2011 EX35 AWD Journey: Serious Snow Performance Issues


New member

This is my first post here. I purchase my CPO EX35 AWD Journey in July of 2014. As such, this is my first winter with it. As soon as I got the car I ordered a set of General Altimax Arctics in 215-65 mounted on 17" wheels (I knew the optional 19" 245s it came with would be a nightmare in the snow). Last weekend I was in VT for a ski weekend. Over two days they received 16" of snow. I knew there was a 2 day storm coming and had no hesitation given my snow set-up. I've used similar set-ups on an Audi A4 Avant and a Volvo V50 T5 AWD. With snow tires these cars were unflappable in up to 16" of snow.

My problems began when I got off the highway (which had about 2" of snow) and got on local rds which had about 4". The Traction Control (TC) kept kicking in and really reduced power as it looked for traction. The killer was when entering the ski area. The rd had been plowed but was still snow covered. While going up the hill to the lodge, the car slowed and came to a halt as the Traction Control struggled to figure out what to do. I was in a line of cars and it was getting frustrating. I switched off the Traction Control, the snows hooked up, and away I went. The hill wasn't that steep. This scenario kept repeating itself over the weekend. Once, when pulling into traffic from a flat snowy parking lot; rather hair raising I must say. FWIW, I never turned the Snow switch off all weekend. But, I kept riding the TC button so often I wished it were steering wheel mounted.

I'm beginning to think my EX35 has a malfunctioning TC or AWD system. I have also noticed the TC kicking in too soon in the summer under moderately agressive cornering. It didn't cut the power like it did in the snow but, I was surprised to see the light flash on. Esp. with rear wheel bias and 245-45-19 tires.

Last thing, I do have an apt with the dealer next week. But, this is driving me nuts. It may be a deal breaker if this is typical snow performance. If so, I'd ditch it for another CPO Audi or BMW wagon.

Any thoughts are welcome.