Snow driving weather - Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum
Ford Focus Forum
HomeContact UsAbout UsGalleryDiscussion ForumsMarketplace


Go Back   Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum > Ford Focus Third Generation > MK3 Focus

MK3 Focus The place to chat about general questions, window tinting, exterior body, interior and lighting upgrades for the third generation 2012-Current Focus.

Search This Forum | Image Search | Advanced Search    
Ford Focus Tire & Wheels FocusFanatics Merchandise

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-05-2013, 11:27 AM   #1
spiderpig
Focus Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Fan#: 107025
Location: Telford, PA
What I Drive: 2013 Blue Focus Titanium

Posts: 126
FF Reputation: 2 spiderpig Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Snow driving weather

I just got my 2013 Ford Focus Titanium last month and have been loving it. Recently it's started snowing here in PA and I want to get some clarification about driving in the snow.

In my old 2004 Toyota Echo I had Drive, Second Gear, and Lower Gear. So when it snowing I would usually switch to lower to have the engine help me brake. But with my new car there is drive and sport. Would I need to put the car in Sport mode and just keep in lower gear myself, or would Sport mode give me more grip in snow?

Training my driving behaviors with the new car is a little challenging but lots of fun.


spiderpig is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 01-05-2013, 12:19 PM   #2
turbosleepa
Focus Jr. Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Fan#: 107143
Location: Petawawa, Canada
What I Drive: 2012, Black focus titanium

Posts: 45
FF Reputation: 1 turbosleepa Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
In sport mode you can switch to a lower gear with the button on the shifter
turbosleepa is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-05-2013, 12:32 PM   #3
zehkaiser
Focus Enthusiast
 
Join Date: May 2012
Fan#: 98706
Location: Fletcher, NC
What I Drive: 2012 Tux Black Focus Titanium Hatch

Posts: 180
Points 994, Level 16
Points: 994, Level: 16 Points: 994, Level: 16 Points: 994, Level: 16
Level Up 94% Completed
Level up: 94% Level up: 94% Level up: 94%
Forum Activity 1%
Activity: 1% Activity: 1% Activity: 1%
FF Reputation: 1 zehkaiser Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
You should be careful using Sport (auto) mode while driving in the snow. I've found that if I shift down to S and touch the brakes, the car will down shift pretty aggressively to lower the speed. This could cause you to lose traction with your front wheels. Be sure to leave it in Drive, or use Sport (manual) and be smart about it.
zehkaiser is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-05-2013, 02:18 PM   #4
spiderpig
Focus Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Fan#: 107025
Location: Telford, PA
What I Drive: 2013 Blue Focus Titanium

Posts: 126
FF Reputation: 2 spiderpig Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
So the best method is to go into sport and manually keep it in first or second gear?
spiderpig is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-05-2013, 02:38 PM   #5
zehkaiser
Focus Enthusiast
 
Join Date: May 2012
Fan#: 98706
Location: Fletcher, NC
What I Drive: 2012 Tux Black Focus Titanium Hatch

Posts: 180
Points 994, Level 16
Points: 994, Level: 16 Points: 994, Level: 16 Points: 994, Level: 16
Level Up 94% Completed
Level up: 94% Level up: 94% Level up: 94%
Forum Activity 1%
Activity: 1% Activity: 1% Activity: 1%
FF Reputation: 1 zehkaiser Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
I wouldn't keep it in a low gear all the time. Try to keep your RPMs as low as possible while doing anything in a low traction situation. Let me try to explain a little bit that will hopefully shine some light on suggested driving during poor conditions.

The coefficient of friction on snow is usually between 0.3 - 0.6. This is much lower than the coefficient of friction on dry asphalt, which is usually about 0.9. Every action you take in a FWD car 'uses' some available friction from your front tires on the surface you're driving on. That means that if you're turning WHILE braking or accelerating, you have a greater chance of losing traction. Because you're in a FWD car, all force from the engine will also be on your turning wheels. Using the brakes instead of your engine will put ~70% of the stopping force on your front tires, and ~30% on your rears. Your hand brake will be 100% braking from the rear tires.

So to get back to driving on snow, if you're driving in 2nd gear at 25 mph on snow, you're probably around 3k rpms. If you try to make a turn and you let off the gas to do it, you're going to cause the engine to slow the front tires. This uses some of your 'available' friction. Begin turning, and it'll use more. Try to turn too hard, and you're gonna slip.

The best method for driving where traction is an issue is to reduce the overall forces on your tires. Don't turn sharply, don't accelerate/decelerate quickly, and take your time getting places. Oh, and look out for the idiots who will slide right out in front of you because they were going to fast.

