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  #1  
Old 12-01-2010, 04:22 PM
Enthusiast
 
Hybrids: 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid 4WD
Posts: 4
Default Ford Escape Hybrid 4WD just spins on snow and ice

I have a 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid with automatic 4WD, and previously I had a 1999 Ford Explorer with Automatic 4WD. In my Explorer if the wheels started to spin, you would feel the 4WD kick in and got a temendous boost in traction on snow and ice. In my Hybrid if the front wheels start to spin, they just keep spinning. I do not feel any boost in traction, in fact I have to let off the accelerator and just try to steer through it. I have had people watch and they tell me that only the front wheel spins and they never see either of the back wheels engage.

I took it to the dealer and they told me it is working fine. I told them that can't be right because only the front wheels spin, and he said that he doesn't know what to tell me because they can't find anything wrong. They put it on a lift and checked for codes and everything checked out.

Does the Hybrid 4WD suck that bad? Maybe the back wheels just don't recieve enough power to make them spin or give any noticable help? Does anyone else have a similar experience?
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  #2  
Old 12-01-2010, 08:51 PM
Imported from Detroit
 
Location: Michigan
Hybrids: none
Posts: 983
Default Re: Ford Escape Hybrid 4WD just spins on snow and ice

There are a couple of tests that the dealer can do to test if the 4WD system is sending proper rear wheel torque. Unless there is a electrical issue, no codes will be set. Just because there aren't any codes doesn't mean that it's working properly.

.

Bill

09 Ford Escape Limited, 3.0L, 4WD
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  #3  
Old 12-02-2010, 09:45 AM
Ridiculously Active Enthusiast
 
Real Name: willard west
Location: Beautiful Pacific NW
Hybrids: 2003 Prius
Posts: 1,678
Default Re: Ford Escape Hybrid 4WD just spins on snow and ice

Quote:
Originally Posted by freak4tech View Post
I have a 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid with automatic 4WD, and previously I had a 1999 Ford Explorer with Automatic 4WD. In my Explorer if the wheels started to spin, you would feel the 4WD kick in and got a temendous boost in traction on snow and ice. In my Hybrid if the front wheels start to spin, they just keep spinning. I do not feel any boost in traction, in fact I have to let off the accelerator and just try to steer through it. I have had people watch and they tell me that only the front wheel spins and they never see either of the back wheels engage.

I took it to the dealer and they told me it is working fine. I told them that can't be right because only the front wheels spin, and he said that he doesn't know what to tell me because they can't find anything wrong. They put it on a lift and checked for codes and everything checked out.

Does the Hybrid 4WD suck that bad? Maybe the back wheels just don't recieve enough power to make them spin or give any noticable help? Does anyone else have a similar experience?
"..Does the Hybrid 4WD suck that bad?..."

Yes, absolutely, but not for the reasons you have encountered.

If you can spin the front tires in the manner you describe then as a minimum your TC, Traction Control, function is inoperative. Your Escape is really ONLY a F/awd, only the front wheels driven the clear majority of the time.

The rear drive is ONLY engaged under low speed acceleration or in a low speed turn.

For safeties sake the instant the front wheels develop even the slightest level of spin then TC is supposed to quickly dethrottle the engine while simultaneously braking the front wheels. Braking the front wheels will simulate front traction and thereby help to apportion engine torque to the rear.

In the above instance, TC activation, the rear drive coupling SHOULD be engaged but I can find no reference indicating such.

In the instance you describe, and on the presumption that you were "accelerating" from a stop or from a lower speed, the rear drive should have been engaged from the "get-go". But it is clear that if the front wheels, or even front and rear, spin anyway then TC should INSTANTLY dethrottle the engine and begin braking the front wheels. The "feeling" you should get is as if ABS is operating "inversely" on those front wheels.

In that case if you persist with pressure on the gas pedal the engine should remain dethrottled and the front braking continue in a "vibratory" manner.

