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my first time driving in snow

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by NetMonkey, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. Dec 30, 2010 at 5:34 PM
    #1
    NetMonkey

    NetMonkey [OP] Well-Known Member

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    so, i lived in southern california all my life (where i saw no snow), and now, this is my first winter season in colorado in which we just got some measurable snow (about 2 inches so far).

    so i had been wondering about engaging 4 wheel drive on the streets during the snow and now i have gotten a sense about it.

    i was about to pull out of the drive way from work, but instead i watched a guy in a 2 wheel drive ford explorer try to pull out first. as soon as he hit the main street of the industrial park, he spun around a couple of times and he ended up sliding into the driveway on the opposite side of the street (i was guessing that it was very icy). so i slowly tried to pull out into the same street and i started to slide a little bit, but the VSC began sounding like crazy and the brake controller was pulsating like mad too. i didnt spin out and i was able to maintain some control. so i put the truck into 4 wheel drive and all the sliding around stopped (and i drove past the guy in the ford explorer :) ). however, i did find out that stopping was challenging. i ended up sliding to a stop at the first stop sign (just in time too).

    so i tried a couple of start-stop senarios in 4 wheel drive vs 2 wheel drive and there was definately a difference in taking off from a stop. in 4 wheel drive, i had no sliding what-so-ever. whereas in 2 wheel drive, the right rear tire would spin and i would go sideways if i let it.

    i then headed up highway 287 from louisville to broomfield (for those of you who know that area), that 2 mile streach of highway assends to a hill top with a stop light at the top. along the way, there were cars all over the shoulder and center median that had spun out, but in 4 wheel drive, i just eased up the hill. at the top, the light was red so we all had to stop. there was a little sub compact, front wheel drive car in front of me. as soon as the light turned green, he tried to accelerate, but he just stat there and spun. it took him about 20 seconds to finally get moving and then i could go. amazingly, i didnt spin at all. the truck just cimbed right up the hill.

    anyway. i guess i was concerned about driving in the ice/snow with mud tires and using 4 wheel drive on the street, but by taking it slow and being easy on the throttle, it wasnt that bad. ohh... and yay for VSC :)
     
  2. Dec 30, 2010 at 6:42 PM
    #2
    romafern

    romafern Well-Known Member

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    Machine gun mount. Would love to blow the shit out of it since it has nothing but issues. QA at Toyota USA is shit. Start making them in Japan for Christ's Sake!
    Well done and congrats for not being those annoying Cali types that think they are invincible with 4x4. 4x4 does not do shit unless you know how to drive a truck with 4x4 option. Colorado Springs is my home but Uncle Sam has me in the sticks of GA. I sure miss it in the winter time. Time and distance will be your friend. Let it coast and slowly apply the brakes. I hate stock tires in the snow but really had a blast driving the Taco in Germany which is where I came from before going to the sticks.

    Stay warm.
     
  3. Dec 30, 2010 at 6:47 PM
    #3
    coffeesnob

    coffeesnob Well-Known Member

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    Lots of people think because they have 4 wheel drive they somehow still have traction on ice.
     
  4. Dec 30, 2010 at 6:57 PM
    #4
    CopDoctor

    CopDoctor Well-Known Member

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    best advice is to go slow...4wd is not MaximumUberGrip3000. sounds like you got the hang of it. another tip is to use your gears to slow instead of relying on the brakes as much. downshifting will slow you down pretty well and will minimize the risk of the fuck-all ABS coming on. ABS in this truck will not get you stopped in time for anything, best to not rely on it, rely on your slow and controlled driving instead.
     
  5. Dec 30, 2010 at 7:08 PM
    #5
    Simon's Mom

    Simon's Mom Wag More Bark Less

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    yes the ABS is very very touchy in my tacoma.
    At stop signs & traffic lights, there always seems to be a glaze in snow covered roads.
    Small amounts of snow like a dusting to 2" is the worst next to black ice. People do not slow down. It gets driven on and that glaze I'm talking about, then next thing you know somebody is fishtailing into you.
    I've really liked running studded snow tires the last few seasons.
    Too much ice!
    Glad you are getting the hang of it.
     
