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Old 06-15-2009, 11:44 PM
 
Location: Fargo, ND
37 posts, read 82,700 times
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Get a front wheel drive car for ND, my friend. You'll be happy that you did.
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Old 06-16-2009, 11:35 AM
Status: "That 80s Sound, ZTT Records!" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Madison, WI Metro Area
15,320 posts, read 21,178,619 times
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Subaru works well for deep snow, mud, and more limited off road treks. It is AWD. 4WD might be nice if you live way out in a rural area with no winter plowing.
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Old 06-16-2009, 02:47 PM
 
9,807 posts, read 6,277,554 times
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The OP mentions a ---"30 mile comute to town everyday"

Forget about a vehicle that requires chains in order to get around in winter.
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Old 06-16-2009, 05:14 PM
ND? ND? started this thread
 
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What's the story on chains, anyway?

I've never used them but I heard even semis use them up north. Will they not hold up for a 30 mile commute? Do they help enough to make buying them worthwhile (a quick search online shows they aren't cheap)?

I've always driven trucks and can't imagine ever driving a Subaru or a car - I do too much camping and hauling for that. I'd hate to trade my truck, because it's only two years old and in perfect shape, but I don't want to end up wrecking it either.
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Old 06-16-2009, 10:23 PM
 
1,016 posts, read 1,998,260 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ND? View Post
What's the story on chains, anyway?

I've never used them but I heard even semis use them up north. Will they not hold up for a 30 mile commute? Do they help enough to make buying them worthwhile (a quick search online shows they aren't cheap)?

I've always driven trucks and can't imagine ever driving a Subaru or a car - I do too much camping and hauling for that. I'd hate to trade my truck, because it's only two years old and in perfect shape, but I don't want to end up wrecking it either.
You have to drive pretty slowly with chains or else they tend to do bad things (like fly apart). Even with a 2wd pickup, chains are generally not necessary as long as you have some weight in the box (unless you are breaking through unopened road in a rural area).

The key is to pay attention to the road while you're driving on it. I never once ditched that F-250, and being the lazy lout that I am, I never had any weight in the box or chains. But you definitely learn how to feel the road through the wheel and the seat, if that makes any sense.
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Old 09-15-2009, 06:37 PM
 
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I had a 2 w drive Ford truck that was winter scary in hilly Vermont,added
studded snows and 350 lbs of sand bags and better that most 4 wheelers.
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Old 09-15-2009, 07:56 PM
 
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are studded tires allowed in ND ?
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Old 09-15-2009, 10:35 PM
 
Location: Central Wisconsin
53 posts, read 83,897 times
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My experience is that a short box truck is usually better in the snow than a long box. I have driven fwd vehicles that were worse in the snow than a rwd. I prefer rwd since it is easier to control if you loose traction. I would rather deal with the rear of the vehicle kicking out instead of the front. Also a good set of snow tires goes a long way. My friend got the meanest set he could find and put them on his Explorer. I was amazed at the amount of traction it had in 2wd. I would venture to say it was better than some 4x4s. Skinny tall tires in my experience always work the best. Most of the time if it is a soft power you'll be able to blow through it as long as you don't get hung up. Crusty snow though is much harder to drive through without getting stuck. Also I would suggest carrying a bucket of ashes along. It helps big time when your stuck. Other people use sand or kitty litter but it doesn't work half as good as a good pile of wood ash will. Also a good dose of common sense never hurts too. Sometimes your better off staying home.
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Old 09-15-2009, 11:33 PM
 
1,016 posts, read 1,998,260 times
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That's true, particularly with RWD vehicles.

I was freaked out by the understeer of front wheel drive cars for a while, as I was much more used to the rear end kicking out (which is somewhat more manageable than understeer).

Another ice tip to remember---if you're braking on ice and have an automatic transmission, shift the vehicle into neutral. The car will be much more controllable and stop much better. When the car is in gear, the brakes have to clamp hard enough to counteract the torque that the engine is putting on the wheels, which in turn tends to lock up the wheels on ice. Without counteracting that torque, you can brake considerably more gingerly, which helps you avoid lockup.

Oh, another thing I found helpful. Have you ever watched car racing and heard how the drivers blip the throttle as they downshift? Part of the reason for that is that by increasing the engine RPM before hitting the lower gear, they reduce the drag that the engine is putting on the driveline (compression braking), which means they slow down more smoothly and avoid losing traction. This works well on ice, too. On glare ice, you can lose traction on the drive wheels simply by downshifting. Blipping the gas when you have the clutch pushed in and then releasing the clutch softens the downshifting effect considerably.
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Old 09-21-2009, 06:46 PM
 
Location: NW MT
309 posts, read 609,019 times
Reputation: 123
Well no you don't need chains or studded tires, but I would recommend a Subaru instead of a pickup. Lower center of gravity and less chance of roll-over. I drove from MT-ND twice a week for 8 years and never in that time did I need to put my chains on the pickup. Studded tires on all fours yes. It helps for slowing down on ice and can be driven at highway speeds. Don't fall for the tire siping rouse - it just damages the tires and makes you buy earlier than you need to. On the class 8 always put on chains, but you can't drive more than 15 mph or you take a chance of breaking a link and shattering some other drivers' windshield.
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