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(Popular Mechanics)   AWD is over-rated because some reporter who test drives the car, and parks in an underground garage thinks AWD isn't needed and snow tires will do. Wait till he sees the pictures from Lancashire today   (popularmechanics.com) divider line 185
    More: Dumbass, AWD, parking garage, Dodge Viper, laws of physics  
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13196 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Mar 2013 at 7:31 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-24 11:26:45 AM

lilbordr: [www.naklejka.robego.drl.pl image 850x127]
FTMFW
[subscribers.wardsauto.com image 320x228]


Best winter driving car I've ever owned.
 
2013-03-24 11:28:18 AM

Broktun: traylor: Yep, snow tires will do. Because snow tires are AWESOME.

What about snow tires and AWD?


Probably counter-productive, because it gives you a false sense of security.

I regularly drive in very piss-poor conditions, including during major snow storms.  I've got a front wheel drive car with all-season radials.  I slow my ass down, brake gently and well ahead of time, and generally drive extremely cautiously when it's nasty out.

I regularly pass people who have vehicles with 4WD/AWD and anti-lock brakes who slid off the road.   It's become a running joke with me and my ham radio buddies during the morning commute.

All the technology in the world isn't going to allow you to ignore physics.
 
2013-03-24 11:33:02 AM

detroitdoesntsuckthatbad: Taking the winter rubber off the Audi this week.  Spring is sprung ( and Quattro FTW).


Yes.  Audi, Subaru have the only AWD worth a crap IMO.  Mitzubishi (Lancer Evo) might be a contender but I haven't driven one of those so IDK.
 
2013-03-24 11:35:11 AM

MrSteve007: Step 1: Drive 4x4, double cab Toyota Tacoma.
Step 2: opt for stability control, traction control & optional rear locking differential.
Step 3: Install studded winter tires

With that combo, my truck really is pretty much unstoppable. My biggest problem are the other guys on the road, who think it's a smart idea to go over the pass with their bald tire mustang.

/leaving for the ski resort in 26 minutes


Step 4. Add weight in the bed above the rear axle.  (I just carry a snow shovel and fill the bed with snow).
 
2013-03-24 11:38:06 AM
Best comparison video period...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ii_fXvg98w4
 
2013-03-24 11:44:36 AM

mbillips: Sounds like this guy knows a heck of a lot more about driving in snow than subby. Four driven wheels with zero traction are just as bad as two driven wheels with zero traction. If you have SOME traction, good AWD will put the power to the correct wheel, but it seems his point is that AWD makes people overconfident and they tend to drive too fast for conditions. I'd definitely take FWD with snow tires over AWD with road tires on anything slick.


No, the author is being dumb (or deliberately obtuse.)

I grew up and learned to drive in Maine.  Yes all cars have brakes on all four corners, but in rural and non-flat areas the issue is not always a matter of stopping and manuvering.  Sometimes the issue that people have is related to getting moving in the first place.

Sometimes winter driving is a question of how you are going to get up that completely un-plowed road that has steep hills and 5 inches of accumulation on it.  The author is right in that most individuals winter driving issues can be solved with snow tires, but there is a reason that Subarus are so popular in some parts of the country.  Well, there are many reasons, but some of them are actually related to winter driving performance.
 
2013-03-24 11:46:06 AM

dittybopper: Broktun: traylor: Yep, snow tires will do. Because snow tires are AWESOME.

What about snow tires and AWD?

Probably counter-productive, because it gives you a false sense of security.

I regularly drive in very piss-poor conditions, including during major snow storms.  I've got a front wheel drive car with all-season radials.  I slow my ass down, brake gently and well ahead of time, and generally drive extremely cautiously when it's nasty out.

I regularly pass people who have vehicles with 4WD/AWD and anti-lock brakes who slid off the road.   It's become a running joke with me and my ham radio buddies during the morning commute.

All the technology in the world isn't going to allow you to ignore physics.


And the people without AWD trying to make it sound inferior just get more and more ridiculous.

Good for you, you're driving your car as conditions demand,  Now you just have to admit that AWD+Snow tire can handle worse conditions than your car can and you'll sound rational.
 
2013-03-24 11:46:13 AM
I grew up in a dirt road in the middle of nowhere. There was a stretch about 1/2 mile from our house where things got bad. At least once every couple of years we wouldn't be able to drive home even with 4WD and had to walk that last bit. That never happened after my parents got their first AWD car. I don't know about a more urban environment, but where we were driving the difference was pronounced.