  6. Dec 30, 2010 at 7:14 PM
    #6
    05Moose

    05Moose Middle-Aged Member

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    In the snow (NorCal)
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    Glad to hear you learned the 4wd lesson on the way out of your driveway safely: It doesn't do a damn bit of good stopping!:D

    And it doesn't do a whole lot accelerating/maintaining speed on ice either. I've driven on the roads around here doing 15 mph or less and have it sliding around in 4wd...on the flat areas of the road! Lesson is to be extra careful if the roads have not been sanded.
     
  7. Dec 30, 2010 at 7:23 PM
    #7
    MMJ

    MMJ Well-Known Member

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    today was the first time driving in snow with my taco and my vsc kicked in. i haven't tried 4wd yet but i'm about to test it out right now. so far so good although i might of hit some black ice on the way home from work because i fish tailed for a little but was able to gain control. i was on highway 270 by vasquez.

    NETMONKEY- i know exactly what hill you're talking about. i use to work around there and drove on that hill daily. i took highway 287 to dillon rd. i use to be one of those cars that sat and spun but not anymore with my taco. :Dglad you figured it out as i'm doin the same.
     
  8. Dec 30, 2010 at 9:08 PM
    #8
    Coloradomx24

    Coloradomx24 Well-Known Member

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    When I turned 16 and it snowed..my dad took my in to a parking lot and night and let me practice in the snow...fast and slow stops...turning out of a slide ect. I think it helped a lot...when I got my 2nd gen I did the same thing just to get a feel for my truck.
     
  9. Dec 30, 2010 at 9:09 PM
    #9
    Coloradomx24

    Coloradomx24 Well-Known Member

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    Oops sorry for the spelling errors...my phone auto spelled for me :)
     
  10. Dec 30, 2010 at 9:15 PM
    #10
    Tippett's TRD

    Tippett's TRD Well-Known Member

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    Well done.. driving in the snow can definitely have a few scary moments (especially when you're going down an icy hill slowly and see a BGE truck in your rear view that is completely sideways and coming fast at your truck)... but it is also very fun (IMO).
     
  11. Dec 30, 2010 at 9:34 PM
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    tacosupreme54

    tacosupreme54 Well-Known Member

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    i've found that slow and steady keeps you out of the ditches; especially going up and down hills. other than that, the other drivers around you are probably your next largest concern. it doesn't matter if you are driving just fine, if some idiot comes flying through and slides into you, you're still crashed. so i'd say take it as slow as you can bear it/or at least feel safe and keep an eye out for other drivers as well. 2wd can usually do the trick, but 4hi if it's rough, and 4lo if it's crazy outside. but try to avoid any 4wd once you hit dry pavement.
     
  12. Dec 30, 2010 at 10:39 PM
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    OZ-T

    OZ-T Quite an experience to live in fear , isn't it ?

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    Did you get your man card stamped ?

    :)
     
  13. Dec 30, 2010 at 10:48 PM
    #13
    tt98

    tt98 Member

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    sounds like the guy next door needs to learn to let off the gas when the ass end starts to go. spacing is key. 4 wheele is great for going, does absoultly nothing to help stop.one thing to think about,because you may have never thought this way before is,can i go around? the truck tracks fantastic, dont be afraid to floor it in 4x4.sometimes better then trying to stop. one last thing, all cars stop quicker in nutral. yours is auto. if scared, start truck, put foot on brake,never take foot off brake, move shifter to "D" drive, without pushing,lifting, or any other safety measure, push shifter into "N",now try to push into "R", wont go, no need to be scared but go ahead and get in the habit on snow and ice to be ready for nutral. hope that helps you stay safe.i will be practising my skills tonight on the way to vail,tomorrow is a powder day
     
  14. Dec 30, 2010 at 10:48 PM
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    David K

    David K Well-Known Member

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    Net Monkey... GOOD JOB!

