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Discussion Starter #1
I'm in Maine getting yet another 1ft plus of snow in spring and I think i've officially lost faith in this "AWD/ LOCK" toyota system. I am a pretty die hard Subaru fan and only bought this Toyota due to a family member offering an interest free loan and an excellent price.

HOWEVER....


I have about 8" or so of snow in the driveway at my parents and went out to go move so the plow guy could make a pass and I got STUCK. I tried LOCK, and I got MORE STUCK. This thing couldn't get out of it's own way.

FOR COMPARISON:

I have a 2008 Subaru Legacy GT and a 2002 WRX. I have driven through the worst Maine can throw at me with All Season tires, not a dedicated snow tire, and I have never seen something I couldn't get through. The only thing that stopped my 02 WRX was a 5ft snow bank at the end of the driveway during a 4ft of snow in one day storm, and it's only because it bottomed out from so much snow. I was so surprised and shocked at how pathetically this Rav performed in the snow I am considering abandoning the loan deal and going to buy a forester. I had originally planned to do some suspension work and get some good tires for this thing so I could off road a bit and wilderness camp when I move to Texas, but today made me completely rethink that. I can go further in my (now lifted) 02 WRX than I can in this Toyota.

Someone restore my faith or show me some kind of solution PLEASE...

:mad::mad:so frustrated :mad::mad:
 

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1) Locate the TRAC off button. Push and hold for 5 seconds to temporarily disengage the safety nannies if stuck. More effective than the LOCK button only.

2) Get a tire gauge and measure the depth of your tread. I drove for 4 winters with all-season tires and they lost their good grip when worn down. Dedicated snow tires are fantastically better, but you will need decent tread on all-seasons to get by.

I can go anywhere my sister's Forester can go.
 

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If the snow is packed hard as it sometimes is when the wind blows it into areas between snow banks or snow plows have packed the plowed snow at roadside, and the vehicle bottoms hard out on it the driver usually will need to shovel it or have it towed out, regardless of the tires on the vehicle and the driving technique used. Even higher clearance pickups can get stuck in that stuff. Learned that while living in rural Minnesota and having had some of the worst blizzards and snowfalls on record. The few folks who had high clearance 4WD Jeeps sometimes did better.
 

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My Rav4 has a new set of winter tires, and the first thing I do in any amount of snow is turn off the traction control. I haven't been stuck yet. Usually in a snow storm my street is the last one to be cleared, but I never had trouble getting around in the snow.
 

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Montreal had 45cm of snow a few weeks back. Ive got 4 year old snow tires and was worried i wouldnt make it home that night. Rav did well and got me through part of the road where others were stuck.

Is it as good as a subaru? No idea. I dont own one of those. Was it go enough to get me home when a lot of others were stuck? Absolutely.

Mine is a 2008 v6 and i dont have thr button to turn off the traction control. I used 4x lock button a few times.

Did well imho. Would have been better with a new set of snow tires... next season...
 

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Tires and tread depth are REALLY important.
 

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You're comparing a Subaru GT with FULL-TIME AWD to a RAV4 with PART-TIME AWD, totally different beasts.

Still, with part time AWD and good snow tires, we've had NO issues in my area.

Helps to know more about what you have... how old the tires, how much tread, are they even snow tires, etc... if you're running all seasons then good luck, usually make it worse.

Also helps to know how to drive in the snow and what to do when you get stuck... did you do the back/forth rocking of the vehicle, etc... like you said, it seems like you "bottomed out" in the snow

it also helps to keep your cool, I've been in really bad situations where I've been completely stuck, losing your cool and just spinning the tires and smashing the gas pedal usually makes it worse, calm down and asses the situation, then rock back and forth, side to side and usually you're out in a few minutes depending how deep the snow is... and btw, I've done this with FWD and RWD vehicles with NO traction control/LSD, etc... just one wheel spinning, lol
 

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Never had issues with the RAV4 even in 10 inches of snow. Even got out in reverse going uphill ..with VSC off!
The only time I got stuck was my fault. I drove into foot high of slush/semi-frozen ice and the RAV4 sank into it, with the slush touching the whole undebody.
Everything froze after a few minutes.
Even your Subaru would have been stuck in this situation.
 

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You're comparing a Subaru GT with FULL-TIME AWD to a RAV4 with PART-TIME AWD, totally different beasts.

Still, with part time AWD and good snow tires, we've had NO issues in my area.

Helps to know more about what you have... how old the tires, how much tread, are they even snow tires, etc... if you're running all seasons then good luck, usually make it worse.

Also helps to know how to drive in the snow and what to do when you get stuck... did you do the back/forth rocking of the vehicle, etc... like you said, it seems like you "bottomed out" in the snow

it also helps to keep your cool, I've been in really bad situations where I've been completely stuck, losing your cool and just spinning the tires and smashing the gas pedal usually makes it worse, calm down and asses the situation, then rock back and forth, side to side and usually you're out in a few minutes depending how deep the snow is... and btw, I've done this with FWD and RWD vehicles with NO traction control/LSD, etc... just one wheel spinning, lol


Brand new all seasons (Came on the car) - and I was mostly comparing it to my 02 WRX which yes, full time AWD, I drove across town on 3 year old all seasons during white out conditions (blizzard) to get more gas for my snow blower and didn't even think about getting stuck. I was expecting a lot more from a nice heavy SUV with good tread on the tires I guess. Getting a dedicated snow tire won't make sense because I am moving to El Paso TX in June and will be there for at least 3 years. The GT is in a league of it's own.

