Snow Question

JHZR2

Staff member
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
46,576
Location
New Jersey
The 2wd pickup, if suitably weighted down (think a few hundred pounds in the back over the axle) might work, but Id choose that second to the Accord. FWD really does work better, especially if you keep it slow and controlled, and have good tires.
 
Joined
Aug 13, 2004
Messages
1,751
Location
VA
Does the pickup have traction control? That could make all the difference, especially if there's a lot of snow on the ground at Tahoe and you need clearance. If you're not used to driving in snow and the roads are adequately cleared, I would say take the Accord. I took my 2WD Silverado with TC up from the Reno side several times, but never in an active storm when chain laws were in effect.

Timing will be important. Watch the forecast, and go on a clear day a few days after the last snow, so most of the roads and parking lots will be clear.
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
41,109
Location
Great Lakes
Does the pickup have traction control? That could make all the difference,
Electronic stability/traction control has been mandatory on all new vehicles in the US since 2012.

But one should be aware that ESC is not a miracle worker and cannot defy the laws of physics.

If you're stuck in deep snow, it is often beneficial to turn ESC off to allow for some wheel spin to get you going again, but this will only do you good if you have proper winter tires and/or chains on.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Messages
473
Location
Rochester, NY
Heavy bags of sand or salt right at the back tailgate and if you have the notches in the bed put a 2x12 across to keep them back there. The pickup will work no problemo with weight/chains on all four if it gets bad.

Two reasons the truck is best, it should have more clearance underneath in seep snow and if you do slide a bit easier to control the slide. The Cars you would need to keep more momentum in deep snow to punch through the deep stuff. And if the FWD car starts to slide steering gets weird.
The weight goes over the axle, between the wheel wells. You don't want all the weight acting as a pendulum at the tailgate if the rear wheels do break free!
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2016
Messages
2,194
Location
Northeast Nebraska
If you don't have any experience driving in the snow the mountains is the last place I would go to learn. Even with my 50+ years of driving in snow I wouldn't venture off into the Rockies this time of year.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
Messages
18,589
Location
NH
Just pull a Clarkson and yell "Power!" while hitting the slippery stuff.

I've found TC to be awful in my truck, usually I turn it off as in 2WD it'd just be stuck. That or I need to power through it, with more throttle, which is really odd to me. Wife's Camry it works ok, can get quite a bit of wheelspin actually, and it works well overall. But in the truck? forget it, turn it off. Actually it may be because of the light weight truck rear, attempting to prevent the rear from kicking out--it may be VSC more than TC I'm feeling.

Regardless, little weight, lots of power, questionable tires? and an unexperienced driver. I guess we all have to start somewhere--my first vehicle was a 2WD pickup, and I drove it in the snow on A/S. Didn't know better, didn't have a choice, made it through. But not in the mountains.
 
Joined
May 18, 2012
Messages
6,287
Location
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Take the Accord because it's the oldest and has FWD. The roads and parking lots should be plowed and pretty good anyway. Probably nowirries about chains or snow tires.
 
Joined
May 27, 2008
Messages
3,813
Location
Parts Unknown
Electronic stability/traction control has been mandatory on all new vehicles in the US since 2012.

But one should be aware that ESC is not a miracle worker and cannot defy the laws of physics.

If you're stuck in deep snow, it is often beneficial to turn ESC off to allow for some wheel spin to get you going again, but this will only do you good if you have proper winter tires and/or chains on.
ESC is stability control, not traction control. That's what the acronym stands for, Electronic Stability Control

On some vehicles, you can turn off traction control, but not stability control to get wheel spin.
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
41,109
Location
Great Lakes
ESC is stability control, not traction control. That's what the acronym stands for, Electronic Stability Control

On some vehicles, you can turn off traction control, but not stability control to get wheel spin.
In wife's Q5, ESC and traction control (ASR) are combined into a single button on the dashboard.
 
