Miata and Winter

How bad is the Miata to drive in the snow?? I'm guessing its a nightmare. Also, do I need to protect my convertible top from the
snow/ice? Just thinking ahead.
John
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John wrote:

the
With four good snowtires, and some common sense, the Miata is a dream to drive in the snow. I've done so for the last 8 years here in Eastern PA. You just don't go out when the snow is more than 6 inches deep. And I'm sure Nora will jump in here as her Miata lives in Toronto where they get just a bit more snow than we do here. <grin>
The best protection for your softtop is a hard top. <grin>
Barring that, the first rule is NEVER touch the back window if it's not glass. Start the car up and direct the upper eyeball vents toward the back window to melt the snow/ice. Otherwise you'll be wondering how to fix the crack/tear in the window in the middle of winter.
Other than that, just watch the weight of snow/ice buildup on your roof so it doesn't get damaged.
Iva & Belle.) '90B Classic Red.) #3 winkin' Miata
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"Iva" wrote

Many years ago, Car and Driver did a road test to find the best platform (e.g., front, rear, four wheel drive) for winter driving. If I am recalling correctly, they found that a well balanced rear driver actually performed better in many situation (e.g., driving up hill). The article was a lot of fun since they used a snowmobil as the reference vehicle.
Gus (91 BRG)
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Thanks, that doesn't sound too bad. Hopefully here in central VA we won't get too much snow.

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snipped-for-privacy@removethishotpop.com wrote:

With 4 snow tires it's great.

Depends on your tires. With 4 SP8000s or the like, it'll be, uh, exciting. With 4 good snow tires, it's best winter car I've ever driven.

I have a hard top. :)
--
Grant Edwards grante Yow! .. he dominates the
at DECADENT SUBWAY SCENE.
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Heheh,
I live in Minnesota.. and in a place where they deal with a lot of snow, the roads get cleared pretty quickly. However, the Miata gets parked, and I drive the Explorer. See you next spring :)

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Understand your desire to keep the Miata out of the snow and slush, but you are probably missing some fun driving in the snow. While I have not had my Miata in the snow, I have fond memories of driving a 240 Z in the snow in Wisconsin when I was younger.
Gus (91 BRG)
wrote:

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A lot depends on just how much snow you're talking about. I put Goodyear Eagle GT II's on by '97 last year, and they're great all-weather radials. I took Red on ski trips through several inches of snow, and some good snowstorms as well, and she was handling the road better than the majority of cars, trucks, and SUV's, FWD or otherwise. Actually, I initially wasn't going to drive it in the snow, having the same fears as you do. But, after seeing many Miatae on the road, and *not* littering the ditches after even the worst Chicago storms, I realised that my fears were unfounded.
If you can affor it, get a set of wheels and snow tires specifically for the winter. If money's tight, compare the all-season radials out there (but check eBay first for snow tire/wheel combinations; they may be more affordable than you think).
Mike "Red '97" Verive snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com

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Bad? Nope, it's fun. But one has to take appropriate measures for self-protection.

Nope. Bad guess.

Depends on what you intend to do with the snow/ice/freezing rain accumulation.

