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Old 10-26-2010, 02:00 PM   #1
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Snow Driving Tips

I'd like to hear some tips on driving in the snow/ice from some of the experienced Jeepers

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Old 10-26-2010, 02:33 PM   #2
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slow the BLEEP down!

Oh, and use snow tires, slow down for bridges and shadows, and keep your head on a swivel looking for tards.

if they salt your roads, wash your Jeep often.

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Old 10-26-2010, 02:44 PM   #3
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First and foremost is to slow down. Second is to realize you may be able to go forward better/faster than 2 wheel drives/cars, but stopping is all the same, 4wheel drive or not. I am a believer in "Siping" your tires, it helps with traction and stopping by giving you more edges thus more starting and stopping traction. It also cools your tires in the summer, making them last longer. (Just my opinion). Be prepared, tow ropes, chains, gloves, warm coat, food/water, safety devises (flares/warning lights) flash light (cos you know you always get stuck in the dark!). Slamming on your brakes in a skid dose nothing for you. Tap your brakes to regain control. I always air down my tires, just a little bit to aid in better traction. (Again, just my opinion). Hope this helps.
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Old 10-26-2010, 02:54 PM   #4
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X2. I know XtrmTJ knows what he's talking about...I know where he works, and he travels in the snow more than most of us for sure!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 10-26-2010, 03:13 PM   #5
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if you drive an automatic take it out of gear (neutral) when trying to stop. when you are braking for a fast stop your engine is still driving the wheels so you are in essence fighting your drivetrain a little as you stop. by putting the car in neutral when trying to stop fast you will find you slide much less.

if you drive a stick don't hesitate to downshift to help you slow down. jeeps are rear wheel drive and downshifting will enable you to continue to steer while slowing down. if on the other hand you just brake only to stop you are predominately braking with the front wheels which will affect your steering much more. this idea doesn't work the same on front wheel drive cars.

i took both of my boys to a big parking lot with as few lightposts as i could find the first winter after they got their licenses. we just goofed around spinning the car around and sliding it here and there. nothing to crazy but enough that they had a good handle on what the car would do. that way when it starts to go in bad weather you'll know what to do.
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Old 10-26-2010, 03:26 PM   #6
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All great ideas Flash! I too go to a deserted parking lot to practices my driving skills in bad weather/snow, my wife says I am just playing, but hey, practice/play, it’s all good!
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Old 10-26-2010, 06:52 PM   #7
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What i have done when i get a new ride is find a empty parking lot with snow and play with it. Never drove a Wrangler in the snow so this is what I'll do. My 95 Bronco will go asnywhere but it takes a lot to stop it on snow and ice. My 96 Suzuki X90 (4WD too) Is a snowmobil and due to its light weight it stops rather easily on snow and ice. I think my YJ will be some where in the middle of the two. I just put new GY Silent Armors tires al around for $800, Got rid of a 4wd F150 and a AMC Eagle wagon (great in snow and ice) 3 YEARS AGO.
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:09 PM   #8
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Last December a few days before Christmas Eve I drove my 2WD Pathfinder from Cleveland through the mountains of West Virginia, Maryland, and D.C., in the worst snow storm that area of the country had in years and got through without a single problem. The key is not accelerating like you normally do. Particularly, when you're approaching a hill, simply ease into the accelerator ever so gently. If the tires begin to spin let the tires stop spinning on their own, don't slam on the brakes. If your vehicle begins to slide don't try to fight it. It won't do any good to fight it anyway because you'll only make matters worse.

Naturally spinning tires have a better chance of catching a little traction than brake-locked tires or tires that are spinning under power. Gently turn the the wheels in the direction you would like your vehicle to go--the lord may be with you and you may either eventually slow down before you hit something or someone if you're too much out of control. Usually if I'm beginning to loose traction I'll goose the accelerator a bit and let the momentum of the spinning tires carry me through instead of just sitting on the pedal and letting the tires continuously spin.

If driving a stick I wouldn't shift any higher than 2nd. For automatics shift down from Drive to 2nd. The best way to stop is to let the engine slow you down. Don't make any sudden movements or your rear end may whip around to the front.
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:18 PM   #9
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I haven't had my jeep long enough to have driven it in the snow so when it does start here in Ohio I'll be sure to take some roads less traveled and spend some time in a slippery parking lot getting used to the characteristics of the jk.

