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Old 09-04-2009, 02:36 PM
 
Location: constant state of confusion
71 posts, read 143,431 times
Reputation: 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by TGS View Post
I had a front wheel drive vehicle with a traction control system and it worked just as good as a 4WD in the snow and ice.

A regular front wheel drive car will work for all but the most extreme days (when you probably shouldn't be driving anyway).
and you will rarely experience those extreme days in St. Louis, 2WD is fine, if I made it around Lake Tahoe/Truckee, CA in my 2WD Ford Focus a couple years ago. AWD is for those who live in a rugged area, or like mentioned maybe in Joshua Tree, but AWD is overated, and completely unnessesary in STL
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Old 09-04-2009, 06:09 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
3,746 posts, read 2,944,656 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrZetec View Post
and you will rarely experience those extreme days in St. Louis, 2WD is fine, if I made it around Lake Tahoe/Truckee, CA in my 2WD Ford Focus a couple years ago. AWD is for those who live in a rugged area, or like mentioned maybe in Joshua Tree, but AWD is overated, and completely unnessesary in STL
Rarely experience snow and ice in STL? That's a negative by far. I guess if 20 inches of snow and frequent black ice and sleet and ice pellets isn't routine enough, nothing is. EVERY winter you will see those numerous times. Snow and ice are a problem. No wind though. All-wheel drive makes a huge difference in the snow and ice from my experience.
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Old 09-04-2009, 10:15 PM
 
Location: constant state of confusion
71 posts, read 143,431 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajf131 View Post
Rarely experience snow and ice in STL? That's a negative by far. I guess if 20 inches of snow and frequent black ice and sleet and ice pellets isn't routine enough, nothing is. EVERY winter you will see those numerous times. Snow and ice are a problem. No wind though. All-wheel drive makes a huge difference in the snow and ice from my experience.
I think you are over exaggerating a little, I would like to know when you have needed AWD in STL we rarely get more then 4" of snow at a time, and even if we get a foot, it is only around for two days or so. Just give yourself extra time and drive slow. Plus here in STL we close things down if here is much more then 4" of snow. Ice? if the Ice is that bad that you cannot move with a FWD then you are not going to be able to move with the typical AWD systems you find in todays cars. most of todays AWD systems are NOT locking systems, they still have a diffrenial that put the power to the wheel with the least resistance, usually the one that is on the ice.

A FWD with proper tires in any of the conditions you would experiance, with anyone who can decently drive you will be fine, take it slow and reasonable.

Again like mentioned AWD only helps the intinal traction, with FWD and its positive drive line, it can also pull a car out or nearly anything we experiance here, other then the snowfall of 1982 I guess. With the lower weight it allows you to stop faster, what is really important in the snow, along with the lower initial investment, better gas milage, and lower insurance rates a FWD will fulfil the needs of the typical St. Louis resident.

I lived in Columbia, MO when we got 17" of snow in 2006/2007 and by the second day we were living our life normally, the weather here changes too much, snow does NOT stick around here, to justify the intial investment.
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Old 09-04-2009, 11:27 PM
 
Location: MO Ozarkian in NE Hoosierana
4,679 posts, read 7,447,054 times
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A person in a FWD [or even a RWD] with proper attitude, knowledge, patience, and experience can normally outweigh an inexperienced person in a AWD or 4WD vehicle when it comes to driving on ice and/or snow in the StL area. However - with that said, an AWD auto comes in handy, not necessarily for just winter driving, but during rain or wet pavement, when driving in a sandy or gravel area, etc. Lastly, as stated before - when on ice, ain't nothing really going to help too much; AWD or 4WD do help some, but a FWD can be just as good if not better, IF one knows their vehicle, how it responds, how to actually drive on the slick stuff, etc. Practicing in a large empty parking lot, for example during such times of inclement weather, can help a person immensely. FWIW - living in NE Indiana, I can get around in the winter here in my FWD Celica almost as good as my 4x4 S10 Blazer - until it gets too deep, or ice is thicker and would rather munch up the tougher Blazer instead of the Celica
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Old 09-05-2009, 10:55 AM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
3,746 posts, read 2,944,656 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrZetec View Post
I think you are over exaggerating a little, I would like to know when you have needed AWD in STL we rarely get more then 4" of snow at a time, and even if we get a foot, it is only around for two days or so. Just give yourself extra time and drive slow. Plus here in STL we close things down if here is much more then 4" of snow. Ice? if the Ice is that bad that you cannot move with a FWD then you are not going to be able to move with the typical AWD systems you find in todays cars. most of todays AWD systems are NOT locking systems, they still have a diffrenial that put the power to the wheel with the least resistance, usually the one that is on the ice.

