Handling problems on icy roads

rgmmlrgmml Member Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in Lincoln
I own a 2001 Lincoln LS V8, and love the car. The only problem that occurs is when I drive on icy roads. The whole car seems to float, and will wander at will. This is not an isolated case, as I have talked to an owner from Colorado and also One from Canada who have the same problem.I am retired,currently and spend my winters in Arizona, but the drive home to Canada in spring can be adventursome to say the least. (Thank God I don't have to winter at home in Canada). If any of you owners have encountered the same prpblem, or have any solutions, I would appreciate hearing from you.


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well if it's really ice there is no defense short of chains or studs. No ABS or tire or AWD can hold on sheer ice.
  • packv12packv12 Member Posts: 95
    I have a 2000 LS Sport and could not disagree with you more. Granted, I run on Blizzaks in the winter, but the car is a charm on icy roads. Perhaps the wheel alignment should be checked to address the "floaty" and "wandering" feeling that you perceive. Your original Firestones may be somewhat compromised by this time, if you have sufficient mileage on them.

    I run the Blizzaks since I live in an area where we generally receive a lot of snow from November to April, but the traction that the Blizzaks provide on ice has really been a great bonus. I'm an old dinosaur that still hasn't bought into the "All-Season" tire idea yet. I prefer to change over each season.

    Perhaps it is a fault of the tires or the alignment that is causing the problem, but I think that the LS is quite stable on ice, snow, and rain.

    Lot's of luck to you.
  • swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    simple as that if the car handles properly on tight, dry roads.

    there are major fundamental differences in how tires attack this. most don't. if legal in your area, which is not common any more, adding carbide studs to existing holes in compatible tires is better than chains... but the studs tear heck out of roads that are not covered in ice.

    a few types of winter tires use tricks like bubbles or suction cups in the rubber (like gecko feet) to squeeze out that microinch of water and grip far better than regular tires. they wear faster for the most part, and you'll want to rotate them with your 8-month tires as a result.

    none of them let you drive 85 mph on glare ice. you still have to slow down, drive the car through turns instead of jerking the wheel and letting the friction of the tire's tread and edges cut you around in the circle, and allow plenty of extra space to brake.
  • rgmmlrgmml Member Posts: 2
    I appreciate all the input that you have given me as to the problem that I encountered driving on icy roads, but I guess that I should explain further. When travelling on ice I have been passed by everything on the road, and I mean everything. I have to travel at 35MPH. or less or I fear losing complete control. I have driven for the last 45 years, 5 of which were as a professional driver(18 wheelers). I have lived in western Canada for most of the last 60 years, and am not new to winter driving, or icy roads.I have had many rear wheel drive cars, but never one that handled as poorly as this one. One thing that I forgot to mention, was that the car has Bridgestone Turanza M+S tires. The wheel alignment has been checked by two dealerships,and the last one said it was right one the money. I'm wondering if possibly the type of tire has some bearing on the problem. Thanks
  • swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    not sure how bad those bridgestones are on ice, but consider your vote as a BAD. there was the one guy, post two??, who was OK with BS blizzaks on the same model car. other decent tire lines for winter are reputed to be nokian hakkapelita and michelin arctic alpin. you are burning money retail and with abandon if you decide to run those all year round because they wear off the nice winter traction quickly, so get them mounted on used wheels or something so you can switch back to the turanzas when the freezing rain season is over.

    I'm in an explorer myself, and after the nasty performance of the => KILLER TIRES! <= tm in all conditions, have been happy with the general ameri-650s I got in the "customer satisfaction exchange." that experience, unfortunately, doesn't help you much.
  • jaffojaffo Member Posts: 2
    I have a similar problem with my 01 LS v8. I feel like it's floating and wandering around all the time. I've driven the dealers service loaner and I can feel the difference right away but their service people don't agree. I also notice the problem with cross winds, even in mild wind or snow I have a lot of trouble keeping the car in my lane. Not anything major just little nudges left and right again and again.
    At 1st I thought it was just the winter since my 1st spring and summer with the car were awesome but last summer and so far this winter it sux.
    Alignment has been checked 3 times and I've had 3 different sets of wheels and tires on the car with no luck. The best combo I've found so far are my snow tires on 16" Lincoln wheels.

    I can hardly wait to get rid of this thing and with my record of bad cars from Ford I don't see how I can go back.
  • leadfoot4leadfoot4 Member Posts: 593
    I have 4 Dunlop Graspic snow tires on my 2000 LS. No serious problems at all, and I'm into my third winter with the car.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I guess I'm misunderstanding what you mean by "icy roads". You mean very hard-packed old snow with irregular surfaces, that might have icy lumps in them? When I hear "ice" I think of "black ice", like ice from snow melt spilled onto a dry road, etc., and I'm very skeptical of any tire to hold a car under that extreme condition.