Before the jeep I had a pt cruiser and before that I had a Chevy S-10....I drove that truck through plenty of Ohio snowstorms to get to and from school (about 50 miles one way) and never had too much of a problem. One time we received about 15 inches of snow while I was in class and I opted to stay the night there at a local hotel. 45$ versus $500 deductible on the truck....
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Old 10-26-2010, 10:18 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the advice! I will definitely take Black Betty to an empty lot the first time it snows and give er a good go round!
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Old 10-27-2010, 06:38 AM   #11
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Thanks for all the advice! I will definitely take Black Betty to an empty lot the first time it snows and give er a good go round!
Make sure you do it where the cops don't frequent. Some cops are known to wait for you to finish goofing off, then when you get through goofing off they get you as you're coming out of the parking lot. Not that I've been in a situation like that before but I've seen cops wait for guys like that.
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Old 10-27-2010, 07:10 AM   #12
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A few years ago, my wife and I were heading up to Philly to see The Pogues. It was the night before St. Patrick's day. Huge (for the area) snowstorm happening. I had a Subaru Legacy GT with AWD, so I said "We're going!!"
We were on 295 doing about 40 and some mouth breather in a econobox beater comes sailing past us, doing at least 20mph faster than everyone else. He gets about 100 yards in front of our little pack of cars and loses it. Two complete spins in the middle of 295 and through some miracle (angels really do look out for stupid people) misses the concrete divider on one side and the guardrail on the other. He comes to a stop facing the wrong way on the inside shoulder. I lay on my horn, as does everyone else as we pass him.
So what does he do? Gets it going in the right direction and sails past us AGAIN at about 20mph faster than everyone else.
Stupidity should hurt, that's all I'm saying.

On topic, SLOW DOWN. Take your time. Use your throttle and brakes like the pedals are made of glass. Plan your turns ahead of time. I have not once gotten stuck or slid off the road (unintentionally ) in the snow because I take my time. You will still get people that feel the need to fly by you and haul butt everywhere in the snow, but I've never been one to be in a big hurry. Outside of major highways, I'm rarely more than 5mp over the limit. It's amazing how angry it makes some people.
Screw 'em.
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Old 10-27-2010, 08:32 AM   #13
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Everyone above offers great advice from what I can tell without my contacts in (hunched over the keyboard trying to read--special thanks to my roommate for being in the shower when I'm sposed to be getting ready for work lol). The one thing I'd like to stress is with our short wheelbase, be EXTRA slow and gentle on turns. The ass end on the Jeep starts to come around MUCH easier than on a car or a pickup truck...and if you lose traction on a curve in the road going too fast, that's the easiest way to roll your vehicle. Also if you drive a 5 speed...don't downshift too hard or it can kick the ass end out as well. Speaking from experience there...I was rounding a corner in the driveway at work going roughly 10-15 mph and downshifted from 3rd to 2nd and it turned into a slow motion sideways skid before I slid sideways into the grass. Glad I had removed the tree that was there earlier that summer...lol

Just remember that even though you're driving a 4wd Jeep...4wd vehicles aren't invincible and Jeeps CAN get stuck too.

Oh and if you're not driving through deep snow, keeping your tires properly inflated is better than airing down. You want to contact the road in normal snow conditions which a properly inflated tire will do best, but if the snow is so deep that you can't get down to the road, airing down will increase your footprint on the snow so you will ride more on top of it.
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Old 10-27-2010, 08:57 AM   #14
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Lots of true and good statements from my experience-only thing missing (in my opinion) you have 4wd use it! Not only is it good for deep stuff, but also for slippery-even if just started snowing. Jeeps being rear wheel drive and light act like a very light 2wd pickup if not in 4wd. I have used it in the rain when in a hurry-I know needed new tires already, and maybe didn't help that much but didn't sit and spin the tires. Good Luck
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Old 10-27-2010, 11:40 AM   #15
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SLOW is the word. take off slow, drive slow, and brake easy.

always watch out for the idiots out there let them go by. you will usually pass them by down the road. wavy if you like they will be calling aaa for a tow out
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Old 10-27-2010, 12:36 PM   #16
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SLOW is the word. take off slow, drive slow, and brake easy.

always watch out for the idiots out there let them go by. you will usually pass them by down the road. wavy if you like they will be calling aaa for a tow out
The best advice I can give ya:

STAY OUT OF CLEVELAND DURING THE WINTER!!!

Those geniuses up there actually drive faster in the snow than in normal conditions.
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Old 11-11-2010, 01:28 AM   #17
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Slow down is the big one. Play in a parking lot and learn how its going to handle in the snow, and how to recover from a slide. Get good at it. Then put weight in the back of the jeep. Sandbags, kitty litter, etc. This way you have traction, and sand for when you do get stuck.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:01 AM   #18
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Slow down is the big one. Play in a parking lot and learn how its going to handle in the snow, and how to recover from a slide. Get good at it. Then put weight in the back of the jeep. Sandbags, kitty litter, etc. This way you have traction, and sand for when you do get stuck.
One thing to keep in mind with this statement...when placing weight inside the vehicle, make sure you place it ABOVE or slightly in front of the rear axle. If you place it clear against the tailgate/hatch, you'll increase your likelihood of spinning the rear end around when that weight gets plenty of momentum on a turn, although with our Jeeps being so short, it probably won't be as big of an issue as it would be on say, a long bed pickup.

