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Old 01-17-2011, 11:33 PM   #31
michael05
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2010 4WD LX AT
 
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Location: Vermont
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I don't think the E is the best snow vehicle ever. I am fully prepared to say a snow tire equipped Outback could be, but that costs thousands more. But for those lucky few shopping for the last remaining E's, it would help if we could clarify the disparate opinions. Snow performance is much more than acceleration. An Outback with all seasons would accelerate much better than an E with all seasons, but neither would be able to turn or stop very well. An E with snow tires seems to perform very well generally and can handle most or all snow conditions found on roads. If the focus is on unpaved and unplowed logging roads deep into the mountains, then the E is maybe not the best choice, but then I think you are getting into 4wd trucks and jeeps. What conditions on a road can't the E handle just fine in snow, with snow tires?

For comparison, some notable vehicles I had over the years, with their ranking in some key different situations:

'77 Chevy Impala RWD + bald tires (possibly worst snow vehicle ever?)
'87 Subaru wagon + snows
'89 Bronco II 4wd + truck tires
'92 Volvo 740 RWD with auto locking dif + studded snows
'99 Rav4 AWD with manual locking dif + snows
'10 E AWD + snows

On Road and Highway Driving
Volvo/E/Subaru/Rav4/Bronco: The Volvo really shined, rock solid and stable and plowed through everything. The E gets blown around too much in strong winds to handle a blizzard, but otherwise drives very nicely and securely on roads in marginal to bad conditions. The Rav got thrown around too much in the ruts with its light weight. I drove the subaru off the road several times, but I was young and stupid and probably driving too fast for the conditions; it also had no meaningful safety features, so no ABS, no air bags, and a safety cage that was rusting out.

Unpaved steep mountain access roads
Rav4/Subaru/Bronco/E/Volvo: The Rav had really outstanding traction and decent clearance and turned on a dime. The E has been fine and has climbed all roads so far but I am still testing.

Beached or stuck in deep snow
Rav4/Subaru/E/Bronco/Volvo: I never actually got stuck in the Rav, but with the locking differential and snow tires, I could beach it in 2' of snow in the margins of ski parking lot and it would pull right back out. It was light enough to almost pick up too. I have pushed outbacks out of spots like this, and have seen audi's getting shoveled out in much less, but I don't think either had snow tires. This past weekend I have been pleasantly surprised with the E in this regard. I arrived at the lot to find no parking, and beached it in deep untracked snow at the end of the lot. The spot slopped downward on a hill and the driver's front wheel was in a drift up to the wheel wheels. At the end of the day, I had to pull forward and back several times, but it did pull out in the end with not much difficulty. I backed into the same spot the next day, since no one else had ventured to park there, and pulling out forward was easy.
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Old 01-17-2011, 11:53 PM   #32
nacranym
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2004 2WD EXS 6MT
Galapagos Green Metallic (GGM)
 
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some folks have commented about the speed w/ which the 4WD engages the rears. i know that Honda changed something in the rear diff of the 2005 and later CR-Vs to have the rears engage sooner. i think they called it cam action, or something like that. i was wondering if anyone knows whether the Element went thru a similar change. or maybe it started w/ the cam action and didn't need an upgrade?
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Old 01-18-2011, 09:32 PM   #33
DIG 5050
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Exactly, Nacranym, that's what I would like to know.

WIKI says that for the 2005 CRV, the AWD was "tuned to activate faster in low traction situations." Was the E tuned as well, perhaps in a later model? My '05 AWD EX is slow to react, so you get noticeable wheel slip before the extra traction kicks in.

Can any mutiple-time 'E' owner clarify?

