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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 44
    More: Dumbass, AWD, parking garage, Dodge Viper, laws of physics  
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13204 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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Archived thread
2013-03-24 07:42:02 AM
7 votes:
D.Baggins in TFA "good set of tires beats AWD"

Ok, so put good set of tires on AWD, and......? What? Divide by zero?
2013-03-24 08:06:18 AM
3 votes:
That writer seemed to miss the concept of "hills". I live at the top of a fairly steep hill.Pretty well only AWD vehicles make it up here during heavy snow. That's why I got one.
2013-03-24 07:46:33 AM
3 votes:
AWD is better for traction, single-axle drives are better for efficiency, completely fixed differential (4WD) is better for power.

None of them will do a goddamned thing for you if Fhorizontal > μstatic*Fnormal .

//This isn't rocket science, nor is "take claims made by sales reps with a grain of salt".
2013-03-24 08:21:18 AM
2 votes:

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.


Studded are illegal in some states, mine included.  I think...
2013-03-24 08:16:21 AM
2 votes:
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.
2013-03-24 08:02:26 AM
2 votes:

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.
2013-03-24 07:52:57 AM
2 votes:
I've been  driving a 4WD for many years, and I live in the midwest.
It helps in some situations.
You're less likely to get stuck going up a hill, you don't have to wait for as big a gap when turning left across traffic, and you can move smartly through an intersection.
Other than that, the only other benefit of 4WD is a slightly better chance of driving yourself out of a ditch.
It most certainly doesn't make you immune to physics.
2013-03-24 07:51:26 AM
2 votes:
The article is absolutely correct. AWD is great for moving in slippery conditions, but it does dick all for handling. The increased traction off snow tires is far more important. Now for acceleration, it's great.

Always fun to see the Jeep drivers in a ditch because they think a Wrangle will corner well in the snow.
2013-03-24 07:43:52 AM
2 votes:

Happy Hours: There's only one way to deal with that kind of mess. Slow down and avoid heavy braking. I only have FWD which may make acceleration more difficult than AWD but braking is different. I have brakes on all 4 wheels. I'm pretty sure all cars have brakes on all 4 wheels.


4WD won't help you stop but it may help you get going. IF you have a locking differential. If you don't then you're almost always just as screwed.

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


I had someone try to convince me that snow tires were some sort of magic super glue. Hell I learned to drive on near bald tires. Slow down you're not going to change the laws of physics.
2013-03-24 07:43:37 AM
2 votes:

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


What about snow tires and AWD?
2013-03-24 07:42:03 AM
2 votes:
 I'm just incensed by those who fudge its ability beyond all recognition. AWD is great at aiding accelerating on slick surfaces and keeping a vehicle moving on snowy roads. Rally racers like AWD because it helps their over-powered cars accelerate on gravel and dirt paths. I co-drove an AWD car to victory in a 24-hour race, and in the rain I enjoyed how the car accelerated off the corners.

Subby needs to apply tag to himself.
2013-03-24 09:17:02 PM
1 votes:
My Audi S4 Avant Quattro FTW!

sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net
2013-03-24 02:49:00 PM
1 votes:
Csb - I drive a plow truck. (Eip if you want a pic of what I drive) awd fwd rwd whatever. Hiw about you stay tge fark off the road and let us do our job?
That coffee that you need, or the 2 litres of milk is unimportant.
Unless someone is dying stay off the farking road. All you wanna be Dale Earnharts just makes our job that much slower and harder.

Tl; dr stay off the road and let highways do their job.
2013-03-24 02:05:08 PM
1 votes:
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 12:50:42 PM
1 votes:
demotivationalblog.comrallye-info.comresource.mmgn.com
2013-03-24 12:29:51 PM
1 votes:

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 12:20:45 PM
1 votes:

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 10:57:13 AM
1 votes:
AWD or 4wd is better than 2wd, period, end of story.

And no, a FWD with "snow tires" is NOT in any way better than an AWD with "all terrains".

Now I might see if you have plain old street tires on your SUV that a FWD with some gnarly snow tires might have an advantage, but if your AWD/4WD had any sort of even mildly aggressive tread, there's nothing a 2wd can do to beat it.

This applies for any frozen precip you can come up with.  Snow, Sleet, Ice, whatever.

What's really funny though, is the idiots who buy an AWD and think that means they can just go like the pavement is dry.
2013-03-24 10:57:07 AM
1 votes:

AWD is not a magic bullet, because it's not going that is the problem, usually, it's stopping. So you don't need 4 wheel drive, but 4 wheel brakes. And last I checked, pretty much all cars have that feature...


