Archive for the ‘snow’ Tag

Off-Road Guide

With a few guidelines and some good old-fashioned common sense, almost anyone can drive off-road in a Jeep 4×4 vehicle. Jeep 4×4 vehicles are Trail Rated, which means they can handle most obstacles you encounter.

BE PREPARED:
Always check your vehicle before going off-road. Make sure your battery is fastened, all hoses are in good condition and oil and fluids are topped off, including fuel. Also be sure that all four tires are in good condition and have the proper tire pressure. Avoid travelling alone, especially into unfamiliar territory.

BE ON THE LOOKOUT:
Once off-road, put your vehicle in 4WD whenever you anticipate a situation that will demand the additional traction. It’s difficult to engage 4WD after you get stuck. You’ll also want to get into the habit of looking over your hood, scanning left to right so you can clearly see what you’re approaching on the trail. If you’re just watching the left tire, there’s a good chance you’ll get the right tire in trouble. Avoid putting your head outside the vehicle to see what’s coming (that’s what Wrangler’s folding windshield is for). Also, many trail masters recommend keeping your thumbs up and out of the way of the steering wheel spokes in rough terrain. For example, if your tire suddenly falls off a rock, your steering wheel could quickly rotate and catch your thumb with a spoke — ouch! Generally, vehicles with power steering, like all Jeep vehicles, lessen the chance of sudden steering wheel rotation.

TAKE IT EASY:
Speed and power are not required in rough off-road driving. In low-range 4WD, the low gearing and low speed of Jeep 4×4 vehicles at idle will generally pull you over obstacles. In many cases, with manual transmissions, letting the clutch out slowly and allowing the vehicle to crawl over obstacles in the lowest gear is the best scenario. As a matter of fact, on the Rubicon Trail, the average speed is a mere 1-5 miles per hour.

SNOW AND MUD:
Generally, when snow or mud is present on the driving surface, it is the right time to engage your on-demand or part-time 4WD system. If you have an all-time system like Quadra-Trac I, there is no input required from you. In heavy snow, when pulling a load, or for additional control at slower speeds, shift the transmission to a low gear and shift the transfer case to 4WD-LOW if necessary (Quadra-Trac I and Quadra-Trac SRT do not offer a low range). Don’t shift to a lower gear than necessary to maintain momentum. Over-revving the engine can spin the wheels and traction will be lost. If you begin to lose traction in snow or mud, turn your steering wheel back and forth rapidly. This will generally help the wheels bite into fresh terrain and pull you through. If traction is lost, STOP. Wheel spinning will just dig you in deeper. The key is to maintain forward momentum.

SAND:
For better traction in sand, drop air pressure 10-12 pounds below normal pressure on conventional tires. (Return to normal pressure after use in these conditions.) Try high-range 4WD to maintain forward momentum. Depending on the condition of the sand, low-range 4WD and alternative gear selections may be necessary. Also try to make wider turns if at all possible. Tight turning slows the vehicle abruptly and can get you stuck. Again, maintaining forward momentum is key.

HILLS:
When climbing hills ALWAYS go straight up or down. It’s also smart to know what’s on the other side before going up. At the base of the hill you should apply more power. Ease up on the power as you approach the top and before going over the crest. If you stall on the ascent, back straight down the hill in reverse. For downhill travel, always use the lowest gear with a manual transmission. When descending a hill in low-range, do not disengage the clutch and allow the vehicle to coast. Severe damage to your clutch disc may result. Allow the gears and engine compression to slow you down, using the brakes only to fine-tune your speed. If equipped with an automatic transmission, use low-range and the lowest drive setting.
NOTE: NEVER drive up a hill at an angle. If the hill is very steep and you don’t feel confident that you or your vehicle can make it up, don’t attempt it. Never get sideways on a steep slope as this can lead to vehicle instability. Off-roading1 can be very challenging. Remember, go as slow as possible. Use common sense with safety being the foremost concern.

ROCK CRAWLING:
We call it “crawling” for a reason. Use a low gear and low-range 4WD and just let the vehicle crawl and idle (with as little throttle as needed) when going over obstacles like rocks or logs. Never straddle rocks. A vehicle with 10 inches of ground clearance will not go over a 12-inch rock! Maneuver the tire on top of the rocks and crawl over them slowly. If you hear scraping, don’t panic. Your Jeep® 4×4 vehicle’s skid plates and rock rails (this equipment varies depending on what Jeep 4×4 vehicle and packages have been purchased or leased) will take the brunt of the beating. Dropping tire pressure 3-5 pounds improves traction and helps avoid tire punctures. (Return to normal pressure after use in these conditions.) Remember, the ideal speed for rock crawling is 1-3 miles per hour.

TREAD LIGHTLY:
Leave it better than you found it. Observe posted signs and stay on trails and recreation areas approved for off-roading. Use your good judgment in protecting the beauty and solitude of the area. Don’t leave anything behind and, better yet, pick up and remove any trash that others have discarded. And if the terrain looks especially fragile, take an alternate route. For more information on how to Tread Lightly, visit treadlightly.org. Leave it better than you found it.

