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Driving in icy/snow condition

Discussion in 'Model X' started by t56301, Jan 2, 2017.

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  1. t56301

    t56301 Member

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    I was driving through Grants Pass(Oregon) on I-5 today. Very snowy road condition. The semi in front of me started slowing down so I hit the brake. To my surprise, the X started skidding (I felt it was sliding toward the left line where there was another semi passing by), which actually scared me! Just when I thought it's going to hit the semi on my left, it stopped skidding and regained traction. I managed to get the X back in lane. I expect at least ABS should be engaged when it detects the vehicle is skidding and the brake is pressed, but at the time I didn't feel it was doing that.

    Anyone here with snowing driving experience, could you share your advice on how to better deal with this situation? Note we were all driving at around 25mph or even slower at the time; and my X has all season tires.
     
  2. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Supporting Member

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    Remember that even if you weren't braking, by taking your foot off the "go" pedal you are asking for regenerative braking.

    One thing you can try to do in a situation like that is find the position on the go pedal where you are not providing power, but also not asking for regenerative braking. It's hard to get it exactly right, but just getting close is good. Of course it is really hard to do this in an emergency situation!

    Think of it as being analogous to not braking in an ICE vehicle when you are sliding on ice. That's what you should be shooting for, if you can.

    I'm not sure why ABS wouldn't have kicked in. Perhaps it did. Perhaps someone else will shed more light on that aspect of things.
     
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  3. Tjhappel

    Tjhappel Member

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    I would strongly recommend in snow and Ice to set to set your regen to low or minimal (I forget the verbiage for the "least" amount), in icy situations situations going downhill on a curve it can cause a slide or traction control to come on. I'm sure people on the forum will help out with this but tesla has a top 3 industry traction control system, it's amazing but the regen can throw you for a loop if your not ready for it.

    Their great snow vehcies... minus the range hit for cold temps.
     
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  4. McManX

    McManX Member

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    What tires/wheels? 22" summer? 20" all season?
     
  5. evp

    evp Nerd

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    With the 2-wheel-drive Tesla, it's rather important to select low regen. Going downhill on an icy road is dicy under full regen. It does seem to have traction control, but it's not nearly as precise so the back end starts feeling really "loose" when you back all the way off the throttle. I've occasionally used the other foot to apply brakes while the throttle is still down, but the car complains about that.
     
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  6. Deans

    Deans Member

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    Do people here recommend snow tires for AWD S? Or is it overkill? I live in Denver. They don't plow the city street here and I drive frequently to the mountains. I was thinking to get snow tires to swap in to every winter, but the SC guys said it wasn't necessary with AWD and all season tires.
     
  7. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Supporting Member

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    I recommend snow tires.

    If you're going to keep the car a long time, the only real cost is the extra set of wheels, and what it costs to swap them on and off every year. You're going to go through the rubber anyway, so whether it is one set of tires or two doesn't matter much.

    The two most popular recommendations on here, in order, seem to be the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 2s and the Michelin X-Ice 3s.

    I have the Pirelli Sottozero 2s that came with the Winter Wheel Package, and as soon as they are worn out I'll be replacing them with the Hakkas.

    Good luck!
     
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  8. Deans

    Deans Member

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    Should I get the extra wheels too or just the extra tires? The cost to change tires is cheap here and storage is the same price. I didn't see a reason to get the wheels. I'll probably have the car 6-8 years, but I work from home, so I only drive about 7,500 miles a year. That number might go up with FSD though :)
    Sorry to hijack the thread OP!
     
  9. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Supporting Member

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    My understanding is that constantly changing tires on and off thewheels is hard on the wheels. Also it has to be less expensive to just swap wheels onto the car than to change the rubber on the rims. You can probably find someone selling wheels relatively inexpensively because they wanted different ones or something. There have been some people selling wheels on this forum in the past few days.
     
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  10. t56301

    t56301 Member

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    Hmm...looks like Tesla would need to address this with regen braking. This is super scary! Tesla was the only car (SUV) experiencing "loss of control" at the time when this happened (all the ICE cars around me were OK, except for one semi that was jackknifing), quite embarrassing to be honest.
    I think Tesla should take a note here? Provide a way to disable regen totally, e.g., with a snow button or some kind?
    Also, ABS wasn't there. I wonder if I have to hit the brake very hard to engage it.
     
  11. t56301

    t56301 Member

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    My regen was already set to low prior to the start of the day.
     
  12. t56301

    t56301 Member

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    20" all season
     
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  13. t56301

    t56301 Member

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    With today's experience, it feels like X is far from a dependable/safe vehicle for snow. Its handling in snow is much worse than the AWD ICEs I have driven.
    Tesla needs to address this.
     