When I was in high school I was caught in a blizzard after getting forced off the road by someone in an old Buick not suited to the conditions who was driving down the center. The snow had drifted into the ditch and the car was resting on that with neither right tire touching the ground. I still made it home and I really doubt I could have without AWD. There were lots of places that I was able to go when I borrowed my mom's Outback that my friend's couldn't. You want false sense of security? Give a teenager a Jeep Wrangler or a 4WD pickup. I'd be following my friends somewhere and watching them slide all over the road, even with good tires, while I had no trouble.

We did get our AWD Outback stuck once. We stopped in a valley between two hills and apparently some water had collected there, because all four wheels were on ice. Some kitty litter for traction fixed that though.
 
2013-03-24 11:49:46 AM
Snow tires over AWD is an obvious choice.

Snow tires gives improved control and braking.

AWD gives improved starting and accelerating ability.

Think about most accidents in the snow - do they happen because someone couldn't get moving fast enough, or do they happen because someone lost control/couldn't stop fast enough?
 
2013-03-24 11:56:05 AM

Kimpak: detroitdoesntsuckthatbad: Taking the winter rubber off the Audi this week.  Spring is sprung ( and Quattro FTW).

Yes.  Audi, Subaru have the only AWD worth a crap IMO.  Mitzubishi (Lancer Evo) might be a contender but I haven't driven one of those so IDK.


What?  No love for Syncro/4motion?  It's as mechanically advanced as Subaru, just packaged better so it fits in more chassis.

/miss my Syncro Corrado
 
2013-03-24 11:57:04 AM

nickerj1: MrSteve007: Step 1: Drive 4x4, double cab Toyota Tacoma.
Step 2: opt for stability control, traction control & optional rear locking differential.
Step 3: Install studded winter tires

With that combo, my truck really is pretty much unstoppable. My biggest problem are the other guys on the road, who think it's a smart idea to go over the pass with their bald tire mustang.

/leaving for the ski resort in 26 minutes

Step 4. Add weight in the bed above the rear axle.  (I just carry a snow shovel and fill the bed with snow).


I just don't garage mine, it seems to fill itself with snow just fine  :)
 
2013-03-24 11:57:14 AM
Had my first snow driving experience a couple weeks ago. I was speeding up to Julian (San Diego County) on my way to Anza-Borrego desert when about four inches of snow appeared on the sides of the roads. Road wasn't frozen, so I kept going, and then while going into a downhill patch, I hit a patch of black ice. No snow tires, no AWD. First fishtail I corrected, second one I didn't. Right into a goddamn snow bank.

Just from my limited experience digging my car out of the hillside, AWD won't help you if snow/sand(problem in Anza-Borrego) gets into tire treads. It's that lost of traction that will make you stop people from Michigan to help you tow your car out of the hillside. AWD will only really help you out in situations where three of your wheels are just spinning in the dirt/sand/air and you have one wheel that can provide any meaningful traction. They're mandatory if you're going over rough rock areas with high clearance vehicles like Jeeps that have some underarmor, but beyond that, in city driving, the only real thing that help you not slide across the road like you're stealing home base is studs/chains, which helps you get some traction.

/at least, from my limited review
//Cement-smoothers make great shovels.
 
2013-03-24 11:58:52 AM

The WindowLicker: there is a reason that Subarus are so popular in some parts of the country


Yup, high concentrations of lesbians

/this many comments in and I had to say it?
//fark, you're slipping
 
2013-03-24 11:58:59 AM

rohar: What?  No love for Syncro/4motion?


Completely forgot about that!  I haven't driven one of those either, but I do hear good things.
 
2013-03-24 12:03:58 PM

rohar: Kimpak: detroitdoesntsuckthatbad: Taking the winter rubber off the Audi this week.  Spring is sprung ( and Quattro FTW).

Yes.  Audi, Subaru have the only AWD worth a crap IMO.  Mitzubishi (Lancer Evo) might be a contender but I haven't driven one of those so IDK.

What?  No love for Syncro/4motion?  It's as mechanically advanced as Subaru, just packaged better so it fits in more chassis.

