Thursday, December 10, 2020

Snow, Finally!

 Been very lightly snowing for a bit over an hour, and there's maybe 1/2" on my snow gauge.

NWS is forecasting 1~2" accumulation tonight, and possibly 1" on Friday. This is good, as we desperately need the soil moisture. Saturday is forecast at a 40% chance, and I'll watch that closely, as I have to go down to the airport to pick up SLW Saturday afternoon. I'll use the next two days to "test" the difference my 4WD system has between "4-HI Auto", which electronically controls when the front axle engages, and just "4-HI", which has the front under power all the time. The rear differential is an electronically-controlled locker, and it's been a while since I drove a vehicle with a locker-style rear end. 

Back In The Day, lockers could/would engage at inopportune times, causing the handling to change, sometimes radically. The people on the Chevrolet Colorado forum say you can tell when these lock-up, but the electronic controls make a world of difference compared to a mechanical locker. And they've said pretty much the same about 4-HI Auto and 4-HI, in that you can tell when the front axle engages, but it doesn't jerk the steering wheel or make the handling change dramatically.

My Jeep was true All Wheel Drive, and was very sure-footed in bad weather. If I flat-footed it on a slippery surface I could force all four tires to spin, but I don't drive like that. It'll be interesting to play with the Chevy in the snow to see how it feels. In dry weather it handles better than it has any right to, and the brakes are very good with outstanding pedal feel. GM's chassis group really has a handle on things in this department, and I'll see how it does in snow the next couple of days.

6 comments:

  1. Well done indeed. If only the average driver would learn to drive in bad weather.

    We've not had enough snow to test the Crosstrek, and if the snowthrower sits in the shed for another winter, I'm OK with that.

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    1. I grew up in Northern Illinois, where learning to drive in the snow is a rite of passage. "Learning" winter driving in empty parking lots was always a hoot, and it's good to know what your car feels like at the limit of traction.

      Some cars are more forgiving than others. And just because 4WD or AWD makes it easier to get moving, it doesn't help as much when it comes to stopping and cornering. I was always amused when I saw people in brand-new Jeeps that either forgot or didn't know that. They were easy to spot because they were the ones standing by the road while waiting for a tow truck to yank their new Jeep out of the ditch.....

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  2. We had about 1" yesterday and may get the same today. I don't think that it will stick.

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    1. Looks like we've got maybe 2" total from yesterday. Itty-bitty flakes were still falling and hour or so ago when I let the dog out, but it's stopped now. This will probably stick around a couple of days.

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  3. Curious to see how it works out for you.

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    1. So far, I can tell the difference between 2WD and both of the 4WD modes. In 2WD if I hit the gas hard, one wheel starts to spin, then the rear-end locks, and away I go.

      In 4WD-Auto, it starts the same, but then the front axle engages, and away I go.

      In 4WD-HI, it just starts moving away as soon as I give it some throttle.

      Haven't tried it in 4WD-LO as I don't foresee using it. I think in the 14 years I owned my Jeep I had it in 4WD-LO maybe half a dozen times, a couple of times to see what it did, and a few times when I went off-roading with some people from work.

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Keep it civil, please....