    The TRAC and AUTO LSD (if activated) would probably feel a lot better than normal 2WD if you compared the two... But having 4WD is a whole new world of traction! Plus, in H4 you also have front and rear limited slip (TRAC) so the 2009+ model Tacomas are much more capable than before when they were open differential only or LSD on the rear only.
     
  15. Dec 31, 2010 at 6:11 AM
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    coffeesnob

    coffeesnob Well-Known Member

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    Hey what exactly is that traction deal on the 2WD's I have that button with the skid lines on it and have never used it. Thanks
     
  16. Dec 31, 2010 at 7:08 AM
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    NetMonkey

    NetMonkey [OP] Well-Known Member

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    hah... ya, my work is right off of dillon at the colorado tech center industrial park.
     
  17. Dec 31, 2010 at 7:11 AM
    #17
    NetMonkey

    NetMonkey [OP] Well-Known Member

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    david K's signature has a link that explains it :D
     
  18. Dec 31, 2010 at 7:25 AM
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    MTgirl

    MTgirl too many frogs, not enough princes... Moderator

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    Same here. And I still do that each year just to get a feeling for winter driving again. This year I was extra cautious because I have done a little work to the truck - new suspension and new tires - since last winter. Both can change how a vehicle reacts, thankfully the truck seems to be in better shape now than ever before.

    My general rules for winter driving...plan ahead for extra travel time because you're most likely never going to be able to go the speed limit, double the distance for stopping and following another vehicle, go extra slow around corners and when stopped in traffic always have an exit plan just in case the person behind you, etc can't stop and is heading your way!
     
  19. Dec 31, 2010 at 7:37 AM
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    MQQSE

    MQQSE Chief Pal Guy, GOB

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    You figured it out through rational thought...I've been in Alaska for the last 9 years and see all kinds of crazy driving in snow and ice during my 42 mile (each way) commute from Palmer to Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage...the key things have been touched on here:

    1) SLOW DOWN ... drive the right speed for conditions; better to arrive a little late than to not arrive at all. Leave earlier on the bad days.

    2) SPACING ... keep distance from other vehicles to allow extra time for stopping and maneuvering. Not just to the front, but also to your sides on highways; I try not to run side by side with another vehicle especially on snow or ice...this from experience...I've hit the slick spot at 45 to 60 MPH and was able to regain control of the fishtailing, but when I stabilized the striped lane divider was dead center of the truck. Had someone been beside me, we'd both have been wiped out.

    3) Finally, the RIGHT TIRES make a difference. Up here most folks run winter tires. I ran studded snow tires the first 8 years, but this year I changed to Bridgestone Blizzak stud-less tires on both my truck and my wife's Ford Escape. They beat the heck out of any other tire I've ever run.

    My wife complained to me the other day that people were driving so slow on her drive to work and it wasn't even snowing. I had to remind her not to get over confident in the tires and commented the road probably felt a lot slicker to the folks she was following. Which is a reminder that 4WD/ABS/RIGHT TIRES does not replace the critical elements of SLOWING DOWN and SPACING.

    Just my two cents worth. BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!
     
  20. Dec 31, 2010 at 7:49 AM
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    wmdpowell

    wmdpowell Well-Known Member

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    I put 240Lbs of sand in back, centered on real axle. Might be more than I need but wanted to be sure. Anyone have an option on how much sand is enough (running stuck mud+snow tires, seem fine)

    2wd felt fine in most places, tried 4HI when a little deeper and "testing" in a parking lot with about 1Foot of snow. Life long Upstate and Western New Yorker and have to agree.

    Go Slow.
    Coast or soft down shift to slow down.
    Watch your spacing.
    Watch out for the dummies;)

    (Remember: the roads are full of people not paying attention, fiddling with their cell phone, eating lunch and they will cause a crash)
     
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