I have no problems driving in that, or more—except for the other drivers. Many do not do well in that and have trouble getting up hills and around curves. Some think that AWD means their cars stop better, but they don’t. Many drive much too fast.
I recommend that with the first snow you take your car to a big empty parking lot and practice turning and braking (and braking while turning), especially if you have never driven that car in the snow.
And remember, with antilock brakes you push them as hard as you can if you have to stop quickly and do not pump them, the way we used to have to do it. The antilock brakes do that for you, much better than any human can. I mention this especially because a coworker said recently she was worried because her brakes made noise when she applied them in snow, not realizing that was the antilocks pumping and doing their job.
@andyw I like the empty parking lot advice. People need to get their car out of control to find out how to get it back in control. Also, try it with traction control disabled, especially if it’s not front-drive
@Superllama7 Of course, I realized I should do that, when I was a teen, after the first time I drove in snow. I was going to pick my dad up at the commuter train station and didn’t quite realize that when I stamped on the brake the car would not stop in straight line (no antilock brakes, no snow tires, front-heavy, RWD, old station wagon). Luckily, I only banged off the exhaust pipe of the nearby car, but I was very embarrassed because my dad expected better driving from me.
@andyw When I used to take my younger siblings driving when they had their learners permits I would take them to an empty parking lot so they could practice figure eights and 360° turns. That way they got learn and understand the idea of turning radius…plus it was fun for them.
@andyw@Kidsandliz@Superllama7@mml666. Just be sure you pick a lot with no parking stops. My mom hung our old manual Austin America (FWD) over a parking stop when she tried to drive straight thru a space in the lot when she went to leave (She always had trouble hitting reverse). Left the front end of the car above the lot surface. Had to get a couple of HS football players to pick it up and push it back over the cement stop.
Oh, and this was in perfectly clear, non-snowy weather…
Minnesota, Miata, snow tires. I have to live in MN (long story), the other two things are why I’m even willing to get out of bed in the morning.
In all seriousness, if you live in an icy climate, please get winter tires for your vehicle. Yes, they will cost some money, but you’re also extending the life of your summer tires (probably 70-80% in my experience) and the difference in acceleration, handling, and braking is huge. I have them mounted on separate wheels (can be very inexpensive, especially if used) and swap them myself with the seasons. Or, Costco will change them cheap if you buy from there or your mechanic will probably change your wheels for free during an oil change.
@Superllama7 if you do the separate rims thing, consider slightly smaller rims with narrower and taller snow tires. E.g. You have 220 50R18s, go to 195 60R17s. You have to do a little math to equalize the circumference, but if the vehicle had a smaller option for original equipment, you can just go with that.
For those not familiar, first number is width and narrower is just better in snow. The 50/60 number is the height of the sidewall in mm and the 17/18 is the diameter of the rim in inches. So going a little smaller diameter allows a taller sidewall which is also better in snow AND will cost less. You just want to try to keep the overall diameter roughly the same as it affects the accuracy of the speedometer, etc.
@ybmuG I concur… no mathing is really necessary, either, there are plenty of online resources. Tirerack.com is my go-to for information and ratings, and they have a down-size option for wheel and tire packages. Bonus: the smaller sizes are usually cheaper (which is weird if you think about it too much since it occupies a similar amount of space)
One thing I forgot to mention because my car isn’t that fancy is that tire pressure sensors can be kind of expensive but they’ll need to be installed in the new wheel/tire set. A possible solution is to shop for a used set from someone who traded in their car. I once got a great deal that way and the wheels were the exact same ones that came on my car
In Texas, those conditions mean the grocery stores are emptied, gasoline stations can’t get refills, and the world as we now it has ended. Unless it is Friday night, which then it’s bumper cars in the bars’ parking lots.
A light drizzle in Florida generates more fender benders and accidents than an actual blizzard in the north. These people already can’t drive for shit. You throw a few drops of rain into the mix, and it’s bumper cars… No exaggeration.
