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Old 12-27-2012, 01:57 PM   #51
J-hop
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Just think about how you walk when you are on a skating rink in shoes and drive like that it is a pretty darn close comparison.

I've driven RWD since I started driving. Don't give it gas if the rear pops out as some have suggested. This may sort of work with AWD but the best course of action is to decrease throttle input slightly (don't jump off the throttle that can make things worse) and steer into the skid, don't give it more power.

don't pump the brakes, let them off and then reapply lighter if they lockup, also remember if you are sliding towards someone don't hold the brake, it sounds counter intuitive but train yourself to look for an exit, let off the gas and point for it. I've never come close to hitting someone but we have to take an advanced snow and ice driver training every year for work and we have to practice this technique all the time until it becomes habit.

Short shift all the time and double (at least) any stopping or following distances.

Really there is not a lot different between summer and winter driving, the main difference is that for crappy drivers summer driving is a lot more forgiving than winter driving and allows them to get away with a lot more. Most people that crash on snow and ice don't crash because of the conditions, they crash because they are poor drivers (and probably never realized it).
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Last edited by J-hop; 12-27-2012 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:49 AM   #52
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I try to anticipate obstacles (drivers, sweepings corners, etc) in the road. Mostly because other drivers tend to be too confident and I need to be prepared to stop in time if they are losing traction and or are sideways.

If I see a driver acting too confident or who is sliding or gasing it too much then I back way off and stay clear of them.

If possible I try to keep a wheel or two in a clean line (meaning if a track has developed in the road).

Winter tires are a must in my area (PA); not just for the snow, but for the temps and deteriorating roads over the winter. Potholes spawn like crazy this time of year.
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:43 AM   #53
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We've been getting quite a few snow storms around here lately and I've realized people are becoming a lot dumber driving in the snow nowaday. Especially people in Truck/SUV/AWD cars. I have no problem driving in the snow however when I do have to drive in the snow I'm more afraid of other people hitting me. I always try to keep a big distance in front of me so I have enough time to react however people always tailgate right behind me like they can break without sliding off in the snow. Some time I want to suddenly pump my break so those people just lose control of their car >.>

On topic: If your tail end swinging out then you're turning too fast. Make your turns slower, stay under 2000 rpm.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:08 PM   #54
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Remember that ABS doesn't help you stop sooner, particularly on snow. It prevents the wheels from locking up so you can steer. If your ABS kicks in look for someplace to steer to - don't look at the object you are about to hit.

The trick to winter driving is to anticipate what is going to happen. You need to be constantly reading the road conditions ahead of you and noting whether its snow, ice, wet or dry, if there are bumps, camber or obstacles to consider, and so on. Then, if you're being safe - slow down accordingly; or if you're having fun anticipate how much the car is going to slide. If you're going around an icy corner for example you need to turn in sooner than you normally would so the car is rotated just the right amount as it reaches the corner - in other words, slide in - straight out, not straight in - slide out. To do this you need to set the car up with the steering wheel, but actually control where the car is going by modulating the throttle and brakes. The only way to get a handle on this is to practice - and only practice in an empty parking lot or other location where you won't damage you car or other people's property.

Last edited by Howl; 12-28-2012 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:16 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luan87us View Post
We've been getting quite a few snow storms around here lately and I've realized people are becoming a lot dumber driving in the snow nowaday. Especially people in Truck/SUV/AWD cars. I have no problem driving in the snow however when I do have to drive in the snow I'm more afraid of other people hitting me. I always try to keep a big distance in front of me so I have enough time to react however people always tailgate right behind me like they can break without sliding off in the snow. Some time I want to suddenly pump my break so those people just lose control of their car >.>

On topic: If your tail end swinging out then you're turning too fast. Make your turns slower, stay under 2000 rpm.
Some idiot passed me in an Escalade yesterday. It was snowing. I was doing just slightly over the speed limit, and there was a double yellow line. Yet he felt his 6000lbs SUV on all-season tires was being held up unnecessarily. Unfortunately he didn't end up in the ditch (that I saw anyway).
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:22 PM   #56
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Remember that ABS doesn't help you stop sooner, particularly on snow. It prevents the wheels from locking up so you can steer. If your ABS kicks in look for someplace to steer to - don't look at the object you are about to hit.

