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I'm going to colorado springs in december and need some advice on what to expect in driving conditions ,as i will be coming from Louisiana. I have a Jeep 5.7L hemi 4x4, love the thing, just needs a bigger gas tank, it would be perfect.i have never driven in snow before, please advise, thanks.
 

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Snow should give you little trouble at all, just remember 'no sudden moves' and you'll be fine. Remember you don't stop or turn any better then you would with 2wd, so give the guy ahead of you plenty of space and take the turns carefully. When going from a complete stop, mind the Hemi and take it easy there too. Also be careful on the over passes and exit ramps because they tend to freeze up first. Use low gears to keep traction on hills. Don't use cruise control on icy roads.
And no matter how slow the plow is in front of you, resist passing him, its worse up there.


I hope I wasn't too basic, and enjoy your trip.
 

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I'm from Louisiana also and drove in the snow for the first time a couple of years ago up here in Northern Virginia. Take what Riddle said and take your time. Most of the time the vehicles that you see stuck in the ditch are 4X4s because they think that they won't slip in the snow which is totally wrong. Give yourself plenty of room between vehicles. Have fun up there and good luck.
 

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Oh, two more things I guess I take for granted - make sure you have a sturdy ice scraper, you don't want to be stuck with that job armed only with your library card.
- the other is windshield washer fluid, top it off, you'll use alot of it. Don't water it down, or it might freeze up.
 

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Things to have with you.
- 1 warm blanket for everyone in the car (in case you get stuck with nobody around)
- tow rope or strap
- jumper cables
- cell phone
- a box of donuts (just because they taste good)
 

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UberCommander said:
- a box of donuts (just because they taste good)
Make sure they are Krispy Kreme donuts.
 

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Take your time in the snow.

I grew up in New England (Connecticut) and even took my drivers test for my first license with 3 inches of snow on the road.

I also did a lot of driving in Maine and New Hampshire during the winter months. I was always cautious and I do not recall ever getting stuck.

I also live by this addage: Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
 

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Fohn_Jargo said:
I also live by this addage: Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
That's almost sacreligious... I do it BECAUSE I can. But, I agree with everyone - when driving in snow and ice, take your time and leave a LOT of room to stop and always have an "out." Sometimes you may think you've left a lot of room, but that room dissapears quickly when you hit some ice and don't slow down at all. Also keep in mind that if you lock up the wheels (using the brakes), you lose steering - often times its better to take your chances getting stuck in the snow on the side of the road rather than sucking up the bumper in front of you.
 

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I live in a mountainous area & drive at elevations from 5500 ft msl to 10,000 ft msl. One thing that you might want to keep in mind with a 4X4 is that you want to slow down going into curves putting more weight over the front tires for better traction, but the other thing is that if you enter the curve at a slow enough speed this gives you the flexibility to apply power (acceleration) as you go through the curve. This can be very useful if you find that as you are breaking the front tires (even with ABS) can lock up or sharply reduce your steering control. Adding power frees the wheel & will turn the vehicle in the direction you need to go. Again, all of this is dependent on you not carrying too much speed into the curve so that you have the option of accelerating through it. Too much speed & you will quickly leave the roadway.

If you find yourself going into the ditch that is when you really need to add power to pull yourself out of it. Rather than stopping and getting stuck use the forward momentum to plow through & add power to drive yourself out & onto the road. Adding power on a icy curve may seem counter-intuitive but when you realize that you are adding torque/traction to the front wheels the effect is dramatic.

One of the most trecherous things you will encounter out west here is "black ice". This can be encountered anywhere but is most common on bridges/over passes. This is where afer the road is cleared & the snow is plowed to the side, the sun melts the snow during the day, it runs accross the road & seeps into the pavement. The as night falls (or in the shadows) the water freezes. The expansion of the freezing water rises from the pavement and invisible ice forms. This kind of condition probably causes more fatalities than anything else. The road looks dry & people go at normal speeds only to find themselves suddenly sliding out of control. Often on higher profile vehicles the vehicle will go sideways then come off the black ice & the tires will suddenyl grab, sending the vehicle into oncoming traffic, or causing it to flip.
 

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Go to the first empty parking lot (snow covered) you can find ( without light poles if possible) and practice. Don't race, do it in a controlled fashion. The object is to understand how the vehicle reacts to normal slippage. You will learn about turning into the skid amongst other things.
 

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They summed it up well. Be cautious, get some practice, watch for ice. 4x4 gives you confidence but it doesnt help you stop any faster in slick conditions. Have a good time!
 
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