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Caught in a snow storm... with summer only tires

 
Old 01-13-2019, 04:54 AM
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Gator6977
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Default Caught in a snow storm... with summer only tires

So, wife took the Acadia for a late night concert with our daughter. In lieu of taking another vehicle, I chose to spit in the face of the weatherman as snow was in the immediate forecast. Surely, with a trace to nothing being all there was to look forward to, Yvette could handle herself well enough. True, with temps that low, traction becomes an issue when under even a moderately pressed go-pedal. Add it to the thrill factor. Besides, nothing else connects to my bluetooth and I can't be bothered with commercials and spotty radio. After all, I work fifteen minutes down the road. It was barely starting to mist as I made my prudent and well-informed decision to drive my prized beauty to work where she'd have the run of an entire parking garage all to herself.

Temperatures hovered at 37 degrees all night long. Near constant mist to light rain endured the entire night and early morning. Alas, it was 5:30 AM and despite the perpetual reminders of snow, not a single flake had fallen. I would have no issue returning home, where my utterly gorgeous side-gal would nestle back into her quasi-heated, fully enclosed, cozy spot where she slumbers. I recall it being almost exactly 5:30 AM, one hour left on shift when it started all at once. Snow. Beautiful, white powdery, Satan spawned frozen bits of hell were cascading down. Worse yet, despite the warmer temps and rain covered roads, it was sticking at an alarming rate!

Now, my young Yvette was lowered by a previous owner. At last check, three inches separate my front air dam from the makings of the sexiest snow plow in the Midwest. By 6:30 AM, everything was white. Already an inch coated everything. Thinking back to an earlier conversation with the wife, "these tires will work just fine. The price point is quite nice and they've got a ton of reviews online. Even the guys on corvetteforum.com seem to really like them. What's that say? Summer only? Nah, I'm certain they mean summer preferential." A fifteen minute drive now separated me from home. As I slide into my dazzling coupe, I push that button she likes so much. She rumbles to let me know she's ready to go! Using my cunning intellect and keen instincts, I hold down that pesky nanny button for the prescribed five seconds.

Traction control and snow, pfft. Stabilitrak, not needed here. I pull out of the garage and begin my trek back. Easy enough, I'll just try to apply a little more fuel to this fire... and I'm now facing the other way. Huh. Guess I'll try that again, first time having been a rookie mistake. I've driven in snow before. Far worse than this, in fact. Tons of times... and now I'm sideways careening towards a brightly painted yellow curb. A few expletives followed by a quick, hallowed prayer were screeched. Thankfully, an incline was put just ahead of the curbing as it entered a parking lot. That sudden change in grade saved my bacon. Full stop. Just for fun, lets see what those morons at GM know and turn that traction whatnot and stabilitrak back on. I continue. For the next forty minutes, I continue. At blistering speeds of up to thirty miles per hour in a posted seventy mile per hour zone.

Within a few miles I began to smell a familiar burning that I had personally never caused. Brakes were hot. Traction control back off. Stabilitrak, on! Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift had nothing on me. I drifted that stunning machine like a professional. For near forty minutes. With a-holes blowing by at near twice my speed in their four-wheel pickups. No doubt getting quite the chuckle at the Corvette struggling to stay somewhere on the thirty-five feet swath of concrete that lay ahead. Finally, with every muscle tensed, knuckles whiter than the driven snow, I arrive home. Which is down hill. To my uphill driveway.

As I'm cruising downhill, in a now two and a half inches of snow, I start using my Machiavellian forward-thinking ability to determine how I'm going to mount this dog. Pass by the neighbor kid's vehicle, and dodge my neighbor who is JUST NOW LEAVING! The man works for our DOT. I love the man to death, but if I'm going to seriously hit him with something sharp the next time I see him. After having to slow a bit, cruising speed is now approaching a full five miles per hour. I veer wide to avoid the daughter's four-wheel drive pickup left in my driveway and spin to a stop. Only forty more feet to my anxiously waiting garage. I look to behind me and instantaneously note my exquisite rear end is partially in the roadway. Queue informal expletives exemplifying my current situation. Reverse selected, slight spinning, moving down driveway and voila, right back in the street facing a slight grade. Back uphill. Back in drive, tires spinning at the horribly rapid pace that accompanies 900 RPM. I manage to creep forward a full twelve glorious inches. And back to reverse, where I quickly retreat from my proud gain. Drive again and through the beautiful use of that freshly compacted spite, I pull forward and fight every inch to the next intersection where I turn around.

