snow driving questions..
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This is a discussion on snow driving questions.. within the New Member Hangout forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; so ive owned my 07 wrx for 3 months now and can say im finally getting the hang of smooth ...

  1. #1
    Registered User ragz-REX's Avatar
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    snow driving questions..

    so ive owned my 07 wrx for 3 months now and can say im finally getting the hang of smooth shifting.. ive never owned a manual car but have occasionally driven them and this one was by far the toughest to get used to..

    i live in philly and we saw the first snow of the year this past weekend.. ive heard the stock tires are pretty good to run in the snow, but was curious what changes i should make to my driving style to compensate for the difference in traction when the real snow falls..

    i don't drive the car recklessly and do most of my shifts before or around 3000rpm, with the occasional shift at 6k when some goof in a 350z gives me the head nod, as if to say he didn't get a good look at my license plate the first time.. should i shift at lower rpms? should i corner at slower speeds? or should i drive the car and let the AWD show me what im doing wrong?

    thanks for any advice..
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    Registered User Bebop's Avatar
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    Just take it slow like with any other car until you know how your car responds. You don't necessarily have to shift at lower rpms, but it could make things smoother. When corning I do all my breaking before the turn and then accelerate depending on the feel of the road. Easier to correct mistakes when accelerating compared to breaking imo.

    Oh, and I'm not so sure that the RE92's are that great in the snow, especially depending on how worn they are.
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    Registered User jorgee17's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=ragz-REX;2551092]ive heard the stock tires are pretty good to run in the snowQUOTE]


    I own a 2007 wrx limited and the stock tires were horrible in the snow. i got blizzaks this past year and now the car handles like a tank snows not even a factor anymore...unless its over a foot but thats another story.
    Anyways i'd say just get used to your car, invest in some nice winter tires and you'll really see how awesome the awd is
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    Admiral Ackbar the 1st mycologist's Avatar
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    Yeah, you basically need to slow way way down when there is snow. AWD isn't going to keep you from being unable to stop and will only marginally help if you are sliding sideways off the road. RE92s are not great but are passable. Using a higher gear / keeping RPMs low will reduce the torque and can be helpful but there is no need to lug the car.
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    Registered User JoeMomma's Avatar
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    yes, you have to remember the awd is good for traction when you start to move, and in straight lines when its snowy/rainy/what have you HOWEVER its still like every other car on the road when it comes to slowing down and turning. drive slower then you would and brake alot earlier and lighter then you normally would and you'll be fine
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    Registered User JRB1987's Avatar
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    In winter I recommend to rely less on the brakes and engine brake more so.

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    Registered User WagonGuy's Avatar
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    Take it to an empty parking lot next time it snows and practice all scenarios. After driving for months on normal condition roads it's easy to forget to switch driving technique to winter mode, which sadly I've already seen here in Chicago only on the first day of snow.

    All-wheel-drive is great when there's space to recover and it is not icy. After driving three winters on stock tires, the only moment I was extra careful, was making a turn on a freezing snow/rain covered road, the car seemed to be most unstable at that, other then that it's a tank.

    Invest in winter tires (~$300). This year I'm running winter tires, it snowed heavily last night, the car was unstoppable, glued to the ground.
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    Registered User WagonGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRB1987 View Post
    In winter I recommend to rely less on the brakes and engine brake more so.
    In the snow, it may be okay, but on icy road at higher speeds engine braking may get you in a lot of trouble. Especially if one drives a front wheel automatic.
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    Registered User Organ Donor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WagonGuy View Post
    Take it to an empty parking lot next time it snows and practice all scenarios.
    I was going to suggest this. On the Seattle radio, they were telling us to go to an empty parking lot, and practice spinning out, and how to respond to them. So, that's what I did. Helped boost my confidence, and it helped me learn how my car responds in the snow.


    It never hurts to buy a set of winter tires.
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    Registered User CJ05's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WagonGuy View Post
    Take it to an empty parking lot next time it snows and practice all scenarios.