The problem is the drivers who think that rain is liquid sunshine and snow is crunchy sunshine, so they can drive like it is sunny on dry pavement.


/It's not the flakes falling from the sky that scare me, it's the ones with steering wheels in front of them.

2013-03-24 10:55:14 AM
1 votes:

oukewldave: You'd think people know how to drive in snow around Cleveland? No, not true at all.  Works to my advantage though.  Everyone is scared of the left lane, so I have that to my self.  Even when you can still see the road, these people are driving 45-50 and scared to death.  All you need to do is leave a lot of space, don't slam on the brakes and ease off the gas around curves.

/Truly one of the worst driving areas in the country.


Then you haven't driven in other places in the country much.  I grew up in Cleveland. Driving test at 16 in 14 inches of snow on my birthday in December.    I have driven in every state except the Dakotas and Hawaii.  I've driven in Guatemala, Canada, and Mexico.  I've lived in Texas, Florida, and now Colorado.  I have driven in blizzards, I was guided by the force in a white out sandwiched between two 18 wheelers on 80 in Nebraska with one coming up on the side, I've driven in Jungles, and beaches, and mountains, and deserts.    There are shiatty driving conditions and shiatty drivers everywhere.  It's not just Houston, or Dallas, or Denver, Antigua Guatemal, or Cleveland.  It's everywhere.
2013-03-24 10:48:43 AM
1 votes:

Nefarious: Guy at work was talking about his "almost manual ford focus" WTF is almost manual?

Some sort of auto stick?  You can drive it like a manual with no clutch.  I'd love a manual but with my commute I wouldn't want it for everyday driving.


Paddle-shifter.  It's a manual transmission in the traditional sense, but there's a mechanical or mechanical/electronic transmission that works the clutch and the shift for you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semi-automatic_transmission

They're... not terribly popular, since the vast majority of people that use a manual use it because they don't mind the extra work involved in exchange for the weight and money saved.  A paddle-shift, firstly, adds some of that weight back, and secondly is rather more expensive.  Also it means you're flipping a switch up and down as you drive, which feels kind of... silly to both automatic and manual drivers.

It's very popular on expensive kind-of-race cars for rich people that want to feel like they're going vroom vroom but can't actually drive or take the vehicle anywhere that would necessitate such extra control.  Generally you can put anyone who has one at a good 50% chance of being a complete douche.
2013-03-24 10:42:12 AM
1 votes:
FTFA: However, my experience-hard-earned from wrecking more than one AWD vehicle during snow-handling tests for a tire company-is that AWD is counter-productive when the roads are slick. At the same time AWD doesn't improve your handling, it does offer an overly optimistic sense of available traction, and it provides the potential to be going so much faster when you need to stop. (Note to those from warm climes: Snowbanks are not puffy and cushiony.) The laws of physics mean a vehicle's cornering power is the job of the tires and suspension.

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.
2013-03-24 09:58:16 AM
1 votes:
RE: Driving on snow/ice.
I work in Montreal occasionally.  They say it is 9 months of snow and 3 months of road repairs every year so traffic is testing for sure.
But they admit one thing, when the snows/ice comes no one knows how to drive on it and it is chaos for the first two weeks or so, then they figure it out or remember last year and settle down, drive at proper speeds and all goes well.
And they have road clearing equipment/capabilities.
2013-03-24 09:46:38 AM
1 votes:
Just a couple of truisms about AWD: (some have already been mentioned)
1. It allows you to get yourself stuck in a more inaccessible place.
2. All vehicles are AWD when braking.  You get going too fast with AWD and false sense.
3. If it helped in handling, all race cars would be AWD (apologies to Audi Quatro).
4. It definitely helps in soft, muddy or snowy surfaces, not ice, nothing helps on ice.
5. It's a normal man's Porsche, figure it out.
6. Very few people need it, most who have it never need it, just like SUVs, mostly waste.
2013-03-24 09:38:49 AM
1 votes:
and it provides the potential to be going so much faster when you need to stop.

this is true.  In my spiffy '75 Saab 99 I could haul ass in the snow but like 4wd trucks, front wheel drive did nothing for my reflexes or the brakes, or guard rail or light pole or parked truck not even for the front end or door assembly nor the rear axle.
-1 would not buy from again.  Left auto parts scattered across the road, truck and, sidewalk at 3am in a light snow storm.
2013-03-24 08:47:11 AM
1 votes:

jafiwam: Happy Hours: AWD is not a panacea. We got dumped on earlier and I just had to drive in it. The major streets had been cleared but the side streets and parking lots were pretty bad.

