Which Provides Better Traction?

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I've no experience driving a pickup truck in snow but have heard that they provide terrible traction unless 4-WD is engaged. Assuming that there are from 1" to 4" of snow, and assuming that all other things are equal, e.g., tire tread, would you use a compact car with front wheel drive, or a pickup with 4 WD engaged?? Thanks.
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On Feb 6, 3:14 pm, Windswept@home (Jack) wrote:

Nonsense. IMHO. Rumors might be true for some nose-heavy Detroit big-iron; my recollections confirm them. OTOH, Nissan p/u-s I've owned are very sure-footed. Well balanced. About 600,000 miles total use.
Various types of 4WD drive out there. Some pretty crude.
J
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All rear wheel drive vehicles are terrible in snow. pickups are particularly bad because they don't have much weight over the drive wheels. But put it in 4wd and everything changes; ought to be much better than front wheel drive cars. And truck tires tend to have coarser tread than cars, which should help also.
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Toller wrote:

You never drove a Corvair, a Sunbeam Imp or an original VW Beetle.
Actually many rear wheel drive front engine cars did very well. I remember one winter my car was in the shop after a Greyhound bus hit it and I had to rent. I had a Pinto (got stuck with half and inch of snow) and a Toyota that did quite will with six or more inches of snow.
Today's trucks are all over the place with the why they handle in snow. Some are good and some terrible.
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No, I missed all of those! I regret missing the Imp though.
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Beetles were great in the snow, but if they were over a couple years old, you had to drive with your head out the window to see, since the tubes that fed the minimal heat to the windshield rotted out rapidly. Once the pan started rotting as well, you could count on getting wet driving through puddles.
aem sends...
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snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

I always heard that, but after 180,000 miles and 16 years, I still had my original heater boxes and not problems. I had replaced a few mufflers however and the floor was rotting through in the back. I live in Ohio where snow and salt are standard fare.

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snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

"Ever wonder how the guy who drives the snowplow GETS to the snowplow?"
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On Tue, 6 Feb 2007 17:25:36 -0500, "Joseph Meehan"

Ah memories. I had a 1960 Corvair and drove it up hill thru mud so deep you wouldn't want to walk thru it. And thru flooded streets were the water was about to come over the door sill. They were unstoppable.

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Ashton Crusher wrote:

We had a 1961. I was driving my father to work once when the front end floated up but the wheel still worked as rudders and got us through.

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LOL. There's an image.
Bob
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Until they ran out of oil.
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"Ashton Crusher" < snipped-for-privacy@nowhere.net> wrote in message
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Toller wrote:

Only if you never learned to drive. I've driven 2wd trucks in plenty of snow and can go better in them than a front wheel drive any day.
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We got five or six inches of new snow here in SW Ohio tonight. My '87 F150 did fine in it. No one seems to mention transmissions as a factor in traction. Mine is a 4 speed. Open differential. Consequently, using the engine to brake and staying in the highest gear possible make stopping and starting a breeze compared to most FWD automatics I've driven. Deep lug tires help too. But it's really all about two things. 1) Driving skill. 2) Knowing the capabilities of your vehicle and staying within it's limits.
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Amen, brother! I ran around in the mountains of Colorado in my father's 2WD 1950-something International pickup with no great problems.
Now try getting through some deeper snow in a 4WD with one of the front wheel hubs disengaged...
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Toller wrote:

Nonsense. Some clever marketing folks came up with that in the hope of selling front-wheel drive cars, and it worked -- a gullible public accepted it as true.
pickups are

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Part of the problem is that the instincts that you learn for handling a rear-wheel drive car in snow are wrong for a front-wheel drive vehical.
The trouble with rear-wheel drive is that it doesn't often come with rear-wheel steering. So you can go, but you don't get to pick where.
The trouble with 4WD is that it convinces people to be stupid.
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Jack wrote:

Yep, mostly due to the fact that there is no weight over the rear wheels. Around here (Saskatchewan) people put sandbags in the truck bed to help with this.

That's really not that much snow (I've driven my compact car in 6" of snow multiple times this winter).
The 4wd would have an edge on starting, but its ability to stop is no better than a 2wd.
Chris
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4WD should be better. Just as important does either vehicle have antilock brakes? I kind of like the challenge of driving in the snow if there are few other drivers on the road. With lots of drivers on the road you will definitely need to make some unanticipated stops and/or steer around some idiot who spun out. With antilock brakes you can slam on the brakes and steer at the same time which is virtually impossible to do with regular brakes.
Be careful.

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You drive whatcha got. Either you can drive in snow or you can't. A rear wheel drive is the most challenging, but a few pounds in the rear evens things out a bit. I recommend play sand in bags. Limited slip differential is a real plus, a 4 wheel drive without it is nearly even with a 2 wheel drive with it. Anti-lock brakes are a plus, but if you can modulate your braking, you can get by without it. The very most important thing is tires. Deep self cleaning tread will do more than all the driver assists in the world.
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