Using the 4WD in snow.... - Honda Element Owners Club Forum
      Honda Element Owners Club Forum
Go Back   Honda Element Owners Club Forum > Accessories, Care and Mods > Under The Hood / Performance

Notices

ElementOwnersClub.com is the premier Honda Element Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-07-2007, 05:13 PM   #1
Red Wings 2007
EOC Rank: Hydrogen
2005 4WD EX AT
Nighthawk Black Pearl (NBP)
 
Red Wings 2007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: West Michigan
Posts: 18
Using the 4WD in snow....

I live in Michigan. I bought my Element in November. I drove it thru the winter and it seemed good in the snow. Not as good as the push button "shift on the fly" 4WD system in my GMC Jimmy, but close...and certainly better than a 2WD vehicle. Today however I was about ready to trade my E in for something else with 4WD. We had about 4 inches of wet snow over night after having 50-60 degree weather for almost two weeks. So, I took my E out for a drive to the store, and didn't think I was gonna make it!! The roads were unplowed and covered with slushy snow and I was getting tossed around like a rag doll!! No matter how cautious I was it felt like I was gonna be pulled off the road at any second by the slushy snow. It was scarey!! Yet at the same time people in Chevy Cavaliers and crappy little VW cars were passing me like they were the ones in 4WD! So, I decided to stop being cautious and instead started driving it like it was my Jimmy and like I was in 4WD.....and you know what? It suddenly felt like I WAS in 4WD. And instead of feeling like I was getting pulled off the road I was plowing through the snow like nothing! :D Like I was in 4WD full time. (And I suddenly went from thinking I might have to trade it in to wanting to drive it through the snow all day!) So is that how it works? Do you have to drive it "hard" like that to get the rear tires to sense the conditions and thus activate so you are in 4WD? IMO it seemed like once I started driving "hard" I was in 4WD full time and could drive through anything....but as soon as I let up on the gas and slowed down for traffic and etc it went back to 2WD and I was getting tossed around. And then it stayed in 2WD until I started getting on it again. Then it was like I was back in 4WD full time. Is that how it works? Is there some kind of detailed explanation somewhere online of how the 4WD works? Maybe it explains it in my owners manual? (I guess I should check.) I've seen some threads on the forum about the 4WD but none that discussed it in great detail. (BTW...I think Honda should have put some kind of light in the dash to let you know when exactly it is in 4WD.)
Red Wings 2007 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 04-07-2007, 05:23 PM   #2
grayij87
EOC Rank: Helium
2003 4WD EX MT
Eternal Blue Pearl (EBP)
 
grayij87's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Saint Louis
Posts: 116
Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Wings 2007
I live in Michigan. I bought my Element in November. I drove it thru the winter and it seemed good in the snow. Not as good as the push button "shift on the fly" 4WD system in my GMC Jimmy, but close...and certainly better than a 2WD vehicle. Today however I was about ready to trade my E in for something else with 4WD. We had about 4 inches of wet snow over night after having 50-60 degree weather for almost two weeks. So, I took my E out for a drive to the store, and didn't think I was gonna make it!! The roads were unplowed and covered with slushy snow and I was getting tossed around like a rag doll!! No matter how cautious I was it felt like I was gonna be pulled off the road at any second by the slushy snow. It was scarey!! Yet at the same time people in Chevy Cavaliers and crappy little VW cars were passing me like they were the ones in 4WD! So, I decided to stop being cautious and instead started driving it like it was my Jimmy and like I was in 4WD.....and you know what? It suddenly felt like I WAS in 4WD. And instead of feeling like I was getting pulled off the road I was plowing through the snow like nothing! :D Like I was in 4WD full time. (And I suddenly went from thinking I might have to trade it in to wanting to drive it through the snow all day!) So is that how it works? Do you have to drive it "hard" like that to get the rear tires to sense the conditions and thus activate so you are in 4WD? IMO it seemed like once I started driving "hard" I was in 4WD full time and could drive through anything....but as soon as I let up on the gas and slowed down for traffic and etc it went back to 2WD and I was getting tossed around. And then it stayed in 2WD until I started getting on it again. Then it was like I was back in 4WD full time. Is that how it works? Is there some kind of detailed explanation somewhere online of how the 4WD works? Maybe it explains it in my owners manual? (I guess I should check.) I've seen some threads on the forum about the 4WD but none that discussed it in great detail. (BTW...I think Honda should have put some kind of light in the dash to let you know when exactly it is in 4WD.)
Typically, the way the AWD works on the Ele, may seem to validate how you say the car drove. The Realtime four wheel drive is designed not to kick in unless the front two tires are spinning faster than the rear ones (Indicative of slippage) Soo, when there is no slippage, the car operates full power on the front wheels, but when there is loss of traction, it can send (don't qoute me) like 60-70% of the power to the rear wheels. Maybe driving it hard was what the car needed to grab the road with all four tires...I don't really know, haven't had mine in the snow yet...
__________________
=====WARNING: KOMBATIVE!=====

