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Winter driving in a non D car

Discussion in 'Canada' started by awalia, Dec 18, 2016.

  1. awalia

    awalia Member

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    Is pretty damm impressive. I've had my new to me P85 for just under 2 weeks now, and we've been hit with a few snow falls since. The car is as sure footed as a mountain goat in snow and icy conditions despite being back wheel drive. It is pretty difficult to make the car loose control even with the traction control off. I can only imagine how much better the D cars are. The only thing I found I had to do was to put the car on low re-gen or the back end wiggles just a little while slowing down on super slippery roads on which I should be driving slower anyways.

    I look forward to driving the car everyday and look for any excuse to get behind the wheel.
     
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  2. doubeld

    doubeld Member

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    Driving back from Kicking Horse tonight had me wondering - is there a way that the Model S/X allows you to change your regen from standard to low on the fly without taking your eyes off the road? Hit a few black ice sections on hills and around corners and even with light modulation of the go pedal I figure regen might have had an issue with that. I would not have been wanting to go through several screens to change that setting while keeping an eye on the road.
     
  3. DMC-Orangeville

    DMC-Orangeville 85D and John Deere 5100E

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    Good winter tires make a huge impact. I have an 85D, and I'd take it over my F250 4WD Ford pick up any day.

    PS: welcome to the forum @awalia
     
  4. chillaban

    chillaban Active Member

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    I just came back from a Tahoe trip in my 70D, with the standard all-season tires. I'm fairly used to driving this route using Audi's with Quattro (which is already arguably one of the best passenger car AWD systems on the market), but this blows it out of the water. Barely a hint of traction loss unless I'm intentionally trying to test the limits. And it seems to address wheel slip much faster than Audi's mechanical AWD system.

    Overall, thumbs-up. I can only imagine what it'd be like to have a -D car with proper snow tires.
     
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  5. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    Far too many people think that AWD is the answer to winter driving. It's not. The real answer to winter driving is winter tires. The tires are 95% of the equation. Sure an AWD vehicle with winter tires will slightly beat a RWD vehicle with the same tires, but an RWD car with winter tires will run circles around an AWD car with all seasons.
     
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  6. awalia

    awalia Member

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    Thank you DMC-Orangeville.

    My car does have 19" Pirelli winter tires which are quite impressive. I usually run Michelin X-Ice which are usually pretty in the winter as well.

    It seems my car did pickup a problem yesterday evening. I was about to change the Wipers and pulled the wiper arm up and the wiper arm spring broke :(
    Wish me luck trying to get a hold of someone at Telsa to order a wiper arm.
     
  7. awalia

    awalia Member

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    green1, I totally agree. I run winters on my suv as well, the only difference between that and the RWD tesla is getting moving from a stand still.
     
  8. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    Common problem. What you didn't realize is that unlike every other car on the road, you can't lift the wiper arms on a Model S, the spring will break. You need a new wiper arm now due to Tesla design stupidity.
     
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  9. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Couldn't agree more. I am into my 5th winter with my S85 and I use Nokian Hakka R2 winter tires. I have never once ever been in a situation where I thought AWD would have gotten me out of a situation that my RWD wouldn't have. Not once, and I do a lot of winter driving. I have had AWD in the past, and the only thing I could do with it vs. my RWD Model S is pull away from traffic stops quickly in deep snow. But all that does is fool you into thinking you have better traction than you do, and gets you into trouble quicker. AWD won't help you stop when you need to!
     
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  10. mrElbe

    mrElbe Active Member

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    Remember when it comes to braking we are all in the same pot.
     
  11. awalia

    awalia Member

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    green1 you can put the wipers in service mode from the screen which brings the wipers up enough to lift them up as a standard car.
    The problem i had was that the spring was so stiff that lifting the arm caused the 2 springs to break loose.
    Luckily Kevin at Mississauga service center was able to get me a replacement arm and got it installed for me today.
     
  12. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    No, you can't. In a standard car you can lift them to 90 degrees off the windshield, they'll stay there forever until you put them back, and no damage will occur.
    On a Model S, the same (even in service mode) will cause exactly the problem you just experienced.
     
  13. Dax279

    Dax279 Member

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    The only time I think AWD might be an improvement over RWD is where someone lives in a hilly area travel through steep mountain passes through the winter. The only reason is ay this is because it would make getting up the hill much easier (especially when there or other cars getting stuck and forcing you to slow or stop heading up the hills).

