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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I wanted to post this in case it helps anyone else. We live on a mountain right at base elevation for the ski resort here. Our driveway is super steep and curves 90 degrees as you go down to the garage. We park the Jeep in the garage and have backed it up the driveway now in lots of different conditions, including packed snow, ice, powder, powder over ice :) etc. I have also backed it out of the driveway with a good 6 inches plus of crud and snow.

We started to have problems in the really bad conditions making it to the top of the driveway and it got me thinking about the 4WD modes. We were using Snow Mode all the time and once in a while just leaving it on Auto mode. After reading up on this in the manual, I started just pressing the button to activate 4WD in "Auto" mode, so 4WD is locked but it's not a specific snow mode. I get way more power using it this way, and don't seem to run out of steam at the top of the driveway. It has more of a manual feel to it just driving down the road as well which I like. I think I can feel the road better and it's more predictable. So I guess in Snow Mode the computer may reduce wheel rotation? I also turned off traction control temporarily to back out of the driveway when I had really bad conditions, since the manual says this can apply brakes if it thinks you are going off course. I turn traction control back on as soon as I start driving down the road, but wanted to share this with everyone in case it helps for situations that are a bit more extreme than "normal" driving.

Forgot the mention this is with the 6 Speed manual transmission which makes it even more fun when you get stuck on the steep part of the driveway :)
 

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I wanted to post this in case it helps anyone else. We live on a mountain right at base elevation for the ski resort here. Our driveway is super steep and curves 90 degrees as you go down to the garage. We park the Jeep in the garage and have backed it up the driveway now in lots of different conditions, including packed snow, ice, powder, powder over ice :) etc. I have also backed it out of the driveway with a good 6 inches plus of crud and snow.

We started to have problems in the really bad conditions making it to the top of the driveway and it got me thinking about the 4WD modes. We were using Snow Mode all the time and once in a while just leaving it on Auto mode. After reading up on this in the manual, I started just pressing the button to activate 4WD in "Auto" mode, so 4WD is locked but it's not a specific snow mode. I get way more power using it this way, and don't seem to run out of steam at the top of the driveway. It has more of a manual feel to it just driving down the road as well which I like. I think I can feel the road better and it's more predictable. So I guess in Snow Mode the computer may reduce wheel rotation? I also turned off traction control temporarily to back out of the driveway when I had really bad conditions, since the manual says this can apply brakes if it thinks you are going off course. I turn traction control back on as soon as I start driving down the road, but wanted to share this with everyone in case it helps for situations that are a bit more extreme than "normal" driving.

Forgot the mention this is with the 6 Speed manual transmission which makes it even more fun when you get stuck on the steep part of the driveway :)
Good info!

It's really a good idea to play with the select-terrain, 4x4, and traction control settings (there are so many combinations!) to find what works perfect given the exact situation the Jeep is in. Snow can't cover all snowy scenarios any more than sand and mud can't cover each type of, well, sand or mud.

Getting a feel for what each mode does will make you better at getting through sticky situations. For example, maybe Mud would work even better in your snowy driveway. Give 'em all a try!

P.S. I think tapping the traction control button just turns off traction control. If you want to turn off esc (which applies the brakes to keep the vehicle on course) you have to hold the button for 10 to 15 seconds. Even with esc off the brakes will still apply on their own, strategically, as a type of electronic limited slip differential.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Good info!

It's really a good idea to play with the select-terrain, 4x4, and traction control settings (there are so many combinations!) to find what works perfect given the exact situation the Jeep is in. Snow can't cover all snowy scenarios any more than sand and mud can't cover each type of, well, sand or mud.

Getting a feel for what each mode does will make you better at getting through sticky situations. For example, maybe Mud would work even better in your snowy driveway. Give 'em all a try!

