Ask the Best and Brightest: Should I Drive My Mustang in the Snow?
How does a Mustang fare in a harsh, North-eastern winter? More specifically, Canada. I only ask because last year, Montreal, where I live, was covered with over 200 inches of snow. I've already done the rear wheel-drive-in-winter thing in my first car. I was behind the wheel of a Chevette with about four hp and two ft.-lbs of torque (slight exaggeration). In other words, it came standard with engine-limited traction control. A buddy of mine tried to negotiate last winter in his Twin Turbo Supra. Fancy snow tires and 200 lbs. of gravel in the trunk still made it the worst winter car in the universe. He ended up buying a Hyundai Accent to get through the season (ouch). True fact: in my entire life, I think I can count on one hand the amount of winterized Mustangs I've seen, complete with ugly black wheels and skinny winter tires. So, do the other Mustang owners who leave theirs in the garage all winter know something I should know?
I live in the Snowbelt of Rochester, NY I drove my BMW Z4 Convertible every single day in the winter. Just went to smaller diameter wheels (and thus more rubber diameter) with a thinner width contact patch - no problems. In fact, with my dedicated snow tires I demolished many all-season equipped SUVs in the snow.
There is a lot of lack of rwd knowledge here.Normal for generations brought up on the fwd. I did the fwd thing for 10 years myself, hated them,as all the fun was gone,(and if you drive them u know what i mean)I will never go back!And I drove in real winter all my life! But, real snow tires and 200 lbs in the trunk and once you learn how to drive it,it will go anywhere the fwd will.Just like we did back in the old days. I drive mine every day ,40 miles up to a ski resort in BC and back,in real winter.... and the best feature about it, which doesn't seem to come up here, is the ability to steer! Remember with fwd you cant turn the things once the tire breaks loose, and it will a lot quicker because you are asking it to turn, and provide traction. same reason real race cars don't use it.Putter along and they work fine. The biggest factor in snow with a fwd is just the weight over the wheels, obviously. And yes on ice they won't fishtail due to pulling you, instead you can't turn, kind of a trade off..:) The biggest reason they went to FWD back when was they are cheaper to build. I need a car that will turn on a mountain road in a foot of snow, and the rwd works perfect with some weight in it and real tires, 4 of them. Don't even bother with all seasons!They are junk for real snow and ice! And you are better with narrower ones than the fat ones on the car.The narrower sizes will bite much better. Extra weight in the trunk does not hurt the front traction one bit. Just put it on a wheel scale and you will see a couple hundred lbs doesn't change the front weight. Also a good heavy v8 up front and you will have all the bite you need. The next best effect is being able to steer with the gas, making the back end come around when you need it. Knowing how much takes some practice obviously. I will never drive a awd or fwd again on these roads! much better to have trouble getting going than to not be able to turn! And seriously, with good tires and weight its as good as any stock fwd. Biggest thing out here is the lack of real knowledge of driving rwd from people who have grown up on fwd. Both work fine with the proper knowledge and equipment.If you don't want to learn how, then just get the beater. As for me, our awd suv will never take me up that road again in the winter.No thanks! Its great puttering around the curves at a slow speed,yes it gets moving fine,and great for the wifey, but I like to motor and be able to steer and that thing has nearly killed me a few times cause it can't! It stays in the ciy where its happy. Bottom line is a properly set up rwd is every bit as goodas the fwd if you know how to drive it! Stock for stock..of course no good in winter..:)
I still don't know if it's ok/a good idea to drive my '06 Mustang GT in the snow. Some people say yes and some say no. Which is it? I have traction control, but no snow tires nor any money to buy any right now. =(
I read the old string of replies above and duly noted all the ideas. I'll probably garage my stange and get a beater in WA. My concern is getting to WA. I will be moving to WA state from Florida close to the end of May - and crossing three mountain ranges - in my mustang 6 cyl. The major highways even in the higher elavations will be kept clear, but black ice is my big worry. I've talked with people in WY and MT and they have had snow blow in up til the end of May. Snow tires are not an option for me since most of the drive will be in warm weather, not to mention illegal, so do I just keep a pair of snow chains, cheap pliers, and rubber gloves in the trunk just in case? What is the best kind of tires to have for this type of combo weather driving? All Season Tires? "S" type? I need a new set of tires anyway so looking for recommendations. Do AST do well with chains if I have to use them? And why can't chains go on the rear tires to keep it from fishtailing?