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Thread: Prius in Snow

  1. #81
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    The way traction control

    The way traction control works, it cuts The power to the wheels the harder you step on the gas because that would cause more tire slippage.

    When the traction control kicks in, you need to back off the gas.

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  3. #82
    Guest

    I just purchased a 2010

    I just purchased a 2010 Prius (two days ago). Normally Pittsburgh winters are pretty mild by my standards (I grew up in Buffalo, NY), but this winter has been a bear. We successfully drove the car home in a good flurry with no problems. I've driven it two days in a row on roads that range from well plowed/wet to mushy messes without difficulty. The traction control has come on once, and I have skidded a little twice - both on streets that were not well plowed. I park on a semi-private alley that runs behind my house and goes up a slight incline. It is supposed to be plowed by the township, but that's a hit-or-miss affair. I have not had a problem getting the Prius up; I put it in Power Mode and apply gentle, consistent pressure to the accelerator. I obviously only have the factory tires at this point. In short, I have not experienced any difficulties that I would not expect with a front-wheel drive car with low clearance, and that I did not experience in the past with my old car (a 2001 PT Cruiser). The key to maintaining control in my experience is knowing when to hit the brakes, when to hit the gas, and when to leave both alone.

  4. #83
    Guest

    Why some Prius's don"t work

    Why some Prius's don"t work well in snow and why some do! My first Prius, a 2006 package 3 worked so badly on icy and hard pack snow hills,even with snow tires,that I bought another winter car. It would shut down the the power when it slipped,the cheapest kind of traction control,it doesn't slow the spinning wheel with the brake,it just shuts off drive power. The early Saturn's had this non-effective traction control. This is mainly to protect the drivetrain,no off switch. ### I could not understand the positive reviews on the good traction control,now I know why !!! ###. I bought a 2010 package 2 and all the 2010's come with Traction control and (VSC), which only the upper models of the older Prius came with. This is a full traction control system,and actually works the brakes to slow the spinning wheel,and force's the other to go. It is not just a anti skid control. So that is why some older Prius's are horrible in Ice/Snow, and the ones with Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), actually work.

  5. #84
    Guest

    I don't have any problem

    I don't have any problem with my 2008 Prius in the snow. I grew up in Minnesota and live in Massachusetts, and have driven many different cars in the snow for many years. The Prius is as good as any standard sedan I have had (perhaps not as good as my old VW Beetle). I was VERY surprised a few weeks ago when driving my daughter to school. We had a very steep hill with no chance for a run-up. The snow was light and the road was very slick. We attempted the hill more on a lark than anything else - no chance to make it to the top. Surprise, the traction control took us up that hill. I have never seen anything like it!

  6. #85
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    0

    When I lived in the

    When I lived in the mountains for 14 years (and had snow reliably), I drove a Saturn SL, and 'Spikes Spiders' worked great for me. NOTHING stopped me.

    Assuming you already had the hubs on the wheels, they just snap into place, and are equally easy to remove once you leave the snow line. If you didn't have the foresight to put the hubs on before snow/ice were likely, well, they 'sucked'. You end up having to take all the lugnuts off, then put the spider hub on, then put them all back on again in freezing snow/rain. If you had the foresight to have the tire shop install them before winter set in (i.e. while rotating your tires), then they're an absolute cinch. Kick them on, snap the lock in, roll the car forward a bit to make sure they're secure, and go. Five minutes tops.

    http://www.spikes-spiders.com/

    Of course, I put maybe 20 miles of driving on the spikes spiders TOTAL, since the roads were usually plowed clear within hours, and they were primarily for 'holy crap' days. Most of the time I was fine in the snow for having front wheel drive and knowing the limitations of my car and tire traction in the prevailing conditions.

  7. #86
    Guest

    Considering Prius'10 as my

    Considering Prius'10 as my next car to drive ~46miles a day on Pittsburgh roads. But majority of the users insist that this fares badly on snow covered slopes (read Pittsburgh). And almost everyone insist on snow tires. As you're the only one that gave a positive response (esp. from P'burgh), could you pl. eloborate more on your winter driving (snow) as well as your advice on going for it. As one of the later user pointed out, did the VSC on 2010 models made any difference? Thanks for your input.

  8. #87
    Guest

    I live in northern Alberta

    I live in northern Alberta and we have had our share of -40C here (which is the same as -40F) and my 2006 prius hasn't had a bit of problem with the cold. Starts well (even when not plugged in! -although not recommended practice), runs well and the heater works just as well as you would expect. You will notice a decrease in your mileage because the gas engine does the 'heating' so it has to run more.

    To comment on the winter driving aspect, I have had some issues. When I had the factory tires on still I too was 'all over the road' as one other person commented but with GOOD winter tires I haven't had any problems driving on main roads. I have Nokian Hekkapalita WRS tires and they are AWESOME for traction, steering and braking. I'll never drive with all seasons again they are so good. I haven't had an incident yet with icy roads when it's very windy but I always feel like I'm going to be blown off the road when the wind is coming from the side. The large square sides of the car provide a lot of surface area for the wind to push you around.

