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  #1  
Old 25th December 2009
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Default Deep snow driving tips

Anybody have any tips for driving in deep snow?

I can't remember the last time I had to drive in deep snow, we never get more than a foot or so here. I'm used to driving on ice, and there's ice under the snow, but what snow we got yesterday was dry and the wind drifted it up, there's 3-4' drifts in places and much of the road is 1-2' deep in places.

When I got high centered coming out of the driveway I should have known to stay home but our system at work has been down and we're so backlogged I though I'd come in and try to catch up a bit in case we close down tomorrow as well. The system went down Monday? Tuesday? It's been a while.

Anyhow, I'm having trouble with my car bogging down in the drifts. 4x4's have left some tracks, but they have such high clearance that my car tries to high center on the snow left in the middle. The fact that not all the road is that deep is all that's saving me but as I hit the places that it's drifted the car starts to slow and sled and sometimes after a few hundred yards or so by the time I hit the end of the deep snow the car has almost came to stop and I'm working it to get speed back up to make it through the next drift.

I never thought I'd be wishing for a 4x4. I've never needed one before though, here all we get is ice and a bit o snow, never this deep.

So how do the Sweeds drive in deep snow?

If you're just going to tell me to stay home off of it, might I remind you I'm at work right now? Staying home is no longer an option, the goal is now getting back home.
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  #2  
Old 25th December 2009
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When I worked nights, I used to drive home in snowstorms pretty frequently, often just as the plows were getting to the major roads but before they cleared the secondary roads.

Honestly....you're going to need to patiently wait for the plows.

On a C900, the skid plate under the front will accumulate snow and reduce traction. Even with chains, the most you'll likely be able to navigate is about 10-12 inches -- which isn't really too bad -- and even then, you'll have some traction issues.

You can usually blast through drifts, knowing that you'll be through them before you get bogged down.

Best thing is to keep a moderate, steady speed..not too slow, but not yee-hah fast

...and keep a shovel and sand in the car...
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  #3  
Old 25th December 2009
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I like 4x4 too!

Swinging the wheel left and right can help some, never spin the wheels too much... maintain momentum is probably the most important...
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  #4  
Old 25th December 2009
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Just be glad you don't have a 9-5 Aero, the front lip is sooo low, thing gets stuck like mad. Worst snow vehicle EVER. The undercarriage accumulates snow like some German economy car.

My 900 was better up to about a foot, then it gets stuck. Dry snow on the freeway I was once able to drive in nearly 15 inches of the light fluff (British Columbia interior), but wet snow deeper than like 8 inches it was impossible.

9-5 is good for about 2-3 inches of wet snow, no more. Dry snow, no idea yet, 5-6inches?
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  #5  
Old 25th December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woywitka View Post
Just be glad you don't have a 9-5 Aero, the front lip is sooo low, thing gets stuck like mad. Worst snow vehicle EVER. The undercarriage accumulates snow like some German economy car.

My 900 was better up to about a foot, then it gets stuck. Dry snow on the freeway I was once able to drive in nearly 15 inches of the light fluff (British Columbia interior), but wet snow deeper than like 8 inches it was impossible.

9-5 is good for about 2-3 inches of wet snow, no more. Dry snow, no idea yet, 5-6inches?
We usually get heavy, wet snow here on the East Coast....Depending on the tires, the 9-5 SE is fine up to about 6-8 inches...but you'll end up packing snow in the front grille and undertray. I'll usually leave the car running for a while after I get home so that I don't end up with a frozen mess in the morning.
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Old 25th December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike saunders View Post
We usually get heavy, wet snow here on the East Coast....Depending on the tires, the 9-5 SE is fine up to about 6-8 inches...but you'll end up packing snow in the front grille and undertray. I'll usually leave the car running for a while after I get home so that I don't end up with a frozen mess in the morning.
Exactly,

I find that my 9-5 will build up and accumulate snow/ice in the front wheel wells and when I go to turn, the car simply can't. The 900 has no plastic liner in the wells and it must help somehow with heat transfer from the engine because I never had this problem.

