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New Member... and New to Snow/Ice

Discussion in 'New Members' started by stamikaus, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. Oct 19, 2011 at 5:23 AM
    #1
    stamikaus

    stamikaus [OP] New Member

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    Hi, we just moved from FL to a city/state that has gotten snow and icy roads every year at least since our friends moved here back in 2005. In late 2009 we bought a 2010 Toyota Tacoma Pre-runner (2WD Auto) and it only has a little over 15,000 miles on it.

    What I am trying to find out is the house that we bought is on a hill and has a very steep driveway... when backing our bass boat up the driveway the truck didn't seem to happy if you know what I mean, it did it, but it wasn't like we were hoping. Even when driving up the driveway normally without towing anything it's kinda like sluggish but not...

    So now we are worried about the snow and ice. Our friend said that the roads ice over every year and each year has been more and more snow. Parking in the road isn't an option as it is just a kinda narrow 2 lane road in a neighborhood.

    Trading it in on a 4WD isn't an option as we just bought the house here and are still trying to rent our house out in the state that we moved from. I am wondering if there is anything we can do to the truck to make it work better in snow and ice? Our driveway is very steep but the roads around here are also very hilly too.

    I saw online about Toyota's Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control, does anyone know if this is something that can be added to my truck since it is a 2010 and 2WD?

    Does anyone know of any ideas that we can do that can hopefully make it a safer winter for us with this truck (it is also our only vehicle).

    Any ideas, info and or resources would be greatly appreciated.

    I set this forum up for my husband but am writing the initial post as he is taking our son to school, but we have been talking about this extensively lately and he will be checking on here later for replies, so if any of this seems like common sense that I should know and don't know that's why. LOL

    Thank you,
    stamikaus
     
  2. Oct 19, 2011 at 5:31 AM
    #2
    Simon's Mom

    Simon's Mom Wag More Bark Less

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    SBurl Vermont
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    If your state allows, I would buy a set of studded tires.
    I ran them on my tacoma and am going to buy another set for the tundra & I am in Vermont lots of hills with ice & snow.
    They are a tad noisy but the windows are up & will keep you planted.
    I had no trouble when the roads are dry. Just let them set up for the 1st 100 miles or so. Discount tire or any local shop can hook you up. Or non-studless the best is Blizzaks but pricey. Your call.
    Also maybe add a salt/sand barrel to the bottom of your driveway. Our local DPW gives it away in their salt shed. I always pick up a 5 gal pail.

    PS Welcome to the forum :wave:
     
  3. Oct 19, 2011 at 5:34 AM
    #3
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    Keep the driveway clear, use sand and/or salt and a good set of winter tires. Without 4wd, your best bet would be to invest in a set of dedicated snow tires (possibly studded). You can pick up a cheap set of steel wheels to mount them on and just swap out the rim/tire every winter.
     
  4. Oct 19, 2011 at 7:22 AM
    #4
    4Wheelin4Banger

    4Wheelin4Banger Longtime Toyman

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    Randy
    Ferntucky, NV Halfway between Reno & Falabama
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    Like stated studded or at least snowflake tires. Some states that allow studded tires on allow them certain months. Not just mud & snow tires the ones with the snow flake on them. Only run them in the winter as summer heat will wear them out real quick. A cheaper option is chains or cables and use them only when needed. I used to use cables before we got a 4x4 and they work OK. A rougher ride and speed is limited to 30 to 35 mph. Some keep sand or cat litter in the back for both extra weight and to put under wheels extra traction when needed.
     
  5. Oct 20, 2011 at 2:01 AM
    #5
    kidrobot7

    kidrobot7 Well-Known Member

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    like ^^ check your state laws on studded tires. I live in the suburbs of Burlington, Vermont and do a lot of driving on dirt roads that might see a plow every other storm (unless its BAD [+6'']). My truck is 4wd but the back end is so light, if i know I am going to be driving on less that "maintained" roads I throw a few cinderblocks in the bed to keep the rear wheels planted. All you can really do for crappy roads is a) change your tires to a GOOD snow tire. b) be prepared i.e. have a small bag of kitty litter in the cab and a tow strap if your going somewhere other motorists will be and c) hope for good weather. I've had to have a couple friends pull me out of snow banks before but those times were all on back roads in east bumf**k no where when I was leading the way. just be smart about where you are driving and how you approach the hills. also, when appropriate, a little extra speed rarely hurts your chances of making it up. good luck!
     
  6. Oct 20, 2011 at 2:14 AM
    #6
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    Aside from what everyone else has said....
    Put some weight in the bed of the truck - at least 200lbs. Lower your air pressure in the rear tires slightly.....

