Honda Fit Bad Weather Handling

ktmsktms Member Posts: 2
edited July 2014 in Honda
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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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! ;)
  • cdnfitcdnfit Member Posts: 7
    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.)
  • abelhaabelha Member Posts: 1
    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 Member 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.
  • cindyjcindyj Member Posts: 7
  • gidsgids Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member Posts: 2,989
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member Posts: 2,989
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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.
  • dbvolfandbvolfan Member Posts: 3
    Well, we went with the Silver Sport A/T and picked her up today about 2 hrs after she was unloaded from the truck.

    Test drove one at length yesterday and it definitely revs lower than the MT. At ~70mph it looked like it was hovering around 3k RPM's if memory serves me right. Did not seem as loud in the cabin as the MT did at 80mph. That MT was sweet though...very easy to shift unlike my WRX.

    Am I the only one though that felt a little awkward cutting my carpet and insulation to install mats?...that was a new experience to me...didnt bother cutting the back ones since no one really sits back there and they are so wedged in I cant imagine them sliding anywhere. Nice car overall and Honda reliability...well, nuff said there!
  • ihowardihoward Member Posts: 1
    Hi everybody. I really, really want a new Honda Fit, but the one thing that worries me is how low to the ground it looks. I live in an area that rains a lot, especially this year and am concerned about it flooding out as soon as it hits a puddle. Does anyone know how well it compare to other cars that are relatively the same size? I had a CRV that I loved but it was totalled a month ago and I am thinking something with better gas mileage this time around. Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  • johndintexasjohndintexas Member Posts: 18
    It has been raining a lot in Texas, where I live, and I just bought a new Fit Sport. I wouldn't worry about how "low" to the ground it looks. The thing to remember is, you should never drive though high water, no matter what you drive. I even saw on the news one time how they were showing trucks and SUVs making through high water on an underpass, and they were saying that they shouldn't be doing it, because although they may make it through, the water is seeping through the wires in their electrical system and braking system, and the problems will start to occur in about 6 months to a year. And then those people will wonder why it's happening. Well, it's because you drove through that water, you dumbie. So it doesn't matter how high or how big of a vehicle you have, if there is high water, you should not drive through it.
  • bbqbobbbqbob Member Posts: 2
    We live in the northeast and are considering buying a Honda Fit. What has been others experiences been driving the Fit in slippery conditions. They seem pretty light and are concerned about how well they handle in snow, ice, etc. Thanks in advance for the info!
  • clarksterynclarksteryn Member Posts: 18
    I own a 2008 Honda Fit Sport Manual and at 70mph, my rpms are at 3500...With a little over 1000 miles on it...recent trip from St. Louis to Topeka, KS got 330 mile on the tank at 32.8 mpg.

    I haven't had a chance to drive in snow yet, but it does move around a bit with a crosswind. Still loving it though.
  • ellenocellenoc Member Posts: 25
    It's been snowing all day here SE of Denver, and I took my new (900 miles so far) MT Fit to town, round trip of 35 miles or so, to see how it would do. There are only a couple of inches of snow on the ground, but the ground was warm enough when it first started that there's an icy layer under the snow most places. Main roads are sanded but not side roads. There are a couple of very steep hills between me and town, and I live a mile from a paved road. My last car was a Subaru Impreza and I knew the Fit wouldn't do as well as that heavier AWD car, but wanted to see how it would do.

    It did a nice job. Felt the ABS kick in once on a stop, and I was careful, slow and 2d gear, going down the steep hills on the way to town. Wasn't careful enough to start out from a stop slowly enough a couple of times and could feel the wheels spin, but when I laid off the gas they caught. Wondered about coming home since on the way out I could see where a car had been unable to make the steepest hill on the dirt road. Kept it in 2d gear slow and steady and the Fit went up the hill without missing a beat. Very acceptable for a front-wheel drive light car IMO.
  • verdun_fitverdun_fit Member Posts: 1
    I live in Montreal, Quebec. I have my Fit in the winter 2006 and we just receive 1 feet of snow this week. I use my Fit with nokia winter snow tire. The tire have stud.

    The car have very good driving in snow and ice road. It not a CRV and it not possible to drive if the snow on the road is to high. But I drive a Chevelle 65, a Citation 79 with a V6, a Cavalier Z24, a Montana 2000 and many other car, only the Montana was better in high snow because it is more heavy and have bigger clearance to the road.

