How well should 99 Wranglers handle on the snow and ice? - Jeep Wrangler Forum
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:10 PM   #1
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How well should 99 Wranglers handle on the snow and ice?

Well just got into an accident, with a tree and my car thankfully. I thought Wranglers should handle well on the snow and ice but this ice just made my poor ol TJ look like a little wuss. I was stopped at a red light making a right turn slow under 10 and the ice completely got it. Turned it completely sideways and threw my car off the road into the tree. Happened so fast too in the matter of two seconds. I've never fishtailed this bad and gone off the road in my 3 years of driving. Bent my bumper and left scratches all over the hood and side. So to my question, shouldn't wranglers have good handling? I guess that's what I'm looking for.

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Old 12-29-2012, 08:23 PM   #2
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Nothing handles well on ice.

With the short wheel base of a Jeep, when it starts to go around, it happens fast if you are not prepared for it. Slow and steady on turns. Especially in a SWB Jeep.

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Old 12-29-2012, 08:27 PM   #3
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Nothing handles well on ice and snow. And don't let the 4wd fool you into thinking you can drive like normal. Glad you're ok.
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:20 PM   #4
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I guess handles well isn't what I was trying to say, maybe handle better than what it did because it went completely sideways. I've learned how to make it fishtail and manipulate it months before just to learn how it handles and I could never do it this bad. It just got me by surprise and couldnt break to the best of my ability by the time I was over the curb. Just shocks me most it did all this at really low speeds, maybe it was black ice who knows. Anyways does anyone have any recommendations for the scratches? Unsure if they'll come out but worth a try.
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:27 PM   #5
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Your tires play a big role in being able to grip snow and ice. Also if you have autolockers in your axles, then ice becomes even more of a challange.
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:50 PM   #6
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Where your in 2wd or 4wd
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:06 AM   #7
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A jeep will only handle as well as its driver can drive. Glad your Ok and glad the jeep isn't too banged up.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:08 AM   #8
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Too bad your not closer, I have a stock bumper laying around in my shed
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:09 AM   #9
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Wranglers are horrible on the ice. Short wheel base and an ancient 4wd system. The TJs lack the more sophisticated traction control systems found in modern vehicles.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:28 AM   #10
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With a good set of snow tires my wrangler was a tank in snow and on ice! 4hi and driving slow I couldnt break the tires loose if I tried to! And if I happened to it would never be so bad that I would come around
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:22 AM   #11
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Unfortunately, you cant drive around in 4wd all the time with a jeep. My Saab, my Escape, and my Pacifica could drive circles around the Wrangler on icy roads.
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:26 AM   #12
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Well I wouldn't drive all the time in 4hi. Only when needed. But driving skill comes with time and practice. The OP stated they had only been driving 3 years. It takes a bit more than that to truely develop the skills to drive in certain weather conditions
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:03 AM   #13
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tires makes such a big impact on handling thru snow/ice.....what tires were you running?
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:58 AM   #14
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Winter marks or something like that... They were a Kelly brand snow tire from Goodyear They were also 215 75 15. So they were small and didn't float on the snow
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:27 AM   #15
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99 handles great have had it soon around a few time but love it
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:29 AM   #16
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99 handles great have had it soon around a few time but love it
My 95 is great I find lower my tire presser give it better grip
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:56 AM   #17
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I'll suggest going to a big empty snow covered parking lot and doing doughnuts in 2wd until you can do controlled figure 8s, then play in 4wd. If you can do that, then you should never loose control on the road driving normally.
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:04 AM   #18
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is your rear diff an open or lsd differential? you have to realize wranglers do not have have ABS also. if you can drive in the snow it really doesnt matter what you drive. my 06 has a true trac in the rear and handles the snow well and for the most part ive driven a truck all my life prior to buying the wrangler. nothing likes stopping on ice and its easy to get the wrangler sideways, but on ice you are not likely to recover because in 2wd or 4wd there is little to nothing to get traction with
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:08 AM   #19
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You've received some great advice so far. Lower tire pressure on ice seems to help a little if there is anything on top of the ice...snow, slush, etc. Lockers are a killer on slick pavement though. If they're switchable, turn them off if you can still get around without them. Use the 4WD and if your back end starts to come around on you...use the throttle and hope the front end will pull you back on track. When turning I usually try to ride the two inside tires on the snow on the inside radius of the turn to avoid the back end from getting loose. It's a little rougher but you at least have some grip. Just remember you can go slower, you've got a jeep. You're not going to get stuck. Take care out there and good luck.
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:27 PM   #20
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Wow, thank you for all the replies! I was in 2WD actually and managed to hit one of the few ice patches in our town and one of the few thorny trees... My luck.

I'm running BFG All-Terrain 31s I believe. I just went to look at it and it was just a bad situation. Ice then right down a ditch into a tree. I tried pumping the brakes but I was unable to stop.

