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Old 12-11-2007, 05:29 PM
 
42 posts, read 193,397 times
Reputation: 25

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Is it really necessary? I have a front wheel drive minivan that I like. I have all season tires and we're not going to live on the South Hill. Do people who don't have 4WD have snow tires put on, or do you just slow down? I have 2 little kids so safety is a priority. Back in the 70's my mom drove around Spokane in a rear wheel drive Ford Maverick with sand bags in the back so I guess it's not absolutely necessary to have 4WD. Should I get snow tires for my minivan? I'm not moving until June so this winter isn't an issue...
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Old 12-11-2007, 05:54 PM
 
Location: Nine Mile Falls/Spokane, WA
993 posts, read 4,340,419 times
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I like to switch over to a good snow tire (non-studded) for winter driving. The front wheel drive should be okay - just drive slowly. This afternoon I saw an upside down Isuzu Trooper that flipped on Rutter Pkwy on the north side - the temps are really cold so roads are staying icy. 4WD is only needed if you're out in thick snow where you might get stuck - usually the roads are plowed, so you're better off with just having good sticky tires.
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Old 12-12-2007, 11:26 AM
 
231 posts, read 985,365 times
Reputation: 136
Generally 4WD/AWD isn't really needed if you're in town and travel on streets that are plowed/travelled at least somewhat frequently. If you have a place a little more off the beaten track or in the hills, it becomes more important. Otherwise front wheel drive is probably ok. I don't use snow tires but they are helpful and I would probably get them if I was driving with children, just in case.
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Old 02-15-2008, 06:03 PM
 
2 posts, read 14,860 times
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I moved here from CA two years ago and the first thing I noticed was how many Subaru Outbacks there were on the roads. I didn't get it. I mean, its a cool car and all, but every other car? Then I went through the first winter. FWD cars are okay, but I must admit that even on plowed roads, AWD makes a ton of difference.

We got our Outback this December. Cheers.
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Old 02-15-2008, 06:21 PM
 
5,598 posts, read 17,365,280 times
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Yep, I agree, jrose. Subarus are worth their weight in gold when you need it even though you won't need it often. It's so reassuring to be able to weave around all of those stuck on small icy inclines.
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Old 02-18-2008, 07:44 PM
 
6 posts, read 32,273 times
Reputation: 25
4WD or AWD makes driving easier but it isn't absolutely necessary, especially if you have front wheel drive with good snow tires. We have a 4WD truck and a front wheel drive car that both get driven daily in the winter and the car does fine. Might add that I live in North Idaho and we get a fair bit more snow than Spokane does so you should be fine with the vehicle you already own.

I did live in Spokane (various parts) for 31 years so I have some experience driving there too!
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Old 02-25-2008, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
14,216 posts, read 44,870,326 times
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A quick comment on all-season tires: While the tread is deep, they work OK in snow, once about half the tread is gone, not nearly as well. If you put snows on the minivan, keep in mind you need to put 4 on, not just on the driving front wheels, otherwise the rear will have a distinct tendency to "come around" if braking heavily in snow.

AWD like a Subaru isn't strictly speaking necessary, but it's really nice to have. Much easier to drive in slick conditions.
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Old 05-25-2011, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Uncertain. No where.
80 posts, read 176,354 times
Reputation: 46
Motoring in Wintertime Dungkane - To be complete as I have been a mechanic for some years on usually import autos...

Verify the automobile suspension is sound:
-ball joints
-suspension bushings
-tyres
-steering joints like tie rods
-all boots (steering tie rods, FWD/AWD CV boots and housings are secure
Slumkane wintertime roads shall rip a questionable or poor condition suspension and tires to shreds.

Verify all driveline components are secure and sound:
-Motor and transmission mounts
-If equipped, 4WD transfer case mounts
-If equipped, boots on and condition of CV joints on FWD, RWD independent suspensions, and AWD clutch boxes and drive axle boots and housing mounts.
-Transmission, trans-axle (if FWD or AWD), and rear differential lubricating fluids. Verify wheel hub bearing and grease packing. Repack and adjust hubs as necessary.
You can motor for years on worn suspensions in mild climates to be sure. It ain't safe, yet Krapkane is really crappy on plowing and applying ice melt save for some bridges and highway interchanges.

Brakes:
- The single MOST IMPORTANT aspect of an automobile is safety and stopping a car comes FIRST!
-Brake pads and the brake rotors (discs) or drums
-Replace brake fluid every two years. Silicon brake fluid can last longer as it does not absorb water.

Verify all exterior lighting operates perfectly:
-Brake lights
-Turn signal lights
-Position lamps
-Headlights
-Auxiliary lighting
It is as important to BE SEEN, certainly in Deadkane with all the trashy brain dead motorists to be seen; certainly when the snow and fog hits and you have to drive at any hour.

I own three RWD automobiles albeit from Northern Europe. I use regular snow tires on a separate set of rims on the rear drive wheels with good quality Mud and Snow rated all-season (Michelin's or Goodrich's) tyres at the front. Studded tires are useful on iced surfaces and that is a small percentage of Wintertime driving conditions. Studs can actually reduce tire to road surface interface when on snow or on pavement.

Drive S-L-O-W-L-Y and S-A-F-E-L-Y and let the usual white trash Slumkanian County resident in their jacked-off-up 4WD pass by you as if prima facia (first glance) conditions are that of late July.

As for auto make and model and in inclement weather motoring ability, well, that's up to you and your wallet. If used, verify it operates safely with the notes I write here. Investigate further and read your auto owner's and factory service manuals. The AAA motoring club can help with further info.

Krapkane is in the libertarian West (note, not liberal or a reference to the stupid libertarian party), that means for the most part you are on your own as the county and municipalities do very little to remove the snow - the county is too broke versus the service you find in Minneapolis, Sheep-dip-kago, or even St. Louis.

cheers,

dud.
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