Trailblazer Forum banner

1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello, new member here. I have the TB Activ. Love my car but we just had our first snow/icy event here and I put the car in awd mode. Any time we went around a corner the car would not turn. It pushed / plowed through the turn. It took us right into a curb doing a very slow turn. This was not even a major snow event for us and it really was not slick enough to be sliding through a corner like that. I am wondering if anyone else has experienced this. It has good traction when starting and stopping. It is just bad at turning.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
Hello, new member here. I have the TB Activ. Love my car but we just had our first snow/icy event here and I put the car in awd mode. Any time we went around a corner the car would not turn. It pushed / plowed through the turn. It took us right into a curb doing a very slow turn. This was not even a major snow event for us and it really was not slick enough to be sliding through a corner like that. I am wondering if anyone else has experienced this. It has good traction when starting and stopping. It is just bad at turning.
I know you don't think it's a traction issue, but it still sounds like a traction issue.

Do you have snow tires installed?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
We have good all season tires, practically new (we can normally get through one of our winters with these and no issue). What gets me is that it happened on every turn we made. It's not an occasional occurrence where one corner is more icy than another. And, I watch 3 or 4 cars in front of me make the corners with ease and no sliding.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
Assuming your TB does not have a traction issue from the tires, then what are the other alternatives? Two ideas come to mind:
  • obstructions are preventing the wheels from turning (eg a build up of snow in the wheel wells?)
    • use a flashlight and observe the wheel wells
      • take note of any obstructions
  • the power steering is not working correctly (eg turning the steering wheel does not appropriately rotate the front wheels)
    • With an observer outside of the TB, have the driver rotate the steering wheel. Do the front wheels rotate appropriately?
      • With your TB in Park:
        • with AWD off, rotate steering wheel
        • with AWD on, rotate steering wheel
      • If everything looked good when the TB was in Park:
        • Test with your TB in motion:
          • with AWD off, rotate steering wheel
          • with AWD on, rotate steering wheel
    • If the observer notes the wheels fail to turn while the driver turns the steering wheel, then you've got a problem you need to see your dealership about.
    • If the observer notes the wheels turn but the vehicle in motion does not turn, then you know the tires have insufficient traction.
My money is on insufficient traction, since that is a very common problem across all vehicles when driving in adverse winter conditions. However, the 2021 TB is a new design and there are still new issues being discovered. Maybe you are the first to experience a new issue with the steering...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Assuming your TB does not have a traction issue from the tires, then what are the other alternatives? Two ideas come to mind:
  • obstructions are preventing the wheels from turning (eg a build up of snow in the wheel wells?)
    • use a flashlight and observe the wheel wells
      • take note of any obstructions
  • the power steering is not working correctly (eg turning the steering wheel does not appropriately rotate the front wheels)
    • With an observer outside of the TB, have the driver rotate the steering wheel. Do the front wheels rotate appropriately?
      • With your TB in Park:
        • with AWD off, rotate steering wheel
        • with AWD on, rotate steering wheel
      • If everything looked good when the TB was in Park:
        • Test with your TB in motion:
          • with AWD off, rotate steering wheel
          • with AWD on, rotate steering wheel
    • If the observer notes the wheels fail to turn while the driver turns the steering wheel, then you've got a problem you need to see your dealership about.
    • If the observer notes the wheels turn but the vehicle in motion does not turn, then you know the tires have insufficient traction.
My money is on insufficient traction, since that is a very common problem across all vehicles when driving in adverse winter conditions. However, the 2021 TB is a new design and there are still new issues being discovered. Maybe you are the first to experience a new issue with the steering...
Thank you, I will try this and see what we figure out. I appreciate your suggestions. Hoping it's just traction.
 

·
Registered
2021 Chevy Trailblazer RS AWD
Joined
·
103 Posts
AWD is primarily FWD with a little assist from the rears. The front tires are asked to do a lot: 100% of the steering and 75% of the forward motion. If you try to accelerate and turn at the same time, plowing straight away is the outcome. The rear tires pushing straight ahead exacerbates the situation.

