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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! I've had my 2016 cx3 for 2 and a half years now. Last year in Oregon we had a good snow. By the sound of the engine being rougher than normal we were hoping the AWD engaged... how can you tell? Is there and little tricks to try to get it into AWD... like use the "stick" option and/or traction off? Oregon does not plow/ salt/rock/gravel worth anything except major intersections. Most of our snow turns to all ice... fun.
 

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I think part of the beauty of the AWD system in the CX-3 is that it is so unobtrusive that you really don't know it's engaged until you invoke a four-wheel power slide around a corner! :cool: That, and when you just drive away from a traffic signal while everyone else is still spinning their wheels trying to get traction. The CX-3 with good winter tires is an absolute joy to drive in the snow.
I'm wondering if Oregon allows the use of studded winter tires, since they can't be bothered to properly clear the roads. I remember using studded tires when we lived in Northern Ontario, but they are banned in Southern Ontario where I live currently.
 

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The secret ingredient is the windshield wipers. Like really. Even to the point they were called out on youtube vids comparing awd systems between the cx3 and Subaru's and all of a sudden you see wipers moving on a dry sunny day during the test. Not sure if its a trigger for always on or increased sensitivity but mazda set it up presuming that when wipers are on you have a greater chance of needing awd/increased traction whether for snow or rain
 

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The secret ingredient is the windshield wipers. Like really. Even to the point they were called out on youtube vids comparing awd systems between the cx3 and Subaru's and all of a sudden you see wipers moving on a dry sunny day during the test. Not sure if its a trigger for always on or increased sensitivity but mazda set it up presuming that when wipers are on you have a greater chance of needing awd/increased traction whether for snow or rain
I'm guessing that only happens when the wipers are left in the auto/sensing mode setting. I've noticed mine activate occasionally on a dry day, but not when you would expect the AWD system to be operating, like when driving along a paved road in a straight line. I just thought they were overly sensitive and have switched them to the off position when that happens. I also have the lane departure warning set to off because that is really annoying!
 

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For slightly more technical explanation

In the "what are the sensors watching" section temp and wipers are probably the two most active data collection modules to determine what capacity awd needs to be engaged aside from actual slippage.
 

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I'm guessing that only happens when the wipers are left in the auto/sensing mode setting. I've noticed mine activate occasionally on a dry day, but not when you would expect the AWD system to be operating, like when driving along a paved road in a straight line. I just though they were overly sensitive and have switched them to the off position when that happens. I also have the lane departure warning set to off because that is really annoying!
I think autosensing is more of a luxury feature. Mine didn't have any of the sort on launch year as far as i know but the usual determinant was wiper speed would influence higher rate of awd triggering due to faster wiper movement intervals presumes heavier downpour
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think part of the beauty of the AWD system in the CX-3 is that it is so unobtrusive that you really don't know it's engaged until you invoke a four-wheel power slide around a corner! :cool: That, and when you just drive away from a traffic signal while everyone else is still spinning their wheels trying to get traction. The CX-3 with good winter tires is an absolute joy to drive in the snow.
I'm wondering if Oregon allows the use of studded winter tires, since they can't be bothered to properly clear the roads. I remember using studded tires when we lived in Northern Ontario, but they are banned in Southern Ontario where I live currently.
Most ppl have studs. I did tons of research snow vs studs. But yeah where I am the snow either melts pretty fast or it turns to solid ice pretty fast.
I'm guessing that only happens when the wipers are left in the auto/sensing mode setting. I've noticed mine activate occasionally on a dry day, but not when you would expect the AWD system to be operating, like when driving along a paved road in a straight line. I just thought they were overly sensitive and have switched them to the off position when that happens. I also have the lane departure warning set to off because that is really annoying!
Mine is the sport model so I don't have auto wipers so I'll make sure next time to turn them on even if I don't need them
 

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I think autosensing is more of a luxury feature. Mine didn't have any of the sort on launch year as far as i know but the usual determinant was wiper speed would influence higher rate of awd triggering due to faster wiper movement intervals presumes heavier downpour
The auto sensing wiper feature I'm referring to is when you leave it in the "intermittent" setting. I like that the wipers speed up and slow down depending on how much rain is falling, but they occasionally activate when the glass is completely dry. That's when I switch them to the full "off" setting.
The AWD system might use wiper speed as one determinant, but I certainly hope it's not a high priority one. Many of our secondary roads around here are gravel and over the winter they are basically hard packed snow with a light dusting of sand for some added traction. Travelling along these roads, or even paved roads with snow build-up on a dry clear day would not require the use of the wipers, but the AWD system is definitely needed.
Whatever criteria the Mazda engineers used to determine when and how the AWD system activates, they have done an excellent job. The AWD system just works when necessary and is almost intuitive about it. It's simply there when you want and many times it was probably working and you never had a clue that it just helped you make that turn, or stay out of that ditch.
 
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