Any tips for winter? Especially snowy/icy conditons? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


General Ford Ranger Discussion General discussion of the Ford Ranger that does not fit in any other sub-forum.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 02-02-2009
north44's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 174
Any tips for winter? Especially snowy/icy conditons?

So here we are in the middle of one of the snowiest/coldest winters ever experienced in North America - and it is still a couple of months until winter is over.

At Christmas, ALL of Canada was covered with snow - this includes normally "snow free" areas such as Vancouver on the west coast - a true (and rare) "White Christmas" for the whole country.

In the States, there was snow in Las Vegas, many parts of California, and other places that rarely experience this type of precipitation.

Winter storms have hit, paralyzing large areas of the continent with ice/snow covered roads and blackouts - even as I write this, parts of Kentucky have been without power for the better part of a week.

News clips show cars slipping and sliding out of control, frozen and ice covered trees littering streets, drab and dreary winter landscapes.

So, in the interests of providing all of us with additional information as to how we can get through the winter safely, I thought it might be beneficial if members could relate/share some of their winter tips - primarily for driving, but perhaps also to promote general safety, e.g, driving in hilly, mountainous terrain, isolated areas, what kinds of emergency kits to carry, and so forth.


To start off, a few things I've learned:

- disabling the O/D (for automatics) is sometimes a good idea when driving in 4wd in snowy conditions; likely you won't need that top gear anyway, and it gives you greater control over vehicle speed, e.g, going downhill. In fact, winter driving conditons are just about the only time that I will manually shift (I have an automatic - if you have a manual tranny, you already exercise this extra control over your vehicle speed).

- keep your vehicle tank topped off; you never know when you may get stuck, e.g. in traffic, or on an isolated back road, and if you do, you want to be able to keep your truck/vehicle running as long as possible, especially in sub-zero/winter temperatures

- remember to adjust your tire air pressure to the outside temperature; a cold snap, and you could lose quite a few PSI in your tires - I also carry a portable 12-volt compressor - even in the coldest snap, it would only take a few minutes to adjust the air pressure in the tires

- have you checked your coolant strength lately? frozen coolant in an engine = big problems

- I carry a folding shovel in the truck


Feel free to add any of your tips/driving experiences.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-02-2009
chainfire's Avatar
Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Mission B.C.
Posts: 3,126
Quote:
remember to adjust your tire air pressure to the outside temperature; a cold snap, and you could lose quite a few PSI in your tires - I also carry a portable 12-volt compressor - even in the coldest snap, it would only take a few minutes to adjust the air pressure in the tires
Depending on the amount of highway driving I will do, I will actually underinflate my tires. I find with this, you get a better and wider footprint. I take it down to about 25 psi.

I like to carry a shovel, TP, First Aid kit, water, a couple of powerbars, a couple of straps/clevis' in the back of my truck. But this is always in there, regaurdless if it is summer or winter.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-02-2009
NATEFX407's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Kawartha Lakes, ON
Posts: 459
Carry a jug of wiper fluid if possible. Beware of soft shoulders if you pull over. Do NOT decend a hill in neutral, instead use second or first. Carry a tow or recovery strap, that's a given. Give yourself enough time to get there, don't get in a hurry. And always have your cell phone, if you leave it at home because your going to the convenience store for 5 minutes, that's when you'll need it.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-02-2009
crazymikey's Avatar
Member
iTrader: (2)
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: your mom
Posts: 4,008
TURN YOUR FULL LIGHTING SYSTEM ON AT ALL TIMES and please be sure to WIPE ALL THE SNOW OFF YOUR WINDOWS AND LIGHTS.

Sorry I was shouting, I was just angry at the idiots out there who don't do that and I was hoping they might hear me. I'm sorry, I can't stand those jerks who you're following them in the snow and you can't see them because they have no lights, or you can't see the traffic coming towards you with no lights on. SEE AND BE SEEN. It's simple people.

Yesterday I was at a drive thru. The line up was rather long and I was stopped in the main aisle of the parking lot. This idiot in a red Neon covered in snow...which I should add that the back window is completely covered in snow as well....which is parked in a space to my right decides to start backing up while I am stopped right behind him. I watch this idiot as he starts creeping back, blind as a bat not being able to see because all his windows are covered in snow. Finally, just before this guy almost hits me I lay on the horn and he stops and gives me this really dirty look as if it's my fault that he can't see. I rolled my window down and yelled at him that he would probably prefer to be wiping snow off his car instead of blood of his face.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-02-2009
north44's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 174
I should have mentioned, the compressor is also there in case I get a flat - I carry a few tire plugs and kit - if it's a nail or similar piercing of the tire, I can plug and inflate on the spot; it's gotten me out of a few jams, and it beats lowering the spare - sure is a lot quicker and easier.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-02-2009
Blackonblackfx4's Avatar
Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Posts: 914
I like to put a little weight in my box. seams to help alot, and a good set of wipers.
The Teflon Washer fluid you can get at candian tire that goes to -47 or something is really good.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-02-2009
north44's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by NATEFX407 View Post
Carry a jug of wiper fluid if possible. Beware of soft shoulders if you pull over. Do NOT decend a hill in neutral, instead use second or first. Carry a tow or recovery strap, that's a given. Give yourself enough time to get there, don't get in a hurry. And always have your cell phone, if you leave it at home because your going to the convenience store for 5 minutes, that's when you'll need it.
That is a good one - look at my avatar

I can testify to that one - and to top it off, I gave my tow straps to a friend.

