Jump to content
936horn

2WD v 4WD in snow

Recommended Posts

With an impending move to Denver this winter, I am starting to look at my current ride and whether or not I need to change it. Living in Houston, I drive a 2WD (RWD) Tahoe. From what I can tell, a big ass rwd SUV is basically the worst configuration possible for snowy conditions even with winter tires. I love my Tahoe but would prefer to trade it in here in Houston before I go if I have to get rid of it.

I have very little (i.e. none) experience driving in snow, living in the south all my life. 

So denizens of surly who are experts in snow driving - am I better off keeping the Tahoe and throwing some sandbags in the trunk with winter tires, or am I asking for trouble and I need to bite the bullet and buy something at least FWD if not 4WD?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

When I lived in Denver in the early 80s I found my 4 wheel drive pretty useful when going to the mountains.  In my experience though the times you really needed it in the city were very rare.

Edited by NeverMarryAStripper

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would not drive a RWD car where I live and we don't get the huge snow storms or have the elevation changes that you will get in Denver and the mountains. But we do have 5 months of winter. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Updawg said:

You need to trade it in for a Subaru outback/Forester

and get a liquor license.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Updawg said:

You need to trade it in for a Subaru outback/Forester

You’ll have lesbians all over you. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was doing research on Ford Truck engines I saw that the smaller twin turbo V-6 did a lot better at altitude than the normal V-8.  I can't imagine not having 4 wheel drive in Colorado.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, 936horn said:

With an impending move to Denver this winter, I am starting to look at my current ride and whether or not I need to change it. Living in Houston, I drive a 2WD (RWD) Tahoe. From what I can tell, a big ass rwd SUV is basically the worst configuration possible for snowy conditions even with winter tires. I love my Tahoe but would prefer to trade it in here in Houston before I go if I have to get rid of it.

I have very little (i.e. none) experience driving in snow, living in the south all my life. 

So denizens of surly who are experts in snow driving - am I better off keeping the Tahoe and throwing some sandbags in the trunk with winter tires, or am I asking for trouble and I need to bite the bullet and buy something at least FWD if not 4WD?

Get rid of the Tahoe before you come up here.  They're worthless up here.

 

Get a car or SUV with AWD and dedicated snow tires and you're good to go.  If you want a full size SUV with 4WD, just put on Michelin LTX M/S2 tires and they work damn near as good as snows.

Edited by Chewbacca

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Upgrayedd said:

It’s all about the tires

Not if you're driving in the mountains in a blizzard.  Even snows won't save you with a RWD Tahoe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, Chewbacca said:

Not if you're driving in the mountains in a blizzard.  Even snows won't save you with a RWD Tahoe.

This!  

You need an AWD vehicle if you're living in CO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, 936horn said:

Thanks for the feedback all

See ya in Denver in December, maybe we'll get a transplant caravan going from Texas! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, deadshank said:

You’ll have lesbians all over you. 

speaking of, where is Wick?  i forgot her full name.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Updawg said:

You need to trade it in for a Subaru outback/Forester

 

8 hours ago, deadshank said:

You’ll have lesbians all over you. 

You could be a total bro and get a wrx.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lived there several years. Rwd suv is completely worthless in the winter. Awd or fwd is the only way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Make all the fun about Subaru you want. There's a ton of Outbacks in Colorado, especially in the mountains. Great AWD without being huge and decent gas mileage. Plus they're cheap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

4wd by itself isn't a panacea.  Tires by themselves aren't a solution.

It's the combination of having 4wd, good (deep lug) snow tires (perhaps studs) and knowing when to stay the fuck off the roads.

If you have little to no skill driving in icy conditions be cautious - gain experience over time to become familiar with how the adverse road conditions affect the vehicle and build confidence.  In the meantime, having good snow tires is mandated by law (usually) and 4wd helps on top of that.

The cultural norm in areas with heavy winter weather is to have a second set of wheels/tires for winter - it's a necessary safety investment.  Additionally, if you cannot/will not invest in a 4wd - fwd behaves significantly better on ice that rwd.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, RPM said:

Make all the fun about Subaru you want. There's a ton of Outbacks in Colorado, especially in the mountains. Great AWD without being huge and decent gas mileage. Plus they're cheap.

They also have nearly as much ground clearance as traditional body on frame SUVs do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, RPM said:

Make all the fun about Subaru you want. There's a ton of Outbacks in Colorado, especially in the mountains. Great AWD without being huge and decent gas mileage. Plus they're cheap.

