Second Generation Nissan Xterra Forums banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
on line
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was driving around on snowpacked highways last weekend and a question came to mind. It sounds like several people have created problems with the driveshaft and/or front diff when they forgot to take their X out of 4wd and drove on pavement for a distance. At what point do you think the road becomes snowpacked enough to leave the X in 4 hi and no damage will occur? I never thought about this with my CJ-7 and first gen X but it sounds like I might want to with my new X. I would leave the previous vehicles in 4wd even if the snow was "patchy". Occasionally I would take the vehicle out of 4wd and put it back in to releave stress but if I thought I needed it, I left it in. Thoughts?
 

·
on line
Joined
·
1,361 Posts
My theory on snow is if you can drive in 2wd then do so, when you can't switch to 4wd. If the road is covered in snow then you should be fine in 4wd. patchy snow can be tricky, depends on how patchy. Usually if it's patchy it isn't deep and 2wd will get you through it no problem.

I have also heard as long as the wheels are able to slip you will be fine in 4wd, since them slipping will keep it from binding.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
1,716 Posts
It sounded to me like the people that damaged their X did so by forgetting to take it out of 4hi on dry pavement and drove at normal freeway speeds. I think that if you are on patchy snow/pavement and driving for the conditions meaning under 50 MPH you should be fine in the X.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
12 Posts
I now have a Jeep Liberty with "part-time" 4X4 - same as the X - my manuals say that you can use the P/T 4X4 only when the road is wet or slippery, if it is dry do not use it at all or otherwise it will cause damage.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
3,484 Posts
When you are sure it is slippery. Such as new snow or packed. But keep in mind I see a LOT of 4WD people wreck, more so that 2WD because, when you go like hwy speed on slippery surface and let off the gas, the retarding of the wheels in 4WD will kind of want to spin you like a top. Because say the left rear retards and the right front. Whoop whoop! In the ditch! I see it all the time. 8 out of 10 people who loose it was in an SUV and they always say "I even had in in 4WD!" Plus, remember, it can go a lot faster than it can stop.

With this in mind, when in 4WD and you slow down, slow down easy, not suddenly. If you do slow down suddenly, get into the anti lock brakes so that they take over rather than the wheels and drivetrain slowing you and spinning you like a top.

It also helps in an emergency stop to dive for the shoulder as this part of the road has a lot more traction from the gravel on it.

MC
 

·
on line
Joined
·
210 Posts
usmc xterra said:
...Whoop whoop! In the ditch! I see it all the time. 8 out of 10 people who loose it was in an SUV and they always say "I even had in in 4WD!"...
Be aware that you can be overconfident when in 4WD mode. You don't feel it slippery as much as you'll do in 2WD...
When turning and braking, the Law of physic applies no matter the drive mode you're on... There's only 4 patch of rubber keeping you on the road...
 

·
on line
Joined
·
1,831 Posts
The other thing to add is that all 4 wheels must be rotating at the same rate when you switch into 4hi. So, if you're someone who believes in switching into 4hi after it becomes slippery, make sure you let off the gas and then switch it.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
210 Posts
usmc xterra said:
...Whoop whoop! In the ditch! I see it all the time. 8 out of 10 people who loose it was in an SUV and they always say "I even had in in 4WD!"...
My rule of tumb about that : If you need the 4WD because it's slippery you should also slow down because it's slippery...
 

·
on line
Joined
·
666 Posts
Number one rule for driving in snow:

DO EVERYTHING AS SMOOTHLY AS POSSIBLE!!!
If you jerk you will crash... Smooth application of throttle, smooth consisten steering inputs, smooth braking and so on, and so on...

I've been in and out of 4 wheel drive so much the last 4 weeks with all this darn snow... mainly to get going as with all the power, crappy stock OR tires it immidiatly gets into the traction control, and with the stick, you end up going no where!

Also remember with 4 wheel drive, there is no center diff, so if you break traction with the rear tires, the fronts will follow...
 