    As for the automatic traction contol(ATC) issue in deep snow or on icy hills, I too have had problems. As soon as the car loses traction and starts spinning the ATC cuts power to that tire momentarily and that usually means you're stuck if you don't have enough momentum to keep going until the power returns to that wheel again (a full second or two). I have called the Toyota dealer about this issue to see if there is any way to turn the ATC off and they said that there is not - "We don't want you spinning the wheels to chew through the snow." Something to do with it not being good for the electric motor. It has been my experience that as long as you don't try to START off in deep snow or going up a steep, icy hill you shouldn't have too many problems.

    Hope this info is helpful. Enjoy your prius's all - I sure do.

  9. #88
    Guest

    I forgot to mention, the OEM

    I forgot to mention, the OEM tires (Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max), don't work good on hills. I was fortunate my snow tires and steel wheels from my 06 Prius (no sensors in them,bought wheels and tires from; tirerack.com.),(reset procedure on tire monitor in 06 manual),fit my 2010-and lucky I had bought one size taller 195-65-15,to help ground clearance on the 06, which happens to be the same size as my 2010 tires. I use A/Market wheel covers with 5 wholes drilled in each front one to to mount my "Spider Spikes",needed on very steep-solid ice hills). The Dunlap Graspic 3 studdless tires worked best (cheaper than the Best-Bridgestone Bliszack's,which a neighbor up here in the mountains said rarely required chains,06 Prius,package 8). After half worn, the Gaspics, gave up ice traction,end of second season. I then made the tragic mistake of getting ;Pierrle Winter Carving (not studded),snow tires.Great in every snow except steep icy hills, common here,(work better on my 2010). I bought the "General ,Altimax Artic's" for my Nissan Sentra (not studded), and they are much better, and will either put them next on the Prius, or get the Blisaks for it).Note: most Eastern people do not have the Mountain,snow and steep Ice covered hills that we have here,so regular snow tires should be fine. Note:you can not use "poor mans positraction" (when 1 wheels starts to spin-step slightly on brake to slow it and force the other to go while lightly accelerating up a hill,-for non-posi, traction control cars, like my Sentra). This doesn't work on the Prius, it just shuts down after a second or so.

  10. #89
    Guest

    Similar situation. Parked

    Similar situation. Parked in driveway with overnight snow near 32. . Cleared snow from tires, but the wheels did not have traction and did not rotate. Thought about pulling it out, but can only pull from front and not rear.
    Could not even rock the car. The ABS appears to have been in control. Finally found help and we pushed it onto sand scattered ahead of front tires and it drove off.

    There are many problems with the logic in this car- gas fill ups if near empty, using brakes to reset the computer, dead batteries and no AAA personnel access without hard key, and most important the excessive cost of additional keys- The battery failures are a local joke in our neighborhood- we have 1/3 residences with a Prius- AAA knows this area well. Most love the Prius- but must plan their lives around the car- when and where they can risk driving any given day. Those that drive daily and watch the gas level have no problems- but go to snow, park it at the airport, leave a dome light on,

    I would not buy another Prius- we have a 98 and 2010- they are not worth the risks of unknown programmed info and battery (aux) weakness and the many "fixes" offered by good AAA personnel and dealers on how to reset the computer. My neighbor always takes BOTH KEYS. Scary.
    The Toyota solution of towing to a dealer is not real world. My daughter, alone, in Monument valley at sunset within sight of bikers camping for the night, with a AAA man and a lost key. or--
    My wife at the summer lake swimming and sailing when the boat overturns and the key is lost. Or at the beach swimming. I hide keys on all my cars- how do I hide a key for the Prius?

    And the price for additional keys- I would like one available at each of the houses that must support our drivers.

  11. #90
    Guest

    Re: TRACTION AND PARKED ON

    Re: TRACTION AND PARKED ON FRESH SNOW AND DROP IN TEMPERATURE
    Parked in driveway with overnight snow near 32 on frozen pavement . Cleared snow from tires, but the wheels did not have traction and did not rotate. Thought about pulling it out, but can only pull from front and not rear.
    Could not even rock the car. No tires would turn. With snow cleared, tossed sand against the tires, and still no turns. The ABS appears to have been in control. Finally found help and we pushed it onto sand scattered ahead of front tires and it drove off. This is my wifes car and if she was alone she would have to call AAA to move the car that appeared to be free and clear. The location is our cabin at 7000 ft. My guess is that AAA would have pulled the car out against the instructions NOT TO do so from the rear.

    There are many problems with the logic in this car- gas fill ups if near empty, using brakes to reset the computer, dead batteries and no AAA personnel access without hard key, and most important the excessive cost of additional keys- The battery failures are a local joke in our neighborhood- we have 1/3 residences with a Prius- AAA knows this area well. Most love the Prius- but must plan their lives around the car- when and where they can risk driving any given day. Those that drive daily and watch the gas level have no problems- but go to snow, park it at the airport, leave a dome light on,

    I would not buy another Prius- we have a 98 and 2010- they are not worth the risks of unknown programmed info and battery (aux) weakness and the many "fixes" offered by good AAA personnel and dealers on how to reset the computer. My neighbor always takes BOTH KEYS. Scary.
    The Toyota solution of towing to a dealer is not real world. My daughter, alone, in Monument valley at sunset within sight of bikers camping for the night, with a AAA man and a lost key. or--
    My wife at the summer lake swimming and sailing when the boat overturns and the key is lost. Or at the beach swimming. I hide keys on all my cars- how do I hide a key for the Prius?

    And the price for additional keys- I would like one available at each of the houses that must support our drivers.

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