The trick to winter driving is to anticipate what is going to happen. You need to be constantly reading the road conditions ahead of you and noting whether its snow, ice, wet or dry, if there are bumps, camber or obstacles to consider, and so on. Then, if you're being safe - slow down accordingly; or if you're having fun anticipate how much the car is going to slide. If you're going around an icy corner for example you need to turn in sooner than you normally would so the car is rotated just the right amount as it reaches the corner - in other words, slide in - straight out, not straight in - slide out. To do this you need to set the car up with the steering wheel, but actually control where the car is going by modulating the throttle and brakes. The only way to get a handle on this is to practice - and only practice in an empty parking lot or other location where you won't damage you car or other people's property.

whoa baby steps

if the OP is having the tail go out unintentionally he shouldn't be trying to put it out intentionally haha. But yea you do have a point, my dad took me out the first winter I drove and had me practice drifting in an empty parking lot, he would get me to start a turn then let off the gas, he would rip the ebrake and i'd have to correct for the slide. Then get me to hold drifts in a long circle and figure out how steering/brake/throttle input affected the slide.

This was great for learning what to do in a slide but he always made it clear that the best thing was to never get yourself into a slide in the first place (and I never have unintentionally!).

I was driving our subaru around in the snow yesterday and to be honest I am confused as to how you guys are putting the back end out under normal driving conditions. Now mine(the GF's actually) is an auto so i realize the power split under normal driving isn't the same as a manual. But once it slips and the power distribution changed I was trying to get the rear end out and I just couldn't. I found the thing just understeers around corners if you try to do that, not quite as bad as FWD cars but nothing like a RWD oversteer.

So my question is what are the conditions that you guys are getting the rear out?????


Also for those who keep repeating "under inflate your tires" which is not only wrong but I don't even think it fits with your theory. I believe those that say under-inflate your tires think that it will give you more surface area to grip. But have you ever looked at a diagram of what an under-inflated tire looks like? it cups in the center so that tread area isn't even really effective, so your theory refutes itself....



so KEEP YOUR TIRES PROPERLY INFLATED... that is all

edit: looks like the above tire comment was meant for a different snow driving thread where people keep repeating "reduce your air pressure", but lets just nip this misunderstanding in the bud!

Last edited by J-hop; 12-28-2012 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:27 PM   #57
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scandanavian flick ftw!!! lol...cant wait to get in snow in a couple day's time! im taking notes on this thread for my experience
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:58 PM   #58
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Overinflate your tires. Underinflate your tires. Pump your brakes. Don't pump your brakes. Let ABS pump your brakes. Use throttle, use engine braking, countersteer, let go of the wheel.

Geez, just wait until the roads are cleared and there's less traffic. You'll get home at the same time with a lot less drama.

The only really good advice is this: slow down (WAY down), and leave a LOT of extra room.
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:33 PM   #59
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Snow tires, and drive like normal.
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:43 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J-hop View Post
whoa baby steps

if the OP is having the tail go out unintentionally he shouldn't be trying to put it out intentionally haha. But yea you do have a point, my dad took me out the first winter I drove and had me practice drifting in an empty parking lot, he would get me to start a turn then let off the gas, he would rip the ebrake and i'd have to correct for the slide. Then get me to hold drifts in a long circle and figure out how steering/brake/throttle input affected the slide.

This was great for learning what to do in a slide but he always made it clear that the best thing was to never get yourself into a slide in the first place (and I never have unintentionally!).
Good for you. Understanding how you're car is going to react in an emergency situation is a critical element of safe winter driving. You never know when someone is going to do something near you that requires a sudden evasive maneuver. A slide doesn't mean you're out-of-control, unless of course you've never practiced controlling a sliding car.


Quote:
Originally Posted by J-hop View Post
Also for those who keep repeating "under inflate your tires" which is not only wrong but I don't even think it fits with your theory. I believe those that say under-inflate your tires think that it will give you more surface area to grip. But have you ever looked at a diagram of what an under-inflated tire looks like? it cups in the center so that tread area isn't even really effective, so your theory refutes itself....



so KEEP YOUR TIRES PROPERLY INFLATED... that is all

edit: looks like the above tire comment was meant for a different snow driving thread where people keep repeating "reduce your air pressure", but lets just nip this misunderstanding in the bud!
Under-inflated tires will grip rough surfaces better, but 95% of winter driving is on hard pavement so its largely a moot point. If you're driving on a rough, snowy road and are worried about grip it's a valid tool at your disposal, but you have to remember to re-inflate them once you get back on pavement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamBot View Post
Overinflate your tires. Underinflate your tires. Pump your brakes. Don't pump your brakes. Let ABS pump your brakes. Use throttle, use engine braking, countersteer, let go of the wheel.

Geez, just wait until the roads are cleared and there's less traffic. You'll get home at the same time with a lot less drama.

