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Discussion Starter #1
Hello!
I've been reading here for some time and finally have something to post about. I have always been happy with my 2005 "Mo"SL AWD + VDC & NAV :D. However, I do have a question about the operation of the Murano's AWD system...

We got our first snow here in Illinois today & on the way home from work I thought I would try things out. I was shocked to find that I could spin my front wheels for as long as I pushed the accelerator (not too far down) without the AWD system kicking in and transferring some of the power to the rear wheels. Is this proper operation of the AWD system? I am used to my old Ford Explorer and the way that it's auto 4WD system worked.

There were numerous times today where I was turning from a stop & the front of the Mo just took off tangent to the turn that I was trying to make. The "Slip" light did come on, but it took about 5 seconds for it to come on (It feels like forever when your sliding off of the road). Does this sound right? Is there a problem with my Mo?

I did read the manual when I bought the car & remembered that it mentioned that if you locked the system with the button on the center console that the lock would only stay engaged until you reach ~6MPH (I also remember that elsewhere in the manual it contradicts itself by saying ~10MPH). So about half way home at a stop light I locked the AWD system & the system worked VERY well, however, I noticed that the light did not go out after reaching even 40MPH. I am not sure if the system was engaged up to that speed or if the system dropped out & kept the light on.

Anyhow, I don't want to bore all of you nice people so I will stop typing and eagerly await your comments.


Thanks,

--n00b
 

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Well, you have a lot of questions in your post so I’ll try to answer some of them. As far as I know Mo has intelligent AWD system. When you press the button on the center console it will enable AWD to the speed up to 6 MPH. It will stay ON until you go faster (more than 6MPH). Be careful, and not enable it if you are driving on the dry pavement, you will destroy your MO transfer case. Now when you go fast and you hit some slippery spot AWD will engage anyway. I personally do not see the reason for the button, because as soon as your front wheels will slip AWD kicks in. I am not sure how it was possible for you to spin your front wheels, I tried on mine and it never works; AWD kicks in right away. Also the light will stay there all the time even if your AWD is not enabled at the moment because of speed you going with. Unfortunately, I can not comment on the “SLIP” light because I do not have one (I mean VDC).
 

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That_1_n00b-

You stated:
"I was shocked to find that I could spin my front wheels for as long as I pushed the accelerator (not too far down) without the AWD system kicking in and transferring some of the power to the rear wheels."

It is entirely possible that AWD did engage and the rear wheels were also spinning. The Murano's AWD is not to be confused with traction control.

I have a Jeep GC with full-time AWD. I can get the front and rears spinning in the snow with ease if I want.

I do not have VDC in my MO so I cannot attest to how it should have intervened (if at all) in the conditions you encountered.

-njjoe
 

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VDC should have used it's ABLS function to make sure power was distributed to all 4 wheels, and then it's TC function to retard the throttle to keep the wheels from spinning. His description really sounds like the AWD/VDC system wasn't working at all until he hit the Lock switch.
 

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That_1_n00b said:
There were numerous times today where I was turning from a stop & the front of the Mo just took off tangent to the turn that I was trying to make. The "Slip" light did come on, but it took about 5 seconds for it to come on (It feels like forever when your sliding off of the road). Does this sound right? Is there a problem with my Mo?
Take it in to the dealer something is amiss.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
After more testing...

Thanks for all of your great responses! Now that I have a minute to breath (Been working a lot) I can write back.

Today, I found some time to take my Mo to an empty, snowy parking lot. I opened the door & watched the rear wheel while hitting the gas. Sure enough, the rear wheels are spinning too! You were right njjoe :) I'm much happier knowing this. Also, if I keep on the gas while cornering the back end will eventually kick around. When I correct this with the steering wheel (while keeping on the gas), the Slip light will flash & the car basically will straighten itself out so I can take the corner. Otherwise, if I let off the gas, the car will continue to slide in a straight line while turning. Do I have to intentionally kick out the back end in order to complete a turn in the snow, or am I missing something?

I know that the Murano doesn't coast but rather has an engine breaking effect while coasting. I think that letting off the gas while turning is sort of like slamming on the breaks while turning in a car with no antilock... You will just slide in a straight line like what I described before. Does this happen to everyone with a Murano while turning in heavy snow?

MightyMo, you had mentioned that the TC should have retarded the throttle. I don't think that this is working correctly cause I can spin all four (or two wheels: one front, one rear?) revving the engine. Should I be able to do this?


