Volvo XC70 This wagon/SUV crossover offers the capabilities of an SUV without SUV size.

ABS too sensitive? Won't stop in snow!!

Old 12-05-2010, 01:04 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 13
Default ABS too sensitive? Won't stop in snow!!

I've owned a few different vehicles with Anti-lock brakes now, and I've always found that the stopping distance is a little bit longer in snowy conditions once the ABS fires. There is some advantage to the ABS regardless, as it gives you some ability to maneuver that you would not have if the wheels were locked, but from a pure stopping-distance standpoint ABS does not help in snow.

Having said that, I've never driven a car where the breaking distance is so long as with my 2001 V70 XC. Once the ABS kicks in, there is essentially NO stopping power, and I'll just drift right through intersections going 10-15mph. Has anyone else had this? I can't imagine that there is any kind of adjustment for the ABS sensitivity, but is there anything else that could be wrong that would cause this? I really believe there is either a problem somewhere or this Volvo's ABS is absolutely worthless in the snow. Absolutely worthless.

Any help / experience / advise here would be very beneficial. The tires aren't great, but they aren't terrible either. This was a Florida car until we purchased it in July, so it's entirely possible that it's never seen snow before. Vehicle has 80k miles.

Thanks very much!
Old 12-17-2010, 01:02 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Cleveland
Posts: 222

If it was a Florida car does it still have summer tires on it? ABS or any other braking systems cannot alter the laws of physics. Summer ties, as well as most all-season tires, do not work well in winter. No amount of fancy electronic gizmos will help with that.

Case in point - my Audi RS6, with summer tires, is undrivable in the winter. It has Quattro, stability control, and ABS. Now matter how well the brakes work it just keeps sliding and sliding and sliding any time you try to stop on snow or ice. And it is working exactly how it was designed.

Bottom line - you probably need winter tires.
Old 12-19-2010, 07:55 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 13

I agree. I ended up getting winter tires for the car and it transformed it entirely. I never had any specific trouble with all-season tires, but I don't think the tires that were on this Volvo were meant for anything but "hot" and "hurricanes."

At any rate, problem solved!
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