The only really good advice is this: slow down (WAY down), and leave a LOT of extra room.
The problem with driving technique threads like this is there are so many different conditions, each requiring its own techniques; so many cars, each with their own handling characteristics; and so many drivers, each with their own skill level and driving style. Every post has to be read in context.
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:48 PM   #61
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My wrx loves the snow, does not like braking tho...which means..bigger brankes soon
Bigger brakes won't make you stop sooner in the snow.

Winter tires will... or reducing your speed before you need to chomp down on the brakes will... or a combination of both.
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:47 PM   #62
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Under-inflated tires will grip rough surfaces better, but 95% of winter driving is on hard pavement so its largely a moot point. If you're driving on a rough, snowy road and are worried about grip it's a valid tool at your disposal, but you have to remember to re-inflate them once you get back on pavement.
the thing is, as wear patterns demonstrates the force is exerted on the outside of the tire while the inside cups (which is why you get that wear pattern) therefore your effective surface area is actually less than a properly inflated tire. They aren't like bike tires which will sit pretty much flat if the air is deflated from them. You want your tires to lie flat on the snow not cup and have pressure points along the outside of the tire which will reduce traction. If you look at the picture I posted of the way the tire wears when underinflated this happens because the force is distributed to the outside of the tire where as very little force (and traction) occurs at the center of the tire, therefore you reduce your footprint and subsequently reduce your traction).

Also at normal inflation the tire will cut through the snow which is what you want. If underinflated the tire will tend to float on top of the snow which reduces traction further. This is why you underinflate on sand because you don't want the tire cutting into the sand you want it to float on top.

I've also tested this empirically (not by choice but due to corroded wheels that wouldn't let the bead properly seal) and you definitely lose traction when underinflated in the snow and on top of that the car becomes squirrely and responds differently with the deformed sidewalls of a low tire.

edit: here is pic of what your footprint looks like with different inflations




double edit: and to be honest whether you believe yourself or me to be right it doesn't matter, underinflated tires are very dangerous under normal driving conditions and should NEVER be recommended.

Last edited by J-hop; 12-28-2012 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:00 PM   #63
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We had a pretty good storm here recently in NH. I think we only got about a foot or so, but still looks great outside!

I saw two WRXs stuck in snow banks on my way to get coffee at dunken donuts.
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:20 PM   #64
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Prob the ones that leave their high performance summer tires on till its too late, those thing harden up like ice skates in cold weather
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:20 PM   #65
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1) Snow tires
2) Snow tires
3) Snow tires
4) Throttle control
5) GIVE EXTRA ROOM TO STOP
6) Engine braking
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:34 PM   #66
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Generous hand braking and throttle.
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:37 PM   #67
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Prob the ones that leave their high performance summer tires on till its too late, those thing harden up like ice skates in cold weather
Oh no doubt, or just a little too eager to have fun in the snow, lol
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:58 PM   #68
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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.
-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?
Part of the problem could be how your tires are reacting to the snow. General Altimax Arctic are snow tires. They should work great on deep snow but won't be that much better than all-seasons in ice. Studless ice tires work great on ice and in light snow but can get clogged up when the snow is too heavy or deep. If fact if the snow is very wet and deep even snow tires can get clogged up at lower speeds. Once all the sipes and grooves are packed with snow they become big snowballs.

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Old 12-29-2012, 07:21 PM   #69
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The owners manual here says to use 33F/32R. That feels pretty good to me with these snow tires (readings taken while tires were up to temp). The tire shop initially put them at 36 all around and the car to me felt very twitchy and unsettled. Much better after the drop.

It took me two seasons to dial in "my" right pressures for autox with a FWD. If anyone has has done competitive or a lot of snow driving and figured out some good pressures, please share so we can try out / adapt and hopefully clear up the confusion, since I don't really see any consensus here.
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:54 PM   #70
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I've always gone by the PSI number on the door for all types of tires.
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:59 PM   #71
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Kick the clutch whenever you take a turn.
how come?
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:32 PM   #72
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Lots of throttle and opposite lock.
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:11 AM   #73
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Snow tires... LOL. Ive lived in Colorado almost my whole life and driven every Colorado winter since I turned 16 and have never... NEVER had a set of snow tires. I spent the last 4 years driving my 2wd ranger with the same all seasons that it came with from the factory. Ive had at least 3 2wd pickups while growing up and never needed dedicated snows. Ive also had various sports cars, SUV's, family cars and never needed snows on those either.