I again start down the hill to my uphill drive, this time carrying much more speed and momentum. Seven miles per hour. I hit my driveway, expertly avoiding that damned four-wheel drive vehicle that's literally been there all night, and slide upwards nearing my welcoming garage, and then towards my front yard and large pear tree. Fresh curse word laden prayer is expelled just as my beloved Yvette decides to come to a rest. Front wheels on the driveway, one rear barely on concrete as the other is as far as it can go into my soft lawn. I look behind and I have successfully cleared the city street. I try to pull forward with less than any luck. Several more minutes wasted only to realize, Yvette is sleeping outside today.

All of this to say, if you have summer only tires and all of the weather people are saying there will be snow, take it from me that it is better to leave your baby at home. Lesson learned the hard way. Be safe out there!
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:29 AM
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BadAV
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Should have left the car in the parking garage and called Uber. Or walked home. Or called the wife to come and get you. No way I would have attempted it in my GS with summer only tires. Lesson learned the hard way, just like many of us have to!

Lest you think I am knocking on you, I drove to my property 45 miles from my home, when they were calling for up to 18" of snow. The 1/2 mile path in and out is rough, especially in a couple of places. I will be attempting to leave in 16" of wet, heavy snow sometime towards noon. I have a 🚜 in the barn if I get stuck. The F-150 has a rear e-locker so I don't think there will be an issue. I am concerned about sliding into the barbed wire fence once I make it past the one steep, rutted, off-camber uphill spot.

Last edited by BadAV; 01-13-2019 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:32 AM
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449er
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If the Corvette is your only car, then I understand that you do what you have to do....but anyone who drives a Corvette during a snow event & doesn't have to, you get what is coming to you
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:53 AM
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lucky you made it home,,start digging
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Old 01-13-2019, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by 449er View Post
If the Corvette is your only car, then I understand that you do what you have to do....but anyone who drives a Corvette during a snow event & doesn't have to, you get what is coming to you
I couldn't agree more.

Winter requirement:





Optional summer toy:


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Old 01-13-2019, 11:11 AM
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HobbesTiger
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Love the story. Felt like I was sitting in the passenger seat. We've all probably done something similar.
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Old 01-13-2019, 12:02 PM
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I bet your sphincter could've cracked several walnuts during that ordeal.
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Old 01-13-2019, 12:12 PM
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Great Story! Glad you made it home with only a pair of dirty shorts to worry about.
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Old 01-13-2019, 12:14 PM
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farmington
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Here I am in Michigan (Detroit suburb) and we haven’t had any snow so far. Maybe an inch total with most of that in November. Seems like it goes either north of us or south of us. For once, we are truly blessed.
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Old 01-13-2019, 01:06 PM
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919cw313
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Cliffs version?
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Old 01-13-2019, 02:31 PM
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Luckily the base C6 has a pretty conservative traction control. I once drove through a terrible rainstorm from Houston to Dallas, Several cars in the ditch, including a C4. As much as that traction control limits the fun when you want to punch it out of a sharp corner, it really will save your ***. And you can turn it off and also have competition mode.

When the weather is bad the Accord and C6 stay in the garage and the Troooer and Duramax are available. They'll go but why get them dirty or worry that someone else plows into them? I'll bet the Duramax would be the absolute worst however. I've gotten that sucker stuck in wet grass.

