Driving In Snow With AWD

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Occupied Calif.
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2019 CX 5 GT-R
I have had some experience with driving is snow but it was city driving on the flatlands of Virginia Beach. I now live in the Sou Cal mountains and on a fairly steep street. Yesterday I watched my neighbor with a Ford SUV that was front wheel drive only fail to get moving on the street in front of our homes. The street was plowed but still had a couple of inches of snow on the asphalt.He was just getting front wheel spin and would slide backward if he took his foot off of the brake. He ended up backing into his driveway and calling it a day until we get more snow melt.

For my CX 5 GT-R with all wheel drive, would the correct procedure be to (1) turn off the traction control and (2) put the transmission in manual mode and shift to start out in 2nd gear rather than 1st and let the available torque get me slowly moving ?

I can sure see where chains would be an asset but so far the question regarding which brand of chains are compatible with the GT-R and Signature seems to still be unanswered.
 
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2018 CX-9 Sig
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2014 CX-5 GT
So if you guys are running summer tires, that would be a problem. I would run winter tires before running chains.
 

shadonoz

SkyActiv Member
Contributor
:
State of Jefferson
:
2017 CX-5 GT AWD+
If you have snow tires, you won't have to worry about any of that. Even on a fairly steep street. Just drive.

If you don't have snow tires, consider staying home. I also live on a steep street [20% max grade]. I don't mount snow tires because it snows about twice a year here, and it gets plowed and sanded within a day. I have no trouble when it's plowed, but will not attempt it on fresh snow. Remember, snow is at its most slippery while it is/when it has just fallen.

Cables and/or chains are far too big a pain to bother with unless it's REALLY important that you drive.

The bonus is, if you stay home, you avoid the possibility that some over confident joker in another AWD without snow tires [like your neighbor?] will hit you. Many people can't afford to stay home, but if you're one of the lucky ones, congratulations!
 
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2014 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech
To my way of thinking, the best thing to do is try it and see what happens. You can guess at it from now until the cows come home, but if you don't try it you'll never know.
 
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2019 Mazda3 AWD Hatchback
First, I wouldn*t mess with traction control or manual shifting. Turning off traction control is good for FWD just to keep the wheels turning, but in my experience it*s not necessary with AWD. I live in the northeast and deal with snow every year. My driveway is fairly steep and is a pain in the ass to turn into from the street. A couple of inches of snow makes it very difficult for FWD cars to get up, but we haven*t had any problems with AWD without changing anything. But, we also have all-season tires, too, not summer tires.

As others have said, you have to try first and see how your car does in your situation. AWD alone makes a world of difference over FWD. if you find you can*t get around and need to, look into a set of winter tires. Newer compounds and treads are almost as good as chains, and MUCH safer. A set of Blizzaks on AWD will be almost unstoppable.
 
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Occupied Calif.
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2019 CX 5 GT-R
We only get snow here a few times a year so the cost of a set of snow tires isn't really justified. I'm retired so I can stay home for a few days if the roads are truly snow covered. The city does a pretty good job of plowing my residential area plus the main highway which is about a mile from my house. I did have to shovel my driveway, there was about 18" of snow on it and the last 6 feet near the street was about 3 feet high and iced over from the snowplow building it up at the apron. Man I am sore. A snowblower may be in my future.
The snow is melting fast now with asphalt showing everywhere that it was plowed. I guess I'll have to wait for the next storm to try a couple of different techniques. Some YouTube videos show the turbo/AWD models doing pretty well in the snow but the steep hills around here make me a little apprehensive.
 
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2019 Mazda CX-5 GTR
Driving a CX-5 in the snow, even with the OEM Toyos, is simply a matter of common sense and paying attention. Slow down, leave extra space between you and the cars in front of you. Think and look ahead. You'll be amazed how capable the Mazda is in slippery conditions. I came from a Jeep Wrangler and was surprised how well the CX-5 measures up in winter weather.
 

