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Discussion Starter #1
I guess I'm generally just really underwhelmed all together with my 2012 focus sel. I hate the auto trans box and find it to be unsafe. The constant lurching, jumping, etc make it terrifying in the ice and snow. I've had to turn off the driver assist on multiple occasions just to get home...

I'm on a set of brand new tires b/c the OEM conti's were just straight up awful. The new set is hardly any more confidence inspiring...

I'm trying not to just rant. I apologize if that's how I'm coming off. I'm just looking for any tips on how to make the car feel safer.

Thanks,
 

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Strichmädchen & Koks
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I don't know what to tell you, my Focus was excellent in the snow, even more so after fitting it with snow tires.

Turning off traction control in slick conditions, especially while at low speeds is fairly common for any vehicle.
 

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Yes my 13 focus absolutely sucks in the snow... our old 2011 was a champ in it.. I got stuck in about 3 inches of snow last month (didn't know how to turn the tc off)... I've never had to turn the traction control off in the snow, doing so feels like it defeats the purpose of having it in the first place...I have Falken eurowinters on mine. Definitely not a $700 improvement
 

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I guess I'm generally just really underwhelmed all together with my 2012 focus sel. I hate the auto trans box and find it to be unsafe. The constant lurching, jumping, etc make it terrifying in the ice and snow. I've had to turn off the driver assist on multiple occasions just to get home...

I'm on a set of brand new tires b/c the OEM conti's were just straight up awful. The new set is hardly any more confidence inspiring...

I'm trying not to just rant. I apologize if that's how I'm coming off. I'm just looking for any tips on how to make the car feel safer.

Thanks,
So you expected a set of all seasons to be good in the snow? Did you buy a nice pair of snow tires or did you get the cheapest ones they have? Because that's going to dictate quite a lot on how the car is going to perform.

Just turn off TC and drive to the conditions. It's a fwd so it's not going to be all that bad in the snow, better than a rwd
 

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Are the new tires still all seasons?
 

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There is a lot of info. on here regarding how to get the best response from the transmission, here's one place to start:http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=415994

A number have been "underwhelmed" by the OEM tires in the snow, by '15 they might have been worn down quite a bit as well - don't know the mileage on them.

Your location hasn't been entered yet, so we can't guess if you are in an area where Winter tires are a worthwhile investment. Given the rough Winter, many had more to deal with than typical this year.

The Weather Channel had a great demo today on Winter tires vs. all season ones, stopping distance in identical 4WD mid size cars looked about twice as long for the all season equipped car in their snow demo.

Thoroughly salted roads do well for getting down to wet/bare quickly, but while still snow covered the melting snow gives VERY little traction - whatever the vehicle/tire combo. Anything that helps is a plus in that situation, but it's poor for traction compared to a frozen surface or wet road.

If yours has the "select shift" option, picking gears can help in the worst conditions to reduce unexpected shifting, a trick used with automatics since the three speeds of the sixties/70's.
 

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... I'm on a set of brand new tires b/c the OEM conti's were just straight up awful. The new set is hardly any more confidence inspiring...
If there is enough snow where you live to justify it, buy a set of snow tires on steel wheels. Put the snow tires on about the time of the first snow, take them off when it warms up in the spring. Your SEL has 16" aluminum wheels, pick up 15" steel wheels (or cheap alloys) for your snow tires*

If this is an issue of the automatic transmission shifting at bad times to get through the snow, the thread linked to by Sailor above is a must-read. Other than that, I can't help you, my car has a manual transmission.

So... where do you live?

* 15" was the stock size on the S model, I assume 15" wheels will fit on the SEL.
 

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Last week i finally got a chance to drive my new 14 in the snow and ice that we had here in Dallas absolutely loved it. Even on stock tires i haven't had a car that drove this nice and surefooted on ice in a long time.

It was super stable, wheelspin was minimal unless i jumped on it. Braking was steady and again was solid as long as i didn't try panic stops.

I do admit we don't get snow/ice here very often so as a result driving is probably very cautious (20-40mph) compared to people up north (though not as cautious as the idiots that think 5mph everywhere is OK).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
In Philly. I've had other cars that did fine in snow on all seasons. I know true snow tires are best (used to drive an rwd merkur xr4ti in CT throughout the winter)... Anyway, this car/ gear box is what has me spooked. The tires I have in the focus are Definity 800's which are the exact tires I had on my civic and on my Volvo v50. Both cars out performed the Focus. Now I'm obviously comparing apples to oranges with these cars, but the same rubber on those other cars did just fine...

