YEEH HAAH! 1st Virgin Snow test drive
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Thread: YEEH HAAH! 1st Virgin Snow test drive

  1. #1
    crv|oc Rank: Silver
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    Nashua, NH USA
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    YEEH HAAH! 1st Virgin Snow test drive

    Timing was perfect. Just enough snow for me (1”-2”) yet before the plow trucks came by. Before the rush of those commuting trying to get home trampled the fresh coat of snow. Xmas minus 5 days I believe it is. Soft fresh powder at 25F. WOW

    My wife came home after having her yearly office lunch with 4 lady co-workers and doing some last minute shopping afterward. So in the typical neurotic last minute mode this time of the year she gets home dodging snowflakes falling 1”-2” per hour. Any how I asked my wife to go with me out in the CR-V … I did not even finish my sentence. Immediately the response “No way. I’m not going out again” came out before I finished my sentence. “So I can see how it drives in the snow?” I said.

    “You must be nuts! I'm not stupid! You are going to do donuts... no way, I’m not going out again.” she re-affirmed.

    I assured her no I would not do any donuts. “Then you are going to make it swerve, no way absolutely not!...NO!”

    She is not leaving me with much fun remaining by now so I said “No donuts, I will not intentionally make it swerve.” A few more minutes of guilt trips and buttering up she agrees??? Un-f-in believable!

    I think I have not driven a 4WD in significant snow since ’92. All these postings of driving in the snow and pictures on this site has rekindled my interest in winter driving. I could not wait! The window of opportunity before they plow goes by is disappearing.

    The conditions where virgin powder in the mid 20’s F. Perfect for X-Country skiing with wax type skis so the traction to get back into my house up the 75 foot ramp was good. All systems go!

    Now the V stuff

    The good:
    The ABS in a steering attitude has got to be one of the best in my limited experience I have ever driven. Not overly loud nor annoying were the ABS vibration and pulses on the foot pedal. The V managed to go around every turn I tried. Now I was not overly aggressive for sure after all I was using temporary hand controls. Had I ran into a snow bank, let’s put it mildly, my wife would have me by the gonads and let’s face it; the shed is very cold this time of the year to sleep in!

    The switching from 2WD to 4WD I found almost seamless. Only once or twice going up a hill was there any trace of 4WD going on or off. The VSA yellow triangle did go on a few times after accelerating from a standstill. However the V never got stuck or even hesitated moving for more than a split second. Without the VSA light going on I may not have noticed the 4WD going on. However while backing up a hill from a standstill I did notice more traction and control with the VSA turned off than with it on! I found that odd but have read about it! There seemed to be a slightly more fish tailing with the VSA on. Possibly that is why it went on in the first place.

    By now my wife is leaving finger print impressions on the grab handles. Yet I managed to do a few more power slides and did not get beat up. And drifting? I’m not even sure I even know what drifting is but I pretended I was doing it any how.

    The cons:
    1)The right windshield wiper blade with about 1”-2” of snow falling per hour (big huge flakes for some reason it no longer was powder) kept getting frozen to and separated the wiper from the windshield. One third of the right wiper tip at one point was actually about 2” separated and curved up. What’s up with that? Anyone else having problems with the right wiper? The left wiper worked much much better. Perhaps the defroster works better on the left. I had the heater control on 2 clicks into the red only for comfort with the fan on the middle setting I think. A hotter heat setting and fan speed may have helped but I did not want to peel of any layers of clothing off.
    2)I was not aware that the rear wiper worked only in unison with the front. I thought I had driven it once with just the front on. I think the driver should have the option of using only the front. Maybe my wife got it into some funny mode. She said that is always how it works; both on with the front on. If not so, how do you turn the rear wiper off when it is set to off but wiping?

    I think that is about it for the Cons. All in all the V drove better than expected in the snow. The last 4WD I took on a test like that on a few inches of virgin snow was in my ’92 Toyota pickup. In over 6” I think the Toy P/U would run circles around the V. But not having ABS or VSA on the Toy P/U, I am going to have to say that the V is far safer and secure. It also feels more balanced when sliding around turns! Mind you this was 16 years ago!

    The ’89 Dodge Raider 2-dr SUV (a Mitsubishi re-badged) I never really felt all that safe in it and with the Firestone summer like tires it had the snow traction was not impressive. I used to have to lock the front hubs all the time. It was rather easy to break the rear tires free (little or no traction) in any snow what so ever.