    The only thing, I dont like it the defrost because the air conditioning run all time when I use the defrost. With american car, I use the heater/defrost all time in winter. With the Fit, I use the heater/defrost only when the windsheild frost.
  • jerrymichiganjerrymichigan Member Posts: 1
    I love my fit. I live in Michigan and have always driven 4 wheel drive but with gas going up & up I decided to try other options. The interesting thing I found about the fit is ...Im told there is no direct link from the steering wheel to the front wheels. What I find is there is no noticeable pulling of the car when the tires hit slush and ridges and therefore it is much easier to keep on a straight path. Ive driven in 1-2" and 6-8" and it is great. Straight down the road I go. My Ford Excursion doesnt even do that. It pulls all over when hitting slush and such. Over 8"...Ill choose the Excursion. But most of the time Ill take 32-35 MPG (fit)over 10-12. (excursion).
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Member Posts: 504
    My wife is the primary driver for our Fit Sport (AT), but I've driven it in snow lately. My impression is that its OEM Dunlop tires do not grip all that well. They are good summer tires, but when it comes to snow they are rather average/below average in traction. Maybe that's the case with most OEM M/S tires in most cars these days. I suppose you can always swap the Dunlop with pure winter tires if you are in need of extra grip, so I would say don't decide against the Fit just because of its OE tires.

    We are in Minnesota, by the way.
  • mocoflmocofl Member Posts: 2
    Hi, I just moved to Florida from Denver and was rear-ended by a hummer which totaled my small fuel-efficient car. I am thinking about purchasing a Fit. I love the "magic" seats and all the cargo space. My only concern is that when I plan on moving back out west with the car loaded am I going to be able to make it over Loveland pass or Vail pass? Have you driven it through the mountains yet? with cargo in stow? I am concerned about the size of the engine, I am afraid of blowing it out trying to carry my belongings in the back over the passes. I am also considering the Toyota Carolla or Matrix, but I really love those fold down seats in the Fit! How much have you tried hauling in it?
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Member Posts: 504
    While it was not in snow and I was not carrying anything in the car, I took a Fit up steep mountain roads in Japan. It had no trouble at all going up some very steep hairpin curves from the sea level to about 4000-ft in elevation. In fact, I had a blast tossing this Fit around corners. That is what convinced me to get one in the U.S. when it was released here.

    Japan is very mountaneous (70% of the country is considered mountains), and yet it is full of Fits, many of which actually come with smaller engines (1.3 L) than we get in North America (1.5 L). People there don't complain about the Fit's ability to hill-climb.

    In terms of cargo capacity, we have carried anything from a recliner, love seat, bicycles, to dogs and cats. It is amazing how much you can carry in a Fit. We also have a Subaru Forester, and I think that the Fit can carry more than the Forester, primarily because of the clever seats and the height of the cargo room.
  • fitisgofitisgo Member Posts: 40
    The standard tires on the Fit Sport, Dunlop SP31 in 195/55/15"size, are very poor tires in all respects, and especially on ice & snow. Two solutions are to buy a set of winter tires/wheels to take on and off every season or to buy a new set of really good all-season tires and put them on the original alloy wheels and drive that way year-round. A good tire for this is the Michelan Pilot Exalto A/S V-rated; the down side is they are very expensive, a set of 4 installed with mounting/balancing can easily run $600. I have 2 08 Fits and on the 1st one I bought winter tires only (Bridgestone WS-50s on closeout from, and put them on the stock alloy wheels, but the cost of changing between all-season and winter tires 2/year is also not worth it. I will probably put the Michelins on the 2nd Fit (just bought it 2 days ago) and pay the recycling fee to send the original Dunlop SP31s to be recycled. Honda puts cheap tires on a lot of it's models (I have 2 Fits, 1 Civic, and 1 CR-V) to save manufacturing costs up-front. If you do some research ( is an excellent source) you can replace the crappy OEM tires at very low cost and usually end up with vastly improved tires with many benefits such as handling/braking/winter driving performance/reduced road noise/increased fuel economy/longer tire life/etc.
  • fitisgofitisgo Member Posts: 40
    The Fit Sport comes with terrible tires - Dunlop SP31. I have 2 Fits, bought 1st one in Dec 07 and had to put winter tires on it due some snow but mostly lots of icy roads in Omaha, NE, area. I just got the 2nd new Fit on 3/10 and plan to put new Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S V-rated all-season tires on the alloy wheels and drive like that year-round. Also, because the Fit Sport is very low to the ground, it will have problems with traction in snowfall amounts over 6" at one time. I also have an 03 CR-V EX with all-wheel-drive. It is an outstanding winter vehicle. I drive it up in remote North Dakota in the winter for ice fishing so I also have a set of winter wheels & tires (an extra $500-600 expense), but for around town the stock tires will be fine. The major difference here is vehicle price - the 2 new Fits I bought in the last 3 months each cost about $16,250. A new 08 CR-V EX with all-wheel-drive could cost $24,000 or more new - about $8,000 price difference. Consider buying a CR-V that is only 1-3 years old and has low miles but has depreciated some and you'll get a great vehicle for your son.
  • bam8bam8 Member Posts: 7
    I know its summer but I'm close to deciding on a fit and the biggest issue for me is will it drive well in the snow. I have driven a saturn wagon with studded tires and felt quite comfortable in these Maine winters. The clearance is limited which is of concern on the fit and the tires are small. I'm intersted in the basic model (don't need all the other stuff) but wondering if one can get rims and larger tires for the winter?? Feedback welcome!
  • fitisgofitisgo Member Posts: 40
    Go to and look up the Honda Fit and you'll see they sell a winter tire/wheel package in 14" size (the Basic model used 14" tires/wheels, the Sport model uses 15" tires/wheels with also a 16" tire/wheel option). The price varies depending on which tire, but the cheapest winter tire/wheel package is $348 for 4 tires + 4 wheels, not counting shipping costs, which might be another $50-70 depending on where you live. Then once you receive the tires/wheels (Tire Rack will mount/balance the tires on the wheels for free) all you have to do is change the tires back/forth in late fall and early spring - I do this myself and save paying the tire store.