As many as 41.6 million vehicles with Takata airbags have been
recalled in the United States so far, according to the US Department
of Transportation. In total, 34 auto brands have been affected, from
Ferrari (RACE)to Ford (F).
They are so panicked about snow in my area, I’m surprised anyone is on the road. 1-2" would shut down almost all the interstate highways except for trucks. And trucks are what I worry about. They don’t slow down no matter how bad the conditions are.
@Limewater I guess, but at over 275,000 miles the Wrangler hasn’t needed much of it - but when it does the hubs finds it easy to work on, even in the parking lot of Advanced Auto that time we he had to change the alternator as we drove from North Carolina to Miami. But I will confess we replaced the transmission back at about 120,000 miles. I may trade in my Jeep in a few years, but my hubby will never get rid of his.
@Limewater yeah but you put a new tranny in and just keep on driving. He’s starting to talk about doing “something” to the engine. Whatever it is, I’m sure its cheaper than a new Wrangler and if it gets him another 275,000 miles and makes him happy who am I to argue? Actually my line to him is always “Honey…whatever makes you happy. Who am I to get between you and your happiness”
His stock line to me is “yes dear”
Probably why we’ve been married 38 years
For the previous 11 winters I had an AWD Subaru, which was ‘great!’
This year I have a front wheel drive Toyota.
I have yet to drive it in snowy conditions, so I am a little nervous, but I’m sure it’ll be ‘fine.’
@DennisG2014 We’ve had 4 Subarus (the present one is the Ascent) here in NJ which are very good in the snow (do a car census in Western Massachusetts or Vermont). Sorry to say, but I would be cautious in your FWD Toyota, which is much better than RWD.
@andyw@DennisG2014 I’ve never driven an AWD vehicle, but I’ve driven both FWD and a RWD in the snow. The FWD was MUCH better on the snow than a RWD pickup truck with an empty bed. That was terror and I regret having done it.
@andyw Yeah, I’m in eastern MA and often spend time in VT (and driving there and back).
I do intend to be cautious, especially after so many years of driving such a sure-footed vehicle.
(AWD is not goof-proof, but AWD + snow tires is damn near so.)
Really, my main concern is getting up and down the steep hill I live on.
The VW I had before the Subie couldn’t make it up the hill when conditions were bad (I can’t remember if the Jetta was FWD or RWD - I think F), and going down the hill was essentially sledding.
But also, that was with all-season tires.
The first winter I had my Subaru, I was unable to stop and/or turn trying to take a corner coming downhill and I slid into a snowbank - very lucky and very little damage.
The next winter I added snow tires and never had a problem with the hill again - up or down, regardless of conditions.
First time using snow tires and will never do without them again.
When it came time to replace the Subaru, I was unable to find the car I really wanted - sporty, AWD hatchback with stick-shift. (Subaru no longer makes the WRX in a hatch.)
When I got tired of shopping, I just decided to lease the first MT hatchback I drove and liked, which was the Corolla.
It looks sporty, but really isn’t, but it’s a cheap, reliable hatchback with manual transmission.
(And it is currently wearing snow-tires.)
I’m just hoping that when the lease is up in 2.5 years, I’ll be able to find the car I really want.
@andyw@DennisG2014 I drove a manual GTI for several years; with winter tires FWD is really fine (ps jettas are also FWD) My wife actually thought my car was AWD because I never had traction problems in the winter We don’t have hills but I bet the only thing you’ll really notice is if you’re trying to get going from one of those really icy intersections
Those of us who like to shift our own gears are running out of options. Subaru Crosstrek is the only new AWD MT hatchback I can think of…
@DennisG2014@Superllama7 Not a lot of MTs in any normal price range car lines. They may be 6% of the car market now, if I remember correctly. For many people they are harder to drive in snow than ATs are because of the sudden change in tire speed and loss of momentum at the shift points.
@andyw@Superllama7 Well, actually, VW makes the Golf R, which ticks all my boxes (MT, AWD, hot-hatch).
