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Winter driving -- not snow tires - Page 8

post #211 of 232
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by k2skier View Post

 

 

You're from Utah, much easier snow to drive on than coastal snow. Snow tires and studs in wetter icier snow are needed much more than low water content snow.

 

How much time have you spent driving in BC, CA, OR and WA?

 

I was at the gathering last winter in tahoe, but I have never been to those places for any extended period of time. I think you might be more correct in the differences between jurisdictions with respect to snow removal efforts, how much sand, salt, etc... You are incorrect in your assessment of UT snow from a driver's perspective, we get plenty of wet snow below 8000'. 

post #212 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwiski View Post
You are only as safe as the idiots around you.

 

 

 

... and as safe as the quality of tires you have on your vehicle.  Having good tires has allowed me to avoid many collisions that would have been caused by the "idiots" around me.  They are your first line of safety defense (after driving 'smart'), and skimping on them increases your chances of having an accident.  That video shows exactly what happens when people don't put proper winter tires on their car.

post #213 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abox View Post

 

 

Is it just the perspective or does the driveway really hourglass like that?  Might be why folks keep ending up in the ditch. 

 

No, it's really just a straight driveway with parallel sides that opens up via two sweeping curves outward at the top shelf into a large tee parking area. It's not pinched in the middle, the lower curves are just camera perspective from my iPhone. Over the 8 years we've owned this ski house only 3 vehicles went in the ditch including the plow truck - who I think was backing down to make another plow pass, when he spun, but I'm not completely sure as I was off skiing and had left well before he came to plow. I know for sure that the other 2 vehicles that went in were backing and slid in because they didn't make it up the first time due to having their TC/SC switch turned on - except that day they didn't get to take another try since the game was over once they framed-out going partially into the ditch.

 

Post 198 showing the stranded plow truck gives you a perspective from up on our deck showing that it's not pinched in the middle, but that perspective doesn't show the grade as well as the picture from below. One thing that does makes it tougher to get to the shelf is the somewhat concave kicker, so it's mandatory to carry momentum to clear the kicker. When it's slippery I don't currently need to turn off my TC/SC with AWD/4WD and Nokian WR G2 tires, but with the original equipment all-season tires I sometimes did. With my prior 2WD sedans that had full out dedicated snows it was mandatory to turn off TC/SC regardless of tires. We have a lot of friends that drive whatever they have, and I often coach them to get them up the driveway, mostly by telling them to turn it off and maintain momentum.

 

When it's plowed and sanded it's a decent driveway for this area - the problem is that storms last many hours and whatever plow guy I've had usually only comes at the end of the storm, and sometimes once in the middle of the storm, so there's a timing issue relative to when friends arrive. We've never not been able to get in and out with our current AWD/4WD vehicles, but there were a few times over the years I had 2WD vehicles with dedicated snow tires that I couldn't make it up no matter what tricks I tried - and I just had to wait at the bottom for it to get plowed and sanded.

post #214 of 232

I lived in summit county co for 5 years and drove a bus at a resort. I have no idea how many miles/hours I've logged behind the wheel on snow, but it's probably a fair amount. I drive a 2wd mini cooper and never felt that I needed snow tires, I also drive faster than nearly everyone else out on the road. My advice is do your best to anticipate what other drivers are going to do so that you can plan ahead instead of try to react in time. Also I think someone else referred to the traction circle and it's true, a tire has a limited amount of traction and you can spend it trying to go any direction, but when it's all spent it's gone. So either brake or turn or accelerate, but you're probably not going to do more than one at a time in snow.

 

Being calm and collected behind the wheel is also important, I usually try and find a way to drive around hazards rather than stop, you have a much higher chance of success.

 

I think smaller lighter cars are better in snow because they have less inertia so they can stop faster, they're also less likely to roll. I'm also an EMT and I do stop at accidents when I can, I don't have hard statistics but I can't remember a roll over with a car, but I can remember many with SUV's and trucks. The most recent was a pickup with 3 kids in car seats (all ok). I honestly don't know what happens to cause these driver to crash by themselves but it seems like probably they get caught in a little slide and over react causing the crash. My car slides on the highway frequently but with a light car and little corrections it's never put me off the road or into anyone else.

 

The biggest problems I see on the roads in Colorado are people tend to follow each other too closely, and I for one would appreciate it if people would stay right unless they are in the act of passing a car. I think it's fine if you don't feel like it's safe to do more than 40, but do it in the right lane so you don't get rear ended.

post #215 of 232

I just saw a white generic asian sedan that rolled and went UP an embankment yesterday from black ice that I frankly didn't even notice in my Pilot/Nokians.

