Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationMaintenance & Repairs · 1 month ago

How to drive a manual transmission car with snow?

9 Answers

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  • 1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    The short answer is 'gently', as though you have a bucket of cold water on the dashboard that will spill all over you if you do anything wrong. 

    Driving a manual transmission car in snow is not very different from how you should drive normally if you are safe, sensible driver, just allowing much more time for everything. The difference in snow and ice is that you drive as smooth as silk with no jerky movements or sudden speeding up or slowing down. You always drive within your safe stopping distance. In snow, that distance can easily be 50 times longer so you don't go as fast or drive as close. You have to read the road ahead and respond far sooner than you would have to in good conditions. Some people suggest you should pull away in a higher gear than normal. I have never found that necessary. Provided you have good clutch control and subtle gas control, normal driving techniques are perfectly OK. Brakes need to be applied much sooner than usual and more gently. It is quite an experience the fist time you drive in heavy snow but its OK if you stay calm and sensible.

    • Snezzy
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      Once in a while might need to start in 2nd gear. Beware of packed snow or ice on unsanded roads. The least error will make you do a 180 or a 540 and if lucky merely hit a snowbank. "Smooth as silk" is a good suggestion.  

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  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    Not really any different than anything else, but manuals are much better in the snow because you have a lot more control by downshifting instead of breaking.

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  • 4 weeks ago

    Step on the clutch, shift into gear, and go!

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  • 1 month ago

    Other answers are correct - CAREFULLY.

    Where I live, we don't get much snow - and so it's mainly a matter of keeping other people off of my car, but it also tends to snow, melt a little, then refreeze into solid sheets of ice (there are also a lot of hills - so it's really fun).

    I can generally get anywhere with my little front-wheel drive manual hatchbacks - having the weight of the engine over the drive wheels is very handy.  If you have a rear-wheel drive, it's a good idea to put some weight in the trunk (sandbags work well).

    Just take it easy - the manual transmission will give you the advantage of having a little more control and make it easier to tell when you lose traction (even if you don't have traction control).  I have one hill I have to take on my way to work that I have to hit going at a pretty good clip (while watching other people hit it too slow, make it halfway up, then start to spin out and slide backwards).

    I've learned to hit it going about 50 (there's a nice long flat straightaway leading up to it) and when I get about 75% of the way up it, and I start to spin, I can ease over to the shoulder, and use the refrozen slush to get a little bit of traction and make it over the top.

    Personally, to me, it's a lot of fun - but like I said, it's mostly a matter of keeping from being hit by other people.

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  • 1 month ago

    use clutch when shifting gears

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    I currently live in the Chicago suburbs but moving to Boston in a few weeks, and my dad is giving me his 2012 manual Jeep Compass (giving as in I'll be making the payments on it). I know this car gets a lot of hate but it is what it is... it works for us for daily driving. In Boston I'll be working in the suburbs so I do need the car to commute. I've been driving it for a few weeks now and am doing okay, but had some questions about driving in bad weather.

    We got lots of snow around New Year's, then a freeze this week where the high temperature on Monday was something like -8F. Last week, after the snowfall, I was driving to work and came to a winding, hilly road - nothing crazy on a normal day, but it was a challenge for an inexperienced driver. To make matters worse, it was not plowed very well (it was still snowing) and as a result there was basically bumper-to-bumper traffic. What's the best way to drive a stick shift in these conditions? I feel like I spent too much time in first gear, because I was too afraid of stalling otherwise, but at the same time I was afraid I was wearing out the clutch. I did end up stalling going uphill at one point, which was fun, but remembered the emergency brake trick and didn't die. Oh and I've already put up " NEW MANUAL DRIVER SORRY IF I STALL" signs on the back of the car, so thankfully most people know to give me some room.

    My other question is regarding driving in extreme cold. Is there anything I should do when I first start driving to "warm up" the car? Not like idling it, but when I actually get going. My dad commented that in the morning, at -16F, the shifter felt very stiff at first and suggested keeping it in first gear for a little longer than usual (we live in a suburban subdivision so I wouldn't be causing unnecessary traffic or anything).

    Thanks for your advice! Any other tips to develop good stick driving habits are welcome also.

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    "The Stranger" gave you a very good answer.

    Gently. Let me  add that Hills can pose big problems because the tyres can build up a wedge of snow in front of them that becomes impossible to push and if you step on the gas pedal too harshly you're going to spin and probably slip backwards out of control. Avoid bad hills if you can, but if you must take one then start off with plenty of momentum before you reach it and then be very careful with the gas. Ease off as you crest the top or your wheels might spin (spinning wheels have less friction so they end up leading whether you like it or not). Another thing with hills and valleys in rural areas is that there can be a spring line half way up which can make for seriously difficult ice on the way up the other side.

    Also be careful when coming off the main route onto a side road... they may not have salted and gritted it at all!

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  • 1 month ago

    With a very light right foot on both the gas and brake and a very sensitive left foot on the clutch. Pulling away in second gear sometimes helps reduce wheelspin if you don't have traction control.

    You often see idiots spinning their wheels because they think that if they hit the gas it will make the car move.  WRONG!!!!

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  • 1 month ago

    Same as any car in snow: Carefully!

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