Many new vehicles with this type of F/awd system now have a manual switch wherein TC can be switched off allowing the driver to use UNLIMITED wheelspin to get unstuck.
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  #4  
Old 12-02-2010, 11:45 AM
Imported from Detroit
 
Location: Michigan
Hybrids: none
Posts: 983
Default Re: Ford Escape Hybrid 4WD just spins on snow and ice

No TC on the FEH till '09.

.

Bill

09 Ford Escape Limited, 3.0L, 4WD
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  #5  
Old 12-02-2010, 02:31 PM
Ridiculously Active Enthusiast
 
Real Name: willard west
Location: Beautiful Pacific NW
Hybrids: 2003 Prius
Posts: 1,678
Default Re: Ford Escape Hybrid 4WD just spins on snow and ice

Sorry, I thought TC was available much earlier and it was the stability control aspect that was added later.
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  #6  
Old 12-02-2010, 02:37 PM
Ridiculously Active Enthusiast
 
Real Name: willard west
Location: Beautiful Pacific NW
Hybrids: 2003 Prius
Posts: 1,678
Default Re: Ford Escape Hybrid 4WD just spins on snow and ice

Quick research, Google, indicates 2008 was the first year for TC.
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  #7  
Old 12-02-2010, 03:14 PM
Pretty Darn Active Enthusiast
 
Real Name: Glenn
Location: Arlington, VA
Hybrids: 2006 FEH AWD
Posts: 335
Red face Re: Ford Escape Hybrid 4WD just spins on snow and ice

Quote:
Originally Posted by freak4tech View Post
Does the Hybrid 4WD suck that bad? Maybe the back wheels just don't recieve enough power to make them spin or give any noticable help? Does anyone else have a similar experience?
Your 4WD/AWD is broken or turned off some how.
I can get my back wheels to engage on grassy hills in the Summer or even piles of leaves in the Fall. And I can tell when the rear wheels engage - because the truck moves and the spinning in front stops. [I literally cannot spin the front wheels for more than a fraction of a second.] Find an icy patch and demonstrate what you described to a mechanic.
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  #8  
Old 12-02-2010, 04:08 PM
Imported from Detroit
 
Location: Michigan
Hybrids: none
Posts: 983
Default Re: Ford Escape Hybrid 4WD just spins on snow and ice

Quote:
Originally Posted by wwest View Post
Quick research, Google, indicates 2008 was the first year for TC.
The FEH before '09 had no ON/OFF switch.

.

Bill

09 Ford Escape Limited, 3.0L, 4WD
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  #9  
Old 12-02-2010, 04:32 PM
 
Real Name: Gary Gattis
Location: Jupiter, FL
Hybrids: 05 FWD FEH, '09 FWD FEHL
Posts: 2,450
Default Re: Ford Escape Hybrid 4WD just spins on snow and ice

Also guys, the EPA numbers just came out for the 2011 Explorer and I was floored! The AWD and FWD V6 both were rated 17mpg city. The FWD got only 2mpg better on the highway (25mpg) than the AWD (23mpg) highway. This tells me that the 2011 AWD had some great major changes to the system. The 2.0L EcoBoost engine will only be available in FWD later in the year.

GaryG

.

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  #10  
Old 12-02-2010, 05:45 PM
Active Enthusiast
 
Real Name: Roch Comeau
Hybrids: Lexus RX450h
Posts: 221
Default Re: Ford Escape Hybrid 4WD just spins on snow and ice

Hey,

I don't have my 06 FEH anymore, so I can't check, but are you getting traction control and stability control confused? I seem to recall that when I floored it in the snow, it would detect the spinning and calm it down. Stability control did not exist then and I assume it is now available?

Can someone confirm?

Cheers
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Old 12-02-2010, 05:45 PM
 
 
 
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2008, 4wd, automatic, awd, control, escape, ford, hybrid, mpg, review, rt4wd, snow, system, traction, working

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