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Old 01-03-2013, 01:09 PM   #91
gkirk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by detonator555 View Post
I agree with the OP. This is NOT a good winter car. It might be fine in areas with moderate snowfall or hardpacked snow, but it's not working well up here in ski country.

1) I have proper NEW snow tires (15" winter, 16" summer) with fresh studs. I've lived in snow/ice country my entire life. My previous vehicles have ranged from RWD V8 cars and pickup trucks to FWD small cars and minivans to 4WD Rangers and a 2008 4WD Escape. Each vehicle type requires its own finesse, to be sure. Traction is important, but so is the vehicle's tendency to push in corners, stopping ability, manners in snow and slush, and reaction to gusts of crosswind. Tires are important, but some cars are simply better in winter than others.

2) The traction control is way too sensitive for wheel-spin and kills momentum when you NEED it. The correction on the yaw control is aggressive, and we all know that exaggerated movements on snow/ice are not ideal. My Escape had the traction control button on the dash...that's where it should be. This nonsense of scrolling through a menu while you're driving is ridiculous; TC is one of those items where you need it on the fly, not deselected when you start the car. I desperately needed traction control OFF a couple of weeks back when pulling into a slushy, greasy intersection...the car just limped along as I feathered the gas and tried to outwit the computer. I looked like a slow senior citizen trying to jaywalk.

3. The whacky transmission makes it hard to be in the right RPM range for different conditions. I end up using the "hill assist" feature to hold gears longer between shifts, but again it's the driver having to outwit the car.

4. There is no warning light for low washer fluid. For most of you, that's just a convenience. For those of us with heavily salted roads on a sunny morning, it's beyond precarious. Yes, fluid top-ups are done regularly, but a warning light is just that...it keeps you safe.

5. The "Courtesy Wipe" feature where the blades do one last "swish" 3 seconds after activating the washer fluid is infuriating. It turns a perfectly clean windshield into a smeared mess when you've got salt brine kicked up from other vehicles. I hated it on the Escape, and I hate it more on this smaller, lower vehicle.

Anyway, it's a quirky car in the best of weather, but doesn't cut the mustard as a winter driver in heavy snow zones. I dislike it to the point where, when a tree fell on it at work a few weeks back, I was praying for a total loss. It wasn't. I've put 45,000 km's on it in one year, and it still feels weird to me.
Thanks for the info - I've only been in mildly icy and snowy conditions and this is helpful for knowing what to expect.
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:47 PM   #92
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4. There is no warning light for low washer fluid. For most of you, that's just a convenience. For those of us with heavily salted roads on a sunny morning, it's beyond precarious. Yes, fluid top-ups are done regularly, but a warning light is just that...it keeps you safe


I have a warning on my center info display telling me every time I turn on the car I am low on washer fluid... 2013 4 door sfe
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:54 PM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by detonator555 View Post
4. There is no warning light for low washer fluid. For most of you, that's just a convenience. For those of us with heavily salted roads on a sunny morning, it's beyond precarious. Yes, fluid top-ups are done regularly, but a warning light is just that...it keeps you safe.
Was that an option on the SE?
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:14 PM   #94
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Was that an option on the SE?
I don't know but it goes away after a few seconds. It also makes a beep during start up!!!
I'll post a pic if I only had an idea of how to upload pictures from my phone to the forum :)
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:06 AM   #95
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I don't know but it goes away after a few seconds. It also makes a beep during start up!!!
I'll post a pic if I only had an idea of how to upload pictures from my phone to the forum :)
I guess what I was asking, is it an option he doesn't have?
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:31 AM   #96
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That is odd. We have gotten a few inches here in St. Louis and my 2013 Focus ST3 with Yokohama Ice Guards was awesome. Great on the fresh snow and no problems in the slushy mess afterwards. I have never been a fan of Michelin or Bridgestone brand tires.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:30 AM   #97
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I'll be the first to eat crow, the car is not as bad as I first thought. The TC is still a bit to aggressive but I had it out for a very long drive in Northern Ontario roads that were fully snow and Ice covered. Enough that it would disconnect the cruise control on it's own. I had no issue maintaining 100 to 110 Kph. It just plowed right on through. I was in fairly heavy snow for a full 160 kilometers. It got a tad squirrely at times but the stability control was actually very good. I guess I was just in a real bad spot when I first experienced snow in this car as it was quite deep. But this last drive was through "real Canadian winter roads" not Toronto winter, and the car faired much better than I ever expected.
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:57 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by Darth_Focus View Post
I'll be the first to eat crow, the car is not as bad as I first thought.
I am glad you gave it a second chance and it performed more like you expected. Considering how much longer we still got to go this winter, it's a good thing.
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:20 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by Citoriplus View Post
You guys want to have fun in the snow.
Try driving a 5 speed Titanium with the Titanium handling package tires.
The Pilot 3 summer performance tires are unreal on dry or even wet roads.
But let it see a snowflake or worse several inches of them and its an adventure just trying to get moving on an snow/ice covered road.
A slight slope is a virtual impossibility and gives the TC system fits.
I was worried the 18" Michelin "summer-only" Titanium tires would be that bad in the snow so I very proactively put winter tires put on my Titanium back in early November. The expense of winter tires and wheels is quite a bit to swallow but when you need to arrive safely at a destination in the middle of a snow storm and have fun while doing it they're well worth it. Anything that can make winter more fun, safer and less aggravating is probably worth it.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:38 AM   #100
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On 12/26 we had a wet snow of about 3-4 inches. The wife and I ran errands all day and I was very impressed with the handling of the car. We mostly were driving through the un-plowed roads. No real issues on the OE Continentals.
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