Unbelievably poor performance on snow

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by Dolgon, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Shifting to N when stopping on slippery roads helps in a car with a normal transmission. It really doens't help with the Prius. The engine on a Prius isn't connected the same way as it is in a normal car. The control system can unload it from the drive train by spinning MG1 in the opposite direction, and it will do exactly this when it wants to take the engine out of the equation.

    The two proceeding comments about ABS are good ones. As previously stated, you can lock all four wheels, and then there is no way for ABS to know what is happening. That's pretty rare, but good to know about.

    Likewise the comment about stopping in a semi-emergency or worse. When your wheels start to slide, things turn into an emergency in a hurry. You usually don't have time to fool around with shifting. ABS lets you brake and steer. Doing both is a good idea.

    Switching to a Prius after driving a normal car is like a pilot learning to fly a fly-by-wire aircraft. A lot of the techniques and things that we learned are no longer relevant, and in some cases counter productive. The Prius is pretty smart. Most of the time you just drive it and let it work out the details. An understanding of how it works will let you wring out a little more mileage, but the knowledge isn't necessary for safety or ordinary driving.

    Romeo, I don't want to kill your fun. I'm just trying to make sure people understand how the Prius works, since it is a bit different than other cars. Keep experimenting and post back with your results. We always like to hear what works and what doesn't.

    Tom
     
  2. curiousdriver

    curiousdriver New Member

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    Read through the first page and it's nice to see that many others have the same opinion of Goodyear as I do. I had a set of Eagle LS's on my Neon as the OEM tires. Wore them to the point of them being unsafe, imo, by 35000 miles. I currently have Yokohama Avid TRZ's on my Neon and they are 3 years old and have almost 50,000 miles on them. They have plenty of tread left on them.

    I have been amazed at how much wheel spin I do get in the Prius, yes I'm a little heavy on the go pedal.

    When it comes time for tires on the Prius I will probably pick a tire out of the Avid line as I have had good luck with not only the TRZ's that are on my Neon but also the Avid S/T's that are on my Monte Carlo SS.
     
  3. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    Have never had that happen on icy roads, so it would probably be a very rare event. I went out this morning for groceries, I think you would like our temps: -25 C

    Anyhoo, it was easy to find icy spots, and with nobody behind me I did try shifting into N to brake. No difference. I did try driving around in B, no difference

    One bad thing about ABS, if you have to stop suddenly in snow or on a gravel road, ABS tends to dramatically increase your stopping distance. Especially on gravel, if the wheels lock you dig in and stop much faster than with ABS. The only time I'd prefer not to have ABS
     
  4. eel

    eel New Member

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    I had the same bad experience couple days ago when we got snow. Will it help to replace the air in the tires with nitrogen as the dealer advised me at the time of purchase?
     
  5. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    The n2 may help reduce pressure variation due to temp, but not by that much
     
  6. Road Fan

    Road Fan Two-Prius 7-bike Family

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    The N2 will improve your gas mileage by lightening your wallet just that little bit.

    Both N2 and the gas mixture known as air obey the same universal law of gases, PV=nRT. The pressure variation due to temp should be the same for N2 as for air.

    Road Fan
     
  7. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    I was trying to be funny, I guess I have to work on my material

    A tire shop here was advertising that tires filled with n2 have *no* pressure variation, summer or winter. That's a laugh. Of course, the trade group claims its the best thing since pickles (I like pickles, substitute your catchy phrase)

    Nitrogen in Tires : Information about Nitrogen Tire Inflation News, Benefits, Generator Dealers, Location Finder & More

    You are absolutely correct: by making your wallet lighter, you will slightly increase fuel economy
     
  8. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    Air is over 70 nitrogen anyway.
    And who is going to vacuum all the air out of the tyre before the nitrogen fill?
    Save your money.
     
  9. Illini

    Illini New Member

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    Just thought I would share... I told my husband about this thread, and how we really needed to get snow tires. He was still skeptical, even after a few mishaps on a recent road trip.

    So then I got a call from him tonight--he was on the driveway, and the car just stopped moving and would not budge! He didn't know what to do.

    Our driveway is not steep by any means, but is basically 100% ice due to an ice storm on Thursday night and below-freezing temperatures since. Once I stopped laughing, I told him to back the car up and try taking it faster, and surprisingly, that did the job. So now I am *officially* allowed to order those winter tires. I hope they make a difference.
     
  10. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    To expand on Jayman's comment, this is one of those situations where you would like to burn down through a loose layer and bite into something solid. The same sort of thing holds true to spinning your tires to burn through a light layer of snow to accelerate.

