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Haldex based Quattro - How much better than FWD in snow and ice?

Discussion in 'New A3/S3 (8V Chassis)' started by Joetidman, Jun 7, 2014.

  1. Joetidman
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    Joetidman Well-Known Member

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    Ok, I know we're going into summer now, but am just interested what experiences people have had of haldex based Quattro in icy conditions perhaps versus same conditions in a FWD car? I'm thinking about winter tyres, but as I live in the barmy south and have the tyre maintenance pack it doesn't make much fiscal sense so was interested in thoughts?

    i know we've had a few threads/debates on Quattro here but they have been mainly focused on performance enhancement rather than wet/icy/snowy traction.

    Also final point, my wife has a Kia Sportage, also with Haldex AWD (probably version 4), will it be any better in ice/snow than my S3? It had lock 50/50 torque split front/rear and has hill decent control too. Thoughts? Does Audi set their Haldex up differently/better or no difference?
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  2. kanecullen89
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    kanecullen89 Member

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    Hi.
    If your car and a similar fwd car both had summer tyres on then yours would definitely be better for traction. Quattro and winter tyres would be the best combination though.
    I've got an A4 quattro but still want a set of winter tyres.

    I'd say in some situations your wife's may be better. The locking diffs would make all the difference in certain situations. The haldex in the audi's don't lock and are set front bias but can sent 50% power to rear axle when required like most haldex systems.
    The haldex in 8V is the 5th generation. There are some changes from the 4th generation and these are said to be mainly cost cutting changes. I've got no personal experience of the actual feel of gen 4 to gen 5 but I know that the Volvo owners are not a happy bunch of people with gen 5!!
    They hate it with a passion. They say that there is a noticeable delay on gen 5 compared to gen 4 so this may be another reason why your wife's car would cope better but like I say I have no personal experience of this.
    Plus tyres on your wife's car might be better suited for snow than low profile wide tyres on your audi
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  3. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Active Member

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    Here is an article about the pros and cons of 4 wheel drive.

    Do You Need an All-Wheel-Drive or Four-Wheel-Drive Car? on Edmunds.com

    "The short answer is this: AWD and 4WD help a vehicle accelerate in slippery conditions, but don't aid with braking and only sometimes improve handling."

    "Focus on Good Tires

    Ultimately, your vehicle's tires can be more important than the number of wheels being driven. For example, the 2013 Audi S5 is an AWD car, but it's not a great idea to take it for a ski trip straight from the dealer's lot. That's because the S5 comes standard with summer tires that wouldn't do well in the cold.

    Here's another way to think about it: What would perform better in the snow? A front-wheel-drive car with winter tires or an AWD car with all-season tires? Michelin tested this scenario in a study a few years ago. The FWD car with winter tires outperformed the AWD car in nearly every test. The AWD vehicle had the edge in acceleration, but when it came time to hit the brakes, its braking distance was significantly longer than the FWD car. Of course, if the AWD vehicle had a full set of winter tires, it would be the hands-down winner, but it goes to show you the importance of good tires."
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  4. veeeight
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    veeeight Well-Known Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2014
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  5. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Active Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2014
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  6. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Active Member

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    This is the video that convinced me to get cold weather tyres.

    There are plenty of articles and videos about the advantages of winter tyres.

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2014
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  7. Joetidman
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    Joetidman Well-Known Member

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    Great thoughts and video's guys thanks!
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  8. steve111b
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    steve111b New Member

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    Just to add my take on this topic. Any interest in a quiz?

    You need traction to make the car stable when moving. If you had only two winters, would you place them on the front or back?
    You need traction when you press on the brakes. What is the best way to stop on snow/ice?
    You need traction when you steer. How can you correct when faced with a lot of understeer?
    You need traction when pushing on the gas in a RWD. Imagine you are about to get stuck in the snow. What happens to the wheels the instant before getting stuck, the instant you are stuck, and the instant after you are stuck?

    Sorry, no prizes.
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  9. Joetidman
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    Joetidman Well-Known Member

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    Personally I was always taught to put your best tyres on the rear, regardless of RWD or FWD. Oversteer is harder to correct than under steer, and I'd rather not have my front tyres grip on ice and then watch the back if my car pivot around and put me in a wall...
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  10. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Active Member

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    Every article and video I have watched on this subject show that only 2 winter tyres make the car unstable when braking and cornering. I have seen people with 2 winter tyres on the front coming down a hill sideways. Never fit only 2 winter tyres.

    Summer tyres - engine braking if you have the room. Dabbing the brakes if you need to stop faster.
    4 winter tyres - apply the brakes.

    Turn into the slide.

    They lose traction and spin.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2014
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  11. steve111b
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    steve111b New Member

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    Thanks to those who responded.
    Winters would go on the back. On the 8P it is possible to increase grip on the rears by lowering the tire pressure (light load) to 30 psi.
    Threshold braking. Haldex does not work when coasting/braking.
    Unwind the steering wheel. If you do donuts the fronts are not providing any forward movement, they are a pivot point. This means all the available power (to move the car) is coming from the rears. The Haldex is making the car RWD.
    Before the car is stuck the wheels will spin, activating the Haldex and the ESP. Best practice to get through heavy snow (low speed) is to turn off the ESP. With ESP off, the car will become stuck with one wheel spinning and one wheel motionless on each axle. If you keep on the throttle, the EDL will brake the spinning wheel which should transfer the power to the motionless wheel. Without the EDL, giving more gas will simply make the spinning wheel turn faster (the other wheel will continue to stay motionless).

    Quattro can only help you when your foot is on the gas. Winters will provide stability, improved braking, better steering, and some increase in traction (foot on the gas).
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  12. Statler
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    Statler Old enough to know better

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    My tuppence..

    Firstly, fitting two winter tyres and leaving two summer tyres is just pure madness for the inexperienced Winter driver. Don't do it.

    Having come from a BMW 320d coupe with runflats, I've run winter tyres for the last two winters and they make an impossible car on snow a reality. I have been able to drive places where the sane driver wouldn't even attempt.

    I've swapped my set of tyres onto Audi rims and I don't have the car yet....

    As per the reviews, winters tyres work.
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  13. steeve
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    steeve Active Member

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    Plenty of videos on the net that show just how good winter tyres are. Even a BM with winter tyres has more traction than a four wheel drive with summer tyres on. By the way they are winter tyres and not snow tyres so are better below 7 degrees C even on dry or wet roads.
    From my experience they are quite an eye opener, I really didn't think they would be as good as they are.
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