I might have actually bought one of those if it weren’t for a few issues;
It’s a VW - after owning 3, with each one having more problems than the last, and VW being absolute dicks about it, I swore I’d never buy VW again.
Since it was exactly the car I was looking for, except for brand and price, I went to the dealer to test drive one. They wouldn’t let me.
Said, “the people who buy these know they want one without having to test drive”.
No, I didn’t reply, “well, fuck you then” - at least not out loud.
I thanked him out loud for making my decision easier and in my head for sparing me the frustration of an always-on check engine light that they’d eventually charge me to try to fix and then shrug their shoulders when they couldn’t.
@DennisG2014@Superllama7 Wow! All sorts of bad experiences! Hard to understand why they wouldn’t let you drive one! I might guess they sell so few they don’t keep one they can use for drives, as they would have to sell it later as used, but not registered. Nevertheless-that does not encourage buyers. It is not a million dollar supercar with a production run of 100 cars!
BTW, my first stick shift driving was with my dad in a rental car he needed which was a Beetle (the original ones). I did not burn out the clutch.
Yeah, I left out that aspect of the story - they only kept one of them on the lot and after he said the thing about people who buy them knowing what they want, he also said they don’t want one that has been demo’ed.
That second half makes sense, but only stocking one at a time and not having a demo model makes no sense.
I’d imagine they don’t sell many with that kind of SOP.
Driving in any kind of wet or snowy weather always makes me a little nervous because other drivers can be idiots, and I can too. We only get maybe two or three heavy snowfalls a year, they never last long and are cleared by the state DoT pretty fast, but Penn’s Woods are full of hills and big old trees, and the concept of a road having a “shoulder” is a bit newfangled for us. It’s not uncommon to see some cars sliding backwards on the steeper roads. I keep intending to carry a set of chains in my car - but not for MY car.
Here in the Rockies, the most terrifying thing on the road is Californians with 4WD or AWD. They think it’s a super-power. On an icy freeway the other day, a Jeep came flying past at ridiculous speeds. Three miles later, it was mangled against the guard rail (driver seemed fine, just bewildered).
4WD/AWD is fantastic for getting yourself out of deep snow, but it doesn’t create traction. That’s your tires. And common sense.
@jimgar Totally!! I live in CA, but I worked in CO for many years. It was always the 4WD SUVs that were on the side of the road in a snow drift or some other f#@kup, especially on the way to the ski resorts. 4WD is not a super power. Idiots.
I live downtown with no hills, have an AWD vehicle with decent clearance and good all-season tires, and grew up in an area that often combined hills with sleet and sheet ice as opposed to snow. So I wouldn’t be excited, but I could get around if I needed to.
Thankfully, I work from home, so I have the option of not leaving my place for a day or two if it’s sketchy out there or I simply don’t want to share the road with people who think 4WD/AWD/winter tires are magic.
If it’s a work day, I have no choice to but to get there. Ahh…healthcare. But, I’m currently driving a Mazda CX-5 w/ AWD and it’s been great in the snow. I had a Subaru Tribeca prior, and while it handled the snow like a champ, it didn’t matter much when the head gasket went and it would barely move on dry land, let alone snow. Second Subaru I owned, second Subaru that had major mechanical issues. Fuck Subaru.
@andyw@cinoclav I got about 80k problem free miles out of my WRX, and that was about 10 years (I don’t put a lot of miles on, obv.).
The last 2 years I owned it, I had to spend A LOT of money to keep it on the road.
Although, the biggest single expense was my own stupid fault - should’ve only needed to replace the clutch, if I hadn’t decided to drive it home when the clutch started to fail, thereby absolutely destroying the transmission. ([facepalm] - I know, that was an expensive lesson to learn.)
Not exactly a great track record for reliability (and there were also some annoying fit-and-finish issues) but still, I enjoyed driving it enough that I’d have gotten another one if they hadn’t stopped making them in a hatchback.