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

DIY additions: HandA Keyless Entry, HandA Black/Blue leather steering wheel cover, Black Car Coasters, Garmin c340

My parents are cops. Whenever they piss me off, I tend to rock out to N.W.A.'s "&%$# tha Police"
grayij87 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-07-2007, 08:35 PM   #3
yoda13
EOC Rank: Oxygen
2003 4WD EX AT
Shoreline Mist Metallic (SMM)
 
yoda13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 541
That actually makes a lot of sense to me.:)
__________________
I love my box! (Well, actually my wife loves it now
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
)
_______________________
yoda13 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-08-2007, 10:41 AM   #4
Green Machine
EOC Rank: Oxygen
2004 4WD DX MT
Galapagos Green Metallic (GGM)
 
Green Machine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Puerto Rico
Posts: 257
Going slower is ALWAYS better / safer in the snow. Even your Jimmy does not stop any better than a 2WD car (they all have 4 wheel brakes ).
__________________
Injen cold air intake; A-pillar mounted tachometer; leather shift knob, leather wheel wrap, front bumper trim upgrade
Green Machine is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-08-2007, 07:39 PM   #5
grayij87
EOC Rank: Helium
2003 4WD EX MT
Eternal Blue Pearl (EBP)
 
grayij87's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Saint Louis
Posts: 116
brakes are overrated!
__________________
=====WARNING: KOMBATIVE!=====

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

DIY additions: HandA Keyless Entry, HandA Black/Blue leather steering wheel cover, Black Car Coasters, Garmin c340

My parents are cops. Whenever they piss me off, I tend to rock out to N.W.A.'s "&%$# tha Police"
grayij87 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-10-2007, 12:15 AM   #6
brockoli
EOC Rank: Helium
2003 4WD EX-P AT
Nighthawk Black Pearl (NBP)
 
brockoli's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Kamloops,B.C.
Posts: 173
drive it hard, it likes it and will perform in 4wd much better, you can actually get it to turn almost on the spot from a stop if you need to turn around in a parking lot in the snow. I love how it drives in the snow, if it starts pulling off to theside in the slush, get back on the gas, brakes aren't gonna help get you back on track, but keep in mind that what goes fast takes longer to slow down :)
-BrockName:  latest camera 168.JPG
Views: 959
Size:  126.8 KB
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
<-- this has gone to another home. Toyota Tundra ( 2008 ) has replaced it.
brockoli is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-10-2007, 07:03 AM   #7
JPH102900
EOC Rank: Neon
2005 4WD EX AT
Sunset Orange Pearl (SOP)
 
