I know how to drive in snow, others in my town do not. This will be the first time I will drive her in snow. Any tips/tricks I should consider? I bought the car with new Michelins, so that end is covered. Any advice would be appreciated! V.
Is this your 1st front wheel drive? If you find yourself skidding when going around a corner, NEVER apply your brakes - take your foot off the accelerator and steer the car out of trouble (it's heavy enough to take care of itself) - if you "gun" it, you may end up in a ditch somewhere.
Forget about doing "donuts" in the parking lot, too - doesn't translate very well with a front wheel drive.
Pay closer attention to any snow/ice build up in the front wheel wells - they are more critical to keep clear in a front wheel drive than the rear models.
I STILL put heavy bags of sand and salt in my trunk in the winter, more to stabilize the ass end than provide any more "sure-footedness" over the driving wheels, like you'd do in a rear drive situation.
Safety kit: booster cables, ratchet set, wire and wire cutters, a coupla old carpet scraps for putting under the front wheels for traction on an icy road, first-aid kit, old coffee can and candle in case you get stranded on a desolate road and need to keep warm in the car without running the engine and burning your gas. Old blanket for the same reason. Perhaps a few good books or other reading materials - no telling how long you'll be out there,,,,,,Flares and triangular hazard sign.
Take it easy, do your best to not allow wheels to break loose, don't push it going fast, test for traction often by stabbing the brakes or nailing the gas momentarily. The moment they do lose traction however, you lose steering (love FWD don't you?), so your vehicle direction now goes the way of momentum (not what RWD does). If you feel them break, just back off, and apply gas again, similar to what the ABS does only do it on the gas.
The only problem with putting weight in the back on a FWD is it takes weight off the front end and you lose front traction, which is the only strong point a FWD has. For me? RWD with a posi is the only way to go, and you can go about anywhere in any traction condition. As you accelerate with FWD the weight bias shifts from front to rear, unloading the front tires, losing traction. So adding weight to the back adds to this. The battery isn't too terribly heavy, but very heavy for its size. And the biggie is how far from center of gravity it is. It acts as a lever, making it more effective the farther away it is. It hurts dry handling on FWD, but helps snow/wet traction.
Best? Add sand bags to the front end, but you sure look silly... On FWD I get the largest battery I can. On RWD I relocate the battery to the truck. You can't imagine the traction improvement dry/wet with the battery in the trunk on a RWD car. Even w/o posi it is great. The MB S430/S500 (2000-up) and RR and Bentely's have them in the back factory, balances out the car a lot.
Honestly, having a set of the new modern snow tires such as the reasonable priced Winterfires (tirerack.com has them for $57ish each) is by far the best investment if you live in a snow climate like I do (Wisconsin). And I drive 50 miles each way to work and back, often on back farm roads.
Tirerack also has them mounted on steel rims so you don't have to mess with your existing tires/rims.
Oh, on carpet strips? Make sure they are long enough to connect the front and back wheels, if not, they just spin out from under the tires, as the stuff under them is often slick and as soon as you hit the gas, away the carpet goes! It will shoot it for 10-20 feet away from you. So you need a long strip to make it work. Been there, done that....
that is so not true about doing donuts. all you have to remember is to do them in reverse. i'm not sure that i want to do them in the deville after my experiences in a 92 saturn last winter but that's another story altogether.
Yeah I know about the ebrake trick I had an Eagle Talon a few years ago (93 model) and got quite good at pulling into parking spaces in a controlled slide (that was in NH of course not down here in FL ). My advise? Park her in the garage, drive on clear days when there is no snow/slush/salt on the road and get a honda or something for the other days :yup:
My best advice is park the caddy in the garage and buy a 500 dollar beater. On the other note. It doesn't matter if you have four wheel drive, front or rear drive. You still have enertia agaist you. You can only stop so quick on snow. And with a five hundred dollar beater you can just throw it in reverse and floor it to stop on the dime.
If you know how to drive in the snow, just do what you know how to do, but give others lots of room!
Let them be idiots and just worry about what you are doing.
As a motorcyclist I approach the road with this in mind.
Drive and constantly think about the dumbest thing the guy in front of you CAN do, because he's going to!
And people NEVER let me down.
your 98 deville will go through virtually ANYTHING mother nature throws at it. ive got a 97 and it just had its first test with 6 inches of very wet snow and some freezing rain. roads were a mess for a couple days, and several trucks and bimmers were stuck on the sides of the road. i couldnt get the thing to lose control even when i tried.
seriously, youll plow through anything. just dont gas it into a turn, you may get a little understeer...thank your horses for that one. all 275 of them =]
as for everyone WITHOUT abs looking to fishtail corners in FWD cars...try easing on the brakes and the gas at the same time. youll find that the rear wheels lock up, and the front keeps spinning. you might as well be playing with a handbrake!
More than anything, having good tires is a key to being safe in the snow. Snow tires are a BIG plus. I recommend them highly now that I have a set (they came with the car). I would buy them for any car I own from now on. Worth that much.
I have Winter Duelers from Bridgestone, and on my 80 T/A I have a set of Firestone WinterFires. The Winterfire's a few years ago were $40 each at tirerack.com. $200 shipped to the door. They seem to be discontinued now, as are the Winter Dueler too. Both are fantastic in the snow.