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Author Topic: Weight in the trunk improves traction
Elwood
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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Anecdotally my minivans seem to handle better on slippery roads with either a full tank of gas or some kind of weight in the back. The back end seems to fishtail more easily if nothing is back there. I'll freely admit that it might be more perception than reality, but a couple hundred pounds of kitty litter seems to help these front-wheel drive monsters.

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"If I didn't see it and didn't know it was a real news report, I wouldn't believe it. I mean, how nutty can you get?"-Pat Robertson Oct 26, 2006.

Posts: 2936 | From: Mean Streets of West Virginia | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
HighSierra Sherey
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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One other suggestion of what to carry - a cheap shower curtain liner. I now have a Jeep up here in the Sierras, but my first two years here, had a rear wheel drive vehicle and putting on chains while lying on a shower liner versus while lying in cold wet snow makes all the difference as far as one's ability and speed to get the darn things on!
Stop by for a coffee or cocoa if you take 50 through South Lake Tahoe!

Posts: 9 | From: South Lake Tahoe, CA | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Monza305
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by jamira:
Over the years I've had a number (over 15, 16 coming up) of vehicles which behave entirely differently. Brief summary of the oddballs:

77 Pontiac Sunbird-V6 with RWD, lotsa fun in parking lot slaloms with horrible understeer. Added weight was not necessary.

01 Pontiac Grand Prix GT-awesome traction with no added weight BUT definitely requires snow tires. Horrible with all seasons.

You have two vehicles that I've had/have.
I had a '76 Monza with a V8 (my screename) and I had the same experience that you had. It went through the snow just fine without any weight in the back. Everyone told me those were horrible in the snow, but my (& your) experience shows that they were actually good in bad weather. All I had on it for tires were all season BF Goodrich Radial T/As. I even pushed a stuck person or two out with it. Too bad all of these cars are rusted out around here. I miss it!

I'm driving a '97 Grand Prix GTP right now. I've had it for two years & I've only driven it in the snow once. All four tires were basically bald. It was one of those days where it was clear & nice in the morning and snowy when I left work. I have never been so afraid driving as I was that day. There was one point when the car was wiggling around like it was going to spin out, and nothing I did made any difference. I couldn't even make it up the hill by my house, I had to park it & walk the last 1/2 mile home.
I've got 4 new tires on it now & I'm hoping for the best. They aren't snow tires & snow tires aren't in the budget either. You aren't making me feel very good for the upcoming winter. [Frown] I think I'm gonna miss my 4WD Titan.

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Posts: 199 | From: Kalamazoo, MI | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
bethntim
Deck the Malls


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I was watching one of the forensic/detective shows on TLC or Discovery, don't remember (damn short term memory) and they were talking about a murder that happened in Minnesota/ North Dakota, Wisconsin (again, damn short term memory) and the victim had blunt force trauma to the head by a large object. They had a suspect in mind but had nothing to pin him with until they looked in his trunk. He had a large parking block that had been broken into smaller more manageable pieces in his trunk that was covered in blood. Apparently that was his weapon of choice and it was very common for people in the northern states to keep large slabs of concrete in their trunks for traction during the winter. I had never heard that before and thankfully I live in Florida and don't have to deal with that. I guess necessity really is the mother of invention. This probably has nothing to do with the validity of the OP but just thought I would throw my two cents in.

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Posts: 255 | From: Sunny Florida | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Illuminatus
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
One more thing you really, really should have when driving in snow, probably the most important object:

Good gloves. If something goes wrong, your hands will invariably have to touch cold stuff. Engine parts, pushing the car, removing snow and so on. You need gloves.

I'll add to that list: Glove or boot warmers. They sell them at ski shops, they are little chemical packs that you mash up and they produce heat for a few hours. It's good to have one around if your fingers get cold, they can heat them up in a hurry.

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Posts: 532 | From: Champaign-Urbana, IL | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
bjohn13
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
Originally posted by Illuminatus:
quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
One more thing you really, really should have when driving in snow, probably the most important object:

Good gloves. If something goes wrong, your hands will invariably have to touch cold stuff. Engine parts, pushing the car, removing snow and so on. You need gloves.

I'll add to that list: Glove or boot warmers. They sell them at ski shops, they are little chemical packs that you mash up and they produce heat for a few hours. It's good to have one around if your fingers get cold, they can heat them up in a hurry.
This is not only excellent advice, but it's also something I had never thought of.

Another item I don't do without when driving rear wheel drive cars in the winter is a couple of 50 lb. bags of water softener salt. Not only do they provide weight, but they also do a great job melting snow.

Posts: 23 | From: Fargo, ND | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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