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How do you drive a quattro in snow & ice?

Discussion in 'A4/A4 cabriolet/S4 forum(B6 chassis)' started by Hightower, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. Hightower
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    Hightower Member

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    Serious question chaps

    having been a fwd owner on all my vehicles I'm new on how to drive a quattro in the snow and ice and as our road has turned into a skating rink during the day it's going to be interesting getting up the hill in the morning.

    Went out to town earlier and it was black ice everywhere and felt the back end sliding a bit during light acceleration on a few dodgy patches on a couple of hills, should I be switching the traction control off?
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  2. david_phillips95
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    david_phillips95 Member

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    drive carefully in icy conditions doesnt matter what your driving whether it be FWD, RWD or AWD you will have no control on ice unless you have studded tyres. I would advise leaving traction control on at all times. I was driving on snow today and i pushed the accelerator down to see what would happen and i was very impressed, it let the car accelerate while keeping it straight and in control. I wont be turning mine off.

    Davie
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  3. quattrojames
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    quattrojames Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I agree, personally I wouldn't turn traction control off.

    The main thing to remember with quattro is that while it may help forward traction, it won't stop you any quicker! Nor will it prevent you sliding off the road if you're going too fast.

    I have found that in really icy conditions it does tend to adopt the characteristics of a RWD car, ie oversteer. Good fun if you're expecting it and ready for it, less so if you're inexperienced.
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  4. Hightower
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    Hightower Member

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    Ok I will leave traction control on then, I just thought I had read somewhere before about switching off in the snow.

    Yeah I experienced the oversteer last week when I thought I would test the grip out on an icy empty carpark, wasn't quite what I expected, had a mix of 4 wheel slide/drift and oversteer
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  5. bubstar
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    bubstar Member

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    +1 on the oversteer, remember the centre (Torsen) diff' will transfer power to the axle with the most grip and if the front starts spinning up it could take you by surprise!!

    What you won't get is that pathetic image of the back trying to overtake the front like some poor drifting competition when you try to go up a slight hill (like other German cars I won't mention here) ;)

    Just don't take the Mick and it will get you out of more trouble than put you in :thumbsup:
    #5
  6. PetrolDave
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    PetrolDave Active Member

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    The roads in southern Hampshire this morning are sheet ice after it rained while the ground was still below freezing.

    Believe me you need to leave ESP and TC turned on - the road near work was particularly treacherous (as I turned onto it I saw a Peugeot 306 slide across the road straight into an oncoming Astra), but I had no problems getting moving and keeping going in the direction I wanted - as an experiment I pushed the throttle to the floor and the ESP light turned on and killed the power with no drama.

    Slowing down and changing direction need more care in a quattro IMHO - because of the better traction it's easy to be fooled into thinking there is more grip than there actually is, so you have to slow down MUCH earlier and anticipate a lot more.

    I had no issues getting into the car park at work, but nearly fell over when I got out of the car!
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  7. simon.m
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    simon.m Active Member

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    hi is esp the same as tc. as i have esp
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  8. quattrojames
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    quattrojames Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes - Electronic Stability Program
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  9. simon.m
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    simon.m Active Member

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    thanks james so is it on or off when there is no light on the dash only ask as i dont have a book with the car
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  10. AU01 A4
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    AU01 A4 Member

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    it's off if the light is on the dash. :racer:
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  11. simon.m
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    simon.m Active Member

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    thanks mate thought id ask with all this ice about
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  12. Nutkin
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    Nutkin Member

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    I find the quattro has all the traction problems of any car on ice but when i turn the wheel it wants to steer better. my fwd would just keep going forward.
    #12
  13. BlackQuat
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    BlackQuat Well-Known Member

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    I find the traction on mine alot better than any fwd car i've driven. I'm quite enjoying it.
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  14. MDA
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    MDA sploorer

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    And me !!
    like others have said tho 4wd tricks you into believing you can stop
    as well
    you cant !!
    brake early !!
    #14
  15. SmoothAssault
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    SmoothAssault Will design for mods

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    Does it not also flash on when it kicks in under loss of traction? I'm sure I've had the dash light flash on for me while having some fun 'round the occasional icy bend.
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  16. ian52
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    ian52 2000 a4 1.8tqs-yellow

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    Simple. Sideways.:icon_thumright:
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  17. quattrojames
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    quattrojames Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes it will flash up on the dash when the ESP cuts in.
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  18. SmoothAssault
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    SmoothAssault Will design for mods

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    thought so, thanks for confirmation :icon_thumright:

    Can imagine some people thinking, "why does my ESP always turn off every time I loose grip!!?" lol
    #18
  19. Hightower
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    Hightower Member

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    I'm quite missing not seeing the tc light flashing on the dash every 5 seconds like it did on my golf.
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  20. marv
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    marv Member

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    turn tc off more fun means more side ways, it will make you smile beleave me, you will want to find roundabouts
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
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  21. Broken Byzan
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    Broken Byzan Photographic Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    It can catch you suprise thats for sure. As long as you are aware of that "characteristic" then it's good
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  22. golf
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    golf ***** rent boy

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    Someone give this man a medal.





