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Superb handling in deep snow

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by artsci, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    Yesterday I was able to put the deep-snow driving dynamics of my Model S to an extreme test. This was not voluntary. I had flown to Manchester NH on Tuesday night and spent the day at Hanover, NH. I was scheduled to fly back last night, but with the serious storms hitting the Northeast, all flights were canceled and I ended up have to take a train from Boston to get home. My car was parked indoors at the BWI lot; I arrived for the 25 mile drive home at about 1:45am. At that point there were about 6" inches of snow on the ground and nearly all of the roads had not been cleared. So I set out with a bit of trepidation, not having driven the car in these kinds of conditions.

    The car performed flawlessly on the interstate and on back roads. About 20 miles were on interstates that had not yet been plowed or salted so I faced pretty raw conditions. I kept a steady speed of about 35-40 mph with no serious fishtailing or handling anomalies. Another 5 miles or so was on back roads with some steep inclines and snow piles about a foot deep. The car took the hills with aplomb and plowed right through the deeper parts, with just a bit of wheel spin so be sure, but nothing that created any major concerns.

    I couldn't have been more pleased with the car's performance in these very treacherous conditions.
     
  2. bhuwan

    bhuwan Active Member

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    great to hear! would have loved to meet up with you , as I am in Boston! next time!
     
  3. notailpipe2112

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    I had a very similar experience just a few weeks ago. I have to agree 100% that the snow performance of the car is unbelievable.
     
  4. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    My brother lives in Concord and I'm hoping to have a new client up that way soon, so I have many reasons to visit.
     
  5. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    Well....I don't know about "superb". Certainly it does a pretty decent job in light to moderate snow, but it is so low that there is a bit of 'plowing' going on in deeper snow (6"+). We've had a decent amount of snow, ice, etc. here in Missouri and I've driven the Tesla every day in those conditions and have felt confident that it was performing well. But even getting out of my drive way one night trying to get to work in 6" of unplowed snow up a negligible embankment caused issues (though I did neglect to try turning off traction control).

    So, all in all I agree that the Model S is solid in light to moderate snow conditions and it handles pretty confidently and the traction and stability control seem to work pretty reliably, but 'deep', I would be a bit concerned if the roads hadn't been well driven or plowed before I took off on them.
     
  6. Chris

    Chris Member

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    Didn't work out quite as well for me. Suburb of DC, over a foot of snow on the ground when I tried to leave early this morning. Road had not been plowed yet. With suspension set to high and winter tires mounted I made it halfway out and then got stuck. Took me 45 min and a lot of shoveling to pull back in the driveway. So far only one SUV made it through our street. Snow day for me. Be safe out there!

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1392310369.645889.jpg
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1392310387.268828.jpg
     
  7. apvbguy

    apvbguy Banned

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    what kind of tires are you running on?
     
  8. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    As the differences between the artsci and Chris posts illustrate, it's sometimes difficult to characterize something broadly. More specific terminology is often required.

    In the same light...

    Q: "Is the car good in rain?"
    A1: "Yes, I've had no issues in the Pacific Northwest for over a year. Sometimes the overhead light in the Model S does a better impression of the sun than the sun itself."
    A2: "No, it did horribly when Louisiana had a week with 5 hurricanes. Of course, not even Hummers were driving well in those conditions but I expected more of my Tesla."
     
  9. Chris

    Chris Member

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    Pirelli sottozero. It was a combination of tire spin (limited by traction control) and just so much snow the car would get stuck. It's not a snow plow after all
     
  10. slipdrive

    slipdrive Member

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    Looks like to plastic push car got the better parking spot! stay warm and enjoy the day! :rolleyes:
     
  11. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    The Pirellis are so-so, but in my experience NO car can handle dense snow above the bottom of the car. The wheels lift off the ground and you're done.
     
  12. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    Hey Artsci:

    Check your PMs
     
  13. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    Probably the difference six additional inches of snow makes. There were only about 6" on the ground for me. It was much deeper for you. I think just about any car would have a tough time in 12 inches except maybe a 4-wheel drive SUV.
     
  14. Blurry_Eyed

    Blurry_Eyed MS Sig #267, MX Sig # 761

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    Say, for you snow veteran drivers with the Model S, do you recommend running the car in snow on hills with Traction Control on or off?
     
  15. Chris

    Chris Member

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    Agreed. I have driven my car in 6" snow and it performed flawlessly. So much so that I floored it on an empty stretch of snowy road (just to see what would happen ;/) As many others have reported the car accelerates smoothly and I have never felt like I was loosing control. Today the amount of snow was just too much for her.
     
  16. Jeeps17

    Jeeps17 Cath Jockey in a P85

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    So far for me the S with Hakka 7s has done very well in snow, but I did have one occasion where I was going up a hill, poorly plowed during a storm, where the TC slowed my progress to a crawl. I was always in complete control, but was barely moving forward. I eventually made it to the top without issues, but with a bonus adrenergic discharge.

    One thing I noted is that I could NOT switch off TC while making my way up that hill - I did not want to stop and risk getting stuck. While having my foot on the accelerator I accessed the control screen (yes, I was going that slow) and pressed the "button" to deactivate TC, then the "confirm you really want to do this" warning, and nothing happened... Once I reached the top, foot off the accelerator, I repeated the button press, and got the TC DEACTIVATED prompt.

    So if you think you may have trouble getting up a hill in snow / slush, you may want to disable TC before you get going...
     
  17. Chris

    Chris Member

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    Thank you for that tip, Jeeps. I may have to try that tomorrow because more snow is in the forecast.

    So I was just now pulling back in the garage after I cleared all the snow that had accumulated on the driveway. Advancing really slowly I almost hit the front garage wall! Holy crap, almost ZERO braking power (and no regen at those temperatures). Those discs must be really slippery. Be careful and check your brakes in winter conditions
     
  18. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Definitely leave TC turned ON almost all the time. In the vast majority of situations it helps dramatically, and could prevent you from spinning into the ditch - especially if you aren't that familiar with driving in snow and ice. There are only two situations where I've had to turn off TC:

    a) In ridiculously slippery conditions, if climbing a hill without a running start. (We're talking falling-on-your-butt slippery.)

    b) If stuck.

    In these situations, the TC can bite so hard it won't even attempt to turn the wheels! Turning the wheels is something of a prerequisite for the car moving...

    When you turn off the TC be sure to gently press the accelerator. Do not spin the wheels fast; that will just polish the stuff under the wheels into cylindrical ice pockets! Be very gentle and spin the wheels very slowly.
     
  19. apvbguy

    apvbguy Banned

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    I can't speak for their performance on the MS but on my rear wheel drive MB the nokians were not one bit short of amazing, clearly the best on the market for snowy/icy driving
     
  20. Atebit

    Atebit Member

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    This is worrysome to me...
     

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