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Thread: Prius in Snow

  1. #91
    Guest

    Anyone who says that the

    Anyone who says that the Prius is anything less than dangerous in slush and snow just hasn't driven it in the conditions that cause every Prius - even with great snow tires - to come to a complete halt and unable to move. I have a 2004 Prius and have driven it through 6 New England winters. The simple fact is that if you find yourself in any situation that causes the wheels to spin in slush or snow the traction control will apply braking to the wheels. If you are on a flat or only slightly inclined surface the intermittent braking will allow the wheels to regain some traction after briefly braking them when wheel spin is sensed. this will allow the car to move haltingly forward. However, if you find yourself going up a steep incline or in snow 4-5 inches deep, the traction control will keep applying/releasing the brakes every couple of seconds,thereby slowing the momentum you need to power up the hill or through the deeper snow even with some wheel spin - as every other car will allow you to do. So, when the system finally brings you to a complete halt on an icy hill, and you try to accelerate, of course the tires are going to need to spin a bit to pull you from a dead stop to a forward motion on a slippery surface. In a normal car, not a big deal. But in a Prius - forget it. The second the wheels spin the brakes are applied and so you go nowhere! One result is that you block every car behind you making it so that they too lose momentum and must try to pass you from a dead stop up a snow hill - which on a road with a single lane in each direction means they must somehow cross in to opposing traffic and pass you from a dead stop on an icy steep hill. This doesn't make you very popular.

    In addition, may people don't know that the Prius can only move in reverse in electric mode - the CVT transmission is not capable of applying engine power in reverse. This means that in situations where the car is parked on ice or snow and must reverse to get out, the electric motor does not have the power to back you up - especially if parked on an incline. On top of that, if the electric motor engages the wheels and they spin, the brake is automatically applied, leaving you pushing on a wet noodle of an accelerator pedal.

    The situation I have described is not just a description of my unique experience, it is an engineering fact and limitation of all Prius' that goes way beyond snow tires. Sure, good snow tires will help the wheels spin less and thereby not engage the traction control as frequently, but no snow tires can eliminate all wheel slippage. So, I have to conclude that those who rave about Prius in snow have not yet found themselves a steep icy hill with traffic behind them.

    I know much has been made of the electronic braking anomaly in the 2010 Prius and Toyota then recalled them - after first denying the problem existed. But I believe that the traction control problem in snow is an extremely dangerous flaw and should also require a recall.

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  3. #92
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    0

    This poster is placing the

    This poster is placing the same spam in multiple postings. Seems to have a grudge against Prius. (Like we have not seen that before).

    Have driven my Prius thru three Buffalo winters, and it handles great.

    I think the previous poster needs either driver ed, or medication.

  4. #93
    Guest

    I have a 2010 Prius and

    I have a 2010 Prius and although I don't live in an area that snows, we get a couple weeks of heavy, heavyyy wind and rainfall where I live. And I must say, my Prius has TERRIBLE traction. It feels like as if the car is skidding when I'm on the freeway. Whenever I hit a pothole locally (going about 40) my car lurches forward before I'm forced to put on the brakes. Since this only occurs when it's raining, I'm not overly concerned since its sunny year round. Suffice to say, I would NOT recommend driving a Prius through snow. If it sucks driving through rain, it's not going to do any better in snow.

  5. #94
    Guest

    Well, having driven for 30

    Well, having driven for 30 years, only front wheel drive vehicles the Prius drives as well as any of the 15 other cars I've owned.

    I have only had all season radials on my 2005 and have found them to work just fine for me. We do have Traction Control and Electronic Stability Control on it too.

    We have had as much as 8 feet of snow in the winter in Spokane...typical is about 4 feet...and the Prius does just fine.

    My best suggestions for driving any front wheel drive car....don't stop...I mean it...you need momentum to get started again, so I drive 15-20 miles per hour in the city and NEVER come to a full stop unless its unavoidable, I have found rolling a tiny bit really helps.

    We've driven over Snoqualmie Pass to Seattle many times in several inches of snow...never had an issue...but also kept moving...no problems or slipping or sliding. That is my recipe for driving any vehicle in the snow, but works great in the Prius too. I have gotten stuck once and frankly it was because I stopped...and I shouldn't have...

    I think having good tires makes a difference and having rented a Prius without the Electronic Stability Control, I would say that the ESC is a must...I believe it makes a huge difference in handling.

