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Old 12-26-2012, 07:17 PM   #1
dave07
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Default Driving in the Snow, Tips?

This is my first heavy snowfall that I have been in with my Subaru. We got about 6-8" locally.

I learned a few things today about my car in the snow:

-The ass end can easily kick out when turning.
-Need to pump brakes every now and then because they lose there bite (not sure why).
-All snow is not equal and thus your car handles differently depending on the snow.
-Downshift to slow down and then apply brakes.
-It seems I spun out more when around my peak torque. I up-shifted to get more "linear" power and not spin.
-TCS on this car seems pretty good.

Also, I watched someone behind me almost plow into a guide rail on a turn. They then proceeded to tailgate me .

Edit: I'm running General Altimax Arctic tires.

What did you guys learn about driving in the snow? Share any tips for a newb?
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Last edited by dave07; 12-26-2012 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:21 PM   #2
Badler
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What kind of tires are you using? Sounds like 95% of your problems.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:23 PM   #3
bugeye829
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ummm.. you drive a Subaru. get good snow tires and drive like normal
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:26 PM   #4
tibug
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave07 View Post
This is my first heavy snowfall that I have been in with my Subaru. We got about 6-8" locally.

I learned a few things today about my car in the snow:

-The ass end can easily kick out when turning.
Get snow tires! And drive only as fast as conditions permit, of course
-Need to pump brakes every now and then because they lose there bite (not sure why).
ABS system functioning as it's supposed to, most likely. With a proper working system, you should not have to pump your brakes. The ABS system will control braking force as necessary to slow the car down as fast as possible. What you're probably experiencing is the ABS system easing off the brakes. Again, you need snow tires, if you don't have them.
-All snow is not equal and thus your car handles differently depending on the snow.
Very true
-Downshift to slow down and then apply brakes.
You can do both at the same time, too.
-It seems I spun out more when around my peak torque. I up-shifted to get more "linear" power and not spin.
-TCS on this car seems pretty good.

Also, I watched someone behind me almost plow into a guide rail on a turn. They then proceeded to tailgate me .

What did you guys learn about driving in the snow? Share any tips for a newb?
SNOW TIRES. And drive slow. And pay attention. Brake very early. To test the conditions, find an empty stretch of road and see how well the car reacts to braking. That'll give you a rough idea of how fast you can or cannot go.
Tires are important.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:27 PM   #5
mhoerath
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bugeye829 View Post
ummm.. you drive a Subaru. get good snow tires and drive like normal
otherwise you'll end up in a ditch and/or wrecking your car. $$$

ps grew up driving in snow in altoona.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:29 PM   #6
theda3g0
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Proper snow tires are the most effective 'trick' to driving in winter weather.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:30 PM   #7
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Throttle to steer.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:31 PM   #8
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Wrong LFB to steer. Get some.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:33 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by sackytar View Post
Wrong LFB to steer. Get some.
Word. Scandinavian Flicks are the ONLY way to properly drive in the snow.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:34 PM   #10
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^^^Those two.

Or drive slower.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:35 PM   #11
dave07
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I have dedicated snow tires. General Altimax Artic.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:37 PM   #12
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Be aware of slush, its drastically different than driving in powdery snow. Regardless of being awd or not, it can suck you off the road quite easily.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:44 PM   #13
dave07
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Do you guys keep TCS on or off? It seem to work pretty well. My ass end kicked out/wanted to kick out when accelerating and turning. Maybe I need more weight back there (no spare/tools and muffler delete).
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:51 PM   #14
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engine braking is your friend
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:52 PM   #15
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try lower pressure in the tires...snow tires usually like 30-33psi range

and ya always ALWAYS gotta drive AHEAD......if ya like most of the idiots out there and ya lookin 10 feet in front of ya and no farther...ya GONNA crash

drive AHEAD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teddy7 View Post
engine braking is your friend
^^^^this

driving in the snow/winter is a REAL test of how well you actually know how to heel and toe...most just think they do it right....but get 'em in the snow and
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:26 PM   #16
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Easy to start moving, harder to stop. Take that into account.
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:36 PM   #17
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engine braking is your friend
Not really. You have far better control while modulating your brakes (or letting your ABS do this for you).
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:40 PM   #18
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Engine breaking is your friend, keep your distance, switch lanes slowly. Also get snow tires.

