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  #1  
Old 11th-April-2010, 18:38
TD4_4x4's Avatar
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Location: Northumbria, UK
Posts: 214
Default Why can freelander drive well in snow/ice?

Someone I know has been slating me for buying a Freelander. I got one to get to hospital in the deep snow. They say I should have gotten a JEEP Cherokee according to them.

They were also saying the Freelander is liable to get stuck in the snow as it doesn't have a low range gear box, or 4 wheel drive lock. (Now this makes sense and I won't deny it makes our car inferior to a JEEP off-road). But......from reading this forum this doesn't seem to be the case when in snow/ice, which, mechanically is kind of weird if you think about it.
Infact, some people on here say their Freelander is better than a Disco in the snow, which is incredible without the functions the Disco is blessed with.

On another car forum someone was saying the Freelander is terrible in the snow, as unlike other 4X4's (or do they mean cars?) we can't turn our traction control off, so in the ICE would go round in circles as only grip might get sent to one wheel that isn't spinning. I must say, this rather worries me.

So in your view, how on earth does the Freelander cope in the snow/ice if:

1) Can't turn traction control off
2) Can't force 50/50 4x4 function/lock
3) Can't go into low range

Is it because it's light weight and has 'skinny' 215 section tyres? (Great for snow compared to thick 255 on other bigger 4X4).
Apparently 'thin' tyres are better for snow/ice than normal size ones the car comes supplied with. Mine are 235, a tad wide.

Is it because it has 'little' 15/16 inch wheels? Apparently 17/18/19 makes snow/ice driving difficult as it alters the gearing or something? And for winter this is apparently bad news. If you think about it, the Landrover 90/Defender does indeed, have tiny little wheels, just with massive profile tyres.

Is it because the traction control on a Freelander, doesn't actually work like a car, or other 4x4's, and somehow it prevents power only being sent to 1 wheel (e.g. if all other 3 are spinning in the ice).

I'd love to know, because other than people telling me my car is crap all the time (or 'gay'), I'm happy with it - even if I am potentially foolish for believing it can plow through 2 feet of snow laying ontop of tarmac that hopefully will save my life when needed. (The only reason I bought it and why I'll get a lift-kit and snow tyres for next winter).

My Freelander the times we whizzed off to hospital in the recent snow, did struggle but it had a 3 Continental 4x4 contact (M&S) 215/50/18 tyres on, and 1 Dunlop SP Sport 01 summer tyre and we still got to A&E, if in somewhat of a blind panic.

Yet you guys trust your car, and I think I trust mine as you do.
(If that makes sense).

Last edited by TD4_4x4; 11th-April-2010 at 22:54.
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  #2  
Old 11th-April-2010, 18:48
OldIrishWulf's Avatar
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Default Re: Why can freelander drive well in snow/ice?

I had mine in mondo for the snow and ice .Theres plenty of other reasons why freelanders are crap.I'd still prefer to push mine than be seen driving one of them merican heaps.
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  #3  
Old 11th-April-2010, 19:07
The Mad Hat Man's Avatar
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Default Re: Why can freelander drive well in snow/ice?

Hippoo will do perfectly well in snow/ice if fitted with good tyres, preferably AT tyres (gen Grabber AT2's are recomended", particularly for the novice off-roader as, if things are working properly, (and thats a big IF) it is all automatic. My Slitty, which is similar to a Hippoo2, never faltered in all that snow.
I would be more concerned that you have one tyre which is dissimilar to the other three - does it have the same rolling road diameter, because if it isnt, you will be buggering up your complete drive train .
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  #4  
Old 11th-April-2010, 19:14
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 8
Default Re: Why can freelander drive well in snow/ice?

I live in the (real) Highlands of Scotland and sold my Freelander in November

I have my Renault Espace and Vauxhall Vectra, both of which were utterly useless in the huge snow

However, my Jaguar XK8 which is a 2004 model, 4.2 litre V8 with a 6 speed auto box and rear wheel drive coped beautifully?