    My previous car was a RWD Lexus and agree it was fine in almost every situation (with Hakkas of course). The only time I had an issue was driving through Rogers pass one year in some heavy slushy conditions and I could feel my rear wiggle out a little going up a hill. When it happened, I did think that this would not occur at that sped with AWD as the car would have routed power to the tires with better traction. With the Lexus,I also avoided going up hills that others were having issues on during he winter as I do really not like getting stuck.
     
  14. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    AWD is always an improvement to RWD in the winter, the issue is with the scope of the improvement, and what drivers do as a result of it.
    AWD is only a small advantage over RWD, but it induces some awful behaviour in many drivers, including refusing to use winter tires, or driving with supreme over confidence (better acceleration, no better braking). As long as you avoid those pitfalls, AWD is better than RWD. But you must remember to avoid those pitfalls.

    Personally, despite driving through the mountains all the time, in sometimes absolutely horrendous weather, I don't miss AWD (my last 2 vehicles were 4x4s) Because I know that with the right tires (which I have) it's just not that big a difference, and most of that difference is at the wrong end of the equation anyway (starting, not stopping)
     
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  15. Jeeps17

    Jeeps17 Cath Jockey in a P85

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    Obviously this will vary considerably depending on where you drive.

    I have had a few (very few but still) instances where my RWD P85 would get bogged down in thicker snow, and the TC became counter-productive by cutting power so much I almost became immobile (once even on a slight downhill grade!). My worst such event occurred while going up a short slushy hill, where I learned the sweaty way that you cannot disable TC while pressing on the accelerator (and while praying to god the car does not stop and start skidding backward or sideways). I was lucky and SLOWLY crept to the crest of the hill (with cars all around me), but it was close, and nerve-wracking. Lesson learned, if TC must be disabled in winter - not a great idea in such a powerful RWD car - in can only be done with foot off the accelerator and pressing the brake pedal.

    The flip side of this issue occurred on another small hill in front of the old Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal (on Pine Avenue for those who know the area). This is a high-traffic street where the city did not always clear snow quickly enough, and again slush accumulated (moderate amounts of heavy salt-laden mush). Having learned from the above experience, I disabled TC while stopped at the light before the hill, and gingerly feathered the accelerator on the way up, with significant fishtailing of my rear end. Not fun, again got lucky - did not hit anything and made it to work. Other vehicles were also struggling that time, except for those with AWD.

    I run Nokian Hakka 7s, and also have years of winter driving experience, but on subsequent days like that I seriously debated taking the S.

    In both of those situations, I am certain that having a D variant would have greatly reduced, if not eliminated the issue (they did not exist then, so all I could do was wish). A test drive of a Model X this past weekend in thick slush with freezing rain was impressive enough to me that I placed an order for one (family size prevented me from upgrading my S to a D variant, I needed the large frunk!). Tesla's AWD is really unique on the market, and I have driven the best mechanical variants available over the years (Volvo Haldex, Subaru, and Audi Quattro).

    Totally agree with you.
     
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  16. DienNguyen

    DienNguyen New Member

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    I live in Colorado and so I did find a few occasions having to turn OFF traction control (TC) when needing to climb a steep & snowy hills and specifically my icy driveway. Once time, my P85 was sliding back on I-70 as well as everyone else's due to a bad freeze. I quickly turned off TC and my emergency situation was resolved since there was enough torque just in the rear wheels to push it forward while other cars were stuck or slid backward. When turning off TC, I would recommend to quickly turn TC back on since it is there for good reasons.

    With icy roads, I do find that rear wheel drive gave me an advantage to straighten out the car via regen when it starts to slide -- it is like using rear brakes only.
     
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  17. ilikechowfan

    ilikechowfan Member

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    In the settings screen there is a service mode for the wipers isn't there? It moves the wipers halfway up where you can lift them up and they stay up.

    I use this when cleaning the car all the time.
     
  18. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    the service mode moves them up from under the hood, but they stay touching the windshield. On my car, pulling them off the windshield to the normal 90 degrees off results in springs flying.

    If the wipers stay lifted to 90 degrees off the windshield in that mode for you, then you have entirely different wiper arms than I do, and different ones than the Tesla ranger in this area has ever heard of.
     
  19. ilikechowfan

    ilikechowfan Member

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    You are right in that they don't pull up off the windshield to 90 degrees, probably closer to 45 degrees but it does stay up and off the windshield in that position allowing you to change the blades or clean them.
     
  20. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    Then you have different wiper arms than I do. Mine will not stay off the windshield in any mode without permanent damage to the wiper arms.
     

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