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Old 01-08-2012, 10:06 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
181 posts, read 148,427 times
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What is essential to know for newbies driving in snow or ice?

I'm used to warm, flat FL and am planning on driving through TN (knoxville area) up to Morgantown, WV for some skiing and visiting with family.

We'll be getting 2 new tires, an oil change and the brakes checked before we leave. If I get winter tires, are there any consequences to using them in 80 deg weather? I suppose I should ask for antifreeze? Will my battery go into shock or anything?

What else is there to do to prepare regarding driving?
Any good websites for driving or other info?

FYI, I'll be driving a 2005 Santa Fe, 6 cylinder, I believe it's a 4WD. I've driven those mountains in summer/fall a handful of times. My engine kicks in and slows me down if I pick up speed going downhill.

Thank you.
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Old 01-09-2012, 01:44 AM
 
Location: Maryland
1,470 posts, read 2,298,489 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMor2Day View Post
What is essential to know for newbies driving in snow or ice?

I'm used to warm, flat FL and am planning on driving through TN (knoxville area) up to Morgantown, WV for some skiing and visiting with family.

We'll be getting 2 new tires, an oil change and the brakes checked before we leave. If I get winter tires, are there any consequences to using them in 80 deg weather?


No, but its generally unnecessary.

Decent all weather tires are what most folks use up in this area. I live in central Maryland and frequently roam WV in the winter for sports activities. I haven't bought winter specific tires in a long time.


I suppose I should ask for antifreeze?

[i]I'd check with your Hyundai dealer, but unless cars sold in the south are different from my knowledge, your radiator fluid comes standard with antifreeze in it. It wouldn't hurt to have a shop check it.

Will my battery go into shock or anything?

No, but it doesn't hurt to have it checked if its an original 2005 item. If it is, I'd probably replace it.

What else is there to do to prepare regarding driving?

WV can get some pretty sketchy weather, especially in the ski areas in season. Just use common sense and take it slow and easy. Black ice is usually the biggest risk issue. You won't know its there until you are on it.

Its usually a good idea to try and follow somebody (at an extended interval) so you can see if they run into any problems. Bridges and overpasses will freeze before the road does, be alert to that and reduce your speed BEFORE you cross one if conditions indicate a potential problem.

You should be aware of counter steering (turning the steering wheel in the opposite direction of a slide if you start to spin out). Panic breaking is usually a bad idea if you start to slide. Just back off the gas, counter steer and say a small prayer to the road gods. NOTE my comment below regarding braking with ABS.

Just a tip, I taught my daughters how to counter steer by taking them to a go-kart track that had whats called a Slick Track. Its a super smooth oval where you'll slide out if you go too fast in a turn. Its a great way to learn how to deal with a slide out.


Any good websites for driving or other info?

There is a ton of information on the web about winter driving, just Google it.

FYI, I'll be driving a 2005 Santa Fe, 6 cylinder, I believe it's a 4WD. I've driven those mountains in summer/fall a handful of times. My engine kicks in and slows me down if I pick up speed going downhill.

The AWD Santa Fe is very good winter weather vehicle, especially if it has ABS. An ABS system will pulse, sometimes quite strongly, just keep your foot on it and steer. You should be fine.

Just remember, if its really bad, pull over and or bag it for a day until conditions improve. Enjoy your trip.


Thank you.
Your welcome.

Last edited by Pilgrim21784; 01-09-2012 at 02:01 AM..
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Old 01-09-2012, 06:11 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis
1,568 posts, read 2,211,882 times
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You should really buy four new tires, unless you can buy two new tires to match the two being left on the vehicle. Mismatched tires can cause unpredictable handling. It will be even worse if one pair is "summer" tires and the other pair is all-season or winter tires.

It's really dangerous to have poor tires on the rear of a FWD or AWD vehicle--it can cause you to fishtail into an uncorrectable skid on any snowy or especially any icy roads. Therefore the "good" tires should go on the rear. However, the front tires do all the steering and most of the braking, so you literally need good tires there, too. That's why matching them is the way to go, especially for a newbie.
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
12,737 posts, read 12,981,618 times
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No one puts summer tires on a Sante Fe. Summer tires are usually high performance low profile Z (or above) rated tires.