And don't forget to secure it for forward motion...that stuff will turn into missiles in a collision.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:03 AM   #19
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I'd like to hear some tips on driving in the snow/ice from some of the experienced Jeepers
stay in 2wd and apply liberal amounts of throttle. make sure to turn out of the skid. if you slide it into 4wd high, you can drift sideways as you turn out of the skid.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:57 AM   #20
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my wife slid onto someones front lawn with her olds cutlass a few years ago. ever since that happened she is skidish when it comes to driving in snow.

i took her to a big empty parking lot right after a storm. set her and her new jeep in four wheel high dead center. told her to drive around. first slow than as she realized that she was not sliding around and began to relax having a good time. that when the security guard came out screaming we had to get out. she drove straight threw the lot onto the grassy area with about 2 foot of snow and right threw the snowbank onto the road.

her reaction was "whoa now that was cool. did you see the snow blow out when we hit the bank?"
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Old 11-11-2010, 05:28 PM   #21
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Lots of good advice I agree with, much backed by personal experience, given above.

SLOW down.
Glass pedals, ALL of them, especially accelerating/down-shifting on a curve...
Extra weight over/in front of the rear axle.
Plan your approach into turns.
Be wary passing through areas of transition: shaded, coming out of tunnels/underpasses or other areas prone to drifted snow/slush, looks "wet"-black ice.

4WD doesn't grant one invincibility, it merely allows one to tread lightly where some others can't. OTOH, it can get ya stuck REALLY good, and don't ask me how I know...
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Old 11-11-2010, 05:40 PM   #22
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my wife slid onto someones front lawn with her olds cutlass a few years ago. ever since that happened she is skidish when it comes to driving in snow.

Wait...was that intended, or just a typo?
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Old 11-11-2010, 05:44 PM   #23
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slow down earlier when going down hill. youll be amazed how little grip when going down hill on snow. push the brake pedal rather than slam on it, also manual ABS if you trying to avoid an object.
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Old 11-11-2010, 05:53 PM   #24
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The best advice I can give ya:

STAY OUT OF CLEVELAND DURING THE WINTER!!!

Those geniuses up there actually drive faster in the snow than in normal conditions.
I wish I could stay out of cleveland. I live there

Ha, it's actually not a bad place if you know where not to go.

Anywho, I always try to brake about 5 times sooner than I normally would. I would say what else I do, but everyone else has pretty much said it.

SALT WILL EAT YOU JEEP.
Try to do as much rust prevention as possible. I don't know about where you live, but Northeast Ohio throws salt around like it's nobody's business.
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Old 11-15-2010, 09:56 AM   #25
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The only thing I can add to this:turn your phone off. You need to focus on driving.
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Old 11-15-2010, 10:14 AM   #26
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One thing to keep in mind with this statement...when placing weight inside the vehicle, make sure you place it ABOVE or slightly in front of the rear axle. If you place it clear against the tailgate/hatch, you'll increase your likelihood of spinning the rear end around when that weight gets plenty of momentum on a turn, although with our Jeeps being so short, it probably won't be as big of an issue as it would be on say, a long bed pickup.

And don't forget to secure it for forward motion...that stuff will turn into missiles in a collision.
Really? I like to add about 7 or 8 bags of kitty litter to MY ROOF for driving in the snow. I don't bother strapping them down either. I figure the higher my center of gravity the better.
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Old 11-15-2010, 10:36 AM   #27
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Following distance... lots of it.

Keep a look out for idiots...

always have warm clothes, or even a change of clothes in case you get stuck and try to dig your self out, but cant. wet clothes will kill ya faster.

Carry a tow strap incase you or someone else needs it.

a shovel. carry one.

Always help a stranded motorist out if you can.
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Old 11-15-2010, 11:58 AM   #28
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I had never driven in the snow untill I moved to the US 10 years ago. I hate it, I do ok but it is scary to see all the rv's & trucks etc' skidded off the side of the road.Luckily we don't have a lot os snow here in Moab so I go out in it every chance I get to practice because I think the more you drive in it the better at it you will become.
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Old 11-15-2010, 01:19 PM   #29
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Always help a stranded motorist out if you can.
That is something I used to always do but since they started making Obama stickers I dont stop as much
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Old 11-15-2010, 01:45 PM   #30
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I'm just the opposite...I go out of my way to stop and help if I see an Obama Sticker. Or any military, veteran, or parent of military stickers. Also anybody with any Union sticker.

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