    Normally you don't want to spin your tires to accelerate or lock them to stop, but this is a special condition where the offending layer can be removed with a little tire action.

    Tom
     
  11. bablang

    bablang Junior Member

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    We just came back from Lake Tahoe for the first time and the I was impressed with how well my prius handled the snow with radial x tires from costco. I changed the tires the other day while it was raining and right away I could tell how much better the radial x tires were. So I agree with everyone else who has to drive their Prius in the snow or in rainy weather... ditch those crappy OEM tires!
     
  12. Rotorhead

    Rotorhead New Member

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    We are butt deep in snow with a layer of ice below it all. This is my second winter with the original tires and I have yet to have a problem. I run the tires at the factory recommended pressure. What I have noticed is that about 80% of the vehicles that get in trouble and crash or end up in a ditch are 4WD SUV's. Granted there are many more SUV's, but I have yet to see a Prius stuck in the snow or off the road. My biggest winter driving concern is that some bonehead in a Hummer slides into me.

    Mike
     
  13. Road Fan

    Road Fan Two-Prius 7-bike Family

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    Our two '06 Tourings just got their new shoes last night, Michelin Primacy Alpin PA3s. Much better traction; I am tiptoeing a lot less than with the 30+k mile Turanzas, and while I've felt a touch of slippage, there's been no activation of the traction control.
     
  14. wiiawiwb

    wiiawiwb Junior Member

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    I am happy to change my mind about my '08 Prius. I had an '05 that stunk in the snow. The past two weeks have thrown an ice storm and two snow storms. I ripped through all three like I had a four wheeler.

    I put on the Nokian Hakk Rs and they are absolutely monsters. Nothing stops my Prius now especially snow.
     
  15. jyl

    jyl New Member

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    Our 07 w/ half-worn out Bridgestone Blizzak winter tires is very good in snow up to about 6" deep, and on the slickest ice. Deeper than 6", the car still plows through the snow well, but works a bit for grip with the occasional TRAC light. Doubt I'd try anything much deeper, considering the ground clearance and only being 2WD.
     
  16. ludlowlou

    ludlowlou New Member

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    WRONG !!!This car (07 prius) absolutely SUCKS in snow.
    Our house is off the little country road and our driveway is a mild incline to the house, my 91 Mazda PU, with chains, made it up our road , but the Prius with chains couldn't make it halfway up .Don't say that the Prius will"
    go more places then a traditional car."I'm calling BS on that one.
    Now if they are attempting to "save the engine' from over-revving or ?????? to protect the ICE / Electric motor, then I say OK. and I will put up with this ,but please , don't try to make people think that this car does not suck in the snow.
     
  17. donee

    donee New Member

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    Hi Lud...,

    Are you sure your not being high-centered. The Prius, of course, does not have the ground clearance of a pickup truck. On little country roads, with crowns in the asphalt/dirt, a little snow will use up all the clearance on a Prius. On a relatively flat road, that is not the case. Also on wider roads, when one can drive over so that one set of wheels are on a center lane crest, one can avoid some high-centering too. And of course you both could be right. All that is required for Bestmap... to be right is he not be talking about your kinda road. Which may very well exist. You may not know that Bestmap... makes maps. So, he is out doing surveys in his car all the time. His experience level might be a little more than yours, or maybe not.

    Bestmap... is right that the Prius does require some gentle accellerator pedal manipulation and patience, compared to other cars. In fact, sometimes one cannot even feel the pedal through boots, when too much pedal is being applied for the available traction in snow. At least in my experience. Push too hard on that pedal, in slipery conditions and the wheels will stop.
     
  18. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    People forget the Prius has V8 torque available. Punch that torque to tyres on a slippery surface and slip happens invoking traction control and total loss of torque.
     
  19. stemchick

    stemchick Montana Rocks!

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    I am quite shocked to see the recent post that the Prius "sucks" in the snow! I live in Montana, and we recently had a blizzard, over a foot of snow, and -30 tempreatures. The prius handled well. My hubby did manage to get it stuck in the drive, but any low car would have gotten stuck there. He actually told me he would rather drive the Prius in the snow over his pickup! He thinks it's fun. I fall more in love with my car every day!
     
  20. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Well, thank you for your absolute-ness ... great to know the opinion (& that's only what it is ... an opinion ... and you ARE entitled to it) of you, and you alone ... the one of you ... outweighs that of thousands :p

    Some would say that 'maybe it's the driver' ... but that can be hurfull, so I won't say that. Maybe practice? We've driven both our hybrids in frosty, ice covered curvy slopes, and find no issue ... as do many.
     
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