Last edited by LowRyter; 01-13-2019 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 01-13-2019, 04:00 PM
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I wouldn't think about driving it in the winter with summer tires on. We love to take cold weather drives so I put Mich A/S 3+ tires on it. Corvette actually does well in the snow with cold weather tires. I just don't trust the hidden potholes/curbs.
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Old 01-13-2019, 04:54 PM
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Wonderful soliloquy! We were with you in the right seat..white knuckles and all! That's the principal reason I adorned my '08C6 with Pirelli Sottozero 240's. C'mon, NH snow, bring it on!!
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Old 01-13-2019, 05:02 PM
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Cool story bro!! here is my GS in Buffalo, sleeping in my heated mancave until spring!Lol
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Old 01-13-2019, 06:29 PM
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I had an interesting experience in early spring of 2017 while on a 250 mile trip to visit my wife in another city while she was caring for a critically ill family member. My trip took me over an excellent interior highway with 70 MPH posted speed limit and it was common to see people traveling 80 or 90 on that highway. As I was driving my daily driver I came upon a person who had climbed up on the snow bank so he could be seen easier and was waving and gesturing frantically as I approached a curve. It was early evening dusk and as soon as I saw that person waving I immediately stepped on the brakes and found myself no longer on dry pavement but black ice while traveling at 80 MPH entering a gradual curve. I`m probably alive and unharmed due to a combination of ABS, Electronic Stability Control, excellent new winter tires and damn good luck. As soon as I entered the curve I came upon a 3 car pile up and the first vehicle I encountered was on its roof sideways across both lanes. Instinctively and remembering that you don`t pump the brakes with ABS I just stood on the brakes and steered miraculously navigating through the crash scene without hitting anything or going over an embankment. For most of the trip I was driving on dry bare pavement but that curve had a southern exposure so the snow bank melting in the sun during the day caused the water to run across the highway during the day and it froze into black ice as it cooled at sunset.
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Old 01-13-2019, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Icecap View Post
I had an interesting experience in early spring of 2017 while on a 250 mile trip to visit my wife in another city while she was caring for a critically ill family member. My trip took me over an excellent interior highway with 70 MPH posted speed limit and it was common to see people traveling 80 or 90 on that highway. As I was driving my daily driver I came upon a person who had climbed up on the snow bank so he could be seen easier and was waving and gesturing frantically as I approached a curve. It was early evening dusk and as soon as I saw that person waving I immediately stepped on the brakes and found myself no longer on dry pavement but black ice while traveling at 80 MPH entering a gradual curve. I`m probably alive and unharmed due to a combination of ABS, Electronic Stability Control, excellent new winter tires and damn good luck. As soon as I entered the curve I came upon a 3 car pile up and the first vehicle I encountered was on its roof sideways across both lanes. Instinctively and remembering that you don`t pump the brakes with ABS I just stood on the brakes and steered miraculously navigating through the crash scene without hitting anything or going over an embankment. For most of the trip I was driving on dry bare pavement but that curve had a southern exposure so the snow bank melting in the sun during the day caused the water to run across the highway during the day and it froze into black ice as it cooled at sunset.
Yeah, I don't get why it's "cool" to drive around in the winter with a Corvette. NOBODY around here does it.

The salt is bad enough. The corrosive effects to everything under the car aren't immediate, but the negatives of confronting black or glare ice *IS* immediate.

If you find yourself on ice (and you usually won't know ahead of time) you will go wherever the momentum of the car takes you. Brakes, steering, will feel non-functional as they won't help you at all. You will stop, eventually, but will usually hit something first like another car, a guardrail, tree, ditch, whatever.

Don't ask me how I know this.
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Old 01-13-2019, 07:19 PM
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I drove my old five liter Mustang on drag radials and skinnies on the front in about three inches of snow. Big mistake, I'm lucky I didn't kill myself.
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Old 01-13-2019, 08:28 PM
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Story’s way to long...couldn’t stick with it.
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by saplumr View Post
Story’s way to long...couldn’t stick with it.
LOL, same here. I'm glad you mentioned it first.
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:29 PM
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In the late 90s I had a Viper as my daily driver ( in northern IL) Before the first snow I was smart enough to realize I needed a better winter driver. So, being a sports car kind of guy, I bought a C5. Then I lowered it as I do all my cars! I drove it through the next 5 IL winters with the stock GY F1 Supercar tires!!!! My commute was about 22 miles each way and I had some very long drives to and from work, but always made it. (they did plow very well most of the time) I got a lot of odd looks but at least I got to drive a car I could enjoy when the Viper was in the garage. ( the license plates were “GTS V10” on the Viper and “NOT V10” on the Vette)
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