Is Ford Edge's AWD system worthless?


Asked by Verns Apr 10, 2013 at 03:29 PM about the 2010 Ford Edge Limited AWD

Question type: General

My 2010 Edge has AWD that never transfers power to rear wheels on snow and ice. I have taken in to the
dealership and they tell me it is working normally, but I have tested it out on snow several times and it
never transfers power to the rear wheels. If that is "normal" then I consider the QWD worthless.

13 Answers

Not Active

Isn't there a "lock-up" mode available on your control panel? In any case, sounds like you're trying to outsmart the computer which knows the conditions (apparently) somehow more so than you or I do. Trust in your robot's judgement~ These things are NOT to be toyed with but have a reason for doing whatever it's doing~

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Not Active

perhaps power to the rear wheels puts the thing out of control?


Torque from the engine is transferred through the transaxle to the PTU . This torque is transferred from the driveshaft to the rear axle, which drives the rear halfshafts. The AWD system, also referred to as an Active Torque Coupling (ATC) system, is always active and requires no driver input. The AWD system continuously monitors vehicle conditions and automatically adjusts the torque distribution between the front and rear wheels. During normal operation, most of the torque is delivered to the front wheels. If wheel slip between the front and rear wheels is detected, or if the vehicle is under heavy acceleration, the AWD system increases torque to the rear wheels to prevent or control wheel slip. When the AWD system is functioning properly, there should be no perceived speed difference between the front and rear axles when launching or driving the vehicle on any uniform surface. Traction should be similar to a part time Four-Wheel Drive (4WD) system in 4H (4X4 HIGH), but have no binding in turns. If I were checking this issue I would put it on the lift and put it in drive and see if all four wheels spin. Im sure the dealer you took too has done the same thing. In that case there isnt much you can do. you can get any vehicle to spin in snow except maybe a tank and this is not a tank. it has rubber street tires not tracks. it was meant for paved roads and to provide a smooth quite ride for soccer moms. its not an off road vehicle. If you want better perforamce in snow buy some snow tires and overhaul your front and rear differental's make them limited slip. right now their open meaning if one tire spins it sends all the power to that tire just making matters worse in low traction situations. Im sure the AWD isnt worthless but with anything its not meant to be taken into snow or ice and full throttle to see if the tires spin because they will.

10 out of 10 people think this is helpful.
Tom Demyan

I'm sure it's working fine, when your front tires begin to slip, and you might not even notice it because the computer is so fast, it puts power to the rear wheels for maybe only a second or 2, the back to the front wheels. The tires might not even spin out. Your Edge is a FWD vehicle only until wheel slippage is detected. I only noticed my AWD working in my Tribute when it is really slippery out and you can feel the binding of the drivetrain activating the rear just based on traction.

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.

If that is the normal function of AWD, then I don't see any value for anything but soccer moms driving in "normal" conditions. It does not help when starting out from a stop to move ahead at a slippery corner. It also does nothing to negotiate a slight uphill to pull into my garage. It responds in exactly the same way that my front-wheel drive Honda Accord does. So I still feel that the Ford Edge AWD HAS NO CLEAR TRACTION ADVANTAGE over the Ford Edge without AWD. It certainly is not worth the extra money that Ford charges. Of course, this is assuming that the AWD is functioning properly on my vehicle, which I can't believe is true. At least, my analysis and testing of the system makes the AWD no better than standard two-wheel front drive.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
Not Active

Trust Tom, he's a righteous dude!

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Kenneth Marcum

I know this is late, but I can say - we have an Edge AWD, and it does not do what you're talking about. We had only had it for a few months when we got about two inches of snow. We were leaving a shopping center where the intersection was snow covered and quit slick. When the light changed, we accelerated and immediately noticed the AWD system kick in and assist in getting us going on the snow/ice (and we were impressed by it)... The whole car slid sideways a couple inches as the tires from the rear engaged and got us going. - This is VERY similar to what my 4x4 GMC Yukon does in the same conditions. If your front tires are spinning and your rear tires are not engaging to assist you, then you have a problem. I don't care what anyone else says, if you KNOW your back tires are not engaging when the fronts are slipping, there is a certainly a problem. Maybe it IS engaging, but not enough. Perhaps it's slipping internally - who knows, but take it elsewhere for a second opinion, or take the tech a ride on a nice snowy day. I hope you have already found a solution, but thought I'd post my experience with the Edge's AWD system. Our DOES engage on slick inclines or taking off on slick roadways... We do not notice it when at speed - But I'm sure it's functioning normally then too.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

The 2010 Ford AWD edge does not work. I have also taken it to the dealer, and they assure me that everything is in working order. My driveway has a slight incline. Now this is the 4th snow, and ever time the front wheels spin, nothing to the rear wheels. Ford AWD is a piece of junk!!! I wish there was a button on the dash. I do not need it often, but when I do, it never clicks in. Period. And don't tell me how it is suppose to work. I am well aware of how a AWD is SUPPOSE to work.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Vincent Walter

Sounds nutty, But make sure you have half shafts going to the rear wheels. I have encountered another person who thought they bought an AWD car and did not have an AWD car. My Ford Escape 2005 AWD almost feels rear biased, and is always ready for action. Impressed at least with the AWD system on the Escape from 2005. I am nosing around here as I am looking at a used Edge. BTW I have a 2wd 2002 Highlander and it is worthless in light rain and snow with the FWD only. I thought it would be better, but I bought it in June.... always regretted not springing for the AWD package.


I have a 2010 also and find the same thing to happen. I have taken it in to dealer several times because it starts flashing on dry pavement in the summer and then I can barely get out of my mildly sloped driveway in winter and the indicator never comes on. If I could I would ditch this vehicle. I don't trust it at all in the snow and living in Maine you need a reliable snow goer. My Ford Freestyle was incredibly reliable, I used all-season tires on for the 9 years I owned it so I hoped the same for this one. TOTALLY disappointed in my Edge.


We bought an '07 and experience the loss of traction on curves and corners on icy roads. Not the tires, as some Ford folks urge on forums. I am a RWD kind of guy, so I am aware of that type of slippage .... THAT IS NOT THE CASE. Going very slow is the only way to keep control of the vehicle. .... The symptom is this: The entire vehicle reaches a point in the corner or the curve where it decides to go straight instead of follow the front wheel's commands. .... I am surprised I haven't found more of these stories online.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
You think this is helpful.

I own a Subaru Impreza 2007 4 speed and although the fuel mileage is relatively poor the full time AWD is second to none and the car can be driven 20-30 mph faster than almost all other cars in rally and slippery conditions. Having also driven many part time on-demand AWD cars I find it easy to lose control in high speed snowy corners because drive does always detect differential rate front to rear. Slowly adding power to full time AWD always increases speed and safety.


The problem is too much throttle. The system will default if you apply full throttle in an extreme situation. This protects the components from expierencing extreme input forces. Push throttle in a slow deliberate manner attempting to avoid wheel slip. ALSO... A great deal of the systems operational method is based on the ABS brake system. Wheel slip is controled by the brake system applying brakes to the slipping wheel. This is seen as traction by the mechanical design of AWD . Therefore power goes to the location of LEAST resistance ,ah ha this is the idle rear wheels . As power is directed to the rear, the front brakes will begin to release bringing the four wheels to same speed. Again...full throttle will defeat the system especially if your brakes are worn. You can test by finding a road with a nice smooth dirt shoulder. Put half of car on dirt and other on pavement. ANY half of car will do. Side to side or front to rear. Apply throttle, wheels on dirt no spin. NOW.... slam throttle down like a drunken teenager, system will default and fail. Any who want to ask more feel free to ask.

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