4WD System High Load = Tomfoolery Detected... Thoughts on the CX-9 in the snow.

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2018 Mazda CX-9 GT
4WD System High Load is displayed

The indication is displayed under the following conditions. Park the vehicle in a safe place and check that the warning indication light turns off, and then drive the vehicle. Contact an Authorized Mazda Dealer if the indication is continuously displayed.
When the differential oil temperature is excessively high.
When there is a large difference between the front and rear wheel rotation, such as when trying to remove the vehicle from mud.


No s***, Mazda... Did you not notice that:
  • It's below Freezing
  • Traction Control is turned off
  • Sport mode is on
  • Throttle is to the floor
  • Steering wheel is at full lock

I thought this AWD system used all sensors to be smart.
Can it not say, "Awesome Donut!" or "Epic Drift!" instead?

Interestingly, it will still let you get squirrelly with the Traction Control ON. And Traction Control will kick in at high enough speeds even if you have the switch off.

The Traction Control switch is more like a 25% and 75% switch rather than full on and full off.

s1xqyPi.jpg
 

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
Moderator
Contributor
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Canada
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'18 CX-9 Signature
Interesting info about the Traction Control.

Also, great pic!! Soul Red is a beautiful colour on the CX-9.
 
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'11 Mazda CX-9 GT AWD
that was better than i could do with our 2011 a couple years ago in an empty lot. turned traction control off but it quickly comes back on over an indicated (thinks its going) 15-20 mph or something and shut down the fun.

i was able to get a little bit more fun in reverse.
 
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2018 Mazda CX-9 GT
Apparently on the RX-8s, you're supposed to hit Traction Control Off once, and then press and hold it for a REAL off.

I'll try this next snow.
 

MattGoose

Member
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CX-9
Traction control?!?! Where is that button?

Seriously.

B/c this is the worst vehicle in snow that I've ever driven.
 
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2018 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring / Deep Crystal Blue / Sand leather
Traction control?!?! Where is that button?

Seriously.

B/c this is the worst vehicle in snow that I've ever driven.

I've complained about this in another thread here (edit: it was yours! haha) and to Mazda, but I feel it's worth reiterating when I get a chance: I like to believe that the vehicle is fine, but the OEM tires are awful. My CX-9 came with Bridgestone Ecopias and it drives worse in wintry weather than any other vehicle I've driven in the snow with all season tires. I've driven through several Wisconsin and Minnesota winters and have never been as nervous about driving in wintry conditions than I have been with my CX-9. It's really sad.
 
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sm1ke

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Canada
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'18 CX-9 Signature
My CX-9 drives great in the snow, but I swapped to Blizzaks this year. I originally had Ecopias and they were fine (not great).

I think Mazda really s*** the bed with the tires that come on the car and the heavy OEM 20s they use.
 

MattGoose

Member
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CX-9
I've complained about this in another thread here (edit: it was yours! haha) and to Mazda, but I feel it's worth reiterating when I get a chance: I like to believe that the vehicle is fine, but the OEM tires are awful. My CX-9 came with Bridgestone Ecopias and it drives worse in wintry weather than any other vehicle I've driven in the snow with all season tires. I've driven through several Wisconsin and Minnesota winters and have never been as nervous about driving in wintry conditions than I have been with my CX-9. It's really sad.

Yeah, that was my thread :)

Took the car up to New Hampshire this weekend and got a decent chunk of snow. Roads were generally plowed and sanded before we went out, but was still all over the place. I've got north of 200,000 miles of driving experience in New England and the car isn't safe with these tires. If that was a battle that I could ever win, I'd pick it, but I won't.

Drove to dinner with the car full - 4 adults and my 2 kids - and coming down a moderate hill that had been plowed and sanded and the ABS was all over the place. No traction control light, but ABS going nuts and we barely stopped in time. This is the only vehicle that I've had where threshold breaking was demonstrably more effective than relying on ABS.

I really, really don't want to go drop a grand on snow tires, but I'm also not driving my family around in the snow in this car anymore.
 

sm1ke

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Canada
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'18 CX-9 Signature
I really, really don't want to go drop a grand on snow tires, but I'm also not driving my family around in the snow in this car anymore.

