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Snow Button


BillNick
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Hi all.

Being Kent - the area worst hit with last nights snow - I had the opportunity to use the snow button last night, but struggled to notice what it actually does???

My IS is also my first RWD, does anyone have any advice or techniques for best manouvering in the snow?

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It just makes the throttle less sensitive to make it easier for you to apply the power gently, doesn't do any more than that.

It's not really the RWD that's the big problem, it's the wide summer tyres. No real tricks, just start in as high a gear as you can and be as gentle as you can with the power.

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It just makes the throttle less sensitive to make it easier for you to apply the power gently, doesn't do any more than that.

It's not really the RWD that's the big problem, it's the wide summer tyres. No real tricks, just start in as high a gear as you can and be as gentle as you can with the power.

why wide tyres are worse than narrow? I believe I have seen somewhere that the contact surface area is the same in both occasions.

contactpatch1.gif

"Imagine driving on to a glass road and looking up underneath your tyres. This is the example contact patch (in red) for the situation I explained above. The narrower tyre has a longer, thinner contact patch. The fatter tyre has a shorter, wider contact patch, but the area is the same on both."

Sourced from http://www.carbibles.com/tyre_bible_pg2.html

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It just makes the throttle less sensitive to make it easier for you to apply the power gently, doesn't do any more than that.

It's not really the RWD that's the big problem, it's the wide summer tyres. No real tricks, just start in as high a gear as you can and be as gentle as you can with the power.

why wide tyres are worse than narrow? I believe I have seen somewhere that the contact surface area is the same in both occasions.

contactpatch1.gif

"Imagine driving on to a glass road and looking up underneath your tyres. This is the example contact patch (in red) for the situation I explained above. The narrower tyre has a longer, thinner contact patch. The fatter tyre has a shorter, wider contact patch, but the area is the same on both."

Sourced from http://www.carbibles.com/tyre_bible_pg2.html

i think a Corsa prob has a better chance of getting through the snow than a Lex... its because the narrow tyres cut through the snow.. where as wider ones cover a bigger area and so i guess its harder to rip through...

if that makes sense :whistling:

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Yeh I had a Fiesta prior to the Lex, it was so much easier in the snow.

Traction control also doesnt help in the snow....I found turning it off and controlling the throttle yourself is a lot easier. Like you said, high gears and minimal throttle.

Otherwise just stay at home!! hahaha

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FWD cars are always easier to drive in the snow. More weight over the driving wheels than in a RWD car. The lex is very poor in the snow. Also turn TRC off as that will make it a little easier.

Not quite sure I agree that a smaller (thinner) tyre will also have a longer contact area with the road than a wider tyre would - why is that that? If both 17" then wouldn't make a blind bit of difference.

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It just makes the throttle less sensitive to make it easier for you to apply the power gently, doesn't do any more than that.

It's not really the RWD that's the big problem, it's the wide summer tyres. No real tricks, just start in as high a gear as you can and be as gentle as you can with the power.

why wide tyres are worse than narrow? I believe I have seen somewhere that the contact surface area is the same in both occasions.

contactpatch1.gif

"Imagine driving on to a glass road and looking up underneath your tyres. This is the example contact patch (in red) for the situation I explained above. The narrower tyre has a longer, thinner contact patch. The fatter tyre has a shorter, wider contact patch, but the area is the same on both."

Sourced from http://www.carbibles.com/tyre_bible_pg2.html

Hence why wider tyres are better for cornering, you have a wider contact patch in the sideways direction. Wider is worse in snow as the weight is spread width ways and therefore less stable in a straight ahead direction and more prone to slide. The thinner tyre has a longer contact patch in the direction you actually want to go in.

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Very logical from TigerFish....and I put his theory into practice last night - Going along at a cool 15-20 mph in a straight line and all of sudden she decided she wanted to go sideways!?!?!?

Turning TRC off is the only way provided you can control your throttle and steering well :-)

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The main difference is the Snow button starts the car off in 2nd gear rather than first to reduce the chance of tyre spin.

nope mate not on the is200 manual.

tigerfish and rob have it down to a tea!!same applys in the wet as wider tyres lift in water narrow tyres cut through the water,same applys to snow, wide rides on top of the snow thin cuts through.

has anyone never watched ice racing???? their tyres are not much thicker than a pedal bike tyre.

istockphoto_4914130-racing-tyres.jpg

i know its studded but you can get them without.

