After that 'rare' remark about new fresh snow a couple messages back, I
was thinking the same thing. Glad you caught yourself. I've been in
that 'rare' stuff more times than I can remember. And the others are
right. It's just like gravel. You'll stop (slightly) shorter when you
can pile up a little wedge of the stuff in front of the wheels. ABS
just lets you roll on. As for steering, there's not enough traction to
steer in that stuff anyway.
(Been there; done that)
I can not agree with your first assertion. Contrary to popular modern
thought, FWD is not inherently better than RWD in the snow. It depends
on the individual vehicle to a great extent. There are advantages and
disadvantages to each configuration in the snow and it generally comes
down to whatever the driver is most comfortable with. Many less skilled
drivers prefer FWD over RWD because they are uncomfortable when (not if)
the rear end breaks lose in a corner. But that very capability can be
useful in some situations.
Yes, a 4WD or AWD vehicle *with* winter tires would be the best set-up.
Well, in my admittedly limited experience with an '02 manual gearbox
IS300, when they tell you that the standard 17" performance tires
should not be used in virtually any kind of snow at all, you ought to
believe them. I've gotten that car stuck in 4 inches of snow, with
clear road less than 3 feet away, and I couldn't even get the car to
move 3 feet until I just got out and shoveled the 3 feet of snow. At
one point I ran 4 dedicated winter tires on it (Blizzak LM22 on 16"
rims), and using the snow settings, turning off traction control, and
working the manual gearbox, I could barely make it through 5 inches of
I finally gave up, and just kept the performance tires on the IS
year-round. I bought a used 2-door RAV4 with a manual gearbox and
locking center differential, put 4 big-ass snow tires on it, and only
drive it in the snow and when I need to haul dirty cargo, and maybe
once a week just to keep a charge on the battery. I think I put
around 1,000 miles a year on that car, but it's very handy on days
like today. I can easily bulldoze through plowed-up walls of snow
that are 3 feet high and 6 feet wide.
One thing to add and reinforce. The driver is the key factor that
makes or brakes that 30% advantage. Case in point when I was a teenage
need for speed type I had a sweet '82 Trans-Am that I thought snow
tires would help on. On Super Bowl Sunday 1996 I got it stuck 6 times
the same day!!! After that I would tell people my Trans-Am would get
stuck on an ice-cube. Of course years later when I got older I
realized you don't have to slam the gas and redline during every
takeoff in the snow. So no matter how good you think tires are and you
may think tires are the reason person X with Y tires and X wheel drive
is stuck, their is a very good chance driving skill has a lot to do
with it. Doh!
True. And another point to consider is that modern winter tires are a
completely different animal from the "snow" tires of days gone by (in a
better way). The rubber compounds have come a long way in recent years
and modern tires utilize advanced siping to gain traction in ice that
were not around back "in the day".
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.