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Simple Tip If You Lose Traction In The Snow

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16 replies to this topic

#16 HydroHarold OFFLINE  

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Posted February 23, 2013 - 02:00 AM

I think that anyone considering buying a 4WD SUV should have to pass a "Common Sense Test".  Back when me and only 3 other guys in NY state had 4WD's the average person was staying home waiting until the CINDER spreader went by before driving...  Nobody was out trying to see how far stuck they could get or how fast they could go on packed snow...


The best 2WD vehicles I've ever driven were my "detuned" '58 VW Microbus and a '64 Beetle.  Sure they didn't have any heat or defroster, but even dressed in a parka, shoe packs and balaclava and with a walnut sized viewing area scraped off the windshield you could always go in snow... Life was so much simpler then... (sigh!)

#17 Reverend Blair OFFLINE  

Reverend Blair


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Posted February 24, 2013 - 10:00 AM

Ah, snow-driving tips.  This winter it's been eight hours a day five days a week.  It warms up, snows, then gets too cold for the graders to properly clear the roads.  


Easy on the fuel, easy on the brakes, and leave yourself lots of room.  


Turn your lights on...daytime running lights don't turn on your tail lights or marker lights.  


Watch the walk/don't walk signal at lights.  If it's on walk you'll make the light. If it's a blinking don't walk you'll probably make the light.  If it's a solid don't walk, you likely won't make the light.  This is far from fool-proof, but you need every advantage you can get when it's slick out there.


Be very aware.  Look way ahead whenever possible.  Watch for drivers unable to stop at intersections. You should be doing this anyway, but it becomes way more important when the roads get slick.


As for tires:  Deflate a bit on ice or if you are stuck.  As soon as you get clear of the ice, re-inflate.  In mixed conditions, go for full inflation.  I go by the PSI listed on the tire.  The fuller it is, the better it will cut through snow and the better mileage you'll get.  Don't deflate if you are hauling a load...the bead breaks much more easily under weight.  Also, be aware of pot holes.  A sudden jolt in very cold weather can break the bead. 


Don't spin your tires, you'll just make ice out of that snow.  If the tires spin, ease off a bit.


Remember that lanes get narrower in the snow.  You won't have as much room as you are used to.


There is more traction if you can get out of the wheel ruts of others, but be careful the snow doesn't throw you into a boulevard or ditch.


Go play in a parking lot.  Learn how to control a skid and what your car/truck does on snow and ice.  Also, this is a lot of fun.


Watch for debris.  Other people are crashing and leaving bits of their cars out there on the road.  You can permanently deflate a tire on that sharp plastic.


If you come off a dry highway with hot tires and into a snowy/icy parking lot and it's really cold out, let the tires cool for ten or fifteen minutes and then move the vehicle.  Hot tires will melt the ice and snow, and then it will refreeze.  There is nothing more frustrating than having your tires frozen in place. 


Be very aware of your weight if you are hauling something in a truck or trailer.  Your braking distances are greatly increased and your handling changes.  Take it all into account.

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