    Invest in winter tires (~$300). T.
    ^^^This!!!!^^^ If you can also, take your car to a road where there is zero traffic. Being from Oregon we had the mountain roads which were nice. Practice acceleration and stopping to and from different speeds. Take notice how the car responds to each spped scenerio. See how the car responds when you lock the brakes and begin to slide (you won't be able to steer) let off brakes and voila! you have control of the car again. <-- this does not apply for all sliding conditions though.

    Most importantly take your time, avoid sudden/sharp turning and keep a larger distance between you and other drivers.
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    Admiral Ackbar the 1st mycologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WagonGuy View Post
    In the snow, it may be okay, but on icy road at higher speeds engine braking may get you in a lot of trouble. Especially if one drives a front wheel automatic.
    It is amazing to me how few people understand this about FWD. Then again I guess I found out in a pretty spectacular fashion myself that included a full 360 (luckily without hitting anything or rolling).
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    Registered User JoeMomma's Avatar
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    and remember, Anti-Lock Brakes, do nothing in the snow besides make a funny pulsation under your foot
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    Let me second the comment about the ABS not helping much in the snow, especially with the stock summer tires on (I have Blizzak LM-60's on order as I know how important they are when driving in a Chicago winter).

    Anyway, my new '09 wrx is in the body shop as I write this--just dropped it off this morning.

    I was approaching an intersection with a red light a couple days ago, and it was snowing here in Chicago pretty good. The road was snowy/icy and had not yet been salted.

    I was approaching the light with one parked car (Mitsubishi SUV) at the light. I wasn't going very fast at all. When I began to brake, everything was going fine. I didn't mash the brakes, just applied light pressure.

    So as I get about 2 car lengths from the SUV in front of me the car hits a bump--not sure if it is the combination of ABS plus brake assist, but my brake pedal fell completely to the floor! This was accompanied by some vibration, which I'm used to with ABS. However, the pedal falling to the floor was new to me, and didn't exactly inspire stopping confidence.

    As soon as the pedal dropped, I could feel my rate of deceleration slowing (meaning I wasn't stopping as fast). The car almost seemed to rev as this was happening. Realizing I was now almost guaranteed to slide into the SUV anyway, and with nowhere to go (too high a curb to get around the SUV) I gently start to pull the ebrake (unsure of whether I had lost brakes with the pedal at the floor).

    The end result was a rear-end collision at about 5 MPH. Unfortunately, the SUV had a hitch, so that was the end of my front bumper and sports grille. It also bent a support in the chassis just enough to bow out my driver's side front fender--just a little.

    I promptly called in sick to work, popped in Queen's "I'm In Love With My Car", on loop, and sobbed all the way home.

    Let's hope I recognize her when I get her back from the body shop...

    -Rick

    P.S. Now driving a 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt (rental). The first few times taking off from a stop I was surprised at the fwd wheel spin, something I *never* have in the wrx, even with the stock high-performance summer tires (which again I had planned to replace with Blizzak LM-60's, ordered a while back, due to arrive any day now--unfortunately about 1 week too late :-(

  15. #14
    Registered User JoeMomma's Avatar
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    tires do help out alot to. just like with every other type of driving(drift, autox/time attack, rallying) tires are everything.

    last year we actually got a huge snow storm here with atleast 10 inches on the ground, and i have some crappy all seasons on my car(i only bought the car like 2 months before this snow storm) and i had no problem at all, maybe i just got lucky
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    Registered User SaskatoonSubaru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeMomma View Post
    and remember, Anti-Lock Brakes, do nothing in the snow besides make a funny pulsation under your foot

    Wow that really isn't true. Well anti-lock brakes won't stop you like you were driving on summer roads. It will stop you quicker then no ABS.
    Last edited by SaskatoonSubaru; 12-10-2009 at 05:15 PM.

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