2011 Ford Edge: An SUV that doesn't like the cold?

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2011 Ford Edge Sport after the 2011 Blizzard

I got the Ford Edge test car at the beginning of Blizzard 2011. And I was thanking my lucky stars. All-wheel drive, heated seats, hands-free calling, weather updates, rear backup camera … The perfect car. And driving at the beginning of snowmageddon was awesome. People were spinning out in front of me, but the Edge Sport maintained its cool and kept on course.

The huge tires gobbled up the snow and spat it back out. The ride height was perfect to look ahead for any brake lights or potential road hazzards.

I loved it.

And after those 22 inches fell, I was able to traverse my poorly plowed street when many other vehicles were sprawled helplessly in the sloppy snow mounds.

But then I got on the highway. And it went downhill from there.

 

As soon as I got up near 40 mph, the car started to shudder and shake. Almost like I was driving over rumble strips. The steering wheel was pulsing, and though the car wasn’t swerving uncontrollably, something was clearly wrong. So, I made plans to swap out of it immediately.

What I learned was that this was likely due to the cold and snow, that perhaps snow or ice had gotten into the wheels, causing an imbalance. The good news: Once the car warmed up it was fine. Huh. Not exactly what I want to hear — especially when you’re considering this car for Chicago. Where a lot of people park outside on the street. In the winter. With snow and ice.

Chicago-worthy rating: 1. I only had this car for 2 days, so I didn’t get to fully test the myFord Touch or Sync features. And, while in theory this car has the potential to be an 8 on the Chicago scale for it’s fuel economy, acceleration and backup camera … It failed miserably in that it couldn’t adequately acclimitize to Chicago and the land of snow.

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  • I really think its those big allows they are like huge ice shelves for snow/ice and everything else to accumulate. Never had the issues with the steelies on my Jetta but there isn't much space for snow to accumulate in them.

  • In reply to talipa2012:

    So does that make it right? If I'm parking on a street in Chicago, I don't want to have to worry about "heating it up" to keep it from shimmying on the highway. I'd rather buy the Chevrolet Equinox if this is going to be an issue with the Edge. I'm just saying ...

  • In reply to jillciminillo:

    Jill,
    You're rather experienced with cars, SUV's and their attendant foibles; I'm surprised that you aren't familiar with this sort of problem. Ford's Edge is far from the only vehicle to have this happen to it, particularly given the magnitude of our recent snow blast. About any car at all with open-spoke wheels (like most current polished steel or aluminum alloy wheels) can and will experience this phenomenon.
    On my Ford Ranger which came factory-stock with open-spoke aluminum wheels, I installed a set of inside dirt shields called "Kleen-Wheels" which primarily keep brake dust off the aluminum wheels. They also keep snow from chunking up in the spokes.

  • In reply to GeneMasters:

    Ponyguy:

    There is a disadvantage with Kleen-Wheels, though. Yes, they keep wheels free from carbon rotor dust and possibly snow out of the inner wheel. But they will also reduce brake hardware ventilation. Under warmer ambient temps that lack of ventilation may subject brake components to constant levels of heat they weren't optimally designed for. Many manufacturers like Ford spec softer brake pads for greater initial cold friction and thinner rotors to save weight. Manufacturers also take wheel aerodynamics into account when measuring effective brake heat dissipation. Exposure to greater heat means that the brake components may wear out prematurely and/ or exhibit poorer braking characteristics such as fade (due to over-boiling of hydraulic fluid in the brake lines.)

  • In reply to GeneMasters:

    thanks for your comment and kleen-wheels tip, ponyguy. the thing is, as a stock model with a base nearing $40K for the sport AWD trim, this doesn't rate well on the chicago scale. i write for your average joe or jane, and they're likely going to have no clue this problem could possibly exist. even if there is an aftermarket solution. for a florida market or southern clime -- the edge would rate a 9 or 10. loved the car even after only 2 days.

  • In reply to talipa2012:

    I don't know if your complaint is justified. With 20 inches of snow and lumps of plowed snow being pushed around on the streets I think you could have put a little more effort in to figuring out what the problem was. It's like the typical winter ice build-up in the cowl area below the wipers..the only way to get rid of it on any car is to scoop it out yourself by hand.

  • In reply to Jazzy:

    as ponyguy pointed out, there is an aftermarket solution, but i'm just trying to make people aware this could happen on a stock-sold car ... 20 inches aside, i'd guess the number of people living in the city of chicago who park in a garage is statistically small. which means they're parking on a street that gets plowed even after 6 inches. so this would likely happen then as well.

  • Alloys oops

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