    The ’88 Camry All-TRAC drove kind of like the V when it had new Michelin X +1 size on it but without ABS there is no comparison.

    I drove Subarus but do not remember details.

    Oh yes, I test drove a Civic Real Time 4WD Wagon that was likely the predecessor of the CR-V. I'm guessing it was a 1990. A gorgeous medium blue metallic with dark blue interior and about 7K easy miles. In 3"-4" of snow it was very well behaved. I never bought it but returned it completely dirty to the Ford dealer. In hind sight it was a bargain and I probably should have bought it as it was really cherry. And cheap at around $6k I think. Until I test drove it at which point it may have been driven for the first time in winter.

    In conclusion I personally find the 2008 CR-V LX 4WD a great snow vehicle for the urban driver. I am’ extremely happy I got one for my wife to drive in. Safety and more than enough traction for our needs.

    The Contact 4x4 tires are more than adequate with only 1,800 miles on them in southern NH. Possibly fine in up to 6” of snow before going to the trouble of winter only tires are necessary. Since around here I have only seen over 6 inches before it is plowed a hand full of times in 28 years, it hardly seems worthwhile. I do not see why all the complaints about these Continentals at this moment in time. I did not drive it that aggressive. I rather doubt it will be as well rated by me in snow over 6-8” deep. Hard to tell without really driving it in snow that deep. But if that is where you drive, maybe you would be better off with a 4WD Pilot if you can afford it.

    What I need now is a garage and an elevator so I can get in and out of the V under cover without getting all soaked when it snows or rains. Once out the door on my rear deck by the time I am in the V a good 10 minutes has gone by. Getting back in my wheelchair is even worse since by the time I am in it the seat is soaked and then there is the 75 foot long ramp I must go up.

    YEEH HAAH!

    -RG
    Last edited by Radar24; 12-20-2008 at 05:42 AM. Reason: Typo

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  3. #2
    crv|oc Rank: Silver
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    Post does not show up

    Why does this post not show in the 'New Post' list?

  4. #3
    crv|oc Rank: Junior
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    Whitby,Ontario
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    Smile X2 Radar

    I am glad you had a great time so did I we had 20 cm of snow and 70 km winds blowing it around.The V with the michelin X tires you recommended worked great way out performed the duelers.I had to go and pick up the wife and when we got back ofcourse the plow had come by and filled in the bottom of my driveway.I would say it was about 2 feet high and the V didnt even hesitate once.Cars were sliding all over ,getting stuck and spinning their tires I want to apologize to them I was the guy driving along grinning from ear to ear.
    A foolish man speaks when he has nothing to say and a wise man listens when he has nothing to hear.

  5. #4
    crv|oc Rank: Freshman
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    I think the driver should have the option of using only the front. Maybe my wife got it into some funny mode. She said that is always how it works; both on with the front on. If not so, how do you turn the rear wiper off when it is set to off but wiping?[/FONT][/COLOR]

    On my '08, the rear wiper does not operate while the fronts are on if the rear is in the off position.
    Gary B.
    2008 CR-V Whistler Silver EX-L AWD 5AT Nav

  6. #5
    crv|oc Rank: Silver
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    Post Not Showing Up

    Quote Originally Posted by Radar24 View Post
    Why does this post not show in the 'New Post' list?
    I think the default mode is that you don't see the stuff that you already looked at or posted when you click NEW POSTS. To see everything, click QUICK LINKS then TODAY'S POSTS. BTW you have to be logged on to see QUICK LINKS.

    Regarding the rear wiper, mine stays off independent of the front wiper except when I back up. The control is on a rotary knob on the end of the wiper control stalk. See page 74 of the 08 owner's manual.

