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Honda Fit Bad Weather Handling

ktmsktms Posts: 2
it finally snowed last night, so it was my fit's first time on the road under slick conditions.
it handles really well... almost reminds me of driving my old VW bug in the snow. i used the paddle shifters to downshift on the slick spots and everything.
but... i slammed on the brakes several times, just to see if i slid, and how far. every time i did, there was a popping/grinding sensation, almost if the whole wheel well where full of big rocks. it stopped just fine... but the sound was disconcerting. i could feel the force of the popping through the brake pedal.
when i put the car in the garage last night, the roads were dry, so there isn't a chance that any water splashed up in there and froze.
so, i guess my question is: is this normal? if not, what action should i take?
i thank you in advance for your response!


  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    but... i slammed on the brakes several times, just to see if i slid, and how far. every time i did, there was a popping/grinding sensation, almost if the whole wheel well where full of big rocks. it stopped just fine... but the sound was disconcerting. i could feel the force of the popping through the brake pedal.
    when i put the car in the garage last night, the roads were dry, so there isn't a chance that any water splashed up in there and froze.
    so, i guess my question is: is this normal? if not, what action should i take?

    Yes, it is normal. Did you ever own a car with ABS before the Fit? I suspect you did not. That's the ABS doing its job, and although there is some variance in the way it sounds, ABS gives you all the sound and sensation that you describe when it is in operation. It is working. Your action now is to get used to the way it works, so that you can take advantage of ABS when you really need it.
  • ktmsktms Posts: 2
    huh... boy do i feel stupid, but that's nothing new.
    but you're right! i've never had a car with ABS before. sadly, my last car was an 87 nissan pickup... quite a change between that and the fit.
    thanks for the reply!
  • crowbcrowb Posts: 15
    More importantly, congrats on your new Fit! I know you must be loving it if you upgraded from an '87 pickup. I'm sure that must have been a great little Nissan, but manufacturers are putting lots more bells and whistles on the newer cars (such as ABS). I know I'm loving my Fit. So good luck to you with yours!

    Oh, and careful with that snow! ;)
  • Our Fit had 40,000 miles on it so we changed to Nokian WR's. As far as I know these are the only tires that can be driven year round and yet still have the "Snowflake Rating" for extreme weather driving. They have good traction in the snow and very good stability. The studded Nokian Hakk 4's weren't available so I settled for the Nokian WR's - at least I won't have to change them in the spring. I've had studded tires before which would be better on ice. But don't expect miracles - everything will slide on ice. Also studs will wear fairly quickly and they eventually will fall out. (But I think the Nokian studs will stay in longer than other brands).

    We are not getting such good gas mileage in the winter. I'm not sure if it's because the new tires are heavier and softer - or because we are idling the car more in the sub-zero weather.

    As an aside, I wish that I could vent cold air onto my face while still keeping the car warm. My Dad had a 1966 Rover and a 1992 Nissan Maxima with this feature. It kept the kids nice and warm - and still kept the driver fresh and alert on long drives. I just love driving with cold air in my face.

    Has anyone installed driving lights on their Fit? What kind? And where did you install them? (There's not much room to install them.)
  • I have noticed a grinding sound from my brakes. This usually happens when my foot isn't on the direct center of the pedal. Is this the ABS working, and if so, is this normal?
  • cindyjcindyj Posts: 7
    Wondering if anyone else has experienced this problem- When the weather is below freezing the windshield wash fluid will not come out of the ports for the front and rear windows. The pump is working- I can hear it. It defineately seems that something is frozen as it only happens when it is cold.
  • gidsgids Posts: 2
    If your windshield washer does not work when it is below freezing, but does work when it is warmer, then you do not have enough ww antifreeze solution to keep the solution from freezing as it tries to exit the nozzle.

    That would be the case, for example, if you only added ww antifreeze solution after the freezing weather arrived.

    So far this winter we've had no problems with our Sport in weather as cool as -28C. We use ww antifreeze good to -40 C (=-40F) because driving lowers temperature of windshield.

    Of course, if it doesn't work in warm weather you either have a leak or an empty ww fluid tank. I don't know the Fit design details, but if you didn't protect it before the first freeze, the expansion of water into ice could have split the feed tube or the tank.

    Enjoy your Fit.
  • sbjsbj Posts: 3
    Does the honda fit sport handle good in snow and ice. Worried about son in college in ohio drivng in bad weather. Is a crv a better choice. Please help with decision
  • nthomasnthomas Posts: 40
    I've only had my Fit for about a month, but living in Michigan, I've definitely had to drive in the snow and ice. I haven't had any problems at all. It's a small car, so it will move around a bit if it's really windy. But I feel very confident driving on snow and ice, at least as much as I do in any other vehicle. I just base my driving off of the weather conditions....leave early and drive slower :) This is the first car I've had with anti-lock brakes - I've only had them kick in once so far, when I was sliding just a tiny bit. They worked great.

