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Discussion Starter #1
I have driven mostly RWD vehicles so I am curious as to how to recover an AWD MO once a snowy / icy corner has been entered. Applying the throttle causes MO to go straight.

My internet research suggets that the technique I have been using, easing off the throttle, is incorrect. I have discovered some possibilities but am looking for recommendations.
Left-Foot Braking

Applies To: FWD
Usage: Eliminates under steer, achieving neutral steer or even over steer.
Theory of Operation: The front wheels are unaffected by the braking as the engine keeps them moving, so their traction is good. The rear wheels are progressively braked which induces resistance to rolling. Worse lateral grip on the rear tires are achieved, making the whole car happier to turn.
Instructions: Upon entering a turn, turn in as usual using the steering wheel. Use your left foot to apply the brakes progressively. Depending on engine power, you will probably need to apply more throttle to maintain speed. The higher the braking applied the larger the effect.
Notes: The more slippery the surface and higher the speed, the more the effect. Highly dependant on engine power and tuning. Most cars are tuned for front brake bias for under steer (which is considered safest for passenger cars) makes it harder to use. Wears the brakes faster than normal, the front pair in particular.

AWD Power Slide

Applies To: AWD
Usage: Eliminate risk of fatal under steer on less than ideal roads, resulting in higher cornering speeds.
Theory of Operation: Spinning tires have decreased lateral grip.
Instructions: Destabilize the car. After having done so, stay on the throttle.

More throttle = More sideways motion, less forward propulsion.
Less throttle = Less sideways motion, more forward propulsion.

Ideally the rotation of the car is perfect so it needs no adjustments from the steering wheel - then it is merely kept straight. If adjustments are needed, simply turn the steering wheel and use the throttle to adjust cornering line.

You must find the proper balance. The ideal is sliding at an as angle possible without regaining traction and under steering.

To stop sliding, counter-steer (relative to the turn). If needed, feather throttle.

Notes: Stronger engine is easier to work with. Limited-slip or locked centre and rear differential is nearly a must-have for proper operation. It is possible to use the end of a powerslide to pendulum into another, in the opposite direction. Useful when going from one turn that leads directly into the other. Theory of operation is the same as the final moments of the scandinavian flick.
Parking/Hand Brake Turn

Applies To: FWD, RWD, AWD without limited-slip/locked centre differential, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII
Usage: Turning the car around very tight hairpins and turns, even on dry pavement. Destabilizer.
Theory of Operation: The hand brake is connected to rear wheels only. Applying the hand brake will cause instant loss of traction in the rear, making the rear slide out.
Instructions: If in a RWD or AWD, press clutch pedal until release of hand brake.

For super tight turn: Turn the steering wheel half a rotation in the turn direction and apply hand brake for as long as you wish to rotate. Ideally the car should nearly stop moving all together by the time you are done rotating. Let go of hand brake slightly ahead of the time you wish to stop rotating. The higher the speed, and the more slippery it is, the harder to stop the rotation.

For destabilizing: Turn the steering wheel half a rotation in the turn direction and apply hand brake for a brief moment - only enough to cause sideway sliding of the rear wheels. Then re-engage clutch and come on the throttle.

Notes: Works very well (and should never be used other than) at low speeds. AWD cars with a centre limited-slip or locked differential will also lock up the front wheels when applying the handbrake. Lancer Evolution VII has a computer controlled hydro-electric clutch that automatically disengages any locking when hand brake is applied.
 

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SHIFT_FASTER
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I either let off on the gas completely (some traction available) or goose the gas enough to get the rear end to slide out (very little traction available). For goosing the gas to work, you need to have the front wheels turned a fair bit, and give just enough gas to get the rear to slide, then let off a bit to shift some weight forward giving the front wheels more traction.
 

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The MO's automatic AWD system is a bit slow to react sometimes, and usually activates rather abruptly in midturn. If I am applying light throttle, such as accelerating from a stop to make the turn, suddenly the rear will get power and the rear end will kick out a bit. However, usually I am going so slow that I have time to countersteer before the VDC, which is also slow to react, kicks in. To me its a dissapointing performance for an AWD vehicle, but then I suppose the fuel economy benefits of mainly FWD operation is worth it (I get 15mpg in the city, I shudder to think what it would be if the Murano ran AWD all the time).
 

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SHIFT_FASTER
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I agree. If I wanted a really good AWD, I wouldn't pick the Murano. But it sure beats RWD in the winters here.
 

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I have seen a cat tractor going backward in snow down a hill with it's tracks going forward (in Alaska), it was quite comical.

~~Ever since then I felt that there was no perfect snow vehicle~~

:2:
 

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Eric L. said:
The MO's automatic AWD system is a bit slow to react sometimes, and usually activates rather abruptly in midturn. If I am applying light throttle, such as accelerating from a stop to make the turn, suddenly the rear will get power and the rear end will kick out a bit. However, usually I am going so slow that I have time to countersteer before the VDC, which is also slow to react, kicks in. To me its a dissapointing performance for an AWD vehicle, but then I suppose the fuel economy benefits of mainly FWD operation is worth it (I get 15mpg in the city, I shudder to think what it would be if the Murano ran AWD all the time).
I've experienced that as well, but to be fair, Nissan's maximising your fuel economy for normal driving. For aggressive driving, reach over and turn on that AWD switch, and the characteristics you observed, go away.
 
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