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moosehead 01-28-2011 10:46 AM

WK2 Snow Beast Tips - Post 'Em Here
Our first criteria for any of our vehicles is to be able to handle winter and snow flawlessly. We frequently travel over remote 10k-11k' mountain passes in blizzard conditions and at night. We haul sports gear, children, and grandmothers. Our cabin is located in the "Icebox of the Nation" near Fraser, Colorado. It snows 300"-400" a season and we get two or more weeks a year of subzero temps during the daytime, with subzero being common most every night of the winter.

The WK2 has been a beast in the snow and cold, and we've broken her in already with 2k miles of deep winter driving, -19 F temps, and tons of the white stuff. We've gone through two gallons of wiper fluid with no issues.

Here's a few tips that have made this and any vehicle bulletproof in these conditions:

Get a Snow or Solid AT Tire with Snow Ability

Blizzaks DMV1's are the standard bearer for dedicated snows, but certain AT's with good snow ratings work really well and are more versatile. My wife runs the Blizzaks on her crossover and my WK2 has the Firestone Destination AT's. Colorado Discount Tire and Firestone stores sell equal amounts of both here. We go anywhere in any conditions with confidence. I'm that guy who relishes snow driving, sometimes at speed.

Snows only stay on in winter, the AT's can be run year round in all conditions - and perform really well. As Rdalcanto states, a good set of snows or AT's is a helluva lot cheaper than an accident and two sets of tires last as long with better grip than one set with a follow on replacement.

Tire Rack Snow Survey Ratings -

Tire Rack AT Survey Ratings -

Note Tire Rack does not include some other killer snows or AT's such at the Nitto Terragrapplers or Nokians. Check out other tire threads in JG, there's some great tire knowledge by veteran members here - especially NHWK05 who is THE tire guru.

Recovery Gear

We get lax about this but one incident pays you back in spades. Carry basics: recovery straps, tow hooks up front, hitch or loops out back, blanket, gloves, flashlight, tools, jumper cables. These extras stow away in the spare WK2 compartment and stay there year-round. A collapsible shovel is nice in snow country.

Effective Winter Wiping - tips prior to driving

1) Flip the Wipers Off the Glass when parked outside - this keeps snow and ice from collecting, and lessens the need to bang and scrape the rubber and damaging it. Just a few bits of ice on the rubber wiper creates a magnet for other snow and ice to collect and causes crappy wiping. Do this and any wiper will last a full season if not a full year. Don't do this and wipers will be useless in a week.

2) Physically Clear Snow and Ice using Broom and Scraper not defroster - get all material off of windshield, wiper cradle, between hood and windshield, and from hood itself. Using defroster just streams water and frozen bits down to the wiper cradles. Cannot stress this enough for same reasons as above.

3) Get the Windshield Warm: Use the defroster in winter conditions. It will kick on with remote start if left on prior to last use.

4) Winter Wipers: help as they remain pliable with softer compounds, but we have never needed them.

Using the above techniques, we have only had one extreme wet storm cause the WK2 passenger side wiper to collect snow and ice while underway, and had no problem reaching out the window to slap the wiper arm against the windshield - while driving. Goes with the territory.

What else you guys got from the great white north? Let's see it.

Archer9 01-28-2011 11:24 AM

Re: WK2 Snow Beast Tips - Post 'Em Here
Not much to add to that though others will probably come with things. Almost any snow tires are better and safer than all seasons. I talked my my dealer into throwing on some snow tires when I bought my WK. They're cheap tires but they get through the ice and snow just great. A few years ago my other car got T-boned at an intersection. The guy was driving a Caravan on all-seasons and couldn't stop on the ice.

mrpositraction 01-28-2011 11:30 AM

Re: WK2 Snow Beast Tips - Post 'Em Here
One thing, regardless of any vehicle, and I know everyone has heard this before. SLOW DOWN. The Jeep does an awesome job of traction taking off even in stock tire form, but any tire, even if crafted by the hand of Jesus, has limited traction especially in braking and cornering. I find myslef bending this rule being that I grew up in the North but slowing down is the #1 thing you can do IMO.

All good suggestions above. Being prepared is all up to you the driver and if something goes array, and you are not prepared, it is all on you.

Nbtstatic 01-28-2011 11:33 AM

Re: WK2 Snow Beast Tips - Post 'Em Here
Great info, thanks. I'm still jealous about my Jeep being a flatlander, but I'm still working on that as well.


