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Old 12-15-2013, 10:19 AM   #1
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What to expect in winter driving?

As stated elsewhere here, I will be picking up my first Jeep tomorrow, a 2001 Wrangler TJ with BFG All terain T/A tires. We got about 6" of snow last night.

WHat should I expect driving my Jeep in the snow with these tires? Are T/A BFG good in the snow? Will I need to add 200-300 pounds of sand in the back for traction?

Thanks for any help.

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Old 12-15-2013, 10:27 AM   #2
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I would worry less about snow and more about ice. Go easy, drive smart, watch out for the idiots, and enjoy. No need for extra weight in four wheel.

We just got dumped on here in Ontario and I get to go out shopping today - yahoo - love driving in the winter



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Old 12-15-2013, 06:56 PM   #3
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I've been driving my 01' for 8 yrs w those tires. Toss it in 4 and enjoy. Just remember that having 4WD doesn't help you stop any faster. I wouldn't worry bout sandbags either. You're gonna have enough gas guzzling issues even w/o them.
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:25 AM   #4
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also.... don't plan on stopping on the side of the road and not needing help back on... ask me how I know that
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Old 12-16-2013, 03:04 PM   #5
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also.... don't plan on stopping on the side of the road and not needing help back on... ask me how I know that
How do you know that?

Joe C.
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Old 12-16-2013, 03:07 PM   #6
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How do you know that?

Joe C.
I pulled off to the side of the road last night cause I thought I was going to be sick.. well I got to the side and started to slide into the ditch and had to be pulled out by a big dodge
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Old 12-17-2013, 07:12 AM   #7
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Even though you have 4 wheel, don't be that idiot that thinks going 60 on snow packed and icy roads will be ok. You'll most likely end up in a ditch and having other people shake their head at you because they knew what was going to happen. Yes, I've been the drivers that will pass a modified truck because he/she thought going well over the speed limit for the given conditions was a great idea because they had 4 wheel. Get good snow tires. If you don't have a backseat and your spare is still on the back tire carrier, try to load down the back with kitty litter or sandbags.
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Old 12-17-2013, 07:19 AM   #8
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I treat driving in snow like im wheeling.. i dont go fast.. having gone off the road in other vehicles such as a ford taurus and a WRX you learn to understand the pain of a very slow crash.. drive as if you are in a honda fit on old tires, use respect. But if you get a chance when you get to work early before the plow gets there you can play a little. But on the road i always assume the worst and just chill with the radio up.. that way im the one pulling someone out later and not the other way around.
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Old 12-17-2013, 07:39 AM   #9
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I have the same TAs on my '06 and have gone through the white stuff up to a foot or so without any issues. As stated above, I take my time and understand that having 4WD doesn't make me invincible!
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:47 PM   #10
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I bought my first Jeep this passed September (97 Sahara). It's not my daily driver and this past weekend was the first time I had to drive it in snow (Long Island). I've always had 2-wheel drive cars and never owned a 4x4, most of my cars were front wheel drive with some rear wheel 20 years ago back when I was in high school.

Anyway, I know how to drive in snow and still drive with caution even though I'm in a Jeep. We had maybe an inch of snow on the ground (mostly wet roads but side roads were covered about an inch). I made a slow turn onto a side road and the rear slid out on me. I did a complete 180 and luckily didn't hit anything. I guess it's been so long since I drove a rear wheeled vehicle I forgot how little it takes for the rear to swing out. I didn't think there was enough snow to engage 4x4 so I left it in 2H since most of the roads were just wet anyway.

My tires are Toyo Open Country A/T's 30/9.5 R15 with plenty of tread. It put a good scare in me and now know to take the turns much slower than I would do in my FWD regular car. I was hesitant on putting in 4WD just because the main roads were only wet and I know they say not to drive in 4WD on pavement. I'm still confused if they mean DRY pavement only or if it's OK to use it if the pavement is WET?
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:32 PM   #11
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There are few things about a jeep TJ to keep in perspective. They have a short wheel base, no ABS, and no traction control. IMO, they are out right dangerous in the ice compared to a more modern car. Our newer AWD crossover is 1000 times better in the snow or ice than a TJ. Even my FWD Escape is a much more sure footed vehicle.

HOWEVER, the jeep is a lot more fun! AND, if you know how to drive and don't rely on modem tricks, they are really fun in the deep stuff.
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:33 PM   #12
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I bought my first Jeep this passed September (97 Sahara). It's not my daily driver and this past weekend was the first time I had to drive it in snow (Long Island). I've always had 2-wheel drive cars and never owned a 4x4, most of my cars were front wheel drive with some rear wheel 20 years ago back when I was in high school. Anyway, I know how to drive in snow and still drive with caution even though I'm in a Jeep. We had maybe an inch of snow on the ground (mostly wet roads but side roads were covered about an inch). I made a slow turn onto a side road and the rear slid out on me. I did a complete 180 and luckily didn't hit anything. I guess it's been so long since I drove a rear wheeled vehicle I forgot how little it takes for the rear to swing out. I didn't think there was enough snow to engage 4x4 so I left it in 2H since most of the roads were just wet anyway. My tires are Toyo Open Country A/T's 30/9.5 R15 with plenty of tread. It put a good scare in me and now know to take the turns much slower than I would do in my FWD regular car. I was hesitant on putting in 4WD just because the main roads were only wet and I know they say not to drive in 4WD on pavement. I'm still confused if they mean DRY pavement only or if it's OK to use it if the pavement is WET?
If you can turn without binding you are fine.
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Old 12-17-2013, 11:20 PM   #13
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There are few things about a jeep TJ to keep in perspective. They have a short wheel base, no ABS, and no traction control. IMO, they are out right dangerous in the ice compared to a more modern car. Our newer AWD crossover is 1000 times better in the snow or ice than a TJ. Even my FWD Escape is a much more sure footed vehicle.