    But if you mean just icy hard-pack, I'd say tire selection and careful tire pressures would certainlly help you.

    For sheer ice, stay home!
  • leadfoot4leadfoot4 Member Posts: 593
    I agree with you 100%. Especially if you consider that the "sport package" LSs are equipped with 50 series, 17" tires. Not exactly the hot set-up for winter driving.
  • swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    I can see it now, directional Z-rated tires. you go into a shop for tires that will not kill you in mixed weather and they will call the cops on you for violating the automaker's recommendations. "oh, no, you can't put a tire on here that is not speed rated, no way, and certainly not here."

    you should then ask 'em if they stock chains :-D really freak them into the next dimension
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I remember one year when I had four studded tires on an Audi 4000 quattro and I was leaving 4X4s in the dust in the mountains. I had them mounted on spare rims for a quick change-out as weather changed--which it did more frequently than I was able to adjust for in Colorado, so I finally gave up this approach--too-rapid stud wear, rendering them ineffective, and coincidentally, not re-studdable.
  • leadfoot4leadfoot4 Member Posts: 593
    What's your point? If you want to successfully negotiate snowy roads, you equip your car accordingly.
     I don't see too many "Z" rated snow tires because you don't usually exceed 149 MPH in the snow. Directional snow tires? Yes, GoodYear makes them, and there's a set on my S-10 4X4. They'll go through most anything. The previously mentioned Dunlop Graspics are on the Lincoln, and serve my wife quite well.
  • swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    because I used to have a boss with a Probe in the early 90s, and he couldn't get anybody to sell him anything for winter driving because it was a speed-rated application.
  • minaldominaldo Member Posts: 10
    Buy a front wheel, 4wd, or awd vehicle if you want better handling in wet or snowy conditions
  • swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    but I have gotten a number of RWDs to get around nicely in snow with combinations of chains, snow tires, and weight in the back.
  • minaldominaldo Member Posts: 10
    Yeah, but with an awwd, fwd or front wheel drive car, you don't have to go through all that work to have it handle well in poor conditions.
  • div2div2 Member Posts: 2,580
    And don't forget, with 80% of the FWD cars out there you get massive understeer and a bland driving experience- Mini, SAAB, VW/Audi, and Focus SVT cars excepted...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    And FWD are REAL FUN going uphill in the ice and snow--NOT! And double the fun in a nice peaky FWD turbo.
  • circleacirclea Member Posts: 21
    i have a question for anyone out there about driving on snow covered and icy roads in my ls. so here goes... i live in tennesse so we dont get much snow but last week we got a heck of a snow anyway this was my first time driving my 2000 ls sport in the snow. i was spinning on flat ground. so what gear should i be driving in??? i got stuck in a flat driveway and finally got out but i was wondering if i should put the car in some other gear. please help. thanks
  • swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    the reason for a light feather touch on the brake is to preload the diff a little bit and keep one wheel from breaking free and taking all the power just to spin. 2nd will help keep you from going too fast, and provides some engine braking as you naturally let off the gas when you see an ice slick up ahead. you definitely want to start driving like granny with cataracts when the footing gets lousy outside. you may be able to get started, but can't always depend on being able to STOP when you want, so drive accordingly.
  • leadfoot4leadfoot4 Member Posts: 593
    Most LSs have traction control. Does yours? If it does, just apply light throttle, and if there are any wheelspin issues, the TC will handle it. If you don't have the TC, use second gear and light throttle.
  • circleacirclea Member Posts: 21
    my ls has advance trac which was on and all that did was show in my instrument panel blinking like heck. like it was trying to keep me from spinning but just couldnt do it. thanks for all the advice i will try 2nd gear and a light foot if we ever get any more snow here in tennessee.