I would suggest a second-hand set of 17" wheels and a set of used winter tires in 255/65/17, sourced from Craigslist or FB Marketplace. It's far from a perfect solution, I know, but at least this way you won't be spending $1k (probably closer to $500 or $600), and you'll have more peace of mind. Also, Tirerack.com has Michelin X-Ice Xi2 for $150/tire if you choose to buy new.
 

MattGoose

Member
:
CX-9
I would suggest a second-hand set of 17" wheels and a set of used winter tires in 255/65/17, sourced from Craigslist or FB Marketplace. It's far from a perfect solution, I know, but at least this way you won't be spending $1k (probably closer to $500 or $600), and you'll have more peace of mind. Also, Tirerack.com has Michelin X-Ice Xi2 for $150/tire if you choose to buy new.

Eh, maybe we'll get there. Probably easier, and cheaper, to drive my wife's Grand Cherokee. Move the Thule over and be good to go.

Why I should have to spend $600 on used tires on a brand new car is beyond me.

I was so, so, so excited to get this car. I did my research, I read the reviews, and it's been a total disappointment and no one at Mazda gives a damn. 22 months to go. Yuck.
 

sm1ke

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Canada
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'18 CX-9 Signature
Eh, maybe we'll get there. Probably easier, and cheaper, to drive my wife's Grand Cherokee. Move the Thule over and be good to go.

Why I should have to spend $600 on used tires on a brand new car is beyond me.

I was so, so, so excited to get this car. I did my research, I read the reviews, and it's been a total disappointment and no one at Mazda gives a damn. 22 months to go. Yuck.

I'm not saying that you should be expected to spend an additional $600 on tires. I'm just saying that the option is there, and it may solve the many problems/complaints you have with the car.

As I said before, Mazda s*** the bed with the OEM tire choice and the heavy 20" wheels. Of course you shouldn't have to buy winter tires if you don't want to.
 
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CX-9
As I said before, Mazda s*** the bed with the OEM tire choice and the heavy 20" wheels. Of course you shouldn't have to buy winter tires if you don't want to.

I'm no fan of the OEM tires, but they are not that bad and the fact is that in snow and ice there is no vehicle that will perform well on 'all season' tires. There is a good reason why several places in Canada now require the use of proper snow tires during the winter months. I have good ones (20" Nokian Hakkapeliitta) and find the CX9 as good in snow and ice as my previous Mercedes ML was.
 
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2018 Mazda CX-9 GT
I would suggest a second-hand set of 17" wheels and a set of used winter tires in 255/65/17, sourced from Craigslist or FB Marketplace.

Will 17s clear the brake rotors?

I have the old 17s off my old 2003 Mazda MPV (RIP :( )... Which are the stock units from a 2001 Millennia from the scrapyard.

50mm offset and 67.1mm centerbore Same as most 2000+ Mazdas
 
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2018 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring / Deep Crystal Blue / Sand leather
I'm no fan of the OEM tires, but they are not that bad and the fact is that in snow and ice there is no vehicle that will perform well on 'all season' tires. There is a good reason why several places in Canada now require the use of proper snow tires during the winter months. I have good ones (20" Nokian Hakkapeliitta) and find the CX9 as good in snow and ice as my previous Mercedes ML was.
Compared to other all season tires, the OEM tires are pretty awful. Reviewers on Tire Rack agree: https://www.tirerack.com/survey/Sur...0HL422PL&tirePageLocQty=&partnum=55VR0HL422PL

I understand that winter/snow tires are ideal for such conditions, and I even ran a set on a VW GTI for a couple winters so I have experienced the big difference they can make, but the Bridgestone Ecopias are by far the worst all seasons I've used on any vehicle in the winter. Other all season tires have performed better by a large margin from my experience.
 
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2018 CX9 Sig
Compared to other all season tires, the OEM tires are pretty awful. Reviewers on Tire Rack agree: https://www.tirerack.com/survey/Sur...0HL422PL&tirePageLocQty=&partnum=55VR0HL422PL

I understand that winter/snow tires are ideal for such conditions, and I even ran a set on a VW GTI for a couple winters so I have experienced the big difference they can make, but the Bridgestone Ecopias are by far the worst all seasons I've used on any vehicle in the winter. Other all season tires have performed better by a large margin from my experience.

