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To drive off uphill on a road with snow


I live in Switzerland. Sometimes in winter I have to drive off uphill
with snow on the road. My father owns a Lexus with rear wheel drive and
often has problems in winter. I own currently an Audi with front wheel drive
and never had any problems in winter.

I'm really interested in the Tesla Model S, but I'm not sure if the
rear wheel drive has problems too in winter.


@ tesla.mrspaghet...
Hee Hee! Exactly what I was trying to say without actually saying it :-)

Then they're the perfect insider experts in idiot-proofing, no? "What would make the world safe from and for me?"


Questions about Tesla S:

Situation 1:
You have stopped in a steep hill, foot on the breake. What happends if you just remove your foot from the break pedal?
Will the car start rolling backwards?
Do you need to push down the accellerator pedal to avoid going backwards?

Situation 2:

Driving up a steep hill. Reducing speed to 0 and not breaking. Same thing, will the car start rolling backwards?

@ fh

This is actually a user selectable option. There is an option called "creep" which has the MS creep slowly forward if the break has been released (similar to an automatic ICE) if this is selected the MS should hold or move forward if the break is released.

If creep is not selected the MS will roll backward in that situation (similar to a manual ICE)

Some in the forums have suggested a hill hold option that would prevent the rolling back on a hill but not have the car roll forward however Tesla has not implemented this option (they could through a software update in the future)

Depends on how steep the hill is. Creep won't keep the Model S from rolling on anything but a fairly slight grade.

Creep was really intended for flat to slight inclines. Hill hold is the feature your after, and while its on the list, it hasn't been implemented yet.

On steep hills it is similar to driving a car with a manual transmission even with the "Creep Mode" update. The backwards roll just is not as aggressive as it would be with a manual transmission. With "Creep" off it feels just like a manual transmission when starting out on a steep hill.

To accommodate stops on very steep hills I use the foot brake as I would have used the hand brake in a manual transmission car. Sometimes the car will beep at you briefly but it gets over it.

"Hill Hold" feature is hopefully coming with a firmware update just as the "Creep Mode" was added. That should make it feel more like a traditional automatic transmission but with the added advantage of no gear changes potentially breaking you loose on slippery surfaces. I don't need the "Hill Hold" it since I am accustomed to manual transmissions but I can see other drivers finding it very desirable.

Also, if it is really slippery I will set the regen to low to keep the tires from breaking loose on deceleration while going down some hills. I never had it break loose. I am simply choosing to use the same level of care as I would with any other car.

P.S. The Model S is far superior in the snow to my RWD BMW due to the weight distribution, and transmission issues. I couldn't get my BMW out of my neighborhood with any snow or ice on the road.

Now you have me longing for a visit to Switzerland. I love it there.

Too tired to read the whole thread so I it might have been answered already.
Here it goes.

Advocates for front wheel drive seems to forget that going uphill it is actually a better for å rear wheel drive car. Think of weight distribution.
On a flat tarmac the weight of the petrol engine is transferred straight to the wheels. As the angle of the hill increases the weight will be pushed towards the rear and will put down force on the rear wheels, and thereby giving better traction.

That is why it is recommended to actually turn a front wheel drive car 180 degrees before backing up steep hills in severe winter conditions.

For Tesla S this will mean the weight of the engine already across the drive wheels, and all of that weight will put down force and traction on tires going uphill. I dont think you will have any problems.

I own a model s p85+. I live in Chicago. So let me preface this by saying I love my car. However, last night I tried driving a 30 trip on I-290 from downtown chicago to Naperville il. It was the first real snow we have seen, and as such I was interested to see how the car performed. Before heading out too far I realized I had a MAJOR loss of control of the car. I loaded 200 ibs of sand evenly distributed over each of the rear wheels in the trunk and started the trip. I have driving experience in this weather for 14 years. I'm familiar with rear wheel drive vehicles, (my other car is a jaguar xfsupercharged). It was the most frustrating, dangerous, uncomfortable two and a half hour trip to go 30 miles I've ever experienced. Less than 3 " of accumulation and the tires, even with the "traction control" we're useless. We could not control the car over 25mph. There were other real wheel drive vehicles traveling at 55 mph-65mph. On hills the tires would just spin, even with the slightest application of acceleration. We got stuck multiple times. This is on the tollway! A police officer actually pulled us over, asked if we were ok and followed behind us up a hill as I exited the car and had to push the car down and to the sides to get enough traction on a slight hill to get through it. The tires were all replaced 4500 miles ago. I realize Michelin pilots are not winter tires but this was REDICULOUS. We were in the far right lane and every attempt to change lanes, which was only accomplished at 12-15 mph was difficult. Merging traffic on the tollway at that speed was incredibly dangerous, but necessary only to follow the correct roads to get back home. We had MULTIPLE fish tails which I calmly steered out of but lost control even at 15-20 mph. Prior to purchasing the car I was very careful to ask about the experience in snow. I was shown no documentation, but was reassured profusely that the vehicle was tested in snowy adverse weather conditions. Farthest thing from the truth. I'll be bringing my car into the service station in Chicago today looking for an explanation. Has anyone else experienced anything like this?

Explained wholly by your use of summer tires, would be my guess. What was the temp?

@Chris - wow, that experience is opposite of most posts on this site and I'm HIGHLY interested in what the final answer is (car problem or tire problem or both).

hmm, I wonder if the extra 200 lbs of sand in the rear threw off the traction control?
I haven't been in snow much but I have driven the MS on ice and it is very sure-footed - even without snow tires.

This has not been my experience. Was traction control somehow disabled?

I live in Iowa and we had 4 inches of snow here. I put on the tirerack dunlop special 19 inch wheel/tire combo and I had absolutely no issue whatsoever. In fact I could accelerate in places I was expecting to spin out. At most stops I was able to take off like normal and leave all the other cars far behind me. My guess is it is your tires. Winter tires really do make a difference.

Last winter I left on the 21 inch tires that came with the car and had much more trouble getting around although even then I was able to get around way better than you have described.

Also I cannot get the wheels to spin unless I am accelerating around a corner. It really does sound like you may have had the traction control turned off.


I have experienced the same thing with Michelin Pilot Sports, but it was on my real wheel drive Porsche. Those tires have no business being anywhere near snow. They are useless and dangerous in such conditions.

I have the Continental Extremes and I assumed they would be as bad as the Pilots Sports in snow so I got the 21" Pirelli snows from Tire Rack and had my SC install them last week. We had about an inch of snow here in NJ last night and I took the car for its first spin in the snow and I was impressed. I was mashing the goose pedal and but for the TC light flashing, I could hardly sense any spin. The car went exactly where I wanted it to. Did much better than my BMW550 with all seasons ever did. Even my X5 with all seasons would have been less stable in such conditions. I really need to go into heavier snow before I can make final judgement, but so far so good.

My advice would be to put the slicks in the garage and get some snows. At a minimum it will save you some inside wear on your rear Pilot Sports.


Summer tires shouldn't be driven when the temps are below 45 degrees, as they will have reduced traction. No way in hell should they be driven in the snow... that's suicide!
I purchased some aftermarket 20" wheel's and put Continental DWS tires on my "S", and haven't had any issues in the snow and/or below zero temps we've had lately.

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