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I live in lake effect country east of Lake Erie and lately I've had plenty of opportunity to test out my PM with four snow tires on it in the snow. It's doing great! I can even get up my steep snow covered driveway. It's almost as good in the snow as my old four wheel drive.
 

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Yep another couple inches here and another day I continue to be very happy with the traction my PM provides.

Good winter tires are the only way to go. Cheap-out and suffer...
 

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What snow tires are you guys running? Im on the stock Vancos and cant make it up hills at all in the snow. I have to do something about it asap.
 

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Bridgestone Blizzack W965's. Absolutely love um!

This winter, in New England, it has been a great test of my 118" WB PM and these tires. Continually impressed with how it's driving. I shift-work so I'm on the roads at odd hours when the roads aren't always plowed. I drive up and down a 2 mile hill with about 1000 ft. of elevation gain, some steep spots, a couple tight turns and tons of potholes. The ESC (traction control) comes on quite a bit but the PM just keeps moving forward. Plowed or not plowed, wet or dry snow it just keeps getting me where I need to go...

I have chains if I need them but only used them once going down on an icey morning.

http://http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Bridgestone&tireModel=Blizzak+W965
 

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Dryvah,

Have you tried playing with the ESC? I have the stock Vanco tires and when I step down a level with the ESC, I have been able drive up snow covered hills as steep as 8-9%.

The manual suggests stepping down one level for snow (and spirited driving) and turning it off for off road conditions.

Despite my lac of dedicated snow tires I think the PM is the next best thing to all wheel drive or 4 X 4. No other van I've owned has even come close to the PM's performance in snow.

Cheers,

Dave
 

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Per the manual there's "two" modes:

"on" and "partial off"

On equals: full mode

Partial off equals:
"When in the “Partial Off” mode, the TCS portion of ESC, except for the “limited slip” feature described in the TCS section, has been disabled and the “ESC OFF Indicator Light” will be illuminated. When in the “Partial Off” mode, ESC will operate without engine torque manage- ment. This mode is intended to be used if the vehicle is in deep snow, sand or gravel conditions and more wheel spin than ESC would normally allow is required to gain traction. To turn ESC on again, momentarily press the “ESC Off” switch. This will restore the normal “ESC On” mode of operation."

I guess the third mode would be considered when the malfunction light is on and something's not working...?
 

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You can turn it off altogether as well for off road. So three modes: full on, partial off, and full off.

I read this in the manual after I failed to exit my driveway in about a foot of un-plowed snow. after I turned it to partial off I was able to get up the driveway and drive on un-plowed roads. I have not tried the full off mode yet, but I'm keen to try it out on some logging roads come summer.

Cheers,

Dave
 

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Thanks Dave. I didn't realize this. I'll certainly give it shot next time.

I did try turning it off completely and it did not help.
 

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You can turn it off altogether as well for off road. So three modes: full on, partial off, and full off.

I read this in the manual after I failed to exit my driveway in about a foot of un-plowed snow. after I turned it to partial off I was able to get up the driveway and drive on un-plowed roads. I have not tried the full off mode yet, but I'm keen to try it out on some logging roads come summer.

Cheers,

Dave
How do you get the "full off" mode you mention?

Reading my "manual" there's real only two modes; not that any of us haven't found plenty of errors in the thing...

Traction Control System (TCS)
The Traction Control System (TCS) monitors the amount of wheel spin of each of the driven wheels. If wheel spin is detected, brake pressure is applied to the slipping wheel(s) and engine power is reduced, to provide en- hanced acceleration and stability. A feature of the TCS functions similarly to a limited-slip differential, and controls the wheel spin across a driven axle. If one wheel on a driven axle is spinning faster than the other, the
system will apply the brake of the spinning wheel. This will allow more engine torque to be applied to the wheel that is not spinning. This feature remains active even if the ESC is in the “Partial Off” mode.
The “ESC Activation/Malfunction Indicator Light” (in the instrument cluster) will start to flash as soon as the tires lose traction and the wheels begin to spin. This indicates that the TCS is active. If the indicator light flashes during acceleration, ease up on the accelerator and apply as little throttle as possible. Be sure to adapt your speed and driving to the prevailing road conditions, and do not switch off the ESC or TCS.

ESC Operating Modes
The “ESC Off” switch is located in the center switch bank, next to the hazard flasher switch.

ESC On
This mode is the normal operating mode for ESC equipped vehicles. Whenever the vehicle is started, the ESC system will be in this mode. This mode should be used for most driving situations. ESC should only be turned off for specific reasons as noted below.

ESC Partial Off
This mode is entered by momentarily pressing the “ESC Off” switch.
When in the “Partial Off” mode, the TCS portion of ESC, except for the “limited slip” feature described in the TCS section, has been disabled and the “ESC OFF Indicator Light” will be illuminated. When in the “Partial Off” mode, ESC will operate without engine torque manage- ment. This mode is intended to be used if the vehicle is in deep snow, sand or gravel conditions and more wheel spin than ESC would normally allow is required to gain traction. To turn ESC on again, momentarily press the “ESC Off” switch. This will restore the normal “ESC On” mode of operation.

NOTE: To improve the vehicle’s traction when driving with snow chains, or starting off in deep snow, sand or gravel, it may be desirable to switch to the “Partial Off” mode by pressing the “ESC Off” switch. Once the situation requiring ESC to be switched to the “Partial Off” mode is overcome, turn ESC back on by momentarily pressing the “ESC Off” switch. This may be done while the vehicle is in motion.
 

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Im getting stuck in a inch of snow on the roads with the vancos. Im carrying alot of weight. Im wondering if snow tires would make a big difference considering how heavy the back is.
 

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Im getting stuck in a inch of snow on the roads with the vancos. Im carrying alot of weight. Im wondering if snow tires would make a big difference considering how heavy the back is.
It is well documented elsewhere here that a set of good quality winters will make this a snow eating machine! Bridgstone Blizzacks or Cooper Weathermasters come to mind.
 

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Well its reassuring to hear that. Going to wait till my fronts have had it then get a set. Good thing the winter hasn't been that bad here in Baltimore this year.
 

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I been running stock tires and have no problems in snow. Have a 136 low roof weight at 6550. Went through a foot in driveway (trying to get it stuck)very impressed , plowed right through. Had a job at a new home drive at least 1/4mile long not plowed with a good 6 to 8 inches made it no problems. The ESC or ECS feels very very weird , as I got half way down the drive it reduced acceleration tried to give more gas with no avail ,worked great didn't spin just feels odd . The G C showed up afterwards could not believed I made it thru and asked if my van was 4 x 4 . told him nope just a dodge.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Im getting stuck in a inch of snow on the roads with the vancos. Im carrying alot of weight. Im wondering if snow tires would make a big difference considering how heavy the back is.

Huge difference. I live in snowy Western NY and, since putting the snows on (all four wheeels) and not felt any loss of control and can easily push thru a foot of snow. That said, I'm not carrying that much weight in the back this time of year.
 

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Valentine's Day or not - this winter I give my love to my Blizzaks
 
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