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"Snowzilla" Driving Experiences

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by ThosEM, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. ThosEM

    ThosEM Space Weatherman

    Dec 13, 2013
    Annapolis, MD
    Well, we have survived "Snowzilla" on the east coast. Anyone care to say how it went for you? I have a few tales to relate:

    * We drove to NYC on Fri. afternoon to beat the storm's arrival in the DC area, in -5 C cloudy conditions. No problems; restroom break at Newark, and a lunch stop at Edison to be well charged for weathering the storm in the city. Despite the low temperatures and turnpike speeds, we did about 230 Wh/km, less than 25% above rated. Edison really filled up with six cars charging by the time we left.

    * NYC shut down (travel ban) in the afternoon of Sat. and our Broadway show was cancelled. Spent the time with daughter and son-in-law in Stuyvesant Town. Garage parking was worth every cent. Cars on the street were buried in record snowfall.

    * It was truly impressive to watch and listen to (backup beepers blaring) NYC dig out beginning in the wee hours of Sun. morning and we were able to depart by noon in slushy streets. The NJ turnpike was already at least four lanes wide and most of them were dry. Lunch stop in Hamilton Marketplace. Clear roads all the way through DE, and on to MD. Three cheers for Snowplow Socialism!

    * Then we got to Annapolis and even the main artery, Riva Rd., was barely passable and suspension raising was advisable. Our neighborhood had just a couple of ruts created by folks with SUVs. We took a chance, raised the suspension fully, and got most of the way without getting stuck, including downs and ups and some pretty high drifts. The radiators may have been temporarily blocked but no issues there. Our street did not even have ruts, so we parked overnight in a neighbor's shoveled driveway, and hoofed it the last few 100 meters. A morning of shoveling our our own drive produced a county plow and a cleared path. Out all night in -8 C, Nikola was reluctant and slow to charge at first, but thawed out quickly.

    The 2WD Tesla was unstoppable in 65 cm of rutted snow! And we don't even have winter tires, just the original Michelin Primacy all-seasons, worn now to 5/32 tread. Traction control helps greatly I'm sure. We're rebooking our Broadway show...
  2. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

    Apr 8, 2015
    I don't have any fun snow stories :/

    -I was snowed in until Monday afternoon, when the plows decided it's a good time to finally come by.

    -While snowed in, I saw tracks from my neighbors SUV who tried to plow through 2+ feet of snow, he made it about 20 feet, leaving behind him a ton of snow, I'm guessing he got stuck.

    -Once my street was cleaned, I drove around with no issues. Most of the roads were clear by Monday afternoon, heh

    Different neighbor asked if my Tesla doesn't have any SpaceX technology, where I could hover over the snow ;)
  3. iadbound

    iadbound Member

    Apr 24, 2014
    No. VA
    I took the car out last night. Our street hadn't been plowed since late Friday or early Saturday. However, a number of the SUVs on the block had driven out. Thus, we decided to risk it. Raised the suspension and rolled out. Our street has a pretty big hill and going down was no problem.

    On the way back, we noticed a plow at the top of the street and start to follow at a slow pace. About 2/3 of the way up the hill the car just couldn't get any grip. I have a RWD 85 with all-season tires. We back downed the hill and decided to wait for the plow to come back down. The plow came down a minute or two later, but then turned around and headed back up the hill. It didn't appear to put its blade down while going up the hill, but obviously such a big heavy truck mushed the snow down further. We then tried going up the hill. This time we started out going faster -- maybe 20 MPH instead of the 10 MPH or so we tried on the first attempt. The second effort worked and we got back to the house.

    I once had a loaner with the snow tires and I though it was an improvement over the all-season tires. I think I'll be getting the extra set of wheels/snow tires next season.
  4. 3mp_kwh

    3mp_kwh Member

    Feb 13, 2013
    I was out Saturday night, in the smaller end of the storm Boston received.

    Pasted/tweaked from IEV: Impressive, in Slip Start. I took AWD out in ~4 inches, with Mich X-Ice. Having done TC-off w/RWD, this was an entirely different experience. In turns, Tesla’s AWD does a fantastic job of just beginning to evenly drift to the outside, before immediately limiting power. I’m more convinced they simply limit power until the steering wheel is nearly straight again. It's a big ratio of available power, dead straight vs. turning.

    I also noticed rear stability control (noise in the rear corners) not kicking in unless the tail is a good 10-15 degrees out. It's plain HARD, to tease the rear out that far with AWD, anyway. On an empty, snow covered, traffic circle, deliberate attempts to get fish-tailing were mostly subdued by the front constantly pulling the car out of them. Go too fast, and steering goes away, then you slow down after a bit of understeer and you’re on your way again. An incredibly safe car, in snow. My opinion. I bet it could go faster with the controls off, but snow is one of those times I'm mostly happy to stay nannied.
  5. AWDtsla

    AWDtsla Active Member

    Mar 3, 2013
    I drove around in those primacies with basically full tread on ~5" of snow and my impression was anyone doing this on purpose was out of their minds. Snow tires are a must.

    - - - Updated - - -

    My experience was that ESC seems to ignore steering angle sometimes when it shouldn't if not always, except to cut torque. A more advanced program would try to make the yaw angle of the car match the yaw angle of the steering, without simply cutting torque. Anyways, this makes the car almost unturnable from a stop in deep snow unless you enable slip-start. Of course you'd experience this less with actual snow tires on since there is more traction.

    This effect works unfortunately in the dry as well. There is a huge restriction in torque when trying to accelerate out of a turn that is unnecessary. So yes I enable slip-start on dry pavement as well, there's very little actual slip but a whole lot more acceleration.

    Also tried out what the car does with regen on slippery surfaces, didn't get a solid opportunity to try and put it into a slide, but clearly you get a decent amount of regen and have the car be very "sloppy", without ESC or any sort of regen limiting kicking in.

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