: Rear wheel drive owners look here.

12-05-07, 12:08 AM
How is your RWD car in the white stuff?

My S Class is very stable and smooth when you've got it up and moving, but it can be tough to get moving from a stop. I've got OEM wheels on it, with the regular 17" tire...Bridgestone Potenzas with good tread on them, but it'll spin them if I've got more than 1500 rpm, even at ~35 mph. It's 4500 lbs dry, so it's got plenty of weight to lug around, and it's only got the little I-6, with 230 lb/ft of torque...so it's not like it's overpowered or anything, but maybe it's just because I'm comparing it to that deVille I had for the last few winters, and that was a TANK, but this just seems less than excellent in the deep stuff.

I've got traction control too, and I can tell that definitely helps, especially from keeping the car from going sideways, but it can only do so much.
The ABS and steering are wonderful though. The car is always very easy to control, and correct if you get into the hairy stuff, and if I have to slam the brakes, the car brakes straight and true...amazing.

And if I turn the ASR off, she'll go sideways surprisingly quickly. Gotta love that limited slip differential..... :)

Anyways, how's yours?

12-05-07, 12:14 AM
Very easy and solid, though my areas are essentially flat and smooth.

My Fleetwood, with the stock traction control and then my huge and very grippy all season 17" Nittos seem to grip and hold onto everything very, very well--I just have to be light on the throttle at first, if it's slippy. Otherwise, as usual, the traction control senses any little slip...and back with the throttle we go.

The only little issue I had once was stopping, or moreso skidding as the ABS kicked, and I had applied just a bit too much force when it was fairly slick out. Scared me for a sec, but was no different than if I had done the same thing in any other car.

I've only driven my '95 in the slick stuff twice, and the same for the '93--the latter is largely the same, in every condition. As we now still own nothing but RWD, V8 trucks and cars, it's our general "household" consensus that rear-drive is actually easier to control in the bad stuff. No, you don't automatically get the effect of the engine weight pressing directly down on the drive wheels, to better dig, but the whole car is just more balanced...and more controllable at speed. Same in good weather.

12-05-07, 12:17 AM
I wonder if the Fleetwood would be better than mine in snow....it's longer...the track is wider, but it's lighter!

12-05-07, 12:20 AM
I wonder if the Fleetwood would be better than mine in snow....it's longer...the track is wider, but it's lighter!

No, the Benz is very likely better. Both because it's a much more sorted, ride/handling wise, vehicle all around, and because it's heavier and with more sophisticated traction control and limited slip.

The Fleetwood just tends to be okay as long as you're overly light on it, and know how to deal with the sometimes overactive and very basic traction control--weight and size help it more.

12-05-07, 12:23 AM
My non-T/C 93 Roadmaster was terrible in the rain, much less snow. Even after I got new tires. Always spun out when taking off. Can't imagine how the LT1 would have been.

12-05-07, 12:25 AM
If you don't have the limited slip differential, will your car still start to go sideways once you lose traction?

12-05-07, 12:46 AM
ive driven two different F bodys in two winters
NEVER again...

Crown Vic Owner
12-05-07, 12:50 AM
the crown vic was a joke

i have goodyear assurance tires that are pretty good supposedly in snow, but whenever i took off, mind you i have a LSD, car would fishtail

The cadillac

while, i hit 5500 RPM getting up my driveway

12-05-07, 12:53 AM
I'd say get a set of dedicated winter wheels and winter tires.

Crown Vic Owner
12-05-07, 12:57 AM
I was considering a set of blizzaks, but i wasnt sure on the price

12-05-07, 06:08 AM

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Night Wolf
12-05-07, 06:17 AM
I agree on getting a quality SET (4) of dedicated snow tires... I've heard Blizzaks are good.

I didn't drive my RWD cars in the snow much.... all I had that was RWD at the time was the '79 DeVille, I did drive the '89 Fleetwood Brougham (used to be my moms car) various times, and only a couple times, my fathers '85 Bronco.

My '79 though.... definitly took a special person to drive that beast in the snow, not only are those cars front heavy, but my tires were pretty much shot.... I remember one day I drove the '79 to school cause the '93 was off the road in the winter and the Olds wasn't driveable, I think it was when the waterpump went, before I fixed it.

It wasn't snowing in the morning, and it wasn't supposed to snow that day, but while at vo-tech (a 2nd school I went to, bussed there) it started snowing heavy, then our bus back to my regular high school was late, so by the time I got back there was alot of snow on the ground and the plow trucks weren't out yet.

Still tho, I figured I'd give it a try.... man, what normally took 15mins took almost an hour, and the right rear tire was flat out spinning most of the time with the speedo around 60.... I coudln't get traction, that was one time I was glad the car DIDN'T have posi, cause it woulda been sideways the whole time, and at times it was on the hills.... it was tough to keep the car going tho, it was a very slow and nerve racking process... I remember coming up to a stopped school bus on a hill, knowing that if I stopped, I woudln't get going again.... atleast the bus didn't sit there for long though.

