AWD Concerns Before We Buy-Steep Gravel Driveway - Chevy Traverse Forum: Chevrolet Traverse Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 07:09 AM Thread Starter
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AWD Concerns Before We Buy-Steep Gravel Driveway

What a great forum you all have here! I have searched for two days and not really found a concrete answer about the AWD feature, so I hope you won't find my questions mundane.

We have always had to have SUV's because of the 4WD, we have a VERY steep graveled driveway. Any FWD or 2WD vehicle starts spinning half way up so it must be driven hard to have enough umph to make it to the top. I begged my husband for a Uplander last year and when he finally caved, we were ready to sell it in a few months because of the nascar like way we had to come home every day and the fact that our driveway chewed thru the tires within months.

So I have went back to driving our old faithful Tahoe ('99 with 180K miles and still ticking) and have discovered the Traverse. I LOVE the look of it and the features, but there is that ultimate question of will it handle the driveway? I want to be able to go slowly up it so that rocks don't fly everywhere and ding the paint and chew the tires up. I have concerns about the AWD doing this?

I know the best way is going to be go get one and test drive it, but I just thought I would ask first if anyone has any first hand experience.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 08:44 AM
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Re: AWD Concerns Before We Buy-Steep Gravel Driveway

Hi
I have a steep driveway and so far so good. I made it ok last winter with my 2009 AWD Traverse just fine but like you I had concerns because I had a 4 wheel drive Trailblazer before I got the Traverse. I must say I like the way the Traverse handles the snow just as good.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 08:51 AM
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Re: AWD Concerns Before We Buy-Steep Gravel Driveway

You will have to try it and see. They are AWD but they rely on the front wheels to do most of the work. I think it's a 90 % up front 10% at the rear but i may be off so someone may know the exact #.

Most AWD work this way. There are exceptions aka the Subaru's.

Now I will say I had to climb a steep gravel road in my FWD Traverse on vacation this year and with the traction control it did quite well. The only spinning it did was when I was pulling the camper in and then it was not bad.

Remember these things have allot of weight to throw around and a very wide and long wheel base.

The best thing is to test drive one. I know for a fact the Uplanders AWD is not to good on steep inclines. There is a post with a very good video on AWD somewhere on this site or the Acaida site I will try to find it.

2013 Traverse FWD LT1&nbsp; Black Granite<br />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; All-Star Edition.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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Re: AWD Concerns Before We Buy-Steep Gravel Driveway

Quote:
Originally Posted by whoadogwhoa
Hi
I have a steep driveway and so far so good. I made it ok last winter with my 2009 AWD Traverse just fine but like you I had concerns because I had a 4 wheel drive Trailblazer before I got the Traverse. I must say I like the way the Traverse handles the snow just as good.
Thank you all for your responses. So in snow and ice it did well also?

Now we are scrambling to find a '10 model to get the 0% financing, it seems they are scarse now and most dealerships only have '11's now.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 10:26 AM
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Re: AWD Concerns Before We Buy-Steep Gravel Driveway

The AWD system on the traverse is a "fluid clutch" which is different than the oldskool 4WD "locked" 4wd systems of other model lines.

This is one reason that we actually opted for only front wheel drive, since we do live in the NorthEast and do get a considerable amount of snow in the wintertime, I would have preferred to get a 4wd option, or none at all. With all the weight of the engine above the front drive wheels, and reviews from several friends in my area who also own Lambda platform FWD trucks, I chose to go FWD instead of AWD for this purchase. Personal preference, that's all.

From an article online (facebook) I found: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?not...9457363&ref=mf


Quote:
The Traverse all-wheel-drive system actively manages torque distribution between the front and rear axles. Rotational differences between the front and rear axle cause clutch plates in the center differential to engage and transfer torque to the wheels with the best traction. Thus, more slip at one end means more power is transferred to the other. Because it is a “hands-off” system, there is no need for driver intervention. Unlike the four-wheel-drive system you find on vehicles like the Chevy Tahoe, however, the AWD system on the Traverse works in snow, rain and on dirt roads without being engaged to drive each wheel all the time.
So for that being said, you will probably climb the driveway with ease, however, may need to consider turning off stability control / traction control to gain the momentum needed to power to the top. Couldn't hurt to see if you can test drive one, take it home, and see if it meets the challenge. Of course, be very careful not to throw stones with a new test drive truck, but at least you'll get the feel for how it's ability to climb your unnerving driveway will be.

