One common question I get from Honda owners is: what is Snow Mode? should you use it, and when should you use it? In this article, I am going to answer that question, and go over when you should use Snow Mode in your Honda Pilot. Let’s get to it.
What is Snow Mode on a Honda Pilot?
In short, Snow mode is a feature that is part of Honda’s Intelligent Traction Management (ITM) which is designed to help you drive in slippery conditions.
What it does is reduce the amount of wheelspin that can cause your Pilot to slide out of control when you are driving on snow, ice, or wet surfaces.
How Does Honda Pilot “Snow Mode” Work?
Now, that I have briefly explained what the feature is, let’s go into more detail about how it works.
When you engage Snow Mode on your Pilot a couple of changes happen to how the vehicle behaves including:
1. The Transmission starts in the Second Gear:
When you engage Snow Mode the Pilot’s transmission will start in the Second Gear instead of First. This is important because it prevents wheelspin when you accelerate on slippery surfaces like ice, snow, or wet roads.
2. The Throttle Response is Slightly reduced:
Another thing that happens when you enable snow mode on your Honda Pilot is that the throttle response is slightly reduced.
This means that it will take more of a push on the gas pedal to accelerate your vehicle when you’re in Snow Mode than it does when you’re not.
The reason for this is to prevent your vehicle from accelerating too quickly. The reduced throttle response makes it easier to control the speed of your Pilot while driving on ice or snow so that you don’t go spinning out of control.
3. More Traction is Sent to the Rear Tires:
The third thing that happens when you enable snow mode on your Honda Pilot is that more traction is sent to the rear tires.
By doing this, Honda gets more power from its all-wheel-drive (also applicable to the 2WD) system and can send it to where it needs to be most: under your vehicle’s tail end.
This helps prevent skidding, which is especially helpful for those who are unfamiliar with driving in snow or ice.
4. The Transmission stays on Low RPMs:
The fourth and final thing that happens when you enable snow mode on your Honda Pilot is that the transmission stays on low RPMs.
By staying in lower gears, you maximize engine torque output while also keeping your vehicle’s stability.
When Should You Use Snow Mode on a Honda Pilot
Let’s get to when it is the best time to use this drive mode feature on your Honda Pilot. The best time to use snow mode is when you are driving in snowy or icy conditions.
However, it’s important to note that while snow mode can help improve traction and control on slippery surfaces, it should not be used as a replacement for good driving practices.
When Not to Use Snow Mode on a Honda Pilot
Since this feature is created to help you drive through snow and ice. You should not use snow mode in normal driving conditions.
The reason for this is that the transmission will stay in lower gears, which can cause you to have less power than normal. In addition, the engine may be working harder while it’s in a lower gear, which means your fuel economy will suffer as well.
How Do You Activate “Snow mode” on a Honda Pilot?
Now, that you know what this drive feature does and when should you use it, let’s look at how to activate and deactivate snow mode on your Pilot.
The Intelligent Traction Management button, located behind the shifter on 2WD models and with a vehicle-profile icon on AWD vehicles, activates Snow Mode.
Press the button once to display the available modes, and then press it again to cycle through the modes until “Snow Mode” is selected.