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Tonight was the first time I've driven my WRX in snow. I take it really slow in snow just because I hate driving in it. Plus I'm used to rear wheel drive in snow. I was turning on my street, going no more than 5-10 mph and barely touching the brakes, and I slid a little. ABS turned on (damn, they pulsate hard!) and saved me from sliding more. I hate snow.

Any tips on driving a WRX in snow? I'm not sure if I can be more 'laid back' with it than I'm used to driving.
 

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If anything you can be a bit more aggressive. Yeah, you're gonna slide around a little in the snow but the Rex isn't likely to get away from you if you're taking it easy.



<-----example
 

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Remeber we have AWD so getting going is no problem.

BUT!!!


THIS DOES NOT HELP WHEN STOPPING!!

I've had too many friends say why don't you go faster in the rain you have AWD you can stop faster. I then have to explain that it only helps me get up to speed not slow down. You should be able to handle better cause you will get grip while accelerating but thats about it. If you are riding the break the AWD does nothing.

Remember the Subaru commercial. "AWD it transfers power from the wheels that slip to the wheels that grip" Power only happens when your foot is on the gas.

THis is the best advise I can give you. I love the snow and rain cause I like to skid and control it. My Dad is the pro he used to drive on Lakes up North and loves sliding around. It just takes time to get used to. Go in an empty parking lot and slide around until you understand how the system works better.

Sorry for the rant but i've had some people really piss me off about this cause they have SUVs and say they can stop in the rain better then a car cause there tires don't slip. :mad:
 

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are snow tires really necessary then for the wrx? i have the optional wheels with the performance tires and they slip like crazy on my wrx. i'm thinking winter tires would help for the sliding around?
 

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Most high performance tires perform like ASS in the snow. I slid right through an intersection on my Kumhos on our first snow day. I switched back to my RE-92s that afternoon.

One thing you might try is starting off in second gear on very slippery surfaces. The tranny won't multiply the torque as much, so you'll reduce wheelspin.
 

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The biggest advice I can give you is to go slow until you feel comfortable going any faster. Be prepared at any time for the car to slide and know how you will react. Most will come naturally, but the first time you're sliding sideways down the road your instinct will tell you to hit the brakes. In most cases you should just countersteer and maintain your foot on the accelerator. This will let the front wheels pull the car back in line.

I've driven fwd cars quite a while in snow, and awd reacts very similar, although it oversteers more on power.

For me, snow season is the time when I'll be practicing my left foot braking for autox/rallyx next year. Should be fun, but I know the car (and my) limits from the racing and driving I've done this year.

tcc
 

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nemesis099 said:
Sorry for the rant but i've had some people really piss me off about this cause they have SUVs and say they can stop in the rain better then a car cause there tires don't slip. :mad:
Actually, there is "some" truth in their statement. The biggest factor in whether or not you slide is traction (duh!). What helps traction? Weight is about the biggest traction helper (obviously tread design, etc.). Since typical SUVs weigh more than typical cars, you would actually have better traction (all other things being equal). Also, depending on what tire is on the SUV will determine a lot too. Back on the Montero I had, I could easily motor along while others were hydroplaning, and consequently I could easily stop without any problems (or ABS, BTW). I understand your frustration, though. The typical SUV driver thinks they are indestructable. That's what drives me nuts!
 

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WRXed said:


Actually, there is "some" truth in their statement. The biggest factor in whether or not you slide is traction (duh!). What helps traction? Weight is about the biggest traction helper (obviously tread design, etc.). Since typical SUVs weigh more than typical cars, you would actually have better traction (all other things being equal). Also, depending on what tire is on the SUV will determine a lot too. Back on the Montero I had, I could easily motor along while others were hydroplaning, and consequently I could easily stop without any problems (or ABS, BTW). I understand your frustration, though. The typical SUV driver thinks they are indestructable. That's what drives me nuts!
Dont forget though that the weight also hurts the SUV's. Since they weight more they will have more momentum, which will take more force to slow down = more time to slow down, so watch out.
 

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nemesis099 said:
Remeber we have AWD so getting going is no problem.

BUT!!!


THIS DOES NOT HELP WHEN STOPPING!!

I've had too many friends say why don't you go faster in the rain you have AWD you can stop faster. I then have to explain that it only helps me get up to speed not slow down. You should be able to handle better cause you will get grip while accelerating but thats about it. If you are riding the break the AWD does nothing.

Remember the Subaru commercial. "AWD it transfers power from the wheels that slip to the wheels that grip" Power only happens when your foot is on the gas.

