Opinions, snow or auto? - 2014+ Jeep Cherokee Forums
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post #1 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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Opinions, snow or auto?

NC Blizzard!!! Yeah, this is as good as it gets, .
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post #2 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 11:50 AM
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Out here in Utah I prefer auto as I know what to expect when I hit the gas. When you switch to snow it locks out 1st gear. That changes your off the line performance and makes me feel a little uncomfortable. I suppose if I actually ran it in snow mode I would get used to it. I should mention that I have a set of dedicated winter tires (Goodyear Ultra grip non-studded Ice) that give me excellent traction.
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post #3 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by goobnav View Post
NC Blizzard!!! Yeah, this is as good as it gets, .

I am in Upstate SC and no blizzard here--only about 2 inches where I am, but 10 miles away they had 7 inches---not even worth getting my KL dirty to check out the snow capability--will just drive my 2015 Patriot Freedom one for this little mess-

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post #4 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 01:37 PM
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post #5 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 01:40 PM
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We've been getting hit hard in Northern Nevada so I've tried both settings out. For the most part I just been leaving it in auto. They just put us in a state of emergency for worst flooding on record. Up to a foot of rain is to fall on top of the 5+ of snow in the mountains that fell over the last few days.

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post #6 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 01:42 PM
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If there's hardpack snow and/or ice I use Snow mode.

If it's intermittent I might use Auto mode.

If it's deep deep undercarriage grabbing snow I might use Sand/Mud mode.

I love winter. Out here in the Pacific Northwest we've been getting hammered. My patio has looked like this (or deeper) for weeks. Good times.
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post #7 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 03:28 PM
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I've only had my Trailhawk for 3 months, and it spent most of one of those in the shop getting a new engine. But we've still experienced quite a lot of different winter and "winter" conditions together.

First we got 4"/10cm of wet slushy snow. Snow mode was very useful for this; without it the Jeep would understeer and felt jittery.

Over the next couple of days we got another 24"/60cm of colder, fluffier snow. Again, Snow mode was the bee's knees driving on unplowed roads, but as soon as they were cleared there was no reason to go out of Auto mode.

Then it got warm (up to +8C/46F) and started raining. The compacted snow turned to slick ice which became even slicker with rain on top. Snow mode was definitely on again. When it stopped raining and temperature dipped below freezing again, I switched to Auto mode again. I could see how much Snow mode hurt the fuel economy.

Recently we got 10"/25cm cold snow followed by a cold spell (down to -29C/-21F). There has been stories about major accidents (30 car pile-ups) all over the news, but I found that the Cherokee did perfectly fine in Auto mode.

So, as a summary, I'd say that I think Auto mode is quite sufficient for most "normal" winter weather conditions, provided you have proper tires on your Jeep. Snow mode is very useful in extreme conditions like slush, ice or polished packed snow. As @Toecutter said the Sand/Mud mode might be useful for forcing your way through deep snow, but I haven't had a reason to try this. (Snow mode worked well in 15"/40cm of wind-driven cold snow, though.)

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post #8 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 03:37 PM
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If there is snow on the road, I use SNOW. Otherwise, AUTO. This is my first winter, and so far my TH does everything I expect. I'm noticing that as the temperature drops, so do my MPGs. So, I leave it in AUTO as much as I can. These low temperatures are putting my TH in Commander territory!

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post #9 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by ptram View Post
I am in Upstate SC and no blizzard here--only about 2 inches where I am, but 10 miles away they had 7 inches---not even worth getting my KL dirty to check out the snow capability--will just drive my 2015 Patriot Freedom one for this little mess-
Fort Mill, SC here, rain all night then a little snow this morn. Nothing exciting.

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post #10 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 05:12 PM
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If there's snow on the ground, I switch it to Snow. There is a definite difference in control/feel of the vehicle in Snow mode which I like, but with a fuel economy penalty (it typically stays one gear lower in Snow mode). If the pavement is clear I leave it in Auto.

Nice that once you're familiar with the controls, you don't even need to look down to set it on or off Snow mode (plus it confirms the selection on the dash display).
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