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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I have the 2009 Element EX...it has traction control and RT4WD. I have been driving it in the snow and can I just say: I LOVE THIS ELEMENT!! After last year in a Mazda6 Sportwagon and doing a 360 on the interstate in front of a semi...I am in heaven!!
Okay, now to the serious stuff...my manual doesn't say ANYTHING about winter driving, except to explain that when the front wheels spin, the rear wheels will engage.
My question is about the Traction Control, do I leave it on when driving in winter conditions? Will the RT4WD still engage? On my Mazda, it saved my life when a tractor trailer jack-knifed in front of me on the interstate and it was all ice. On the other hand, when I was in snow, I had to disengage the TCS to go. Now, the manual does suggest to do this with the E, but I only do that when I am going into the driveway, as that is the only time I need to.
This is just asking what do YOU do when driving in winter conditions...i.e., snow. Any driving tips about the E in winter weather is helpful...as this is my first E and I love it!!
Also, a little gripe...my wipers are difficult to keep the ice off of and then they won't clear the windshield of snow...any suggestions? I use the de-icing windshield wiper fluid and I cover the windshield at night since I park outside and let the baby Subaru WRX STI have the garage.

thanks everyone for the advice on this forum, I read it often, but don't always sign in!!
 

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Traction Control

This is the first car I've had with traction control. I guess I just didn't read that part of the manual, so I didn't know you were supposed to turn it off in winter driving. I've left mine on. And the 4WD seems to still do what it's supposed to do. I also figure it'll help with traction on slippery and icy conditions. I'm curious to know what others do, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Traction Control

I didn't mean to turn it off when driving in snow, but if you get stuck spinning, it is better to turn it off. The manual points this out, but I figured that out on the last car I owned that also had the TCS.
On the Mazda, when I turned off the TCS, there was an indicator light, but on the Element there is no way to tell if the TCS is on or off...no light on the button or lighted icon on the instrument panel.
It is irksome to not know when it is on or off and it is the same with the 4WD, I would prefer to know when it is on or off...but maybe I am just too picky lol.
 

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I didn't mean to turn it off when driving in snow, but if you get stuck spinning, it is better to turn it off. The manual points this out, but I figured that out on the last car I owned that also had the TCS.
On the Mazda, when I turned off the TCS, there was an indicator light, but on the Element there is no way to tell if the TCS is on or off...no light on the button or lighted icon on the instrument panel.
It is irksome to not know when it is on or off and it is the same with the 4WD, I would prefer to know when it is on or off...but maybe I am just too picky lol.
I have a 2010 but I think it's the same for the 2009. There IS a light that comes on in the dash when you have the TCS turned off. To turn it off you must hold the button in for about one second (it's not a quick push) and then there is a chime and the dash light comes on and stays on. This is the same light that flashes when the TCS is trying to get you traction on slippery surfaces. It should all be explained in your owners manual. Leave the TCS on for most all driving. Turn it off if you are stuck in snow or mud to help get you out, then turn it back on when you are free. (You can also turn it off if you want to go play in an empty snow covered parking lot at midnight!)

Anyone know how to disable the ABS for driving/braking on loose gravel?
 
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