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2010 Flex Limited AWD TERRIBLE in snow


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10 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Gundo

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 06:30 AM

I have been driving in heavy winter snows on weekend trips from CT to VT for nearly 20 years, so have had plenty of experience driving on many types of snow pack. And my recent test of our new Flex Limited EcoBoost AWD has me very disappointed.

Right now, I'm going to say the OEM 20" Goodyear RS-A tires are basically worthless in all types of snow - deep snow, packed snow, ice, slush. There is basically zero traction. I was testing the rig out a bit before packing up for the drive to Vermont for the weekend and had to postpone the trip as we had 6" on the ground and 12"+ was predicted in VT - yes, it was going to snow the entire trip. I traded our Yukon XL for the Flex, and never once have questioned the 4WD prowess of that truck.

On to the test, on a slight incline (5% to 10% grade, no more) in our driveway, I tested both my 2010 535xi and my 2010 Flex AWD - the BMW on Continental DWS and the Flex on the RS-As. The BMW went up the hill from a stop with no drama, no issues whatsoever. The Flex wouldn't budge. Traction on, traction off, no difference, just more aggressive wheel spin. This crappy Haldex AWD is very similar to what we had in a Volvo XC70 Cross Country some time ago - basically front wheel drive with a bit of torque to the rear wheels. Moving shifter into drive with no throttle just started the front wheels spinning. I should have taken a video, as I'd be skeptical reading this.

So last night, I placed an order to Tirerack last night for a set of snow tires for our Flex. We'll see if the Pirelli Scorpians make a difference - if they don't, I'll be forced to sell it to trade back the dreaded yestertech of the Yukon XL (we test drove one Saturday, and the technology package is ancient when compared to Sync and NAV in the flex)

Will keep you posted.

Edited by Gundo, 10 January 2011 - 06:35 AM.


#2 OFFLINE   Waldo

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 11:46 AM

That doesn't sound right at all. The tires may not be great, but the AWD system in the Flex is pretty good (it's not a Haldex, Ford stopped using that in 2008).

At a minimum you should be able to get all 4 wheels spinning, if not then something is wrong with the AWD system.

#3 OFFLINE   Gundo

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 12:08 PM

That doesn't sound right at all. The tires may not be great, but the AWD system in the Flex is pretty good (it's not a Haldex, Ford stopped using that in 2008).

At a minimum you should be able to get all 4 wheels spinning, if not then something is wrong with the AWD system.


That's what is so strange - the front wheels were spinning wildly, but the back wheels barely moving... thanks, will have dealer check into it. And thanks for clarifying the Haldex quote.

Does anyone know just how much torque can be sent to the rear wheels?

#4 OFFLINE   Waldo

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 06:02 AM

That's what is so strange - the front wheels were spinning wildly, but the back wheels barely moving... thanks, will have dealer check into it. And thanks for clarifying the Haldex quote.

Does anyone know just how much torque can be sent to the rear wheels?


At low engine speeds with light throttle and the front wheels spinning it should send 100% of the torque to the rear.

#5 OFFLINE   Gundo

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 06:51 AM

At low engine speeds with light throttle and the front wheels spinning it should send 100% of the torque to the rear.


Thanks Waldo - that definitely is not happening.

#6 OFFLINE   roush3

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 07:05 PM

That doesn't sound right at all. The tires may not be great, but the AWD system in the Flex is pretty good (it's not a Haldex, Ford stopped using that in 2008).

At a minimum you should be able to get all 4 wheels spinning, if not then something is wrong with the AWD system.



The system is in fact a Haldex system which is used by volvo and other. Either way you should still be able to get the rear wheels to spin as much as the front and they system does have the ability to transfer 100% of the torque as mentioned above. I would go to the dealer and see what they say. I have to say that the flex in amazing in the snow it barely ever slips and can handle all the situation i throw at it. My dad had a x-drive BMW and the flex is much better in the snow. I can agree that the RS-A arent the best tire for the snow but the car does make up some bit for the tires. So take it in and see what they say. Hope you get this all fixed.

#7 OFFLINE   Waldo

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 06:05 AM

The system is in fact a Haldex system which is used by volvo and other.


You'll need to check your facts on that one. Ford used the Haldex in the Ford 500 and Freestyle, but when it switched over to the Taurus / Taurus X the system was switched to an electronically clutched system made by JTEKT (originally used by Mazda). The JTEKT system is now used in all of Ford's FWD based AWD vehicles. However the systems function in a very similar way, the only real difference is an electronic solenoid actuation vs hydraulic actuation.

http://preview.subsc...a_plant_091014/

Edited by Waldo, 12 January 2011 - 06:07 AM.


#8 OFFLINE   ericpeg

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 05:58 PM

You'll need to check your facts on that one. Ford used the Haldex in the Ford 500 and Freestyle, but when it switched over to the Taurus / Taurus X the system was switched to an electronically clutched system made by JTEKT (originally used by Mazda). The JTEKT system is now used in all of Ford's FWD based AWD vehicles. However the systems function in a very similar way, the only real difference is an electronic solenoid actuation vs hydraulic actuation.

http://preview.subsc...a_plant_091014/



#9 OFFLINE   Gundo

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 07:14 AM

Dealer confirmed that the PTU (power take-off unit) in the rear section of the drivetrain has failed, resulting in a AWD failure.

IF this happens to you, the standard dealer check is to put the Flex on a lift and see if all 4 wheels turn, which in my case, they did.

The dealer stated the car was working as it should.

I asked them to take it out in the snow and try again, when they did, they quickly realized the AWD was not working.

Ford central gave them a tough time approving the fix, so beware, and make sure to advocate strenuously for a fix.

#10 OFFLINE   Waldo

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 06:50 AM

Dealer confirmed that the PTU (power take-off unit) in the rear section of the drivetrain has failed, resulting in a AWD failure.


Glad you found a solution, I knew something wasn't right. But can you confirm if it was the PTU (the part attached to the transmission at the front of the vehicle) or the RDU (the part that's attached to the rear differential at the back of the vehicle).

#11 OFFLINE   Gundo

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 06:51 AM

Waldo - it is definitely the PTU - I had mistakenly thought it was in the rear.


Glad you found a solution, I knew something wasn't right. But can you confirm if it was the PTU (the part attached to the transmission at the front of the vehicle) or the RDU (the part that's attached to the rear differential at the back of the vehicle).








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