I just don't understand the 9-5's praise with snow, it sure has excellent traction with ice and water, but with deep snow it is one of the worst. Like last year we used the '91 to drive around when we got like 3 feet in one week. 9-5 would get stuck, I started to hate the car. The 900 just had Toyo all seasons and moved like no problem.
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  #7  
Old 25th December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 900t View Post
I like 4x4 too!

Swinging the wheel left and right can help some, never spin the wheels too much... maintain momentum is probably the most important...
if you get stuck this is good. going from reverse to drive (or even staying in driving, getting on the pedal and backing off--then as the car slids back and then starts to move forward again get on the gas).

good luck!
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  #8  
Old 25th December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woywitka View Post
Exactly,

I find that my 9-5 will build up and accumulate snow/ice in the front wheel wells and when I go to turn, the car simply can't. The 900 has no plastic liner in the wells and it must help somehow with heat transfer from the engine because I never had this problem.

I just don't understand the 9-5's praise with snow, it sure has excellent traction with ice and water, but with deep snow it is one of the worst. Like last year we used the '91 to drive around when we got like 3 feet in one week. 9-5 would get stuck, I started to hate the car. The 900 just had Toyo all seasons and moved like no problem.
Maybe your tires are just crap... the car is a SAAB it must be excellent in snow conditions

I mean my BMW with the "hard as iron" old Michelins, despite having good tread, there was just a light dusting, not even 5 mm and I couldn't even accelerate off the stop sign without spinning the tires... in 2nd! Bloody hell
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  #9  
Old 25th December 2009
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Well, word came in, we're closing tomorrow as I expected. No matter, I've got it all caught up.

I've also got the rest of my things cleaned out, Wednesday was my last day, forgot to mention that earlier. I'm going to miss this bloody place.

Ahh well, upwards and onwards to bigger and better things. (I hope ). Ahh, who am I kidding, I will never have another job like this one, it makes me sad to think of it.

I'm heading out, if you don't hear from me in an hour I'm buried in a snowdrift.
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  #10  
Old 25th December 2009
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A nice lil' snowplow .........



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  #11  
Old 25th December 2009
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Foot welded to the floor and sudden steering adjustments. Only lift off of the throttle to stomp on your brakes hard enough to lock em.....

Seriously though... I keep my rpms nice and low and try to make sure to make shifts as smooth as possible.

Are you running all-seasons or do you have snow tires?
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  #12  
Old 25th December 2009
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Well I'm home. I waited too long to leave, it had melted pretty good during the day and by the time I had left everything had refrozen leaving it slicker than snot.

There was still some deep snow, but as hard as everything had frozen I think I could have hit the tracks at 100mph and rode them like a train. Actually at 30-35mph I was bouncing back and forth in the tracks pretty badly, so maybe not.

It was frozen pretty badly though, I was I was going to loose my oil cooler. One foglight will need straightening, but it needed that before just not quite as bad. Hopefully nothing was damaged, it was pretty rough out there today.

I'm a bit unsettled, I've never been afraid to go anywhere in the Saabs because I knew they could handle it, but today was a new one, a little more snow and even the great Saab 900 would have been grounded.

Nice snowplow Ken, you can have it for your car. I'll take the other part.
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  #13  
Old 25th December 2009
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Matt, we got the edge of that same storm up here; we didn't get as much pile up but it wreaked havoc with the highways on Wednesday night and thursday. I must have seen at least 5 cars spin out before my eyes, just for changing lanes too quickly or whatever. It was a pretty bad combo of warm daytime temps, then freezing cold temps and heavy snow overnight.

Regarding deep snow driving - I used to live down a long dirt driveway that was uphill to get out, and I actually backed my c900 all the way out a couple of times when I couldn't do it going forwards . With the engine's weight and drive wheels on the downhill side I found I got good traction. Not to mention the rear end doesn't have a skidplate. I probably wouldn't try this in icy/chunky snow for fear of damaging the exhaust/fuel tank, though.
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Old 26th December 2009
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Tires, tires, tires. I've been through 12 inches of snow and no problems. I love to see the looks on people's faces when i go flying by and they are spinning in their 4x4 SUVs with all seasons.

