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#4679508 - 02/27/18 09:27 AM Ford AWD garbage?
madRiver Offline


Registered: 07/11/15
Posts: 3538
Loc: New England
We rented a Ford Flex and turning around the driver thought it was maybe 1 of snow but turned out to be scaped and 12 deep.

The front tires were down 6 but rear on pavement. In reverse Awd barely worked on rear and finally did with light throttle coupled to push on front.

Our Subaru would not sneeze in same situation.

Is ford using a pseudo Awd with no real power to rear wheels?

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#4679510 - 02/27/18 09:30 AM Re: Ford AWD garbage? [Re: madRiver]
Camprunner Offline


Registered: 02/19/08
Posts: 1034
Loc: MA.
It may have an issue with its PTU unit (Power Transfer Unit) Ford has major issues with them.

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#4679511 - 02/27/18 09:31 AM Re: Ford AWD garbage? [Re: madRiver]
BrocLuno Offline


Registered: 09/06/15
Posts: 5519
Loc: Kalifornia Kollective
A LOT of all wheel drive cars and some trucks take only 30% or so to the rear through a fluid coupling so that they behave like a front wheel drive vehicle most of the time.

MFG's claim it is because of the engine in front and wanting to bias toward tractive load...

It's about handling and law suite avoidance ...
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#4679512 - 02/27/18 09:31 AM Re: Ford AWD garbage? [Re: madRiver]
Miller88 Offline


Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 12704
Loc: Onondaga County
Originally Posted By: madRiver
We rented a Ford Flex and turning around the driver thought it was maybe 1 of snow but turned out to be scaped and 12 deep.

The front tires were down 6 but rear on pavement. In reverse Awd barely worked on rear and finally did with light throttle coupled to push on front.

Our Subaru would not sneeze in same situation.

Is ford using a pseudo Awd with no real power to rear wheels?



Pretty much everything with a transverse engine that is AWD is a pseudo AWD with no real power to the rear wheels. There's a lot of videos out there of CR-Vs and Elements that won't even engage the rear wheels on slippery surfaces!

I took my Subaru off road this weekend. Absolutely amazed with the aWD system on it!
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#4679531 - 02/27/18 09:48 AM Re: Ford AWD garbage? [Re: madRiver]
JTK Offline


Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 10587
Loc: Buffalo, NY
mad- My guess would be the factory all-season tires had a lot to do with it. Dunno if you've tried a brand-new Subaru lately, but the ultra cheap all-seasons they come with are pathetic in winter conditions, even with Subaru's AWD system.
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#4679539 - 02/27/18 09:57 AM Re: Ford AWD garbage? [Re: madRiver]
tenderloin Offline


Registered: 12/16/02
Posts: 6521
Loc: Huntington Beach, CA
Mostly for handling...

Intelligent All-Wheel Drive

"Intelligent AWD sensors balance torque between the front and rear wheels to enhance handling and maximize traction, typically before wheelslip can even occur. This helps keep the vehicle sure-footed in a variety of conditions such as slippery surfaces".

Daughters '17 Escape AWD system hasn't been used in the snow but is nice to drive

Same awd system

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#4679549 - 02/27/18 10:02 AM Re: Ford AWD garbage? [Re: madRiver]
UG_Passat Offline


Registered: 05/27/08
Posts: 1970
Loc: NJ
Key word is "rental car" so tires are always questionable

Ford's Intelligent AWD system is more capable than you think

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkiv-bWbLIo&t
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#4679564 - 02/27/18 10:29 AM Re: Ford AWD garbage? [Re: tenderloin]
Miller88 Offline


Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 12704
Loc: Onondaga County
Originally Posted By: tenderloin
Mostly for handling...

Intelligent All-Wheel Drive

"Intelligent AWD sensors balance torque between the front and rear wheels to enhance handling and maximize traction, typically before wheelslip can even occur. This helps keep the vehicle sure-footed in a variety of conditions such as slippery surfaces".

Daughters '17 Escape AWD system hasn't been used in the snow but is nice to drive

Same awd system


My parents have a '18 and previously a '13 riding on Nokian snow tires. It's awesome in the snow!
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#4679568 - 02/27/18 10:32 AM Re: Ford AWD garbage? [Re: Miller88]
RamFan Offline


Registered: 05/09/10
Posts: 1973
Loc: Illinois, U.S.A
Originally Posted By: Miller88
Originally Posted By: madRiver
We rented a Ford Flex and turning around the driver thought it was maybe 1 of snow but turned out to be scaped and 12 deep.

The front tires were down 6 but rear on pavement. In reverse Awd barely worked on rear and finally did with light throttle coupled to push on front.

Our Subaru would not sneeze in same situation.

Is ford using a pseudo Awd with no real power to rear wheels?



Pretty much everything with a transverse engine that is AWD is a pseudo AWD with no real power to the rear wheels. There's a lot of videos out there of CR-Vs and Elements that won't even engage the rear wheels on slippery surfaces!

I took my Subaru off road this weekend. Absolutely amazed with the aWD system on it!


While I tend to agree with you about the pseudo AWD system, I think pointing out the CR-V is definitely showing an extreme case. How Honda hasn't gotten sued yet blows my mind. They advertise it as AWD, but I'm sorry, it's just not.

