On many vehicles you will find a button labeled “Snow” or “ECT Snow”. In snowy or icy conditions, this little knob changes the way your transmission works in a way that gets you started. The transmission simply starts the car in second gear instead of first.
ECT Snow – Electronically Controlled Transmission (ECT) Snow mode Reduces throttle response for smoother acceleration on snow/ice to reduce wheel spin. The transmission also shifts to a higher gear sooner than in normal mode. The road conditions we just experienced were perfect for this setting.
All-wheel drive systems deliver power to all four wheels simultaneously or automatically switch torque to all four wheels when needed. That’s why all-wheel drive is best suited for driving on snowy and icy roads.
Engine power is also cut off by the ECU in “Wet & Snow” mode. So yes, it saves fuel.
Does ECT PWR save gas? The ECT power button only changes the switching points of your Trany. Basically, it downshifts sooner when it’s on and doesn’t shift into a new gear as quickly when starting off. When it’s off, it shifts to a higher gear faster to save gas.
The ECT PWR function is located just below the Toyota Entune user interface and is easy to reach when you are behind the wheel. When activated, an ECT PWR dashboard indicator light will illuminate to alert you. Simply press the ECT button a second time to cancel and exit power mode.
Put your vehicle in “snow mode”
Putting your vehicle in “snow mode” changes the vehicle’s dynamics (torque distribution, power and gear settings). This increases the chances that the vehicle will get traction.
Male said that S1 is also more effective when starting off on slippery roads. “It gives the wheels more torque, even more than if you were driving,” Male said. Drivers will find a secret weapon when navigating snow-covered roads, and most of them need look no further than their gearshift.
Many Lexus models have a button next to the shifter that says “Snow”. If so, use it. Enabling this setting allows the sophisticated electronics to maximize grip on slippery surfaces by reducing torque to the driven wheels.
One big advantage of snow mode is that it gives you 50% fore and aft spread at launch, which you really don’t need in the rain. All modes are still AWD Auto and in my opinion comfort mode would be better suited for the rain. I think you get 70% front and 30% back.
It is important to keep traction control on 99% of the time while driving. However, there are some instances where the security feature could do more harm than good. For example, it’s better to turn it off when you get stuck in mud, sand, or even snow.
No, there is no speed limit in snow mode. You can drive as fast as you like. Snow mode launches you from a standing start in 2nd gear to minimize wheel slip and better balance power delivery between the 4 wheels.
While many people think that AWD is enough to handle dangerous ice and snow, there’s almost no difference between four-wheel drive vehicles and regular cars when it comes to cornering, braking and handling in winter weather.