Keep selling yourself on one, I'll sit here and laugh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, RPM said:

Make all the fun about Subaru you want. There's a ton of Outbacks in Colorado, especially in the mountains. Great AWD without being huge and decent gas mileage. Plus they're cheap.

That's because Colorado is full of hairy lesbians

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd never go back to anything that lacks AWD or 4WD.  We had sedans and 2WD pick ups as a kid and those fucking things were always getting stuck in snow drifts, but the old man was cheap and known to ram snow drifts at upwards of 30-40MPH to bust through.  

I have a Ford Escape and Honda Pilot.  Snow tires are the biggest thing you can do for yourself.  My Honda has better tires than the Ford, and you can really feel the difference.  I was in Colorado last winter with the Ford, and in a major traffic jam on 70 heading into Silverthorne in a snow storm.  Due to the slope of the road, and the less than stellar tire grip, I actually started sliding across my lane towards the barricade while stopped, but was able to arrest the slide and join the long line of folks riding the rumble strip down hill.

AWD/4WD doesn't make you bullet proof.  It just improves your traction and ability to churn through snow.  If you slam on the brakes in snow, icy conditions, you're still fucked.

You 100% should dump that Tahoe.  I can't think of anything more useless in snowy climates than SUVs without 4WD/AWD.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, RPM said:

Make all the fun about Subaru you want. There's a ton of Outbacks in Colorado, especially in the mountains. Great AWD without being huge and decent gas mileage. Plus they're cheap.

Agree on the quality and suitability for mountains.  But they're like mopeds and fat chicks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, housious said:

Keep selling yourself on one, I'll sit here and laugh

Laugh all you want.  Best bad weather car I've ever driven (including several 4WD SUVs) was my wife's Outback.  AWD, as much clearance as your average SUV and a low center of gravity thanks to the boxer engine design.  That thing was a tank.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Chewbacca said:

Laugh all you want.  Best bad weather car I've ever driven (including several 4WD SUVs) was my wife's Outback.  AWD, as much clearance as your average SUV and a low center of gravity thanks to the boxer engine design.  That thing was a tank.

I love mine.  Got the 3.6 L six cylinder.  Charges up grades like a champ (even with the roof box).  

Repeating my comment from the other site (or maybe here) . . . If I wanted to impress others on the highway, I'd drive with my dick out the window.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Impreza's been great despite the neglect. Just wish it had more ground clearance for snow drifts and some of the rougher roads I gotta drive down to get to a favorite fishing spot.

Around here, half the cars on the road immediately after a snowstorm are Subarus. Also, those Crosstreks look mighty handsome. Aren't they merely jacked-up Imprezas?

Edited by Braff Zacklin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Braff Zacklin said:

My Impreza's been great despite the neglect. Just wish it had more ground clearance for snow drifts and some of the rougher roads I gotta drive down to get to a favorite fishing spot.

Around here, half the cars on the road immediately after a snowstorm are Subarus. Also, those Crosstreks look mighty handsome. Aren't they merely jacked-up Imprezas?

Yes, Crosstreks are Outbackified Imprezas.  Not bad looking little cars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/9/2019 at 1:26 PM, deadshank said:

You’ll have lesbians all over you. 

Only in the South; they are driven by every demographic in snow country.

OP- While learning to drive in snow; cut your speed in half, triple your stopping distance, and make sure you're at 10mph or less when turning a corner. 4WD gets you moving but doesn't have much, if any, influence on physics when turning a corner and none at all for stopping.

Edited by ShaggyBevo RIP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Went to weather.com to check local weather (Texas) and saw this headline story.    Denver area today.

 

 

Edited by torre

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Went to weather.com to check local weather (Texas) and saw this headline story.    Denver area today.
 
 
Yep. Will be 60+ by Saturday, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Y’all stop giving such pussy advice. All he needs to do is learn how to drift with his 7000-lb RWD Tahoe, then he’ll be totally fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#TeamOutback/no lesbo

 

edit: Lesbo car is the wife's. In snow, I sometimes drive my 4x tacoma with sandbags in the back, and the Subaru is far superior to that.

 

Edited by High Plains Drifter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, torre said:

Went to weather.com to check local weather (Texas) and saw this headline story.    Denver area today.

 

 

We had a 60* temperature drop in 36 hours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We had a 60* temperature drop in 36 hours.
More like 12-15 hours. The high on Wednesday afternoon was 80. It was 20 by Thursday morning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

90% tires, 10% drivetrain configuration.