    Find yourself a really large & empty parking lot with snow on the ground and have some fun. Force yourself into some fishtails so you learn how to control them. Test & learn about your braking also etc.

    Remember, momentum is your friend but not too much where you can't stop.

    You can get sandbags at your local HomeDepot/Lowes. Probably 50-70lbs each.
     
  7. Oct 20, 2011 at 2:27 AM
    #7
    Leadgolem

    Leadgolem Well-Known Member

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    There is also siping. I'm more a fan of a couple bags of kitty litter over the rear axle. It gives you extra weight on the drive wheels, and you can cut the bags open to make a path with some traction if you do end up in the ditch.

    As mentioned, go play in the snow someplace safe. Learning how to handle your vehicle in the snow/ice is more valuable then anything you can possibly do to the truck.

    I live in Colorado. We get a lot of snow and ice every year. I used my 4x4 about 6 times in the last year. It just isn't necessary most of the time. That is, if you know how to handle your truck in the snow and/or ice.

    Good luck, and welcome to TW. :)


    EDIT: It's also a good idea to keep a folding camp shovel, and a solar blanket in the truck. Just in case you need to dig out, or stay in the truck overnight if you do get stuck.

    The basics for driving in the snow/ice are fairly simple.

    1. Slow down. Your not going to be able to stop quickly, period. Nothing you do to the truck is going to make a ton of difference to that.

    2. Start decelerating for a turn much sooner then normal. With a rear wheel drive you can't use the brakes much to slow down. If you try you will start fishtailing, even if you are using the anti-lock and/or pumping the brakes. So you need to allow enough distance that you can mostly coast to the right speed for a turn.

    3. Take turns of any kind slowly, you can go at a fairly good clip if you keep in mind that you don't want to go around most turns at more then about 5mph. Possibly less, if it's really icy.

    4. Check the traction. If there isn't any traffic, stomp on the brakes for a second. The way the truck moves should tell you what the road is really like. If you just decelerate, then your traction is pretty good. If you start fishtailing instantly, then the tract is bad and you need to be cautious.

    5. Keep in mind that, after a snow storm, turn lanes are almost always a sheet of ice. That's both left and right turn lanes. So, decelerate before you change lanes. Not before, as long as traffic allows.

    6. Don't panic. Most early and late season storm don't do much to the roads here. Not anything worse then a rainstorm. So don't drive like a granny unless the road is actually bad. It just pisses people off. :)

    Finally, if you are getting new tires, in addition to siping, studded and/or snow tires, wider is better. You will get worse gas mileage, but you will have more surface area in contact with the road. That means better traction, as long as they fit under your truck.
     
  8. Oct 20, 2011 at 5:28 AM
    #8
    stamikaus

    stamikaus [OP] New Member

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    Thank you all for your replies, information and suggestions. Those have been very helpful. We are going to check into them here. You are all a great group of people and we appreciate your help very much.

    Thank you for the warm welcome as well,

    Have a great day everyone,

    Mike and Stacy
     
  9. Oct 20, 2011 at 5:37 AM
    #9
    sean266

    sean266 #ThinBlueLine Moderator

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    Welcome from CO!
     
  10. Oct 20, 2011 at 5:54 AM
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    07NavyTaco

    07NavyTaco Well-Known Member

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    ^^this. every year, the first snow of the season, i go out driving. last winter i drove around for 4 hours to get use to handling my truck in the snow again.

    i'm from south georgia but when i joined the navy, i was stationed in maine, and now just north of chicago. it can be tricky but you'll get the hang of it quickly. :)
     
  11. Oct 20, 2011 at 12:16 PM
    #11
    weksos

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    Welcome:wave:
     
  12. Oct 20, 2011 at 5:50 PM
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    TacoDawgfan

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  13. Oct 22, 2011 at 10:44 AM
    #13
    stamikaus

    stamikaus [OP] New Member

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    Thank you everyone for the warm welcome.
     
  14. Oct 22, 2011 at 3:44 PM
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    Tigahshark

    Tigahshark Senior NEWBIE

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  15. Oct 22, 2011 at 3:47 PM
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    Chainsmoker

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    Ever driven in snow or ice before...?... Good times, but be safe. Oh and 4x4.
     
  16. Oct 22, 2011 at 8:59 PM
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    boatswain

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    very good info. from others. nothing beats experience when driving in winter conditions. glare ice is probablly worse than anything.
     
  17. Oct 23, 2011 at 1:19 AM
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    808TRDTaco10

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