You need high skinny tires. and momentum. Don't start to accelerate at the hills bottom, hit it at speed and continue with as little throttle change as you can. Also when starting out use the highest gear you can. (Autos use 3rd gear)

If you have all season, you'll get stuck because they are not made for snow. Buy snow tires, (that are higher than normal), and you can get through snow that you would never think you could.

I've had the front hitting snow, but as long as it is fresh snow and not packed down, i've had no problems. You have to have the correct tires more than anything.

I got a new set of snow tires this year and I was waiting for snow to try them. We got 12 inches + last week and I was out for hours playing getting to know how they were. I tried like heck to slide around, but with the deep tread and higher sidewalls, all i did was amaze myslef on how well they worked.



Last edited by Paul Campagna; 26th December 2009 at 01:12 AM.
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Old 26th December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Campagna View Post
Tires, tires, tires. I've been through 12 inches of snow and no problems. I love to see the looks on people's faces when i go flying by and they are spinning in their 4x4 SUVs with all seasons.

You need high skinny tires. and momentum. Don't start to accelerate at the hills bottom, hit it at speed and continue with as little throttle change as you can. Also when starting out use the highest gear you can. (Autos use 3rd gear)

If you have all season, you'll get stuck because they are not made for snow. Buy snow tires, (that are higher than normal), and you can get through snow that you would never think you could.

I've had the front hitting snow, but as long as it is fresh snow and not packed down, i've had no problems. You have to have the correct tires more than anything.

I got a new set of snow tires this year and I was waiting for snow to try them. We got 12 inches + last week and I was out for hours playing getting to know how they were. I tried like heck to slide around, but with the deep tread and higher sidewalls, all i did was amaze myslef on how well they worked.


Couldn't agree more !

My stock all-seasons are 205's. So on my snows I go down to 185s. They push and dig into the snow much better than wider tires that are more prone to "snow"-planing.

Paul - what snows do you have there ?
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  #16  
Old 26th December 2009
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I've got all season's (195's i think) but i haven't really ever needed to go through deep snow. However, tomorrow (technically this) morning i am headed upstate to visit some family. They live in Frakville (coal ragion n-eastern pa) and it's usually pretty bad up there, especially with the higher altitude. Its raining here which will mean snow there and lots of it. Hopefully I will be back home later sunday (possibly monday) night and posting that everything was ok... Wish me luck

P.S. I gotta get my *** in bed!
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Old 26th December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaabKen View Post
Couldn't agree more !

My stock all-seasons are 205's. So on my snows I go down to 185s. They push and dig into the snow much better than wider tires that are more prone to "snow"-planing.

Paul - what snows do you have there ?
I had to go look at them. lol

They are called "Winter Force" . I have no idea who they are made by, as that is all they say on them. They came free with the Viggen I bought in June. They were mounted on the wheels you see in the photo, which were new too! I really made out.

In the previous years I've used Blizzak, Mastercraft and some other one I cant think of. All were really good and I'm a firm believer on having dedicated tires for each season. (with wheels too since i like the changing looks)

I use 16's for winter to have the higher sidewall and 17's for Summer with Ultra high performance summer only tires...
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  #18  
Old 26th December 2009
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They are called "Winter Force" . I have no idea who they are made by, as that is all they say on them. They came free with the Viggen I bought in June. s...
WinterForce is made in Canada and Indonesia by Bridgestone and sold both under the name Firestone Winterforce and no-name but WinterForce model. They are supposed to be bargain, but still reasonably good, snow tires.
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  #19  
Old 26th December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finch 93 View Post
WinterForce is made in Canada and Indonesia by Bridgestone and sold both under the name Firestone Winterforce and no-name but WinterForce model. They are supposed to be bargain, but still reasonably good, snow tires.
So far I have no complaints. They have a ton of traction when they are new, but I'm curious to how they'll be when they get worn down a little...

Thanks for the info
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Old 26th December 2009
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Used to have a car that got stuck on 2 snowflakes with 4 snowtires on. Packed kitty litter in the trunk. Sometimes put it in lunchbags...

take the KL and put it in front of the driving wheels, and on top. It dries the water film that reduces traction.

Used to work at 3M; took scrap scotchbrite as traction pads. Abrasive scouring pads.

Carry a shovel just in case.

DaveL
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