HOWEVER, the jeep is a lot more fun! AND, if you know how to drive and don't rely on modem tricks, they are really fun in the deep stuff.
X2 after our first major snow in MN every vehicle in the ditch was a 4wd one. Just take everything slow and remember that since you likely don't have abs you have to be carefule on packed snow and ice.
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:00 AM   #14
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Take your time, don't drive faster than conditions allow, don't put yourself in a position of having to make sudden changes. You'll be fine.

Don't put it in 4 wheel unless you start slipping, and remember that 4wd won't help you stop at all. Don't use 4wd any more than you have to, that way you'll lessen the risk of damaging your drive train.

Consider everyone driving around you to be an idiot, you won't be far off the mark.
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:09 AM   #15
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When I first got my jeep I was suprised how easily and quickly it liked to swap ends in the snow compared to my other 4x4s.lol...
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:05 AM   #16
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There are few things about a jeep TJ to keep in perspective. They have a short wheel base, no ABS, and no traction control.
From my TJs build sheet...
BGK 4-Wheel Anti-Lock Brakes
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:39 AM   #17
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From my TJs build sheet... BGK 4-Wheel Anti-Lock Brakes
There may be a few out there with them....but by in large, they do not especially TJs. Sort of not a great option when you want to wheel.

ABS though is one thing....a true traction control system is another. Modern cars are so difficult to flip around that you have to really really work at at. A TJ in 2WD will flip around with nothing more than tapping the accelerator.
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:53 AM   #18
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Old 12-22-2013, 12:40 PM   #19
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I bought a brand new 1977 CJ-5 and was driving in the snow. First time I found out CJ-5 winter handling was when driving through snow drifts near Sandusky, OH in another's tracks doing about 45 in 4WD, got it sideways, dig into dry pavement and rolled it. Got it fixed, spun it off a road into a flat area while driving around a curve in the snow in 2WD, stayed upright though. Went to another town, while turning left in 4WD experienced the torque reaction of the engine. The Jeep did not turn but went straight, right into a ditch. Figured I would put it into 4WD Low and drive out...wrong the right side pulled deeper into the snow filled ditch. Hmm a Jeep needing pulled out, well I put the Jeep into 1st gear, was in 4 WD Low and blipped the throttle while cranking the steering wheel hard to the left. I got it to spin sideways in the ditch and was able to drive up and out since I was going to go in a straight line back to the road surface. sold that Jeep in the 1980's and moved west. Have a 2009 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 Double cab but recently bought a 2004 Jeep Wrangler Sahara, its a hoot to drive though it bigger than my CJ-5 was, ride is smoother too. though I liked the teeth jarring ride of the CJ-5. Have fun playing in the snow, just don't bust snow drifts at 50 MPH hahaha.
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Old 12-22-2013, 08:37 PM   #20
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I don't think anything stayed on the road in the 70s
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:43 PM   #21
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I don't think anything stayed on the road in the 70s
There's a reason why all those 440/426 road runners and chargers ended up in the ditch.
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:25 PM   #22
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There's a reason why all those 440/426 road runners and chargers ended up in the ditch.
Any young ins on this site will have no idea how bad cars were in the snow back in the day and how much skill it took.

First, everything was rear wheel drive And tire technology was perhaps somewhat better than what Fred Flinstone used. Horrible suspensions, no traction control....cars would get stuck on flat surfaces at red lights.
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Old 12-23-2013, 08:53 AM   #23
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If you live in snow country already, you "should" already know how to drive in it. Just because it says Jeep on the side doesn't make it a go anywhere anytime vehicle. Use the common sense you did when owning a 2 wheel drive car and you will be ok. It amazes me the people that think owning a jeep (or a 4 wheel drive for that matter) gives them super powers. I see it everyday in the winter. I drive slower and more careful in the winter when driving my jeep. The short wheelbase and light weight is not your friend in slick conditions. I would much rather drive my wifes new Escape with AWD.
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Old 12-27-2013, 07:10 AM   #24
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I have limited slip rear, open front...mine will "push" a bit making turns. I have a 70lb sandbag in the back, don't think any more is needed. First winter with mine, I was a bit scared the first week of snow, but now that I understand how it reacts, it really is awesome! Have needed 4x4 almost every day this month here in Michigan. Like they say, practice makes perfect!
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Old 12-28-2013, 02:14 PM   #25
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I don't think anything stayed on the road in the 70s

I learned to drive on snow/ice in upstate NY in a 64 Mercury Comet. I took a couple of weeks in an empty parking lot (the base theater) and figured out how to drive it. Never got stuck after that. I spent 8 years there.

I've spent 5 years here in Chicagoland, the first 3 with a 2wd pickup. I never put anything in the back of it, never got stuck.
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Old 01-03-2014, 05:47 AM   #26
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Big winter storm coming

Which one of you was on Fox news this morning?

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Old 01-03-2014, 09:03 AM   #27
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I'd say that was a "whoops"...
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Old 01-03-2014, 03:58 PM   #28
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saw the picture this morning and thought about posting it on the site. It looks like a YJ, no? Too bad bet it was a nice one.

Video's of driving in heavy snow..posted above, I agree same as my experance over the 19 years wrangler ownership Yj now TJ I agree they can be monsters in the snow.
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Old 01-03-2014, 04:50 PM   #29
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I put my 1997 GMC Sierra in someone's front lawn and flattened their mailbox last year. Missed a tree by about a half an inch. 4WD helps, but it doesn't make you invincible. Jeep or not, just take it easy in the snow and don't put yourself in a bad spot. Keep the speed down and pay close attention to minor changes in the feel of the wheels on the road.

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