The CRV's also got a 5spd auto that year, my '05 'E' has the 4spd auto.
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Old 02-03-2011, 03:46 PM   #34
Missed Again
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What’s the difference between 4WD & AWD in these E’s? I thought all were AWDs, but my window sticker says 4WD. And, as mentioned a couple of times in this thread, how do you turn this feature on and off? Now I’ve been driving real 4x4’s since the mid 60’s, everything from a true WWII Jeep which was in 4x4 all of the time, some where you had to get out and lock the front hubs, on up to today’s models, but they all have a lever I have to throw. I don’t see that on ours nor do I find any reference to the 4WD feature in the owner’s manual. When I say ours, I really mean our daughter’s E. All I have done is pay for it and move it around in the yard some. It’s a ’04 LX, bought new. Part of the reason for my inquiry is we are currently experiencing brake problems. From what I can glean on this web site is the AWD feature uses the brakes to be activated. Sorta like the trick of when one wheel spins to press lightly on the brakes to transfer torque to the wheel with the most traction. If this is true there could be a possibility the brake is staying activated all of the time. Another culprit could be the ABS, it being “ON” all of the time. Any thoughts on this?
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Old 02-03-2011, 04:26 PM   #35
ramblerdan
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> What’s the difference between 4WD & AWD in these E’s?
All Elements use the same system. It is purely mechanical, with no computer control. Call it AWD, call it 4WD (as Honda does); the "is it 4WD or AWD" argument is pointless. Considering all the four-wheel traction systems that have been used over the years, you can't meaningfully squeeze them all into two broadly general categories. (Well you can try, but the result will be endless, fruitless debate.)

More:
http://www.elementownersclub.com/for...ad.php?t=10295
http://www.elementownersclub.com/for...ad.php?t=32069

> how do you turn this feature on and off?
You don't. It's 100% automatic.
http://www.elementownersclub.com/for...ad.php?t=20263
http://www.elementownersclub.com/for...ead.php?t=1246

> is the AWD feature uses the brakes to be activated. Sorta like the
> trick of when one wheel spins to press lightly on the brakes to
> transfer torque to the wheel with the most traction.
No, the brakes are not involved at all in 4WD. However the VSA system on 2007-up Elements does modulate the brakes (and engine power as well).
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Old 02-04-2011, 11:14 AM   #36
Hab Mobile
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2004 4WD EX AT
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Posts: 689
Quote:
Originally Posted by ramblerdan View Post
> What’s the difference between 4WD & AWD in these E’s?
All Elements use the same system. It is purely mechanical, with no computer control. Call it AWD, call it 4WD (as Honda does); the "is it 4WD or AWD" argument is pointless. Considering all the four-wheel traction systems that have been used over the years, you can't meaningfully squeeze them all into two broadly general categories. (Well you can try, but the result will be endless, fruitless debate.)

More:
http://www.elementownersclub.com/for...ad.php?t=10295
http://www.elementownersclub.com/for...ad.php?t=32069

> how do you turn this feature on and off?
You don't. It's 100% automatic.
http://www.elementownersclub.com/for...ad.php?t=20263
http://www.elementownersclub.com/for...ead.php?t=1246

> is the AWD feature uses the brakes to be activated. Sorta like the
> trick of when one wheel spins to press lightly on the brakes to
> transfer torque to the wheel with the most traction.
No, the brakes are not involved at all in 4WD. However the VSA system on 2007-up Elements does modulate the brakes (and engine power as well).
Agreed...this is the main difference between Acura's SH-AWD and the Element's RT 4WD/AWD system... the latter is purely mechanical, while Acura's is computer controlled and is intended to anticipate slippage and to engage the SH-AWD pro-actively...
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:33 PM   #37
Twilightzero
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Anybody know how the Element's RT4WD and the Acura's SH-AWD compare to the Ridgeline's 4WD system?
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Old 12-08-2016, 03:21 PM   #38
wllbngr
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2007 4WD LX AT
Kiwi Metallic (KM)
 
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Does anyone know where I should install my snow chains on my 2007 FWD E? Should they be installed on the front or rear wheels?

Thanks,

Al
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Old 12-08-2016, 03:57 PM   #39
ramblerdan
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Since you have 4WD, I'd say all four. But if you only have two chains and don't want to buy more, then definitely front.
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Old 12-09-2016, 12:18 PM   #40
Lt. Dan
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2003 4WD EX AT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wllbngr View Post
Does anyone know where I should install my snow chains on my 2007 FWD E? Should they be installed on the front or rear wheels?

Thanks,

Al
Front if you only have a pair, but I would do all four personally...
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