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Snow problem

Discovered today that the tires on my car, BF Goodrich g-Force KDWS, which are totally fantastic on dry pavement, utterly suck when it comes to snow.  I didn't get more than 50 yards down the driveway before I got stuck.  I tried everything I could but I just couldn't make any more forward progress.  I finally gave up, as it was another 300 yards or so to the road and there was no way I was going to make it that far.

So I tried working on getting the car to back up, which actually wasn't too bad, except I noticed that I was drifting off the driveway.  I started turning the wheel over to try to line up with my parking spot beside one of the outbuildings, but it didn't do any good, I kept drifting sideways.  Eventually I got stuck again, this time for good.   I couldn't get anywhere forwards or backwards and my tires were starting to dig into the mud under the snow, so I just gave up, leaving my car in the middle of the lawn.

It's not a clearance issue; the lowest point on the car is the front air dam, and there's a good inch or so clearance from the snow so I'm not getting hung up on anything.  The tires just don't have enough traction. 

Looks like I'm not going anywhere anytime soon.  Fortunately the forecast for the next week appears to be free of any more snow, and with temperatures creeping above freezing, hopefully the snow will melt enough for me to extricate myself.  I suppose if worse comes to worse, I can call AAA for help.

The novelty of winter is beginning to wear thin.  If I'm going to stay here for another year, I'm going to have to upgrade my differential to Positraction.  If I had that, I probably wouldn't have gotten stuck.  Another set of wheels with snow tires would be helpful too.


( 3 pieces of cheese — Leave some cheese )
Jan. 23rd, 2007 12:29 pm (UTC)
Heavy snow driving is a skill that has to be learned. You never had the opportunity, so don't be surprised if you haven't figured it out just by instinct.

Depending on the vehicle, snow tires may indeed help. Or tire chains, if they are permitted there. Short of 4 wheel drive, I find that a lighter vehicle with front wheel drive is much more likely to avoid the pitfalls.

A major key is never to spin wheels. It doesn't work. If you start to slip that badly, stop immediately and reassess. You may have to carry kitty litter in your car to put under the wheels for traction. If you have an automatic transmission, use the lowest gear only and crawl out of the snow. I find it much easier to do with a manual transmission, but likewise, if you are forced to "rock" between forward and reverse gears, don't spin the tires. Stop and look for another alternative.

In general, the keyword is "slow". Very slow. For both snow and ice.
Jan. 28th, 2007 12:03 am (UTC)
sand bags
try puting some sand bags in your trunk to put more wight on your drive tires,
Jan. 28th, 2007 04:45 am (UTC)
Re: sand bags
I already had a couple hundred pounds worth of equipment back there. The right rear tire had sunk into the mud about 4 or 5 inches, almost all the way to the rim. I also tried putting wood chips in front of the wheels (since I didn't have any sand or cat litter), but that didn't help any. I finally had to get a tow out of there.
( 3 pieces of cheese — Leave some cheese )