I miss my v50 dearly this winter. I'm sad I don't like the Focus too. I really wanted to like it as it is an attractive car, with pretty cool features at an excellent price. The only thing I don't like about it is that part where I drive it.... This winter has only been a highlighter for my displeasure.

The take away I'm getting from you all is that I should have gone with true winter tires. Noted. Thank you all for your time.
 

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i have a 14 and its one of the better cars i have driven in the snow. so far 1st is a 2000 Taurus w/ snow tires. but the stock all seasons (Continental) are pretty good up till the snow is past the bumper. but I do have a manual and it works best to let the clutch out slow then ride just above idle.
 

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My '12 SE sedan handled like a champ in the snow we had a couple of weeks ago. I was like Colin McRae (except without the sliding around all of the corners and such, mostly just me plodding along) passing 4-wheel drive trucks and SUV's all through town
 

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We received about 3" of snow on Friday, Mar 27th. I was very pleased with the way my 2014 handled in this small amount the few hours it lasted and continued coming down.

I have the factory 17" Cooper RS3-A. Doing a bit of testing and empty parking lot handling, the traction was more than I expected. To get traction control to engage took a deliberate throttle input -- more input than I do when bone dry.
 

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We received about 3" of snow on Friday, FEB 27th. I was very pleased with the way my 2014 handled in this small amount the few hours it lasted and continued coming down.

I have the factory 17" Cooper RS3-A. Doing a bit of testing and empty parking lot handling, the traction was more than I expected. To get traction control to engage took a deliberate throttle input -- more input than I do when bone dry.
I loved driving in our DFW Snow last week although i do stress out more about the other idiots on the road than i do my own driving.
 

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As a member on here stated to drive with tc off and in sports mode, well... it drove amazing in the 3" plus ice we just got... actually got to have fun with the ebrake too... I take back my last statement about it suckling in the snow...in drive it sucks but in sports mode a different beast
 

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after driving for 200 miles through the snow in the past 3 days, I have been pretty pleased with it. The traction control has been nice, it does engage a lot, but has really helped.

I had a jetta tdi, which was a goat in the snow, but that was a much heavier car. It definitely spun the wheels less than the ford, but the traction control makes this a more drivable car in the snow.

and handbrake turns in the snow are lots of fun!
 

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Well it looks like TooOld and myself will get another chance to drive in slick conditions since we've got sleet/snow in the forecast for late today and tomorrow.

This late year weather is just insane.
 

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In Philly. I've had other cars that did fine in snow on all seasons. I know true snow tires are best (used to drive an rwd merkur xr4ti in CT throughout the winter)... Anyway, this car/ gear box is what has me spooked. The tires I have in the focus are Definity 800's which are the exact tires I had on my civic and on my Volvo v50. Both cars out performed the Focus. Now I'm obviously comparing apples to oranges with these cars, but the same rubber on those other cars did just fine...

I miss my v50 dearly this winter. I'm sad I don't like the Focus too. I really wanted to like it as it is an attractive car, with pretty cool features at an excellent price. The only thing I don't like about it is that part where I drive it.... This winter has only been a highlighter for my displeasure.

The take away I'm getting from you all is that I should have gone with true winter tires. Noted. Thank you all for your time.
You didn't make a poor choice necessarily in tires, they're just not intended for the stuff we've been getting (I live about an hour west of you). For those interested, Definity tires are manufactured by Cooper and the reviews are overall pretty good for being a PepBoys exclusive brand. Looking at the tread pattern, it's not really something suited for more than slush. My best guess is that the tires were narrower on your Civic, leading to better snow traction and your Volvo will always stick out as being superior in the snow because, well...it is.

I have to agree that to get better snow traction (in every car), winter tires are a must. I put winters on my wife's car and we only drive that when it snows more than a couple inches.
 

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I am more than happy with how my 2014 handles in the snow and ice. I am still on stock tires and I am still comfortably passing most vehicles on the road. I don't have any signs of a jerky transmission though, so I can see how that may make a difference at lower speeds.
 

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I have been very plesed with my 2013 5 speed in the snow. Drove home from a camera club meeting last night on 3-4 inches of snow covered roads and it was still snowing hard. We get to test it again tomorrow, another 4-6 inches predicted. Factory Continental tires with 40k on them. To be honest it is much better in the snow than I expected. Not as good as my 59 VW was though!
 
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