Now on my WRX, I picked up some Continental extremecontact all-season to replace the stock summers that come with the vehicle and I can honestly say it would be laughable to put snows on it unless I was headed way up into off beaten mountain territory and had to climb some gnarly 1/4 miles unplowed driveway. Decent all-seasons and common sense are all you really need, IMO.

Basically you just have to give yourself room, know your limits, understand how your vehicle reacts and use plain ass common sense.
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:50 AM   #74
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I've messed with the dccd quite a but this winter and pretty much the lower you are on the dial the less understeer there us. It really doesn't make a whole lot of difference except when in lock. For safter driving i usually have it in lock but for playing around having it open us the way to go, it's most predictable when sliding when the diff is open. Everything in between makes it more of a unpredictable slide. In lock when you break the tires loose it kinda just pushes the car to one side instead of the rear end. I wound up in a four foot ditch with bout two feet of snow in it and the diff was open. I was going no where and then I put it in lock and was able to get enough momentum in reverse to turn out. So I does help a but in certain situations but for the most part it really doesn't matter where the diff is set at you still have to be careful. I'm on bald all seasons to so this winter has been a sketchy one to say the least lol
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:37 AM   #75
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Advice for 'snow' driving -- get out and drive in the stuff as much as possible. Purposely leave early for work/home, so if you mess up, you can get a tow or a ride from a friend/taxi (never had to utilize that option, but be on the 'ready').

I got my '04 STi in late September '03. My first set of winter tread was the Nokian WR's. I have to depend on these tires essentially from early October through mid May, as I live in the Pacific Northwest and am exposed to frequent rainy conditions, as well as black ice.

First Friday of Dec '03, I drove from NW WA to Calgary, in a steady snowstorm. The drive in the summer is usually 10.5 hours (I did it in 11). I don't share this to brag, but to emphasize I was essentially white knuckle driving for several hours at a time. An hour into my drive, I hit snow. At the 2nd hour, the snow was 5+ inches deep and unplowed/untracked. There were cloud breaks, occasionally, and it was a full-moon night, so it was somewhat easy to see the definition of the snow surface. I picked up a Greyhound passenger in Revelstoke, who was familiar with the highway and essentially 'told' me to keep the hi-brights on full-time, regardless of what came the other way. Evidently he was right on the advice, 'cause there were enough Elk (alive and dead) on the shoulder of the highway and nobody flashed their beams to go 'low-beam.' I would assume having driven in untracked snow facilitated ease of staying on the highway, despite having some difficulty staying within my lane (how would I know, anyway -- couldn't see any lane markings).

Drove two nights later into Salt Lake City in -20 degree weather on high-plateau Montana. Easily maintained 80+ on I-15, following an S-10 blazer on dry, thin-coverage snow. Two weeks later in SLC, snow was abundant and was able to manage speeds up to 85 on secondary highway routes with the WR's. Spent some considerable time practicing with different settings on the DCCD in the parking lot of the Utah Olympic Oval. Found the best for drifting and throttle steer with bias of 65 rear / 35 front.

Two seasons later, stepped up to the Nokian RSi's, which provided incredible bare ice grip, but not the greatest in slush. Enjoyed these tires for two winters, but forget about any 'peeling-out' or drifting with these tires on snow-covered pavement, as they have such incredible grip, you could squeal the tires in the snow and you had to be heavy on the throttle to break free.

My fifth winter, I went with the Nokian Hakka 4's with the studs removed. The ice grip was nowhere near that of the RSi's, but were stable-enough to handle 125mph in the rain. The Hakka 4's had stiff enough tread blocks to easily manage drifting and breaking the tires loose. These rank more closely with an aggressive 'all-season' with siping.

6th winter, I switched back to the RSi's for two more winters. The Hakka 4's are still in the shed, waiting to be mounted to wheels for spring-time spirited driving (rains a lot in April & May out here).

8th winter (2011), moved up to Nokian R's, which have much better shoulder tread and allow for slightly more spring/summer-type aggression in the turns without wearing down the edges of the tread. They are great in the rain, but I question their reliability in the turns when it's wet (most cars on all seasons actually stick better in the turns -- even my summer tires do).

When I am driving in the wet, I almost always make the tires start to break loose or completely loose in turns in all kinds of environments and utilize throttle steering (leaving the DCCD in auto). My car is a 2004, so I don't have TC.

I have 5 acres, so before we had horses, I used to drift sideways in my field at 50+ mph, just so I could learn how to manipulate each situation.

Practice, practice, practice and DON'T do donuts on a public roadway -- you WILL get cited for reckless driving and be out $10,000 or more if you don't have a good lawyer!

Cheers!
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