All that being said, I know you have probably heard this a lot, but have you considered paving it or removing the stones and even putting two "tire width" strips of asphalt/concrete for the tires to grip without danger? I know that asphalt is much cheaper than concrete, but with all those stones around, you are making it more dangerous for (self admitted) pitting paint when stones fly when losing traction, or worse, some sort of accident related to a visitor or family member who may not be well versed in driving up a slippery loose stone driveway like yours?

--zep

--zepcom<br />* 2011 Cyber Grey Metallic Traverse LT1 FWD.&nbsp; *<br />&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; Ebony Cloth, 2-2-3 seats, Remote Start, Manual HVAC, craptastic-Ultrasonic & Inspiring-Gentex-rearview-Camera, Bluetooth, Factory Trailering "Provisions" which awards "performance shift" button. <br /><br />* 2009.1 G8GT "the grocery getter"
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 02:03 PM
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Re: AWD Concerns Before We Buy-Steep Gravel Driveway

Mine, being a FWD, is not worth a poop on steep gravel driveways. We were house hunting, live in the north GA mountains and the gravel driveways made our Traverse look pretty silly. I should have gotten the AWD. I had a 4x4 '02' Trailblazer and that vehicle went anywhere. Not so, in the FWD Traverse.

Bob

2009 Silver Ice LS FWD<br />Built 6/3/09<br />1951 Chevy Styleline Deluxe 2 dr. Mayland Black<br />Built 7/1951&nbsp;&nbsp; <br />1951 Chevy Sport Coupe 2 dr. Trophy Blue<br />Built 12/1950<br /><br />"Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like" .... Will Rogers
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 02:07 PM
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Re: AWD Concerns Before We Buy-Steep Gravel Driveway

Loose or packed gravel?
post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 02:13 PM
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Re: AWD Concerns Before We Buy-Steep Gravel Driveway

Quote:
Originally Posted by lfyoung
Any FWD or 2WD vehicle starts spinning half way up
I'd bet "loose".

+1 for getting quotes on getting it paved.

--zepcom<br />* 2011 Cyber Grey Metallic Traverse LT1 FWD.&nbsp; *<br />&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; Ebony Cloth, 2-2-3 seats, Remote Start, Manual HVAC, craptastic-Ultrasonic & Inspiring-Gentex-rearview-Camera, Bluetooth, Factory Trailering "Provisions" which awards "performance shift" button. <br /><br />* 2009.1 G8GT "the grocery getter"
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 02:16 PM
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Re: AWD Concerns Before We Buy-Steep Gravel Driveway

Quote:
Originally Posted by AA/78U
Loose or packed gravel?
Loose gravel.

Bob

2009 Silver Ice LS FWD<br />Built 6/3/09<br />1951 Chevy Styleline Deluxe 2 dr. Mayland Black<br />Built 7/1951&nbsp;&nbsp; <br />1951 Chevy Sport Coupe 2 dr. Trophy Blue<br />Built 12/1950<br /><br />"Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like" .... Will Rogers
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 02:18 PM
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Re: AWD Concerns Before We Buy-Steep Gravel Driveway

Quote:
Originally Posted by zepcom
I'd bet "loose".

+1 for getting quotes on getting it paved.
Getting it paved is the best solution.

Bob

2009 Silver Ice LS FWD<br />Built 6/3/09<br />1951 Chevy Styleline Deluxe 2 dr. Mayland Black<br />Built 7/1951&nbsp;&nbsp; <br />1951 Chevy Sport Coupe 2 dr. Trophy Blue<br />Built 12/1950<br /><br />"Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like" .... Will Rogers
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