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Mustangs in the winter

2375 Views 26 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  03silvergt
I was just wondering how many of you drive your stangs in the winter. I put mine up for the winter and drive my girlfriends 2000 eclipse but man I couldnt imagine driveing them in the winter. Is it dificult? What kind of tires do you put on, and is it a deathtrap or do people just exagerate a lot.
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They are not all that bad, unless your running a summer tire or drag radials. BUT, it would be a lot better if some dumb ass lost it and smoked the side of the Eclipse rather than your Stang. So I'd stick with leaving it at home on bad days, because you can't control other peoples actions.
It really sucks it the snow ! not as bad as my old`86 IROC but still bad !
As long as you remember that first gear is a waste and second isn't much better, it's not too bad. Just use common sense and keep plenty of distance between you and the guy in front of you and you're fine. I've driven mine in the snow a few times because I was at work when it snowed and had to drive it. The only downside is the convertible top doesn't do much to keep the interior warm when it's 25 degree outside.
I think the people who have these horror stories are people who just dont use common sense or havent learned that you cant drive a high powered rear wheel drive car in bad conditions like you would in good weather.

Ive owned two Trans-Am's and this GT and never had any major issues driving in bad weather. I have driven all three cars in the snow. Granted its no ride in the park but if your careful and know your car you can drive it safely if you have to.

But if you have the option to drive something that handles better in bad weather, by all means use that instead.

I have found that driving in winter with a GT Mustang isn't fun but it can be done. It doesn't snow too much here but the days that it does and you can't get out of your driveway and need to get somewhere and all you have is a Mustang then sucks. I have found that if you just start out in second or third than it makes it easier. Like someone pretty much have no first gear! haha Yeah and it does get cold havin' a convertible.
Doesnt starting out in 2nd or 3rd gear all the time hurt your tranny?
The tranny is fine but the clutch takes a beating if you do it a lot and aren't careful about how you do it. The trick is to just barely keep the motor from stalling when you do it. That minimizes the speed differential between the rotating flywheel and non rotating or slower moving clutch.
Mine's a daily driver here in snowy New Hampshire. If it wasn't for Traction Control, it couldn't happen, but with decent all-season tires and the T/C it's not so bad. The key is to be smart about your driving -- go slow, leave lots of space between you and others, etc. And be smart about when to say "no way" -- if it is really snowy (or is expected to be), or if it's unusually icy, etc., find another ride for the day.
cterie said:
I was just wondering how many of you drive your stangs in the winter. I put mine up for the winter and drive my girlfriends 2000 eclipse but man I couldnt imagine driveing them in the winter. Is it dificult? What kind of tires do you put on, and is it a deathtrap or do people just exagerate a lot.
Last winter, we had about 3 ft. of snow up here in Mass., I was driving around with my 2000 GT on 50% good summer performance tires.

It was not really a pleasure, especially since you have to plan a lot more ahead:
If you see a car slowing down about200 yards in front of you you want to slow down as fast as possible.
A set of lights (going up hill) being red requires a good timing to make it throu without loosing speed - you know that you can not take off any more when you com to a halt.
Driving downhill in 2nd gear, very easy on the brakes - there goes the a$$ end, my car gets faster and a turn is ahead -> I've been in more comfortable situations. (thinking about a hot summer day, on the beach, with a margeritha in my hand, while next to me is a bikini or wet t-shirt comtest...)

The key is:
Do not underestimate G-forces!!! What I want to say is that you can easily go 100 mph on ice as long as you don't have to slow down or take a turn. At a constant speed without changing direction NO forces apply on the car. Just make sure that you have enough street ahead to slow down to 10 mph for the next turn. As long as you don't feel any forces on your body, your car does not create a force to the ground which could make a car loose its traction.
The other thing is to "read" the road. A road is telling you a lot more than what you think. For example if you see that you will hit a little snow with your right tires but not with your left ones, this can happen when there are some drifts on the street, you should be prepared to slightly turn your steering to the left to compensate for the drag to the right side.