I didn't lose my cool either. I've spent over 25 years driving in Maine winters, and even made it through one in a Lincoln town car lol (barely but I made it) but when something is advertised to do well in snow I expected it to do a lot better. Especially when the "LOCK" was engaged. Granted I didn't disengage the traction control because it didn't make sense to do so... ( I haven't read too deeply into the Lock / AWD of this toyota) but typically you'd want the computer doing the thinking for you. I put it in LOCK, eased into the gas (not flooring it) and it just sat there, no spinning, didn't even try to move forward. Rolled back a bit, put it in drive and eased forward... it went 2 inches and the back left tire started spinning. 3 adults, shovels, and a bag of sand later it finally decided to get out of its own way.....

Rather embarrassing as I am positive my sedan would have plowed through it like it was thin air.
 

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...Brand new all seasons (Came on the car)...

...I didn't disengage the traction control because it didn't make sense to do so...

When I had new all-seasons, I had "good" snow traction (Continental Ecoplus). Not NEARLY as good as my snow tires (Nokian), but still 'good enough' and I never got stuck. So having your new tires eliminates that issue.
'
So that leaves the traction control. Hopefully, you get another chance and can try the 'TRAC off' button. Yes, it is completely counter-intuitive and makes no sense to disengage traction control when you need it most! You are not the only one confused by this--I'd wager most owners don't know. I've wondered why Toyota engineers didn't just incorporate it into the LOCK button.

Let us know how you fare if the weather lasts.
 

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You have not posted a comparison of tires between the 2? That makes a huge difference. First thing I did with my 2016, was put on Michelin Premier all season tires. They are very good in ice and snow, and an excellent all around tire. This is a pic in 10" of snow, and I did not slip one bit in snow, and only very briefly just once coming to a stop on wet hard packed ice during a bad winter storm (ABS came on). I was in a parking lot next to a Dodge Ram 4x4 truck that was heavily rutted, and he was stuck 6 feet from me, and I pulled right out trouble free with just the Lock on. My faith in poor weather is very high in this vehicle.

 

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Brand new all seasons (Came on the car)...
<snip>
That sounds like pretty much just what the traction control would do. The idea is to PREVENT spinning wheels because most of the time that doesn't do you any good, especially if you're not stuck but just in a slick situation. So the computer restricts (sometimes severely) power to the wheels in an attempt to get as much traction as possible.

But when stuck you need more power to get out. The right solution is to press the VSC OFF button (in front of the left cupholder) for about 6 seconds until both the traction control and VSC turn off (two lights will appear in the instrument panel). Then hit the lock button and apply power.

Winter tires provide two main benefits: 1) much more surface area (usually due to siping) but what many people don't know is that 2) the rubber in winter tires stays soft in cold temperatures. "All-season" tires tend to turn hard (think: hockey puck) in the cold, which makes their performance significantly worse.

The downer is that winter tires will wear down fast in the summer heat because the rubber is too soft at those temperatures. That's why two sets of tires provide optimal performance.

BTW, I just had my "all-season" tires put on this evening, storing the winter tires until next fall.

The RAV4 can be a beast in the snow, but you've got to know how its systems work to take maximum advantage of it. The benefits though are that the vehicle is more efficient when AWD only kicks in when its beneficial to the situation. It's just sometimes the computer doesn't always know best.

I would certainly agree it's not intuitive to turn off systems named things like "traction control" when you need traction the most (e.g. when stuck).

.
 
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I can do donuts in snow without problems... mind you I get a lot of beeep beeep beeep beeep!! lol
Yep and each beeep = FUN! :D
 

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Could your rear diff clutch be broken, and only spinning in 2wd. Did you see the rears spin. I have owned 2 subi outbacks of 2 different generations before the RAV. I have never felt that it was any less capable.

Last month I saw a jackass stuck downhill in a Gen 2 RAV 4 with his bumper against the berm trying to back up. Just spinning and spinning. He had chains on the REAR wheels and bald tires. As we drove by I had my wife yell at him, "YOU NEED TO PUT THE CHAINS ON THE FRONT TIRES." He yells back "Duhhh REAR WHEEL DRIVE". Oh well

Not saying this is you, just a funny story about a RAV being stuck.
 

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Never been stuck in any of our RAV's. Yes, in our 2011 you have to turn off the trac which sounds weird, but I knew about that from our forum it helps to know before being in the situation. I would go out in any condition if I had to and not worry in both of them as I know they are both capable.
 

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The garage where I work is just beside a street going through a steep hill. When there is a snow storm, so many vehicles (yes, including some 4x4 and AWD) are not able to climb the hill and get stuck... even if winter tires are mandatory during winter where I live! Sometimes me and my co-workers go help them. Most of them are stuck because the trac control is not disactivated. We tell them to put it off, and then they are very surprised how their vehicle can move!
 

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My RAV with winter tires, AWD and the traction control off is unstoppable in snow. Never been stuck.
 
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