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Pls! How to drive G37x in snow/slush/rain

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Old 02-04-2009, 02:04 PM
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Pls! How to drive G37x in snow/slush/rain

Hello! As a brand new owner of a 2009 G37x 7AT sedan , I need help with winter driving!

We are coming out of a 1999 Audi A6 Quattro (with no vdc/traction control) so there was never a learning curve about driving in slick conditions. (just the usual common sense like don't speed or take turns too fast in bad weather & use lower gears when going down slippery hills.) I never felt the Audi "working" & I never had any issue with it ever concerning snow/slush/rain.

So, my first drive in the G was yesterday, to & from work, & we got a couple of inches of snow. Going to work was fine, but on my way home, I had to drive down a steep hill that looked very slick, so I really took it slow. It was 27 degrees & slushy/icy? (couldn't really tell as it was dark). I rode the brakes, on and off, gently, trying to keep a good distance between me and car ahead as he was driving cautiously too (something I rarely see around here). Several times, my car seemed to brake (or the engine cut power?) on it's own. I have to assume this was a good thing (I was only doing 10-15 mph down the hill). It was a strange feeling. I am assuming this was due to now having VDC.

Then, several times, when accelerating from a stop on flat roads, I felt like I wasn't moving but could hear revving before car moved. I know I was being extra cautious with the gas pedal, considering the road conditions, so perhaps this was also the VDC & routine.

Finally, the one thing I REALLY didn't like was when I was making a left turn on a slushy road, the rear end fish-tailed & scared the crap out of me & I lost my confidence. I was only going about 20 mph or less, but wonder what would have happened had I been going faster. Would it have corrected itself? (never had this happen in the Audi) I made the turn ok, but is this car supposed to fish-tail before it corrects itself? That's just so odd to me as I figured it would take care of that kind of thing before fishtailing - and surprised it was fish-tail at all due to AWD. I didn't think I was on ice - the road was slushy due to all the salt & was main/secondary road. The quattro never did this. (we didn't go with Audi again for many reasons (mostly reliability) & I felt that the G37X was the best choice out there after a lot of research - & Audi has the VDC now too, so maybe same issues)

I know our G37x isn't a quattro, but could someone just tell me how to drive this car under same conditions so I won't be so scared next time. And please keep the tech-speak down - I'm female/can't process that..

I will go to a big/empty parking lot the next time we have snow/slush & try to duplicate that turn to get the feel for it, but I want some reassurance that the car was supposed to fish-tail and, had I not backed off, it would have corrected itself.

The manual doesn't really fully explain how to drive with VDC & there seem to be 2 differing opinions out there. Our salesman said never turn off the VDC, and only use the "snow" button when stuck in deep mud or snow. I did exactly as told, but still fish-tailed & had the other things happen as well. I'm not trying to get any kicks in the snow - I just want to be feel safe! Sorry for the long post, but want to be sure to explain well in the hope for some logic back.
Tks!
Old 02-04-2009, 02:21 PM
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I will go to a big/empty parking lot the next time we have snow/slush & try to duplicate that turn to get the feel for it, but I want some reassurance that the car was supposed to fish-tail and, had I not backed off, it would have corrected itself.
^Excellent idea.

The G 35X will feel very different than the Audi.
Audi are Front wheel drive first, then the rear comes in when slip happens.
The front bias helps pull you through a corner.

The G35X is more of a performance AWD system that is the opposite of the Audi.
Rear wheel drive first, then the front comes in.

So....
Yes the tail can get out a bit on the G, but as the front cuts in it will start to pull & straighten out.
Aided by the other electronics.

Getting out in an open lot is a great way to get the feel for it.
Old 02-04-2009, 03:50 PM
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I too came out of a couple of Audi's A6 and S4 both Quattro. The AWD in the G has scared me several times.

The difference here is that Quattro works all of the time and is proactive rather than reactive. The Audi is front drive biased, but reacts immediately when it detects a slip, the G's do not react that way. They allow for some "play" (fun) then the VDC takes over as opposed to the AWD system making instant real time corrections.

Most of the A6's of that era did have software that helped to control the car in certain circumstances, but the Quattro system usually did all the work. I never had the light go on even in rain, snow or slush as it does frequently in the G.