Lucky for my he was close by and he was the one I called to get me out!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-02-2009
NATEFX407's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Kawartha Lakes, ON
Posts: 459
Clean the salt off your headlights/taillights at the gas station, it's amazing how much it can dim your headlights after a long highway drive.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-02-2009
north44's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazymikey View Post
WIPE ALL THE SNOW OFF YOUR WINDOWS AND LIGHTS.
Tractor trailers are the worst for large chunks of ice/blowing snow off the roofs of the trailers - I always keep well back - or in another lane if possible.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-02-2009
crazymikey's Avatar
Member
iTrader: (2)
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: your mom
Posts: 4,008
I carry 2 first aid kits, flash light that has a built in seatbelt cutter, window breaker and emergency LED, a million candlepower spotlight, several tow ropes, a full tool box and socket set, bottles of water, cell phone, always topped up on washer fluid and have extra jugs, snow brushes, lock de-icer,GPS,gloves,hat and an extra jacket and a blanket or tarp.

I have already recovered 7 vehicles from ditches this winter, the worst being a minivan rollover where I didnt get the van out, but helped the mother and her 2 kids out before the fire dept and police arrived.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 02-02-2009
crazymikey's Avatar
Member
iTrader: (2)
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: your mom
Posts: 4,008
Quote:
Originally Posted by north44 View Post
Tractor trailers are the worst for large chunks of ice/blowing snow off the roofs of the trailers - I always keep well back - or in another lane if possible.
I should had added "and your roof". Many SUV and van owners are too lazy or too short to clean the large snowbank accumulated on the roof of their truck adding an extra 3 feet to the height of the truck, so barrelling down the highway at 70mph with snow flying off the roof creating a snow squall infront of you makes it unsafe for you and other motorists.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 02-02-2009
NATEFX407's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Kawartha Lakes, ON
Posts: 459
Quote:
Originally Posted by north44 View Post
That is a good one - look at my avatar

I can testify to that one - and to top it off, I gave my tow straps to a friend.

Lucky for my he was close by and he was the one I called to get me out!
I mentioned it because it happened to me a couple weeks ago too. I was on a back road and there was construction on it in the fall that they never finished, so I had no idea that there was a 1' drop at the edge of my lane. The way the snow was plowed it looked like a regular shoulder. I went to pull over and bam, passenger tires dropped off like a 1' ledge.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 02-02-2009
crazymikey's Avatar
Member
iTrader: (2)
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: your mom
Posts: 4,008
While your vehicle is warming up as you wipe the snow off it,just do a quick circle check. Make sure all your lights are working,tires look to be inflated and large chunks of built up snow and slush in the wheel wells are knocked off so that they do not become rolling landmines on the highway.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 02-02-2009
crazymikey's Avatar
Member
iTrader: (2)
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: your mom
Posts: 4,008
In Ontario it is also a $110 ticket under the Highway Traffic Act for Visibility Obstruction if your windows and lights are not cleared of snow and ice.

Ontario is the California of Canada. We have all these stupid and outrageous laws and stuff, but it's not the government's fault that these laws get implemented. It's because the citizens are just too stupid and let Darwinism play it's role and for every big accident on our highways a new Highway Traffic Act law is instated.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 02-02-2009
north44's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazymikey View Post
I should had added "and your roof". Many SUV and van owners are too lazy or too short to clean the large snowbank accumulated on the roof of their truck adding an extra 3 feet to the height of the truck, so barrelling down the highway at 70mph with snow flying off the roof creating a snow squall infront of you makes it unsafe for you and other motorists.
Funny you mention that - I was stopped at an intersection when I saw a van, coming to a stop from the opposite direction.

The roof was absolutely COVERED with snow, and as the van stopped, all that snow slid forward and covered the windshield and hood.

So, the woman in the van has her wipers going to clean off the snow, but the wipers can't move at all because the snow has got to be at least six inches thick, and then the light turns green.

The driver is still in the van - won't get out to clean off the windshield - can't see, so she doesn't move - and then all the drivers behind start leaning on the horns.

And I thought: "GOOD FOR YOU!!!"
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 02-02-2009
north44's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 174
And hey guys, what about following too closely - bad enough at any time, but worse in winter.