/miss my Syncro Corrado


I drive a 4Mo, and I couldn't help but laugh at everyone during our latest bouts with snow because of how freaking awesome it was in comparison to my old FWD.
 
2013-03-24 12:06:15 PM

Kimpak: rohar: What?  No love for Syncro/4motion?

Completely forgot about that!  I haven't driven one of those either, but I do hear good things.


The Achilles heal for the system is the viscous coupling like the ScoobieDoos.  It does have the advantage of being about 5% more efficient than the Audi/Scoobie solutions.

The early TTs ran it and Audi called it Quattro, but it wasn't.

That and they don't pop up very often in the states.  Friggin Canadians get all the fun toys...
 
2013-03-24 12:14:48 PM
We used to go every year to the Outer Banks. Down the banks, the way you get to the beach is to drive your car out onto the beach. You want to see AWD in action? We used to take my mom's little subaru outback (think sedan) out onto the beach with the monster trucks. The only trouble we had with it was when it got high-centered due to said monster trucks making huge wheel tracks.
The faces of the guys who felt they had to have a giant truck as we drove past was the best part.
 
2013-03-24 12:16:19 PM

Katie98_KT: We used to go every year to the Outer Banks. Down the banks, the way you get to the beach is to drive your car out onto the beach. You want to see AWD in action? We used to take my mom's little subaru outback (think sedan) out onto the beach with the monster trucks. The only trouble we had with it was when it got high-centered due to said monster trucks making huge wheel tracks.
The faces of the guys who felt they had to have a giant truck as we drove past was the best part.


I should specify- subaru impreza outback, not the big station wagon ones.
 
2013-03-24 12:20:05 PM
My FWD Volkswagen with real snow tires does just as well, if not better than my wife's Subaru with all-season tires.
 
2013-03-24 12:20:45 PM

Girion47: And the people without AWD trying to make it sound inferior just get more and more ridiculous.


It's not inferior.  It does convey an actual advantage in starting moving, and in things like going up very slippery hills, and you are less likely, all other things being equal, to get stuck.

The problem is that people being people, they tend to drive a bit faster because they feel they have more control, and *THAT* is when they get into trouble.  They don't drive for the conditions, not understanding that while they have a bit more traction and are able to go forward easier, the amount of lateral and braking traction they have is exactly the same as with a 2WD car.

The general theory behind that kind of behavior is called risk compensation or risk homeostasis.
 
2013-03-24 12:22:37 PM

To Wish Impossible Things: Think about most accidents in the snow - do they happen because someone couldn't get moving fast enough, or do they happen because someone lost control/couldn't stop fast enough?


They happen because people weren't driving slow enough.
 
2013-03-24 12:24:07 PM

dittybopper: Girion47: And the people without AWD trying to make it sound inferior just get more and more ridiculous.

It's not inferior.  It does convey an actual advantage in starting moving, and in things like going up very slippery hills, and you are less likely, all other things being equal, to get stuck.

The problem is that people being people, they tend to drive a bit faster because they feel they have more control, and *THAT* is when they get into trouble.  They don't drive for the conditions, not understanding that while they have a bit more traction and are able to go forward easier, the amount of lateral and braking traction they have is exactly the same as with a 2WD car.

The general theory behind that kind of behavior is called risk compensation or risk homeostasis.


This isn't a discussion of drivers though, we're specifically talking about the AWD system.  driver-confidence doesn't belong in this conversation.
 
2013-03-24 12:25:56 PM

louiedog: We did get our AWD Outback stuck once. We stopped in a valley between two hills and apparently some water had collected there, because all four wheels were on ice. Some kitty litter for traction fixed that though.


I don't like kitty litter for that kind of use:  If the surface is at all wet, most clay-based litters get just as slick as the ice/snow.  I keep actual rock salt for that.
 
2013-03-24 12:26:30 PM
Those tools in the ditches make the rest of the 4wd people look bad. I drive a grand cherokee. In the ice and snow I drive just like i did in previous fwd and rwd vehicles. Easy on the brake, easy on the gas, slow, get decent tires. Ta da!
 
2013-03-24 12:29:51 PM

Girion47: dittybopper: Girion47: And the people without AWD trying to make it sound inferior just get more and more ridiculous.

It's not inferior.  It does convey an actual advantage in starting moving, and in things like going up very slippery hills, and you are less likely, all other things being equal, to get stuck.