Mind you, I see the fan kit in the Jaguar is the same as in my bro in laws Freelander

Go figure.

As for thems calling your car gay, who cares about them?

They've obviously never owned one
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  #5  
Old 11th-April-2010, 19:23
Davec's Avatar
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Posts: 2,131
Default Re: Why can freelander drive well in snow/ice?

Basically you've been told a load of crap by people who either don't know what they are talking about, or are suffereing from Anti Freelander reverse snobbishness (lots of those both on this site and outside)
Traction control works by preventing wheels spinning, so why should it cause problems in ice (bear in mind if there is no grip at all no system is going to help you). Where it differs from the system used on other cars is that it does not reduce the power, so there is no need to ever turn it off.
The way the four wheel drive system works it reacts if some wheels start turning faster than others, ie spinning, so there is no need to lock it in 4wd. (If the 4WD system fails, ie viscous coupling seizes up, this will lock it in 4WD)
Where you are right is that the comparative lack of weight gives the Freelander the edge in many conditions. Part of this low weight comes from not having a heavy two speed transfer box. In my experience the lack of low range is less of a disadvantage than I would have expected (I have an auto, that may make a difference) and the lower weight is a bigger advantage.
The real proof of the pudding is read the threads her about driving Freelanders in snow (most people find them, superb) or try it yourself!
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  #6  
Old 11th-April-2010, 19:37
RichM's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 1,827
Default Re: Why can freelander drive well in snow/ice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TD4_4x4 View Post
Someone I know has been slating me for buying a Freelander. I got one to get to hospital in the deep snow. They say I should have gotten a JEEP Cherokee according to them.

They were also saying the Freelander is liable to get stuck in the snow as it doesn't have a low range gear box, or 4 wheel drive lock. (Now this makes sense and I won't deny it makes our car inferior to a JEEP off-road). But......from reading this forum this doesn't seem to be the case when in snow/ice, which, mechanically is kind of weird if you think about it.
Infact, some people on here say their Freelander is better than a Disco in the snow, which is incredible without the functions the Disco is blessed with.

On another car forum someone was saying the Freelander is terrible in the snow, as unlike other 4X4's (or do they mean cars?) we can't turn our traction control off, so in the ICE would go round in circles as only grip might get sent to one wheel that isn't spinning. I must say, this rather worries me.

So in your view, how on earth does the Freelander cope in the snow/ice if:

1) Can't turn traction control off
2) Can't force 50/50 4x4 function/lock
3) Can't go into low range

Is it because it's light weight and has 'skinny' 215 section tyres? (Great for snow compared to thick 255 on other bigger 4X4).
Apparently 'thin' tyres are better for snow/ice than normal size ones the car comes supplied with. Mine are 235, a tad wide.

It because it has 'little' 15/16 inch wheels? Apparently 17/18/19 makes snow/ice driving difficult as it alters the gearing or something? And for winter this is apparently bad news. If you think about it, the Landrover 90/Defender does indeed, have tiny little wheels, just with massive profile tyres.

Is because the traction control on a Freelander, doesn't actually work like a car, or other 4x4's, and somehow it stop the 'risk' of power only being sent to 1 wheel (e.g. if all other 3 are spinning in the ice).

I'd love to know, because other than people telling me my car is crap all the time (or 'gay'), I'm happy with it - even if I am potentially foolish for believing it can plow through 2 feet of snow laying ontop of tarmac that hopefully will save my life when needed. (The only reason I bought it and why I'll get a lift-kit and snow tyres for next winter).

My Freelander the times we whizzed off to hospital in the recent snow, did struggle but it had a 3 Continental 4x4 contact (M&S) 215/50/18 tyres on, and 1 Dunlop SP Sport 01 summer tyre and we still got to A&E, if in somewhat of a blind panic.

Yet you guys trust your car, and I think I trust mine as you do.
(If that makes sense).
Most cars have their faults. The Freelander TD4 is no exception. Just keep your eye on the things which are prone to going wrong, and get worn mechanical parts replaced asap and you should be fine.