    I would think that as long as your son knows the correct way to drive in snowy/icy weather, he should be fine.
  • kagedudekagedude Posts: 407
    My Fit is 11 mos old and 26K miles. With that tire wear, my Fit handled pretty well during the last 3 snowstorms here in NYC. My Fit had to make first tracks on the Palisades Parkway. If you know the area, its not really a great roadway to drive on when it snows because of the dips where cars tend to get stuck at the bottom of the hill. Saw a few cars stranded on the roads.

    Although I think the Fit will do, the CRV would definitely better handle the snow since its an AWD 4x4 vehicle.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    The biggest issue with the Fit is the low ground clearance in comparison to a CRV. For scraped roads the Fit is fine, but driving around unscraped parking lots or where there is a buildup of ice humps, then something higher might be better. Where at in Ohio?
  • sbjsbj Posts: 3
    Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio--it is outside Lima. In his last year he has to travel around and do rotations.
  • dbvolfandbvolfan Posts: 3
    I am seriously close to pulling the trigger on a Fit Sport A/T and was hoping some of you could help me with some Q's

    1. How does you car handle in the rain? With only 15" wheels and 2400lbs I am worried about it tracking and hydroplaning all over the place. we currently own a AWD WRX and a Mazda 3 HB that feel pretty secure

    2. Does the car get the willies on the highway when passing/being passed by trucks? Are crosswinds an issue?

    3. We do a lot of long distance driving (300, 500+ mile trips) With an A/T cruising along at 75mph is the noise unbearable or annoying in the cabin? I test drove one several times and at 75mph I seem to recall the RPM's were near 4k?!
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    I'd say do a few more highway test drives at 75mph and decide for person's quiet is another person's loud. It depends what you're used to. It's louder than our Freestyle, but we've been on some 500 miles raod trips in the Fit and it didn't bother us.
  • _nate_nate Posts: 5
    I just recently got back from a 1300 mile trip to Canada in my new Fit Sport A/T. I thought the cruise control was great when I used it. Personally I prefer not to use it and when I really needed to get around something, I dropped it into 4th and passed. There was some severe rain on the way back to Maryland but I thought the Fit handled great. I believe my tach was around 3-4k at speeds around 70-80 mph.

    Hope this helps.
  • maxwaxmaxwax Posts: 11
    In my three months of owning a 2007 Fit I've yet to encounter any driving situation where the Fit is insufficient. Still waiting to climb those really high mountains that some reviews say 109 horsepower is insufficient for.

    In my case, I drove a 93 civic with 106 HP for 14 years and I worked that car pretty hard. Never towed boats with it like the GM truck commercials, but it wasn't scared of any road from shore to mountain and neither is my Fit.

    The driving experience in the Fit IS different. A different engine than what I'm used to, a different shape of car and I'm convinced that the electronic throttle control produces a somewhat artificial or controlled engine response compared to plain old analog engines. I'm still getting a comfort level with it, mostly because I drove the same thing for so long.

    But generally,

    When I am not in a rush and enjoying the ride, I purposely keep the car under 3500 RPM to slow down, enjoy the ride and save gas. When I want to have some fun or get there faster, I let her rev up and while not as fast as a car with 50 more HP, she gets going and cruises very comfortably.

    I think you and many other people may notice engine rev noise at 4PM or greater because it is a fair amount of noise -- not a lot, but noticeably more than the extremely quiet operation at less than 3000 rpm.

    After 14 years in another Honda that was very comfortable, you'd think I'd have found a few things to dislike simply because they're different from what I'm used to. But honestly, I'm really happy to own a Fit, still having Fun driving it and still finding new things to like about it.

    Hope this helps.
  • 5door5door Posts: 1
    Nooby here, however I have a 'sport fit'. ...and I drive it in the British Columbia mountains and rain :) Works a charm! At 110 km/hr (about 70 mph) I don't see anything like 4krpm, more like 24/25 in 5th gear. I'll check that again tomorrow. I put in thick cloth floor mats front and rear and hatch and rubber over top plus I had it undercoated. Noise is not a problem. As you may expect, it does not like to stay in 5th gear on grades but when it shifts down it is in no hurry to shift back up just because you ease a bit on the throttle.

    FWIW Tom
  • dbvolfandbvolfan Posts: 3
    Thanks for the replys and helpful information. I am almost 100% certain we will go with the Fit Sport. Cant argue with Honda reliability and gas mileage, not to mention the space!
  • fitman548fitman548 Posts: 172
    is this an american version with regular transmission? or some cvt thing?

    i ask because at 80mph you should not be above 3k rpm. I've only ever gotten to 4k accelerating onto the highway.

    sport AT as well.
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