Manual vs Auto in the snow

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spider
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Manual vs Auto in the snow

Post by spider »

Here's one to get you thinking (maybe) :)

I find that I don't feel in as much control in heavy snow in an automatic. I'm not really sure why though.

I suspect its simply the lack of (as effective) engine braking or the ability to control that more accurately with a clutch maybe ? :-k

I think its mainly turning into junctions rather than parking etc.

Yes I'm aware of setting off in 2nd (or 3rd was possible in my non PSA car I had last year) so there was no slip danger from a standstill as such.

It maybe simply that approaching junctions etc, I find it better to rely on the engine braking a little bit more whereas with an auto its just not as effective due to the 'drag' effect. I dread to think what a CVT box would be like actually :D

The only time I was really concerned was when I went up a very steep hill covered in ice and snow. There were several damaged cars abandoned but I was sort of halfway up and that was it, its started to go sideways (twas a RWD car) and I ended up creeping down said hill at about 2mph using 1st as the low driving force, the slightest touch of the brakes caused a lockup which resulted in a speed increase. :o , (I should point out very old car with front drums so no danger of too much braking force) took me a while to reach the bottom but I was sort of stuck as I could not go up anymore so had to come down. In hindsight I should not of attempted said hilly road. This was a couple of years ago now though.

Anyway just wondered on others thoughts, I do like auto's however in very bad snow / ice if you have to travel a manual seems a bit safer I think unless its just me. :?

C5Alan
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Re: Manual vs Auto in the snow

Post by C5Alan »

i have experience of the same car in both auto and manual in the snow and have to say i prefered the auto found it would creep along in gear over the ice so no wheel spin and could get me to main road much better than many 4x4s even beore i fitted snow tyres

citronut
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Re: Manual vs Auto in the snow

Post by citronut »

i prefer manual as in theory you should have more control,
spoz that does also depend on the nut behind the wheel :yikes: :shock: :wink:

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CitroJim
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Re: Manual vs Auto in the snow

Post by CitroJim »

Snowed well here this morning. Popped the V6s gearbox into snow mode and off we went as happy as a happy thing..

I think I know where you're coming from Andy as you feel a bit 'disconnected' in an auto. I'm used to it now as I've now been driving autos almost exclusively for a few years..

The HP20 in Snow Mode puts the power down incredibly gently but what is odd is it's done with plenty of revving due to the TC slipping merrily away - it starts off in second gear in Snow Mode with no TC lockup. She feels very firm-footed.

There's still engine braking too...

I've not been out in the XM in the snow yet - that has the old-school hydromechanical with no Snow Mode and no lock-up...

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spider
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Re: Manual vs Auto in the snow

Post by spider »

I think 'disconnected' is the correct word. When I had the auto Astra (yes I know) it was the only vehicle I drove so I do not think it was any more than a 'feeling' of disconnection. Although the brakes were a bit too powerful for a small car (they were controllable) and no ABS although I'm not a great ABS fan to be honest.

Obviously ultra fine clutch control is needed (as well as very gentle brake control)

I don't know if they teach this on the test or not, I do wonder if because we do not get it bad that often (at least further down the country) it catches people out more.

Yes I've had a few slides over the years but not caught anything thankfully whereas most of my friends have, I put that down to simply lack of control. Although I sometimes wonder if a non-PAS car would be better, the Astra (yes I know) had steering so light all the time there was very little feedback, I'm wondering how the 106 will get on with that. I do notice the previous owner had fitted a length of cable tie to the pump relay plug so it was on top of the fuse box (instant disconnection of PAS) however that's no solution as well as 106's being heavy anyway with manual steering its going to be worse as you've got the rack hydraulics to move "manually" , needless to say I'll be leaving it connected, I'm not sure why they had that as a "quick disconnect" option. Perhaps I'll find out on the ice...