People always say that FWD isn't as good for traction as RWD, but I find it the exact oppisite, every both of my FWD cars were excelent in the rain and snow, while every single one of my RWD cars looses traction, even the Town Car with the premium tires.... hit the gas in the rain and the tires will spin.... the Isuzu isn't much better, though since I put new tires on it, there is no more fishtailing.

Tho I must say, this was alot of fun though.... I do miss the snow (some times) and I do miss that car...


12-05-07, 10:01 AM
My CTS handled great in the snow and felt very confident in slippery conditions wearing Blizzaks. The downside of course was getting moving. There is a bit of an incline to the road from my driveway and it would spin the whole way there (had to switch off traction control to get anywhere at all; That glaring white warning screen on the Nav was always there to remind you if you forgot though :p ). Not my first choice for winter transportation, but having to drive it was nothing to stress over either.

I used to have a '96 Impala SS, which is very similar to the Fleetwoods, and it was a plow. Like all RWD cars, it was touchy to get moving in the snow, but once underway nothing would stop that beast. I've pushed my way through drifts higher than the bumper on many occasions. Steering was another matter though. You just point the wheels and hope it decides to follow your suggestion, because it would plow through corners the same way it would anything else.

My STS and Eldos work beautifully in the snow as would be expected from a heavy FWD car. But I lost my ETC by spinning it into a ditch the one year. There was about 4" of snow on the road and I was moving along at a respectable pace with no worries. Trouble came when I came off the snowy bit of road onto the clear part that had been scraped and salted. The StabiliTrak didn't know how to react and I heard/felt the traction switch from one wheel to the other. Spun right around and up alongside a tree in the shallow ditch before I knew what was happening. It all happened so smoothly that I didn't notice the damage to the car until I got out. The rear window had shattered and the rear driver's corner was pushed into the roof.

Thinking it over now, out of all of them I would actually choose the CTS for winter driving. Because while it needs to be coaxed from a stop, it handled much better than the others once underway. You always know what it's going to do and feel in control in all situations. The FWD cars are easy to drive, but can be unpredictable. Torque steer and an unbalanced weight distribution are a menace when driving over snow and ice.

12-05-07, 10:06 AM
I have driven my '94 Roadmaster Limited in the "white stuff" three times this year. It does fantastic.. why? I have Michelin Arctic Alpine thin snow tires in 215/75/15 on 9C1 steel wheels covered with Buick caps. These tires are amazing in rain/snow and are as quiet as can be. I agree, with dedicated snow tires, it makes all the difference int he world.

For the summer I have a set of Impala SS wheels with custom Buick centers that are going on the Roadie :D

ted tcb
12-05-07, 10:14 AM
I've driven mostly FWD cars over the past 20 years, and I live in the middle of a snow belt.
On my FWD STS's, I always used 4 snows and dedicated rims.
The Cadillacs were very capable snow performers when equipped
with the right tires.
This winter, I'm driving an LS400 on 4 snows. It has ABS, traction control,
and stability control. I also have 160lbs of weight in the trunk.

So far, our winter has been brutal ... schools were closed the past 3 days due to high winds, snow squalls, and treacherous ice everywhere. The OPP (hwy cops) were logging up to 200 accidents per day.

During all of this, I would rate the Lexus as the worst snow vehicle I've ever driven. I have to be very conscious of the conditions around me ... my dash is often lit up with a picture of a little car sliding (stability control kicking in).
If I have to make a left hand turn from a standstill on a slight incline, I know I'll be spinning my rear tires.
I think part of the problem is tons of torque and 295hp delivered to the back wheels, with very little weight for traction. If I put the tranny into "snow" mode, the car starts off in 2nd gear and there is less sliding. I just hate the feeling of having to mash the gas pedal to move the car in 2nd gear starts.

Part of the problem is that the temp keeps rising and falling, followed by driving winds. The roads are the worst I've seen ... light snow on top of glare ice, and the sand/salt combination simply cannot keep up, hence the cancellation of schools and highway closures.

I get by because my commute to work is about 5 minutes of town driving.
If things are too bad, I take my wife's SUV, which has been permanently locked in 4WD all week long.

I love the feeling of RWD pushing me through corners in dry weather. The steering input feels so much better around corners when its not encumbered by pulling the weight of the car. But, living in a snowbelt, all the electronics in the world cannot compensate for physics. RWD cannot cope with treacherous conditions as well as a comparably equipped FWD vehicle, at least in my experience.

12-05-07, 10:31 AM
I just spent thousands on an early lease termination on an 05 STS that absolutely sucked in anything other than dry roads. In the rain the car was all over the place in the snow, forget about it. Im in an 08 CTS AWD and my troubles are over.

12-05-07, 11:50 AM
The catera pretty outta contorl.
but i love it.
if you know how to handle it then its really not a problem.
ive got the new goodyear F-1's and last winter i drove around with slicks. haha
like it was said earlier, its not bad if you stay moving, but from a stop, youll be spinning for a while.
and the TC is kind of annoying, i always drive with it off in the winter.