A FWD with proper tires in any of the conditions you would experiance, with anyone who can decently drive you will be fine, take it slow and reasonable.

Again like mentioned AWD only helps the intinal traction, with FWD and its positive drive line, it can also pull a car out or nearly anything we experiance here, other then the snowfall of 1982 I guess. With the lower weight it allows you to stop faster, what is really important in the snow, along with the lower initial investment, better gas milage, and lower insurance rates a FWD will fulfil the needs of the typical St. Louis resident.

I lived in Columbia, MO when we got 17" of snow in 2006/2007 and by the second day we were living our life normally, the weather here changes too much, snow does NOT stick around here, to justify the intial investment.
The past two winters I've needed it. Does that answer your question? We have been gotten snowstorms with over 4 inches of snow numerous times in the past two years. Not to mention, we've gotten several horrific icestorms, one that downed the power out in the city and added 4 inches of snow on top of it. We have gotten 5 to 6 snowstorms in the past year with over 4 inches of snow each, and lots of sleet and ice. I agree the snow doesn't stick like Chicago, but it usually stays around anywhere between 1-3 days. it's also not true that things are closed down if there is more than 4 inches of snow. SLU has almost never closed down the whole time I've been going there, even there are 8 inches of snow on the ground. Not to mention, I think we do a better job of plowing our streets than Chicago does. And that is undisputable I think. We seem better able to deal with a foot of snow than Chicago is..they are terrible at plowing. Driving here in the winter CAN be dangerous, I'm not saying it frequently is, but what I am saying is that you will encounter treacherous driving conditions here in the winter. I know because I have driven in six St. Louis winters now. Black ice is something you have to watch out for, and driving on a big pile of snow is something I have had to do several times more than once each winter. I drive a Toyota Camry that is not two wheel drive....it does not do very well on snow. No car may be equipped to handle ice...ice is just dangerous period. Both are far from uncommon around here.
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Old 09-05-2009, 09:06 PM
 
7 posts, read 15,820 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajf131 View Post
Rarely experience snow and ice in STL? That's a negative by far. I guess if 20 inches of snow and frequent black ice and sleet and ice pellets isn't routine enough, nothing is. EVERY winter you will see those numerous times. Snow and ice are a problem. No wind though. All-wheel drive makes a huge difference in the snow and ice from my experience.
Ice is ice. FWD, AWD, 11ty billion wheel drive, nothing is going to help you when you hit those ice sheets or black ice except for proper steering and braking and some prayer, unless you have metal cleats on your tires.

AWD helps you maintain traction, but with ice, you will practically have zero traction on the tire.
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Old 09-05-2009, 09:18 PM
 
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You do NOT need AWD or 4WD in St. Louis or in most of the midwest. In fact, they tend to give people a FALSE sense of security.

You would be far better off investing in decent tires - and that does not mean EXPENSIVE tires. So many people I know insist on driving their tires down to the "legal minimum" and then wonder why their vehicles spin out or slide into a ditch.
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Old 09-07-2009, 10:36 AM
 
Location: constant state of confusion
71 posts, read 143,431 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajf131 View Post
The past two winters I've needed it. Does that answer your question? We have been gotten snowstorms with over 4 inches of snow numerous times in the past two years. Not to mention, we've gotten several horrific icestorms, one that downed the power out in the city and added 4 inches of snow on top of it. We have gotten 5 to 6 snowstorms in the past year with over 4 inches of snow each, and lots of sleet and ice. I agree the snow doesn't stick like Chicago, but it usually stays around anywhere between 1-3 days. it's also not true that things are closed down if there is more than 4 inches of snow. SLU has almost never closed down the whole time I've been going there, even there are 8 inches of snow on the ground. Not to mention, I think we do a better job of plowing our streets than Chicago does. And that is undisputable I think. We seem better able to deal with a foot of snow than Chicago is..they are terrible at plowing. Driving here in the winter CAN be dangerous, I'm not saying it frequently is, but what I am saying is that you will encounter treacherous driving conditions here in the winter. I know because I have driven in six St. Louis winters now. Black ice is something you have to watch out for, and driving on a big pile of snow is something I have had to do several times more than once each winter. I drive a Toyota Camry that is not two wheel drive....it does not do very well on snow. No car may be equipped to handle ice...ice is just dangerous period. Both are far from uncommon around here.

I think you even proved my point, the problem is not the initial movement, but rather once you get moving and stopping. Its the stopping on the ice, AWD will in help you there one bit, it will actually hurt you, with the added weight and needing more time to stop. A lighter car with ABS is the most important thing, along with good tires, you will need in a St. Louis winter. Ever notice what types of cars are usually in the ditch, the heavier older 1970's -1980's cars they are heavier and usually not equipted with much breaking assist.

