Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Learning, learning…

lexus shifter

It’s a sunny 36 degrees and the 5” of snow from last night’s blizzard is rapidly turning to slush, so I decided to see how the Lexus could handle our unplowed subdivision streets.

I promptly got stuck at the end of our driveway, a gentle uphill right turn.

Then I noticed the button to the left of the shifter marked ECT SNOW. Out came the inch-thick owner’s manual and I quickly learned that there is an ECT light on the instrument panel that confirms when the ECT mechanism is engaged.

Our ‘03 Lexus RX330 is front wheel drive, so I knew there was no chance of ECT involving 4WD.

That in mind, I pushed the button, checked the ECT light on the dash and gingerly applied pressure to the accelerator. Voila! The car moved forward and never faltered over the 2/10 mile of snow and slush between our house and the well-plowed county road.

Online research later informed me that ECT minimizes wheelspin by starting off in second gear and making the accelerator a little less responsive to foot pressure.

Hardly 4WD or all-wheel drive, but it worked and spared me some embarrassment.

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