    The one catch is that the 2008 and later new cars all have the TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System). So unless you pay to have 4 TPMS sensors installed on your winter wheels, which is some ridiculous price like an extra $300, your TPMS system indicator will constantly stay on on the instrument panel of the Fit. You can always put a little piece of electrical or masking tape on the spot of the plastic cover of the instrument panel to block that warning light (obviously your TPMS system is no longer functional, but it seems people lived without it on vehicles for about 100 years or more before the manufacturers were required to put it on U.S. cars.

    That $348 price was for the Winterforce brand winter tires, which are OK, but for Maine I'd get something a little better, such as the Bridgestone Blizzak WS-60 for $68 each tire, or an additional $80 for the package, total $428 plus shipping. However if you're really on a budget, the Winterforce winter tire is studdable, so you could take them to a local tire store and have them stud the tires (don't know how much that costs for 4 tires).
  • bam8bam8 Member Posts: 7
    Thanks for the info. I always have a set of studded winter tires on my vehicles so not so concerned about that. With good tires on, how does the fit handle. I drive in the mountains and often traveling norther VT,NY an Canada in the winter. I'm looking for imput on how the fit handles in the winter from those folks that drive in more sketchy areas.
  • sctclimbssctclimbs Member Posts: 1
    I'm looking buying a Fit. I live in Denver and drive a Subaru wagon. The Fit appears to have enough cargo capacity for me but I am afraid to leave my all wheel drive. The Fit Sport model with the navigation package also comes with 16 inch wheels and traction control wondering if that would handle the snow better than the regular Sport models. So my questions are: How is the Fit in snow? Is the Sport model with traction control upgrade worth the extra $2000?
  • aaykayaaykay Member Posts: 539
    As a former WRX owner and current 2009 Tribeca owner, along with a 2009 Honda Fit sport, I can state that the Fit is well nigh unstoppable, when outfitted with snow tires. This is in the snows of Minnesota. As long as there is enough ground clearance, and when outfitted with snow tires, the Fit can function with absolutely no problems whatsoever, in snow and you need to have no concerns whatsoever regarding that.
  • stephen987stephen987 Member Posts: 1,994
    The key question, though, is ground clearance.
  • aaykayaaykay Member Posts: 539
    edited May 2010
    True but then again how many roads remain uncleared with snow accumulating beyond 4-5 inches ? As stated, I have not had a single instance of a problem with the Fit in Minnesota wintry conditions, when shod with snow tires.

    Anything beyond these conditions are not something where typical road-going vehicles - short of a Range Rover or Land Cruiser shod with winter tires with studs/chains and such - can comfortably navigate.

    Bottomline, the Fit - with winter tires - works just fine in pretty much all normal winter conditions that one can expect to encounter in a suburban environment. Anything that is beyond the capabilities of a Fit with winter tires, is a situation where one should simply not venture out - whether one has AWD or not.

    PS: Note that the narrow tires of the Fit is a big advantage in wintry conditions, unlike the wider tires that sports-cars come with. The wider tires are great in summer but are a serious hindrance in winter in deep snow.
This discussion has been closed.