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Old 12th January 2011, 21:29   #31
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Default Re: Driving on Snow - Whats the Secret?

Oh Jesus no. I drive the tallboy HHR these days and Camry sometimes. M3 & bike are parked until April.

PS: I have had some heart stopping moments when I forgot to check the weather forecast and took the M3 to work. Did a couple of 360s on the freeway and almost crashed. But then I'm running hi-performance tires.

Last edited by Mpower : 12th January 2011 at 21:31.
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Old 12th January 2011, 21:56   #32
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Default Re: Driving on Snow - Whats the Secret?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower View Post
Did a couple of 360s on the freeway
Which freeway is this ? Boy you must be in IL or MI.
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Old 12th January 2011, 22:08   #33
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Default Re: Driving on Snow - Whats the Secret?

You actually own a Chevy HHR?!! I am so horrified that I will have nightmares for a week.

As for the M3, good idea to keep the RWD in garage till the snows thaw out.
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Old 12th January 2011, 22:40   #34
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Default Re: Driving on Snow - Whats the Secret?

You need to plan ahead for change in direction and speed. Having driven in Rocky Mountain region for 12 years, I miss it so much.

Once during my early days, in a steep decline, there was a group of cars hitting each other and I couldn't plan well. I wanted to drive away towards the right but the car kept moving straight and nudged one car from behind though without any damage.

Understood the need for wheel rotation for direction change very well. Once you are into that you are basically helpless.
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Old 12th January 2011, 23:35   #35
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Arrow Re: Driving on Snow - Whats the Secret?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
At 6 inches, you are asking for trouble. The tire won't cut the snow till the tarmac, you won't be on solid ground anymore.
Definitely agree with you on this point.
Only things I've seen work in extreme conditions are the Nokian Hakkapeliitta studded snow tyres. They were unstoppable even in a RWD car in Syracuse, NY.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jomz View Post
What is done in our paces is good snow tires, the favorite tires were Bridgestone Blizzak, Michelin X ice, Firestone winterfore and Nokian hakkapellitas. They used to make driving on ice packed roads much easier.

And it is normal there to get 12 inches of snow and still have class etc.
The Blizzaks & the Michelin X-Ice Xi2 (which I currently have on my car) are good snow tyres, though I'll still swear by the studded hakkas.

The X-i2's provide enough traction in regular use but in cases as Samurai mentioned - above 3" of snow, there's no hope.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mile201 View Post
I know deflating works for sand... but also snow? deflating the tires may work well for deep snow by increasing the contact patch, but i have never heard of it for normal road driving on snow. In fact most snow tires i have seen are narrower as compared to the regular tires (to avoid distributing the weight over a large area) . More experienced gurus could shed some light on this.
I'm no guru by any standards, but yes, deflating tyres does work - similar to sand. This helps mainly if you don't have dedicated snow / winter tyres. A high-performance / all-season tyre gets better traction to push through snow while deflated. Ice is a different matter though.
That said, narrower tyres are recommended for snow use as they cut through better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower View Post
Also try to pick a low riding car rather than a tall boy.
My car rides pretty low and it bottoms out easily in 3". In snow, I'd prefer a tall boy setup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
You actually own a Chevy HHR?!! I am so horrified that I will have nightmares for a week.
- I think the HHR is still alright when it comes to looks alone. I find the Chrysler PT Cruiser much more revolting.
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Old 13th January 2011, 02:02   #36
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Default Re: Driving on Snow - Whats the Secret?

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Originally Posted by prince_pervez View Post
Which freeway is this ? Boy you must be in IL or MI.
This was I-75 in Auburn Hills, MI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
You actually own a Chevy HHR?!! I am so horrified that I will have nightmares for a week.
Heh..Heh.. it does look awkward from certain angles. But like you say, its sasta-tikau like an Indica/Santro. Plus I did'nt have too many choices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aah78 View Post
My car rides pretty low and it bottoms out easily in 3". In snow, I'd prefer a tall boy setup.
Between the Camry and HHR, I find its so much easier to catch the camry after a skid. Oh, BTW I didnt mean GC..HHR is tall seating (and C.G) but GC is same like any other car.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 09:48   #37
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Default Re: Driving on Snow - Whats the Secret?

Talk about driving in snow, how about driving on ice ?!!!
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Old 2nd February 2011, 11:54   #38
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Default Re: Driving on Snow - Whats the Secret?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
So when you head out to the snowy mountains, remember, its very different from driving in the west. There you have salted streets, with regular snow plouging. In the Himalayas its very different.
These points will help you survive
1. Make sure your vehicles AC and heater are working, otherwise everything will fog up. AC is a must for defogging
2. Make sure your tires have deep groves. It makes all the difference between climbing a slope and not climbing a slope
3. Never apply brakes in a skid. Always use the steering to get out of the skid. FWD cars have it better here, with RWD you will have more problems. If your car has 4WD, switch to 4WD if surface is slippery, will give you greater control
4. Carry supplies. In HP etc., if it snows so much that a road is blocked, it will not be cleared until the snow stops. Rarely do the bulldozers come out while its still snowing
5. To get out of hotel parking lots, use the car rubber mats. Many times the parking lots have a lot more snow than the road, and the only trouble spot is to actually get out of the lot.
6. Last but not the least, after starting on a cold snowy morning, let your vehicle idle for 5-10 minutes. It will thaw out your engine oil, as well as the radiator fluid if its partially frozen.
7. Put some alcohol in your windshield washer fluid. Medical spirit is the best, you can get it from chemist stores.
I spend a lot of time in the higher regions of Himachal, Kufri and above and I would like to add some points to this:
1. Carry an air pump. Regulating the tyre pressure is very important in snow.
2. If driving a RWD, like an Innova [which is most often the case these days with tourists], its important to carry snow chains. They are cut to specific sizes AFAIK.
3. And lastly, be extra careful on freshly bulldozed roads. The bulldozers in India are not very efficient and often leave a thin film which freezes. Its very slippery and much more difficult to tackle than deep fresh snow.
4. Also, be in your senses You will need all the concentration to make out the difference between snow and fallen rocks covered in snow.