Was waiting to pull out of a parking lot the other day - roads were kind of wet/slippery - a chain of cars (travelling from my left to the right in front of me - I was waiting for them to all clear) all had to hit their brakes hard because someone made a left turn abruptly into the lot opposite me.

Lucky there wasn't a chain reaction pile-up in front of my eyes - my biggest worry as this was happening was that a vehicle could come skidding into me.

You won't be able to go "through" the vehicle in front of you, so what difference does it make if you're traveling 3 feet or 30 feet behind them (~1 meter or ~10 meters for us metric types)?
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 02-02-2009
thesoundmaster's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Centennial CO
Posts: 5
WASH YOUR TRUCK WHEN THE WEATHER ALLOWS

Midwesterners already know the effects of salt, here in the rocky mountain region they've started using Magnesium Chloride a few years back. Highly corrosive. I wash my truck when I can to get it off, even if it's supposed to snow 2 days later.

Let the vehicle warm up a minute or 2 before you leave. I usually don't have time to let it sit and warm completely, but I'll let it sit a minute or so before I take off.

Winter Driving tips-

If you don't have 4wd, best bet is put weight over the axle. Sand bags or I carry a spare tire in the bed.

Ease into the throttle. Don't hammer down as you WILL spin and potentially loose control even from a start.

Triple or quadruple your braking distances. Say you're doing 30, give 9 car lengths.

Take your time, slow motions, and a tip... make sure your tires are always facing a forward direction. if you crank the front, the tires won't grip and you will slide.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 02-02-2009
Ranger_Guy15's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: MN
Posts: 2,827
If you start to slide on a road, do not brake, take your foot off the gas and turn the tires in the direction you want to end up.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 02-02-2009
Rolldogg's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 3,424
LOL........

Winter tip, if you live in Toronto, leave for the winter. The city shuts down and panics when there's 5cm of snow. A few years ago they got the Armed Forces to come plow snow. I know up here we were laughing about it.

anyway.....there's my cheap shot.

Ottawa guys, you remeber last year in the Ottawa Sun (front page), the picture taken from a motorist of a City of Ottawa Police car on the 417 with a huge snow drift on the roof to the trunk covering the light bar and rear window? A few days before there was a big press release from the OPS (Ottawa Police Service) saying that NOT clearing snow from your car before driving would lead to major fines.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 02-02-2009
goliath553's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazymikey View Post
Many SUV and van owners are too lazy or too short to clean the large snowbank accumulated on the roof of their truck adding an extra 3 feet to the height of the truck
Very true and great way of putting it, lol.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 02-02-2009
karrbass4life's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 3,072
Carry more than one ice Scraper/snow broom. They tend to get misplaced or break easily. Prestone De-Icer spray is nice and has a built in ice scraper.

Check your battery during the winter months, and carry jumper cables or a jumper pack (Should be in there in the first place).

The night before a snow storm is wise to stand your windshield wipers up so they are not covered in a sheet of ice/snow.

Stay away from snow plow trucks. They already have blind spots now lets add a spreader and a plow they have to watch into the mix.

Last edited by karrbass4life; 02-02-2009 at 09:07 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 02-02-2009
crazymikey's Avatar
Member
iTrader: (2)
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: your mom
Posts: 4,008
Good that you mention snow plows. They can be downright dangerous to follow.

I have had several occasions where I am on a 2 or 4 lane road, following a plow that is plowing the shoulder of the road. Usually, it's light powder snow, so as it's being plowed, it just blows all over the place, and mostly behind the plow and into oncoming traffic. You are completely blind as you can't see the plow infront of you or see any oncoming traffic. It is literally like driving in the worst blizzard you've ever seen. Yes plows are snow and a nuisance, but they are on the road for YOUR safety. Respect the plows and the drivers as they are just doing their job to keep YOU safe.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 02-02-2009
silverstreak4x4's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Brighton, Michigan
Posts: 979
Leave some extra space between you and the car in front of you.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 02-02-2009
crazymikey's Avatar
Member
iTrader: (2)
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: your mom
Posts: 4,008
Having 4 wheel drive doesn't mean you can go faster than everyone else. It just means you'll be upside down faster.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 02-03-2009
north44's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazymikey View Post
Having 4 wheel drive doesn't mean you can go faster than everyone else. It just means you'll be upside down faster.
Or end up further in the ditch; or bounce off a snowbank faster; or spin all 4 wheels instead of just 2 when you're on ice . . .
Reply With Quote
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
95 Ranger stalling and choking when taking off and especially on hills Rangerboy69 4.0L OHV & SOHC V6 Tech 4 04-02-2012 10:23 AM
a few snowy type pics (56k gets pwnd) i_luv_strats Snapshots 33 12-22-2008 12:34 PM
Icy windows Tight Ranger General Ford Ranger Discussion 5 12-18-2005 09:40 AM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:57 AM.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.