Joined
May 27, 2008
Messages
3,813
Location
Parts Unknown
In wife's Q5, ESC and traction control (ASR) are combined into a single button on the dashboard.
Technically, traction control has 2 components:

Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR) and Electronic Differential Lock (EDL). 2 different means of regaining traction.

EDL brakes the slipping wheel(s) and when that doesn't work ASR kicks in by limiting speed and power.
 

Nick1994

$50 Site Donor
Joined
Feb 19, 2013
Messages
13,785
Location
Phoenix, AZ
When are you planning on going? Check the weather forecast. As long as it isn’t a blizzard on the day you go, the Prius is made for mpg and to be driven. The roads should be clear on days that it isn’t going to snow, it isn’t Northern Canada.
 
Joined
Aug 11, 2005
Messages
405
Location
connecticut
Snow tires are a must on a Prius if your going to attempt to drive one in the snow.Wheels spin and it cuts the power and your stuck like chuck. Mom had 2 prius and i got snow tires for her and she never had a problem in the snow with snow tires. Car actually went very well ,only the lack of ground clearance hurt in the deep snow but that was rare.
 

Ws6

Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Messages
4,035
Location
South Central US
I would like to take a trip up to Lake Tahoe. Which of my vehicles should I take?

2020 Ram 1500 Crew Cab- 2WD, mechanical LSD, OE Goodyear Tires with 10/32" remaining.

2011 Prius - has brand-new Pirelli P7 All Season Plus II Tires.

2007 Honda Accord - has Continental PureContact LS Tires with 9/32" remaining.

I do not own chains for any of these vehicles so I will need to purchase. However, would any of these be a better candidate for the snow (than the others)?
Acford by a mile. Prius shuts off when wheels slip. Truck with lsd will plow you into a wall. Accord will just merely get stuck or wont.
 

Ws6

Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Messages
4,035
Location
South Central US
+3 on the accord.

IDK if your 3rd gen prius has better ABS/VSC/Trac than my 05 but it can't be any worse. And I bet it's weighted about the same. Somehow Toyota sucked all the FWD advantages out of my Prius. With snow tires it's about as good as a normal FWD on all seasons.

If I slip at all, it takes all power away from the wheels for a second or two, leaving it stalled in an intersection when I'm trying to get going. And if by some miracle I am moving, the ABS removes braking power from all wheels for a similar time if I hit one little slick spot.

Also the Accord being a mid-full size car will have its wheels fit the established wheel ruts through the snow better. And have more ground clearance. All good things.

A 2wd truck with LSD is a fantastic way to die. If one wheel spins, the other one stays planted and helps point the truck. But if they both spin because the LSD makes them, you go from perfectly fine to 90-degrees sideways, possibly into the oncoming lane. And all-season tires do NOT have the lateral grip in snow. Once they break free they go from static to sliding friction and are just hopeless. Actual winter tires will fight when going sideways and respond to driver inputs like you'd expect.
I've watched it happen. Guy was going up over an overpass (small rise) and was fine, then a split second later 90* with the front end buried in the concrete median wall. Literally no time to "fix" it before he met that wall.
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2015
Messages
6,846
Location
New England
Can you plan to drive when clear? I have ton of winter driving experience and learned the easiest way there is when weather is clear even with an extra cheap dive motel stay. Also driving off hours help.s.

The best winter vehicle with best winter tires is nice but one slow driver or accidents ruin it.

Just skiied two days fresh powder and weather was upside down. I did it by beating the storm staying and working in a cheap motel with good WiFi.
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2003
Messages
287
Location
Noblesville, IN
Yep I had an 11 and a 14 Prius. With out winter tires in actual snow events it’s terrible. It does cut power like others say. Stupid but it’s to protect over speed of the motor generator

Ask the GM at your work to borrow or rent a 4wd 4Runner from him. Say you are thinking of getting one for a family vehicle

but out of what you got probably the accord with a set of chains in the trunk

more importantly have fun !
 
Top