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For obvious reasons, I got a lot of snow driving experience this past week, since I've only had my jeep for 6 months. The only time I got stuck in the snow was when I had the jeep in 4L and my theory is that the snow collected under the jeep and lifted it up so there was no traction. ESCOFF is also a factor with 4L, so I was wondering if it is just better to keep in 4H when driving through streets that have 2 feet of snow that haven't been cleared, particularly when you need a parking spot in the city and only 4WD will get you one. I'm also thinking 4H is better, since ESC puts more torque on the wheel or wheels that are not spinning. What do you think?

Thanks, Newbie
 

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What tires for you have?

I found the Rubicon OE MTs to be absolutely useless in more than six inches of snow. It won't matter if you are in 4-H, 4-L, 2WD or locked...your tires will just spin like they are on vacation.

In accumulated snow I leave the Jeep in 4-H until I start to feel the tires telling me I should be pulling another lever or pressing a button.
 

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No need for 4lo on the roadways. Even with a decent amount of snow. I suppose if you were having a particularly hard time maintaining a cautious speed you could give it a try. But 4hi is where you'll want to be. I found the MT's fine in snow. The deeper the better. Really deep snow behaves a lot like mud which is where the tire excels. If anything I think the tires slip around a little with a light layer of snow. Which is why I usually go into 4hi even with a dusting of snow. So I can take off from a light without the rear end kicking out. And leave everyone in the dust because I like to drive at a cautious speed. But not in a group. So if I can get out ahead a little bit. Then I can drive a nice comfortable speed and still have room for errors.
 

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I use 4H 99% of the time. If I have to use 4L I'm pushing through and I use lockers anyway so it's a non-issue. I've never had a problem with my MT's. I guess I'm used to them or I don't know any better. Either way, they seem to work. There isn't a right or wrong answer. Choose what works best for the specific conditions based upon your experience. Sometimes you make that decision also based upon trial and error.
 

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What tires and model? Our Sahara with LSD and the stock Dueler A/T tires worked great when we were driving in 14" of unplowed snow in 4H. We never mess with the ESC so I guess it is always on.
 

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Thanks all, so the whether or not ESC is on or off is not a factor in the snow?
ESC is dangerous in the snow. I had to pull my J6 fuse when it snowed a few days ago because if I had left it on, it would have gotten me into a crash.

If you are in 4H, you can just hold the traction control button to disable ESC. You will still have the brake lock differential function active, which will improve traction in the snow, but if you pull the J6 fuse, you will not have the brake lock differential function. The only reason I pulled J6 is because I was driving around in 2H a lot of the time, and there is no other way to disable ESC in 2H.
 

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Depends on the snow.

Normally 4H, but at times you use 4L (see owners manual)
 

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ESC is dangerous in the snow. I had to pull my J6 fuse when it snowed a few days ago because if I had left it on, it would have gotten me into a crash.

If you are in 4H, you can just hold the traction control button to disable ESC. You will still have the brake lock differential function active, which will improve traction in the snow, but if you pull the J6 fuse, you will not have the brake lock differential function. The only reason I pulled J6 is because I was driving around in 2H a lot of the time, and there is no other way to disable ESC in 2H.
ESC Is designed to help not be a hindrance, I doubt it would of killed you. Learn how to drive with it on.
 

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ESC Is designed to help not be a hindrance, I doubt it would of killed you. Learn how to drive with it on.
Did I say it would kill me? No, I said it would have gotten me into a crash, which is 100% true. There were several times where ESC was slingling me into the opposite lane, and if there had been a car there, I would have crashed.

ESC is only designed to work on pavement, just like ABS. Yes, I can drive with it on, but I would have to be overly cautious. There would be no point in me having a Wrangler because I would have to drive like I have a Prius.
 

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4 Hi on road, 4 Low offroad is the overall quick recommendation.

I also hate ESC and traction control when driving in snow. I have had it correct a minor slide, but also had it induce sliding as well, and also cut my momentum. False sense of security, and not being able to spin or use momentum to my advantage.
 

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My rubicon with stock MTs were great in 20+ inches of snow. Zero problems. Amazing traction!
 

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As a basic rule, in snow wheel spin is a bad idea. 4LO promotes wheel spin. To reduce the chance of wheel spin, use 4HI and start in 2nd gear.
 

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Tires, snow traction comes by packing all the sipes and fine tread in a winter grip with snow. As you roll ahead that snow packs against the snow on the ground and sticks like a snowball. Learn how to use that traction by never spinning a tire and you will go way further than any other combination.... MTs are like slicks, no sipes, no fine tread. Lots of guys who have never driven on "winter" tires will deny it but buy a set of "winter" tires after a snow storm... you will never again spread the myth that MTs are "great"? winter tires.

Here are a set of stock size winter grips. I knew this would be a great photo so I stopped, took the photo, got back in, backed up 5 feet and pulled ahead to the road. No MT would do that.
 

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You want to use 4Hi for the most part unless you need the extra torque multiplication from the transfer case, like in really deep snow, 4Lo can you get stuck in 2-3" of street snow, mainly because the tires can slip too fast, and build ice underneath the surface, especially if you don't have tires with enough grip performance in them for wintry conditions.
Found out the hard way with tires like Firestone Destination MT's, or Hanhook MT's, BFG MT's, etc, etc, in previous vehicles, they all suck for winter driving unless the snow is dense and packed deep where the thread blocks can at least scoop out all the white stuff, but because they have no sipes at all, they will build ice a lot faster too with every revolution if you're spinning them fast, which is a lot easier to do in 4lo.

Look at the principle of 2wd vehicles that use 2nd gear start for winter driving, you can do the same in 4hi, providing you have enough power to move you wheels, no need for 4low unless you're plowing snow or driving through some dense $hit, and you'll know, because even in 1st gear, the engine won't have enough power to move the Jeep, and it will feel like if you were trying to climb a road in the wrong gear.
 

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I had no problem getting up here in 4H with MT's.



 
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