Read more at: http://www.jeep.com/en/4×4/off-road-guide/#cta-Overview-Copy_1*

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Siberian-style cold for Ram tests

Houghton Michigan, not a place many of us might be familiar with, but the Ram cold weather group is rather freezingly acquainted with the town.

Houghton is where Ram conducts some of its severe duty cold weather testing, and they just released a video showing what some of the cold weather testing entails. Houghton sees an average of 260 inches of snow each year, and combined with the bitter cold of this winter, has allowed Ram to put its trucks through even more rigorous than normal testing.

The company does have simulated cold weather facilities, including both “chill rooms” and a snowblower/wind tunnel to see if driving through thick snow will clog the air intakes or completely block visibility.

As read on: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2015/02/siberian-style-cold-for-ram-tests

How to Safely Remove Snow and Ice From Your Car

Worst-case-scenario: You just brought home a new SRT Viper and parked it in your driveway to ensure the neighbors got a drool-eliciting look at your ride — made all the more dazzling by that Stryker Red Tinted Pearl paint job for which you forked over an extra $14,600. As karma for your vehicular vanity would have it, a nasty snowstorm hits that night, and by the time you wake up, there’s 4 inches of snow covering your $178,000 supercar. You have to get this thing cleared off ASAP — after all, your neighbors will be leaving for work soon and won’t be able to tell what’s underneath all that snow.

How to Store Your Car for Winter

First, do not pull out your handcrafted corn-straw broom and start sweeping away or you’ll quickly find that your college-tuition-priced paint job doesn’t have quite the same effect with brush strokes etched into it. The same goes for nylon brushes and especially shovels. The recommended tool for this precarious job is a foam brush. A popular one is the SnoBrum, which has a nonabrasive, freeze-resistant molded polyethylene foam head with a recessed hard-plastic plate to prevent contact with the vehicle’s surface; it has a steel telescoping handle that extends up to 46 inches for maximum reach.

“Common damage from improper snow removal are scratches in the paint,” said Bryan Burgess, owner of Mr. Sparkle Detailing in Long Island, N.Y. “These could be light or very deep depending on the situation. A nylon brush for example over the paint may leave light scratches that will be visible once the car is clean on a sunny day. Remove the snow with a shovel — I’ve seen it done — and you’re at risk for a very deep scratch that is either beyond a simple repair or would require a repaint.”

The best way to proceed is to use a SnoBrum to pull, not push, the snow off the vehicle in a straight line from the front bumper by extending your arm as far across the hood as you can, Burgess advises. Keeping all motions in straight lines will ensure that if you do cause a scratch in the paint, it will at least appear to be part of the natural occurrence of your car coming in contact with debris at higher speeds, as opposed to a snow-removal foul-up. You should work from the top of the vehicle down to the sides and then to the hood and trunk areas. The windshield and window glass is hard, so there’s no need to worry about scratching it.

Minimizing contact between your car and the brush will also help prevent mishaps. “I would not try to remove every last bit of snow,” he said. “Remove the majority with a brush, then allow the heat from your engine or power of the sun to remove the remaining last little bit safely.”

Eco Touch Premium Car Care notes that if you don’t have a foam brush handy, you likely have your hands handy. You can always use your hands — preferably leather-gloved — to push the snow off, though your reach will be limited compared with that of a brush. Eco Touch also recommends investing in a car cover (keeping in mind that, in heavy snows, the cover can be difficult to remove) and applying a coat of wax to protect the car’s paint from the elements.

Jim Dvorak, a spokesman for Southern California-based wax and polish maker Mothers, stressed that planning ahead is important in prevention.

“Protecting your vehicle with a traditional wax, such as our Mothers California Gold Brazilian Carnauba Wax or California Gold Synthetic Wax before winter sets in is ideal,” Dvorak said. “Minimum temperature for waxing — a wax-on, let dry-to-haze and wax-off product — should generally be in the mid-50s or higher.”

Likewise, he said, if the weather is warm enough to wash the car, a spray-on wax can be used after a wash. The interior, he noted, should be protected with all-weather mats, while tracked-in soil should be routinely vacuumed and leather cleaned and conditioned to guard against stains and water damage. Windows should be routinely cleaned inside and out to reduce fogging, as well, he said.

Here are some additional tips from our Cars.com editors for keeping your paint job — super-expensive Viper red or otherwise — scratch-free in the winter:

Joe Wiesenfelder, executive editor: “Use a brass-blade scraper [pictured above] for the thin coating of frost on a windshield. It freaks people out because it’s metal, but it’s harmless and works like nothing else.”

Kelsey Mays, consumer affairs editor: “A warm car always helps loosen the stuff off the hood and windows. Before you start clearing snow, start the car and turn on the defrosters — but take care to ensure the doors are unlocked and the tailpipe is unobstructed by a snowbank.”