There's only one way to deal with that kind of mess. Slow down and avoid heavy braking. I only have FWD which may make acceleration more difficult than AWD but braking is different. I have brakes on all 4 wheels. I'm pretty sure all cars have brakes on all 4 wheels.

Yes, yes there is.

[www.famouslogos.us image 430x173]


I've heard people proclaim that Subaru's are great in snow so much that I almost believe it, but I've never driven one. I'm not sure why that is other than I think they're all made with AWD, I don't believe they can defy the laws of physics though. If you're driving on a sheet of ice or there's very little friction you'd best slow down and avoid heavy braking.

You also can't floor it when the light turns green, I don't care how many wheels are fighting to gain traction. And be careful when cornering too.
2013-03-24 08:44:10 AM
1 votes:

CarnySaur: You learn not to drive too slow when you find out that lack of momentum means you start sliding backwards and sideways.  Then again, if you think the person in front of you is driving too slow on the highway, man up and pass them in the unplowed left lane, don't tailgate them hoping they get the hint.


Agreed, because they will never 'get the hint'.  Also you're probably just making them more nervous and thus more apt to do something stupid.  But it is agonizing getting stuck behind them until an appropriate passing opportunity arises.
2013-03-24 08:41:32 AM
1 votes:

Kimpak: BigBooper: e who drive way too slow. You get caught between those driving 30 mph too fast and those driving 30 mph too slow. If your so freaked out by the snow that you won't go faster than 15 mph on the freeway, then stay off the freaking road.

This!  I'm just across the border in Iowa. Drive slower yes, but ffs don't be that dick that's driving 10mph on the interstate.

/drove to work on snow covered roads this morning..getting a kick out of this thread.


You learn not to drive too slow when you find out that lack of momentum means you start sliding backwards and sideways.  Then again, if you think the person in front of you is driving too slow on the highway, man up and pass them in the unplowed left lane, don't tailgate them hoping they get the hint.
2013-03-24 08:37:17 AM
1 votes:
I learned to drive in the snow in a Lincoln Mark IV with crappy tires, the first time I hit dry pavement I was confused.  Other than the fun factor of playing around with controlled drifts, RWD is a pain in the snow.
2013-03-24 08:30:00 AM
1 votes:

Kimpak: SnarfVader: The key is to slow the fark down in slick conditions, no matter what you drive. Just because you have a huge SUV and grew up where snow is measured in feet doesn't make you immune to the laws of physics.

Just don't slow down  too much. Especially if you are in a state where snow is measured in feet.  In general, we are better at driving in it than people who are not from there.  It's completely reasonable to drive 45-50mph in a couple inches of snow as long as you don't run into (literaly) some asshat going 10mph in the one good lane.  Ice is a different story, but some types of snow have some traction to it.  Especially if the DOT has gotten some sand out before the storm.


Yeah, true. Don't become a hazard. I was referring mostly those who pass everybody else doing 70 and end up in a ditch two miles down the interstate.
2013-03-24 08:27:38 AM
1 votes:

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.
2013-03-24 08:27:05 AM
1 votes:
Driver skill is far more important than any mechanical device. If you don't know how to drive on snow or ice it doesn't matter if you have AWD and snow tyres you will end up wrapped around a tree or telephone pole.

Plus Lancashire sucks
2013-03-24 08:23:34 AM
1 votes:

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

What about snow tires and AWD?


Thats my thought.That combo should produce a great snow condition car.

Ill mildly agree that in snow conditions the snow tires on any car are a bit better than all season tires on AWD...but if you live in a place that has a long snow season your should be putting snow tires on your car no matter what drive it is.

It should also be noted that "all season" tires suck, unless you are buying top $$ brands. Even then they still arent so great. I personally tend to run directional V tread tires in all seasons here in FL, and they do great, even in heavy rain.


BigBooper: I live in Wisconsin, and the biggest problem is the people who drive at both ends of the spectrum. The idiots that drive full speed on snow and ice are just as bad as those who drive way too slow. You get caught between those driving 30 mph too fast and those driving 30 mph too slow. If your so freaked out by the snow that you won't go faster than 15 mph on the freeway, then stay off the freaking road.


QFT.

