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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Register your Fusion Hybrid at the official Ford authorized registry here.


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Tire snow cables


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67 replies to this topic

#21 OFFLINE   mwr

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 11:03 AM

I just sent this to my Ford dealer salesman, along with Happy Thanksgiving, telling him how much I like the car, etc....
---------------------
There is an issue that needs to be addressed. I've had no success at all with the Ford rep on fordfusionhybridforum.com on this issue. She repeated the Ford line and then passed me off to "your dealer". So here we are.

The issue is that the car's manual says "Do not use snow chains or cables on this vehicle as they may cause damage to your vehicle". You live here and probably know well that if you want to drive into the Sierras in the winter, to ski, go to Tahoe, or just to go East which takes you through the Sierras, you often need chains (or cables) to get past the CHP checkpoints (in addition to the safety factor). So what are Fusion Hybrid owners to do, stay at home or rent another car? I don't think Ford would like to be known as the car company that tells owners to "stay at home or rent another car".


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#22 OFFLINE   lolder

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 12:48 PM

Do you have any support for saying it's related to the construction of the eCVT?

 

I bought this car to use for all of my driving, as I've done with cars all my life. That includes driving in or through the mountains in the winter here in California as millions of other people do with their cars. I don't consider your "Use another vehicle" helpful, although Ford officially seems to leave me no other choice. I'm certainly not finished with this yet.

All cars are not suitable for driving in all conditions and never were. Steep snow covered mountains are a prime example. Four wheel drive SUV's would be my choice there.

In the eCVT Ford/Toyota transmissions, the large traction motor/generator is permanently geared to the front wheels. It is a variable speed/frequency brushless three-phase motor precisely controlled by heavy duty solid state electronics. These control whether it is used as a motor or a generator ( regenerative braking ) and to what degree. When a wheel slips and jerks repeatedly with chains or cables, I expect it might be very difficult for the control system and the traction control to sort out. That's just a guess.

There are a lot of sensors on wheels today that don't take kindly to flailing chains.



#23 OFFLINE   mwr

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 02:43 PM

All cars are not suitable for driving in all conditions and never were. Steep snow covered mountains are a prime example. Four wheel drive SUV's would be my choice there.

In the eCVT Ford/Toyota transmissions, the large traction motor/generator is permanently geared to the front wheels. It is a variable speed/frequency brushless three-phase motor precisely controlled by heavy duty solid state electronics. These control whether it is used as a motor or a generator ( regenerative braking ) and to what degree. When a wheel slips and jerks repeatedly with chains or cables, I expect it might be very difficult for the control system and the traction control to sort out. That's just a guess.

There are a lot of sensors on wheels today that don't take kindly to flailing chains.

I'm not talking about or thinking about extreme conditions. Simply ordinary conditions that are to be expected a significant part of each winter here. Steep mountains? No, interstate highways through the mountains.


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#24 OFFLINE   FordService

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 02:47 PM

If you need an official reply, send Rachel, our Ford Rep, a PM with this question.
 
If I was going to use a tire snow traction device the Michelin's I linked would be my choice.  Or, get snow tires.

 
Thanks for suggesting me, GrySql!  :dance:
 

I did PM Rachel, who sent me a standard Ford response, copied below:
 
"This is true; chains and cables have not been approved for use on your FFH. Pages 178 and 184 in your Owner's Manual have tips for if your vehicle gets stuck in the snow. Page 305 also suggests installing snow tires for improved traction when driving in areas with sustained periods of snow or icy driving conditions.
 ...

 
I've checked all my resources, mwr. As the Owner's Manual states that snow chains or cables are not approved, I'm not able to suggest any modifications or other alternatives.
 
I understand snow tires are not a viable option for you; I recommend your dealer as they may have more specific information.  :) 
 
Rachel

#25 OFFLINE   GrySql

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 04:26 PM

 
I'm not able to suggest any modifications or other alternatives.

I recommend your dealer as they may have more specific information.
 Rachel

I like this alternative that I saw on another forum:

Will Ford send a tow truck to transport our FFH all over the CA snow resort, or pay for a taxi/limo to take us to the resort, and if not, pay for the extra days at the hotel until the CA 'chains required' signs were down? ;)

-

Meanwhile, for the California Dealer's point of view, I just dropped this issue on the desk of my SA at my favorite Dealership. I explained about CA's 'chain' rule vs snow tires, etc, etc.

After that discussion I asked this simple question: What is Ford's response to having sold FFH's to people in CA mountain communities where chains are often required. 

 

If CA Ford FFH owners cannot drive their new $30k+ cars for part of the year because of some driveline or tire clearance issue, Ford better have a reasonable solution.

