How to increase crossover crossover
Ahead of us are waiting for long winter months, which can become a real test for us and our car. The presence of all-wheel drive and high ground clearance does not guarantee the owner of the crossover that he will be able to get out of any, not even the most difficult situation.
Imagine a typical picture. Leave the house, find your car blocked – utilities have shoveled snow towards parked cars, effectively cutting them off from the road. Your actions?
Of course, the first step is to try to clear the snow around the car as much as possible, at least just scatter it with your feet. And now, after a little morning exercise, you get into the car, turn on the "drive", but the car refuses to go – the stabilization system icon flashes on the screen. Push the gas to the floor, but nothing happens. Everyone, have arrived!
The first way to increase the car’s cross-country ability is to turn off the ESC electronic dynamic stabilization system. The fact is that the ESC system perceives wheel slip as an abnormal situation, reducing the fuel supply to the engine and selectively braking the wheels. This is done in order to prevent the car from skidding on slippery roads. But if the snow cover is shallow, then slipping can be useful: spinning wheels will scatter the snow and “dig" to the surface with normal grip.
So, turn off the ESC button, switch the automatic transmission to manual mode and carefully gas it up, raising the engine speed to no more than 3000 rpm. Most likely, at some point the wheels will get a hitch and the car will jump out of the snow trap.
If there is a “LOCK” function in the transmission mode of your car, like the KIA Sportage and KIA Sorento, then before starting to move, you must press the magic key located at the gearbox control lever. In this case, the torque will be distributed between the front and rear axles in a ratio of 50 to 50.
Why is a separate mode needed? In automatic mode (AUTO), the main part of the torque falls on the front axle, the rear one is connected from time to time when the front wheels slip – as the electronics decide. And in LOCK mode, the engine immediately and constantly rotates all four wheels. The Dynamax AWD all-wheel drive system does everything for you. Try it, and you will understand that it was not in vain that you paid extra for an all-wheel drive modification. This is the beauty of crossovers with AWD – under normal conditions it is a comfortable modern car, but at the touch of a button in KIA you can awaken the "superpower" that harsh off-road rally raids have.
By the way, if you then forget to turn off the all-wheel drive transmission lock mode (and it is designed exclusively for off-road driving), after reaching a certain speed, switching to AUTO mode will occur automatically.
But when you slow down, the LOCK mode turns on again, so do not forget to switch to another mode when leaving off-road, because on a flat dry road, driving with a locked four-wheel drive is detrimental to the transmission components!
Another easy way to increase crossover patency is to actively move the steering wheel. This method is suitable when the car is skidding in the snow. Turn the steering wheel, feel in which position the wheels will have the best grip.
The following method is suitable for those who have a compressor in their car for inflating wheels. Very often, a car simply lacks the grip properties of tires with the surface – it can be either mud, or sand, or hard snow.
In order to increase the grip properties of tires, it is necessary to increase the area of the contact patch of the wheel with the surface. This can be done by reducing the tire pressure to about 1 – 1.3 atmospheres. If you are used to monitoring tire pressure on your own and know how to handle a pressure gauge and compressor, feel free to deflate the tires. You will be surprised how much the crossover will become more passable on lowered tires!
But this method of increasing patency has several contraindications. The first is low-profile tires, in which a decrease in pressure can lead to a quick disassembly of the wheel. Secondly, it is better to drive on flat tires in a straight line, at least without sharp maneuvers. They lowered the tires, drove through the "ambush" place, pumped up the tires back.
What are some ways you can improve your car’s performance? Share your versions in the comments!