  14. NovemberXray

    NovemberXray Member

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    I have driven extensively in a wide range of snow and ice conditions for more than 20 years, including living in places where all the roads are snow covered half the year. I have also driven my Model X in quite a few different types of snow conditions already this year from deep unplowed snow, small roads, highways, and freeways in patchy snow, ice, packed snow, slush, etc.

    In my opinion and experience, the Model X is a FANTASTIC car in the snow, and has performed as well or better than any car I have had before (many all wheel drive vehicles from Subaru, Audi, and BMW). I am running 20" winter wheels, which Nokian WR3 snow/winter rated all season tires. I have not changed the regen settings, and have had no trouble with unexpected sliding. Even taking it out in a huge empty parking lot in snow and ice, it's very difficult to get it to slide at all unless you turn on the "Slip Start" feature (essentially disabling traction control). I have found the car to be super stable, excellent traction, and consistent, straight line braking (always the most challenging in slippery conditions for any vehicle).

    @t56301 I'm sorry to hear of your scary experience, that's never fun! You probably already know this, but whenever you're in slippery conditions, leave extra space, and all your control inputs (steering, accelerator, and break) should be very slow and gentle as any sudden change can initiate a loss of traction. If you haven't already I would encourage you to find a large snowy parking lot where you can experiment. Accelerate hard, make sharp curves, slam on the breaks, and see how the car responds so you know what to expect. Then try it again with traction control off (Slip Start On). You will be amazed at how well the technology works. I've never seen a car so able to accelerate smoothly in a straight line with almost no slipping when you stomp the accelerator pedal on ice!
     
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  15. Epymian

    Epymian Member

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    I have the winter tires here in BC (Pirellis) and find them fantastic on snow but poor on ice. My ABS has not come on once (that I could feel) after 3 small (10-20 foot) slides on ice coming up to intersections. I think there is a small issue with the software programming and feel that when a slide is detected then regen should go off and ABS should come on.

    I have resorted in my previous ICE vehicles to putting the car in Neutral when sliding forward on ice as that seems to stop vehicles much faster. Not sure if this helps in a Tesla.
     
  16. muleferg

    muleferg Active Member

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    I would guess by your name. NovemberXray you are a pilot. Looks like all the others having issue with snow is 'Pilot Error".:rolleyes:
     
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  17. ba2002

    ba2002 Member

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    I have an AWD S with the Michelin X-Ice 3's. The car is fine in the snow with this setup, but I don't find it to be noticeably better than other AWD vehicles with snow tires that I've had (Not as good as my subaru, about the same as my Infiniti, better than our Acura).

    The traction control and ABS in the Tesla seems to be a little more sophisticated than my other cars, in that I can slam brakes and do things in an attempt to abuse/overhwhelm it, and the car does a better job of staying straight and not losing control compared to my other cars.
     
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  18. G77P

    G77P Member

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    I have X P90D with Blizzak snow tires, the traction control and the ABS will come on and you can feel the pedal pulse just as with a typical car - even with snow tires. I'd highly recommend snow tires, remember that these are heavy cars even though they feel sporty and AWD will not help with stopping. Regarding handling in the snow and ice, there are some differences you need to be aware of with an X vs a typical AWD car or SUV that I have noted in the last 3 months in MN (I always try to find the limits in a controlled environment like an empty parking lot so I know how the car will behave on the road):

    - Traction control is much better in an X, there is NO wheel slip. This can be a problem when pulling onto a road with traffic as you will get limited acceleration and no wheel spin. Sometimes you need wheel spin to clear the snow from the treads. There is a slip start button but needs to be manually engaged / pressed when needed - doing that is cumbersome as it is in the control panel.
    - You can get the car to slide sideways if you try, and the front wheels will slide if you go into a corner too fast. Stability control does not seem to engage the brakes very early or at all to get you on the correct path. This is much different then other cars I've had in the winter.
    - For decelerating / stopping, if regen is set to standard and any of the wheels start to slip on ice in one pedal driving, the regen may cut out almost completely and you will be coasting and have to quickly use the brake. For me, it is best practice in the winter to always be ready to use the brake / cover the brake when coming to a stop. There is no anti-lock feature in regen - remember regen may also be limited in the cold as shown on the dash.
    - Find some snow and ice and try the ABS so you know what it feels like - to me it is the same as all other cars regarding pedal pulse / ability to stop and "feel". You really need to stomp on the brake and push all the way down hard once you feel the ABS pulse start to engage full brakes.
     
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  19. vandacca

    vandacca ReActive Member

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    Let me re-iterate what has been posted before. Get snow tires. The rubber on all-season tires hardens like a hockey puck in freezing conditions and are useless. Winter tires have a much softer rubber that maintains traction in freezing weather, plus they have siphons and sipe grooves to grab onto ice.

    Traction control is useless if you don't have the right tires.
     
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  20. idoco

    idoco Member

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