I think switching lanes slow is important...I told my GF this and not 10 seconds after i said it a guy in front of us decided to switch lanes fast and drove right into the ditch. It was snowing a decent amount, on i5 in eastern oregon.
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:43 PM   #19
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ABS isn't the smartest on deformable surfaces, so take some care in stopping early. The ABS system also wants to roll the car, always. This can be problematic if you get too sideways because it will actually roll you straight into the ditch.

I think people have different perceptions of the rear end kicking out. For some, anything, anything at all is the rear end kicking out. For others, the car has to be quite sideways to really care at all about what the rear end is doing. If you're not used to a car floating around and sliding around, get some practice. Because it is a loose surface, your car will seldom be straight if you are pushing the car at all. The behavior becomes a bit more dynamic as the car reaches its operating limit. Some movement is expected. The higher the slide angle, the more you need to know about car control or you can get into big trouble.

I grew up in snow. I don't really have much to say in terms of driving on the stuff. Deep snow can pull the car around, especially if rutted. The most dangerous thing you can get is drifting snow because depth and hardness is not consistent and the smoothness of the shape hides its size well. Hitting deep snow with only one side of the car can pull you into the ditch, spin you 180 degrees, and/or make you do a 360.

The only other danger of winter driving is ice. Winter will often generate a mix of surfaces from deep snow to packed snow, to ice, and then bare road all in the same area. Grip can vary a lot from second to second. A little worse is hidden ice under a fresh snow fall. You can have glare ice under some new fluffy snow, and you won't realize it until it's too late. If it's a road you take on a regular basis, read the road surface as you drive and make notes where the ice is building up. That way when the fresh snow does come, you know where the icy spots are.

Semis like passing people in blizzards. They seem to go slow during the summer but in winter they love flying by cars on the left lane. Every time one passes, you are blind for a period of time. Know where the road goes and mentally drive it till the micro blizzard passes. Semi drivers tend to be exceptionally careful because any accident means a lost job, but you will still find many drivers taking unnecessary risks. Expect to be both blinded and run off the road some at times. That's just the way it is.
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:47 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cocoa Beach Bum View Post
Not really. You have far better control while modulating your brakes (or letting your ABS do this for you).


no.....never....ever...or ya doin it all wrong
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:53 PM   #21
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I use all seasons in PA as snow tires would go to waste as we only see snow here and ther and do fine. Throttle if you feel the car kick out as discussed, it sounds odd to push the gas when feel you are losing control, but it works. Most of us here, do it for fun when given the opportunity. We got about 2 inches today and I still have on my high performance tires (need to switch to winters asap) and came out of the gym and saw snow on the roads and thought ****. Drove home and slid a lot, but LFB and trottle and home safe. I also pulled my ABS fuse ages ago as well.
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:56 PM   #22
KeithS05RS2.5
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1.) drive slow, no need to drive fast and crash just because u have a Subaru and think you should be able to drive fast

2.) engine brake ftmfw

3.) Take you car in a parking lot and experiment with getting it loose and correcting it, you can read all you want but its all bout how the car feels depending on if you want to steer out or throttle out or both

4.) More tire pressure if you are expecting mostly slush or snow on top of slush, less tire pressure for snow with no slush

5.) I hate abs and think its worse than no abs, but my impreza has it so i deal with it. Turn it off IMO but to each their own

6.) SNOW TIRES!! Im running all-seasons and having just got home from work in a white out with about 5-6 inches of unplowed snow, im def. getting a winter setup for next year
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:01 PM   #23
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Drive slower and stop sooner of course ! Let your ABS do its job aka dont pump the brakes.

Snow tires are great a few days out of the season here in Michigan, wish I had em today on the short ride home.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:08 PM   #24
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Kick the clutch whenever you take a turn.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:10 PM   #25
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