The SA is researching this issue.


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#26 OFFLINE   mwr

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 04:37 PM

I like this alternative that I saw on another forum:

Will Ford send a tow truck to transport our FFH all over the CA snow resort, or pay for a taxi/limo to take us to the resort, and if not, pay for the extra days at the hotel until the CA 'chains required' signs were down? ;)

-

Meanwhile, for the California Dealer's point of view, I just dropped this issue on the desk of my SA at my favorite Dealership. I explained about CA's 'chain' rule vs snow tires, etc, etc.

After that discussion I asked this simple question: What is Ford's response to having sold FFH's to people in CA mountain communities where chains are often required. 

 

If CA Ford FFH owners cannot drive their new $30k+ cars for part of the year because of some driveline or tire clearance issue, Ford better have a reasonable solution.

The SA is researching this issue.

What forum was that?


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#27 OFFLINE   GrySql

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 06:10 PM

I was all over, FF, Explorer, Edge - I forget which one said that. 

Why our OM prohibits snow chains is what needs to be addressed, if it is the AdvanceTrac system or the HF-35 eCVT we'd like to know.

 

Take a look at this 2013 gas Fusion with 17" tires and snow chains. Of course it doesn't have an eCVT.

 


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Custom ordered, build date: 11/30/12, delivered: 12/12/12 - Sold: 09/05/15
 

#28 OFFLINE   FordService

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 09:59 AM

I was all over, FF, Explorer, Edge - I forget which one said that. 
Why our OM prohibits snow chains is what needs to be addressed, if it is the AdvanceTrac system or the HF-35 eCVT we'd like to know.
 
Take a look at this 2013 gas Fusion with 17" tires and snow chains. Of course it doesn't have an eCVT.

 
I reached out to my Hybrid Specialist, GrySql. This is the information he shared with me:

The Fusion Hybrid vehicle is equipped with all-season tires designed to operate in snowy conditions. Any tire replacement should only be with like tires of the specifications stated on the TREAD Label found in the drivers door post area.

Vehicle owners should consult their Owners Manual for complete information on this topic.

Traction aid devices are not approved for use on this vehicle because the Hybrid powertrain cannot accommodate the additional strain introduced by these types of devices.
 
Rachel
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#29 OFFLINE   mwr

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 10:16 AM

The Fusion Hybrid vehicle is equipped with all-season tires designed to operate in snowy conditions.

Traction aid devices are not approved for use on this vehicle because the Hybrid powertrain cannot accommodate the additional strain introduced by these types of devices.

In California and, I suspect, in many other places, you simply can't drive past the Highway Patrol chain checkpoints without approved chains or cables (unless you're in a four-wheel drive vehicle). Which leaves us unable to use our FFHs for a significant part of our normal driving if that driving includes winter in the Sierras, which it does for many people. These $30,000 cars were sold to us with no mention of that serious limitation.


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#30 OFFLINE   hermans

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 10:26 AM

"Traction aid devices are not approved for use on this vehicle because the Hybrid powertrain cannot accommodate the additional strain introduced by these types of devices."

 

If this is the case, Ford should be advertising that fact and printing it in their FFH and MKZh brochures. I look at this from a legal viewpoint. There are many areas in the US and Canada that require chains (as pointed out by other posters in this thread). If I lived in such an area and found out, after the fact, that Ford does not recommend anything beyond snow tires, but the local laws do and it was not disclosed anywhere in their advertising, Ford and I would be doing the "legal dance." Most people base their buying decision in advertising and then informing themselves about the product. I'll bet the dealers will tell you that you can use tire chains on the hybrids during periods of heavy snow.

 

I will test that theory out in the next several days and report what I find.


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#31 OFFLINE   GrySql

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 11:27 AM

 
I reached out to my Hybrid Specialist, GrySql. This is the information he shared with me:

The Fusion Hybrid vehicle is equipped with all-season tires designed to operate in snowy conditions. Any tire replacement should only be with like tires of the specifications stated on the TREAD Label found in the drivers door post area.

Vehicle owners should consult their Owners Manual for complete information on this topic.

Traction aid devices are not approved for use on this vehicle because the Hybrid powertrain cannot accommodate the additional strain introduced by these types of devices.
 
Rachel

Thanks Rachel, I'm glad I have another car that can be 'chained up'.  I'm looking forward to what hermans finds out. 

My Dealer's SA is strangely silent so far, guess I'll call him again.

 

Added:  I sent a question to eTrailer's website last week about chains and their reply today was the Owner's Manual is the authority, they don't sell chains for FFH's.