The problem is that people being people, they tend to drive a bit faster because they feel they have more control, and *THAT* is when they get into trouble.  They don't drive for the conditions, not understanding that while they have a bit more traction and are able to go forward easier, the amount of lateral and braking traction they have is exactly the same as with a 2WD car.

The general theory behind that kind of behavior is called risk compensation or risk homeostasis.

This isn't a discussion of drivers though, we're specifically talking about the AWD system.  driver-confidence doesn't belong in this conversation.


Sure it does, because it's part of the entire system.

A technical discussion of particular systems that ignores their actual use is just geeks wanking to this or that technology.  And I've done enough geek wankery to be able to say this.
 
2013-03-24 12:31:36 PM

dittybopper: Girion47: dittybopper: Girion47: And the people without AWD trying to make it sound inferior just get more and more ridiculous.

It's not inferior.  It does convey an actual advantage in starting moving, and in things like going up very slippery hills, and you are less likely, all other things being equal, to get stuck.

The problem is that people being people, they tend to drive a bit faster because they feel they have more control, and *THAT* is when they get into trouble.  They don't drive for the conditions, not understanding that while they have a bit more traction and are able to go forward easier, the amount of lateral and braking traction they have is exactly the same as with a 2WD car.

The general theory behind that kind of behavior is called risk compensation or risk homeostasis.

This isn't a discussion of drivers though, we're specifically talking about the AWD system.  driver-confidence doesn't belong in this conversation.

Sure it does, because it's part of the entire system.

A technical discussion of particular systems that ignores their actual use is just geeks wanking to this or that technology.  And I've done enough geek wankery to be able to say this.


It is still ignoring the fact that the driver is highly variable and someone with AWD, Snow-tires, and a proper respect for the conditions will trump everything else.
 
2013-03-24 12:33:11 PM

worthlessjuan: 3. If it helped in handling, all race cars would be AWD (apologies to Audi Quatro).


Under power, FWD and AWD will understeer, RWD will oversteer.  A driver who can use oversteer can use RWD to his/her advantage.  I myself can do a pretty good opposite lock power slide.  But most drivers cannot manage the throttle and steering in an oversteer situation and no driver can managed it without training or at least a lot of practice.

For almost all drivers, understeer is far better than oversteer.  With understeer, they go off the road plowing forward into the tree.  With oversteer they end up rolling or sliding sideways into the tree.
 
2013-03-24 12:37:04 PM
Grew up driving in the mountains, had a rear wheel drive with great snows, lived on a steep hill.  Got pulled up that hill by a 4x4 on a regular basis.

Bought a VW Rabbit, put great snows on the thing, never got stuck again.

Today?  Three of our four cars are AWD - my ski car is a Subaru Outback with Blizzaks, and I have a Toyota Tacoma 4x4, and a RX400h with all seasons.  We never get stuck, live on a dirt road.

/We get around
 
2013-03-24 12:42:21 PM
AWD or 4WD SUVs on desert or mud tires are useless on snowy roads. 

Broktun: traylor: Yep, snow tires will do. Because snow tires are AWESOME.

What about snow tires and AWD?


That is the winning combination.

/R320 4Matic + 4 snow tires = snowmobile.

Yaxe: Had my first snow driving experience a couple weeks ago. I was speeding up to Julian (San Diego County) on my way to Anza-Borrego desert when about four inches of snow appeared on the sides of the roads. Road wasn't frozen, so I kept going, and then while going into a downhill patch, I hit a patch of black ice. No snow tires, no AWD. First fishtail I corrected, second one I didn't. Right into a goddamn snow bank.

Just from my limited experience digging my car out of the hillside, AWD won't help you if snow/sand(problem in Anza-Borrego) gets into tire treads. It's that lost of traction that will make you stop people from Michigan to help you tow your car out of the hillside. AWD will only really help you out in situations where three of your wheels are just spinning in the dirt/sand/air and you have one wheel that can provide any meaningful traction. They're mandatory if you're going over rough rock areas with high clearance vehicles like Jeeps that have some underarmor, but beyond that, in city driving, the only real thing that help you not slide across the road like you're stealing home base is studs/chains, which helps you get some traction.

/at least, from my limited review
//Cement-smoothers make great shovels.