Ker_Thwap: My favorite winter hobby is counting the AWD/4WD cars off the side of the highway.  It's a nice slow speed tool, but does squat otherwise.


QFT as well. Too many people think 4WD and AWD are magic, and they count on them far too much.

DoomPaul: AWD is not some magic end all be all. Anyway, I prefer RWD,


Ever driven a high powered RWD car in the rain? I had an 89 Firebird Formula 350, mildly modded. Its was the slowest car on the road when it was wet. 350+ ft/lb of torque and 245 width tires arent a good combination if its not completely dry. It would kick the rear end out with even mild throttle application.

This was in the days before traction control, stability control, and all the other electronic nannies you wimps these days rely on. You actually had to know how to drive a car, not point it in a direction and expect the computer to keep it out of the ditch for you.
2013-03-24 08:19:35 AM
1 votes:
The key is to slow the fark down in slick conditions, no matter what you drive. Just because you have a huge SUV and grew up where snow is measured in feet doesn't make you immune to the laws of physics.
2013-03-24 08:18:07 AM
1 votes:
It's always fun to drive slowly past the a-hole who just sped past you and then went off the road a little ways ahead of you. I live in Pittsburgh - the hills+road quality (none)+snow=doesn't matter what your car has if you don't slow the f*** down. I think the writer is basically trying to tell people that AWD are not the magical machines in snow and ice that the industry has perpetuated to sell that 50k SUV to the avaerage soccer mom.
2013-03-24 08:13:07 AM
1 votes:

BigBooper: e who drive way too slow. You get caught between those driving 30 mph too fast and those driving 30 mph too slow. If your so freaked out by the snow that you won't go faster than 15 mph on the freeway, then stay off the freaking road.


This!  I'm just across the border in Iowa. Drive slower yes, but ffs don't be that dick that's driving 10mph on the interstate.

/drove to work on snow covered roads this morning..getting a kick out of this thread.
2013-03-24 08:08:25 AM
1 votes:
I live in Wisconsin, and the biggest problem is the people who drive at both ends of the spectrum. The idiots that drive full speed on snow and ice are just as bad as those who drive way too slow. You get caught between those driving 30 mph too fast and those driving 30 mph too slow. If your so freaked out by the snow that you won't go faster than 15 mph on the freeway, then stay off the freaking road.
2013-03-24 08:00:41 AM
1 votes:
In snow, Dad taught me: 1. to drive slower than you think you should,  2. have a car with FWD, manual transmission and decent snow tires and 3. push the gas pedal and brakes like there's a raw egg between your foot and the pedal. Try not to break the egg.
2013-03-24 07:48:00 AM
1 votes:

Dalek Caan's doomed mistress: I hate people who think AWD means they're immune to ice.  You can always tell who doesn't know what the fark they're doing when it starts snowing and there's a layer of ice on the road.  There's more to winter driving than just have four tires spinning at the same time.


I love snowy days. The drive to work is amusing. So many crashed suvs. Suvs stuck. Suv's spun out. Big four wheel drive giant pickups stuck. There should be a cheezeburger site about crashed 4wds.
2013-03-24 07:46:20 AM
1 votes:

Happy Hours: AWD is not a panacea. We got dumped on earlier and I just had to drive in it. The major streets had been cleared but the side streets and parking lots were pretty bad.

There's only one way to deal with that kind of mess. Slow down and avoid heavy braking. I only have FWD which may make acceleration more difficult than AWD but braking is different. I have brakes on all 4 wheels. I'm pretty sure all cars have brakes on all 4 wheels.


Yes, yes there is.

www.famouslogos.us
2013-03-24 07:44:14 AM
1 votes:
I hate people who think AWD means they're immune to ice.  You can always tell who doesn't know what the fark they're doing when it starts snowing and there's a layer of ice on the road.  There's more to winter driving than just have four tires spinning at the same time.
2013-03-24 07:41:34 AM
1 votes:
Yep, snow tires will do. Because snow tires are AWESOME.
2013-03-24 01:25:26 AM
1 votes:
AWD is not a panacea. We got dumped on earlier and I just had to drive in it. The major streets had been cleared but the side streets and parking lots were pretty bad.

There's only one way to deal with that kind of mess. Slow down and avoid heavy braking. I only have FWD which may make acceleration more difficult than AWD but braking is different. I have brakes on all 4 wheels. I'm pretty sure all cars have brakes on all 4 wheels.
2013-03-24 01:06:19 AM
1 votes:
Was it full of holes?

/did they have to count them all?
 
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