Well that's not good, since I have the Ecopias on my CX-9 Sig...Looks like I need to replace them by next year. Thinking of 20" All Season Contis or Michelin's, another 1K sigh. Thoughts anyone?

Peace and blessings,

Azeke
 
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CX-9
Compared to other all season tires, the OEM tires are pretty awful. Reviewers on Tire Rack agree... the Bridgestone Ecopias are by far the worst all seasons I've used on any vehicle in the winter. Other all season tires have performed better by a large margin from my experience.

My CX9 came with Falkens.
 
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‘17 CX9 & ‘19 3 GT
Yeah, that was my thread :)

Took the car up to New Hampshire this weekend and got a decent chunk of snow. Roads were generally plowed and sanded before we went out, but was still all over the place. I've got north of 200,000 miles of driving experience in New England and the car isn't safe with these tires. If that was a battle that I could ever win, I'd pick it, but I won't.

Drove to dinner with the car full - 4 adults and my 2 kids - and coming down a moderate hill that had been plowed and sanded and the ABS was all over the place. No traction control light, but ABS going nuts and we barely stopped in time. This is the only vehicle that I've had where threshold breaking was demonstrably more effective than relying on ABS.

I really, really don't want to go drop a grand on snow tires, but I'm also not driving my family around in the snow in this car anymore.

Mine came with the Falkens...no confidence in winter (got delivery of my 2017 Sig in winter) so 8 months into ownership I replaced them with Nokian All weather tires (WRG3 SUV) that are winter rated. Not as great as full winters but a lot better than all seasons (tire grooves designed also for winter and against hydroplaning and compound for all year round temps) and I don*t have to bother with twice a yr switch overs...just rotations and balancing (which came free with the purchase). Cost me $1K CAD all in....worthy investment IMO.
 
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2018 CX9 Sig
Didn't have much confidence in the Bridgestone Ecopia 422's, so I switched to All Weather Bridgestone DUELER H/L ALENZA PLUS after 3 months of ownership. Thus far they feel much tighter on the road, I haven't had a chance to test in the rain or snow yet, but they can't be worse than the Ecopia's, in the snow. Cost me ~ $1000 US (didn't want to replace the tires), hopefully I chose wisely, only time will tell. As previously stated, I didn't want to take a chance with family safety.

Peace and blessings,

Azeke
 
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2018 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring / Deep Crystal Blue / Sand leather
My CX9 came with Falkens.

Ah, didnt know that. I forgot Mazda still uses those on some vehicles. At this point I wish mine had them because they cant be worse than the Bridgestone Ecopias. If they were, Id be very surprised because the Ecopias set the bar very low for winter performance.

Yet here I am, considering a $1000 purchase less than a year into a lease because Mazda arguably chose some bad tires for this vehicle.
 
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SF Bay Area
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'17 CX-9 Signature
Ah, didn*t know that. I forgot Mazda still uses those on some vehicles. At this point I wish mine had them because they can*t be worse than the Bridgestone Ecopias. If they were, I*d be very surprised because the Ecopias set the bar very low for winter performance.

Yet here I am, considering a $1000 purchase less than a year into a lease because Mazda arguably chose some bad tires for this vehicle.

Sadly... the 20" Falkens on mine, with 10-15k miles on them were useless in the snow. So bad that i was really questioning if i want to keep the CX-9 for winter driving. I was ready to trade-in the car after 1 yr of ownership.
Well... this year i bought an extra set of used 18" Hyundai Genesis wheels (yes, same size and perfect fit on the CX-9) ... i put 4 new Nokian Hakkapeitta tires and my CX-9 runs like a tank in the snow/ice. It is a completely different car.

This winter I went through 2-3 major snow storms/blizzards @ 7k ft elevation and the car was very solid on all kinds of roads. Almost as good as my Lexus GX470 with cheap snow tires...and that says a lot. The GX470 has a much more superior awd system.
The only issue with the CX-9 i had was the low ground clearance.

Do NOT underestimate the importance of good snow tires in the winter!! That $1k investment (~$300 used wheels + $700 snow tires - new/used) is totally worth it if you deal with snow.
It can save your life and the people/cars around you.
You can always sell the snow tires set once you're done with the car. People buy used wheels/tires all the time... so you're no really loosing all of the $1000.