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Hi - hope that this is the correct forum location for this problem?

I live at 1250ft in the Northern Pennines and to get down to a very minor one car width public road I need to descend a 60 yd very steep & narrow tarmac farm track. When conditions have been slightly greasy I have engaged "off road" - set up the descent at say 5 to 8 mph & let the Yeti take me down the track - which worked fine. But when I recently tried this with fresh snow covering on compacted snow as soon as I came over the lip of the steep track everything locked-up solid and in effect I tobogganed down the hill with locked wheels and minimal control which was totally scary.

More scary was my attempt at getting back up the hill - again I selected "off road" and started up the hill in 2nd gear with reasonable speed - the car slid about a little but gradually powered down & came to a halt about 20yd from the top of the hill. Now the exciting bit - when I tried to pull away in first gear things locked up and I started to slide backwards & tobogganed back down the hill backwards (10ft dry stone walls each side) until I slewed the car across the track and wedged against the turf base of the stone walls - thankfully with no damage.

I asked for help from my kind farmer neighbour who's son has driven ever vehicle imaginable who said he would drive the Yeti up for me - but this time he did not engage the "off road" system. And bingo - he had exactly the same problem as I including the accellerating backwards 40yd toboggan ride!
OK - I do not have chains fitted or winter tyres BUT I have driven up this track in this condition with all my previous unchained & non-winter tyred vehicles - Volve Estate/Subaru Forester/Honda CR-V - so what on earth is preventing me from doing this with the otherwise wonderful Yeti?

My farmer's son & I both agree that this was the most terrifying driving experience ever!

The only clue I can get from the Yeti Owners Manual is that maybe I need to switch OFF the Traction Control System under these conditions - is this the answer?

Please is there a skilled Yeti winter driver willing to share his/her experience with me - unfortunately neither Skoda Customer Service nor the local Skoda dealer seem to be able to help at all.

Thanks - Wilf Bishop
 

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I would suggest you take the car to your dealer and get them to analyse the computer. To me it sounds like a fault.The traction system should not lock up if left to its own devices as the the wheels should be allowed to rotate to get grip.
 

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As you had the same problem with the off road button switch on and then switched off I don't think that it was a problem with the car. No matter how clever a car is it cannot go anywhere (or stop) if there is not traction/friction between the tyres and the surface that you are driving on. Parts of the country went down to minus 12 last night and where you live it might have been even lower.You mention previous cars that have got you down the hill without trouble, they could have done so in less severe conditions and some summer tyres are more capable than others,you may have come very close to the same thing happening with the other cars. If your dealer is just round the corner you have nothing to lose but if it means a lengthy journey I would firsttry the same journey when conditions have eased slightly.
Winter tyres have a higher rubber content than summers which go hard in low temperatures, an obscure example of what happens with low rubber content is that of modern shoes, some have so little rubber in their soles that it is almost impossible to walk across a supermarket floor when it is wet.
A two wheel drive car fitted with winter tyres is far more capable than a 4x4 on summer tyres, I think you have had a very good demonstration of what happens when summer tyres give up.
 

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Wilf.B said:
Hi - hope that this is the correct forum location for this problem?
OK - I do not have chains fitted or winter tyres BUT I have driven up this track in this condition with all my previous unchained & non-winter tyred vehicles - Volve Estate/Subaru Forester/Honda CR-V - so what on earth is preventing me from doing this with the otherwise wonderful Yeti?
Thanks - Wilf Bishop
Sorry Wilf, but I've highlighted your problem.
Were the conditions EXACTLY the same with the other vehicles? Surface, temperature, tyre size, tyre condition, etc? I doubt it.
If there is no grip then it doesn't what the surface is like, gravity is the strongest force. Having winter tyres will help, but even they won't always be the cure.
 

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There is an ongoing thread on a Volvo forum at the moment where the owner of an XC60 4WD had a near death experience as he slid without control down a slope. He did not have winter tyres on and he assumed he would not need them. He is wiser now and the majority of replies on there mirror what has been said here. Those who have the 4wd version plus winter tyres rave about the grip, but still drive with care just in case.

All the gizmos in the world wont work if none of your 4 tyres can grip. If two tyres are slipping then why not 4?If you live in an area of bad snow, inclines and declines, then you may well need both 4wd and winter tyres.

Incidentally, I had a 4wd Yeti and it was brilliant in the snow so they do work. First year on standard Dunlops, the second on Nokian all season tyres. I am now on a 2wd car with winter tyres. I am managing just as well through equally bad snow, ice and slush.
 

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yes Sir Ed I have taken the car through its paces so to speak. winter tyres are a must if you want to get where you want without aging to pension status prematurely. I have road tyres on soley to see how much I can abuse the car. conclusion? get a good snow tyre for the snow I mean snowman type snow not dust snow
 

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Hi all.

Have been driving all around Bridgnorth area every day (on the factory Dunlop all weather tyres-which DO feel quite hard/harsh in this temperature)-just had two 'experiences', the first was my fault, going down a icy steep hill in second gear which was way too fast, the other related to our steep driveway, where deep snow-covered ice proved too much for the tyres and I had to retreat and resort to shoveling to clear a path-but this did prove that only one wheel needs a sniff of grip and you,re away!

Also, at the same venue, I have found reversing down the drive in 4wd too fast for fine control, as we have to negoiate a bend whilst descending-requiring fine clutch control-which then negates engagement of 4wd-causing sideways sliding and mis-alignment of vehicle relative to carport entrance-this could also make reversing of the expected new caravan interesting!

Going to check prices in Telford Skoda for steels/winter tyres.

Overall-have to say this is the most capable 4wd I,ve ever had the pleasure to be in-sure beats my old landy which was far too prone to getting cross-axled.

S/C
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Guys for your prompt & helpful Yeti feedback - I'm scheduled to have my winter tyres fitted tomorrow. However I'm still puzzled as to why two Subaru Foresters and three HONDA CR-V's stomped up & down Pennine snow clogged inclines year after year for me without a murmer on standard "as fitted" tyres.

Anyway, Thanks again,

Wilf B
 

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Wilf - Honda and Subaru may well put on standard summer tyres which just happen to be better on snow than the Skoda ones. Subaru in particular are pretty rugged style cars so may have more appropriate tyres on, not winter ones but better than the ones Skoda choose. I understand your frustration but the 4wd on the Yeti is genuinely good and I think circumstances have just been against you on this occasion.
 

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Maybe they are fitted with narrow tyres as my winter tyres are at least 1" narrower which equals more grip
I know we have no big hills in norfolk I have not seen the wheel spin indicator light yet
 

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My Yeti has had to work hard for it's living during the last couple of weeks of winter weather, the car is wearing Avon Ice-Touring tyres on steel rims for the winter and it's performance has been superb :D
 
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