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the lex would be fine with winter tyres on 205/50/r16s or similar. Snow button reduces throttle opening at given pedal travel and dampens the throttle response.

added, Also increase the idle fuel cut off to a broader rpm range, this gives greater engine braking(greater pumping forces) which helps on deceleration, keeping you off the brakes haha , i does work

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Hence why wider tyres are better for cornering, you have a wider contact patch in the sideways direction. Wider is worse in snow as the weight is spread width ways and therefore less stable in a straight ahead direction and more prone to slide. The thinner tyre has a longer contact patch in the direction you actually want to go in.

That sounds as a very reasonable explanation :) As for comaring Lexus and Corsa - Corsa benefits from FWD and relatively heavier front axle because of the engine.

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the lex would be fine with winter tyres on 205/50/r16s or similar. Snow button reduces throttle opening at given pedal travel and dampens the throttle response.

Currently I have 225/45 R17 on mine (bought it with such tyres). Not much experience yet on the snow (it was only 2-3 snowy days till now)

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Hence why wider tyres are better for cornering, you have a wider contact patch in the sideways direction. Wider is worse in snow as the weight is spread width ways and therefore less stable in a straight ahead direction and more prone to slide. The thinner tyre has a longer contact patch in the direction you actually want to go in.

That sounds as a very reasonable explanation :) As for comaring Lexus and Corsa - Corsa benefits from FWD and relatively heavier front axle because of the engine.

Think i would prefer to wrestle with the Lex on the snow rather than look like a girl driving a Corsa :winky:

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Depends on what you have drove in before i guess. I prefer a rear wheel drive cars you can steer the car with the throttle if it starts to understeer in the snow a little throttle will slide the back end back into line. If you lock up the front end of a front wheel drive car you have nothing steering brakes power all gone due to loss of traction at front wheels. As for turning off the electric aids why buy a car with them if your going to turn them off. I agree its more fun and personaly doesnt bother me i spent years in a 1969 rs2000 escort sliding it round on supermarket car parks at night. I can handle a rear wheel drive car mastering a power slide was an early achievement of mine, very recless thing to do on the roads but really does help with driving in this weather.

Be light and smooth on the controls and keep the electric aids on, i would like to see the insurance claim form " i crashed, i turned my traction control off and the snow button !!! well i didnt think i would bother with that""

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Been out today in fresh snow, probaly about 3cm thick, so not much. was horrid ! had snow on and have 2nr winter tyres on the rear (soon to be changed) it was horrific trying to set off on a hill!

whining and a weird electronic noise! not good! was fine once going

snow button makes a massive difference!

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I can handle a rear wheel drive car mastering a power slide was an early Depends on what you have drove in before i guess. I prefer a rear wheel drive cars you can steer the car with the throttle if it starts to understeer in the snow a little throttle will slide the back end back into line.

You won't keep the wheels turning when the TRC cuts in, you got no engine mate it cuts the sparks and is total crap.

Be light and smooth on the controls and keep the electric aids on, i would like to see the insurance claim form " i crashed, i turned my traction control off and the snow button !!! well i didnt think i would bother with that""

Sound advice there.

I Cut my teeth in rear wheel drive cars in Scotland where we had loads of snow and an IS200 on summer tyres is the only car I have been stuck in no matter what I did with the "electric aids".

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I can handle a rear wheel drive car mastering a power slide was an early Depends on what you have drove in before i guess. I prefer a rear wheel drive cars you can steer the car with the throttle if it starts to understeer in the snow a little throttle will slide the back end back into line.

You won't keep the wheels turning when the TRC cuts in, you got no engine mate it cuts the sparks and is total crap.

Well - depends on the situation. In general it should. RWD will understeer only if the front wheels lose traction in the corner - if back still has grip, it could work in the fashion that fil4362 has described. IMHO? :)

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Definatly doesnt cut the spark. Would missfire if you cut the spark. Cutting the sprak would/could cause more trouble than you was already in. I would imagine the ecu overrides the throttle position. Cutting the spark would also cause the engine to stall. If you keep your foot planted and let the trc cut in you can keep it cut in for a considerable time period, if the spark was cut for this long the engine would stall compleatly. Not to mention cause a problem when the spark cut back in it would ignite all the unburnt fuel in the cylinders. I used to have a push button start on my old escort with a flick switch for the igntion if i turned the igniton of, therefore cutting the spark, and kept the car rolling in gear it would keep drawing fuel through the carberator and when i re ignited the ignition it flamed out of the exhaust like you wouldnt believe.

Either way Toyota/Lexus invested millions into designing the electronics on the car who are we to poo poo them and decide i wont bother using them. I personally have tried all 3 setting this weekend snow on trc on, trc on snow off, and both off. both on definatly aids when pulling away from a stand still.

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