JPH102900's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 2,519
I agree, it doesn't seem like the AWD kicks in until you give it some gas. Sometimes when you are starting from a stop, you might slip slightly, but then once you are moving pretty good, you can go through just about anything. I was driving on the highway at about 65 in the passing lane which had not been plowed back in February when a big snow hit and I had no trouble at all.
__________________
2005 AWD EX Sunset Orange Pearl - SOLD 6/16/15
2007 Mazda3 5-door Touring - Galaxy Gray Mica - SOLD 7/14/12
2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium - Steel Silver Metallic
2006 Kia Sedona EX
JPH102900 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-10-2007, 09:08 AM   #8
DLIVRY7
EOC Rank: Helium
2004 4WD EX AT
Sunset Orange Pearl (SOP)
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Washington, Illinois
Posts: 184
what kind of tires do you have ?
DLIVRY7 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-10-2007, 09:09 AM   #9
JPH102900
EOC Rank: Neon
2005 4WD EX AT
Sunset Orange Pearl (SOP)
 
JPH102900's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 2,519
Quote:
Originally Posted by DLIVRY7
what kind of tires do you have ?
I was able to do this with my stock tires at about 12 - 13K miles on them.
__________________
2005 AWD EX Sunset Orange Pearl - SOLD 6/16/15
2007 Mazda3 5-door Touring - Galaxy Gray Mica - SOLD 7/14/12
2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium - Steel Silver Metallic
2006 Kia Sedona EX
JPH102900 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-12-2007, 09:16 AM   #10
Twilightzero
EOC Rank: Sulfur
2007 4WD LX MT
Tango Red Pearl (TRP)
 
Twilightzero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Madison, WI YAY CHEESE!!
Posts: 10,179
*BUMP* what the other posters said. The Element's 4wd system is activated mechanically by a double hydraulic clutch pack that only engages when the front tires are slipping. I drive mine in the snow the same way I drove all the big 4wd Jeep Cherokees I grew up with and it handles like a dream. I even have people who have big SUV's compliment me on how well it handles in snow.

So yeah, my guess is previously you were driving too conservatively to even turn on the 4wd. Give 'er some gas and show ya got some balls!

And also to echo the comment, remember the faster you go, then longer it takes to stop!

When I'm in crappy driving/deep snow, rather than just keeping the gas down, I tend to pump the gas more, slow or fast depending on the exact conditions. That'll keep your 4wd engaged but also somewhat keep your speed down from just shoving the pedal down.
__________________
Twilightzero, International Man of Debauchery

"Always use protection, be it latex or legal"
-Twilightzero

Join Cap'n Twirate's
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
EOC Bucanneers!

Mods: ASA JS6 rims, Nokian WR-SUV tires,
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
,
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
, Curt Class III trailer hitch,
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
, Infinity 6022si Speakers, Shen's Side Marker Turn Signals, Leather shift boot, K&N filter,
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
, Home Depot Grill
Twilightzero is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  Honda Element Owners Club Forum > Accessories, Care and Mods > Under The Hood / Performance

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Honda Element Owners Club Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
Model Year
What year is your E?
Model
What model is your E?
Color
What color is your E?
Can you spell?
What letter in the alphabet is the fifth character of the word "Honda Element"
Insurance
Please select your insurance company (Optional)

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
EX manual: 2wd vs. 4wd - price/feature compare - dealer competition bonanz Shoppin' and Test Drivin' 5 11-02-2007 09:50 PM
Element vs. 2006 RAV4 jadenison Shoppin' and Test Drivin' 45 12-11-2006 11:50 AM
driving 4WD E through deep unplowed snow ron717 Shoppin' and Test Drivin' 23 10-27-2005 01:27 AM
Stuck in snow - Icicle Creek, WA paulj Off The Beaten Path.... 14 01-05-2005 10:35 PM
Drive on snow 1 or 2 days a year.. 4wd or not? sean010101 Shoppin' and Test Drivin' 4 03-06-2003 07:12 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:12 PM.



Views and opinions expressed on this forum are not necessarily those held by Autoforums, Inc. or forum management.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.