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Unread 01-03-2014, 04:17 PM   #1
ferntree
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Calling All Snow Driving Experts

OK all you snow driving snow bunnies - care to share your "expert" tips for driving in the white stuff before my Overland arrives?
Just moved to Cape Cod from Sydney Australia ten days ago, where it was 98 deg in the shade - holly sh#t!! what a shock to the system. Glad I packed my winter shorts. I had only seen snow twice before this bloody storm arrived. Quite a welcome!
Seriously, I've been driving for 40 years, raced quite a bit, rallied on dirt etc. but I would be interested to hear from "all y'all" if you have acquired any inside knowledge on dealing with the white stuff day to day. Still trying to remember to drive on the other side of the road at the moment.
Looking forward to the replies!

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Unread 01-03-2014, 04:40 PM   #2
kens97sto171
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Think dirt driving .... but with more slip.
I would find an empty parking lot.. and do some practice maneuvers. Slid it a bit. Get a feel for how the car reacts.
Also don't forget to test the braking ability.
Its easy to overlook that a good 4x4... Jeep or Subaru etc. Will GO much better than a 4x2 but it STOPS. About the same as any other car with decent tires.
Its easy to get yourself into a situation where you accelerate yourself into an accident.
Also... welcome to the USA.
The snow can be quite beautiful too.
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Unread 01-03-2014, 04:51 PM   #3
ferntree
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Great - thanks for that. Think I will fit some of those new Goodyear All Terrains too! Much prefer the snow to the excessive heat - but ask me again in March!!
Cheers
Greg
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Unread 01-03-2014, 05:01 PM   #4
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Welcome to the states!

Exactly what kens97 said. Also a good set of snow tires on a cheap set of wheels is a good idea (unless your jeep comes with decent A/Ts).
Only thing I can add is, always be 100% focused on the road. If you stop, the guy behind you might not be able to. IMO the biggest causes of crashes in the snow is speeding, taigaiting, and just not paying attention. Other than that you should be fine.
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Unread 01-03-2014, 05:27 PM   #5
CJ7-Tim
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Drive gently, handle the vehicles like you would handle a wild and poisonous animal. Smooth, steady, and deliberate acceleration, deceleration, and steering inputs. Stomping on either of the foot pedals, or jerking on the steering wheel, will cause a spin out or worse. The mounds of snow between lanes will pull the vehicle, hold tight on the steering wheel, and maintain your course.


As suggested, you really need to practice drifting the vehicle in a safe and wide open area so you know what to expect when it happens (and it will) on a busy and snowy/icy roadway. Ask about black ice and remember to be ready when extreme cold favors black ice formation.
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Unread 01-03-2014, 05:44 PM   #6
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Honestly, just put it in snow mode for the selecterrain and just give yourself a lot more room to brake. Even with my stock Forteras, this thing handles great with almost no slip.
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Unread 01-03-2014, 06:44 PM   #7
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The best advice I ever received for driving in snow came almost 50 years ago and has served me well. Imagine you have an egg taped to the sole of your right shoe and don't press hard enough on the throttle or the brake to break the egg.

In addition to that allow more distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, keep your speed down (but high enough to have inertia to get over hills), remove snow and pre-heat your vehicle before going anywhere, go out and play around a bit to learn how your vehicle responds when it loses traction. Try to turn into the direction of a skid to regain traction and if you don't have ABS, pump the brakes if you skid while stopping. Harsh acceleration/ braking in a corner will put you in a skid but very light braking or acceleration can be helpful in a corner (which one of those depends on the vehicle - front wheel drive usually likes a little acceleration).

I have driven a lot in snow (New England, Northern Central USA, Rockies, Canada, Northern Canada, Alps etc. since the 1960s). I rarely use snow tires (but have and have used chains). Since I have been driving Jeep Grand Cherokees (1997 to now) I have never not made it to my destination in the nastiest of conditions on all weather tires.

The Cape Cod area gets snow but not as much as the inland and northern portions of New England. The ocean water keeps the temps up. Practice in the daylight hours and remember that there are greatly variable snow conditions - probably the worst are snow on ice although wet snow on a dirt road will prove to be a challenge (Vermont "mud season"). Good luck and welcome to the USA!
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Unread 01-03-2014, 07:12 PM   #8
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A lot depends on your local conditions . We have winter conditions and steep hills, narrow roads. So I am one of the very few who puts studded snow on steel rims on both Jeeos and our Subaru. They are all great in the snow. The snow tires really benefit steering and stopping.
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Unread 01-04-2014, 07:03 AM   #9
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Around here the snow (and lots of it) not the problem - it's the drivers around me!
Watch the outside temp before salters out!, usually the 1st few days of snow = fender bender time.
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Unread 01-04-2014, 08:41 AM   #10
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Lots of good snow driving tips on this thread. In all the years I've been driving in snow, the one thing I've found invaluable to remember is, you may have a vehicle that handles great in the snow, but not everyone else does. Give everyone plenty of room. It's amazing how quickly the distance between to sliding vehicles shrinks! And welcome to the States M8!
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Unread 01-04-2014, 09:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ7-Tim View Post
Smooth, steady, and deliberate acceleration, deceleration, and steering inputs. Stomping on either of the foot pedals, or jerking on the steering wheel, will cause a spin out or worse
^^^^This^^^^

I have lived in Idaho for 15 years after moving here from California. I drive 40K+ miles a year for work in the mountain states, in all seasons. The first 5 or 6 years I was here I would have at least one "event" per winter season where I'd be on a highway driving packed snow and the car would "break loose" in a 180 (or sometimes more) high speed spin. When you do these you end up on the side of the road or in the median. If you leave the road at just the right angle or plow sideways into a berm or deep snow you can roll over. Worse, if you are on a two-laner you can find yourself spinning into oncoming traffic. But for the grace of God none of this happened to me. In every case that I've gone into a spin I made a jerky steering move or stomped on the gas, breaking traction / contact and initiating the spin.

It's now been years since this has happened because I have learned to make deliberate and slow lane changes and soft acceleration. Another tip: don't use your cruise control on packed snow / ice, as a moment of un-controlled / automated acceleration provided by your CC can happen at precisely the wrong moment can break you loose.

Be especially careful on packed snow and ice if you encounter off-camber turns. If you are unfamiliar with a road you are driving on (especially a twisty one with blind turns) slow down.

Many good ideas on this thread, but the concept of slow and deliberate changes in steering, acceleration and braking is, for me, a key concept.
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Unread 01-04-2014, 10:49 AM   #12
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Clear the snow/ice on top of the truck before leaving for 2 reasons. You will get a ticket, and second, a sheet of ice can slide forward onto your windshield while braking and cover your visibility.
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Unread 01-04-2014, 11:25 AM   #13
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Watch for unexpected slippery spots on entrance and exit ramps. Also, bridges can ice up before the rest of the road due to cold air flowing beneath.
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Unread 01-04-2014, 11:30 AM   #14
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In New England is seems like each town is in charge of cleaning there sections of main highways and interstates. You can be driving along on dry roads, cross over to the next town and be driving on ice Your advanced warning is, as you look down the highway, you may see a number of vehicles parked on the guard rails. That will give you an indication of where the town line is.
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Unread 01-05-2014, 11:20 PM   #15
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One trick I would add that's helped me over the years on dirt and ice. If you start to slide sideways or if your back end starts to slide out. Shift down to lowest gear possible at that speed, point the front wheels in direction wanting to go and it should help straighten out.
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