Is There a Safety Difference in L vs D mode in Snow/Ice? - Chevy Bolt EV Forum
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post #1 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-25-2017, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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Is There a Safety Difference in L vs D mode in Snow/Ice?

Just wondering about driving in L mode now that the snow is here in Toronto. In D mode I have ABS if I start to skid, but what happens in L? Is it safer to slow down on slippery roads in D or L?
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post #2 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-25-2017, 10:39 PM
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You still have ABS in L Mode. It all depends on the operator if it's safer or not. I don't get snow here. I would consider L Mode to be the best for the control factor. No pedal to pedal movement allows better overall control, IMO!

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post #3 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-25-2017, 11:06 PM
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Be careful!

I'd be concerned that the increased regenerative braking of front wheels in L mode could make the rear end swing around in snow or icy conditions.

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post #4 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 12:53 AM
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I cannot find it in the Bolt manual, but I recall reading somewhere that regen will cancel if loss of traction is detected. I don't 100% recall, but I think I did experience this when using the regen paddle on my old 2017 Chevy Volt over potholed roads. Not sure if this carries over to the Bolt but I think the rationale was if regen detects a difference in regen from a drive wheel, the braking assumes something is off about regen and aborts using it until traction comes back.

Regardless if you're in D or L, just pay attention to your speed and go easy on acceleration and deceleration. If you're don't feel proficient enough in L, stick to D. If you're now one with one-pedal driving, I don't see any difference in safety when driving in snow: your leg/foot should already know to translate your "slow driving" thoughts into appropriate "do not lift off pedal in L abruptly cause you'll slow HARD" actions.

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post #5 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 02:22 AM
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I think the regen worked amazingly well when going down snowy roads steadily with descent control and not locking up the brakes.
I couldn't get up a steep hill in 2-3 inches of slush yesterday, but interestingly, I was finally able to reverse it up very slowly successfully on stock tires.
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post #6 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 07:29 AM
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Unless you are "speeding" on slippery roads, regen braking should be a plus. The only time I experienced slick roads, it was very reassuring that the Bolt backed off so smoothly. Of course, I still have my wife's (RIP) voice in my ear telling me "Not So Fast!". So I may not be the typical foul weather driver.
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post #7 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 07:59 AM
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I think the worst thing on a slippery road would be to hit the brakes hard and skid. Regen braking would seem to be safer. If you are comfortable in “L”, you have control. Using the accelerator pedal to decrease regen runs the risk of overdoing it and accelerating, compounding your situation. Using “D” and the regen paddle may be safer if your “L” driving experience is low-time. Come the first snow, I plan to go to a near-empty parking lot and safely test out my theories.

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post #8 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 11:35 AM
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I've been using exclusively L here in Butte Montana with cold and snow covered roads and have had no issues at all with using L beyond what you normally have to think about on snowy/icy roads.
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post #9 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surgeonFWW View Post
Come the first snow, I plan to go to a near-empty parking lot and safely test out my theories.
I went to a large empty parking lot at one of our local ski areas to try out the Bolt with my Michelin X-Ice XI3 tires on the front wheels. I found the tires and "L" mode worked great for me - it was easy to modulate both power and braking with just a small movement of your foot. The tires and the Bolt both performed really well.

In my opinion the biggest single thing you need to do in snow and ice conditions has nothing to do with the tires or how you brake. It's treating conditions with the proper respect and not overdriving them.
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post #10 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 01:35 PM
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The only time my wife had actual problems was on unplowed roads with a frozen base layer in L on the Michelin X-Ice 3's on fairly steep downhill stops. Once the car was almost stopped, the front axle had a slight tendency to lock up and slide towards to curb due to the crown in the road. It seemed pretty repeatable for us, and D mode made a marked improvement. On the level, there didn't seem to be a noticeable problem for us. We have stopped using L in winter conditions since we travel more slowly and "slow coast" to stops more frequently, so the regen gains were minimal. D mode is still one pedal in winter driving almost always, and matches up more closely with our gentle stopping style on slick roads.
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