Actually, snow in the threads is exactly what works. Snow sticks to snow, that is the reason you can make a snowball. Winter tires are designed to pack with snow. One of the reasons mud and desert tires don't work in snow is because they have self-cleaning threads.  Another reason regular tires don't work on wintry roads, even when no snow is present, is that they harden and lose traction in cold winter temperatures. Winter tires are made with much softer compounds which remain pliable even in very cold weather.

/Drive in snow 4-5 months of the year.
 
2013-03-24 12:45:09 PM
sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net

sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net
 
2013-03-24 12:50:42 PM
demotivationalblog.comrallye-info.comresource.mmgn.com
 
2013-03-24 12:53:50 PM

neongoats: Shang-High: Skinny (as in 165-skinny) studded (as in full studs not one row) snow tires (Hakkas if possible).  I have never been stuck with FWD and snows, not ever (25 years of New England driving, including in the middle of massive blizzards).  Hitting a sheet of ice with studded snows means you CAN still stop, if you haven't driven with them I highly recommend you try next winter and feel the difference.

Do you have a wet weather suggestion for a ford ranger? =p Going to be in the pacific northwest in the fall, know next to nothing about tires, want to get awesome tires for the first time in my life.


Go to an actual tire store, look for national brands (I prefer Goodyear, Cooper, Bridgestone, or Hankook).  Look for wider groves in the tread, and say "M+S" on the side (Mud and Snow).  If you're not going into the mountains during winter, all-season M+S should do; if the tread is too aggressive, it hurts your fuel economy.  Also, it's best to have a matched set of 4 that fits the car.  There should be a sticker in the driver's door jab that tells you the correct size.

/looks like Washington and Oregon allow studded tires from Nov 1 to March 31.
 
2013-03-24 12:56:47 PM
AWD/4WD is clearly superior to RWD/FWD in snow and ice.  You're going up a hill and one of your tires hits a patch of ice or refrozen slush.  Now if you have some form of two wheel drive, suddenly 50% of your drive train's traction is gone and your applying power unevenly across your vehicle, although traction control will try to help you out here.  Drive's side tire has traction, passenger side doesn't, the un-powered rear tires are just along for the ride.  With 4WD you're better off in that three of the tires still have power, one just may now be helplessly spinning depending on your setup, sometimes unpleasant things may occur when that wheel gets its traction back, but a driver familiar with the vehicle normally doesn't have a problem.  With AWD the car's computer will automatically readjust your power output to compensate for that wheel that lost traction and you'll go merrily on your way.

Same applies if you manage to aquaplane a tire.

FWD cars often to hit a patch of ice with one tire, the drive responds by hitting the gas, and they torque steer themselves right into the ditch.  Of course many AWD cars end up stuck in the snow due to the fact that ground clearance becomes an issue.

All that said, some individual cars may perform better than others.  For example my Grand Prix GXP is amazing in the Michigan winter, despite being FWD and having wider tires in the front because sitting right about my drive train is a giant 5.4 Liter V8.  It just slams those drive wheels down onto the pavement and gets its traction.  However the one time I did hit an icy patch and lost traction the front, I was done.  It definitely out performs some of the lighter AWD cars since having AWD isn't all that great if you can't actually get any of the wheels down onto a surface that provides traction.  I've seen some of the AWD coupes flailing around while larger 2 wheel drive sedans just chugged on by.  Of course the Grand Prix sucks compared to the AWD CTS Sedan which has over 2 tons of weight and AWD.

/just remember if you add weight, add it forward of your rear axle
//otherwise the rear axle becomes a pivot point and you lift your nose while your tail goes down
/which means less gripe your for tires that steer (and provide power if you're FWD)
 
2013-03-24 01:06:31 PM
If the goal is traction on bad terrain 4WD is best, even better with lockable axles. AWD varies so much by manufacturer and specific technology it's a spectrum between nearly as good as 4WD and worse than FWD/RWD. If you are driving more than 50MPH you should rethink the need for 4WD or AWD, if the roads are bad enough you need that much traction they are bad enough you shouldn't be doing that speed. As other's have noted 4WD/AWD helps you go it doesn't help you stop.

/I live in the Northeast in snow country. The Jeep in my driveway is 4WD (or RWD or FWD), both axles have lockers. That means with the pull of a level and flip of a switch each all the tires rotate at the same speed, it could drag itself up a hill with 1 tire on the ground and the other 3 tires on dollies. In the winter she wears skinny all terrains (TA KO) for the road, wider mud tires in the summer.
 