 

Yeah, it's me that made the comment about the tire friction circle as I think it's a good thing to keep in mind whenever you're potentially going to be at the limit of adhesion in any vehicles and on any tires. Many times I've seen people crank their steering wheel sharply and then apply the brakes late to pull into a strip mall parking lot in slippery conditions, in direct violation of this tactic and just keep going to meet their accident. What's interesting is that if they either let off the brakes or unwound that strong steering input their tires would regain contact and they would regain control - but they seem to never do this. Instead they crank the steering wheel even harder and press the brake harder too - and even ABS won't help with that much steering input.

 

I would agree that lighter is better overall, and that the new class of lighter more nimble and fuel efficient SUVs seem generally a bit better at finding available traction than their larger brethren. Our CRV is a little better than our Pilot in this regard - though thankfully I haven't got the CRV stuck yet, and when that happens I will miss the Pilot's full locking rear differential...

post #216 of 232

The less input the better,eh. It's a lot of easier to speed up than slow down.

post #217 of 232
I'm not so sure lighter is better. My first car, a 69 Buick LeSabre with retread tires, was great in snow. It was rear wheel drive and heavy as a tank. I drove it cross country through blizzards a couple of times. When I bought my first modern car, a small front-wheel drive, getting tossed around by the ruts in the snow on side streets was a shock.
post #218 of 232

Despite the fact that small cars may stop and turn better in snow, I much prefer a 4000 lb+ car than a small car.  More momentum to work with to get through drifts, etc.   Just don't forget to chain up before driving DOWN a twisty mountain road.

 

I can recall one trip a couple of years ago here in flatland (not a mountain road) where a nice layer of heavy wet snow about an inch or two thick was covering an ice layer that had been laid down by some freezing rain.  There were dozens of small cars in the ditch.  I made it through in my WalleyWagon without  problems (Though I did have to pay attention) a few minutes before the police shut down the highway.  The small cars were basically hydroplaning on a cushion of slush on top of wet ice.  My car had enough weight to displace the slush and grip (not much grip, but grip there was) the wet ice.

post #219 of 232
Thread Starter 

Big cars and little cars each have their advantages in slick conditions. The important thing is to know how YOUR CAR handles and drive accordingly. 

post #220 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by asp125 View Post

In gravel, sand and deep snow, ABS tends to increase braking distances. On these surfaces, locked wheels dig in and stop the vehicle more quickly.

 

 

^This.      Another way to think of it - ABS lets the wheels roll onto the wedge of snow that was created/pushed/built up in front of the tire.

post #221 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post

The less input the better,eh. It's a lot of easier to speed up than slow down.

 

 

Less input, separate inputs, yep.

post #222 of 232
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post

 

 

^This.      Another way to think of it - ABS lets the wheels roll onto the wedge of snow that was created/pushed/built up in front of the tire.

 

So what?  How fast do you drive in the white room? 

post #223 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

 

So what?  How fast do you drive in the white room? 

 

It doesn't matter how fast I drive - if there's significant uncompacted snow on the road I turn ABS /off/.

post #224 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post

 

It doesn't matter how fast I drive - if there's significant uncompacted snow on the road I turn ABS /off/.

 

You can turn your ABS off? None of the cars I've owned with ABS have an off switch.

post #225 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by CHRISfromRI View Post

 

You can turn your ABS off? None of the cars I've owned with ABS have an off switch.

 

Same with any of my cars in the past.  I can turn off traction control and stability control, but not ABS.

post #226 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by exracer View Post

Same with any of my cars in the past.  I can turn off traction control and stability control, but not ABS.

My ABS is disengaged when I shift out of AWD into 4WD, which makes a lot of sense. Not sure I have heard of push button disengagement, however, since ABS is a safety standard.
post #227 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by CHRISfromRI View Post

I thankfully I haven't got the CRV stuck yet, and when that happens I will miss the Pilot's full locking rear differential...

Your Pilot doesn't have a full locking differential, and in fact it doesn't have a traditional rear diff at all. The VTM-4 system appears to use a modified ring and pinion design at the rear diff and a magnetically controlled clutch plate system to manage torque distribution.

