Camino LS6

What not to drive in the snow

30 posts in this topic

As you guys know, the ROPOS dropped reverse in the trans before the big storm (the second one), and I had to have someone else come in to plow. Well, I'm very grateful that the guy showed-up and plowed several times - but his skills were not up to the standard that those that live on this place have come to expect. As a result, the lane remains a 4X4-only zone at this point. I made it a point to warn my employer's son and daughter-in-law not to use their FWD Camry Hybrid until I had a chance to get my truck back and tidy things up.

So, I go out for coffee this morning and what so I find when I return?

You guessed it, the stupid Camry off the edge of the lane and blocking the way completely. This car is absolutely useless in snow! It was barely stuck, and any other car would have simply driven out of the spot it was in. Those low rolling resistance tires and Toyota's stupid traction-control software left the ugly whale floundering with one pathetic tire spinning uselessly and the car immobile. We had to dig a path for the one blocked rear wheel so the POS could manage to propel itself backwards (downhill) long enough to get back on the lane with the one front wheel that it managed to get power to. This whole time, the other drive wheel just sat there and did nothing, firmly planted on the lane.

What an utter POS!

Edited by Camino LS6
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Actually the worst car in the snow is a muscle car. I remember my mother's '93 Trans Am sliding about 50 to 60 feet at about 5 km/h down a 1 or 2 degree slope, right out of the driveway of my parents office, and all the way across a 4 lane road, to bump the curb at the other side.

Those giant rear tires made the bloody thing handle like a sled in the snow.

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It has little to do with the car and everything to do with the tires it has on it. Had they put snow tires on the Camry it most likely would have done fine.

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Any traction control software that only involves retarding engine power and not brake application is useless. The Malibu and Cobalt have that sort of system and often it's more of a hindrance than a help. The Impala has a Bosch 4-wheel traction control system that incorporates braking and some other factors and it works just fine.

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Good tires w/ snow treads combined with 4 wheel drive w/ 4 wheel lo setting has always worked for me..never got stuck in 15 years.

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Nah, it isn't just the tires - the stupid software doesn't work.

Any other car wouldn't have been stuck where this thing was.

What an awful car.

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Remember that story about the Pruis that wouldn't go up a slight grade on a snowy but mostly cleared road because of the overly aggressive traction control?

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Remember that story about the Pruis that wouldn't go up a slight grade on a snowy but mostly cleared road because of the overly aggressive traction control?

Sure do.

Toyota software sucks.

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It has little to do with the car and everything to do with the tires it has on it. Had they put snow tires on the Camry it most likely would have done fine.

Yeah, but ZOMG! WHAT ABOUT THE ALL-IMPORTANT EARTH-SHATTERING HIGHER MPGs???

You can't expect a Toyota hybrid driver to think about lowering their efficiency. :AH-HA:

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Actually the worst car in the snow is a muscle car. I remember my mother's '93 Trans Am sliding about 50 to 60 feet at about 5 km/h down a 1 or 2 degree slope, right out of the driveway of my parents office, and all the way across a 4 lane road, to bump the curb at the other side.

Those giant rear tires made the bloody thing handle like a sled in the snow.

In this instance a musclecar would have powered itself out of trouble, the Toyota? Not so much.

Generally speaking, it's true that musclecars and snow aren't a good mix. That I agree with. However, most musclecars at least have locking differentials which, when combined with the right tires and perhaps some weight over the drive wheels, make them pretty viable as snow cruisers.

Still, it wouldn't risk something as nice as a musclecar in cruddy weather unless I had to.

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Remember that story about the Pruis that wouldn't go up a slight grade on a snowy but mostly cleared road because of the overly aggressive traction control?

rotflmao.gif

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In this instance a musclecar would have powered itself out of trouble, the Toyota? Not so much.

Generally speaking, it's true that musclecars and snow aren't a good mix. That I agree with. However, most musclecars at least have locking differentials which, when combined with the right tires and perhaps some weight over the drive wheels, make them pretty viable as snow cruisers.

Still, it wouldn't risk something as nice as a musclecar in cruddy weather unless I had to.

Yeah, after that incident she started renting cars for the worst three months of winter. Going from a Trans Am to a Regal was rather painful for her though (remember this was '93, the Regal really sucked back then).

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It's all a matter of compromise. If you want to use your musclecar year round in snowy places, you have to invest in winter tires, add some weight, and change your driving habits.

It really is that simple.

For me, it isn't something I'd ever want to do. I protect my musclecars from the weather and use more appropriate vehicles in winter.

The biggest factor, of course, is bad judgement and operator error.

In the case of this Camry, it was bad judgement that put it in the ditch. That car should have remained in the garage where it belongs in such weather.

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It's sad that that's the case.

A vehicle like the Camry really should be able to handle weather like that.

It is a bit ironic, as electric drive (properly managed) should be an advantage in low traction conditions.

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Actually the worst car in the snow is a muscle car. I remember my mother's '93 Trans Am sliding about 50 to 60 feet at about 5 km/h down a 1 or 2 degree slope, right out of the driveway of my parents office, and all the way across a 4 lane road, to bump the curb at the other side.

Those giant rear tires made the bloody thing handle like a sled in the snow.

While my F-Body isn't a V8 F-Body, I think it's excellent on snow.

It's also a hell of a lot of fun in an empty, snow-covered parking lot.

