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Toyota Tundra In Snow & Winter Driving? (Explained)

The Toyota Tundra is a fullsize truck with exceptional reliability, performance, and comfort. However, if you live in a cold-weather region, you may want to know if the Tundra is suitable for winter use.

Read on to find out if the Toyota Tundra is ideal for winter driving.

Here is the short answer about whether the Toyota Tundra is good for snow and winter driving:

With 4WD capability and a class-leading ground clearance, the Toyota Tundra is perfectly suited for snow and winter terrain. It has Vehicle Stability Control, an advanced Brake Assist Technology, Traction Control, and ABS. These features make the Tundra exceptional for driving in winter.

Is a Toyota Tundra Good in the Snow?

With one of the highest ground clearances in the pickup segment, the Toyota Tundra is more than capable of navigating snowed-out roads.

The Tundra’s ground clearance of 10.6 inches is the second highest among all trucks, and only Ford’s off-road focused F-150 Raptor model has better ground clearance.

The Tundra uses a powerful V-8 engine that produces 401 lb-ft of torque–enough power to get you through even the thickest snow. This is important if where you live gets severe snowfall throughout the winter.

You can drive in heavy snow, knowing that your vehicle will hold up and won’t get stuck on the road.

For increased snow driving capabilities, you can buy the TRD Pro variant of the Toyota Tundra. This model comes with features such as a lifted suspension, Fox Shocks, etc., that allows it to combat all manner of harsh terrain, including snow and slush.

What Features Will Improve Winter Driving?

Better than average ground clearance isn’t the only reason the Tundra rides well in snow. Below, we look at some features on the Toyota Tundra that improve the model’s performance in winter:

Part-Time Four-Wheel-Drive

Tundras come standard with rear-wheel-drive (RWD), but with some extra cash, you’ll get 4WD on your Tundra. Unlike some models, the 4WD operates on an on-demand basis, meaning it won’t work unless you activate it.

4WD, whether on-demand or full-time, improves traction when driving on uneven terrains, including snow. It does this by distributing engine power equally to all four tires while driving.

Vehicle Stability Control

A reason many dread winter driving is because the low traction on roads can cause the vehicle to slip and crash. The Vehicle Stability Control feature is designed to solve that problem. With the VSC, you can drive with the assurance that your Tundra won’t skid off an icy road in the winter.

If the VSC system senses the vehicle is losing control, it will reduce the vehicle speed by lowering engine power or cutting it totally. Additionally, it will automatically apply the brakes on both sides of the vehicle to bring it to a halt.

Brake Assist Technology

The Brake Assist technology on Toyota Tundras can decrease stopping times by at least 30 percent. When you press the brakes, the Brake Assist feature automatically increases brake power to ensure your Tundra stops quickly. 

Traction Control

When driving on slippery winter roads, it’s all too easy for your wheels to lose traction and force your vehicle out of control. The Traction Control feature on the Toyota Tundra mitigates against this by ensuring each wheel gets enough traction.

The Traction Control will monitor your Tundra’s wheels during operation and once it detects a wheel losing grip, it sends extra traction there. This ensures your truck remains stable on the road and doesn’t careen off or crash.

Anti-Lock Brakes with Electronic Brake force Distribution

The Anti-Lock Brake system on the Toyota Tundra prevents the wheels from locking up under hard braking–an all too common occurrence in winter driving. The Electronic Brake force Distribution system does the same thing as the ABS.

The major difference between the ABS and the EBD is how they work. The ABS prevents wheel lockup by regulating brake pressure on the wheels.

Meanwhile, EBD will shift brake pressure from the wheels without load as these are more susceptible to locking up under braking.

Please also check our article on 11 Toyota Tundra statistics you should know.

Does a Tundra Have Snow Mode?

The Toyota Tundra doesn’t have a Snow Mode feature. Nonetheless, you still have a 4WD feature which, when activated, will prevent the wheels from spinning excessively and losing traction. So, the 4WD on your Tundra can give you the same function as a Snow Mode system.

Can You Install Additional Snow Gear on Tundra?

High ground clearance and 4×4 capability won’t always get you through snowed roads every time. In such situations, snow driving accessories such as snow tires, snow chains, and snow socks can make a great deal of difference.

You can install a variety of snow gear on your Toyota Tundra. However, you must exercise caution-wrong installation of such equipment can cause problems for your vehicle.

For example, using wrong-fitting snow chains on your tires will affect handling and increase the risk of losing control while driving. Similarly, using the wrong-sized snow tires will make driving uncomfortable for you.

To prevent the aforementioned problems, it is best to know your vehicle’s dimensions before buying snow gear. You may also want to have a pro help you install the snow gear to avoid any mistakes during installation.

How Much Snow Can a Tundra Handle?

The Toyota Tundra is easily one of the best trucks for traveling in snow. With over 10 inches in ground clearance, the Toyota Tundra can handle deep snow.

On the average, a Toyota Tundra should be able to handle up six to eight inches of snow without getting stuck.

If you want to navigate even thicker snow, you should buy the TRD Pro version of the Tundra–it comes with raised suspension and Fox Shocks. 

You should also read our article on the Ford F-150 in snow and winter driving.

How Do Tundra Handle Low Winter Temperatures?

The Toyota Tundra uses fuel injection, so it can handle starting in winter–even in freezing temperatures. However, some problems may prevent your Tundra truck from starting in winter temperatures. In other situations, the truck may refuse to start until the fourth or fifth try.

A faulty electrical system is the most likely cause for your Tundra’s failure to start on a wintry morning. Faulty starters, loose battery terminals, and so on, will cause cold start problems on your Toyota Tundra.

Also, if your battery has no charge in it, you will have trouble starting a Tundra in winter temperatures. A degraded battery will cause the same problem.

Finally, using the wrong oil on your Tundra may prevent it from starting. Most owners advise using viscous oil in place of non-viscous oil to ensure your truck starts up quickly.

Can a Toyota Tundra Drive on Ice?

For a vehicle to be effective on icy roads, it must have a certain level of traction. The Toyota Tundra has a Traction Control feature that increases traction, especially on slippery surfaces. Thanks to this, you can drive a Toyota Tundra on ice without fear of crashing or colliding with another vehicle.

The only caveat is that the Tundra has a higher body mass and center of gravity, which increases its chances of a rollover crash. Thus, it’s not surprising to hear reports of Tundra vehicles tumbling over.

Does the Tundra Have 4WD?

The Tundra comes standard with two-wheel-drive (2WD). However, four-wheel-drive (4WD) is available if you can shell out the additional money to get one.

If you are thinking of getting a new truck, make sure to read our article on 9 Toyota and Ford differences before buying.

What About Older Tundra Models And Winter Driving?

Older Tundras are good for winter driving, as they have features that improve traction and safety on wet surfaces. The following features were standard on Tundras as early as the second generation:

  • Brake assist
  • Vehicle stability control
  • Traction control
  • Four-wheel-drive
  • Electronic brake force distribution

Do Tundras Need Snow Tires?

Toyota Tundras need snow tires to perform optimally in snow.

Snow tires have specially formulated tread compounds that increase their traction and stability in winter road conditions.

If you will use your Tundra throughout the winter, invest in a set of snow tires so you can drive with confidence and safety.

Can You Mount A Snow Plow On A Tundra?

You can mount a plow on your Toyota Tundra. But before you do, consider the following factors:

1. Body mass: The size of your Tundra will determine the plow you can install on it. Consult your mechanic to find a plow suitable for your truck’s size.

2. Engine size: You Tundra’s engine capacity will dictate if it can plow or not. Some Tundras come with bigger engines than others and are better suited to plowing snow.

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