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I am a new driver, have driven to Tahoe before last year but that was in June last year which was quite sunny. I am bit concerned about taking my vehicle especially the hilly part of it during snow. I would be carrying chains (I don't have snow tires). I have been reading across and been getting mixed reviews about how well does RAV4 SE FWD, hold up against the snow. So looking for some advice? Any tips? Should I turn off the traction control and VSC?


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I have AWD with Yokohama Geolandars. AWD seemed to help keep the car in line when turning, but most of the traction was being done by the tires. Didn't have any problems whatsoever. Yes, turn off traction control.

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Should I turn off the traction control and VSC?
Absolutely NOT. Turning off TC is a tool for getting unstuck, but you should never drive without it.
The FWD Rav4 will do better than most FWD cars in the snow and ice, all it needs is a decent driver. Use the chains if it gets bad.
 

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As long as the road is open, you have tire chains, and drive carefully you should do well with your RAV in snow. You didn't list your starting location, but if driving Hwy. 50 to Tahoe it is a good road even in winter.
 

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I agree with rdgrimes. If you don't want traction turn off Traction Control. If you don't want vehicle stability turn it off too.
It would have to be a blizzard for me to need chains on my FWD Accord. Your FWD RAV4 should be the same.
 

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Tire tread depth makes all the difference, especially if you are running all-seasons in the winter. Get out and practice on a snowy / icy empty parking lot and determine your level of control with whatever tires you have, practice driving manuevers, etc.

You'll find you're losing a lot of traction at the half-way point of tire wear, which might be 6/32-inch or so. (Get a cheapo tire tread tool and check it.)

And don't turn off TRAC/VSC unless you are stuck and engine bogs down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks a lot everyone , so I did go up the hill and , must say the RAV4 did handle it gracefully , even in the interior roads where there was quite a snow, it did pretty well. Got icy road warning's on the display but didn't feel i was losing control at any point in time .Didn't turn off the traction control , though i kept the car in ECO mode to avoid any sudden rush of power to the vehicle, even if i accidentally pressed on the accelerator.
I took the Highway 50
 

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Glad to hear it went well. Our FWD with Michelin X-ICE2 tires has had zero issues in the 3 years we've had the car during winter here in BC. We've taken it up to the ski resorts at whistler, and kelowna several times now in snow storms.
 

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Kind of a weird chain law here in Colorado. Snow tires and chains are not required on 4WD and AWD vehicles. As far as I am concerned the all season tires are all I need to go over the mountain passes here. I have driven many times this winter in snow at least 12 inches deep with no traction problems. Obviously, snow tires are better, especially when braking, but if you drive like you should in slippery conditions all will be good on all season tires. I do agree that turning off TC is not a good idea.
 

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I've said this before - it's not the Go that's the problem without snow tires, it's the Stop. All-season tires will NEVER stop as good as snow tires on bad roads going the same speed. Yes, you can drive more cautiously, but when you have to stop, especially suddenly, you won't stop as quickly - period. It can make the difference between going right into an intersection or not, or past a stop sign. That's why some areas in Canada mandate snow tires in the winter months.

Kind of a weird chain law here in Colorado. Snow tires and chains are not required on 4WD and AWD vehicles. As far as I am concerned the all season tires are all I need to go over the mountain passes here. I have driven many times this winter in snow at least 12 inches deep with no traction problems. Obviously, snow tires are better, especially when braking, but if you drive like you should in slippery conditions all will be good on all season tires. I do agree that turning off TC is not a good idea.
 

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I've said this before - it's not the Go that's the problem without snow tires, it's the Stop. All-season tires will NEVER stop as good as snow tires on bad roads going the same speed. Yes, you can drive more cautiously, but when you have to stop, especially suddenly, you won't stop as quickly - period. It can make the difference between going right into an intersection or not, or past a stop sign. That's why some areas in Canada mandate snow tires in the winter months.
Is this the Department of Redundant Department??????????
 
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