It does take some time to get used to in the G, but once you do you'll be able to anticipate what is happening.
Old 02-04-2009, 05:58 PM
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I think you will also find the throttle tip in steeper on the G than the Audi. To a performance driver, that feeling of the back end coming just a little bit loose is what helps give feedback to the driver that you are at the performance limit of the car and is very contollable. Imagine, if the front end broke free first - not good. Imagine if all four wheels broke loose at once - really not good. You've got a lot of car in your hands and it is communicating to you its status with the road. Once you figure out what it is telling you, you will really enjoy it.
Old 02-04-2009, 06:50 PM
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Like someone else said, you have to understand the G's power can break traction easily. Especially when you take corners. It also has aggressive throttle tip-in.

Just drive the car with snow mode on in those conditions. It splits power 50/50 at speeds below 12 MPH. It also reduces throttle sensitivity so that the tires will not break traction as easily.

Tires make the biggest difference of all.
Old 02-04-2009, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by GT-R View Post
Like someone else said, you have to understand the G's power can break traction easily. Especially when you take corners. It also has aggressive throttle tip-in.

Just drive the car with snow mode on in those conditions. It splits power 50/50 at speeds below 12 MPH. It also reduces throttle sensitivity so that the tires will not break traction as easily.

Tires make the biggest difference of all.
I agree with this. The snow switch should be on when it is slippery, there's no reason not to. That with being slightly lighter on the throttle should work. Give that a try and let us know how you find it.

I had a G37x loaner for a few days here in Ottawa when it was snowing and this was my experience. I liked the ability to still push the rear out a bit... but then my "real" car is a RWD G37 6MT.

Snow tires would also help (as they would with the Audi). My wife used to have an A6 so I know what you mean about the quattro system being very transparent.
Old 02-04-2009, 07:26 PM
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if I am correct, quattro system is 60/40 front/rear and power will transfer to wheel that have more traction control. I never drive G37x, but I can imagine that car is more of rear wheels drive even know it awd system. your best bet is put a nice set of snow tire, go to empty parking lot in snow and start practice to see how that car handle on the turn and snow at certain speed
Old 02-04-2009, 10:10 PM
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The bias on quatto depends on which model and year. For catlover52's 1999 A6, it was 50/50, which is pretty well behaved on slick surfaces. New A4s and up are now 40/60 with a rear bias (which is more fun to drive). TTs and A3s use a haldex quattro system (the others are torsen) and are the opposite of the G37x. They are front drive until they loose traction, then they shift power to the rear which they do very quickly.

I have a 2001 A6 that has the same quatto system as the 1999, although it does have ESP (Audi's anti skid software). The ESP is noticeable when it kicks in and will retard the throttle as well as braking individual wheels, as most current cars will do. Even with it off though, the 50/50 quattro is very sure footed on low traction surfaces.

I have test driven G37s with and without AWD, but my G37x has not arrived at the dealer yet, so I can't give a detailed comparison or advice. The default rear drive on the G37x was quite evident on dry roads though and I didn't have any difficulty steering with the back end before the power shifted to the front. The previous advice to use the snow button and follow the original suggestion to spend some time in a snowy parking lot make sense to me.
Old 02-04-2009, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by EricMc View Post
The bias on quatto depends on which model and year. For catlover52's 1999 A6, it was 50/50, which is pretty well behaved on slick surfaces. New A4s and up are now 40/60 with a rear bias (which is more fun to drive). TTs and A3s use a haldex quattro system (the others are torsen) and are the opposite of the G37x. They are front drive until they loose traction, then they shift power to the rear which they do very quickly.

I have a 2001 A6 that has the same quatto system as the 1999, although it does have ESP (Audi's anti skid software). The ESP is noticeable when it kicks in and will retard the throttle as well as braking individual wheels, as most current cars will do. Even with it off though, the 50/50 quattro is very sure footed on low traction surfaces.

I have test driven G37s with and without AWD, but my G37x has not arrived at the dealer yet, so I can't give a detailed comparison or advice. The default rear drive on the G37x was quite evident on dry roads though and I didn't have any difficulty steering with the back end before the power shifted to the front. The previous advice to use the snow button and follow the original suggestion to spend some time in a snowy parking lot make sense to me.
my Audi S4 use to be 60/40 until I slap in a 4:1 center torsen differential, now it be come 80% to any either front or rear where it will have traction the most.

