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Winter Driving - are you prepared?



  • 30 below is pretty punishing if you're standing outside. I remember Alaska at 50 below and it was painful to breath. It was very dangerous at those temps to be out for very long and no, you don't want to grab your door handle with your bare hands.
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    I dont get it, these are the same idiots that drive across a frozen lake with no problems. Yet when it comes to just a little bit of black ice on a curve in a road they end up on their roof.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,379
    Driving across a flat surface with few obstacles is a whole different thing from driving on an icy road with traffic, curves, dips rises and blind spots.

    Black ice sneaks up on you, surprise can create panic.
  • There you go.....PANIC....brain freezes, pedal mashed to floor, wheel locked or arms flailing....and probably too late to do anything even if you came to your senses.
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    Gotta love black ice. Nothing better then it being so cold your exhaust freezes.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    In the mid-nineties there was a series of devasting ice storms on the east coast. I was driving a manual and after yet another ice storm went to work the next day. I came off a clear road speed limit 55, onto an exit ramp, doing about 30, which clar for the first 10 feet then was black ice the rest of the length. As I rounded the curve scared out of my head, a car had previously spun out in front of me and was perpendicular to the chance of me stopping. The driver saw me coming and not suprisingly had a look of panic.

    In a split second I mashed the clutch keeping the car in neutral, prayed, steered slightly to left to avoid the cars front, hoped I wouldn't hit the guardrail on the left. Managed to get around the car without hitting anything, then the exit ramp turned into a downgrade straight to the stop sign at the bottom.

    I kept the car in neutral, the plan was to mash the brakes when I was even with the stop sign and hope I didn't hit an innocent car who happened to be in the intersection at the wrong time. The almighty must have been looking after me, as when I hit the brakes at the stop sign there were no cars in the intersection and I stopped in the middle of the road.

    It could have ended much, much worse. Lesson to be learned is one can't panic.
  • tj6968tj6968 Posts: 23
    I use Tripledge wiper blades. They've worked well for me... they are silicone so it will last longer than rubber. I bought them from but I think you can find them other places.
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,185
    Also, although I don't know its weather related, its a good time to check lights. I found I have a headlamp, and have seen 3 others on each of the last 2 nights with headlamps out..
  • I had a 97 sentra as my first car in high school. I suggest you drove it into a wall and use the insurance money as a down payment. Those cars are garbage, I hated it, terrible in snow, no power. Luckily for me, my girlfriend wrecked it for me and I got a used Cherokee. Night and day difference, more power actually works in snow which made the sentra seem like a go-kart with a/c.

    There is something to be said about a V8 and 4WD. Its worth the difference in fuel consumption if you ever have to deal with snow. Also if you ever get in an accident, chances are, you win. Keep in mind that an SUV with a poor crash test rating will still demolish a smaller car with even the best crash test rating, a little know fact.
  • Do they actually get rid of the nasty dirt and snow from the tires of other cars or do you still have to squirt the washer fluid to remove it? I would love to find a blade that kept me from constantly using the washer fluid. I'm always afraid I'm going to run out.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    I don't think any blade can remove dirt and snow completely without some washer fluid. In the winter, I highly recommend keeping an extra bottle of winter blend washer fluid in the trunk. Also get a set of winter blades.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    The bigger they are the harder they fall though. A SUV with a poor crash rating will likely cause a fatality when dancing with large immovable objects, while a smaller car with a stellar rating will likely keep the driver and passengers alive.

    I got around fine in the snow with the Subaru, there has to be more than two feet on the ground before there is an issue. For 90% of the country who don't live in insane snow conditions a v8 and 4wd is unnecessary in 2010.
  • It's interesting how well heavier RWD cars often do in even serious snow conditions. Undoubtedly, some people are probably paying a good deal extra for an AWD when they could undoubtedly do without it 99% of the time (and stay home that one day).

    I wonder how many RWD drivers bother to put snows on all 4 wheels. It makes a difference.
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,185
    Sometimes at least heavy is good (may depend on weight distribution).

    My 64 Catalina was a tank in winter with its retread snows and would go through almost anything, once you got it moving).
    My 66 LeMans 77 Volare, and 71 dart on the other hand were rear end floaty and while I could get through with winters I for sure needed my winter driving skills.

    Speaking of tires I wonder sometime how often it happens people find their brand new shiny vehicle with all seasons go through the slop fine the first year only to find it not so good going in subsequent years and end up swapping for new magic winter all seasons (and throwing away the old one that may still have acceptable milage on them for dry or wet/unfrozen conditions)
  • Well "all-season" is a compromise tire for people who live in climates that might only have a few inches of snow a year. It's expensive to keep two sets of tires and rims but if you gotta go in the snow and have no choice then I guess you have to gear up to give yourself the best chances.
  • nwngnwng Posts: 664
    where I am in the NE, there's snow and ice starting probably from nov til march. If you have the space (4 set of snow tires and rims are 4 ft tall and 2 ft wide), I would definitely get them plus you average out the wear and tear on the "all season" tires anyways. Snow tires can last quite a few winters.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,921
    A freelance writer is working on a story about roadside emergency kits for an insurance company magazine. She’s looking for a good, personal example of why you need an emergency kit in your car -- or about that time you really you wish you'd had one. If you’d like to be interviewed, please send a brief overview of your story to Jenny at by 12/10/11.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,921

    These could be real handy.

    "A thermostat triggers the blades to heat when the ambient temperature is around 35 degrees. The blade heats to between 70 and 90 degrees where it contacts the windshield, he added, thus melting away snow and ice — and also preventing snow and ice from building up on the blade while you drive through inclement weather."

    Heated wipers melt winter off windshield (Detroit News)

  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,747

    After one web review panned the '14 Subaru Forester XT for getting stuck in the snow (its Bridgestone tires simply slid the XT off the icy test trail), I dumped its Bridgestones for Nokian WRG2's (WRG3's are better but are not available for XT's 18" wheels). During Portland OR's Feburary '14 blizzard, those tires let the XT get home, including climbing a 35 degree snow covered hill with no problems.

  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,921
    edited March 9

    I got a set of those for both our cars. They make me overconfident in the '97 Outback. They are nice in the rain for the '99 Quest but didn't help the FWD van a whole lot in all our snow.

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