When to use 4H??

Hi, I have a 2006 Isuzu Rodeo (Dmax) 3litre jeep.
I find when I use 4H for slippery Icy conditions, my car slows down to a halt while turning corners, and then it doesn't move unless I really
accelerate and push it to go!
Why is this? I read in the manual, that you use 4H for slippery road conditions, but only 4L when your really stuck..
Surely my truck should be able to operate normally (even when turning corners) in 4H??
Any ideas
Thanks
Jonathan
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The road surface that the tires are on must not be as slippery as you think or your tires are well matched to the snow/ice. When turning, the front wheels travel a longer distance than the rear. Since the transfer case turns the front and rear axles at the same speed this will result in the binding you are experiencing. All wheel drive vehicles have some kind of differential or clutch pack between the front and rear drive shafts to alleviate that binding. When that happens you'll probably find it is very difficult if not impossible to take it out of 4x4 until you drive straight for a while to unload the drive train. You can really tear up your drive train if you continue to drive it this way. You may want to shift out of 4x4 before taking a corner. Also, remember that 4x4 will help you go better, but it won't help you stop any better and can even make stopping take longer.

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Hi, THanks for the reply.
I always thought 4H would be used for better traction on icy wet roads.. (the country roads round me are fairly slippery).
So, best to stick to 2H. Will me using the 4H done any damage? it was only once or twice.

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I doubt you did any damage during just a few times. If you start to feel slipping, especially if your rear end starts to slide to one side, then put it in 4x4. Also gentle turns on icy/snow covered roads you may want to keep it in 4x4 and drive at reduced speeds for both the drive train and to maintain control. It's the tight turns (city driving at an intersection for instance) on cleared roads that will cause you grief. I don't live in snow country, but sometimes visit there, and often drive off pavement and shift into and out of 4x4 frequently as conditions merit. Also, shallow snow can provide very good traction and 2x4 works well.
One of the rare times it snowed in the mountains near my house (once or twice every 5 years or so) I went up the next night. A group of light 4x4s with little experience were trying to go up a section that had been turned to slush during the day and re-froze by the time I got there. None of them could make it. Fortunately, my truck had enough traction with 4x4, limited slip rear differential and lots of weight to make it past the ice. Once I got around the corner where they couldn't see, I got off the ice and up on to the snow about 4"-6" deep and experienced very slight drive line binding in corners. I drove the rest of the way in 2x4.
Anyway, you probably have much more experience driving in snow and ice, but I have 20+ years driving 4x4s (mostly desert and mud). Because the transfer case ties the front and rear axles together, if one wheel has good traction and another poor traction, when you use the brakes, the wheel with good traction will pull the poor traction wheel causing it to skid which in turn decreases it's traction even further, hence increasing your stopping distance and/or causing the vehicle to turn sideways. That's one reason I drive slower in 4x4, the other being that the manuals for my 4x4s list a top speed of 50MPH or there abouts. Also, because of the differentials the left front and right rear wheels (and vice-a-versa) are tied together. If you loose traction on the tires at opposite corners of your vehicle, you could get stuck which means you want to go faster when you foresee that condition to get past it and get good traction back to the tires. All-in-all 4x4s have a learning curve that isn't difficult to overcome and it's often fun.

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If the roads are _really_ slippery you won't have much trouble cornering in 4x4mode. At some stage you'll notice the car slipping although the road is not very wet or icey. I made the mistake of using 4x4 anyway and noticed I was needing 4x4 more and more... Yes, the tire tread had finally worn out.. (after 6 years) :-/

No, but just don't force it. Sometimes one forgets one is still in 4x4 in the city until you go for the parking space....then you remember! You'll need 4L very occasionally eg deep mud, steep slope etc.

--
RL

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Jonathan wrote:

Use 4H on icy (black ice) or snow packed roads. Do not use it on roads that are just wet or patchy ice. You can also use it on dirt roads, mud, sand, gravel etc.
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