    I call my Prius a "Mountain Goat" it hugs the road like its glued to it and just has an amazingly good ride.

  6. #95
    Guest

    I am so happy I visited this

    I am so happy I visited this page. I live in LA (25+ years) and am seriously thinking about taking myself, my furpersons and my Prius back to my hometown on Pittsburgh in the next couple of years

    But I was terribly concerned that I would be driving a sled that would just slide along against wind and ice. Had a terrible experience in the grapevine with wind - thought it would blow me off the road entirely . . .it is a very light car!

    Sounds like I might not have to spend the entire winter avoiding driving! BUT I WILL BUY SNOW TIRES

    Thanks everyone.

  7. #96
    Guest

    Specific info, please. I

    Specific info, please.
    I have a 2009 Prius Touring (P195/65 R15 with original factory tires (Bridgestone). I'm in the Seattle metro area (hills, rain & oily roads, occasional snow) I drive approximately 3,500 miles per year - mostly city and some freeway.
    I grew up in New England snow country and have had a number of real wheel (weight the trunk), AWD and front wheel drive vehicles. Just "graduated" to an automatic 2 cars ago.
    I'm looking to buy 4 tires that I will not have to take off the car since I have no place to store an extra set.
    After reading a number of comment sites, I'm inclined to purchase 4 snow tires. Those that have been recommended (and by people who don't take them off) are Continental Extreme and Michelin X-Ice Xi2.
    Am I on the right track? Anyone with near experience as I ??

  8. #97
    Guest

    I have a 2007 Prius (T-Sport

    I have a 2007 Prius (T-Sport - top of the range with every option), with winter tyres she went through the worst winter for a decade, last year, without winter tyres (the previous year) she slipped and slided all the time.

    Your safety (and others) and the cars handling is almost all down to your tyres, use summer tyres in snow and your asking for trouble. With winter rubber my MPG dropped to 49mpg, summer rubber MPG is 52MPG.

  9. #98
    Guest

    I have a 2009 Prius, and

    I have a 2009 Prius, and live in Fairbanks, AK. We have just gone through the worst ice storm in Fairbanks since 1937. The streets and highways were ice rinks. I live in the hills about 12 miles outside of Fairbanks and have a moderately steep driveway but nothing exceptional. The Prius was worthless on the ice of even gentle hills. Absolutely no power once the wheels started to spin, and I have Green Diamond snow tires. However, this was an exceptional event. This is the first time that I have had trouble, since buying the Prius two years ago and once I figured out that snow tires are absolutely essential and that the car is no good in snow over 4 inches deep. Now, I think that the Prius is probably ok in most winter conditions but I would also recommend cable chains for the really icy conditions (I am on line buying some right now!), and I would not recommend this car for people living in really snowy areas where you are likely to encounter more than 4-5 inches of snow on a regular basis. I prefer the Prius over my Ford Explorer in most winter conditions because it is not so heavy and has a low center of gravity which is helpful in really icy conditions. Braking wise, I find the anti-locking brakes with good snow tires to be really good on ice even on steep downhills, and I have not had acceleration and traction problems on flat ice, just on hills. The biggest drawback for me is the heater, which is wimpy — I have to wear heavy Sorels, insulated pants, and heavy parka to drive to work most days in winter. The heater does not put out until I just about get to work. I have been meaning to try the cardboard in front of the radiator trick, but have wondered if this is even possible in the Prius. I have also been disappointed in the mileage during winter. It dropped from about 55 mpg in summer to about 38 to 40 now — the average temperatures now are around 0-10?F most days. This is about the same mileage that I got last winter also. But hey, my Explorer gets about 15 mpg year round. So overall, it is definitely a learning experience with the Prius. I think once I get the chains, I will pretty confident driving this car in nearly all conditions we get in Fairbanks —except for deep snow. It is not a 4WD vehicle and has very low clearance.

  10. #99
    Guest

    Ben, I bought 2010 Prius and

    Ben,
    I bought 2010 Prius and I am thinking of taking it to snow, dealer told me to buy chain for tire and you said no need for it. I am confused can you explain clearly if I need to purchase anything before taking up to mountains. Thanks....

  11. #100
    Guest

    Laurie, I own 2010 Prius,

    Laurie,
    I own 2010 Prius, you mean if I buy Michelin xice I won't need to buy tire chain to drive in the snow. Even though this is only front wheel drive, the highway police will allow you to go by....and do you drive with this Michelin x ice all year round or just only winter...thank in advance for your reply

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