2018 Hyundai Sonata - Brake trouble in snow

I was driving on a snowy road yesterday. When I applied my brakes to make a right turn, the brakes “wouldn’t catch”. It sounded like the brakes were snow covered and contact with the tires couldn’t be made.

Interesting, but was that the only time you used your brakes? Is this your first cars with ABS?


Do you have snow tires on? If not, spend the money and get a set of 4.Shorter braking distance,easy take off and better stability when cornering is what set them apart.

Sounds like normal ABS function. The limiting factor for stopping in slippery conditions is your tires, not your brakes.


How much experience do you have driving in snow? It sounds to me like your tires simply lost traction.

If that’s the case, you might need better tires. What tires do you have now and what tread depth do they have?


The next time it snows, take your car to an empty parking lot, stay away from light poles etc. Get the car up to 20 or 25 mph and slam on the brakes, do not let up, stand on the pedal. Do this several times, try turning left and right. If you have never experienced ABS activating you will get a feel for it. The first time it seems like a fast vibration and many folks let up on the brake pedal because they think something is wrong, don’t let up, learn how the ABS works and let it work. Never pump the brakes with ABS

As other have mentioned, check your tires for adequate tread. Consider getting snow tires (not all season - they are not snow tires) Michelin Xice or Blizzaks are outstanding.

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I don’t really know what you mean by “the first time”, but I did use them before without a problem on that outing. It appears to be new, fresh snow that causes the problem. It feels and sounds like snow gets packed onto something and when the brakes are applied, the snow gets “chipped” off. I have had other cars with ABS–a 2008 Nissan Maxima and a 2013 Nissan Altima. They both acted the same way under snowy weather.

This is totally normal and it is not about brakes malfunction, it’s simple mechanics.
As brakes start building up the resistance, tire starts slipping, since snow is not allowing it to grab the road.
You have two choices at this point:
#1. Slow down and drive carefully, according to road conditions.
#2. Get better “snow” tires, which grab much better, but even for them #1 still applies.


limits of traction. i have heard of it.
i wonder if unplowed snow allows worse stopping as the tires cannot get down to the pavement which has sand/salt to help grip? i would think 6" of snow would increase resistance to forward movement and allow more drag to slow car vs a smooth, slippery road?

Then you are not understanding what the brakes are doing . You might need to find someone who can ride with you and possibly change your driving style in this snow .