Living on a similar sounding hill (which never gets gritted/cleared)
front wheel drive and skinny tyres wins. Alfa 164 (front wheel drive
V6 big tyres sat at bottom of hill making vroomy sounds but getting
nowhere. Taking a good run at the hill got it up but it was quite
exiting. Jaguar XJ8 Supercharged big tyres rear wheel drive - forget
it until snow melts.
Old Honda Civic front wheel drive smaller tyres drove up hill without
On Thu, 11 Jan 2018 15:57:57 +0000 (GMT), "Dave Plowman (News)"
Good luck trying to reverse up a hill in snow particularly with any bends.
The answer is to have very low zero steering input and let the engine management
system idle control drag you up the hill at the edge of traction. Zero user
accelerator input, just idle speed in 2nd gear. Of course that needs a warm
engine that can maintain say 700 rpm or less with varying wheel loads. In
hindsight trying not to be distracted by the 4x4's 911's Jags and Beemers in
the hedges is the hardest part. Been there done that got the t-shirt
I had the nasty experience of trying to reverse a Range Rover downhill
backwards on a snow/ice covered track because the vehicle I was following
got stuck. Yes, at least one bend before I got to somewhere I could turn.
Failed hill climb on latest RRs I hear can be pretty interesting if you
start sliding backwards. ABS releases the sliding wheels - and you can't
engage reverse whilst the wheels are rotating. Or so I've heard. No
Yes I imagine a 2WD with a lockable diff is a lot better than a 4WD where
none of the three diffs are lockable so one loose wheel is enough to remove
traction from the other three.
Whenever I've got stuck, it's always been the wheel closer to the kerb/verge
that's spun. In one case, the other wheel was on firm dry tarmac - but no
use to man nor beast since the other wheel couldn't get a grip. Carpet mats
worked wonders. Turning the steering wheels towards the tarmac seems to help
with mud because if the tyre does dig itself deeper (even with very slow
controlled turning) it is more likely to find tarmac buried beneath the mud.
Of course the best thing is not to get buried in the first place. If I have
to move off a single track road onto the verge to let an oncoming ca pass, I
try to keep moving and not to come to a complete halt.
A 4x4 without lockable diffs or some form of traction control would
rapidly turn into a one wheel drive. ISTR ambulances are like that.
Required for better grip at speed rather than getting through snow.
4x4 SUVs advertise that they normally run as FWD and only engage the RWD as
well when it is needed (when the front wheels start to turn faster that the
rear, implying that they are slipping). I presume that as well as engaging
the rear wheels, they also lock the three diffs, otherwise, as you say, they
turn into a 1WD :-)
I've noticed that our Honda CRV emits a foul burnt-cabbage stench (as if
it's farted!) if I have to do a hill start on a steep gradient. I wonder
whether this is a stenching agent built into the linkage that engages 4WD
mode, to indicate when it has been engaged and a significant load has been
transmitted, as opposed to on the level on snow (*). I've only had it happen
a couple of times - once was on a steep hill where I'd had to go close to a
verge (though on mud on the road rather than on the verge itself) when I met
a car on a narrow road and then had to set off; the other time was on good
tarmac when I stopped at a junction on a hill and then had to set off, maybe
with a bit of wheel slippage on loose gravel.
(*) I've never actually driven it on snow because it's not snowed since we
got the car, even though there were several previous years where it snowed.
Ah, right. As long as it has the effect of transferring drive to the
non-spinning wheels, how ever it is achieved, that's enough for most
situations - a lot better than having a 2WD car with no transfer of drive.
So presumably it has three non-lockable diffs, with the middle one (between
front and rear axles) including a clutch that is only engaged when 4WD is
I presume it has to release the brakes as soon as the car starts moving,
otherwise the car will veer towards the side which was originally spinning.
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