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Jon, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Chrysler
Satisfied Customers: 310
Experience:  Master Chrysler Jeep Dodge technician
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I also have a 2007 Chrysler Pacifica with the same

Customer Question

Hi i also have a 2007 Chrysler Pacifica with the same experience as this person noted 3 years ago. On our steep driveway, with dry and ice patches on it in the winter, it will come to a stop where one wheel encounters the ice - the traction system will intervene to apply brakes to the spinning wheel, but the wheel on dry pavement will not apply to drive the car up the driveway. We have had other FWD cars that had no such problem, even with all season tires. Is this a drive train issue? I don't know cars but i think of posi-trac rearends in the olden days. If this is a crappy drive train issue, is my solution to turn off the traction control system when i encounter my driveway and let it spin its way up the steep incline?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Chrysler
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is this drive train designed such that both wheels don't necessary drive, so if one breaks loose and spins, the other on dry pavement does nothing? If this is the case, even winter tires won't do much to help; it is just a case of being the worst drive train on a FWD car that i have ever experienced. That would be sad because the vehicle is otherwise nice.
Expert:  Jon replied 1 year ago.

Hi, your transmission does have a differential just like a rear axle in a rear wheel drive car. The traction control should brake the spinning wheel to send the power to the other wheel. One of them has to spin if there's power going to the transmission. The problem might be a software issue. Traction control also cuts fuel to the engine to reduce the spinning wheels and it might be cutting too much fuel. There might be software updates for the ABS, PCM and or TCM that might improve the traction control function. You'd have to take it o a dealer to find that out though. If not, then yes, spinning the wheels will probably get you up faster.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
this pacifica does not have a locking differential (I think it was called)? I have 06 mini Cooper s and 05 nissan altima that give me no such problems.
Expert:  Jon replied 1 year ago.

No, it definitely does not have a locking diff or any type of "posi". In theory, the traction control should work by braking the slipping wheel and that will mechanically transfer the power to the one on dry pavement but if the software is cutting too much fuel, there's no power to send and you'll drift backwards if you're on a steep incline.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
But doesn't feeding fuel to the engine mean more braking pressure will be need to be applied to the spinning wheel, thus wearing down the brake pads faster? Or is the system supposed to somehow cut power to the spinning wheel, mechanically transfer power to the non-spinning wheel, thus enabling the non-slipping wheel to drive?
Expert:  Jon replied 1 year ago.

It cuts fuel so the engine applies less power to spin the wheel that's spinning along with applying the brake to the spinning wheel. In an axle with an open differential like yours, the wheel with the least traction is going to spin. The traction control picks that up via wheel speed sensors at each wheel and will apply the brake to the spinning wheel. When the brake gets applied to the spinning wheel, the power mechanically transfers to the other wheel. If the software is cutting the fuel too much, there's not enough power to move the vehicle and it rolls backwards if it's on an incline.