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Old 11-28-2012, 09:10 PM   #1
Arachnyd
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Default Tips for driving your C6 in the snow!

I know many of you don't drive your vette in the snow, but we see them driving around every winter so I know a few of you do!. I wrote this up last year for the Camaro Drivers because that seemed to be a major area of concern as many of those owners drive it as their daily year round. Most of the same tips for driving a manual C5 Camaro are the same as for these vettes.

How to drive a camaro/corvette in winter:

What you need: Winter or All Season tires, Four sand bags, two strips of carpet, and a small shovel if you park on street or outside.

1. Put on snow tires or at least all seasons. Pirelli Pzeros will NOT work in snow and ice… plain and simple. In really deep snow, consider a pair of chains to keep in your trunk.

2. Buy some sand bags to put in the trunk. I recommend about 240 lbs (four 60 lbs). Make sure you have two on each side, and put them as far towards the rear of the vehicle as possible.

3. Drive slowly and carefully- You own a camaro/corvette. You probably want to drive it like it’s a camaro/corvette. Don’t do that during winter though… drive slowly and carefully even when you don’t want to. Save the fun driving for a good-weather day!

4. Turning: What a lot of people forget to realize is what they learned in 6th grade physics. Accellearting is simply a change in velocity. This can be done in three ways, speeding up, slowing down, and changing direction. Just like when racing, you never want to do more than one of these at a time in limited traction scenarios. For that reason, what they teach you in race schools applies to turning in snow- BRAKE before you turn, then turn, then accelerate. Do NOT brake IN a turn, and use caution when accelerating IN a turn.

5. Starting: If the camaro/corvette slips when your trying to accelerate from a stop, ease up on the gas! If your driving an auto, put it in 2 to lock the transmission into 2nd gear. If you are driving a manual V6, start in 2nd gear (skip first). If you are in a V8, consider 2nd or even 3rd gear to get going. Look ahead and keep distance from vehicles in front of you! The camaro/corvette is a heavy car, and even all season tires may not grip as well as the truck in front of you with snow tires. Double the distance you normally would and keep your eyes open for brake lights!

6. Stopping: When stopping, brake well in advance, apply the brakes gently. You don’t want to skid if you don’t have to. If you start skidding lay off the brakes. If your driving a stick, downshift into stops. Try to always have an “out” when braking- know where you can go if you can stop fast enough (parking lot entrance, median, berm)

7. When skidding- Properly navigating a skid is like braking without antilock brakes. Its ideal, but its difficult for most people- especially under pressure. For this reason, if your less experienced what is typically recommended now days is to simply reduce power (let off gas… don’t brake!), and turn the steering wheel the direction you want to go. I repeat… don’t brake! Intuition will handle your steering! Don’t steer too far though (if your not turning, that doesn’t mean you want to turn the wheel FURTHER- just simply keep it pointed where you want to go). For more experienced drivers, you want to navigate towards the direction of the skid to quickly regain traction and then ease into the direction you want to go. This sounds simple, but is much more difficult under pressure.

8. Hills: Try not to brake. When going down hills, downshift in a manual. Auto drivers may benefit from using tap shift and downshifting also. Coast down the hill, but do not let your car get out of control. If you must brake, slow and steady is the way to go. Don’t pump it or feather it. When going up hills, speed up before hitting the incline to carry your momentum into the hill. If you’ve tried to get up a hill multiple times with no luck, try to back up first- back up and get a “running start”, building momentum to get up the hill. Drive up the treads of other vehicles… or don’t! if the treads of other vehicles really is down to bare concrete, that will give you more traction- however, frequently they’ve just polished off the ice for you. Sometimes you can actually get more traction in the snow. Try driving up slightly off center with your treads in the snow. You might slip a bit, but you often get more traction going up than you would trying to drive up slick ice! Lastly, FWD and 4x4s benefit from shaking the steering wheel back and foreth to gain traction. In rare situations, even a RWD can use that trick to move the car just enough to get a tiny bit of grip. It is worth a shot if all else fails!

9. Getting stuck- Keep two pieces of short piece of old carpet in your trunk. If your stuck on ice in a parking space, you can put the carpet under the rear tires to get traction. Learn to “rock” your car if necessary, but don’t do it too long. You can easily burn out the transmission. Rocking is quickly going from “D to R” in an auto, or “1 to R” in reverse (or 2 to R in ice). Rock the car back and foreth trying to get better traction. This works effectively with the carpet trick as you rock the car onto carpet. If the car is REALLY stuck, use a shovel to clear out area on front of the front AND rear wheels, as well as in front of the bumper if its high enough to get in your way.

