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Old 12-08-2008, 01:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Moving soon to snow area. Can Miata be my DD?

I might be moving soon from Hawaii to Boston. I have never lived in a snow area before. I was wondering how many members here drive their miata in the winter time? If so is it safe? Or should I just invest in a used forester or something? (might be driving about 2 hours each way to my new job)

Thank you
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Old 12-08-2008, 01:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You can, yes... I did
Safe? depends on how you drive
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Old 12-08-2008, 01:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Moving soon to snow area. Can Miata be my DD?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn808 @ Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:11 pm
I might be moving soon from Hawaii to Boston. I have never lived in a snow area before. I was wondering how many members here drive their miata in the winter time? If so is it safe? Or should I just invest in a used forester or something? (might be driving about 2 hours each way to my new job)

Thank you
My rear tires are nearly bald, and I couldn't turn around in a flat driveway with maybe half an inch of snow on it. However, I've heard that with snow tires miatas handle just fine.

But if you're using the car for a 2 hour commute, I wouldn't want to count on the miata even with snow tires. I'd invest in a cheap beater.
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Old 12-08-2008, 01:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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with never driving in snow before, i say get a FWD beater to be safe. i am perfectly fine in my miata with some all seasons in up to 6 inches of snow. i'd drive it every day, but it's a little on edge for snowy commutes. i did drive 2 hours in an ice storm on summer tires, and it did make it home just fine.



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Old 12-08-2008, 01:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Moving soon to snow area. Can Miata be my DD?

yes yes and more yes. i lived in mountains in virginia and in the winter we'd get quite a bit of snow daily. here are some tips-- get snow tires or deep treaded tires, make sure they are NARROW and 14's..then empty your trunk of junk, and fill with dead weight. the miata is very light. if there is a limited slip in your car, for some reason it just wont like to move from a dead stop unless the car is loaded with weight. if its a open diff it could make it around just fine usually. i drove my miata every single day up and down mountain roads in all kinds of snow. just be really careful on the brakes and start everything in 2nd or 3rd gear.
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Old 12-08-2008, 01:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Moving soon to snow area. Can Miata be my DD?

oh and if you have adjustable suspension then go full soft and lose the sway bars. also raising ride height is nice
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Old 12-08-2008, 01:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My mom DD her 03 with no major changes.

We just bought 4 steelies and Walmart snow tires and she gets around fine.
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Old 12-08-2008, 01:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Moving soon to snow area. Can Miata be my DD?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DTorresF1 @ Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:49 pm
lots of words
Did you try driving without any added weight in the trunk? I was just wondering how much adding weight back there would mess with the cars 50/50 balance... if the positives outweigh the negatives.
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Old 12-08-2008, 02:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It's actually fun driving in snow if you have set of snow tires... I would be more concerned about all the salt they dump on the snow covered road!
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Old 12-08-2008, 02:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Moving soon to snow area. Can Miata be my DD?

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Originally Posted by morr @ Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:55 pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by DTorresF1 @ Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:49 pm
lots of words
Did you try driving without any added weight in the trunk? I was just wondering how much adding weight back there would mess with the cars 50/50 balance... if the positives outweigh the negatives.
LOL in terms of driving in snow..... ur not worried about 50/50 weight distribution because you arent transfering hardly any weight. there is no grip. trust me, just load the trunk up. if you dont the car will be beached and you wont even get out the driveway in medium to heavy snow.
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Old 12-08-2008, 02:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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i drive in snow most of the year it seems. i used to work as a ski instructor and drove 40 miles to work, 40 miles back, 35 to my girlfriends and 35 back each day over christmas break a few years ago. i put over 4000 miles on my car in under a month. each morning i drove to the mountain i was out before the plows were, so i dealt with the worst of the worst on curvy roads. i always use decent snows and have never had a problem. i dont' even weight the trunk. the only times i've been off the road were in peoples driveways going 2 mph. very rarely have i been stuck where i needed a shove to get me out.

you can absolutely use your miata as a DD in the winter. the best suggestion i can make to you is on the first snow drive (very slowly and carefully) to a large empty parking lot. play around for an hour or so. learn how the car slides, learn how to engage gears without slipping too much, learn what happens when you jam the brakes vs pumping the brakes. learn how you need to use the gas to turn corners (especially tight corners) and most of all, blow some donuts and gigantic power slides! i love driving my miata in the winter, it's tons of fun! just be careful and take every opportunity to learn the cars abilities in the snow.

check my sig for how much snow i deal with. that picture is something that happens frequently where i live.
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Old 12-08-2008, 02:57 PM   #12 (permalink)
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oh yeah, learn the difference between icy roads and snowy roads. no vehicle does well on true ice.
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Old 12-08-2008, 03:05 PM   #13 (permalink)
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your picture makes mine look like garbage.. but i did see two rolled SUV's on the way home.
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Old 12-08-2008, 03:35 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks for the responses guys. Since I have never driven in the snow before I think I will pick up a used Subaru Forester or something. Plus it might come in handy for moving etc.