THis is the best advise I can give you. I love the snow and rain cause I like to skid and control it. My Dad is the pro he used to drive on Lakes up North and loves sliding around. It just takes time to get used to. Go in an empty parking lot and slide around until you understand how the system works better.

Sorry for the rant but i've had some people really piss me off about this cause they have SUVs and say they can stop in the rain better then a car cause there tires don't slip. :mad:
Not entirely true. A Viscious coupling, which the WRX has, causes the center differential to lock up when one set of wheels are slipping. What happens is that engine torque is usually sent to the place with the least resistence. The slipping wheels will usually get the most torque (which is a waste of energy). The VC will use the difference in wheel spin to lock the diff and will allow equal torque to the driven wheels. In truth, only a mechanical differential needs power/gas/torque to be sent to it for it to lock up the diffs. The VC that is in the WRX is "Slip sensing", not "torque sensing" (aka TorSen).

chris
 

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Driving in the snow tips, hmmmm, don't wreck! :p

Seriously, this is my first AWD car but I have had several 4 wheel drive vehicles (manual switch from 2wd to 4wd). It is easy to get going and drive fast but that doesn't mean you can stop. Some people panic when the front begins to slide but in a AWD mode, applying a little gas can help pull the car out of the slide and get needed traction.

In bad weather areas, I would also recommend Bridgestone Blizzaks or Michelin Alpines as they will greatly improve traction. I actaully enjoyed driving in the snow in my miata with snow tires. It's a blast to whip the rear at will.

As someone mentioned, a trick my father taught me was in slick conditions, start off in 2nd. This will prevent too much torque, thus reducing the chance of sliding. Another recommendation is to find a big empty parking lot and have fun. Try getting up speed, turning and locking up the brakes and then recovering. I use this technique to try and teach my wife how to get out of nasty situations.
 

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Find a big empty parking lot covered in snow and spend an hour or so sliding around. That will teach you.
 

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nemesis099 said:
Remeber we have AWD so getting going is no problem.

BUT!!!


THIS DOES NOT HELP WHEN STOPPING!!

Acctually, from what I understand, the AWD system our cars have does help stopping distance a little.

The LSDs help the ABS respond quicker because as soon as a wheel starts to lock up, the ABS releases the break on that wheel. The viscious connection between the locked wheel and the rolling ones helps get the locked one rolling again sooner, so that the ABS can apply the break to that wheel to help slow the car down again sooner. Did that make sense to anyone else? I may not have done a very good job of explaining it.

Anyway, I understand what you are saying nemesis. It may help a little, but that is no excuse to get cocky in slick conditions.

Later, T.J.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
T.J. said:



Acctually, from what I understand, the AWD system our cars have does help stopping distance a little.

The LSDs help the ABS respond quicker because as soon as a wheel starts to lock up, the ABS releases the break on that wheel. The viscious connection between the locked wheel and the rolling ones helps get the locked one rolling again sooner, so that the ABS can apply the break to that wheel to help slow the car down again sooner. Did that make sense to anyone else? I may not have done a very good job of explaining it.

Anyway, I understand what you are saying nemesis. It may help a little, but that is no excuse to get cocky in slick conditions.

Later, T.J.
Maybe thats why ABS seems so rough on the WRX. The ABS is pulsating at different times on each wheel, instead of all wheels at the same pulse. Maybe I'm wrong though.
 

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verbal said:


Maybe thats why ABS seems so rough on the WRX. The ABS is pulsating at different times on each wheel, instead of all wheels at the same pulse. Maybe I'm wrong though.
From what I understand, the feel is actually something engineered in separately from the actual working of the ABS. So you can never say "this one feels better under my foot, it must be better". It's just ergonomics.

The WRX system is multi-channel and IIRC each front wheel is acted upon independently and the rears together. Many ABS systems are like this.

C
 

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Call your insurance company and see if they offer or know anyone that offers winter driving courses. It's usually a 1-2 day course where pros show you everything about driving in the snow from braking to skidding, to accelerating, etc. Could be the best money spent in my opinion.
JeffR
 

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I just feel the need to clarify that ABS doesn't make you stop faster. It helps maintain steering control.

Be mindful of your limits. AWD helps alot in low traction circumstances and, if you know how to use it, is greatly superior to FWD and RWD. But it's a tool like anything else. You're not going to corner faster or brake quicker. The only thing for sure is that you'll accelerate faster. But be careful when powering out of corners or around turns as the tail will slip out. Also, it's easy to start to understeer when initiating a turn.

Go to an empty parking lot and get to know your car. Initiate some spins and drifts to get used to the beyond the limit characteristics. Otherwise, if you're not confident it's always better to take it slow. AWD is the best option but must be used with understanding.
 
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