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C300 in snow

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Old 11-11-2010, 03:25 AM
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C300 in snow

Hi fellows, I am going to ski in thanksgiving vacation. Going to Lake Tahoe. And my babe is c300 RWD. Do you guys think it is a good idea to drive it in snow? Never drive in snow before, so experience = 0. Any suggestion would be helpful for me. thanks.
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Old 11-11-2010, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by huir View Post
Hi fellows, I am going to ski in thanksgiving vacation. Going to Lake Tahoe. And my babe is c300 RWD. Do you guys think it is a good idea to drive it in snow? Never drive in snow before, so experience = 0. Any suggestion would be helpful for me. thanks.
I would not pick a ski trip in mountain snow in *any* car as my first experience with driving in snow.

However, you probably have no chance to practice, so here are the best tips:

1) EASY on the throttle
2) EASY on the brakes
3) Brake early
4) SLOW THE F*** DOWN
5) Arrive Alive

And please make sure you have M&S rated tires, otherwise you could have a really bad trip.

Enjoy your trip.
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Old 11-11-2010, 07:41 AM
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BIG on number 4. Without snow tires...any car is gonna be difficult to control. RWD cars tend to oversteer so its much easier to spin out if you lose control.
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Old 11-11-2010, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by mr inkredibul View Post
Without snow tires...any car is gonna be difficult to control. RWD cars tend to oversteer
I think you got it backwards. Cars today, for the most part, are designed to understeer.
But in snow most bets are off. Especially for those that have never driven on it. And depending on the snow amount a good set of A/S tires is sufficient.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:15 AM
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Naw I don't. I'm an ME. FWD cars understeer by nature. RWD oversteer. This can be controlled buy the stiffness of the sways front and rear ro make the car more nuetral but in general your RWD car is going to oversteer more than your FWD one.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:24 AM
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Thats a comparisson. RWD cars today are designed to understeer. Lawyers. I believe that the last RWD to be designed to oversteer from the factory was the early 90 RX7
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:57 AM
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rent a awd crossover
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Old 11-11-2010, 10:16 AM
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If you're going to Tahoe with your C300, be prepared to see your traction control light up like a christmas tree! lol You'll be fine, just be careful and slow the F#*k down.
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Old 11-11-2010, 10:20 AM
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Seriously, rent an awd with tires for the day. You chance of an accident is way too high considering it's your first time and your car is ill equipped. Snow and ice will make you slide without traction and it's best to get a feel for it in someone else's car.
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Old 11-11-2010, 10:36 AM
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I agree. And the biggest tip I can give is that if you let off the gas completely, or suddenly, it can cause you to lose control. If your rears start to slide a bit (which they will), the best thing to will be to remain light on the gas, but tap your brake enough so that the rears will regain traction. Its tough to learn to drive with your left and right foot, but it really is the best way to drive in bad weather. If you can master it, you'll be just as good as those rally car drivers.

If you have enough money I would buy dedicated winter tires. All-seasons are more like 3 season tires, and winter is not one of them. They are absolutely terrible in the snow. If you never have to drive in snow again it might not be worth if for you to get dedicated winter tires (or maybe you can turn around and sell them). In which case you might just want to rent an SUV or other awd or 4wheel drive vehicle. It will be much safer, give you more cargo, and aren't terribly expensive, especially if you rent for a week.

If you must take your car, just make sure you have tons of weight in the trunk (which I am sure you will) but it would be smart to carry around a sand or salt bag or both in the trunk (that way you can through some down if you get stuck). Bring some emergency supplies as well, such as blanket, flash light, and food and a few other things if you do happen to get stuck or stranded, it won't be terrible. Lastly, keep the gas tank full, the extra weight helps out, and if you do get stuck, its better to have gas than be without it.

EDIT: On the controversial topic of RWD under or oversteering. On snow covered surfaces I believe he is referring to the very high chance that the rears will slip out and the car will turn side ways - thus resulting in an oversteer.