    :rolleyes:
    #22
  23. Xmay4444
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    Xmay4444 On Point!!

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    Was following an RS4 (B7) through Lightwater, Surrey earlier this evening and was keeping up with it as we wound through some side roads. We were doing about 25 mph or slower down a slight incline, the next thing i saw, the RS4 lost the back end. First one way then the other as he tried to correct the slide. The near side rear hit the kerb which then catapulted the front offside tyre up onto a traffic island. He probably got away with a damaged rim or maybe a bent tie rod (?).
    Anyway quattro or not, it is very dangerous out there so I would drive with extreme care.
    #23
  24. paul20v
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    paul20v Audi fanatic

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    As already said and cant say it enough it doesnt matter how many wheels you have driving and even with quattros its never all 4 at once , this doesnt help you in icy conditions braking and steering remains the same
    only difference being you may get yourself into more trouble because you have a bit more traction and can get some speed up quicker which gives you a false sence of security
    be safe all .
    and MERRY CHRISTMAS
    #24
  25. BahnStormer77
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    BahnStormer77 BahnStormer

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    pro's and con's...

    the main con as mentioned a few times before: "a false sense of security"... and the ability to get a LOT more speed than with only two wheels driving....

    fact remains: if you don't have snow tyres, you won't have much grip either way and you still have the same two wheels sterring and four wheels stopping....

    One of the main times it does make a huge difference is trundling up hills... assuming they're not solid ice, you'll get through a lot that FWD / RWD cars won't.

    Also - provided you have plenty of run-off, there's a lot more scope for turning a slide into a controlled four-wheel drift, rather than lairy oversteer / awkward fishtailing, but go easy on the revs 'cos you can still turn it into full E30 325i-style* oversteer very easilly :) Once the car's drifting, just keep the throttle very steady and keep the front wheels aimed at the exit (or apex, whichever is first)... the more run-off you have, the more time you'll have for some traction to kick in and you to make a graceful exit... just makes sure there's no other cars lined up to come onto the roundabout, 'cos there's a fair chance you WON'T get any traction and you're just going to drift sideways into a car waiting to come onto the roundabout**.... and then you'll look like a t!t.... and the insurance write-up won't look very good either!

    * long story, but the E30's were balanced to only ever have 4 cylinder engines in them (á la M3) and the back of that engine was RIGHT against the firewall, so the 320i and 325i had the extra two- cylinders and all the associated extra weight slung 18inches in front of the axle... plus TC-free rear wheel drive and plenty of torque....

    ** or in my brother's case: sideways into the curb, fold the wheels under the car and come to a not-very-gentle rest against the Armco... chassis well and truly buckled and every RHS body panelled shredded....
    #25
  26. Hightower
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    Hightower Member

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    And of course it doesn't matter how careful you are yourself in the snow/ice it's the other buggers on the road you have to watchout for sliding towards you.

    Quite a few years ago when I had my pug 309 gti I returned home (Derby then) after a skiing trip to Scotland, I had covered about 2,000 miles in decent snow without incidence ( well apart from the prick in Glasgow in his cavalier that tried to undertake me on a dual carriageway but just spun out and ended up facing the wrong way, that was just a wet road) and as I was within 200 metres of home a car coming the otherway down our slightly snow covered road decided to accelerate and slid straight into me, I wasn't happy as you could imagine
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  27. sammi
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    sammi Member

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    One thing I want to add is we can all talk about the car characteristics of fwd, 4wd and rwd but ultimately with the road conditions like they are there is no consistancy in conditions with snow and ice and any car in these conditions will behave unlike any other condiditons and be unpredictable, it doesnt matter how good or bad driver you are anyone can get caught by surprise. Drive safely and keep huge gaps between you and the car in front if the road looks wet it is probably slippery.

    If you want to have fun go somewhere where you have loads of space and cant hit anything and enjoy!!
    #27
  28. JohnboyC
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    JohnboyC Member

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    I have never driven my Quattro in snow until a couple of days ago....and as QuattroJames above stated

    "The main thing to remember with quattro is that while it may help forward traction, it won't stop you any quicker! Nor will it prevent you sliding off the road if you're going too fast.