Thanks again,

--n00b
 

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Re: After more testing...

That_1_n00b said:
Thanks for all of your great responses! Now that I have a minute to breath (Been working a lot) I can write back.

Today, I found some time to take my Mo to an empty, snowy parking lot. I opened the door & watched the rear wheel while hitting the gas. Sure enough, the rear wheels are spinning too! You were right njjoe :) I'm much happier knowing this. Also, if I keep on the gas while cornering the back end will eventually kick around. When I correct this with the steering wheel (while keeping on the gas), the Slip light will flash & the car basically will straighten itself out so I can take the corner. Otherwise, if I let off the gas, the car will continue to slide in a straight line while turning. Do I have to intentionally kick out the back end in order to complete a turn in the snow, or am I missing something?

I know that the Murano doesn't coast but rather has an engine breaking effect while coasting. I think that letting off the gas while turning is sort of like slamming on the breaks while turning in a car with no antilock... You will just slide in a straight line like what I described before. Does this happen to everyone with a Murano while turning in heavy snow?

MightyMo, you had mentioned that the TC should have retarded the throttle. I don't think that this is working correctly cause I can spin all four (or two wheels: one front, one rear?) revving the engine. Should I be able to do this?


Thanks again,

--n00b
It sounds like you are just driving too fast for conditions. Even though the MO is a pretty good all weather vehicle, when the roads have snow, you have to take corners at less than half the normal speed you usually would if the roads were dry (or wet). The Murano's stock Goodyear Eagle tires, in my opinion, are very poorly suited for snow and ice. While the AWD system will distribute power to all four wheels (as you witnessed), it can't do much if the tires do not grip (this is the tire's fault, not the car's). The traction control system will kick in if there is a large wheel speed difference a) between the front wheels or b) between the front and rear axles. I find the order at which the TC and AWD systems switch on is this:

Imagine I am stopped on a snowy/ice road. I mash the gas:

1) Front wheels spin, MO doesn't go anywhere
2) TC kicks in, SLIP light turns on
3) AWD kicks in, and sometimes the back end comes around if I am hard on the gas

Now if I am turning a corner at speed on snow/ice, this is what happens:

1) Upon turn in, MO immediately understeers
2) If I let off the gas, car slows down and the front end tucks in and I complete the turn fine (if you keep sliding even when you lift off the gas, then you are just going too fast!)
3) If I get on the gas, AWD kicks in and the back end comes around
4) I can either countersteer to correct, or wait (dangerously) for the VDC to kick in and correct the slide (it does come on eventually but it feels like forever)

I have driven with AWD Lock engaged over unplowed roads (snow) and the MO performed flawlessly, albeit this was with the new Yokohama Geolandars, not the old Goodyears.
 

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noob

You are just experiencing the typical oversteer/understeer dance that the Murano does when you do a SLOW turn at a snow packed intersection. I've driven a bunch of AWD vehicles (I'll be renting another one in Montana in a few weeks) and this is the only one that has this characteristic. If the AWD would stay engaged for a few seconds after tire speed equalizes, it would be much easier to control. I think the system might be too fragile for that. Try as I might, I can't rationalize this flaw.

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Imagine I am stopped on a snowy/ice road. I mash the gas:

1) Front wheels spin, MO doesn't go anywhere
2) TC kicks in, SLIP light turns on
3) AWD kicks in, and sometimes the back end comes around if I am hard on the gas
Hmmm... Are you sure that number 2 occurs? In my Mo, if I mash the gas from the start on snowy roads, the SLIP light never turns on. I can just keep on spinning away! Also, in number 2, how do you know that TC is kicking in? Can you hear it?

Enforcer told me to take it in to be checked out... I was trying to avoid that due to available time, but maybe I should.


Thanks again,

--n00b
 

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That_1_n00b said:


Hmmm... Are you sure that number 2 occurs? In my Mo, if I mash the gas from the start on snowy roads, the SLIP light never turns on. I can just keep on spinning away! Also, in number 2, how do you know that TC is kicking in? Can you hear it?

Enforcer told me to take it in to be checked out... I was trying to avoid that due to available time, but maybe I should.