I think I’m only going to lease from now on though - I drive few enough miles to not have to worry about that aspect and I’ll no longer have to worry about repair and maintenance costs.
@cinoclav@DennisG2014 Leasing these days has the advantage of getting you the newest electronics, etc. on a regular basis. This can be a disadvantage with all the new stuff to learn, especially if you change models with no carry-over of skills.
My other problems with leasing (which I have done about 3 times) is that you must turn it in on a certain date, which removes flexibility. You also end up with nothing to trade in and overall it tends to be more expensive with "acquisition fees,“capital cost reduction fees” and the turn-in fees (I’ve never really understood that one, among others). Also, a little body damage can be a big charge. Leasing is suitable for some circumstances-just watch out.
@andyw Aside from the end-of-lease fees, the only thing I’ll have to pay for is to swap the summer and winter tires.
Barring accidental damage, of course, everything else is covered for the duration of the lease.
It may or may not be just as good or better of a deal to buy and trade-in every 3 years (or whatever the duration of the warranty/included maintenance), but saving the annoyance of having to haggle over the value of the trade-in is worth quite a bit to me.
It does make me feel a bit more nervous about accidental damage and also like I’m driving someone else’s car (which I guess I am); but I think that also makes me a more cautious driver, so - trade-offs.
@DennisG2014 If it works for you, that is fine with me. Every time I’ve leased I said I won’t again. but I guess I lied to myself. How do you manage to avoid the “capital cost reduction” and initial bank fees? Around here (NYC area) they are ubiquitous.
@andyw Honestly don’t remember exactly how much of what I’m paying is fees.
Yes, there is that stupid end-of-lease fee ($250, IIRC), which will be waived if I buy it (not gonna happen) or lease/buy another Toyota (unlikely but not impossible).
I had been car shopping for months and months, had already put too much money into my Subaru to keep it running and wasn’t about to wait for something else to go wrong, and just wanted to be done with it all and be in a new car.
I did not bother to negotiate the price of the car - they, after a bit of resistance, gave me what I wanted for the Subaru, and the monthly payments are cheap enough to at least feel like I’m getting a good deal, without bothering to do any real math.
I hate feeling like I overpaid for a thing, but I hate playing infuriating games with car dealers to try to get the best deal even more.
Playing the games and then still feeling like I overpaid is the worst of all.
This is the least expensive car I’ve owned in quite awhile, so it was pretty easy to just accept the sticker price and save the teeth-grinding and headache.
@DennisG2014 I have bought a lot of cars over my driving lifetime and have rarely found a dealer who was straightforward about, pricing, etc. I was lowballed when buying my very first car. I probably usually have been screwed on my trade-ins, but I dislike selling privately (although I recently had a good experience selling a Subaru and I think the buyer got a fair deal). I really hate negotiating too. I have recently mostly used services like Costco where a preset discount is arranged.
You still need to lookout for the add-ons, fees, etc. Around here they have “documentary fees” on a purchase-my Subaru Ascent with the Costco plan still had a document fee of $599. A lease in 2013 had a fee of $350!
If you got what you wanted on your trade you are a step ahead of me!
Enjoy the car, and continue to be a careful driver.
I have some nice Toyo tires on the Civic and it’s fine in the snow. Snow isn’t the issue. Black ice when the sun goes down, it doesn’t matter if you have 4WD, snow tires whatever, you hit black ice unprepared and you are in a battle of steering into vs over correcting.
@j37hr0 Yeah just after dusk I had a little problem with that coming out from under a bridge on the highway in Chicago. I was the “first” to discover the brand new ice on the otherwise generally cleared road. Spun out onto the side of the shoulder and then into the (fortunately) flat snowy area beyond that. Decided to do a U turn back towards the bridge (once in the snow covered area beyond the shoulder) so I wouldn’t get hit by the next cars. Good thing I did that. 7 or so more spun out into each other. All of them missed me but not all of them missed each other.