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Old 02-12-2008, 10:55 AM   #1
shankster
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Worthless AWD

We've had a pretty severe winter so far in SW Colorado - I was thinking I was all set with my AWD Freestyle and Hankook Icebear tires - wrong! The AWD system is a POS. I've got stuck in some very embarrassing situations with the thing as Honda Civics with bald tires go around me. I'm no winter driving rookie either - I've been driving RWD and FWD cars in Colorado for over 20 years and I know how not to get into situations where I might get stuck. If it's slick enough the Freestyle can get stuck on an almost flat surface with some minor ruts or undulations - generally 2 wheels on opposite corners of the car will spin and the other 2, (which might be sitting on the asphalt) will not move. I've tried turning the traction control off but it makes no difference. This vehicle is no better in snow than my 5.0 Mustang, Miata or WIndstar (all with snowtires). I'm pretty disgusted to say the least. Anyone else had a similar experience? Is this the norm for all AWD vehicles or did Ford just screw up? My work vehicles are a 4wd Jeep Cherokee and a 4wd Dodge Dakota - they'll go just about anywhere - all 4 wheels turning. Can't Ford get a clue and at least have a 4 wheel lock button on their AWD cars?
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Old 02-12-2008, 03:10 PM   #2
reekor
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Re: Worthless AWD

What you have there is an average ride made to get the soccer moms off the wet soccer fields. The Freestyle was made to make life a little easier on wet roads and that is about it. Placing a 4 wheel lock button on their AWD would be like making a six layer cake out of an apple pie, and make the AWD into a 4WD. The reason you are seeing only one front and rear wheel spin and the other do nothing is because your Freestyle works on an open axel system. Like a RWD car without a limited slip, one wheel spins and the other does nothing. Now your works Jeep Cherokee works a lot different depending on the transfer case that it was ordered with. Lets say that it has a 242 selec-trac case. You’ll see an extra shifter just for the transfer case. In 2wd it acts like a RWD car, in PART-TIME mode it locks the front and rear axels together and divides output power 50/50 between front and rear axles. This mode is only meant for muddy or snow and ice covered roads as on a dry road it with make your front wheels skip as its not letting your wheels travel at different speeds while turning. The FULL-Time mode lets you drive on dry roads at it does not lock the front and rear axels together allowing the wheels to turn at different speeds and divides power 40% front axel and 60% rear axel, With the auto hubs engaged you will only get 3 wheels that spin and one that does nothing unless the jeep was ordered with a limited slip rear end. The full-time system is the same system found in the Dodge Dakota. Jeep also used an AWD system mostly on the Grand Cherokee V8 models that works just like the full-time system only difference is that it will engage from 2wd to 4wd as soon as the rear wheels start to slip. You still get the part-time system in low gearing that you have to shift the transfer case into manually. In a sense its really not a AWD as a lot people think that it is as if you are driving on a dry road the transfer case is in 2wd mode and auto shifts into 4wd when you lose traction to the rear wheels. But I guess calling it auto 4wd is not good sounding as AWD. You will notice that Jeeps are very popular with off-roading groups and this is mostly due to all of the 4wd options that you can get in a jeep. Unless you are willing to get into a high priced Land Rover there isnt much out there that will beat a jeep in offroad conditions.


Quote:
Originally Posted by shankster
We've had a pretty severe winter so far in SW Colorado - I was thinking I was all set with my AWD Freestyle and Hankook Icebear tires - wrong! The AWD system is a POS. I've got stuck in some very embarrassing situations with the thing as Honda Civics with bald tires go around me. I'm no winter driving rookie either - I've been driving RWD and FWD cars in Colorado for over 20 years and I know how not to get into situations where I might get stuck. If it's slick enough the Freestyle can get stuck on an almost flat surface with some minor ruts or undulations - generally 2 wheels on opposite corners of the car will spin and the other 2, (which might be sitting on the asphalt) will not move. I've tried turning the traction control off but it makes no difference. This vehicle is no better in snow than my 5.0 Mustang, Miata or WIndstar (all with snowtires). I'm pretty disgusted to say the least. Anyone else had a similar experience? Is this the norm for all AWD vehicles or did Ford just screw up? My work vehicles are a 4wd Jeep Cherokee and a 4wd Dodge Dakota - they'll go just about anywhere - all 4 wheels turning. Can't Ford get a clue and at least have a 4 wheel lock button on their AWD cars?
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