Mustags are DEFINITELY NOT intended to drive in the snow. How ever if you are a very skilled driver, and you have a set of narrow snow tires, you can easily make it through the winter.
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Yeah, there's no way I drive my Mustang in the winter because I don't have to. Rest assured that if I had to I would put Nokian Hakkapelita Q snow tires on the rear at a minimum and all four wheels if extended driving was going to be necessary. Buying an extra set of rims for the snow tires , of course. If there was not going to be much driving at high speed, Nokian Hakkapelita 1 studded snows would do the job even better. If you wonder why I specify Nokian then understand that they are made in Finland and one thing Finland has is a LOT of snow. This brand is so good that the car racing in Europe in snow conditions has the vast majority of competitors using Nokian. They cost no more than other quality tires which is a bonus.
This will be the first winter for my stang. Will starting off in 2nd hurt in an auto? I don't have the luxury of bringing the rpm's down to near stalling speeds.
I live in michigan and have driven my 97 gt in the winters and snow for the past 3 years. It can be a bit scary sometimes but as long as you are cautious and carefull about it, you will be fine. I have an all weather tire on also which does help. Starting in second helps too because when its snowy and you start in first, your whole first gear just consists of you staying in the same spot with your tires kicking up snow on the guys windshield behind you. So meantime, hes getting pissed cuz he cant see and it just causes a huge problem :laughlitt If i had the option to get another vehical i would but being that these past 3 years i was in highschool and then paying for college, money was the issue. So from experience, when you get the first bad snow, and you have to drive your stang home from CMU and its normally a 2 hour drive but it takes you 6 hours this time, at least you still have your car when you get home. And then you can laugh at some of the idiots who flew by you and then you see them further down the road in a ditch.. or even a lake on some occasions.
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I ordered a GT with a 5 speed. I will have a difficult time trying to drive it in winter. It will be delivered in February, roughly. Snow. I am wondering how long it will take to make the fifteen minute trip home from the dealer, on Z-rated 235/55 tires :) not intended for snow! C'mon traction control.

I also have a Jaguar XJ-12 with the 350 conversion and a shift kit and it is *very* hard to drive in rain. It weighs 4000 pounds and is hard to keep the tires planted without being very gentle. I will have to imagine that a GT with automatic would be easier but I have an old Ford 4x4 pickup for winter so life will be ok.

Perhaps get a shift controller module so you can soften the shifts, if you do have automatic.

There is no harm to the auto tranny for starting the car in second or third gear for that matter. You have the option to use the other gears available to you, thats what the shifter is for. Use your judgement, obviously your not going to want to be in second gear driving at highway speeds.
With an auto, starting off in second all the time won't fry up the clutch prematurely?
Front wheel drive is better in snow than rear wheel if awd isnt available, but all can be done. just remember no accelerating hard or breaking hard. once you loose traction its sorta hard to get it back. i drove my other 87 K5 blazer on 33s now that was fun =), i drove my dads f150 that wasnt bad with the back end filled with snow... lol give more traction. we even drove my moms old mini van and that did really good except the fact that it was low so you heard all snow rubbing on bottom of car. Good tires, and skill is good
i got caught in a really bad snow storm last year. Let me tell you, it is no fun. I would have to blow stop signs cause if i stopped it was more dangerous to try and get going again. The tires just spin and you find yourself curving to the left or right. NO FUN. The max speed i could achieve was 5mph, any faster and it was a death wish.
I've been lucky in that we hardly get any snow here in Seattle/Bellevue, but when we get an half inch- it might as well be 2 feet- everything stops, and all the hills, and overpasses get icy (and we have alot of hills). If it snows my Stang will be parked in the garage, and I'll just do virtual office (I feel for those of you that have to drive your nice Stangs in snow :sosad: ).

Bottom line- Mustangs are not snow cars. Go very slow, don't start in 1st, and brake way, way ahead.
Update on snow tires

Last week end we got about 3-4 inches of snow.

The narrow 225/55 16 Goodyear Eagle Ultra Grip GW3 is great in snow and on ice.
Superior traction, outstandig handling. (for a snow tire)

Massachusetts and Connecticut State troopers use the same ones on their cruisers - great tire :)
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