Edited by GrySql, 01 December 2014 - 12:04 PM.

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#32 OFFLINE   GrySql

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 12:35 PM

"Traction aid devices are not approved for use on this vehicle because the Hybrid powertrain cannot accommodate the additional strain introduced by these types of devices."

 

If this is the case, Ford should be advertising that fact and printing it in their FFH and MKZh brochures. I look at this from a legal viewpoint. There are many areas in the US and Canada that require chains (as pointed out by other posters in this thread). If I lived in such an area and found out, after the fact, that Ford does not recommend anything beyond snow tires, but the local laws do and it was not disclosed anywhere in their advertising, Ford and I would be doing the "legal dance." Most people base their buying decision in advertising and then informing themselves about the product. I'll bet the dealers will tell you that you can use tire chains on the hybrids during periods of heavy snow.

 

I will test that theory out in the next several days and report what I find.

Just for fun I looked in the 2015 Accord Hybrid OM and the 2013 Camry Hybrid OM and they both can use snow chains. 


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Custom ordered, build date: 11/30/12, delivered: 12/12/12 - Sold: 09/05/15
 

#33 OFFLINE   Waldo

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 12:36 PM

In California and, I suspect, in many other places, you simply can't drive past the Highway Patrol chain checkpoints without approved chains or cables (unless you're in a four-wheel drive vehicle). Which leaves us unable to use our FFHs for a significant part of our normal driving if that driving includes winter in the Sierras, which it does for many people. These $30,000 cars were sold to us with no mention of that serious limitation.

 

It was mentioned in the owner's guide which was available to you before you made your purchase.  Did you specifically ask the salesperson if it was compatible with chains?  If one is regularly driving through areas requiring chains, I would expect that question to be asked or researched before a purchase.  There are many, many vehicles for sale today that are not compatible with snow chains.  Even the regular Fusion can only use snow chains with the 16in wheels, for all other wheels sizes (which is about 95% of all Fusions), Ford does not recommend chains.



#34 OFFLINE   mwr

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 01:37 PM

It was mentioned in the owner's guide which was available to you before you made your purchase.  Did you specifically ask the salesperson if it was compatible with chains?  If one is regularly driving through areas requiring chains, I would expect that question to be asked or researched before a purchase. 

I couldn't disagree with you more.


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#35 OFFLINE   Waldo

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 02:42 PM

I couldn't disagree with you more.

 

I understand, but where do you draw the line?  Does Ford need to point out that you can't fit 3 suitcases in the trunk because of the HVB?  Does Ford need to mention that the low rolling resistance tires don't stop as well as other tires?  Does Ford need to point out that using the heater in the FFH reduces fuel economy by a bigger percentage than in a conventional car?

There are a lot of things any given car can't do, is it really up to the salesperson / Ford, to point out every one of them to every customer before every purchase?


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#36 OFFLINE   GrySql

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 05:59 PM

Just talked to the Service Manager at my Dealer and he verified that their answer is the same as the Owners Manual.

A customer would have to ask that specific question to find out about the snow cable policy.
The Sales Dept sure wouldn't voluntarily offer any info that might stop a sale.
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#37 OFFLINE   mwr

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 06:22 PM

My salesman took this issue to their service department and came back to me with the following: I spoke with service and the car is recommended to use cables if anything at all. Chains are not recommended at all. Other than that, taking the car to the snow should be fine

 

So now their service department recommendation conflicts with the manual. I then asked for something in writing saying it was OK to use  cables in spite of what it says in the manual.


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#38 OFFLINE   mwr

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 07:58 PM

But, but, but they are Michelins so they gotta work...

 

"manufactured using aramid and polyamide treated with polyurethane, steel and thermoplastic materials."

Check the amazon review of these that begins "Not for California roads".

 

http://www.amazon.co...n/dp/B0053UE2PG


Edited by mwr, 01 December 2014 - 07:59 PM.

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#39 OFFLINE   GrySql

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 09:08 PM

Well, I am crushed, Michelin failed me....


Edited by GrySql, 01 December 2014 - 09:10 PM.

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#40 OFFLINE   lolder

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 12:31 AM

I guess this is all about your personal viewpoint. By the way, what is this "Snow" that you are referring to? And what is a "mountain". We have a shell mound about 50 ' high within a 100 miles. Is that one? It was 82º F here today.

I did live in N J for 42 years and usually chains and cables were prohibited on highways and interstates after snow tires came out.

I think an interstate that required chains or cables would be a steep mountain to most of us. If I knew that was frequently a requirement I would have asked a salesman about it.


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