Throttle control is very, very important. Too much and the tires will slip, providing no turning capability. Too little throttle and the engine is trying to slow the vehicle, slip the tires and no steering. Once the tires loose traction they will not turn, brake or accelerate.

I am fortunate that I now winter away from snow, but I’ve had years (decades) of winter driving. I hate FWD for the reasons outlined above. What I have learned is that clicking the gear shifter into neutral when you want maximum braking or turning makes a HUGE difference. It uncouples the engine and disconnects the accel and decel from the equation.

What the original poster (op) is describing is very normal and there is nothing wrong with the car in my opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
AWD is primarily FWD with a little assist from the rears. The front tires are asked to do a lot: 100% of the steering and 75% of the forward motion. If you try to accelerate and turn at the same time, plowing straight away is the outcome. The rear tires pushing straight ahead exacerbates the situation.

Throttle control is very, very important. Too much and the tires will slip, providing no turning capability. Too little throttle and the engine is trying to slow the vehicle, slip the tires and no steering. Once the tires loose traction they will not turn, brake or accelerate.

I am fortunate that I now winter away from snow, but I’ve had years (decades) of winter driving. I hate FWD for the reasons outlined above. What I have learned is that clicking the gear shifter into neutral when you want maximum braking or turning makes a HUGE difference. It uncouples the engine and disconnects the accel and decel from the equation.

What the original poster (op) is describing is very normal and there is nothing wrong with the car in my opinion.
Thank you for the explanation. That is probably what is going on then. Much appreciated.
 

·
Registered
2021Trailblazer RS AWD Scarlet Red Metallic
Joined
·
398 Posts
Did your traction control (TC) light blink when this was happening? When traction control kicks in it will apply the brakes to the wheels that are spinning which transfers power to the wheels with more traction. It works ok in snow, but icy conditions cause more problems and you end up with loss of traction. I can see how throwing it in N would gain back control, but that obviously comes from experience and would recommend caution if you've never done it before.

It's also important to remember AWD is only 2WD at best, meaning only 1 front tire and and 1 rear tire can have full power because we have open front & rear differentials. From what I've read the Trailblazer has a 50/50 torque split and not 75/25, however the front tires will still have more traction because of the weight up front.

If you already have experience driving in snowy/icy conditions and believe something isn't right it can't hurt to have the dealership take a look. This is a new vehicle with unknown problems so it's entirely possible your traction/stability control isn't working right. It's always better to be safe if something seems off.
 

·
Super Moderator
2021 TB Zues Bronze Activ
Joined
·
430 Posts
We have snow coming the next two days. I will get to see how this ACTIVE model works. Could it have been the OP had the TB is sport mode?
 
  • Like
Reactions: ZR2LIFE

·
Registered
2021Trailblazer RS AWD Scarlet Red Metallic
Joined
·
398 Posts
No, definitely AWD mode. I even double checked thinking that might be it.
You can turn sport mode on and off while in AWD. I wouldn't use sport mode in any bad weather conditions. The sport mode button is next to the AWD, traction control buttons in the center console.
 

·
Super Moderator
2021 TB Zues Bronze Activ
Joined
·
430 Posts
So hitting the traction control button turns if OFF correct.
It still makes no sense that AWD is just one front and 1 rear wheel moving you along.
 

·
Registered
2021Trailblazer RS AWD Scarlet Red Metallic
Joined
·
398 Posts
An open differential only transfers power to one axle. You can test this on one axle by having one wheel on the ground and one off the ground. You can spin the tire that's off the ground fairly easily even though the other tire doesn't move. A locking or limited slip either partially or completely connects the axles together which transfers power to both wheels instead of only one.