Also with any type of drive system, if you are stuck the beautiful thing is that you will not hit anything if you are not moving , and if you know your car like someone mentioned, you should be able to start moving in any situation we will experience here, we just dont get enough snow to cause a vast majority cars to get stuck. If you have a basic well inflated, good amount of tread, and proper tire for your car, you should have no problem moving even in the treturous 8" of snow we might get here. Tires and some knowlage of your car will get you out of anything the average St. Louisian will face.


TO THE ORIGINAL POSTER, I THINK THIS YOUR ANSWER

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
You do NOT need AWD or 4WD in St. Louis or in most of the midwest. In fact, they tend to give people a FALSE sense of security.

You would be far better off investing in decent tires - and that does not mean EXPENSIVE tires. So many people I know insist on driving their tires down to the "legal minimum" and then wonder why their vehicles spin out or slide into a ditch.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowCaver View Post
A person in a FWD [or even a RWD] with proper attitude, knowledge, patience, and experience can normally outweigh an inexperienced person in a AWD or 4WD vehicle when it comes to driving on ice and/or snow in the StL area. However - with that said, an AWD auto comes in handy, not necessarily for just winter driving, but during rain or wet pavement, when driving in a sandy or gravel area, etc. Lastly, as stated before - when on ice, ain't nothing really going to help too much; AWD or 4WD do help some, but a FWD can be just as good if not better, IF one knows their vehicle, how it responds, how to actually drive on the slick stuff, etc. Practicing in a large empty parking lot, for example during such times of inclement weather, can help a person immensely. FWIW - living in NE Indiana, I can get around in the winter here in my FWD Celica almost as good as my 4x4 S10 Blazer - until it gets too deep, or ice is thicker and would rather munch up the tougher Blazer instead of the Celica
Quote:
Originally Posted by TGS View Post
I had a front wheel drive vehicle with a traction control system and it worked just as good as a 4WD in the snow and ice.

A regular front wheel drive car will work for all but the most extreme days (when you probably shouldn't be driving anyway).
Quote:
Originally Posted by DinsdalePirahna View Post
I never figured out why so many urbanites and suburbanites feel compelled to go 4wd. Uses more gas and your insurance is higher. We took a 2wd Ford Explorer through some pretty gnarly terrain at Joshua Tree (more extreme that ANYTHING you will find here) and had no problems.

Unless you regularly drive muddy dirt roads, you do not need 4wd.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrieNeno View Post
Driving in winter is really no biggie here. I drive a teeny VW beetle convertible and have never had issue. We keep our streets very clean in St Louis. On days that the ice isHORRENDOUSLY BAD... the city pretty much shuts sown anyways . Your bigger danger is the post winter potholes from ice removal!! =).
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeBaliviere View Post
When I was in high school and college, I drove rear wheel drive sports cars and had few problems. Since then, my cars have all been FWD, and I've never felt the need to get one with AWD.

Don't let the prospect of driving in winter weather psych you out. You just need to be a little more cautious than you normally would, and you'll be fine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by STLMetro View Post
I agree with the above statements, AWD is not necessary. I would, however, advise against rear wheel drive. I had a small rear wheel drive truck and it wasn't impossible to get around, but it did really suck even with sand in the back. With front wheel you should be just fine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OA 5599 View Post
I've been driving a compact FWD car in Missouri winters for years. Before that I had a two-wheel drive pickup. AWD is nice but not needed. My car does OK on the ice, but anything over about 1.5 inches of snow will stop it. And if the roads are covered with ice or 1.5" of snow, you probably shouldn't be driving anyway. I also have a manual transmission, which allows me to take off in 2nd or even 3rd gear, which makes it very easy to get going on ice without spinning tires.

A lot of people seem to think having a AWD car or 4x4 pickup/SUV makes you invincible on the ice or in snow. Such is not the case. Having extra drive wheels may help get you going, but once you are going, you can loose control and slide all over the road just as easily as a any other vehicle...in fact an AWD car might be more dangerous beause you'd be able to get moving on some very slick roads.
AWD is unnessesary in STL. Denver, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, and other western mountanis cities, that is a diffrent story.
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Old 09-07-2009, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Silver Springs, FL
23,444 posts, read 15,929,528 times
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I NEVER had 4WD or AWD in all the years I lived and drove in the STL area, or in Sainte Genevieve County area, for that matter, which is MUCH more hilly than STL.
Learning how to drive in bad conditions is paramount, as is having the sense to stay the heck off the roads if it gets really bad.
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Old 09-07-2009, 06:18 PM
 
8,903 posts, read 10,204,134 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kshe95girl View Post
as is having the sense to stay the heck off the roads if it gets really bad.
The BEST advice of all.
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