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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Suby snow-driving tips

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17 replies to this topic

#1 felipe01forester


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Posted 31 January 2005 - 05:35 PM

Well, the Dallas-Fort Worth area is about to get its annual one day of snow, and of course, I would really like some info on how to safely drive (or wheel) in the white stuff. Since this is a rare opportunity for anyone living in the state of Texas, any of the DFW natives on this board (and I know there are a few) would surely be helped out by some of this info.

#2 LoyaleFan


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Posted 31 January 2005 - 06:19 PM

Always give youself enough time to stop! Figure over 3 times the normal stopping distance needed when you're driving in snow. Watch the bends, and always watch the "other guy" while driving around. Not eveybody has a subaru. Have fun and take it easy when you first start driving in snow...you'll eventually get used to it.

#3 Snowman


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Posted 31 January 2005 - 06:45 PM

Yeah, I would be much more afraid of everybody else.

The best advice I can give is STAY OFF THE BRAKES! When wheels lock up, they have no traction, which means that you cannot steer. I can't begin to imagine how many times I've seen people slide into things that they could have easily steered around if they hadn't locked up the wheels.

Also, don't panic if things start to go wonky. It's all physics, and you can usually pull out of a slide or whatever if you just remain calm, steer into it, and gently throttle out. I can't stand seeing people get into a little slide, freak out, let go of the wheel, and hope that whatever deity they pray to is having a good day.

#4 mudduck


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Posted 31 January 2005 - 06:55 PM

take your time! 4wd helps you to get going but really dont help you stop and it doesnt make you stick to the road(alot of soccer moms though this in co. funny it was always the newer suv to be the first ones to crash)

dont mash on the gas when accelerating and dont slam the brakes when stoping the key is to the tires turning, a spinning tire isnt getting traction, nor is a locked up tire
one of the best things to do is find a open snow covered parking lot(with nothing to run into) and rally around get the car to slide and see how it does in the snow. play around and get a feel for your car in the slick stuff

#5 simpreza2


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Posted 31 January 2005 - 07:03 PM

If you find yourself in trouble(sliding off the road, etc..) keep on the GAS! I know it sounds stupid but it works in AWD(99% of the time for me at least). It feels weird at 1st and you should practice in a parking lot 1st too but it has saved my butt quite a few times.

#6 ballitch


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Posted 31 January 2005 - 08:25 PM

ya just so ya know, AWD only works when you use throttle, thats how it transfers power "from the wheels that slip, to the wheels that grip," whenever i go driving in snow i always find a parking lot or empty church parking lot and get re-used to driving in snow, after about 2 hours im good to go............:brow: .


#7 archemitis


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Posted 31 January 2005 - 08:40 PM

find an empty church parking lot(lots of em down there), crank wheels all the way to one side, apply throttle, and start smiling, alot. then try it in reverse.

practice in it, snow makes it very hard to flip a car, unless you hit some dry pavement, when your sideways.

#8 the sucker king

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Posted 31 January 2005 - 09:15 PM

good tires = the most important thing

#9 Vanislru


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Posted 31 January 2005 - 09:35 PM

good tires = the most important thing

Can't argue with that, Sucker King your avatar rules!

#10 hooziewhatsit


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Posted 31 January 2005 - 09:45 PM

find an empty church parking lot(lots of em down there), crank wheels all the way to one side, apply throttle, and start smiling, alot. then try it in reverse.

Just don't use the OIT parking lot... Campus security has nothing better to do than watch it (and give you warnings) :banghead:

just remember, when in doubt, power out!

#11 GLCraig



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Posted 01 February 2005 - 12:06 AM

Just don't use the OIT parking lot... Campus security has nothing better to do than watch it (and give you warnings) :banghead:

They don't mind too much if you're out on the gravel lot behind Corrnet Hall

#12 hooziewhatsit


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Posted 01 February 2005 - 12:22 AM

They don't mind too much if you're out on the gravel lot behind Corrnet Hall

that's where I was.... :banghead:

They've gotten real picky the last couple years....

Told him I was showing my wife how to handle in the snow. He said to call and let them know if I wanted to show her again some other time.

ohwell, it feels like spring down here now

#13 All_talk


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Posted 01 February 2005 - 11:05 AM

Here's a response I typed up for a similar thread...

Original thread: http://www.ultimates...=winter driving

Most of whets been said here is good. I have been driving in the snow and mountains of Washington my whole life, learned to drive in the Cle Elum/Roslyn area and have been commuting over Snoqualmie Pass daily for the last 10 years. I will give you my thoughts on winter driving in order of importance.

1. SLOW DOWN, I can not emphasize this enough, not only will you need more time to react, but the car will require more room and time to maneuver, its pure physics. And just because the lane you are in is clear don’t overdrive, you never know when you may be forced into a sudden lane change or the conditions in you lane will change. If the plow driver lifts his blade or hits the turnaround you can go from bare and dry to 10" of slop in less than a second. Drive at a pace that feel comfortable to you, if you feel tense you are still going to fast, if others are passing you its probably not because they are super snow drivers, they’re probably just stupid (unless it me :-p ).

