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Old 02-05-2003, 02:26 PM   #1
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Roll Eyes FWD VUE in the snow comments

We just got our first significant snow of the season and I had my first experience with the 4 cyl VUE FWD. I had been anticipating it since I got the VUE with TC way back in April. Frankly I was mildly disappointed.

It is a little lighter than the Caravan I used to have, so granted, I would notice a difference. My disappointment came with the inability to get up my unplowed driveway with about 6 inces of snow. The van may not have made it either, but I guess I was expecting more from the TC.

I've kind or chalked it up to the snow being on the wet side, but the tires seem to spin rather easily, even after the drive was cleared of most of the snow, and it turned colder.

Any other comments from FWD VUE owners in the northern climes? I'm wondering if it is due mostly to the tires. It only has 13K, so wear isn't an issue. I just don't think the stock tires have that good of tread pattern. I've never had a vehicle with TC before, so don't have a good comparison. My 96 SL1 does pretty good though.
Thanks for any other impressions on how the VUE handles in snow, or any suggestions on replacement tires for when the time comes.
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Old 02-05-2003, 04:51 PM   #2
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Default Re: FWD VUE in the snow comments

Originally posted by Badger_Vue

I've kind or chalked it up to the snow being on the wet side, but the tires seem to spin rather easily, even after the drive was cleared of most of the snow, and it turned colder.

That is confusing. Isn't the TC supposed to eliminate the spin?

So far my FWD and TC have performed marvelously on the messy Toronto roads.
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Old 02-05-2003, 06:03 PM   #3
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That was my expectation - that the spin would be reduced. It just seems like the tires broke traction very easily.

By the way I failed to mention in the first post that I have the Sport edition with a 5 spd manual. We're getting a couple of more inches today, so I'll give it another try.
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Old 02-05-2003, 06:14 PM   #4
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TC on the L300 works dont spin with it on...but it does generate a lot of noise in very low traction conditions. The ABS goes nuts....and the engine retards....
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Old 02-05-2003, 06:48 PM   #5
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The thing you have to remember about traction control is that all it can do is to try and make the most of what traction you actually have. Tires, as you have raised your own suspicions about, are one of the (if not THE) key factors. So-called "All Season" tires may offer some snow traction compared with tires with treads intended only for "Summer" (i.e., no snow) usage, but they are most certainly NOT "Snow Tires", and when put to a more trying test (as climbing a steep incline with snow on it), those limitations will show. A snow tire is about more than just tread pattern, it's about tread compounds, which in snow tires are specifically designed to grip under cold temperatures and snow/ice covered surfaces. Another hint: With weight transfer going away from the direction of travel (i.e., towards the back wheels when you're going uphill in particular, but at all times when moving forward in point of fact), you'll find it a lot easier to BACK up that driveway than go forward up it under those conditions. Learned that lesson in my first car and the driveway at my mother's house, which had a steep profile, briefly, before it flattened out. My '78 Honda Civic would spin it's wheels trying to pull the car up that incline when it was snow covered, but turn it around and I could back it right up that same incline with no problem at all.
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Old 02-05-2003, 09:02 PM   #6
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Originally posted by Saturnmeister
The thing you have to remember about traction control is that all it can do is to try and make the most of [I]what traction you actually have
Exactly. Yesterday, I got my SW2 somewhat stuck in the mud. At idle, the car would stay still, and both front wheels would spin slowly. I had to mash the gas forward, and then back up really fast to get out.
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Old 02-06-2003, 09:22 AM   #7
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Are the tires on your particular VUE much different than the AWD6 version? I've found the Bridgestone Dueller HT's on mine to be not so bad. However, I'm contemplating buying a set of steel rims and winter tires next fall. I hate the thought of putting those 16" aluminum beauties through another season of road salt!
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Old 02-24-2003, 09:28 PM   #8
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Happy Snow

6 cyl AWD Vue. I have found it amazing. It has never hesitated with anything I threw at it. Polished snow, deep snow, wet heavy snow, it never seemed to hardly feel it. I watched 4 people push a Honda out of an unplowed parking area...after a lot of tries they finally succeeded. I just drove out like it was on pavement!
However, I did have an instance where it was very reluctant to start at -26 deg. C. eh!

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Old 02-24-2003, 11:17 PM   #9
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2002 VUE 2.2L

Next time that happens, turn the TC off, and let the tires spin. That is why they provide you with the switch.. sometimes spinning will dig your way in.
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Old 02-25-2003, 09:37 AM   #10
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I have the VUE 5 speed with FWD w/ TC. From my experience driving in the snow, is that there is a lot of torque that goes to the drive wheels and the TC does it's best to limit that power and try to apply some to to give you the traction after the wheels slip. It is almost like the engine's power is more than the TC can handle.

What I have done is when the wheels start to slip and the TC kicks in I let off of the gas. I will then reapply the throttle and most of the time I am back to full traction.
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Old 02-25-2003, 02:32 PM   #11
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Skijay - I agree it seems to be the extra torque that makes it spin so easily. I don't have near the problem with my SL1 and a 5 spd. I'll try your approach if we ever get any more significant snow this season (not that I'm hoping for it or anything!)
I may go to a little more aggressive tread pattern on my next set or tires also.
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Old 02-25-2003, 11:01 PM   #12
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2003 VUE 2.2L

Traction control was most beneficial to me when trying to climb an icy hill-- I don't think I would have made it up without it controlling the wheel spin. But in 6in of snow, like others have said, there is only so much traction to be had. That said I made it through about 6-8 inches snow on our unplowed street recently, but I turned TC off, and I still got stuck once and had to reverse and try again, but I made it through eventually.

A set of snow tires could help... I've been considering getting some for (next) winter.

I have a FWD 5spd.
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