2013-03-24 01:14:38 PM

neongoats: Do you have a wet weather suggestion for a ford ranger? =p Going to be in the pacific northwest in the fall, know next to nothing about tires, want to get awesome tires for the first time in my life.


One thing to keep in mind, are you driving in snow or are you driving in wet conditions created by the DOT dumping six million pounds of ice on the road?  That will determine whether you want to buy a true snow tire designed to grip into the snow or something optimized to handle water and avoid aquaplanning in the snow melt.  I tend to run Michelin Pilot A/S tires as their performance in wet conditions is excellent and I'm mostly on the interstate which is plowed, salted, and wet, but they're not so great in the snow.  I have a 4x4 tucked away in a corner of the garage for the days when I need to chug down a road the DOT has yet to plow.  When you move I'd ask around about the roads you'll be driving on and consider which you want.
 
2013-03-24 01:14:40 PM

ha-ha-guy: With AWD the car's computer will automatically readjust your power output


If your AWD needs a computer to adjust torque bias, you bought a cheep ass AWD.

The rest of your post is pretty filled with WAS.  The best defense you have against road conditions is and will always be training.  Come out to the track on a rainy morning, we'll gladly give you more insurance against accidents/getting stuck than you can ever buy.
 
2013-03-24 01:15:04 PM

RaistlinsLegacy: ChubbyTiger: Kimpak: ChubbyTiger: Always fun to see the Jeep drivers in a ditch because they think a Wrangle will corner well in the snow.

Yeah, but if I ever got in a ditch when I had my Wrangler...I just drove right back out of it.

If you know what you're doing, sure. Most Jeep/SUV drivers have no idea. Of course, that's why they were in the ditch to begin with.

Hey I never had a problem in bad weather in my wranglers. Sunny days get me in trouble :) 4wd, short wheel base, mud tires and manual transmission equals win.

Dunno how people drive automatics.... Downshifting is so nice in slick conditions


Just because there's no clutch doesn't mean that automatics don't have shifters. I downshift all the time in my automatic Corolla, especially driving in the mountains here in Colorado.
 
2013-03-24 01:22:35 PM

Road Rash: http://www.nokiantyres.com/winter-driving-school  the tires I put all the way around on my RWD Volvo 240 made a huge difference.


I'm putting the Nokian wrg2's on my outback next winter. I'm running GY Tripletreds atm and while they're sold as all seasons they really only function as wet/dry, though they do that well. Colorado spring driving =slushplaning with the damn things...
 
2013-03-24 01:24:46 PM

rohar: ha-ha-guy: With AWD the car's computer will automatically readjust your power output

If your AWD needs a computer to adjust torque bias, you bought a cheep ass AWD.

The rest of your post is pretty filled with WAS.  The best defense you have against road conditions is and will always be training.  Come out to the track on a rainy morning, we'll gladly give you more insurance against accidents/getting stuck than you can ever buy.


Thanks, but I have access to the test track my company owns.

/computers matter on Super Handling and similar modern  systems and they provide input to the AWD system, same with ESP programs
//something has to tell the AWD "Oh shiat it is snowing, cut out the 30/70 power balance and adjust power for shiatty conditions mode"
/a purely mechanical AWD system is now the shiatty system
 
2013-03-24 01:29:01 PM

ha-ha-guy: rohar: ha-ha-guy: With AWD the car's computer will automatically readjust your power output

If your AWD needs a computer to adjust torque bias, you bought a cheep ass AWD.

The rest of your post is pretty filled with WAS.  The best defense you have against road conditions is and will always be training.  Come out to the track on a rainy morning, we'll gladly give you more insurance against accidents/getting stuck than you can ever buy.

Thanks, but I have access to the test track my company owns.

/computers matter on Super Handling and similar modern  systems and they provide input to the AWD system, same with ESP programs
//something has to tell the AWD "Oh shiat it is snowing, cut out the 30/70 power balance and adjust power for shiatty conditions mode"
/a purely mechanical AWD system is now the shiatty system


Funny, mechanical systems do what you just stated only computer based systems can.  Purely mechanical also means infinitely variable.  This isn't possible with electronic systems.

