than all seasons. Note: Michelin Latitudes are PATHETIC when it comes to deep snow, you have been warned!

EASY EASY EASY. Easy on the gas, easy on the brakes, easy with the steering wheel. Jerky movements=losing control and/or traction.

Leave 2-3x more distance between you and the car in front of you. If you start to slide, you KNOW you have plenty of time to get back in control...beats a change of underwear and/or body work.

Disable your traction control if you are starting from a dead stop in deep snow.

NEVER PANIC!

I have noticed with my Escape that the *** end seems very light and will fishtail extremely easily, watch it going around corners.

These are my 2¢. I lived in Pittsburgh all my life except for 2 college years where I lived near Erie...I know (and love) my snow!
 

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edescape10 said:
Yesterday, I was going up the second to last steep hill to park my car. It was spinning, so I deactivated the TCS and gave it alittle gas to dig my way out. It did not go anywhere so I re-activated it. Then, the vehicle stalled and would not let me start it for atleast 5 minutes. Is this a normal situation when the wheels are spinning?
Then, the vehicle stalled and would not let me start it for atleast 5 minutes.

I would speculate that the wheel spinning caused overheating of the PTO unit that engages the rear wheels. Could you post the exact tires you are using?
 

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Billyk said:
edescape10 said:
Yesterday, I was going up the second to last steep hill to park my car. It was spinning, so I deactivated the TCS and gave it alittle gas to dig my way out. It did not go anywhere so I re-activated it. Then, the vehicle stalled and would not let me start it for atleast 5 minutes. Is this a normal situation when the wheels are spinning?
Then, the vehicle stalled and would not let me start it for atleast 5 minutes.

I would speculate that the wheel spinning caused overheating of the PTO unit that engages the rear wheels. Could you post the exact tires you are using?
+1000

There is a "kill switch" to the engine with the so-called PTO (T-case) overheats, its a safety feature to not cause more damage to the t-case. the 4wd light should have been on or blinking just before that happened, do u know if it did edescape10?
 

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Now, that is a very interesting situation.Please give me some insight on this.
I am under the impression that kill switches have seized to exist on the cars during the beginning of the 90's after some deadly accidents just because the engine was overheated and the PCM cut off the engine.
Safe mode I understand, but a kill switch?...and from the PTO overheating, which is the last component in the power transfer mechanism prone to overheating, unless it is dry of oil.And if the engine is working, how does that have any effect on the PTO temperature if the car is not moving?
I suspect that something else caused the engine to deny starting up.
 

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Spinning your tire means your vehicle is not moving. Thus, the cooling effect of moving air over the hard-working hardware is missing. Other vehicles have the same issue. When will you post the type of tires on your vehicle?
 
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