·
on line
Joined
·
735 Posts
I accidentally drove 10 miles in 4-hi after I got back on the highway..these trucks aren't that fragile.

If there is snow, the road is either wet or icy which means there will be enough slippage to help unload driveshaft bind.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
83 Posts
Get speed before going up hill (holds true in any vehicle.)

So many people around my area have cars that can drive in 2" of snow, but they get stuck by coasting at 10mph up a hill, and then they get to the top, they slam on the gas and swerve all of the place. Most of them end up in ditches...It's hilarious to watch.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
13,467 Posts
I say that 4 wheel drive really should only be used if absolutly needed. I grew up in chardon ohio, we would average 3 feet of snow in one night most winters when it was storming. I drove to and from school in my rear wheel drive s-10, up and down huge ass hills every day, ice and snow covered. I didnt drive like and old lady, but i also didnt drive like a moron either...........and i never got in a wreck or lost control. So in my opinion people tend to use the 4 wheel drive unnnessicerily, and way to often. Unless im absolutly stuck, i dont use it. Drive smartly and you will be fine. Remember, breaking when your going down hill and its snowing isnt the smartest thing to do. That always drove me nuts. Dont break down hill, if you do, your asking to slip and slide.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
618 Posts
For driving on snow-packed roads, I disagree about using 4wd only when absolutely needed.

The main reason is that on a snow packed road, 4wd lets you accelerate faster from a stop than 2wd. This is good if you have someone screaming up behind you who can’t stop or someone who is sliding into the intersection you may be starting to cross.

Granted that the VDC, ABS and ABLS will get you around most of the time with no issues in 2wd, but if you have 4wd, why not use the extra capability?

Now, if you invest in a set of winter tires too, you’ll have as good of a winter vehicle as you can get.

In a vehicle without VDC, particularly with a rear LSD or locker, 4wd greatly reduces the risk of acceleration induced over-steer. This situation becomes almost unavoidable as the road surface becomes icy or the grade of the road becomes steep enough that the power required to climb the grade overcomes the traction provided by the rear tires.

In my other 4wd vehicle, a fully locked CJ on MTR’s, 2wd on snow and ice is essentially suicidal. Even just a little rear wheel slip causes the back of the Jeep to head downhill regardless of whether downhill is in up ahead or off to a side. 4wd reduces that tendency and helps to prevent rear wheel lockup under braking as well (the lockers and transfer case ensure all the wheels are moving at the same speed). Now, steering with the front locker on ice only happens when I get off the gas. Under power on ice, it essentially converts from hopeless oversteer in 2wd to nearly hopeless understeer in 4wd. I’ll take the understeering, thank you. I tend not to drive it too much in winter weather unless the snow becomes too deep for the X.

-Old Army
 

·
on line
Joined
·
735 Posts
This thread is going to go OT and discuss the merits of AWD vs. 4wd. Some awd systems are very nice too.

4wd is really like ABS in a way. It is more difficult to lock up one wheel with the rest of the drivetrain pushing it along- also engine braking occured on 4 tires instead of two. The downside to this is you can get a little slip when accelerating around corners in 4WD, but for the most part offered more control than 2wd. 4wd became popular before electronic abs and awd because they offered more control- everybody who lives in snow country knows this.

lockers are dangerous unless they can be turned off (I think this is one of the reasons OEM lockers only work at low speeds in low range-to prevent boneheads from using them on ice more than anything).

I know toyota has an AWD diff in their transfer cases that nissan doesn't have..I found it annoying in the 4runner because you can't go straight into 4wd, you have to wait for it to go awd and then switch to true 4wd. ..which sucks when you want wheel spin now because you just drove into a muddy lot and are losing momentum due to the wheel slip monkey business that toyota has programmed into the awd part.

simplicity is better- hybrid do all systems are a pain.

I liked my subaru all mechanical awd..that worked nice for the roadway

I like pure 4wd with selectable lockers--ALBS is ok, but really it's just a little foof add on that isn't aggressive enough, but what the hell. The VDC off button is great also...much simpler than the toyota system where you get stuck before you can switch modes.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top