As someone who works for a company with a test track, I'd think you'd know this...
 
2013-03-24 01:40:39 PM

SnarfVader: neongoats: Shang-High: Skinny (as in 165-skinny) studded (as in full studs not one row) snow tires (Hakkas if possible).  I have never been stuck with FWD and snows, not ever (25 years of New England driving, including in the middle of massive blizzards).  Hitting a sheet of ice with studded snows means you CAN still stop, if you haven't driven with them I highly recommend you try next winter and feel the difference.

Do you have a wet weather suggestion for a ford ranger? =p Going to be in the pacific northwest in the fall, know next to nothing about tires, want to get awesome tires for the first time in my life.

What side of the Cascades will you be on? The west-siders really only need good rain tires and studs lose traction in purely wet weather. I would only recommend studded tires on the east side or if you routinely go up the mountains to ski.


Blizzak studless tires.  We have 6 months of winter up here and I run the Blizzaks year round on a FWD Accord.  Works fine.
 
2013-03-24 01:47:06 PM

Girion47: [demotivationalblog.com image 800x450][rallye-info.com image 740x493][resource.mmgn.com image 750x469]


Are you trying to support the idea of better traction of Subaru with two pictures of a car that has broken traction?  That car is staying out of the ditch because the driver knows what they are doing, but that car has broke traction and is sliding sideways.  I know, I have done it on purpose, but my Expedition won't do it unless I leave it in RWD.  Last snow storm I just put it on 4AWD (it also has a 4WD selection) and drove 50 mph without any issue.  I had to be to work before the plow trucks even got to the roads I needed, but my ABS didn't even kick in nor did I slide once.  Now my Ranger is RWD and I drive it like the Subaru in the pic all the time, I love it.  However, I don't dare to take the Ranger on expressways during bad days.
 
2013-03-24 01:51:11 PM

worthlessjuan: 3. If it helped in handling, all race cars would be AWD (apologies to Audi Quatro).


All rally cars are AWD and have been ever since the Audi Quattro hit the rally scene.  Before that people thought much like you did, that racing and AWD were mutually exclusive.  Then the Quattro surprised the crap out of everyone.

AWD does help in handling.  The key point is that in flat racing it doesn't help to a noticeable degree, at least enough to offset the weight and torque cost of putting a transfer case in there.  For something with variable terrain like rally, AWD is king.

Much like racing, AWD doesn't help in everyday driving.  What it helps in are situations where the terrain is variable, where individual wheels are apt to lose grip for a minute, and similar.  If you're driving on a solid sheet of ice you aren't going to corner much better than a 2WD vehicle (not enough to be statistically significant or keep you out of a ditch anyway).  If you're driving on areas where it's snow, then ice, then some snow, partially plowed here or there, little puddle over there, etc. etc., i.e. the real world, then AWD/4WD is going to get you past all those little spots where you temporarily lose traction to part of the vehicle without you even noticing.

I mean really, think about this logically for a second.  Say you're turning and your left front wheel loses traction because you hit a patch of black ice or something.  In a 2WD vehicle you have just lost half of your forward force minimum (and likely more because all that torque is now probably going to the free wheel).  In a AWD/FWD vehicle you've lost a quarter. Which one is going to be more stable here?
 
2013-03-24 01:56:56 PM

lack of warmth: Girion47: [demotivationalblog.com image 800x450][rallye-info.com image 740x493][resource.mmgn.com image 750x469]

Are you trying to support the idea of better traction of Subaru with two pictures of a car that has broken traction?  That car is staying out of the ditch because the driver knows what they are doing, but that car has broke traction and is sliding sideways.  I know, I have done it on purpose, but my Expedition won't do it unless I leave it in RWD.  Last snow storm I just put it on 4AWD (it also has a 4WD selection) and drove 50 mph without any issue.  I had to be to work before the plow trucks even got to the roads I needed, but my ABS didn't even kick in nor did I slide once.  Now my Ranger is RWD and I drive it like the Subaru in the pic all the time, I love it.  However, I don't dare to take the Ranger on expressways during bad days.


Right, and what's going to regain traction faster?  a 2WD or AWD vehicle?
 