Watch the Youtube videos of the Freelander if you doubt its capability. Some people on here would have you believe that the Freelander will get stuck on your front lawn. That's really not the case... I have road tyres on mine (Bought it not long ago) and my Freelander has already impressed me. Sure, in most cases, it's probably not ideal for the hardcore trials and rock climbing and the like. That said, if you really want to do that, you won't go out and buy a Freelander. Like you, I need a sensible, comfortable, practical, relatively fuel efficient vehicle that isn't going to be completely useless when we get a couple of inches of snow. Not only that, but it's nice to be able to go to places where most hatch's and saloons won't.

Last winter, I had a BMW 3 series. Nice car, but a couple inches of snow and you're buggered unless you want to unintentionally find yourself drifting all over the place, and getting a few funny looks in the process. Seriously, that car kept me stuck indoors for many days! I am willing to bet that most people here didn't share the same experience. I'm pretty sure that everyone took advantage of it instead!

Prior to buying a Freelander TD4, I was looking at a Jeep Cherokee too. (2001) Nice interior, well built, very well equipped and yes, capable off road. However, the petrol engines are thirsty as ####, and the Italian made VM engine is more prone to HGF than the Freelander K series 1.8 Petrol. Now that's saying something... But sure, if you ever find yourself moving to the states, a 4.0 litre Jeep Cherokee would be a great buy. (Just don't go round corners!)

Rich

Last edited by RichM; 11th-April-2010 at 19:47.
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  #7  
Old 11th-April-2010, 21:13
Missing Link's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Colchester, Essex
Posts: 657
Default Re: Why can freelander drive well in snow/ice?

A lack of low ratio will have little significance in the snow, in fact the commonest advice I used to hear was to start in second gear with most cars as it forces you to be gentle with the torque, exactly the oposite of using low ratio.
I too found the FL much better in the snow than any other car except one I have owned and mine is 225's on 17" rims. So much so that I had to continually remind my self to be cautious because once all wheels are locked up it don't matter what you drive! The one exception that came close (this is going to make some laugh) was an old style Fiat Panda 4x4. Dog gear rear wheel drive, skinny M&S tyres saw me sailing past slittys with drivers who didn't know how to use them.
How many news vid was there showing cars wheels spinning on just a covering of snow cos they are all wide tyres with sporty treads and we don't see this weather enough for joe public to know what to do.
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  #8  
Old 11th-April-2010, 21:43
Pikey's Avatar
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Default Re: Why can freelander drive well in snow/ice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Missing Link View Post
A lack of low ratio will have little significance in the snow, in fact the commonest advice I used to hear was to start in second gear with most cars as it forces you to be gentle with the torque, exactly the oposite of using low ratio.
Yup. Correct procedure for any slippery surface inc mud or wetgrass is highest gear posible and low revs. Obviously this doesn't work in every situation. Deep mud been one of them.. But generally Low range on ice/snow/wet grass/soft sand etc is a no no.
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  #9  
Old 11th-April-2010, 21:45
Paul D's Avatar
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Posts: 9,573
Default Re: Why can freelander drive well in snow/ice?

With as little use of throttle and brakes as possible ... and using as many difflocks as you've got!

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  #10  
Old 14th-April-2010, 08:48
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Default Re: Why can freelander drive well in snow/ice?

In the recent snow and tricky conditions earlier this year I plodded along in my ex-military Defender (hadn't purchased my FL yet) without much fuss....NOT because of any locked differentials or such nonesence, but because of excellent tyres (BF Goodrich Mud-Terrain), good use of gears and that under used accessory - common sense!

The one occurance of my loosing grip on sheet ice was unavoidable and suddenly I was behind the wheel of a two-tonne chunk of metal heading towards another vehicle...and my LR is fitted with all sorts of off-roading stuff - which was suddenly irrelavant. As luck would have it I managed to avoid hitting the parked car.
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