Last edited by jctevere; 11-11-2010 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 11-11-2010, 11:43 AM
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Save yourself the worrying and possible repair costs if you wreck due to inexperience driving in the snow...just rent an SUV for the day
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Old 11-11-2010, 11:53 AM
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I have driven those narrow winding road to Lake Tahoe in winter. Put on snow tires and have some chains on hand if possible.
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Old 11-11-2010, 02:24 PM
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make sure you have snow chains in your trunk..better yet..get a rental car and leave your c300 at home..
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Old 11-11-2010, 04:16 PM
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Like what others have said... it's not a bad idea just to go ahead and rent an AWD vehicle... There's so many debris that can be embedded in the snow which can scratch your nice clooking C and parking there will be a B**ch this thanksgiving weekend so to spare you from the hassle of door dings and rough terrain might as well use a rental
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Old 11-11-2010, 04:29 PM
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put four snow tires

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Old 11-11-2010, 05:43 PM
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Since you have no experience in the snow you should look for a nice empty space once you get into the snow (parking lot, wide empty level road, etc) and practice your skills. It may give you a bit of an idea how you and your car are going to perform further up the road.

Good Luck!
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Old 11-11-2010, 06:19 PM
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OP is located in CA, so buying 4 new snow tires would not make sense for him....
even with A/S tires, if it is snowing, unless you have AWD, you will be required to chain up...
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Old 11-11-2010, 10:11 PM
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Without snow tires, I don't recommend it. However if you must, drive very defensively as if everyone is out to get you. Never stomp on the brakes, just start breaking super early and always look in your rear view mirror. Not because you had time to break on time that the person behind you could.
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Old 11-11-2010, 11:28 PM
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Thanks everyone for the suggestion! After reading all these replies, I might just go ahead and rent a AWD car saving the troubles. But just out of curiousty, if let the c300 equip the snow chain, is the chain gonna hurt the car?
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by huir View Post
Thanks everyone for the suggestion! After reading all these replies, I might just go ahead and rent a AWD car saving the troubles. But just out of curiousty, if let the c300 equip the snow chain, is the chain gonna hurt the car?
Not if sized and installed correctly. Of course if they are loose and you spin them off, all bets are off.
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Old 11-12-2010, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by huir View Post
Thanks everyone for the suggestion! After reading all these replies, I might just go ahead and rent a AWD car saving the troubles. But just out of curiousty, if let the c300 equip the snow chain, is the chain gonna hurt the car?
For a first timer, Jeep Wrangler Limited with all terrain or snows. Any awd car rental likely will have all season tires, which will be of very limited value. Spinning four wheels with poor traction won't help that much more than spinning two. The primary issue is the capability of the tire to adhere to the surface, not how many wheels are turning (or spinning!). I don't know the roads where you are headed, but I would want Blizzak WS70 on whatever I am driving, especially if it is my first chance to drive in these conditions!
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Old 11-12-2010, 01:18 PM
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Stability control system will eliminate all control drama - worst case with no snow tires the car just wont move or will slide into ditch etc just like any car / SUV on all seasons in the snow.

AWD SUV with all season tires - you will only be able to accelerate better - cornering and stopping far worse than C300 on allseasons.

Get 4 Dunlop 3D or Blizzaks WS 60s and you'll be in far better situation than any AWD with all seasons.

Have been driving in snow & ice forever in the mountains. It's usually the SUVs in the ditch or crashes LOL
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Old 11-12-2010, 01:24 PM
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Another piece of advice for renting vs driving your C300 baby -- ski trips usually involve a lot of equipment and gear (whether or not you are staying near a shuttle or one of the lifts) such as skis, snowboards, poles, firewood, food supplies, etcetc. All of which could easily damage the inside and/or outside of your car. The edges of skis/snowboards could slice open your leather, for example. Or the zipper handle of one of your passenger's ski jackets could scratch your car as he/she is getting in/out of your vehicle. Not to mention the ice/water/mud that will be trudging in/out too. I would go with peace of mind and just rent something you won't feel getting dirty or beating up.
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