Nearly all Toyota and Lexus vehicles, and also some models made by other manufacturers, have a simple little button that drivers can push to help make getting started in snowy conditions easier. Time to find that button before Smowmageddon hits.
If you own a Toyota vehicle look first at your gear shift lever. On many vehicles, you will find a button called “Snow” or “ECT Snow.” In snowy or icy conditions that little button will change the way your transmission works in a way that will help you get started. The transmission simply starts the car off in second gear instead of first. Ask any Toyota or Lexus owner that uses it, and they will tell you it works.
Lexus and other manufacturers hide the button. On Lexus IS and GS vehicles, it is often under the steering wheel hidden from view. Check your owner’s manual if you have trouble. Some vehicles use the system settings on the trip computer to actuate this system. If your vehicle does not have a “Snow” button but does have an “ECO” mode, use that. Eco modes simply reduces the throttle, and that can help in snow.
Last, if you see that little button with the car skidding and an “Off” button on it, take note. The reason that traction and stability controls can be set to “off” is so that when you are stuck, you can use the transmission to rock the car back and forth a bit by starting in drive and giving a touch of gas, then shifting to reverse and giving a touch of gas and repeating. By rocking the car, one is sometimes able to move the car out of a rut and move it forward. Good luck!