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Old 11-27-2010, 10:40 AM   #1
lvelement
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2007 2WD LX AT
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What can I expect in the snow?

I just moved back to Pittsburgh after being gone for 5 years. I got my E on the West Coast and it never saw a snowflake or weather under 40 degrees. I only have the 2WD so what can I expect from my E when the snow starts falling?
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:09 AM   #2
lizzurd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lvelement View Post
I just moved back to Pittsburgh after being gone for 5 years. I got my E on the West Coast and it never saw a snowflake or weather under 40 degrees. I only have the 2WD so what can I expect from my E when the snow starts falling?

If you still have the stock Goodyears you can expect to be sliding around.

Get a good set of winter tires...You won't regret it.
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Old 11-27-2010, 03:41 PM   #3
FastEddieB
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I love our 2wd Element, but its hard to think of a worse car in snow.

There's pitifully little weight on the front wheels. I've nearly gotten stuck on wet grass on a practically imperceptible grade.

We have an older Dodge Intrepid, also front-wheel-drive, that does much better. And if we really get snow here in the GA mountains, which has been pretty sparse in recent years, there's also our old Land Cruiser...



Karen with Rocky last year.
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Old 11-27-2010, 04:29 PM   #4
paulj
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Wet grass can be notoriously slippery. Any front wheel drive can have traction problems on an uphill slope, as weight shifts toward the rear.

There are plenty of other E owners who are happy with its snow performance. While the AWD/4wd can come in handy, it is not central to this performance. It does not help when applying the brakes. For that you just want a well balanced car that does not fishtail a lot.

As mentioned, consider seasonally appropriate tires.

Drive with a light foot on the gas. Apply just enough power to get going, not so much that the tires loose traction.

With an AT, learn to use '2nd'. This transmission does not downshift in this setting. Again, it's a matter of applying the least torque needed to get going.

On your first snow, find an empty parking lot to practice in.

Carry cables and/or traction mats to deal with situations where you are at a loss for traction.
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Old 11-27-2010, 05:01 PM   #5
joce&mike
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We got ourselves some Nokian Hakka's (SUV Winter Tires) and we haven't had a problem at all.. its was 10C when we put them on and a couple days ago it was -45C they have been nothing but fantastic. I have never driven AWD so I don't know anything other then 2WD.
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Old 11-27-2010, 05:37 PM   #6
Box Car Willy
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Having lived in the Burgh (Mt Lebanon) and now logging a couple of months in the Canadian Rockies (-41 with windchill a few days back with lots of snow and ice), I can say that the AWD Element is a poor performer compared to other AWD vehicles I have owned (Audi Coupe Quattro, A4, Subaru Forester). When you factor in all the winter features most other cars have that the Element is lacking (heated side mirrors, heated seats, outside temp display), it is even worse. The E works fine on Vancouver Island but as a winter vehicle, it comes across as something designed by a bunch of people in California who have no clue. And let's also not forget the toy battery
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Old 11-27-2010, 05:54 PM   #7
paulj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Box Car Willy View Post
... The E works fine on Vancouver Island but as a winter vehicle, it comes across as something designed by a bunch of people in California who have no clue. And let's also not forget the toy battery
Yet PVR, a EOC resident of Silver Star (ski resort in BC), has no complaints about driving his E in the winter.

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Old 11-27-2010, 06:02 PM   #8
nacranym
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Box Car Willy View Post
... The E works fine on Vancouver Island but as a winter vehicle, it comes across as something designed by a bunch of people in California who have no clue. And let's also not forget the toy battery
maybe i'm clueless in California, but i don't live in snow country, i just visit it to play.
and the E works fine for that. i prefer to live near the beach. maybe that's what the designers had in mind.
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Old 11-28-2010, 01:04 PM   #9
lvelement
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Cali

My E was great for my trips to Californian when I was out west! Now I get to see how the E handles in bad weather. I did upgrade tires which helped in wet traction. Now I'm thinking about a set of winter tires but am not sure if it's worth it. Considering how much snow Pittsburgh got last year it might be.
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Old 11-30-2010, 09:16 AM   #10
ApriliaGuy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lvelement View Post
Now I'm thinking about a set of winter tires but am not sure if it's worth it. Considering how much snow Pittsburgh got last year it might be.
It might be...If I was in your situation I'd prolly buy myself at least 2 (preferably 4) General AltiMax Artic winter tires, or something similar.

The Generals run about $100 each, you can find a set of 4 decent winter tires for about $350 to $450 (or spend more like $550-$600 for the premium stuff)

your collision deductable is prolly more than that.

Just sliding a little bit and even lightly banging a curb, mailbox, or corner of a parked car is pretty much gonna cost at least $500.

A tow out of a ditch is gonna be $250.

The winter tires can help keep you safe for many more winter seasons as well...and your regular tires wil last longer too.

Be sure and brush up on winter driving and you Element's winter handling in a snowy empty parking lot when we finially get some snow.

Good luck, have fun!

Will
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