How Certain Car Types Handle Winter Driving

Minit-Tune & Brake| Friday, December 18, 2015

You may assume that four-wheel drive is the only way to tackle a winter in Canada, but you may be surprised. Depending on the type of car you have (sedan, SUV or minivan), you may find that each car type has its own pros and cons when the snow starts to fall.

It’s Not Only About the Car Type

An SUV may be equipped with four-wheel drive, but do not assume that because it is an SUV, it will always perform well in the snow. In fact, it is often the features of a car that make it easier to control and safer in snow and ice. Just some of these features include:

  • All-Wheel Drive - All-wheel drive is offered on more than just SUVs these days. In fact, most sedans and minivans can come equipped with this option and it allows for better traction in snow and ice.
  • Stability Control - When a tire starts to lose traction, your stability control system can remove power from that tire and give it to the wheels in control. This feature is often available on two and four-wheel drive models and is almost a standard feature in every car type available; including sports cars.
  • Height - Ground clearance is also a big factor. The more ground clearance you have, the more control you will have in deep snow. However, that same clearance can go against you, because the more ground clearance you have, the higher the risk for rollover in snow and ice. Cars with a lower centre of gravity, such as minivans and sedans, can also experience better control. Sedans and minivans will have a lower centre of gravity, while SUVs and trucks benefit from more ground clearance.
  • Weight - A heavier vehicle will usually drive better in the snow than a lighter vehicle, because it has more traction and control. Sedans are much lighter; especially two-door and sports models. SUVs are heavy as well as trucks and minivans. There are some models of minivans that are heavier than SUVs as well.
  • Braking - Two-wheel and four-wheel drive cars still have four wheels that brake. Four-wheel drive models do not brake better or more efficiently than two-wheel drive models. That being said, a lighter vehicle will find it requires less time to stop in snow and ice (such as a sedan) than a heavier vehicle (like an SUV).

One of the best ways to mitigate the hazards of driving in snow and ice is by having the right winter tires on your vehicle. The auto repair experts in Vancouver at Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres advise that winter tires can provide cars of all sizes with the best traction and control.

You can bring your vehicle in for a pre-winter check and install winter tires on your SUV, minivan or sedan. Visit one of our 18 convenient locations today or call us to schedule a service appointment.

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