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Old 03-27-2012, 01:16 PM   #1
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Default 4X4 on wet asphalt, snow and ice

I bought a f-150 which I'm still waiting for delivery. To pass the time I read the owners manual that I found on the Ford website. I should have done that before buying...

My current vehicle is an AWD Hyundai Santa Fe and I learned that I will not be able to use my F-150 the same way ...

2012 F-150 Owner's manual reads: "Do not use 4H (4X4 HIGH) on dry, hard surfaced roads. Doing so can produce excessive noise and increased tire wear. 4H (4X4 HIGH) is only intended for consistently slippery or loose surfaces."

I know (now) that there is a 4A mode (AUTO 4WD) in the Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum and that this mode is not available in the XLT I have ordered ...

Question #1 is: Do you use "4 HIGH" mode on wet surfaces (heavy rain)?

And during the winter here in Canada it is not uncommon to drive on dry, wet (melting snow) and icy surfaces in the same trip...

Question #2: In the winter, did you manually change the 4WD control between 2H and 4H when road conditions change?

My wife will use the truck as much as me and now I wonder if I had made a good choice. Does the F-150 will be as safe as the Santa Fe in the winter?
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:30 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vincent99 View Post
Question #1 is: Do you use "4 HIGH" mode on wet surfaces (heavy rain)?
No.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vincent99 View Post
Question #2: In the winter, did you manually change the 4WD control between 2H and 4H when road conditions change?
Yes, you and your wife will have to use your judgement.

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Originally Posted by vincent99 View Post
My wife will use the truck as much as me and now I wonder if I had made a good choice. Does the F-150 will be as safe as the Santa Fe in the winter?
4x4 does not increase your ability to stop, turn (it does help turning at low speeds, not so much on the highway) or generally maintain control of your vehicle in icy/snowy conditions. That being said, your new F150s stability control system combined with driving for the conditions will make for a safe drive in adverse weather. Enjoy your new truck.

Last edited by Matt_E_Salesman; 03-27-2012 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:30 PM   #3
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Pure physics says the heavier F150 will be safer than the santa-fe.

You can switch between 2 and 4h at any speed and at any time. I have switched between the two lots of different times while driving in the winter.

You just shouldn't drive around in 4h all the time. AWD and 4WD isn't the same thing so you can't drive them the same way.

No need for 4wd on wet pavement. Wet pavement is not overly slippery.
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:56 PM   #4
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I too would keep from using 4x4 mode in the rain unless it is extreme or your tires are in poor condition (which of course is highly recommend to replace if extremely worn). Icy roads and dirt roads is ideal for 4x4 H. I rarely use 4x4 L since I know better than to get into a bad situation but once in awhile you will find yourself in deep mud so 4x4 L is ideal.

When I am in 4x4 mode I never drive past 50MPH. Prolly not necessary but if I am in an area that requires 4x4 then it makes sense to me not to drive fast.
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Old 03-27-2012, 02:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vincent99 View Post
I bought a f-150 which I'm still waiting for delivery. To pass the time I read the owners manual that I found on the Ford website. I should have done that before buying...

My current vehicle is an AWD Hyundai Santa Fe and I learned that I will not be able to use my F-150 the same way ...

2012 F-150 Owner's manual reads: "Do not use 4H (4X4 HIGH) on dry, hard surfaced roads. Doing so can produce excessive noise and increased tire wear. 4H (4X4 HIGH) is only intended for consistently slippery or loose surfaces."

I know (now) that there is a 4A mode (AUTO 4WD) in the Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum and that this mode is not available in the XLT I have ordered ...

Question #1 is: Do you use "4 HIGH" mode on wet surfaces (heavy rain)?

And during the winter here in Canada it is not uncommon to drive on dry, wet (melting snow) and icy surfaces in the same trip...

Question #2: In the winter, did you manually change the 4WD control between 2H and 4H when road conditions change?

My wife will use the truck as much as me and now I wonder if I had made a good choice. Does the F-150 will be as safe as the Santa Fe in the winter?
I think the ^ posters have adequately answered the questions, but I would also like to chime in with my experiences.

First off, I don't think you've made a wrong decision, but you will have to relearn and adjust your driving style accordingly. Winters with a 4x4 can be a confident, enjoyable experience, as you are aware with the current Sante Fe. However, your new truck isn't a set it and forget it system. You'll usually know early enough, when it's time to engage 4wd, much like the lock 4wd setting in the Sante Fe.

In rainy (or snowy, icy) conditions, it is always prudent to slow down a little and make smooth turns as to avoid any 'fish tailing'. 4wd can be engaged in torrential rain, but is usually not needed.

Winter driving is awesome with a 4x4, but overconfidence can be an issue. Highway driving in changing road conditions does require the owner to engage and disengage 4wd more often on some occasions (depending on skill and comfort level), but usually, if it's really snowy or slippery, you can temporarily set it and forget it (depending on conditions) as well.