2. SNOW TIRES, while not an absolute necessity they are the best equipment advantage you can get, better that 4WD, locking diffs and all the other gadgets combined. Not to say 4WD doesn’t help, in fact a Subaru with a good set of tires is about at good as in gets, both of mine (wagon and RX) are far superior to my 4WD Suburban. The Nokans and Blizzaks are very good, but for a moderate cost you can get a set of Cooper Weathermaster S/T2s, I’ve been running them for the last two years on 4WD Subarus and highly recommend them. I run studless, conditions around here rarely warrant studs and with all the dry/wet running you will do they will be worn flat in less than a season anyway. Like others have said, thinner is better, for the EA Subes I would go with the 165/80R13. On Snoqualmie the conditions are often clear/wet wheel tracks with heavy furrows of snow/slush between, the penetration provided by the thin tires makes lane changes much more stable. When changing lanes in these conditions, try to always do it power on, power adds stability to FWD/AWD cars. In fact, try to leave room around you to add throttle in all winter conditions, this can be tough going down hill, so doubble up on rule #1.

3. SMOOTH CONTROL INPUTS, throttle, brakes and steering should all be smooth and controlled, if you are paying attention to the road there should be no need for violent maneuvers. Get to know how the car reacts to small inputs, this is where the snow covered parking lot is of use, but be productive, learn what it takes to start a slide and recovery from it, don’t just spin donuts (well you can do a few, they are fun :) ).

4. DON'T BE A LEMMING, going with the flow or the pack is not a smart move. Keep room around yourself, you’re going to need space to correct your mistakes or maneuver around other's. If this means you need to slow up and let others pass, so be it, if you need to pass, pick a good place to do it and move on away from other cars. If the wheel tracks look glazed over, move to one side where you tires are running in better traction. Thick, wet and sloppy slush and snow is the WORST (well except for 4" of little round sleet BBs... that was a very long drive to work), many times there is better traction in lanes further left where the snow is dryer. Visualize the contact between the tire and the surface and think about what you are saking the car to do. And if you are not sure about how much traction is available assume the worst, if you have room around you slow down a bit and do a brake check, progressively apply the brake tell you hear/feel a wheel start to slide, but be ready, it may happen sooner than you think. I often do this at the top of a hill to get a sense of the safe down-grade speed. Oh, and did I mention turn the radio off and listen to the road, you will learn difference between "looks dark cause its wet" and "looks dark cause its ice". Listen for water spray and look for it on the tires of other cars.

And note on adding weight, it can be a big help, my wagon seems to need it more than the RX, it would get a little tail happy going down hill with the brakes on. You should try for a couple of hundred pounds and place it as far back as you can, this will add pound of pound plus transfer some weight from the front, you get a better balance without adding more total weight. For me I addition to all my snow cloths (don’t forget the wool socks), tool box, spare (snow) tire, water, shovel and other road supplies, my ballast of choice is a big long heavy tow chain (about 85lb+) placed in bottom of the recessed cargo cubby.

Sorry for the length, I will probably think of more but I’m out of time right now…


#14 dustyrider


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Posted 01 February 2005 - 12:05 PM

I learned to drive in New England i dont know i think they just got some blizzard just par for the course....
the best advice you will ever wish you'd remembered is never ever get yourself into a situtation where you have to rely on your brakes.

other than that if you got good reaction time and gaurd rails you'll be fine.

#15 Sweet82


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Posted 01 February 2005 - 12:32 PM

If your looking for traction on or off-road....wheel speed is not the ticket :banghead:

Spinning your wheels does not give you traction. Many folks think wheel speed it the key.

Baby the gas and try to get your car to move without spinning a wheel. This is easy in a newer Subie!

#16 chef_tim


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Posted 01 February 2005 - 05:31 PM

In DFW????? Stay off the roads!!!!!!! The worst thing you'll need to worry about is idiots out in it with you:lol: :lol:

#17 ballitch


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Posted 02 February 2005 - 12:47 AM

When the snowstorm of 2004', the "huge" snowstorm we had in the PNW last year, I was on my way to a starbucks, yes i know, with my girlfriend in the car. I was slowing down before i got to the top of the bridge in salem, and i started using brakes and manually shifting my automatic into 1st gear, the traffic was smart behind me and did as i did, i was in front in the middle lane. There this retard in a newer honda accord goes by me at double my speed downhill (about 15-18 mph) and puts on the brakes and starts to slide, he slides all the way through the intersection until he lets off his brakes, where's a damn cop when you need one, If i'd have done that crap id be in handcuffs for wreckless driving and wreckless endangerment. stupid dumba$$.


#18 MilesFox


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Posted 02 February 2005 - 03:50 AM

when approaching turns say at an intersection, do all your braking and slow down before you turn. dont brake during the turn, because the front may understeer and put you into the opposite lane!

use common sense and be aware of the momentum of the car

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