Hope this helps. Drive safe and enjoy the nature.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 14:55   #39
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Default Re: Driving on Snow - Whats the Secret?

Excellent advice already given.
My experience with snow driving has been mixed.
Had trouble driving a Maruti 800 beyond Mullingar in Mussorie long time back because the drive became a stop & go due to tourists on the road. The snow was ok, maybe 8-9 inches, but sections were iced up and there was considerable loss of traction leading to slides.
Then had the experience of driving a Tata Sumo in Kullu-Manali region. This proved to be a breeze as the roads had track marks of other vehicles and so driving was not at all difficult.
Full concentration and a slow and steady approach will ensure you do not need chains if driving in areas which see regular vehicle traffic.
Chains will be a must if driving on roads with gradients and where the vehicle traffic is sparce and the road is likely to have ice along with snow.
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Old 4th February 2011, 10:47   #40
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Default Re: Driving on Snow - Whats the Secret?

Recent picture from Chicago's lake shore drive (Source). Believe me, when you suffer snow storms and the biting cold, you miss Indian summers ...no matter how harsh they are.

Driving on Snow - What's the secret?-x0kji.jpg
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Old 20th December 2012, 08:52   #41
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Default Re: Driving on Snow - Whats the Secret?

Thanks for the good advise everyone. I am not so sure about driving upto Joshimath and Auli this December anymore... Though still keen...

I have a Hyundai Verna diesel with tyres that have not been changed / retreaded (the car has run 50K) so tyres are not in the best but ok condition. Is it ok to take the risk of driving upto Joshimath (maybe take taxi to Auli since Joshimath to Auli is more steep) this weekend? Have not been able to figure put from weather websites etc if there is likely to be snow there at this time....please help...
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Old 20th December 2012, 09:09   #42
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Default Re: Driving on Snow - Whats the Secret?

I have to go to Shimla for 8 days on dec 24th in my baleno. I had a trivial question - if the centre rut in the road made of snow is high enough to hit the baleno's underbody, is it a problem (as in driving in all the truck ruts will definitely lead to this. and am not too keen to damage my car - having done so once before while driving in uttaranchal while following truck/jeep ruts - but that was mud/stones and not snow).

We have to travel to and fro quite a bit there and will be staying mashobra.

Last edited by manolin : 20th December 2012 at 09:13.
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Old 20th December 2012, 09:24   #43
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Default Re: Driving on Snow - Whats the Secret?

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I have to go to Shimla for 8 days on dec 24th in my baleno. I had a trivial question - if the centre rut in the road made of snow is high enough to hit the baleno's underbody, is it a problem
Yes, it is definitely a problem if the snow has hardened even a little. Only fresh snow is safe, provided it is the powdery type. Don't know what kind of snow you have in Shimla.
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Old 20th December 2012, 09:33   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Yes, it is definitely a problem if the snow has hardened even a little. Only fresh snow is safe, provided it is the powdery type. Don't know what kind of snow you have in Shimla.
Shimla gets snowfall very rarely, so I must assume that it is the soft kind - as in no continual cold to harden it a bit. But the other areas around shimla, including where I will stay maybe colder. I will pay heed and be carefull. Except I really don't know how to protect the underbody except riding the centre of the ruts and that is not feasible in case of snow ruts because it should just contribute to further slippage.
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Old 20th December 2012, 11:34   #45
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Default Re: Driving on Snow - Whats the Secret?

My small experience with snow:

If you brake hard, ABS will kick in so much that the car will have nearly no stopping power. If without ABS, as said earlier, use only engine braking at speeds above 20kmph.

I tried to drift an 2010 Audi A6 quattro in snow. I steered voilently in snow, to create an oversteer. Front wheels could not provide enough traction. Such a modern car with all ESP ON could not mantain its line and reacted with a massive understeer. Braked hard, and the massive car showed no signs of slowing. The car crashed straight into the corner, into a big heap of snow. Fortunately no damage to the car!

Lesson learnt: No electronics can save you if you have no traction and you put down too much power!


I managed to get an Audi A3 TDI Front wheel drive stuck in the snow in a parking lot. Winter tyres and 3 inch snow. When I engaged forward gears, wheels started spinning. I tried leaving the clutch very slowly, moved forward for hardly 5cm and as soon as the car gained momentum, the wheels would start slipping again!
I experimented for 5-6 times and then understood that as soon as car starts pulling, the weight of engine is shifted towards centre of car and so front wheels loose traction. So then I tried to exit the parking lot in reverse. In reverse the weight of the car shifts to the front, providing more load on front axle. This results in MUCH BETTER traction. I took the car out of snow completely in reverse even without getting out of the car!

Lesson Learnt: Front wheel drives provide more traction to front wheels when moving reverse!
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