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Honda Pilot in the Snow

2cay2cay Posts: 1
edited April 13 in Honda
I just bought an 08 VP Pilot. I've always owned a 4x4, since I live in Buffalo, the snow can get pretty deep. I'm not sure how I feel about the Pilot being an automatic 4wd. I'm use to manually putting my vehical in 4hi. Should I feel just as confident as i did in my previouse vehicals, or is there something different that I should knbow about?

Comments

  • Go out and play! The best way to get the feel of the vehicle is to test it where you have enough room. Try it normally and you will feel the Vehicle Stability Assist and Traction Control keep the wheels from spinning and the car from spinning out. Then turn it off and feel the difference. The Pilot doesn't have a lot of ground clearance but mine has been through some pretty deep and slippery snow with very little problems.

    http://www.carspace.com/justaveragejoe/Albums/2007/December%20Christmas%20024.jp- g/page/photo.html#pic
  • trmend1trmend1 Posts: 59
    I agree.. go play!!

    I live in the Pacific NW and run the complete gammit of rain, to ice, to snow when I go up to the mountains to play on the slopes. I'm not too fond of the GoodYear Integras, and switched out to Michlins. I also carry 2 sets of chains (ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA!) if required at the mountain passes and press that 4WD button if I need to. I haven't had a problem yet... even in the unplowed overflow parking at the hill. That was about 2 feet of snow and not even one slip, slide or shimmy. All in all a pretty nimble little mountain goat!

    HTH
    Cheers,
    Tess
  • parvizparviz Posts: 484
    Do you actually use chains or you mean cables? In either case maybe you can give me some pointers on the proper use of cables. Last year I put on cables on my '06 4WD Pilot and eventhough I had the cable put in as required by the instructions and checked a few times for looseness, etc, they broke and scratched the side of the Pilot big time. Any ideas on what I might have done wrong or else? Thanks.
  • One of the hosts, I think Steve, has a video on the proper installation of chains or cables on his carspace page.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,312
    Don't miss the very end. :shades:

    How to Install Tire Chains

    I'm curious why the cables broke even after following directions. Too tight? Too loose? Too much driving over bare pavement?

    My set would be easy to install inside out if you didn't pay close attention (always fun trying to put chains on in a freezing snow storm!). On mine, if you put them on inside out, I could where the crimps on the crosschains (cables, that is) could open up as you run over gravel and rocks and then come lose.

    Then again, putting the crimp side out is probably easier on the tire. Have to go find my instructions....

    image

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • Hey steve!

    Where's the sound? I like to hear commentary!
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,312
    I dubbed all the cussing out. :D

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • parvizparviz Posts: 484
    Thanks. I'll check it out.
  • parvizparviz Posts: 484
    Thanks for the post, Steve. If I had to guess, I would say that maybe they were too loose, rather than too tight. I tried to get the slack out, but probably did not do as much as I should have. It was not driving over bare pavement as I noticed it break while on snowy road. I even used the ties like you show on your video. I guess I'll have to be more carefull next time. What hurts is that later I realized I did not "have" to put chains on that day. My M+S tires and the 4WD would exempt me, at least on that day. well...
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,312
    It's probably impossible to get them too tight now that I think about it.

    I tighten mine as best I can and then bungie them and when I stop in a mile or two to check them (or sooner if they start banging), it's amazing how loose they get in so short a time. Frustrating may be a better word choice than amazing....

    Mostly I just drive the Subaru that I put some pretty aggressive all season tires on and avoid driving the minivan in bad weather. The van has some high treadwear tires on it, and while they may last 80,000 miles, they are pretty hard and don't do too good on rain or snow. When I lived in Anchorage, it was all about the tires, although I did have to chain up there a few times. The CHP seems fond of making people chain up though.

    We laid over a March day on the west side of the Sierra 7 or 8 years ago because I didn't want to buy chains, and the weather was improving. We got over the pass to Tahoe without having to worry about restrictions the next day, and then I found some chains that fit my tire size for cheap at the thrift store. Besides making the video, I think I've used them twice in 5 years. Good insurance around here though, even if they are a pain to put on.

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • trmend1trmend1 Posts: 59
    Thanks Steve for the tutorial for all to learn. I do agree that depending on the manufacturer, the closures can be different, but the key is to take out as much slack as possible and that sometimes results it some scraped knuckles. The bungie cords are just as essential in my humble opinion. They keep things in place just a little bit longer if you hear the chains start to loosen to pull over safely to fix them.

    I use the term chains in the general sense. For most of us, cables are appropiate. However if you want to jack the pilot up, and roam around the antarctica, actual chains would be needed! Or in Steve's case, backcountry Alaska!

