Winter driving in a 55 - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 01-19-2008
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Winter driving in a 55

I just relocated to the Pacific Northwest and had to drive my SLK 55 across the northern states to get to my new home near Tacoma, WA. It was smooth sailing from Illinois across the Rockies to Boise, ID. I ran into some heavy snow fall in eastern Oregon.

Once into the low mountains on Interstate 84 I hit blizzard conditions. The snow was falling so hard at times I could hardly see the road grader I was following directly ahead of me. I followed the big grader for about two hours at 15 miles an hour! No way could I have passed him. The snow was about 6-8 inches deep in the other lane. At one point I was able to get a clear view of the traffic stacked up behind me and it was cars, SUVs and semis as far as I could see (probably 2 miles and 500 or more vehicles).

The highway was clean when I left Boise at about 6 am. It started to snow an hour or so later. The snow was accumulating so fast and so rapidly that within a few minutes it was becoming a problem for my low clearance car. I was about to pull over in the middle of nowhere to wait it out when I saw the road grader ahead of me. I pulled in behind him and followed directly behind him for about 30 miles. Talk about good timing!

I have Pirelli Wintersports on all four wheels. They are 'Mountain/Snowflake' tires and meet the requirements for 'traction tires' that are required by the DOT in the mountains. They proved themselves on this trip! I wish I could have taken a few pictures but I was afraid to stop to get my camera out. The rest of the trip was uneventful.
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#2 Old 01-19-2008
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I am glad that you arrived to your new home in piece and to tell you the truth, I really enjoyed reading your narrative because two of my cousins have just started studying Engineering in Salt Lake City,Utah.They say Snow and the cold weather -14 degrees C are very harsh in regards to commuting to University and getting everyday convenience goods, bare in mind they have a FWD GMC acadia.

I've never seen snow before but you are very fortunate in experiencing it and I hope to do so, sometime in the near future.

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#3 Old 01-19-2008
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reallife,

As soon as I started reading the story I thought, "Hey, where are the pictures?" I guess you're excused from taking pictures this time

I was in a little snow storm a few years ago on I90 south of Lake Erie and I had to ask my wife to roll down the window and see if she could see road underneath us. Suddenly the white opened up and it was completely clear. I saw another car that had driven completely off the road and quite a ways out in some farmer's field. Glad I wasn't following him
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#4 Old 01-19-2008
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I drove my car year round last year and saved my self from a few ditches. NEVER drive the slk in the snow unless you absolutely have too.

Trust me.


and if you do make sure you have 9.5" wide tires in the back as it does help out.
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#5 Old 01-20-2008
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Originally Posted by Baron7700 View Post
and if you do make sure you have 9.5" wide tires in the back as it does help out.
Actually for the snow, the narrower the tires, the better, 9.5" doesn't work well in the snow, thinner tires works much better.

anyways, you guys are brake, I would never take my SLK in the snow, just don't trust rear wheel drives in the snow.

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#6 Old 01-20-2008
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Yes, I have narrow tires and wheels that are not offset for winter. Can't say I usually drive through that much snow. Usually the plows around here clear the roads pretty quick. I wish I could drive the SLK through some snow and then drive something else in the same conditions. Then I would know how it does comparatively. But, for the most part, I seem to do okay on the roads compared to others. The thing that scares me the most is ICE. And worse is being stopped on ice with someone else coming up from behind.
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#7 Old 01-20-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alroumi View Post
I

I've never seen snow before but you are very fortunate in experiencing it and I hope to do so, sometime in the near future.

Mo come to pa in the winter and wait for a storm. Ill give ya a place to stay!

Its hard to imagine that being around it all my life.


-14 C is what about 0-1 F, whcih in reality isnt the coldest or most horrendous thing in the Northeast pa./
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#8 Old 01-20-2008
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Winter tires

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Originally Posted by Ynot View Post
Actually for the snow, the narrower the tires, the better, 9.5" doesn't work well in the snow, thinner tires works much better.

anyways, you guys are brake, I would never take my SLK in the snow, just don't trust rear wheel drives in the snow.
You are correct about the narrow tires in snow. Snow on the road packs up under wider tires. Narrow tires can plow through snow to reach the pavement. That is why it is best to have dedicated tires and wheels for winter driving where snow is common.

Back in northern Illinois the winters are very cold but there really isn't all that much snow or precipitation. I forget what my tires sizes are but they are wider than I would like for driving in snow. On cold dry pavement or even with a little ice and snow I was getting terrific traction. My ESP light would activate once in a while if I was playing around but for the most part the car stuck to the road better than my minivan with 'all-season' radials. Of course, when there were predictions for lots of snow or lots of salt on the roads, I didn't drive my 55.

Here in Washington, I'm right on Puget Sound. It rarely drops below freezing. I haven't seen any snow or ice yet.
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#9 Old 01-20-2008
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Originally Posted by Baron7700 View Post
Mo come to pa in the winter and wait for a storm. Ill give ya a place to stay!

Its hard to imagine that being around it all my life.


-14 C is what about 0-1 F, whcih in reality isnt the coldest or most horrendous thing in the Northeast pa./
John to tell you the truth, I dislike long distance flights and thats what stops me from going to the U.S.A for tourism.

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#10 Old 01-20-2008
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Reallife, glad you arrived safely with your SLK 55 in good condition. I'm sure you had some tense moments. Good luck with the new job and location. Sounds exciting.
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#11 Old 01-21-2008
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Reallife, good to hear that you got to Washington fine.

Enjoy the seafood.

Eddy



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