RyeGuy 01-28-2011 11:45 AM

Re: WK2 Snow Beast Tips - Post 'Em Here

We have had some rough weather in NY in the previous month. However this past snow storm has secured my confidence in the WK2 in snow/ice conditions. I've driven in all conditions in the past storm. Highway, Ice, Backroad, Sidestreets, and most important NYC's wonderfull snow removal! I must say my 2000 Tahoe was a beasty in the snow but the WK2 makes my tahoe feel like a child. A poorly raised one at best lol.

Anyway I have yet to need 4Lo. I can Honestly say I havnt gotten stuck and I've been plowing through evrything shy of 4'+ mounds. While cruising on snow covered (but semiplowed roads) I utilize "snow mode", same goes for anything under the 6" mark. Anything above that is "snow mode w/ Off Road Height 1 -- works like a charm. And finally for the ocasioanl "let's just see if we can get through this and hope for the best" "snow mode w/ Off Road Height 2" it is.

I have gotten to points where I had to reverse and drive a few times but never stuck with wheels spinning and no forward or reverse motion. I might try to find an unplowed lot later tinight and test out some 4Lo.

I have yet to change the tires, I'm still running the stock 20's. Havn't experience much wheel slip except for the period of freezing rain we had the other day. On the Highway was in Auto and a slipped around changing lanes in the slush but "snow mode" fixed that immediately.

2 nights ago:

Last nights parking spot:

Red G8R 01-28-2011 11:52 AM

Re: WK2 Snow Beast Tips - Post 'Em Here
I recently bought wiper blade sleeves (Winter Shield) for use when parked to protect against ice/snow freeze-up of the blades.

(Years ago I raised my blades overnight (common practice in snow weather) only to find both blades broken off in the morning by vandals.)

Nbtstatic 01-28-2011 11:58 AM

Re: WK2 Snow Beast Tips - Post 'Em Here
Moose, since I am about to install the tow hooks, it would make sense that I start carrying a recovery strap. I have zero experience with this, can you make a recommendation, or a website where I should start looking?

Much appreciated.

moosehead 01-28-2011 12:09 PM

Re: WK2 Snow Beast Tips - Post 'Em Here
^+1 to slowing down, using snow mode, eastern dumps this year, and other tips. i'm definitely getting a set of those wiper shields, thanks Red.

NB, any nylon tow strap rated 5klbs or more is ideal, you can skip the metal hooks at each end as well to keep it safe and prevent a flying piece of metal, or carry both styles as they are cheap. Also check out TechoSavant's tow hook install thread on this forum.

Harbor Freight or any auto parts store is fine for the recovery straps. Below is a basic link but you can get them anywhere. Chibianh also has a nice hitch with eye loop he carries.

Breitling65 01-28-2011 12:39 PM

Re: WK2 Snow Beast Tips - Post 'Em Here
My tip is Blizzak's and no way all season tires!!! I ran them on old set of rims remained from 2008 JGC
Otherwise 2011 JGC is very well made for this weather car.

webspoke 01-28-2011 12:46 PM

Re: WK2 Snow Beast Tips - Post 'Em Here
'Snow Mode' makes a real difference, less rear torque split, and it feels like 2nd gear starts and much less aggressive throttle calibration. It worked great coming out of breceknridge and over the hoosier pass in a mild storm a couple of weeks ago. On the stock 20" goodyears, I can get some slip if I come into corners and stops too hard (lots of weight to slow down) but always have excellent forward traction.

r0tor 01-28-2011 02:23 PM

Re: WK2 Snow Beast Tips - Post 'Em Here
+1 for slowing down. The WK2 has tremendous forward traction and you don't need to rely on forward momentum to get you through snow unless its way wayyyyy deep. It's a habit I'm breaking myself after driving a rwd sportscar though heavy snow which absolutely required lots of momentum. Fortunately, with a lightweight car its.relatively easy to recover from a skid - different deal though with something that weighs 60% more...

the1jake 01-28-2011 02:50 PM

Re: WK2 Snow Beast Tips - Post 'Em Here
Great advice. SLOW DOWN cannot be stressed enough.

That wet surface? It might be black ice. The *last* feeling you want is one of hopelessness when you go to use your brakes and just keep sliding.

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