    Cheers,
    Tess

    (I'm a skiier... my sons are boarders...although I've tried boarding it just isn't for me. I'm old school!)
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,312
    although I've tried boarding it just isn't for me.

    I took up snowboarding up at age 49 and the learning curve was steep (skied previously). My wife tried a few lessons but stuck with skiing. Went this morning for an hour and about got blown off the hill.

    I still see chains occasionally at the thrifts, but mostly they are cables now. One set I had years ago came with a gizmo that you put on the tire, and when you rolled forward, it would pull the chains and automatically wrap them around the tire and be ready to close. But you still had to crawl around so they weren't too much of a time saver.

    I've never done it, but I have seen people jack up their wheels to slip the chains on. A small piece of plywood would probably be handy to put the jack on so it doesn't sink in the snow too much. Seems a bit safer just to lay out the chains and drive over them and connect the ends.

    Back in the day, I always carried gloves in the pouch with the chains and an Ensolite/foam pad to lie on. For a while there I kept some Tyvek overalls in the kit too - but you still get cold, wet and dirty. :P

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • trmend1trmend1 Posts: 59
    I took up snowboarding up at age 49 and the learning curve was steep (skied previously). My wife tried a few lessons but stuck with skiing. Went this morning for an hour and about got blown off the hill.

    Kudos to you for being the old dawg on the board! Its been a number of years since I tried boarding so with your inspirational story I just may give it one more try!! My oldest both skis and boards and does both quite well. He's at the age of taunting and goading just for fun but he has learnt not to mess with the one who has the transportation! TEENAGERS!

    As for cables... at the mountain passes here... doesn't matter if you are driving a tank. If the State Patrol says chain up... you HAVE to chain up else get turned around! Too many people pasting on the AWD or 4WD plaques on the back of anything to try to bypass chain up. I have even seen people with studded tires having to chain up.

    Its a snow day today... my Pilot did well on the roads again...with another measly 2 - 4 inches expected overnight in the lowlands, I can imagine the slopes are getting a nice couple of feet! It just may have to be a "family" day tomorrow!

    Cheers,
    Tess
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,312
    I boarded my age the winter I turned 53 but I'm sticking more to bluebird days the last couple of years. Check out Grays on Trays. :-) And get lots of padding, lol.

    Chain laws seem more casual over in Colorado than in California, and they are nonexistent or lax here in Idaho (where we had ten highways close for blowing snow today, including two major sections of interstate). My ski buddy drove back to Boise from Seattle last Sunday and saw a brand new Durango hit a drift near Baker City and do a barrel roll. Even chains won't help when you go too fast for conditions. No injuries fortunately.

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • trmend1trmend1 Posts: 59
    Check out Grays on Trays. And get lots of padding, lol.

    What a cool tag! My kids had a good chuckle and gave me the "oh mom...." routine.

    Didn't get the chance to have my snow day... I-90 at Snoqualmie Pass (and where the hill is located) was shut down yesterday morning.... and its still shut down 24 hrs later. :( Too much snow makes for lots of removal and avalanche control. Its been quite a season already!!

    Waiting for some sunshine,
    Cheers,
    Tess
  • I have a 2003 and have survived the winters of Colorado with no problems at all. I've always felt secure.
  • We have or should I say had a 2003 Pilot. Live in Upstate NY with a wide range of conditions, sleet, snow, slush ice.

    When driving my Pilot I can’t (or couldn’t) seem to keep the rear from sliding out from behind me when going downhill on slushy or slightly icy roads. We drove the standard tires that came on it. I use the past tense because this weekend we had some snow and my husband totalled the vehicle (he’s fine). He was going down a hill about 25 mph (posted speed is 35 I think) and he (for the first time himself since I usually drive the Pilot) experienced the back sliding out. He went over a small ravine and got stuck on a tree stump, lucky for him or it would have rolled down 30 more feet. Anyway, totalled the Pilot and now he finally he believes me that it handled very poorly in the snow.

    It happened to me last year on our hill (which is steeper than the one he crashed on) but I was only going about 15 mph so I made it down. I took it to the dealer and had the brakes down all the way around about $2300 worth of stuff. We wear our the front tires every year and so our tires at this time were only about 4 months old. The tire dealer insists we did not need snow tires… Even after the new brakes later in the winter it happened to me again almost exactly where he crashed and I thanked God for getting me through it that day. On those days when I even gently put on the brakes the back would slide out. I’m sure I wasn’t over-driving because I was going about 15 mph I was so scared.
    Does anybody have any thoughts? Tires? Brakes?
    Other than that we LOVE the Pilot, but now we are wondering if this is typical and we need to go with another vehicle or was it just ours and a newer one will not have this problem. Any insight would be great. We know a few other people with Pilots and they absolutely love them…
This discussion has been closed.