We have a very basic AWD system so we only have 1WD while in FWD and 2WD while in AWD. I know it sounds strange and maybe disappointing, lol, but that's what we have. Advanced AWD systems have limited slip units in both front and rear axles, plus they have torque vectoring which allows the transfer case to vary the torque split between the front and rear axles.
 

·
Super Moderator
2021 TB Zues Bronze Activ
Joined
·
430 Posts
So is it the same tire front and back when in AWD that moves or if it is slipping the other side tries to spin?
 

·
Registered
2021 Chevy Trailblazer RS AWD
Joined
·
103 Posts
Power distributed through a differential always goes to the path of least resistance (the least traction). With one front tire on dry pavement and the other front on ice...power goes to the tire on ice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
It's 100% traction and the way the weight distribution is handled in the TB. It's center of gravity is about where your stomach is which is higher then it should be. You'll need good snow tires or "actually good" all seasons the OEM all seasons are garbage at best for traction new doesn't mean good.
 

·
Super Moderator
2021 TB Zues Bronze Activ
Joined
·
430 Posts
So this AWD vehicle is no better than a "normal car".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
So this AWD vehicle is no better than a "normal car".
In my opinion, my FWD Camry out performed this in the snow. We got rid of the camry because we moved and now live on a dirt road that can get very mushy and rutted. We wanted something with a higher clearance than a car. It does good most of the time, even on the muddy roads but pretty poor on snow. I am thinking a new set of tires are in my future just to rule out traction issues.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
The AWD system has limitations, but it also has benefits.

...off-roading isn't just about rock crawling. What about those situations where the road is full of holes and you end up getting one or two wheels off the ground? No, the Trailblazer isn't good at those, either. There's two ways to handle those situations: articulation and differential locks, and the Trailblazer doesn't have either. The wheels don't have a lot of travel, so they can't drop down into holes to maintain contact with the ground. Chevrolet's ability to package a torsion beam, a rear differential, and a Watt's link under the rear of the car is impressive, but torsion beams are pretty useless off-road.

One wheel in a hole is no problem, as the other three have plenty of grip. Two wheels? Especially at opposite corners of the vehicle? Bad news. The Trailblazer has open differentials front and rear, so any time a wheel loses traction it spins like crazy while the wheel on the other side of the axle goes nowhere. If just one of the four wheels is doing that, the other axle can pull the vehicle out. If a wheel on each axle is in the air or just plain loses traction, you're in trouble. Some vehicles solve this problem by using the brakes to stop the loose wheels from spinning and force the wheels with traction to turn. The Trailblazer kind of does that, but half-heartedly at best. When we got in these situations, fluctuating the gas and letting the vehicle rock a bit eventually got it free with a bit of help from the brakes, but more from plain old momentum.


Open Differential
The humble open center differential—simple, reliable, cheap—has been driven to near extinction by electromechanical alternatives that offer more control and greater efficiency. An open differential, a variation of the common planetary gearset found in automatic transmissions, splits a single torque input (the transmission) into two outputs (the front and rear axles) but allows them to rotate at different speeds. Yet open diffs have no means of limiting the speed variation between the two outputs, so torque is free to follow the path of least resistance. Hence, it’s possible for a vehicle to become stuck with one wheel spinning furiously while the others remain stationary. Most modern vehicles compensate with a cheap but effective combination of software and existing hardware that uses the brakes to create a reaction torque at the slipping wheel, closing the path of least resistance and thus increasing the torque applied to the wheels with more traction.

Open differentials also can be paired with driver-selectable lockers, as in the Mercedes-Benz G-class, which can lock together both the front and rear axles, as well as the left and right wheels. A locked differential is akin to having no differential at all, establishing a solid link connecting axles and wheels to the transmission. But the drivetrain will bind and buck once the vehicle reaches high-grip surfaces such as paved roads, where it needs its differentials back for the reason they were invented: to compensate for significant differences in wheel speeds while turning.

[+] Simple, inexpensive
[-] Limited control over torque distribution
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Top