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a lot of the asian cars are really light.. believe it or not, the heavier domestics have more inherent ballast to hold the road in winter and low rolling resistance tires do not help either.

i had 2 diamantes, which actually were not super light. the tires were different on each one. the first one had slick yokohamas that were useless in winter. did a couple 360s in it. the next one had different tires that made a world of difference. some day i want an AWD car with stick and snow tires.

my 95 tbird was an atrocious winter car. almost 58% on the front made it a skate. the hard as rubber wide firestones made it even more terrible. and one of the first gen traction control and abs systems made it a winter death trap...snow tires made it barely drivable. i wouldn't have wished that car on anyone.

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A high powered Camaro or Mustang or anything like that is useless in snow. Actually any lightweight RWD vehicle is going to be useless in snow. For my driving give me a FWD W-body any day for winter driving. Cant complain about my Impala and this one doesnt have ABS or Traction control. It works very well in the snow we get here. My 2 old ones for RWD arent too bad being that there is actually weight on the back wheels and I have normal tires on them. The Bonneville is the better of the 2 though. The Caprice has an aggressive gas pedal and that can lead to trouble in snow with that car.Lets not forget one of the other worst vehicles there is out there for snow is a 2WD truck.

Edited by 2005 EquinoxLS
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A high powered Camaro or Mustang or anything like that is useless in snow. Actually any lightweight RWD vehicle is going to be useless in snow. For my driving give me a FWD W-body any day for winter driving. Cant complain about my Impala and this one doesnt have ABS or Traction control. It works very well in the snow we get here. My 2 old ones for RWD arent too bad being that there is actually weight on the back wheels and I have normal tires on them. The Bonneville is the better of the 2 though. The Caprice has an aggressive gas pedal and that can lead to trouble in snow with that car.Lets not forget one of the other worst vehicles there is out there for snow is a 2WD truck.

I'd rather have a RWD car in the snow. FWD cars are great for getting up to speed in the snow. Trouble is, you end up going too fast for the conditions. I'd rather have a Camaro and have a tough time getting going than a FWD car going around a snowy curve when engine braking decides to turn the car around. This is why I love seeing 4WD cars in ditches during snow storms... or video with FWD cars, wheels cut hard and locked up, sliding straight into accidents.

Put some decent tires on it and a couple bags of cat litter in the trunk.

I've noticed FWD cars are more prone to getting stuck on snow piles. At least when you get stopped by a snow pile in a RWD car, your rear tires are still on the ground. During the last storm, I saw so many people with FWD cars with the front end sitting on a pile of snow that it was hilarious. My FWD '99 Bonne almost got stuck in the same way... and nearly ended my 21 year streak of not getting a car stuck in the snow... I've had about 15 RWD cars to 1 FWD. But I rocked it and was able to back it off.

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I'd rather have a RWD car in the snow. FWD cars are great for getting up to speed in the snow. Trouble is, you end up going too fast for the conditions. I'd rather have a Camaro and have a tough time getting going than a FWD car going around a snowy curve when engine braking decides to turn the car around. This is why I love seeing 4WD cars in ditches during snow storms... or video with FWD cars, wheels cut hard and locked up, sliding straight into accidents.

Put some decent tires on it and a couple bags of cat litter in the trunk.

I've noticed FWD cars are more prone to getting stuck on snow piles. At least when you get stopped by a snow pile in a RWD car, your rear tires are still on the ground. During the last storm, I saw so many people with FWD cars with the front end sitting on a pile of snow that it was hilarious. My FWD '99 Bonne almost got stuck in the same way... and nearly ended my 21 year streak of not getting a car stuck in the snow... I've had about 15 RWD cars to 1 FWD. But I rocked it and was able to back it off.

If you gotta doctor it up, is it really that much better? :neenerneener: I kid, I kid. I'm not gonna be the one to open that can of worms.

But this past week, every car I've seen get stuck in snow/slush or have problems moving has been RWD... and most have been SUVs, but the scariest one was a U-Haul truck. Fishtailed more than a migrating salmon.

Now, hard-packed ice is a whole different story... all bets are off there, no matter which wheels you have driving.

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If you gotta doctor it up, is it really that much better? :neenerneener: I kid, I kid. I'm not gonna be the one to open that can of worms.

But the trouble is... you can't doctor up FWD with a bag of cat litter. You can't 'fix' the problem of the front wheels engine braking.

But this past week, every car I've seen get stuck in snow/slush or have problems moving has been RWD... and most have been SUVs, but the scariest one was a U-Haul truck. Fishtailed more than a migrating salmon.

Fishtailling is fun, and is not always a sign of loss of control. In fact, I used to go out in the first snow/ice every season and intentionally fishtail, skid, etc. to bust the rust off my snow driving and to see how the car was going to react after 10 months of non freezing weather. Learning how to harness the fishtail is key... in snow, wet or dry.

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But the trouble is... you can't doctor up FWD with a bag of cat litter. You can't 'fix' the problem of the front wheels engine braking.

Actually, you can. Brake on your own instead of trusting the car to do it.

Things work a little different between manuals and automatics, I imagine... but that's a whole different topic.

Fishtailling is fun, and is not always a sign of loss of control. In fact, I used to go out in the first snow/ice every season and intentionally fishtail, skid, etc. to bust the rust off my snow driving and to see how the car was going to react after 10 months of non freezing weather. Learning how to harness the fishtail is key... in snow, wet or dry.

Would you intentionally do it in a U-Haul on a two-way two-lane road with curves and oncoming as well as trailing traffic, though?

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