P.S. I think tapping the traction control button just turns off traction control. If you want to turn off esc (which applies the brakes to keep the vehicle on course) you have to hold the button for 10 to 15 seconds. Even with esc off the brakes will still apply on their own, strategically, as a type of electronic limited slip differential.
Thanks for the extra info. Good idea to try all the different 4WD modes and see if they work better for a given situation. I didn't know about holding down the traction control button to turn off ESC - will try that too!
 

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This is great info. My driveway is very steep and 90 degree turns as well. Should I leave it in auto mode and put in 1st gear to get down or leave in snow mode? I put in snow mode this morning and did ok. This was for only about 2 inches of snow. Me and this driveway have a sorted past and has been the source of much anxiety. I want to make sure I'm using the right gear to get down safely. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This is great info. My driveway is very steep and 90 degree turns as well. Should I leave it in auto mode and put in 1st gear to get down or leave in snow mode? I put in snow mode this morning and did ok. This was for only about 2 inches of snow. Me and this driveway have a sorted past and has been the source of much anxiety. I want to make sure I'm using the right gear to get down safely. Thanks!
I would use Snow Mode or simply press the button to put it in 4WD Lock Auto Mode. First gear sounds good - in my driveway I put it in first and brake repeatedly to avoid breaking traction and sliding. Sometimes I just leave it in neutral and let it roll down while I brake to keep it moving slowly.

I hear you on the anxiety! With our Toyota FJ Cruiser AWD, both my wife and I have slid all the way down the driveway when it was icy and hit the metal pole that the gas company put in to protect the gas line - good thing they installed that!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Anyone know if you can drive Highway speeds in 4WD Lock (SNOW)? Thanks
AFAIK you can drive at any speed with 4WD Lock. It should be similar to snow mode except it uses an Auto algorithm as opposed to an algorithm that assumes snow conditions.

So far I've driven up to 55 MPH with 4WD Lock enabled.
 

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AFAIK you can drive at any speed with 4WD Lock. It should be similar to snow mode except it uses an Auto algorithm as opposed to an algorithm that assumes snow conditions.

So far I've driven up to 55 MPH with 4WD Lock enabled.
The vehicle can switch between 2WD and 4WD at any speed, so they driver should be able to choose manually at any speed. In order to get into 4WD Low, I think the vehicle has to be stopped.
 

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I've found that the 4WD snow mode is only useful for very deep snow and at lower speeds. It seems to create a lot of driveline drag and keeps the engine RPM quite high. As a result, I keep the vehicle in 2WD Auto mode or 4WD Auto Lock if the roads are snow covered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I've found that the 4WD snow mode is only useful for very deep snow and at lower speeds. It seems to create a lot of driveline drag and keeps the engine RPM quite high. As a result, I keep the vehicle in 2WD Auto mode or 4WD Auto Lock if the roads are snow covered.
Yep - exactly what I find. Power level seems to drop soon as I enable Snow Mode, then back to Auto with 4WD Lock and power increases. I like to have all available power, not be bogged down by the Snow Mode :)
 

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I just drove my renegade for the first time in VA's first noticable snow of the season, and am blessed to say it done great. I do have all terrain tires, did not stick with the sport's standard tires. Now to just prepare for the 1' plus we're hearing for over the weekend. Has anyone drove in very deep snow yet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I just drove my renegade for the first time in VA's first noticable snow of the season, and am blessed to say it done great. I do have all terrain tires, did not stick with the sport's standard tires. Now to just prepare for the 1' plus we're hearing for over the weekend. Has anyone drove in very deep snow yet?
Just pulled out of my steep driveway again with 6 inches of new snow. No problem backing out with 4WD Lock and ESC fully off!

As far as driving through deep snow on the road I've been in about 8 inches deep without a problem, but any deeper would be a problem with the non-TH models since ground clearance is right around that mark.
 

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Just pulled out of my steep driveway again with 6 inches of new snow. No problem backing out with 4WD Lock and ESC fully off!

As far as driving through deep snow on the road I've been in about 8 inches deep without a problem, but any deeper would be a problem with the non-TH models since ground clearance is right around that mark.
By that logic the TH would be able to handle about another half inch of snow.
 
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