Also, don't try to stop using the hand brake. It's much different from using the pedal, and you can easily lock up your rear wheels.
zehkaiser is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-05-2013, 02:39 PM   #6
Joeywhat
Strichmädchen & Koks
 
Joeywhat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Fan#: 85247
Location: Brighton, MI
What I Drive: 2014 Mustang 3.7L SGM

Posts: 2,773
Points 7,387, Level 57
Points: 7,387, Level: 57 Points: 7,387, Level: 57 Points: 7,387, Level: 57
Level Up 19% Completed
Level up: 19% Level up: 19% Level up: 19%
Forum Activity 9%
Activity: 9% Activity: 9% Activity: 9%
FF Reputation: 11 Joeywhat Great Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (1)
No, the best method is to use your head and keep it in an appropriate gear. If you're not sure what an appropriate gear is, leave it in drive, it'll do just fine.
__________________
Hatch Nation #29
Joeywhat is online now  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-05-2013, 03:33 PM   #7
dan50
Focus Addict
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Fan#: 91789
Location: Too much info, IL
What I Drive: 2012 SEL White Platinum 5 Dr 302A

Posts: 1,166
Points 2,801, Level 32
Points: 2,801, Level: 32 Points: 2,801, Level: 32 Points: 2,801, Level: 32
Level Up 34% Completed
Level up: 34% Level up: 34% Level up: 34%
Forum Activity 1%
Activity: 1% Activity: 1% Activity: 1%
FF Reputation: 11 dan50 Great Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Don't use engine braking at all in the snow. If traction is compromised I'm not sure the ABS system will intervene. Plus if you use the brakes too hard you can back off in an instant; not so with a downshift. Best just to leave the car in "D" when it's snowing, in my opinion at least.
dan50 is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-05-2013, 06:12 PM   #8
spiderpig
Focus Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Fan#: 107025
Location: Telford, PA
What I Drive: 2013 Blue Focus Titanium

Posts: 126
FF Reputation: 2 spiderpig Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Thanks for the all the explanations - it's really appreciated. I'm not a "car" guy by any means. I'm an IT guy so I can tell you about all the systems and how they work, but car stuff is an enigma to me.

Going from my old car to my new I'm finding I have to retrain some of my driving habits. Like in snow I always put the car in lower gear on hills before. Also, my older car didn't have ABS so that's something new I have to get used to.

Follow up question with this...reading about the activetrac w/ESC it seems like if a wheel loses traction the system will brake on the other side to try to maintain control. Do you guys find this is helpful in snow conditions? It almost feels like where giving away some control to a computer.
spiderpig is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-05-2013, 08:18 PM   #9
dodgeguy
Focus Enthusiast
 
dodgeguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Fan#: 85952
Location: Sterling Heights, MI
What I Drive: 2009 black SES

Posts: 283
FF Reputation: 1 dodgeguy Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Quote:
Originally Posted by zehkaiser View Post
I wouldn't keep it in a low gear all the time. Try to keep your RPMs as low as possible while doing anything in a low traction situation. Let me try to explain a little bit that will hopefully shine some light on suggested driving during poor conditions.

The coefficient of friction on snow is usually between 0.3 - 0.6. This is much lower than the coefficient of friction on dry asphalt, which is usually about 0.9. Every action you take in a FWD car 'uses' some available friction from your front tires on the surface you're driving on. That means that if you're turning WHILE braking or accelerating, you have a greater chance of losing traction. Because you're in a FWD car, all force from the engine will also be on your turning wheels. Using the brakes instead of your engine will put ~70% of the stopping force on your front tires, and ~30% on your rears. Your hand brake will be 100% braking from the rear tires.

So to get back to driving on snow, if you're driving in 2nd gear at 25 mph on snow, you're probably around 3k rpms. If you try to make a turn and you let off the gas to do it, you're going to cause the engine to slow the front tires. This uses some of your 'available' friction. Begin turning, and it'll use more. Try to turn too hard, and you're gonna slip.

The best method for driving where traction is an issue is to reduce the overall forces on your tires. Don't turn sharply, don't accelerate/decelerate quickly, and take your time getting places. Oh, and look out for the idiots who will slide right out in front of you because they were going to fast.

Also, don't try to stop using the hand brake. It's much different from using the pedal, and you can easily lock up your rear wheels.
Man, I love the techie! I thought the handbrake was for doing powerslides! LOL :)
__________________
K&N Air filter, uh - thats it, NO CAI, NO FSWerks, NO Exhaust, NO Coilovers, NO Tune, Nothing
dodgeguy is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-05-2013, 08:59 PM   #10
ElectricAL
Focus Addict
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Fan#: 71376
Location: Minneapolis, MN
What I Drive: 2005 Silver ST

Posts: 676
FF Reputation: 2 ElectricAL Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
In places where it doesn't snow often (and even in places where it does), many people don't know how to deal with a snowy or icy road. If possible, stay home. It's the surest way to avoid a mishap. If you have to travel, follow the advice given above about NOT overdriving your traction. In short, keep speeds slow and maneuvers very deliberate. If you see snowy and icy roads regularly during the winter, consider getting a set of winter wheels and tires so you can swap to the best tires possible for the conditions.

Here in MN, I wish more people used winter tires. After any big snowstorm, there are always many accidents and spinouts.... many that would be preventable if folks were using tires better-suited to the conditions.
ElectricAL is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Bookmarks & Social Networks

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:04 PM.


Copyright 2002-2014 FocusFanatics.com. All Rights Reserved : Terms of Use : Privacy Policy : Advertise Information

Focus Fanatics Ford Focus Forum offers many fun ways for you to engage with other Ford Focus Owners from across the world. Whether it be about the aftermarket performance modifications, technical how-to's, European tuned suspension or awesome fuel economy similar to the Acura TLX or Fiesta ST. You can find all Ford Focus and Focus ST related information here. Join our Ford Focus discussion forums and chat with local Focus enthusiasts in your area.