ColoradoDriver

Gen-1 Kodo Design
Contributor
:
Denver, CO
:
2014 CX-5 Touring
For my CX 5 GT-R with all wheel drive, would the correct procedure be to (1) turn off the traction control and (2) put the transmission in manual mode and shift to start out in 2nd gear rather than 1st and let the available torque get me slowly moving ?

AWD is there to get you moving. You shouldn't have to do any of that. Turn off the traction control only if you ever get stuck to try to get unstuck and keep the tires moving.

Quality all-seasons with common sense driving (slow it way down) on the AWD equipped CX-5 treated me fine, but ice was always still a bit problematic. With snow tires my CX-5 has pretty much been a tank. Last week, I drove through 8-12" unplowed roads, some hills, with no problems.
 

Avoidin Deer

Zoom Zoom, baby
Contributor
:
Central Virginia
:
2019 CX-5 Reserve
Don't forget...it's way easier to get moving than it is to stop.

Over-confidence in 4WD/AWD is the killer.
 
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2018 Mazda CX5 Machine Gray
1. Was just up in the SoCal Mountain area this weekend. Drove up and down the backside of the 18 that was covered with snow. Stock tires/AWD. No issues. Take it slow, use manual shifting to control downhill speed. Kept it in 1st to keep the speed down and to avoid having to slam on the brakes. Avoid the idiots

2. Take the CX5 to a big parking lot and play around. Brake hard, accelerate hard, turn quick, figure out how to correct oversteer/slides and understeer. Figure out the limitations of your CX5 in a controlled environment and then you'll know what to avoid on the road and how to correct if you get into a sketchy situatio.
 
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Folsom, CA
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19 CX-5 GT AWD EB
The stock all season Toyo A36 tires are marked with M+S (mud and snow). These meet the California requirement for snow tires / AWD instead of chains for driving in the mountains. Obviously, they are not as good as dedicated winter/snow tires but adequate for light snow (minimal ice) with cautious driving..
 
:
2018 CX-9 Sig
:
2014 CX-5 GT
We only get snow here a few times a year so the cost of a set of snow tires isn't really justified. I'm retired so I can stay home for a few days if the roads are truly snow covered. The city does a pretty good job of plowing my residential area plus the main highway which is about a mile from my house. I did have to shovel my driveway, there was about 18" of snow on it and the last 6 feet near the street was about 3 feet high and iced over from the snowplow building it up at the apron. Man I am sore. A snowblower may be in my future.
The snow is melting fast now with asphalt showing everywhere that it was plowed. I guess I'll have to wait for the next storm to try a couple of different techniques. Some YouTube videos show the turbo/AWD models doing pretty well in the snow but the steep hills around here make me a little apprehensive.

18 inches is a lot of snow! When I lived in Philly, we would often get 2-8" and they occasional 12" but that was it. 18 is a heck of a lot. Me, I would stay in and wait for it to melt.
 
Just took my new GTR for first ride in snow..went through 4-5" of snow on my driveway like butter.
I have my headlights set to auto, but noticed lights were not on and it was still snowing and very overcast and definitely needed lights on..all vehicles had headlights on. Anyone else experience this?
 
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2019 Mazda CX-5 GTR
My DTR lights are always on. When my wipers come on, the headlights lights also come on shortly thereafter. And when the auto high beam switch is on, it will default to high beams in the daylight, if the wipers are on steady, or high speed.

Just took my new GTR for first ride in snow..went through 4-5" of snow on my driveway like butter.
I have my headlights set to auto, but noticed lights were not on and it was still snowing and very overcast and definitely needed lights on..all vehicles had headlights on. Anyone else experience this?
 
My DTR lights are always on. When my wipers come on, the headlights lights also come on shortly thereafter. And when the auto high beam switch is on, it will default to high beams in the daylight, if the wipers are on steady, or high speed.

hmmm..is there a setting I'm missing? I have them set to auto and lever in high beam position.
 
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