Advice on driving on snowy/wet pavement and using 4WD
When chain controls are in effect, just telling them you have 4WD is enough to get through. But that's just as bad as going through with a 2WD and no chains on. I figure they want 4WD or chains to make sure drivers have traction and control from that point on, but I know I don't want to use 4WD on pavement even slightly wet. So when should I enguage 4WD so it won't stress my drive train and I still stay safe? Thanks.
Dayamn. You can use wheelspin to stop? I suppose I could see that while going up hill...
I grew up here in Washington, and we don't get all that much snow, but I learned in a Miata how to drive in the snow. And it was fun. I'm with him ^. I only use 4wd (on vehicles where I have a choice. cough subaru cough WJ quadradrive cough two other subarus) when I need it or when I KNOW I'll need it.
And if you're in a situation where you need chains on a 4wd/awd (other than wheeling), you should turn around and go home.
let me rephrase that so you don't think i'm dumping the clutch to stop. I use a combo of engine rpms and intermintent brakes to get the Jeep to slow. During snow, more engine than brakes, during summer more brakes. Plus I think its more fun to drive in snow (except white out conditions). One of the best ways to learn how to drive in the snow is go to an empty parking lot. Have at it, do some donuts, practice sliding and stopping. Its fun and you get a feel for what your vehicle is going to do under those conditions. Once you have mastered the parking lot, I have a mud track where I go to practice by never using the brakes and turning under full throttle (2wd). Fun fun fun. IMHO -suprises make you panic, and panic is bad, I've seen some of my friends freak out when they started to slide and did the exact opposite of what they were supposed to do. Just my 2 cents-
Thanks for the replies, parking lot sounds fun...
I was more worried about black ice or snow covered roads where I might end up sliding into oncomming traffic. If I get stuck no worries, getting out is a matter of patience. Maybe it's a myth but I always heard that 4WD will help keep the vehicle under control (ie going in the right direction) when some wheels suddenly lose traction.
I guess I forgot to mention originally that I was thinking about situations where I'm driving up to the mountains to go snowboarding, not going offroad. I go pretty regularily and I'm a little paranoid because I crashed a 2WD minivan earlier this year from black-ice and loss of control.
With AWD/4WD you'll want to NOT hit the brakes if you start sliding. Turn the wheel the direction you want to go and apply some throttle. If you're not already screwed, the front tires should pull you in the direction you want to go. Don't floor it though, that's asking for problems.
My Jeep Owner's Bible says we shouldn't use 4WD on dry hard surfaces because the two driveshafts don't spin at exactly the same speed. I start using 4WD when it has rained enough to bring the oil to the surface. This way it is slick enough to give the tires a little slip to help keep the drive shafts synchronized. I can really tell a traction difference even in the light rain. I use 4WD in all snow conditions and have found it hard to lose traction unless on ice. Ice is the great equalizer. When sliding sideways in the snow, I use standard driving techniqes( steer into the slide, don't use brakes). Hope this helps.