    I have found that in really icy conditions it does tend to adopt the characteristics of a RWD car, ie oversteer. Good fun if you're expecting it and ready for it, less so if you're inexperienced. "


    Well the local Morrisons car park in Chorley is on an incline, has no lamp posts or kerbs to hit....and today in about 3" of virgin snow I had a complete hoot in my car .....it got up the inclines embarassingly easily...

    However, after all that fun, on the way home Chorley was gridlocked due to the numbnuts who just abandoned their cars cos they got stuck on slight gradiants due to the complete lack of gritting.....ho hum...
    #28
  29. J7USS
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    J7USS Shuddup Foooool!!

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    ....:( aint fair, snow what we had has more or less gone now, just a sheet of lethal Ice. Back end went on my Van this morning off a left turn junction and just had to let it go, least if I was in my Audi I could have powered back easy - Can you fit Quattro to a renault Traffic :huh:! Bring back the Volky 4x4 (transporter)
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  30. BahnStormer77
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    BahnStormer77 BahnStormer

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    kinda hit on the point.... we might be able to trundle up most icy / snow covered slopes that other can't... but we can't drive through cars!!!
    #30
  31. bredhurststeve
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    bredhurststeve Member

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    just my eperience
    I have been using the wifes Rav4 and leaving the A6 alone and i have loved the fact i have no trction problems whilst driving aroud, i even went out into the country on monday and was going up and down steep hills covered in snow and ice.
    BUT last night i was on a clear(of snow) dual carrigeway in town when i hit black ice and i had no control for about 40 metres, luckily for me the car went straight on as i was trying to make corrections so i survived but it just shows no matter how careful you are there are hidden dangers.
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  32. Nutkin
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    Nutkin Member

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    one of my local towns was on the news for abandonned cars :( bloody snow. GF left work at 4pm (she works in morissons) by 10pm she was just out the car park and passing the morissons petrol station.

    Just silly!
    #32
  33. Hightower
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    Hightower Member

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    I just missed the fun (mayhem) on our road this morning, as i was taking the missus to work it was really grey and looked like it was going to rain, sure enough just as i was about 1/2 mile from home it started to rain, got home ok but then about 5 mins later i looked outside to see what all the noise was and the rain had turned our passable road into sheet black ice, i saw 3 cars in a row come sliding down our slight incline and whack the curb, (the only 1 that i saw in control at a sensible speed was an RS4 and he was fine), 1 almost slid straight into the recycling lorry that was fishtailing all over the place, next down the road was a parcel force van that did a neat job of parking on someones front garden. there must of been a good dozen cars attempt to get up the road and only 2 suceeded (imprezza and a 4x4) the rest just turned round and went back home, was a good hour (and heavy rain) before anyone got out.

    It must of caused alot of problems in the area as all you could hear were emergency services sirens going for 30 mins or so

    I must say though that all the cars that were trying to get out were way too close to each other, i was waiting for the sound of mangled metal, was only luck that no one hit anything but the curbs.
    #33
  34. SmoothAssault
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    SmoothAssault Will design for mods

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    I nudged a kerb today. The sound of a 19" polished rim getting cosy with a stone kerb almost brought a tear to my eye :(

    Just a stupid parking malfunction though, can't really blame the snow...

    ..but I will anyway! :sly:
    #34
  35. Hightower
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    Hightower Member

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    I feel for you, i had that feeling a few weeks ago when a bus forced me into a kerb.

    I must say the cars i heard/saw hit the kerbs today didnt just nudge them though by the sound they made, you could see what was going to happen with one of them (new beemer) due to the speed he shot down the road then hit the brakes and off on his little journey he was.

    Right off to pick the missus up, lets hope its not started to refreeze out there yet:cold:
    #35
  36. SmoothAssault
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    SmoothAssault Will design for mods

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    Spiked tyres next year I think!! haha, can you even get low profile spiked tyres? They'd look awesome! I'd be tempted to keep them all year 'round for the punk rock/goth look, lol.
    #36
  37. BahnStormer77
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    BahnStormer77 BahnStormer

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    I was looking a month or so ago, but QJames persuaded me that I wouldn't need them!! BAH! FOOOL!!!!

    Most of the heavier duty ones aren't available in 18" or 19" low profile setup.... I was actually wanting some for my spare (original) 16" Quattro Sport alloys...

    Time for a new thread: "recommended tyres for snow and ice?"
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2009
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  38. SmoothAssault
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    SmoothAssault Will design for mods

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    See you there! :racer:
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  39. BahnStormer77
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    BahnStormer77 BahnStormer

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    #39
  40. hodgy0_2
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    hodgy0_2 Member

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    are you sure -- i thought a normal Torsen "open" diff (as fitted to A4 quattro's) will send power to the wheel with the least grip

    i.e in extreme conditions you can have one wheel spinning
    #40

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