Thanks again,

--n00b
Well I assume the TC comes on because my SLIP light flashes. Perhaps the AWD comes on at about the same time, but usually if I am not too aggressive, I can launch on snow/ice with moderate throttle and only the SLIP light will flash without the rear end coming around on me. If I jam the gas, I get SLIP light flashing *and* the rear end comes around on me as the MO squirms for traction - this is why I wrote it in the order of #2 and #3. Hope that made it more clear for you.

Good luck and drive safely.
 

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Ice/snow driving

I agree with previous statement. If you are mid acceleration you might get slip but no back end float. However if you mash it on ice or packed snow the awd will kick in and you will get rear sideways! I tried to get it out around corners and the only way is slow in and hard gas at the apex. If you turn of the vdc it helps with the slide but be carefull of curbs and guardrails! If you can't drive a MO in snow FWD or AWD than it's not the auto. I've had over a dozen vehics and this is the best for control. If you drive too fast in bad weather no matter what you are asking for trouble.

I have '05 AWD SE w/ every option so mine may handle slightly dif but I test drove 3 others..

CF
 

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The VDC has accelerometers that detects sideways motion (rear end kicks out) as well as steering sensor (angle of front wheels). If the computer determines sideways motion that is not concurrent with the steer angle then VDC kicks in and the computer will cut throttle and clamp brakes on the individual wheels for that particular situation.

The AWD has individual wheel rotation sensors and a speedometer sensor. When the computer detects a wheel or wheels that are rotating faster than other wheels then AWD kicks in. But the rear differential is open (not limited slip or locker). So it is possible to have one rear wheel slipping while the other is not.

So your original statement that you could spin front wheels without AWD kicking in sounds like there is a problem. Also 5s for the slip light to come on is way to long, it is suppossed to activate in less than a second, faster than human reaction time.

I have some old posts on here about my parking lot testing and this stuff worked really well. I have also talked to people at my dealer that went to a Nissan training exercise about the Murano VDC/AWD at a specially prepared course and they relate the same experiences we've talked about here.
 

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MUDDY ROAD

THE OTHER DAY I WAS DRIVING MY MO ON A MUDDY ROAD, THE AWD WAS CONSTANTLY KICKING IN AND OUT, IT WAS EXTREMELY NOTISABLE, BUT IT GOT TO THE POINT THAT IT FELT LIKE SOMETHING WAS CONSTANTLY PULLING ON MY STEERING WHEEL TO THE RIGHT IT WAS MOSTLY SCARY, I'VE GONE HUNDREDS OF TIMES ACROSS THAT ROAD IN A SEDAN, NO AWD, NO PROBLEM, THE MO AWD FELT SCARY INSTEAD OF REASURING, IS THERE SOMETHING WRONG THERE. PLEASE COMMENT.
 

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Its possible that as your wheels slip and the AWD engages, the front wheels continue to slip enough such that the steering becomes jittery. The stock Goodyear Eagle tires, which while fine in the dry, are not great mud/snow tires so that might be amplifying the problem as well.

Do you have VDC on your MO?
 

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You sure it wasn't just ruts in the mud yanking the wheel around? Did you have the AWD lock engaged? How fast were you going?
 

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MUDDY ROAD

I DON'T HAVE VDC, I WAS PROBABLY GOING AROUND 20 MILES PER HOUR, THE AWD LOCK WAS NOT ENGAGE, IS THE AUTO AWD BETTER FOR HIGHWAYS AND THE AWD LOCK FOR ROADS, THE WHEEL THEORY SOUNDS GOOD.
 

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The AWD switch should really only be used when you are say stuck... otherwise lets the system throw it into AWD if/when needed.

Besides with an 05, the AWD system is off above 6MPH even with the swich on. The auto AWD will still kick in at any speed when neded.
 

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Re: MUDDY ROAD

rrodfa2 said:
I'VE GONE HUNDREDS OF TIMES ACROSS THAT ROAD IN A SEDAN, NO AWD, NO PROBLEM.
Was the sedan RWD or FWD? RWD vehicles don't feedback forces to the steering wheel due to the rear wheels while FWD vehicles have a direct connection between the driven front wheels and the steering wheel.
 

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If its muddy enough to cause your MO to slip from side to side, its probably the proper situation to use AWD Lock.

Btw, you might want to turn off CAPS LOCK. Its generally regarded as "yelling" on internet forums.
 

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When ever I'm on a %100 loose surface road (snow, dirt, mud, gravel), I turn the AWD lock on and put the tranny in Ds mode. I feel this gives more consistant feedback and control in these %100 loose surface situations.
 
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