The good news, I'm completely fine just more of a shock and unfortunate. It's just a dent in the front bumper which I looked and I can pick one up for cheap so that's great too. Most of the scratches I can get out others I'll see what I can do either with touch-up paint or buffing out.

I know with the short wheel base I can make it fishtail whenever the streets are wet but this was on a whole new level. I mean I can drive this beast out when it is snowing hell and the roads are awful, but then I do this on a dry night with just few ice patches. But like I said in the end it's just unfortunate and everything will be okay.

Once we get some fresh snow out I'll go play out in it and learn more about how to handle it better. But I'm glad I was in a jeep in a ditch being able to just gun it out of there quick and it was relatively simple to get out.

Thanks for all the advice guys. It has been really helpful!

On another note would anyone recommend a good method/products to try and tackle the scratches? The ones on the hood don't seem to bad, but the ones of the side of the windshield I doubt I can get out.
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:41 PM   #21
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I have used meguiar's scratch-x with decent success on black Harley-Davidson paint, though I've never tackled anything major with it. Paint shop would have the "pro" stuff. If its in the clear you don't have much to worry about, into the paint you will have some issue, to the metal is a whole different story.
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Old 12-30-2012, 07:52 PM   #22
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I took my JEEP out for the two days of freezing rain and snow we had here to pull out stuck CAR drivers 9 in total went over 400 miles during the two days cruising ,pulling and playing. I have owned nothing but Jeeps for 35 years now and will never drive anything but a JEEP.
First you need to have great tires and air them down ( i run 12 psi in snow and ice )
Second find a parking lot and spend a couple tanks of fuel learning how your Jeep handles and let your Jeep learn how you drive.
Third i never went over 35mph the whole time.
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:02 AM   #23
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IMHO - you will never have full control of any vehicle including your Jeep on ice, especially black ice. Maybe there are some specialized tires that would help, don't know for sure about that. If studded tires are an answer they aren't road-legal in VA as far as I know. Maybe I'm a little paranoid about black ice since I did a 180 spin then a rollover into a ditch some years ago in my '97 TJ. There was absolutely nothing I could do - once I hit the ice that was it. BTW - my seatbelt being on saved me from bad hurt, especially since I ended up upside down in the ditch. It kept me from falling on my head. Tough to get out of it though with my weight hanging on it.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:51 PM   #24
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This is all great advice! I'm about to head to the snow and this helped.
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Old 12-31-2012, 01:02 PM   #25
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you have to realize wranglers do not have have ABS also.
This is not a correct statement.....Not ALL Wranglers have ABS is true. Even my 94 YJ has ABS.
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Old 12-31-2012, 05:55 PM   #26
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My '99 has ABS.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:35 AM   #27
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I run my TJ all year, even in snow and ice. Northern Michigan roads have their share of ice and snow. Jeeps as well as any other vehicle do not like ice. You can't replace experience when it comes to driving in less than ideal conditions. Speed is bad, brakes are bad, too much throttle is bad. Jeeps are very capable in winter weather, you just need to be able to recognize road conditions and quickly. I run in 2wd for the most part, I will pull it into 4wd when I might need the extra traction or control of the front axle. Proper tires, that are aired down slightly make a big difference. It sounded like you were surprised by the black ice, that is never good, and yes it happens fast. I feel that when the temp supports ice I drive as if ice is there and alter my style to keep safe. Yes I have been surprised before and yes I have driven into the ditch, and not just in Jeeps.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:46 AM   #28
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Rear wheel drive vehicles will push the back end out, aka why you fishtail on turns. Combined with our super short WB, that's not a good combo for ice. I would advise to lay off the gas around turns. Drive slow. Lots of god advice in here.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:11 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDefiled
Well just got into an accident, with a tree and my car thankfully. I thought Wranglers should handle well on the snow and ice but this ice just made my poor ol TJ look like a little wuss. I was stopped at a red light making a right turn slow under 10 and the ice completely got it. Turned it completely sideways and threw my car off the road into the tree. Happened so fast too in the matter of two seconds. I've never fishtailed this bad and gone off the road in my 3 years of driving. Bent my bumper and left scratches all over the hood and side. So to my question, shouldn't wranglers have good handling? I guess that's what I'm looking for.
I remember a few years ago when I got my tj. 97 auto 4.10's and 33's. well we got our first snow and ice and I was in 2wd and and didn't make it but a couple 100 ft and I had it sideways once a tapped the brakes. While I was sliding down the road I threw it in 4hi and she straighten right back up once I slightly pressed the gas. Ever since then I will never drive in the snow and ice in 2wd. Being a automatic in snow and I ice I think helps with not having to touch the brakes as often. I drive very slow and try to make the jeep stop were it needs to be without touching the brakes.

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