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2003 chevy trailblazer_ls
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Discussion Starter #1
HI, I live in Juneau, Alaska and frequently drive up a 3 mile icy road to the ski area. I have Blizzak radials in excellent condition on my LS, not-G80 rear diff. In pure ice conditions I always use 4-high. I have many decades of experience driving in mountain areas on ice and know how it feels to to loose traction in the front and rear and and how to mitigate it. I've driven many hundreds of times up this steep icy road many times with all types of front wheel, rear wheel, AWD, and 4WD vehicles and never experienced what happened to my LS yesterday. Though I have previously momentarily lost traction for a fraction of a second in the steep and icy upward 10% slope section of this ski area road in my LS, it was easy to recover traction by instantly reducing my foot from the gas pedal. Yesterday at 30mph and in 4-high,in this icy upward sloped section of road, the LS lurched left and fishtailed 8 ft into the oncoming traffic lane. I immediately removed accelerator pressure within a fraction of a second of feeling the loss of traction and steered out of the skid, regaining enough traction to steer back into the right lane where it fishtailed slightly in the other direction before regaining traction, all without touching the accelerator. Somehow I missed the 10' snow berms on both sides and no cars crested the hill top 100' in front of me when this dance was happening. Obviously, I never touched the brake during this sequence. It felt like both left front and left rear tires simultaneously lost traction while the right front and rear were still under power, yet with my foot off the accelerator the moment I detected a loss of traction. i have no error lights on the transfer case switch or anywhere else. I've searched the archives for answers. Can someone explain how the drivetrain could cause this to happen? Is there some drivetrain testing or something else I should ask the dealership to check, or should I just give up on my LS and always drive my subaru to go up that road in icy conditions?
 

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2004 Trailblazer LS 4x4, 4.2L:, 2016 ATS-V, 2014 CTS-V Wagon, 2018 Audi A7
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150 Posts
Wow. I'm not the guy to help you - I live in Florida, lol. Can you find a stretch of icy road that is deserted - and you won't injure yourself - so you can experiment at slow, safe speeds?
 

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2003 chevy trailblazer_ls
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the comment. I've already put 13,000 miles on my LS all over Alaska in every conceivable driving condition, road surface, many snow/ice conditions, and every slow/fast speed. I have driven the steep ski access road on snow and ice over 2-dozen times in this vehicle without the sudden swerving/fishtail event I described. One thought was that maybe a sticking brake caliper on the left side could cause it to swerve to the left if traction was lost on the left side and if the car, unknown to me, was braking unevenly on the left side. Today I tested whether the brakes could be dragging by some slow-speed coasting on a level area, and didn't detect any brake drag when brake peddle is not depressed. I also just had the rear brakes serviced. So they should be fine. I am stumped about what could have caused it to spontenously fish tale, especially since I wasn't driving particularly fast on that 10% icy slope, and that is why I am seeking advice from this group on on how the standard LS (Non G80 rear diff) drivetrain itself might cause an event like this. :)
 

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2004 Trailblazer LS 4x4, 4.2L:, 2016 ATS-V, 2014 CTS-V Wagon, 2018 Audi A7
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150 Posts
Well, once you figure out what it is we'll have to share a celebratory beer in the Red Dog Saloon.
 

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2005 gmc envoy_slt
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49 Posts
Man that's a tough one. I do a lot of snow and ice driving as well but never evperienced that. I do run these at times and they work wonders
20200215_163442.jpg
 

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2003 chevy trailblazer_ls
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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the suggestion Gettopop. Do you have the G80 rear diff? I have read on this forum that might help where traction on ice is an issue. Otherwise, I was trying avoid chains/cables. I only rarely see anyone using them here, except on some front-wheel-drive cars. I am just driving my subaru up the 3-mile drive to our ski area, till I unravel whether this problem is something that can be repaired, or is just part of the design of the design of the LS without the G80 diff.
 

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2003 chevy trailblazer_ls
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Discussion Starter #7
Well, once you figure out what it is we'll have to share a celebratory beer in the Red Dog Saloon.
I will let you know tinmanwpk. I'd suggest maybe the new bar at the Eaglecrest ski lodge. Much more dramatic than the RDS.
 
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