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Old 08-15-2014, 04:25 PM   #1
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Question Jeep Wrangler for Calgary Winters?

Hi
I am looking for winter cars for the severe, long and very cold calgary winters (temperatures varies from -5 to -32 degree celcius from November to end of April). I really like Jeep wranglers and one of my friends who had a wrangler mentioned that wranglers are not good for the icy roads in calgary because it has a short wheel base. And of course calgary winters are long and the fuel consumption for a winter car that runs for 7-8 months in a year is going to be a lot. But, what are your experiences on ice/black ice/crappy winter snowy roads for jeep wranglers? I will use the car mostly for city drive and on the highway for the weekends (one weekend per month).

Any suggestion will be appreciated
Thank you
Retusa
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Old 08-15-2014, 04:39 PM   #2
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Edmontonian here
I got my jeep at the beginning of April so haven't driven it yet in the dead of winter - but we still had about a month and a half of crappy conditions before things finally started to thaw for good, so I did get some winter driving in. I think how you drive will play a huge part in how well it handles in the winter. I was still getting my jeep legs at that point (huge difference in COG and overall handling vs the ford contour I replaced) and honestly my greatest concern was spacial awareness and not scraping the heck out of other vehicles with my bumpers in parking lots. Driving my FWD contour was far more nerve wracking in poor conditions (and less fun).
As far as gas, just be thankful you live in Alberta! It has got to be the most economical place on earth to drive a Jeep.

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Old 09-02-2014, 08:29 PM   #3
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Winnipegger here. I've had a 2007 Sport, a 2012 Sahara Unlimited and now a 2014 Rubicon Unlimited. By far the best winter vehicles ever!

The heat is ridiculously hot despite the -40 outside and the 4x4 can handle any blizzard dump of snow.

My tips though;

- upgrade the headlights the day you pick it up. Just do. Don't ask why.
- keep in mind the roads aren't always covered in ice but I typically switch to a good mud/snow tire (Duratracs are good) for the winter. This year, because of the stock rubicon tires, I will be getting a more "winter" tire and swapping back and forth
- keep tow straps, jumper cables, etc in your Jeep. Not for you, but to rescue your idiot friends driving civics.
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Old 05-06-2016, 05:36 PM   #4
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Thumbs up I know this is old, but just thought I'd add some advice for anyone new...

After over a decade of both Wrangler and Calgary life (plus Northern Ontario & TOR/MTL/OTT before that), here's some advice tips for others, since you likely already know all this by now.

- Never let your fuel gauge dip below half. Not because of the condensation theory, but because even in the city you might get stuck in traffic for hours when conditions are bad (like I did trying to get from the TELUS Tower to Crowchild twice in 2009 & 2011). It's not as bad as Vancouver or Toronto, but it can get crazy too under the 'un-perfect-storm'. My fuel situation went from just over half to low fuel warning during the 4-hours trip from Centre to the Crowchild on-ramp that was covered in ice causing everyone else to slide all over. Had the back-up extended up Crowchild I might not have made it to the Esso below McMahon at that rate.

- Get good snow tyres. The SRAs on the Sport Suck in wet snow and ice, especially in the Park regions, the Duelers on the Sahara will do in a pinch but turn to solid hockey pucks at 5C, the KMs on a Rubicon will get you killed in winter out here if you are at speed (on Deerfoot or the Transcan or QE) going around corners. The Silent Armor and KO2s are OK but they are only on Special editions. As mentioned before Duratracs are a great option. I use Wrangler Territory from Canadian Tire byt they are discontinued. So Duratracs, KO2, and Grabbers AT2s are great for our +15C to -25C wild swings in Chinooky January/Feb. At -40C during end of Nov / early Dec in the mountains every is solid, just have a good tread. But a good tyre makes a big difference even on a capable vehicle.

- Resign yourself to the fact that your windshield will get a big stone chip / crack within the first few thousand KMs. The Diamond Coat windshield protection helps, but this is Alberta, we don't put sand on the roads, we use gravel !!

- Yes, replace the headlights, even if it's not LED and just to Sylvania Ultras, or GE KnightHawk or Phillips XtremeVision/Power the difference is dramatic and will help you avoid the Suicidal Wildlife on the roads out here, especially on 22 south or into the wilds of BC where assisted suicide by deer is commonplace. While LEDs are a few Hundred, even the others for $60 at Walmart/PartSource/NAPA/etc are worth every penny, especially if you get the slightly whiter ones which make road signs and markers more visible (do't get Douchey Blue).

- In addition to the tow strap and jumper cables, include a sand/catlitter/icemelter type mix to help with those sudden thaws/re-freezes in Calgary, again mainly so that minivan can get out of your way. Get a big scented candle in a metal or break-resistance glass container that will help give you light/heat/signalling in case of a breakdown or stoppage. A small rubbermaid-like container for all this stuff can be turned into a shovel in an emergency to help dig out, and keeps everything well organized.

- If you travel far afield, in any direction really, make sure you have a few Cliff Bars, Hard Candy, A big light fleece blanket, and Everclear (Vodka will actually freeze solid out here, has happened twice to me at Louise) as Emergency supplies, if you get stopped for road closures etc. I've been stopped for hours on the QEII, overnight to/from BC, and for hours on the TransCan outside Swift Current. Also hide a $20 or $50 bill somewhere in the vehicle in case interac is down while you're on a trip, and you need to top up your fuel etc. I keep both Canadian and US hidden in the vehicle for just such an occasion because it happens a lot more than you think in the rural parts of the world or if foul weather knocks out lines, etc.

- Carry extra washer fluid on any trip beyond the city, with those sudden melts, you can be using the wipers every 2 mins quite easily.

- Be aware that while you're more capable on the road, others are still driving in Civics and Camry likes they have traction or even a clue, and will be in your way much of the time. Give them a bit of extra attention and space. Remember that people in the city also forgot what the bar that sticks out of the steering wheel is for, so expect everyone to dart between lanes without warning.

- Don't think you're now indestructible because you've got the Wrangler. The number of times I've had to embarassingly assist another person in a Jeep (who obviously doesn't deserve the term Jeeper) because they were showing off at the ski hill or wherever is ridiculous.

- Now that you have a Wrangler, explore, there's a ton of trails and even just soft roads nearby and on the way too stuff. Even just taking 40 south past K-country onto the soft road (HWY 940) that connects to Crowsnest is worth it if you've never been, even better enter from behind the dam at Canmore and take the Smith Dorian Trail down (it's not a real trail more of a logging road. Nice view of places like Spray lakes etc.

- If you wanna rinse your vehicle in the winter, do it before going shopping at a mall with underground parking, so it can dry a bit and avoid door freezes and still get that road crap off.

Most importantly;
Everyone around here drives like an idiot*, so Watch Out for them & trust No One !!

*-There are a few exceptions to the rule, but they will brighten your day instead of ruining it.. if you head the advice above.
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Old 05-10-2016, 04:56 AM   #5
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I thought my 97 sahara was the greatest thing ever in the winter, the heater kept up and to be honest I always found since I was sitting the rear axel you could feel it coming out from behind you on the ice...the whole short wheel base thing, In my opinion its not that the vehicle is more prone to going end for end its just that you have less warning, and like I said I always thought I could feel it stating to happen in the jeep, where as the work trucks the back end was already more on the move before I realised it
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