Good idea.
I have driven the Rollerskate through 3 Montreal winters, and it's been a blast. At first snowfall, I put the top down, cover it with a black towel to protect the underside from UV from our weak winter sun, and install the hard top. The hard top is nice because the visibility out the back is much better and ice can be scraped off the window without worrying about cracking vinyl.
Heat is not a problem even with the soft top. The heaters in a Miata can fry your &^%$ off, and the cockpit is so tiny it warms up very fast. Mist on the windows can be cleared by using the A/C, which is a good idea anyway as it keeps the gaskets more flexible so it doesn't die in the summer from disuse during the winter.
I remove the OEM alloys and install my winter steelies with their Toyo Observe G02 Plus snow tires; excellent grip, BTW. I have usually already applied a thick layer of wax on the bodywork, and the undercarriage is not undercoated. This is a personal choice. The Rollerskate is parked outside in all seasons, and the theory is that the salt-impregnated glop on the underside will remain frozen and the chemical action slowed by the low temperatures. If one has a heated garage, it might be a good idea to undercoat as the glop will promote rust faster in a warm environment.
I remove the carpet mats and install itty bitty Miata-sized deep-groove rubber mats, and make a winter-long effort not to use the dead pedal (A/T here) so the glop doesn't drip off my boots and affect the carpet underneath.
I start carrying the snow brush/ice scraper on the parcel shelf, and deploy the snow shovels, while refining my Miata-location skills; which snowbank contains a Miata?
http://www.nheh.ca/winter/digout.htm and http://www.nheh.ca/winter/2002winter/2002winter.htm
As for techniques, I maintain my normal attitude that the Rollerskate is completely invisible and that other drivers are completely unaware I exist. I allow more time and distance to stop, and more time and smoother pedal-usage to accelerate from a stop. Generally, everything I do in summer is done in slo-mo in winter.
As for snow depth, the Rollerskate with its normal clearance of 4" can plough through up to 12" of light fluffy new-fallen snow. The only time I got stuck was in that heavy wet soggy snow/water stuff at a depth of about 4". I found the problem wasn't traction, it was the undercarriage that got hung up on a wad of packed soggy snow, and the wheels weren't even on the ground...
So I parked it and took the bus. It happened only once.
So go for it! The Miata is definitely not incapacitated by winter.
-- Nora (imagine a Canadian flag here) =======================and the Rollerskate (imagine a '99 gleaming silver Miata here)
http://www.nheh.ca/ HOME PAGE http://hobbystage.net/miata/nora/ Rollerskate http://www.nheh.ca/FFFR/FFFR4/FFFR4main.htm FFFR 4 pix http://www.nheh.ca/RATG/2003/RATG3.htm RATG III pix http://www.nheh.ca/SBFR/2003/03sbfr.htm NH Spring Run http://www.nheh.ca/FFFR/FFFR5/FFFR5main.htm FFFR5 maps
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My problem is I don' t have a garage.
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Not a problem. Neither do I :D
I just have to find out under which snowbank my Rollerskate is, and spend the next hour shovelling snow to free it.
-- Nora (imagine a Canadian flag here) =======================and the Rollerskate (imagine a '99 gleaming silver Miata here)
http://www.nheh.ca/ HOME PAGE http://hobbystage.net/miata/nora/ Rollerskate http://www.nheh.ca/FFFR/FFFR4/FFFR4main.htm FFFR 4 pix http://www.nheh.ca/RATG/2003/RATG3.htm RATG III pix http://www.nheh.ca/SBFR/2003/03sbfr.htm NH Spring Run http://www.nheh.ca/FFFR/FFFR5/FFFR5main.htm FFFR5 maps
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Hi Nora!
Question.... what brand/model GPS unit are you suing in your pictures of your trip on you web page?
John
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First trip in 2000 it was a Garmin 12XL and the trip in 2002 was a Garmin Map 76S. The GPS was powered by the Rollerskate's battery. With an external magmount antenna clomped on the rump of the Rollerskate, the data from the GPS ran to the RS232 port on a laptop running Streets & Trips 2001. The possible route was laid out in green and our position was updated every 2 seconds so we always knew exactly where we were, and (more importantly) where everything else was :D -- Nora (imagine a Canadian flag here) =======================and the Rollerskate (imagine a '99 gleaming silver Miata here)
http://www.nheh.ca/ HOME PAGE http://hobbystage.net/miata/nora/ Rollerskate http://www.nheh.ca/FFFR/FFFR4/FFFR4main.htm FFFR 4 pix http://www.nheh.ca/RATG/2003/RATG3.htm RATG III pix http://www.nheh.ca/SBFR/2003/03sbfr.htm NH Spring Run http://www.nheh.ca/FFFR/FFFR5/FFFR5main.htm FFFR5 maps

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Cool!!
Reason I ask is..... besides thinking abt getting a Miata.... Im also looking at GPS.
Im thinking of getting a PDA like Dell Axim...and using it with GPS card add on. Have any thoughts abt that?
Is using a laptop an dedicated GPS unit better?
John
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snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:

The laptop has other potential uses as well: email, storing mp3 tunes and images from a digital camera, roadkill recipe database, tuning your Link ECU...
--
Lanny Chambers, St. Louis, USA
'94C
the alignment page:
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Lanny Chambers wrote:

Don't forget 802.11 War-driving, either. I cute little mag-mount 2.4GHz antenna with an Orinoco connector especially for that purpose.
Dana
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The PDA is a lot smaller which is an advantage in a Miata, but it would all depend on whether the screen is easy to glance at while driving, without requiring too much attention. The laptop, when it's sitting on the passenger seat with the screen facing the driver is very easy to see at a glance, certainly no worse than a paper map.
The best way is, of course, to have a navigator, which is how we did it.
For us the laptop had over advantages, such as log keeping, trip journals, remote banking, trip account keeping and email. Also we both had digital cameras and took about 3000 images. When the memory cards were full we'd dump them to the hard disk, and if the hard disk was getting crowded, we could burn the pix onto a CD.That was on the second trip in 2002.
I guess it all depends on your needs. We were also using an old copy of Map 'n Go on the laptop to find accomodations. It had them all listed with the rates, services and whether they took credit cards, so we could call them by cell phone ahead of time and nail down our lodgings for the night.
-- Nora (imagine a Canadian flag here) =======================and the Rollerskate (imagine a '99 gleaming silver Miata here)
http://www.nheh.ca/ HOME PAGE http://hobbystage.net/miata/nora/ Rollerskate http://www.nheh.ca/FFFR/FFFR4/FFFR4main.htm FFFR 4 pix http://www.nheh.ca/RATG/2003/RATG3.htm RATG III pix http://www.nheh.ca/SBFR/2003/03sbfr.htm NH Spring Run http://www.nheh.ca/FFFR/FFFR5/FFFR5main.htm FFFR5 maps

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snipped-for-privacy@removethishotpop.com wrote:

A hard top will be awfully nice then. You'll certainly want something with a glass rear window. Speaking of hard tops, I should try to figure out why my defroster doesn't work...
--
Grant Edwards grante Yow! Well, O.K. I'll
at compromise with my
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snipped-for-privacy@removethishotpop.com wrote:

My Belle didn't sleep in a garage for 7-1/2 years. We didn't even have a driveway - she lived on the street. She just got a garage last December when we moved.
As Nora says, just figure out which snowdrift the car's under and dig! Although I don't think you'll have *that* problem in central Virginia!
Iva & Belle.) '90B Classic Red.) #3 winkin' Miata
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No, we won't get much snow, prob. around three storms. BUT, is the snow/ice going to hurt the convertible top, and no, buying a hardtop is not an option. Although I was up half the night trying to figure out where to put a tarp/frame. But if y'all say the top will not get hurt then I will rest easy.
John
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