2013-03-24 02:05:08 PM
I live in an area that averages about 150" of snow a year, in the mountains. I normally drive a Miata, currently sitting on a set of Pirelli winter/sports snow tires. The only thing that has ever gotten it stuck is high siding. Specifically, a four inch block of ice that formed at the bottom of a sloped parking lot with no flat run-up area. If you drive carefully, a good set of studless snow tires will get you through anything you're likely to encounter with RWD or FWD. Getting up steep hills is a matter of maintaining momentum--it is tough getting going if you stop on a slippery slope.

That being said, snow tires with AWD or a lockable 4WD setup are almost unstoppable. I keep an SUV with Blizzaks around because there are days where I can't even get the Miata out of my community, though the public roads are passable. The Borrego with Blizzaks will plow its way up over and through anything it has ever seen. It's a lot of fun on the unmaintained back roads around here.

Even with snow tires and four driven wheels, though, you still need to be very conscious of the fact that you will need to turn and stop all that mass once you get it going.
 
2013-03-24 02:17:20 PM

Girion47: lack of warmth: Girion47: [demotivationalblog.com image 800x450][rallye-info.com image 740x493][resource.mmgn.com image 750x469]

Are you trying to support the idea of better traction of Subaru with two pictures of a car that has broken traction?  That car is staying out of the ditch because the driver knows what they are doing, but that car has broke traction and is sliding sideways.  I know, I have done it on purpose, but my Expedition won't do it unless I leave it in RWD.  Last snow storm I just put it on 4AWD (it also has a 4WD selection) and drove 50 mph without any issue.  I had to be to work before the plow trucks even got to the roads I needed, but my ABS didn't even kick in nor did I slide once.  Now my Ranger is RWD and I drive it like the Subaru in the pic all the time, I love it.  However, I don't dare to take the Ranger on expressways during bad days.

Right, and what's going to regain traction faster?  a 2WD or AWD vehicle?


I am not sure, since I have been unable to break traction in my AWD.  We haven't had any slick ice since I got it, but I have been able to play alot with sticky ice.  FWD does regain traction faster than RWD, though.

/No one wins on slick ice
 
2013-03-24 02:19:24 PM

rohar: Funny, mechanical systems do what you just stated only computer based systems can.  Purely mechanical also means infinitely variable.  This isn't possible with electronic systems.

As someone who works for a company with a test track, I'd think you'd know this...


Please post the diagram for the mechanical system where the car can detect icy conditions, adjust its suspension to move weight around (if considered useful), tell the ECU to act differently with torque production on a direct injected engine, and also inform the ABS and Traction Control to act differently than they do in "sport mode", favor 50/50 power balance over a sport configuration, etc.

I'm sure it can be done, I'm also sure a microprocessor can do it while adding a lot less weight to the car.  Modern cars should not and do not operate with each system in isolation.  They all talk on the car's computer network and make decisions based on input from various sensors, etc.

/if you want an example go look at Audi's Quattro system and notice the mechanical limitations of the Torsen and why Audi added in a computerized system that limits wheel spin using the braking system
//so suddenly the car's computer is using the ABS system to detect while spin caused by a AWD limitation and then using the brakes to prevent wheel spin
//oh look computers make everything better when they link multiple systems on the car
/in less than decade we'll be using the pedestrian / night vision cameras on the car to sense possible icy patches and the car will determine it is about to hit an icy patch and preemptive take action as opposed to waiting for some mechanical system to react, mechanical systems cannot be proactive anywhere near the level the mechanical ones can be
 
2013-03-24 02:19:54 PM
I drive a rear wheel drive pickup with balding all season tires.  Only a problem 2-3 days out the year.

/lives in NC
 
2013-03-24 02:20:41 PM

neongoats: Do you have a wet weather suggestion for a ford ranger? =p Going to be in the pacific northwest in the fall, know next to nothing about tires, want to get awesome tires for the first time in my life.


"pacific northwest" isn't sufficient information here.  Most people think Washington and Oregon get a lot of rain and all you have to deal with is wet weather.  But the truth is that Seattle and Portland get a lot of rain in the winter... the rest of the PNW get real winters.  "Western Washington" and "Western Oregon" are actaully less than a third of each state.

/live in Seattle
/from Eastern WA
//laugh at the people here when we get a half inch of snow, but keep my distance from them
 
2013-03-24 02:28:43 PM
In other news, I'm getting 1-3 inches of snow tonight/tomorrow, I'll probably go play around in it with my AWD car that has snow tires.
 
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