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Old 06-10-2008, 10:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Car winter button -- slow acceleration

Hi folks,

My Volvo has a winter button, which starts out slowly from stops, despite how much you press on the gas. However, it's sounds like the engine is working harder, despite the RPM being less than 2000.

Has anybody ever checked to see if this helps gas consumption? Just curious....

TIA
Mike

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Old 06-10-2008, 10:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I highly doubt it, its likely their version of traction control and braking or retarding the timing to reduce power to match traction.
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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many older "winter" buttons simply start the transmission in 2nd.. My old trooper had a winter button that did this.. god i miss that truck.. i still see it every day .. sold it to a coworker.. never should have sold it.. anyway

if thats the cars it could give better milage but that means its slipping alot more when you start off..
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Old 06-11-2008, 01:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The mid- to late-'80s BMWs with the 4HP22EH tranny (4-speed auto) had an "S*E*3-2-1" switch on the console. "S" for "Sport" had higher shift points, "E" for "Economy" had lower shift points (and was always kicked to that position by a solenoid upon start), and "3-2-1" allowed you to start out and stay in whichever of those three gears you selected.
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Old 06-11-2008, 01:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duffman View Post
I highly doubt it, its likely their version of traction control and braking or retarding the timing to reduce power to match traction.
I agree, typically traction control is tied to the ABS and thats just what it sounds like here. If it sounds like its working harder then it probably is, and since the rpms are the same, the brakes must be being applied to hold the car back.
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Old 06-11-2008, 01:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The winter button is probably similar to the traction control button on my other Chevy. It selectively skips over cylinders in the firing order if the wheel starts to slip. The reason your car sounds like it's working harder is probably because the throttle is opening wider and making more noise, though not necessarily burning more fuel. This will make your scangauge's fuel consumption read artificially high.
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Old 06-11-2008, 04:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn D. View Post
The mid- to late-'80s BMWs with the 4HP22EH tranny (4-speed auto) had an "S*E*3-2-1" switch on the console. "S" for "Sport" had higher shift points, "E" for "Economy" had lower shift points (and was always kicked to that position by a solenoid upon start), and "3-2-1" allowed you to start out and stay in whichever of those three gears you selected.
that sounds great, i wish all autos had that setup.
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Old 06-13-2008, 04:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I tried this on a few rental Volvos: S40, S60 (2005-2008). I think it starts it in 2nd gear, as mentioned -- but (if equipped) the electronic throttle is muted -- so if you mash the pedal, it gradually accelerates. Shifts are softer as well, so it doesn't break loose during gear engagement on slick surfaces.

I used it for a bit and determined that it just wasted fuel between shifts. I would start in normal mode, press the "W" button, and let it be a bit more gradual in how it operated. IIRC, it shifts sooner so you could be fighting the torque converter and get that "working hard" feeling.

I have no official data -- I would recommend to do a test, A-B-A style and record mileage on each run. You would have to reset the car's MPG each time or use a scangauge if you have one -- that sort of thing. Try to maintain consistent pedal pressure on acceleration, maintain the same cruise speed, brake in the same spot, etc. Figure a small route with little traffic if possible and run the same direction.

Best FE to ya...

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Old 06-15-2008, 06:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I used to be a Volvo tech for about 3 years. Winter mode actually starts you out in 3rd gear believe it or not.
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Old 06-16-2008, 03:08 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I used to be a Volvo tech for about 3 years. Winter mode actually starts you out in 3rd gear believe it or not.
3rd -- wow! That makes sense with the "bogged-down" feeling. The first time I drove one in W mode, it really struck me as an odd-accelerating vehicle.

Does it do all that other stuff too? (it was mostly a guess/observation on my part).

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