 

awd is great if you need to drive UP an icy, snowy slope.  or if you have issues fishtailing it during acceleration.  meaning youre starting from 0mph.

the REAL problem and the real danger is not being able to stop, or not being able to turn on the move.  and that comes down to tires. 

 

SUV is good because it has clearance.  throw some appropriate tires on it.  sandbag the rear if thats not enough. 

 

if you drive in the metropolitan area, absolutely no problem, especially since snow doesnt really stick in denver.  even if you drive out west on 70 it gets tons of traffic so stuff gets compacted down. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, 52-80 said:

90% tires, 10% drivetrain configuration.

 

awd is great if you need to drive UP an icy, snowy slope.  or if you have issues fishtailing it during acceleration.  meaning youre starting from 0mph.

the REAL problem and the real danger is not being able to stop, or not being able to turn on the move.  and that comes down to tires. 

 

SUV is good because it has clearance.  throw some appropriate tires on it.  sandbag the rear if thats not enough. 

 

if you drive in the metropolitan area, absolutely no problem, especially since snow doesnt really stick in denver.  even if you drive out west on 70 it gets tons of traffic so stuff gets compacted down. 

Lulz.  Snow doesn't stick in Denver and I-70 in the mountains is compacted down so it's not bad?  I'm guessing you used to live here based on your username, but this is terrible information.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, Chewbacca said:

Lulz.  Snow doesn't stick in Denver and I-70 in the mountains is compacted down so it's not bad?  I'm guessing you used to live here based on your username, but this is terrible information.

Denver winter climate are mild, and dry/arid.  That's not opinion, that's its climate classification.  It has a shitload of sunshine in the winter months.  That's statistics from years of data.

If you want to see real wintry climates with ice, slush, and piles of snow, there's a million places I can show you that's a bigger challenge to drive

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, 52-80 said:

Denver winter climate are mild, and dry/arid.  That's not opinion, that's its climate classification.  It has a shitload of sunshine in the winter months.  That's statistics from years of data.

If you want to see real wintry climates with ice, slush, and piles of snow, there's a million places I can show you that's a bigger challenge to drive

 

Yeah, I have lived in Denver for over 40 years.  I know what the climate is.  But there are several days per year where the roads are shit.  Unless you can hunker down and not leave the house on those days, that's what you're preparing for on the roads, even if it only happens 3-5 times per year.  Same goes for the mountains.  If you're going to partake in the winter outdoor activities that Colorado offers, you need to be prepared to deal with the worst conditions on the roads even though most of the time the roads will be dry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, Chewbacca said:

Yeah, I have lived in Denver for over 40 years.  I know what the climate is.  But there are several days per year where the roads are shit.  Unless you can hunker down and not leave the house on those days, that's what you're preparing for on the roads, even if it only happens 3-5 times per year.  Same goes for the mountains.  If you're going to partake in the winter outdoor activities that Colorado offers, you need to be prepared to deal with the worst conditions on the roads even though most of the time the roads will be dry.

Austin snowed when I was on campus at UT.  I wouldn't buy/equip a car based on conditions that apply to 5 days a year but YMMV.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, 52-80 said:

Austin snowed when I was on campus at UT.  I wouldn't buy/equip a car based on conditions that apply to 5 days a year but YMMV.

Then stay the fuck off I-70 in the winter.  It's stupid fucks who aren't prepared for the weather that fuck up traffic for everyone.

 

And we get snow a lot more than 5 times a year in Denver.  It snowed here yesterday and was slick as shit until it warmed up a bit.  5 or so times a year is when it's really bad out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I first started dating my gf, now wife, at the same time we bought vehicles. I bought a fordf150 and she bought a fwd Mitsubishi galant.


Guess who drives what now that we're married with kids?



Get thr 2wd/4wd truck or suv. Youll need it with Colorado's terrain

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic always makes me nervous as we travel up there to ski once a year. I've got five kids in the car and want to be safe but never need 4wd down here ever. I bought new michelin ltx m/s (which aren't technically snow tires but get good reviews in snow). I haven't had any issues yet as the weather has been fine anytime we've gone. I did buy some z-coils to put on the tires if needed. What should is Texans do for the one trip a year? Dedicated snow tires? 4Wd? Chains?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never used them, but I've heard snow socks are a cheap, easy and effective alternative to chains. Only downside is dry pavement chews them up pretty quick.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


mpu


Football ... Basketball ... Baseball ... Other Sports ... Recruiting ... Gambling ... Movies & TV ... Music ... Hobbies ... Lulz ... Food & Travel ... Daily Texan ... Help ... For Sale ... Politics ... Board Discussion
×
×
  • Create New...