I'm in southern Ontario, and other than this winter, we usually get a complete mixed bag of crap. 4x4 is great to have for a little confidence when the weather is bad. I'm also a strong advocate for winter tires, and my understanding you must have them in Quebec anyway. Your truck with snow tires will be a tank (in a good way). I have BFGoodrich Winter Slalom KSi's for dedicated snow tires, and I engaged 4wd twice this winter.

Enjoy your truck.
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:26 PM   #6
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Default Get a truck with 4A or AWD...

I am very familiar with the roads and traffic conditions around Quebec City. It is quite common for traffic to move fast (100+ km/h; 60+mph) on hilly, curving surfaces that transition rapidly among packed snow, ice, wet asphalt and dry asphalt. Quebecois like to drive fast and close together in poor weather. Under these conditions, AWD and 4A provide a safety advantage in keeping the vehicle pointed forward and providing predictable handling while cornering. I used to race Audis and Subarus on ice, so I speak from experience (though I agree with the standard refrain that AWD/4WD/4A/4HI/4LO won't help you stop). You will go nuts trying to constantly shift between 2H and 4H under these conditions. Don't do it.

If I were you, I would trade for a 4A or AWD drivetrain. If you told me you use your F150 for lots of heavy towing/hauling/off-roading, I'd give you different advice.

Best,
Dave
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:36 PM   #7
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You won't need to use your 4x4 as much as you think. You'll get around just fine with the Advance Traction control your xlt comes with. The only times you will need it is when it's extremely icy, slippery and maybe going up some hills. I own a 2011 XLT here in Alaska. I only use 4H when the snow is very deep or on a warm winter day when the sun melts the top layer of ice. And going up mountains Ofcourse. But aside from that app my driving is done in 2WD.
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:37 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by BLU4TJW View Post
I think the ^ posters have adequately answered the questions, but I would also like to chime in with my experiences.

First off, I don't think you've made a wrong decision, but you will have to relearn and adjust your driving style accordingly. Winters with a 4x4 can be a confident, enjoyable experience, as you are aware with the current Sante Fe. However, your new truck isn't a set it and forget it system. You'll usually know early enough, when it's time to engage 4wd, much like the lock 4wd setting in the Sante Fe.

In rainy (or snowy, icy) conditions, it is always prudent to slow down a little and make smooth turns as to avoid any 'fish tailing'. 4wd can be engaged in torrential rain, but is usually not needed.

Winter driving is awesome with a 4x4, but overconfidence can be an issue. Highway driving in changing road conditions does require the owner to engage and disengage 4wd more often on some occasions (depending on skill and comfort level), but usually, if it's really snowy or slippery, you can temporarily set it and forget it (depending on conditions) as well.

I'm in southern Ontario, and other than this winter, we usually get a complete mixed bag of crap. 4x4 is great to have for a little confidence when the weather is bad. I'm also a strong advocate for winter tires, and my understanding you must have them in Quebec anyway. Your truck with snow tires will be a tank (in a good way). I have BFGoodrich Winter Slalom KSi's for dedicated snow tires, and I engaged 4wd twice this winter.

Enjoy your truck.
Thank you for your advice BLU4TJW. They are much appreciated! You are right about winter tires being mandatory in Quebec and I plan to equip my F-150 with them this fall. What I understand is that I will have to do some training for my wife next winter... So switching between 2H and 4H in winter seem the way to go. It was not necessary with the Santa-Fe because this process was automatic. What about doing a little bit of dry pavement in the winter in 4H between icy road sections. Do you think this may break the truck? Sorry for my poor english, I hope you still understand what I mean ...
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:44 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by vtdave View Post
I am very familiar with the roads and traffic conditions around Quebec City. It is quite common for traffic to move fast (100+ km/h; 60+mph) on hilly, curving surfaces that transition rapidly among packed snow, ice, wet asphalt and dry asphalt. Quebecois like to drive fast and close together in poor weather. Under these conditions, AWD and 4A provide a safety advantage in keeping the vehicle pointed forward and providing predictable handling while cornering. I used to race Audis and Subarus on ice, so I speak from experience (though I agree with the standard refrain that AWD/4WD/4A/4HI/4LO won't help you stop). You will go nuts trying to constantly shift between 2H and 4H under these conditions. Don't do it.

If I were you, I would trade for a 4A or AWD drivetrain. If you told me you use your F150 for lots of heavy towing/hauling/off-roading, I'd give you different advice.

Best,
Dave
Thank you for your advice but I think it's a bit late for me to change my mind for a F-150 with automatic 4WD. My XLT is in order for 3 weeks now and I gave a good down payment on it...
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:54 PM   #10
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I did forget about the manadatory winter tires in Quebec. I wish they would do that here in New Brunswick. Between a good set of winter tires and the stability control, you and your wife will find your F150 very capable, even in 2wd.
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:54 PM
 
 
 
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