My CX-9 Could not handle snow

So last week we went to Lake Arrowhead. We had rented a cabin that had about half a block of very light snow and ice. My car was the only car that could not make it up the street to the cabins driveway. No matter what we tried- picking at the ice, salt, low gear, the car would only lock up and start sliding. We even went down to the towns auto store and bought chains (for half a block of street) and those also were no help. The car would lock up, lights would go off, and I'd start sliding sideways or back downhill. My tires are not new but they're okay. The other two cars in our family (2021 Volvo SUV and a 2008 Honda Civic) both made it up no problem. I ended up having to pay for overnight parking at a hotel 2 blocks away and walk to the cabin. Any ideas what the problem may be?
 
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Mazda CX-9 Signature
So last week we went to Lake Arrowhead. We had rented a cabin that had about half a block of very light snow and ice. My car was the only car that could not make it up the street to the cabins driveway. No matter what we tried- picking at the ice, salt, low gear, the car would only lock up and start sliding. We even went down to the towns auto store and bought chains (for half a block of street) and those also were no help. The car would lock up, lights would go off, and I'd start sliding sideways or back downhill. My tires are not new but they're okay. The other two cars in our family (2021 Volvo SUV and a 2008 Honda Civic) both made it up no problem. I ended up having to pay for overnight parking at a hotel 2 blocks away and walk to the cabin. Any ideas what the problem may be?
What year is your CX-9? FWD or AWD?
What does "they're okay" mean? 95%? 80%? 50%?
Are you saying all 3 vehicle drove up the street at the same time and only CX-9 couldn't make it?
Volvo obviously has new tires. Is it AWD?
Civic made it without any apparatus? Tire tread?
The brakes locked up while you were going up an incline?
 
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2021 CX-9 Sig
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2014 CX-5 GT
A Honda Civic? Chains?! Something is not right. The CX-9 has been shown by many to be really good in snow and rough terrain. Surprisingly good actually.


 
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2019 CX-9 GT
What tires are on your car? The Bridgestone ecopias that came on mine was the worst experience I’ve ever had in snow period. We got a skiff of snow when they were brand new and we were sliding ALL over the place. I’ve since got a set of Nokian winter tires and the car is now a tank that can go anywhere without a sweat in the snow. If you had issues, my guess is the tires are to blame.
 
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2021 CX-9 Sig
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2014 CX-5 GT
Our 2021 is AWD with the bridgestones and we may bring to snow soon. Best advice is use the TCS or turn off?

So with the 2021, there is no TCS to turn on or off. It is now "hill" assist button. I would drive it normally and if you have issues or will need to climb a snow covered hill, I would hit the button. Otherwise, drive as usual in snow and bad weather.
 
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So with the 2021, there is no TCS to turn on or off. It is now "hill" assist button. I would drive it normally and if you have issues or will need to climb a snow covered hill, I would hit the button. Otherwise, drive as usual in snow and bad weather.

I am working my way thru the 400 page manual...will eventually read more into that. Thanks for the clarification and advice! 👍
 
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2019 CX-9 GT
Our 2021 is AWD with the bridgestones and we may bring to snow soon. Best advice is use the TCS or turn off?
TCS is designed to help you. I would definitely leave it on. Best advice is to get a better all season tire or snow tire. All the technology in the world can’t help those Bridgestones in snow. They are just that bad. Look up reviews for that tire and you’ll see many others have had the same experience.
 
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2021 CX-9 Sig
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2014 CX-5 GT
TCS is designed to help you. I would definitely leave it on. Best advice is to get a better all season tire or snow tire. All the technology in the world can’t help those Bridgestones in snow. They are just that bad. Look up reviews for that tire and you’ll see many others have had the same experience.

Not in this case. That is why they renamed the button and modified the system a bit.

See this thread and the enclosed videos:

 
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‘17 CX9 & ‘19 3 GT
Not in this case. That is why they renamed the button and modified the system a bit.

See this thread and the enclosed videos:

I think this traction assist button is similar to Subaru’s X-mode...
 
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2019 CX-9 GT
I’m not familiar with 2021 system but your advice on the hill assist button seems good. Not sure what model year the OP has, but here is the manual for my 2019 below...

If I was stuck in deep snow or trying to get up a hill, turning the TCS off would allow the wheels to spin which can help aid in momentum to get me unstuck or up the hill. Once back on my way, I would turn it back on as it will definitely help keep the vehicle pointed in the right direction as I head down the road.

I still think the biggest takeaway is that proper tires will make ALL the difference.

4DF15571-B668-4E13-B5E8-B2CE256A7C96.jpeg
 
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2021 CX-9 Sig
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2014 CX-5 GT
I’m not familiar with 2021 system but your advice on the hill assist button seems good. Not sure what model year the OP has, but here is the manual for my 2019 below...

If I was stuck in deep snow or trying to get up a hill, turning the TCS off would allow the wheels to spin which can help aid in momentum to get me unstuck or up the hill.

Turning off TCS stops the wheel spinning by applying a brake and forcing the stuck wheel to spin and push forward.

The video's explain what happens and the second one has a good discussion by Dave Coleman.

The OP has not posted anything since the first post. I personally don't read much into the post. A civic making a hill, chains not helping. Comical.
 
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sorry all, I didn't have my computer with me this weekend. Most likely its the tires, they're probably at 50-60%. And yes, both civic and Volvo made it up the hill, mine didn't. Ive taken this car to Big Bear before and I didn't have a problem, this time we had a huge problem. The light that came on was the traction control light. I did turn off the TCS, but made no difference. and my steering wheel would lock up. not sure, but someone posted the Bridgestone tires were bad, thats what I have. Weird though that snow cables didn't make a difference. And for the one who said "tires/or driver": maybe? I mean, Ive only been driving for 35 years, so maybe I need more experience :)
 
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2009 Mazda CX-9 GT
And for the one who said "tires/or driver": maybe? I mean, Ive only been driving for 35 years, so maybe I need more experience :)
35 years of driving in snow? Can you drive in the snow? Some have no clue, some can't handle it, some (like me) thrive and love driving in the snow. 🙂
 
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2021 CX-9 Sig
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2014 CX-5 GT
sorry all, I didn't have my computer with me this weekend. Most likely its the tires, they're probably at 50-60%. And yes, both civic and Volvo made it up the hill, mine didn't. Ive taken this car to Big Bear before and I didn't have a problem, this time we had a huge problem. The light that came on was the traction control light. I did turn off the TCS, but made no difference. and my steering wheel would lock up. not sure, but someone posted the Bridgestone tires were bad, thats what I have. Weird though that snow cables didn't make a difference. And for the one who said "tires/or driver": maybe? I mean, Ive only been driving for 35 years, so maybe I need more experience :)

What year and AWD or FWD? I still find this very odd. And you used chains and that did not help? That is basically taking the traction out of the equation. The steering wheel locking also seems odd to me. I would take the car to a dealer and get it checked out.
 
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2019 CX-9 GT
Turning off TCS stops the wheel spinning by applying a brake and forcing the stuck wheel to spin and push forward.
Just to prevent confusion I think what you are describing here is the new “hill assist” button. In the 2019 and older models the TCS works the opposite. When turned on it applies brakes and lowers engine torque to prevent tire slip, when turned off it allows to the tires to spin freely. Here’s an excerpt from the 2019 manual...

EB665BC1-9220-4F13-8F92-70B647D4E27A.jpeg
 
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