For the OP - you say you believe your Sante Fe is 4WD. You really should KNOW what your Sante Fe is. The majority of them are Front WD. If it is 4WD (or AWD) then you really should have four identical tires since all four of them could be transferring power to the pavement.
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Texas
14,023 posts, read 9,760,514 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilgrim21784 View Post
Your welcome.

If you have a manual transmission, if the drive tires begin to spin, push in the clutch. That removes torque from the drive tires. If you're pretty deft and don't panic, you can do the same thing for an automatic by simply shifting into neutral.
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Long Island
4,775 posts, read 4,156,295 times
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Failing all else, what you need to know is braking is the same for everyone regardless of whether you have 4WD. Your vehicle is heavier and needs longer distances to stop. Leave a good distance behind the car in front of you. If you're ever going down a hill, brake multiple times at various points, but lightly - you don't want to build up momentum. Someone already mentioned ABS... hopefully you have good traction control too... it should help a lot in turns by cutting fuel if it senses it's going to spin out.

What everyone should do in their car is get familiar with its handling characteristics in a parking lot with snow first. You can push it however you want in an empty lot and that way you KNOW your limits as well as the car's.

I'd suggest you stay off the roads whenever possible though. Regardless of how good you may be, you can't control when some road warrior goes too fast and rear ends you.

Quote:
You should be aware of counter steering (turning the steering wheel in the opposite direction of a slide if you start to spin out). Panic breaking is usually a bad idea if you start to slide. Just back off the gas, counter steer and say a small prayer to the road gods. NOTE my comment below regarding braking with ABS.
I was lucky once... I was going down a slight hill in snow and the braking (what good is rear-only ABS?!) just wasn't happening... I started rotating sideways and was headed straight for a telephone pole. By some miracle I ended up facing 180 degrees backwards to that pole so I jammed on the gas and the 4WD helped me avoid the thing entirely.

Last edited by ovi8; 01-09-2012 at 09:19 AM..
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
38,753 posts, read 38,368,458 times
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There's no such thing as "summer tires" anymore. Even tires bought in Florida will be designated "all season", and I drove in Northern Michigan for ten years on nothing but all seasons, never got stuck once.

When you get there, if you encounter any slippery conditions, pull off the road and find a nice big unoccupied parking lot. Spin your car around a few times, accelerate and brake quickly, get a feel for what your car does and how it responds.
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Long Island
4,775 posts, read 4,156,295 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
There's no such thing as "summer tires" anymore.
Sure there are - ask BMW sport pkg owners - it's standard in a lot of their vehicles and many buy them as new sets. I think they're more hassle than they're worth - I went all-seasons also myself. I'm not dealing with having to swap tires twice a year and store a set year-round. Summer tires are very dangerous in cold weather, let alone snow - just pick a youtube vid to watch if you want to be entertained.
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
181 posts, read 148,427 times
Reputation: 94
Thank you very much!!

I am relieved to hear that all season tires will likely be just as good in this area, as I just had 4 new tires put on in Sept. The tread is still nice and deep so I wont get winter specific tires if it's not a big safety improvement.

I'll definitely practice when I first see some ice, maybe GA or TN area. And I'll see if our go kart place has a Slick Track to play on

Follow at a distance. Maybe twice as far as usual?

Do you use headlights in the snow-like you would for a heavy rain? I know in the fog it makes things worse.

I heard that if you're sliding you should turn into the turn until you have control. But what Pilgrim21784 is saying is more intuitive - that I should turn in the opposite direction. Are these both right, or maybe under different circumstances?

I do have ABS, I have felt them let up and rebrake in the past. So with ABS, I keep my foot on the brake when sliding. Got it. Thanks again.
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:54 AM
PDD
 
Location: The Sand Hills of NC
5,911 posts, read 6,047,449 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
There's no such thing as "summer tires" anymore.
Of course there are summer tires.
Our 2001 Maxima has them as well as my 2012 Mustang GT.
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