I have not look at the G37x but like I said before, her best bet is find empty parking lot and do some driving with turn to see how the car tail out.
Old 02-04-2009, 11:29 PM
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I agree with this. The snow switch should be on when it is slippery, there's no reason not to. That with being slightly lighter on the throttle should work.......
snow switch automatically switches OFF after about 12mph
Old 02-05-2009, 09:15 PM
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I agree with this. The snow switch should be on when it is slippery, there's no reason not to. That with being slightly lighter on the throttle should work.
I'll try it, but it probably won't snow again this year now

This is interesting, because a salesperson told me to never touch the snow mode switch unless I am stuck in deep mud or snow! (but that was a test drive on an 08 G35x so maybe it's different for the G37x?)

I got out both the Quick Ref Guide QRG) and the Owner's Manual (OM)& here is what they say:

QRG: "..snow mode helps improve low speed traction for slick weather conditions. Push the SNOW button to the ON position for slick road conditions. The indicator light on the button will illuminate. Push the button off for normal operation."

OM: "For driving or starting the vehicle on snowy roads or slippery areas, turn on the SNOW mode switch....when activated, engine output is controlled to avoid wheel spin."

VDC switch: (should be on for most driving conditions) "If the vehicle is stuck in snow or mud, the VCD system reduces the the engine output to reduce wheel spin. The engine speed will be reduced even if the accelerator is depressed to the floor. If maximum power is needed to free a stuck vehicle, turn the VDC off."

I can't recall what the salesman who sold us the car said about the snow mode, but I'll call him tomorrow. I think it was different than the first one though. Sure would have helped me to know that I should have been driving with SNOW mode on in that slush when I fish-tailed, and when going down that slippery hill!

I'd love to hear what others with the G37X have tried in snow/slush conditions and what works best for them...

Tks
Old 02-06-2009, 09:05 AM
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When I'm driving in the snow I leave on all the time. Also when i get home from work and I need to park my car in the drive way, which is behind my house on a long steep hill. I engaged the snow mode for the climb up the hill if there's a little snow left on the driveway.
Old 02-06-2009, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by EricMc View Post
The bias on quatto depends on which model and year. For catlover52's 1999 A6, it was 50/50, which is pretty well behaved on slick surfaces. New A4s and up are now 40/60 with a rear bias (which is more fun to drive). TTs and A3s use a haldex quattro system (the others are torsen) and are the opposite of the G37x. They are front drive until they loose traction, then they shift power to the rear which they do very quickly.

I have a 2001 A6 that has the same quatto system as the 1999, although it does have ESP (Audi's anti skid software). The ESP is noticeable when it kicks in and will retard the throttle as well as braking individual wheels, as most current cars will do. Even with it off though, the 50/50 quattro is very sure footed on low traction surfaces.

I have test driven G37s with and without AWD, but my G37x has not arrived at the dealer yet, so I can't give a detailed comparison or advice. The default rear drive on the G37x was quite evident on dry roads though and I didn't have any difficulty steering with the back end before the power shifted to the front. The previous advice to use the snow button and follow the original suggestion to spend some time in a snowy parking lot make sense to me.
Tks Eric! I can't tell you the number of "discussions" I've had regarding our '99 quattro, and because I'm female, of course, I was dismissed when I insisted our quattro is 50/50 AWD - even though I remember being told this when we bought it - so my memory did serve me well!

I know I'll love driving the G37x on dry roads, but I'm going to stick to the old Audi for wet/snow/slush unless & until I can try those conditions in a parking lot under all those conditions where I'm safe... Slush might be difficult to duplicate as this was the worst ever - I can't recall ever driving in bad slush with the Audi in the past 10 yrs, but I know I never fish-tailed - not once. Some of you wouldn't like that, but I hate the feel of losing control, however slight.

Enjoy yours when you get it and I hope to read more from you once you have it in your possession!

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2008, 2009, 4to1, awd, center, diff, difference, diy, g35x, g37x, infiniti, mode, rain, s4, snow, traction, work
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