10. PRACTICE- if your not familiar with driving in winter (or driving a RWD or stick in winter), go practice! Even seasoned veterans benefit from a quick romp in a parking lot. Using an empty parking lot during the first snow, practice braking, skidding, and seeing how the car handles in the snow. When practicing, throw your car into a skid and do some donuts. Seriously, just get a feeling for how your car does things in snow and how to get it out of skids.

11. Other tips and tricks: Foggy front window? Open your front windows slightly and turn AC on air recirculation. The AC actually removes moisture from the car! If you park your car outside, consider buying a ice shield. These make leaving in the morning 10x easier. Although its $26 here, I paid $1 at the dollar store for the same thing. I’ve also seen them at walmart: http://www.amazon.com/Auto-Expressio.../dp/B000BYRHIS . If traction control literally freezes both of your tires, turn it off when conquering an obstacle. Most drivers will want to turn it back on for normal driving in winter!

12. Winter Service: Make sure your car is in good condition and properly serviced. Sounds silly, but this leads to most winter car issues.
If you live where there is a lot of salt, consider getting the underbody protection. Underbody protection is only as good as it is applied, so do due diligence when choosing an underbody protector.
Wash the UNDERBODY of your car between salt cycles. Salt is one of the most detrimental elements to cars, and getting an underbody spray can keep it clean.
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:14 PM   #2
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you must love to type !
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:31 PM   #3
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Take a Taxi
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:34 PM   #4
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use either a beater car or a 4WD vehicle !
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:45 PM   #5
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Get a jeep for snow....
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:46 PM   #6
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I just moved down south, barely any snow..
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:47 PM   #7
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Here is what I do for snow:

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:50 PM   #8
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...snow - head south to our place in Tucson
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:53 PM   #9
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Thats what the 3500 Ram dually is for....
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arachnyd View Post
I know many of you don't drive your vette in the snow, but we see them driving around every winter so I know a few of you do!. I wrote this up last year for the Camaro Drivers because that seemed to be a major area of concern as many of those owners drive it as their daily year round. Most of the same tips for driving a manual C5 Camaro are the same as for these vettes.

How to drive a camaro/corvette in winter:


All are excellent ideas. Thanks for taking the time to put this out for everyone in cold climates
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:22 PM   #11
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Just don't do it. Why would you want to? An accident waiting to happen IMHO.
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:27 PM   #12
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thanks for taking the time to post this but I can't imagine anyone in their right mind seriously considering the use of their Vette for 'snow' driving
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:35 PM   #13
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If I saw a Corvette driving in the snow,,with chains on,, I think I would cry,,and try to talk some sense into the driver of such car...If you can afford a Corvette you can afford a winter driver...I am feeling the pain I am driving a 1996 Dodge Caravan until probably late March or early April..believe me there is nothing I would rather do right now than still be driving my C6,,but common sense and respect for the Vette tells me otherwise!!!
I respect what the poster is trying to do but I say use your head and just dont do it!!!
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:56 PM   #14
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I just PUNCH IT!!!! Eventually my tires burn through the snow and then Im off like a rocket! YOLO!
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:57 PM   #15
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I kinda remember snow. Last time I had to drive in it was nearly 10 years ago. Haven't sees more than a slight dusting every 2 or 3 years since then.
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:08 PM   #16
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What!!!!!! no booster cables.
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:11 PM   #17
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I used to live in upstate New York. Never saw a vette driving in the snow, but around here in the mid-west (Ohio, Indiana, etc.) I see a good number of vettes out in the snow. not just C4s and C5s, but C6s too! And heck, last year didn't even Texas get like 2 inches of snow one day?

I know a number of you just hate to see people daily driving the vettes... and I personally drive my 4x4 truck!

I know I know, I quantified it by saying MOST of us don't drive it during winter (Mines already buttoned up), but for those who do (or those who live in places where they don't expect winter to creep down to them) Its some good tips. (heck, theres a guy in my office which drives his motorcycle in the snow...)

Do note that the vettes aren't supposed to use chains... But if your in a situation chains are needed, stay home for the day!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 01VETTECOP View Post
you must love to type !
Have you ever seen someone who was driving their first RWD sports car in the snow?? haha. (that was my wife last year in her C5 Camaro)

I know thats more common with camaros than corvettes... most of the crowd on here is a bit older and more experienced, but I would put money on the fact that there are at least a few!

Last edited by Arachnyd; 11-28-2012 at 11:14 PM.
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:23 PM   #18
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Don't!
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:30 PM   #19
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The long post by the OP (as useful as it might be for the few who will need it) is further proof that learning how to drive a Vette in the snow is like learning how to throw a baseball against a window without breaking the window; in other words, it takes so much care and effort, and is so unsatisfying and frustrating, and involves so much risk, that it just isn't worth it. My solution is an AWD SUV for the winter.
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:32 PM   #20
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Quote:
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you must love to type !
lol for sure!!!!
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:32 PM
 
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