Thanks again!
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Old 12-08-2008, 04:06 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Moving soon to snow area. Can Miata be my DD?



need i say more lol
iv got myself some super nobby winters for this season looking forward to trying them out actauly. dori dori
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Old 12-08-2008, 04:15 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Moving soon to snow area. Can Miata be my DD?

Driving in the snow is quite fun!
I just threw on 14' stealies wearing Blizzak WS-60 tires (185/60/14), with a heavy tool box in the back... worked just fine. :wink:

Made a couple of trips up to Brian Head, UT. and Tahoe, was loads of fun.

Just only wish I had a hardtop during those trips.. was a tad bit nippy.
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Old 12-08-2008, 04:27 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Moving soon to snow area. Can Miata be my DD?

Driving in the snow is not bad, you just have to pay more attention and don't be stupid. I live in park city, Utah, we probably get the heaviest snow in Utah most of the time. Since i've been driving i've always driven a rear wheel drive, i started with a 1987 crown victoria, open diff, and tons of weight in the front and just had all seasons. The car did fine and there were plenty of times where people would complain about their 4wd's getting stuck and i never had problems. Last year i drove a rear wheel drive toyota previa minivan delivering pizza, never once did i have a problem and it's on all seasons as well.

Go to a big empty parking lot sometime after it snows heavily and get familiar with how your car will handle with snow. Do a few donuts and whatever and learn what happens when you slam on the brakes in different situations like turning. For those suggesting a fwd for the snow, i wouldn't, at least a rwd will oversteer with a little gas, fwd usually just understeers like crazy in the snow and i've never had a good experience with them in the snow.
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Old 12-08-2008, 04:55 PM   #18 (permalink)
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It does suck if you have a plastic rear window, but snow tires is what makes the difference.


7 winters with a Miata in PA
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Old 12-08-2008, 05:24 PM   #19 (permalink)
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miata foam party!!! oh i guess thats snow, i wouldnt know i live in ca.
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Old 12-08-2008, 05:39 PM   #20 (permalink)
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They're not great winter cars, that's for sure.
This is my first winter in a MX5 and it is twitchy.
I use some test winning Gislaved studded tires and i must say they do suck on ice, but are great on snow.

That said, i do live on a very shitty gravel road that rarely gets plowed and is full of holes.
And i live in a country that actually have proper winters.
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Old 12-08-2008, 09:06 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Default Re: Moving soon to snow area. Can Miata be my DD?

Learn to spot black ice areas. Ice is the worse thing about driving in cold. Black ice catches people of guard and makes them slide right off the road. Snow is easy.

Put a bag or two of sand and/or small gravel in your trunk to add weight to the rear end. If you get stuck use the sand and/or gravel to get unstuck. This saved me on many on more than one occasion.

Its usually not the driving that is a problem in the snow, Its those blasted stop signs and getting going again. Keep rolling never full stop on an uphill unless you absolutly have to.

Snow tires are a very good investment get a set of crapola rims and mount the tires for good, it makes it worthwile to swap them out when the weather is nice.

I would plan on getting a hardtop if you didn't already.
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Old 12-15-2008, 09:35 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I can't afford the snow tires, nor do I put weight in my car. But I've driven in snow plenty of times.

But a Hardtop or glass window makes all the difference. However, my hardtop is never used anyways...lol

Just be careful when you drive and if you can afford the snow tires, buy them.
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Old 12-15-2008, 10:02 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I put mine away last month... winter driving wasn't really the issue...

More salt/plastic window.

The salt on the roads will eat your top up in no time and the rear plastic window will crack easily

My winter beater is a 93 civic 4dr, I love it
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Old 12-15-2008, 12:24 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Agreed. I always have 2 cars (Winter / Summer) since high school. But last winter, my winter car got some problem and i have to drive my NB in Winter. The first few days without winter tires was very hard to drive. But the miata itself is drivable in winter as long as you have a good set of winter tires.Just make sure you have your head lights on as DRL anytime so people can see you, and avoid those wall of snows that's higher than the hood of the miata. and slap on a nice set of winter tires and you are good to go.

o, and a hard top make a big different.

I am in Canada and I drive a Suzuki X-90 for winter now. it's the worst car ever made, but best 2 seater in winter.

good luck
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Old 12-15-2008, 11:43 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Default Re: Moving soon to snow area. Can Miata be my DD?

Miata in snow= Fun

Any car on ice= Sketchy


The other day was the first time I had driven my Miata (or any RWD car) in the snow. I recommend putting snow tires on all four corner which I have done since I took this picture yesterday. The car tracks nicely and I was cruising at 55 without any trouble. Although it understeered like a pig with my 912's still on the front plus the handling was weird. Now that I have studded snow tires on all corners it seems a lot more stable albeit a lot louder, and I'm glad because it was an ice skating rink today, nice slow progressive sliding through almost every shaded turn was a great learning experience.
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Old 12-15-2008, 11:56 PM   #26 (permalink)
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car is under a inch or so right now.

supposed to snow again wednesday and thursday as well.

Just be careful: rwd and lightweight are lame or the snow but you can manage.

hawaii to boston is polar opposition.
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