  • leadfoot4leadfoot4 Member Posts: 593
    I would then do one of two things. When I first got the car, I was interested in how the "Advancetrac" worked. So, the first snowy and slippery day, out I went.
    Stopped at a stop sign, switched off the TC, and nailed the throttle. Just like any other car, the LS slithered all over the road, and went nowhere quickly. Continued up the street to the next stop sign, switched on the TC, and tried this trick again.
    The computer modulated the throttle and anti-lock system, and the car accelerated straight as an arrow. Naturally, it didn't take off like a rocket, because the laws of physics won't allow that, but the car did move off smartly and straight. Try this with your car.
    If your car doesn't act like mine did, go to your dealer and have them check the TC system. If you're reluctant to do my "test procedure", just go to the dealer directly.
    My wife is the primary driver of the LS. If she's happy with the car in the snow, the TC must be working quite well, because she's a fairly timid driver.
  • circleacirclea Member Posts: 21
    thanks for you help. i will try your test and see what happens. i am very pleased with the car. its alot of fun to drive!!!
    thanks again
  • slunarslunar Member Posts: 479
    Jaffo, Sounds like I had a similar problem to you. The first winter I had my LS it was just fine in the snow or on slippery roads, no complaints. That spring I had the rear halfshafts replaced to fix the drone problem.

    After that my LS never seemed right again. I don't think the traction control ever worked right after that. It became almost undrivable in the snow. The slightest touch of the throttle and the rear end would kick right. Almost did a 180 a couple of times. The only good news is that is is amazing how sidways you can get a LS and still recover.

    I had the Ford field engineer involved on another problem and while he was looking over the car he found what they called a "broken right rear strut" I assume they ment the shock since the LS has double wishbone suspension. After they replaced the "strut" it was better but still not like new.

    With traction control ON I could often spin the right rear tire on dry pavement and if there was any sand on a dry road I could spin the rear tires with ease. The Traction Control light on the dash would blink, but it wounldn't do much of anything to keep the tires from spinning.

    I test drove an '03 and nailed it on some snow slush and on wet sandy road and I could not get the slighest amount of tire spin. If I floored it on the snow slush it would almost feel like the engine died and the car would slowly move forward.

    My conclusion is that the dealer broke my TC when they worked on the car and it sounds like circlea has a similar problem.
  • leadfoot4leadfoot4 Member Posts: 593
    I'm a little curious, since L-M replaced your rear strut. Have you ever had your LS aligned, and if so, do you recall if the rear camber was the same on both sides?
    Mine never has been (the camber, that is), and this sort of "annoys" me. There's no way to make any adjustments, and all the dealer says is, "It's within spec". Yeah, it's within spec, but one side is at the top of the spec, and the other side is at the bottom!
  • slunarslunar Member Posts: 479
    leadfoot: Yes, after the half-shafts were replaced, but before the "strut" fix, a 4 wheel alighnment was done, made the car worse if anything. After the "strut" was replaced the rear end was again aligned, but not the front.

    The "strut" replacement and rear alignment GREATLY improved the car on dry roads. After the halfshafts were replaced and begore the "stut" fix the car would wander all over the place, even on dry roads. It just wouldn't drive straight. You couldn't take your hands off the wheel for 2 seconds. Seemed similar to some of the complaints others have made about their LS's being real cross wind sensitive.

    After the "strut" fix, my LS was just fine on dry roads. On the center lane of a 3 lane interstate I could cruise at 80 with my hands of the wheel, just like a LS is supposed to do.

    However the TC still didn't work right. When driving in snow I could still easily spin the rear wheels (TC on), but while the rear end still wanted to kick right, the tendency was substantially reduce.

    Can't tell you anything about camber settings, my dealer's service department is the type that doesn't want to tell you anything about what they did.
  • kf6430kf6430 Member Posts: 1
    slunar, I am experiencing the same exact problems with my 2000 LS wandering all over the place. It's like it has mind of its' own. Did the strut replacement solve the problem? and if so, was it under warranty? I have looked on the Lincoln LS Owner's Club for any information and noticed tire type and pressure seem to have great impacts on the cars handling. I had a four wheel alignment, but the problem of wandering is still there.
  • scottc8scottc8 Member Posts: 617
    My '00 LS has AdvanceTrac and is very controllable on ice, even with "all-season" Firehawks. "Controllable" being a relative term here; nothing but 4 studded snow tires are really going to give you traction on glare ice. But it seems very difficult to get into trouble with, without doing something stupid. As for the traction control, if I floor the gas on glare ice, the car does . . . nothing. Whether moving slowly or standing still, it just idles along while the TC light flashes.

    The automatic allows 2nd or 3rd gear starts, at least with the SST option, but I haven't found it very useful. It takes so much throttle to get the car to move in the higher gear that, if a wheel does break traction, it starts spinning very fast.

    The kind of wild behavior we're reading about here leads me to believe something is wrong with the TC, or something. I've driven lots of RWD cars on snow & ice and never had that kind of trouble.

    I'll try mine with AdvancTrac turned off next time there's a safe opportunity. IF it ever snows again in Colorado. :(
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