Joe Bruzek, road-test editor: “Paint protection. A good wax or sealant to protect the paint from brushes and brooms people may use to clear snow. There’s also de-icer spray for the glass.”

Kristin Varela, senior editor/family: “My husband just ripped the fabric top of his CLK scraping ice off the back windshield and catching the fabric with the edge of the ice scraper. I’d suggest estimating a 1-inch perimeter to leave around the edge windows in this case.”

Patrick Olsen, editor-in-chief: “One note: This tip is not about saving your own car, but being nice to others. Make sure you clear all of the big piles of snow off your car, so you don’t become a moving cloud of snow spray and blind other drivers around you.”

Mike Hanley, research editor: “Clear the whole car of snow. It’s also a potential hazard to you because braking suddenly could lead to a pile of snow on your windshield.”

As read on: http://blogs.cars.com/kickingtires/2014/02/how-to-safely-remove-snow-and-ice-from-your-car.html

10 tips for driving on ice and snow

Whether you are a new driver or an experienced one, poor weather conditions can test your nerves and skills on the road. We have already had a few days of white-knuckle driving this season as winter storms have pounded areas across the state. And there are sure to be more stormy days to come.

Studies show that nearly one-quarter of weather-related vehicle crashes occur on snowy, slushy or icy pavement. But there are a few steps you can take to ensure you, and your vehicle, are ready for these adverse road conditions. Following these tips can help you get to your destination and back home safely.

Regular Maintenance Safe winter driving begins before you even get into your vehicle. Following the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance schedule is important, but it carries more weight during the winter season when being stranded is not only inconvenient, but downright unpleasant and even dangerous.

Remove ice and snow from your vehicle

Clear all snow and ice from the entire vehicle – hood, roof, trunk, windows, lights and signals. It’s important to make sure you can see and be seen by other drivers. Inspect your vehicle.

Check your tires, wiper blades, fluids, lights, belts and hoses. Make sure tires are properly inflated and the tread is in good condition. Cold temperatures can lower tire pressure. Check monthly and top off as necessary.

Keep your gas tank at least half full

Following this rule of thumb is good practice every day of the year to avoid the bad experience of running out of gas. But in cold weather months, you may need to change your route or could find yourself caught in a traffic delay, and you do not want to have the needle resting on empty in these scenarios.

With the car prepped for travel, keep these 10 driving tips in mind.

Safety On The Road

Reduce your speed. Adjust to changing conditions and allow extra time to reach your destination.

Keep windows clear. Switching on the air conditioner can remove moisture from inside the vehicle and improve defroster performance.

Give the car ahead of you extra space. Braking on a slippery surface requires more distance, so increase your distance with the car ahead. The recommended following distance on dry roads is three to four seconds. This should be increased to eight to 10 seconds for wet or icy roads.

Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Use lower gears to keep traction, especially on hills.

Make smooth, careful movements. Avoid skids by anticipating lane changes, turns and curves. Steering in icy conditions requires smooth and careful movements. Abrupt movements break traction and can start a skid. If your vehicle starts to skid, steer into the direction of the slide.

Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly when pulling out of the driveway or from a stop sign is the best way to regain traction and avoid slipping or sliding. It also takes longer to slow down on icy roads. So at intersections, allow for long, slow and steady stops to avoid skids.

Know your brakes. Locked wheels can make your vehicle slide or skid. If your vehicle has antilock brakes, which newer model cars have, push the brake pedal firmly and hold it down. The pedal will vibrate and pulse against your foot, but this is normal. Do not pump the pedal or remove your foot. The system is working as it was designed to work. If you do not have antilock brakes, still apply firm, steady pressure.

Do not use cruise control. When driving on a slippery surface, such as rain or ice, never use cruise control. You want to be able to respond immediately, if you start losing traction.

Use extra caution on bridges, ramps and overpasses. These areas are likely to freeze first and stay frozen during a winter storm.

Stay focused, alert, and aware. Be aware of what’s going on around you. Actions by other vehicles may alert you to problems more quickly or give you time to react safely.

Handling an Emergency

While preventative measures go a long way to keep you safe on the road, unexpected weather or vehicle problems still arise. If an emergency should develop on the road, an emergency roadside kit with winter supplies is a valuable asset. Kit contents can include a cell phone and car charger; blankets; flashlight with extra batteries; a first-aid kit; drinking water; a small shovel; a sack of sand, cat litter or traction mats; windshield scraper and brush; battery booster cables; and emergency flares or reflectors.

Driving on ice and snow can be challenging, but it is possible to be a safe and prepared driver despite winter’s less than optimal driving conditions. The key is to be aware and adapt to the conditions. And if it is really bad outside, and you do not have to go out, stay in. Enjoy the snow from indoors.

Read more at http://www.ksl.com/?nid=151&sid=23732091#YHLwlGUsbtYywTb3.99