I've been really taking the Mazda to the limit this year and I'm very impressed with how it's performed! I got stuck one time, but I really can't blame the vehicle for it. The CX-5 has a minimum ground clearance of 8.5", I was going through 11-12". Obviously it was going to be a challenge, I took my foot off the gas just enough to slow my momentum down and I came to a stop. With that being said, just digging out a little behind the tires and rocking the car I was able to get good progress and inch myself towards freedom.


Edited by RamFan (02/27/18 10:46 AM)
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#4679588 - 02/27/18 10:57 AM Re: Ford AWD garbage? [Re: madRiver]
supton Offline


Registered: 11/09/08
Posts: 11975
Loc: NH
This past storm, I thought it was nice fluffy stuff but I think it was just the right temp to turn into packing with any weight. Neighbor borrowed a family member's MB, some sort of RWD 4 door sedan, and got it stuck. I pulled it out of the ditch, but the thing was hopeless in the snow. Michelins, didn't catch what but they sure looked like the LTX's I used to have. Utterly useless in the snow, all it did was spin. It was new enough for TC but that car couldn't do anything, even after I pulled it up onto the road. I'm hoping she made it home ok...

It was about as bad as the MB G-something that was stuck in the same spot--only that was AWD, but on performance summers. I looked up the model and it had 505hp. I guess 505hp & AWD can't overcome a lack of traction.
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#4679595 - 02/27/18 10:59 AM Re: Ford AWD garbage? [Re: RamFan]
IndyIan Offline


Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 9092
Loc: Ontario, Canada
The Honda system is really on demand 4wd as there is no centre diff. I don't have a problem with how it works although a manual lock up mode would be nice. I'm not sure what the maximum torque the rwd clutches can transmit. Our's has no trouble at all lighting up the rears in snow and gravel from a stop. The biggest thing is to shut off the TC then spin up the fronts to lock in the rears then drag the brakes a bit if you need some torque distribution side to side.
Pointed up a ~30deg (steep enough not to drive across)grass slope it took the rears a second or two to start pushing hard enough after the fronts spun, and it went up but that's about the limit, but that's with slightly oversize AT tires too, 3 seasons would've just spun up...
With regular all-season tires or snows on a snowy road it has more torque to the rear than the tires can hold anyways.
Good enough in my experience.
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#4679611 - 02/27/18 11:17 AM Re: Ford AWD garbage? [Re: madRiver]
ARCOgraphite Offline


Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 11970
Loc: N.H, U.S.A.
My rogue has a AWD LOCk button for low speed usage. Never needed it.

Yes tires are important and the factory tires on our older Subaru Forester were terrible. I could out drive that in 6" snow and slush with my bad weather terrible Toyota Yaris fitted with 14" Winterforce up front on steelies. I know I did the same loop the same day in both cars and Yaris wins - And that car is horrendous in the snow.
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#4679612 - 02/27/18 11:17 AM Re: Ford AWD garbage? [Re: madRiver]
HemiHawk Offline


Registered: 03/09/16
Posts: 842
Loc: PA,US
While I think the ford PTUs have a tendency to burn up in some cases (if not maintained), my experience is that the Ford AWD system is pretty impressive. I've used it in a few snow storms in a 2011 edge limited. There is even a little display you can bring up to show where the power is being sent when slip is detected.
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#4679635 - 02/27/18 11:42 AM Re: Ford AWD garbage? [Re: JTK]
Virtus_Probi Offline


Registered: 06/25/15
Posts: 3970
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: JTK
mad- My guess would be the factory all-season tires had a lot to do with it. Dunno if you've tried a brand-new Subaru lately, but the ultra cheap all-seasons they come with are pathetic in winter conditions, even with Subaru's AWD system.


Gotta second this one, bought my FXT in March and we had a little 2" powdery snowstorm up in the town where I ski. The OEM tires were useless even in that depth of snow and I almost slid off the road right by my condo, a stretch of asphalt I knew pretty well. I was going to buy snows anyway, used the OEMs as mediocre summer tires for a few years and then bought something I liked.
This prepared me for buying my daughter's Subaru and that had RT43s on it a few days after we picked it up. Read reviews online and there were all kinds of stories that matched my experience with OEMs on my FXT, even though the brand involved was different.

Seems to me that Subaru is making a terrible choice in selling their cars with tires that can't handle winter at all on them, they had built up a reputation for being a good choice in snowy areas and now there are all these horror stories online about drivers being scared by their new Subies in modestly bad winter conditions.
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#4679648 - 02/27/18 12:00 PM Re: Ford AWD garbage? [Re: Miller88]
OVERKILL Offline


Registered: 04/28/08
Posts: 36464
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: Miller88
Originally Posted By: madRiver
We rented a Ford Flex and turning around the driver thought it was maybe 1 of snow but turned out to be scaped and 12 deep.

The front tires were down 6 but rear on pavement. In reverse Awd barely worked on rear and finally did with light throttle coupled to push on front.

Our Subaru would not sneeze in same situation.

Is ford using a pseudo Awd with no real power to rear wheels?



Pretty much everything with a transverse engine that is AWD is a pseudo AWD with no real power to the rear wheels. There's a lot of videos out there of CR-Vs and Elements that won't even engage the rear wheels on slippery surfaces!

I took my Subaru off road this weekend. Absolutely amazed with the aWD system on it!


This is quite accurate.

Something with a true AWD or 4x4 system operates quite a bit differently from the FWD-biased ad-hoc AWD setups fitted to traverse-mounted powertrain vehicles.

The thing is that for people that aren't seriously into off-roading or putting themselves into situations where that sort of system can prove superior, the FWD-based system are usually more than adequate.
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