Driving on slippery surfaces with AWD vehicles

Driving on slippery surfaces with AWD vehicles  - All-wheel drive (AWD) system (if equipped) - Driving - Lincoln MKS Owners Manual - Lincoln MKS

AWD vehicles are specially equipped for driving on sand, snow, mud and rough roads and have operating characteristics that are somewhat different from conventional vehicles, both on and off the highway.

When driving at slow speeds off-highway under high outside temperatures, use a low gear when possible. Lower gear operation will maximize the engine and transmission cooling capability.

Under severe operating conditions, the A/C may cycle on and off to protect overheating of the engine.

Basic operating principles

Drive slower in strong crosswinds which can affect the normal steering characteristics of your vehicle.
Be extremely careful when driving on pavement made slippery by loose sand, water, gravel, snow or ice.

If your vehicle goes off the edge of the pavement

If your vehicle goes off the edge of the pavement, slow down, but avoid severe brake application, ease the vehicle back onto the pavement only after reducing your speed. Do not turn the steering wheel too sharply while returning to the road surface.
It may be safer to stay on the apron or shoulder of the road and slow down gradually before returning to the pavement. You may lose control if you do not slow down or if you turn the steering wheel too sharply or abruptly.
It often may be less risky to strike small objects, such as highway reflectors, with minor damage to your vehicle rather than attempt a sudden return to the pavement which could cause the vehicle to slide sideways out of control or rollover. Remember, your safety and the safety of others should be your primary concern.

If your vehicle gets stuck

If your vehicle gets stuck in mud or snow it may be rocked out by shifting between forward and reverse gears, stopping between shifts, in a steady pattern. Press lightly on the accelerator in each gear.

Your vehicle is equipped with traction control. It may be beneficial to disengage the traction control system while attempting to rock the vehicle.

Do not rock the vehicle if the engine is not at normal operating temperature or damage to the transmission may occur.

Do not rock the vehicle for more than a few minutes or damage to the transmission and tires may occur or the engine may overheat.

WARNING: Always set the parking brake fully and make sure the gearshift is latched in P (Park). Switch the ignition off and remove the key whenever you leave your vehicle.

WARNING: If the parking brake is fully released, but the brake warning lamp remains illuminated, the brakes may not be working properly. See your authorized dealer.

WARNING: Do not spin the wheels at over 35 mph (56 km/h).

The tires may fail and injure a passenger or bystander.

Emergency maneuvers

In an unavoidable emergency situation where a sudden sharp turn must be made, remember to avoid over-driving your vehicle (i.e., turn the steering wheel only as rapidly and as far as required to avoid the emergency). Excessive steering will result in less vehicle control, not more. Additionally, smooth variations of the accelerator and/or brake pedal pressure should be utilized if changes in vehicle speed are called for. Avoid abrupt steering, acceleration or braking which could result in an increased risk of loss of vehicle control, vehicle rollover and/or personal injury. Use all available road surface to return the vehicle to a safe direction of travel.
In the event of an emergency stop, avoid skidding the tires and do not attempt any sharp steering wheel movements.
If the vehicle goes from one type of surface to another (i.e., from concrete to gravel) there will be a change in the way the vehicle responds to a maneuver (steering, acceleration or braking). Again, avoid these abrupt inputs.

AWD systems (if equipped)

AWD uses all four wheels to power the vehicle. This increases traction, enabling you to drive over terrain and road conditions that a conventional two-wheel drive vehicle cannot.

Sand

When driving over sand, try to keep all four wheels on the most solid area of the trail. Avoid reducing the tire pressures but shift to a lower gear and drive steadily through the terrain. Apply the accelerator slowly and avoid spinning the wheels.

When driving at slow speeds in deep sand under high outside temperatures, use a low gear when possible. Lower gear operation will maximize the engine and transmission cooling capability.

Under severe operating conditions, the A/C may cycle on and off to protect overheating of the engine.

Avoid excessive speed because vehicle momentum can work against you and cause the vehicle to become stuck to the point that assistance may be required from another vehicle. Remember, you may be able to back out the way you came if you proceed with caution.

Mud and water

If you must drive through high water, drive slowly. Traction or brake capability may be limited.

When driving through water, determine the depth; avoid water higher than the bottom of the wheel rims (if possible) and proceed slowly. If the ignition system gets wet, the vehicle may stall.

Once through water, always try the brakes. Wet brakes do not stop the vehicle as effectively as dry brakes. Drying can be improved by moving your vehicle slowly while applying light pressure on the brake pedal.

Be cautious of sudden changes in vehicle speed or direction when you are driving in mud. Even AWD vehicles can lose traction in slick mud. As when you are driving over sand, apply the accelerator slowly and avoid spinning your wheels. If the vehicle does slide, steer in the direction of the slide until you regain control of the vehicle.

If the engine, transmission, AWD system components or axles are submerged in water, their fluids should be checked and changed, if necessary.

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