In classic terms, this is yet another limited slip system and the clutch friction will be overcome when one wheel has no traction. It is innovative as it eliminates the center diff, which in AWD is also a limited slip, and I believe the design premise that this system can hold torque to the rear when 'locked' that way while operating normally in FWD.

This should not be confused with a locking rear differential. What VTM is trying to do is create the effect of a locked center diff without even having a center diff, along with a limited slip rear differential. Some good bits here, but a long way from a fully locking system (including the weight and space penalty of said system).
Edited by NayBreak - 11/24/12 at 11:35pm
post #228 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post


Your Pilot doesn't have a full locking differential, and in fact it doesn't have a traditional rear diff at all. The VTM-4 system uses a ring and pinion design at the rear diff and a magnetically controlled clutch plate system to manage torque distribution.
In classic terms, this is yet another limited slip system and the clutch friction will be overcome when one wheel has no traction. It is innovative as it eliminates the center diff, which in AWD is also a limited slip, and I believe the design premise that this system can hold torque to the rear when 'locked' that way while operating normally in FWD.
This should not be confused with a locking rear differential. What VTM is trying to do is create the effect of a locked center diff without even having a center diff, along with a limited slip rear differential. Some good bits here, but a long way from a fully locking system (including the weight and space penalty of said system).

 

Cool didn't know that, and just thought it was a high tech Honda way of doing electromechanically what my 3 ton 4WD Massey Ferguson tractor does mechanically (I can visually see the tractor's wheels from the seat when I use the lock). The only time I used it on the Pilot was when I slipped into a brush covered ditch last summer while trying to slowly pull off to the side of the road by a friend's house, and I was just slipping in further and getting further stuck until I used the VTM switch. Using VTM in reverse drug me right back out of the ditch the way I went, and I breathed a sigh of relief. It behaved like my tractor but I couldn't see the rear tires visually to confirm whether they were locked or not. When I read that the VTM can only be used in Reverse or 1st gear (auto), and you can only engage it on a slippery surface, and that it also switches off automatically as soon as your speed is more than very slow - I assumed it was an electromagnetic diff lock mechanism. You do need to change the magnetic rear diff fluid every 15-30K miles too. With the tractor there's a 7th mechanical foot pedal you hold down to lock the rear diff and as soon as you take your foot off that pedal it unlocks (when you need your foot to shuttle or shift).

 

BTW, what kind of vehicle do you have that disengages its ABS when switching drive systems?

post #229 of 232
^^^ If my read on VTM is accurate, you would have felt 'locked', just front to rear axle, i.e. center diff, not at the rear diff like the tractor, which sounds like it has a cable actuated rear diff lock. In other words, VTM is like part time 4WD when you lock it, and it has to turn off at 18 mph or you might damage stuff (no AWD center diff to allow slip and no 4WD transfer case with heavy duty components to prevent damage under speed and torque).

What is cool is that it is a mechanical system that has some traditional 4WD underpinnings in traction mechanics, meaning it doesn't need VDC to counteract the natural behavior of AWD/open differentials to send power to the spinning tires, because to the rear axle behind the transmission it really has neither of those differential designs.

What remains obvious to me is the engineering designs have continued to consider eliminating low range gearing as a tradeoff to weight/space considerations (much like having a 1x9 mountain bike in the high gear rather than a 3x9 bike with the low gear ring). Rather than simply substitute AWD center diffs for transfer cases, which is trading one problem for another, we will probably see an ongoing evolution in the management of front to rear torque as that is the most difficult element to manipulate via electronic sensing systems.

I have 95 Land Cruiser re: ABS=Off.
Edited by NayBreak - 11/24/12 at 11:46pm
post #230 of 232

So some of this advice seems counterintuitive if the stability control and other things in your newer car are trying to think for you in terms of direction of travel, direction of intended travel, etc.. - no?

post #231 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post


My ABS is disengaged when I shift out of AWD into 4WD, which makes a lot of sense. Not sure I have heard of push button disengagement, however, since ABS is a safety standard.

If you're off-roading, you usually don't want ABS kicking in. Your front tires locking and digging into the dirt in front of them, further slowing down your car, is better in this specific condition, than ABS is.

post #232 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Velobuff View Post

If you're off-roading, you usually don't want ABS kicking in. Your front tires locking and digging into the dirt in front of them, further slowing down your car, is better in this specific condition, than ABS is.

Also true in many on road conditions. If it was just offroad, then you disengage ABS in low range only, not in high range 4WD.

Either way, it gives the driver ABS selectability for winter road use...
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