    Regarding the right wiper, the same thing happens to mine. Look at the defroster duct. It is the same length and position as the left wiper, nothing dedicated to the right. The left wiper sits about two inches below the defroster duct, but the poor right wiper ends up almost 4 inches below any heated part of the windshield. Also the right wiper piles everything in the middle of the windshield on the up stroke, and then the left wiper pushes it down on top of the right wiper arm with some going out on the blade. Now consider the deep trough the wipers set in and the fact that the windshield is inset so nothing can escape off the sides. Both wipers park very low on the windshield, but the right, as noted above, is really stuck down in the trough away from the heat. If you are using them in intermittent mode, they spend a lot of time in the cold. The V could definitely use wiper heaters like my plain jane 99 Plymouth Voyager had. The other problem I noted was the left wiper builds up an iceberg on the left side of the windshield, because of the inset, and then starts crashing into it, creating a "wap" on every up stroke. Very poor design in my opinion.

    Glad to hear that you are happy with the winter performance! I have a very steep driveway and a bad back. With the V, my driveway shoveling days are over.
    Last edited by Black Pearl; 12-20-2008 at 11:03 AM.
    The Black Pearl . . . 2007 EX, 4WD, 5AT, Nighthawk Black Pearl

    “Being Irish he had an abiding sense of tragedy which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.” W. B. Yeats

    "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." Bertrand Russell

  7. #6
    crv|oc Rank: Silver
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    Traction and rear wiper

    Quote Originally Posted by tcturner View Post
    Cars were sliding all over ,getting stuck and spinning their tires I want to apologize to them I was the guy driving along grinning from ear to ear.


    I know the feeling. During my UConn days there was a good 25-30 degrees hill about 300 feet long going up into our complex of apartments. I used to stop in my 66 Corvair and offer assistance. Everyone was usually too embarrassed and said no. Then in the middle of the hill I gradually and easily would accelerate up the hill with hardly any wheel spin at all. With summer tires!

    But don’t ask me to turn! It was so light in the front (~40/60) the lightest braking would put you in a straight collision course at whatever was in front unless you pumped the brakes! Even then very hairy! Unless you put a couple of bags of sand in the front trunk.

    OH What a feeling!

    Glad the Michelin X are working out. But how come you do not need winter tires?
    Is it not a Canada wide requirement?

    The real test will be when you have over 10,000 Km or 6,000 miles on them. If you can still do the same then you are golden. So you might not know until next year.

    About the rear wiper, got ya. I must have had it in reverse. DUH!

    It makes perfectly perfectly good sense to do it that way. If the front wiper is on and you are backing up then the rear should go on.

    My complements to the chef.



    -RG
    Last edited by Radar24; 12-20-2008 at 07:33 PM. Reason: Rear wiper

  8. #7
    crv|oc Rank: Junior
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    Question maybe sooner

    Only in Quebec it is law to have snow tires.I might gets snows as this is getting annoying in southern Ontario the total in 1 week of 50 cm of snow with 60 to 90 km winds.I have parts of my driveway bare and about 3 feet in other spots,thank God I have a snowblower because my back couldnt handle that but my V probably could.
    Last edited by tcturner; 12-21-2008 at 06:52 AM.
    A foolish man speaks when he has nothing to say and a wise man listens when he has nothing to hear.

  9. #8
    crv|oc Rank: Freshman
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    I had my '08 EX-L AWD out in the snow. Im up in CT and we got about 8" here. I drove through unplowed parking lots and also into parking lots that had been plowed in by a plow driving by the opening to the lot. The CR-V is an excellent snow vehicle. I thought that stopping in deep snow would be hard to get out of, but the traction control combined with AWD is great.

    The VSA is excellent when going into a snowy corner, it just straightens itself out like nothing happened. Very confidence inspiring!

    I used to have a 95 Jeep Cherokee, the CR-V is by far a better snow vehicle. Where the Jeep had the power to go in the snow, it didn't have the brains to control wheel spin. It would simply use "brute force" to get through.
    The Honda is a smarter system, where it doesn't have the power of the Jeep, it makes up for it by taking all the tire spinning and drama out of the picture. I highly recommend the CR-V.

  10. #9
    crv|oc Rank: Silver
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulgp602 View Post
    I had my '08 EX-L AWD out in the snow. Im up in CT and we got about 8" here. I drove through unplowed parking lots and also into parking lots that had been plowed in by a plow driving by the opening to the lot. The CR-V is an excellent snow vehicle. I thought that stopping in deep snow would be hard to get out of, but the traction control combined with AWD is great


    The Traction control? HAH? I drove myself for the first time too (long post #1) in 2' to 4" of powder over thin snow pack and never thought about testing that.

    How can you possibly tell it is working or not other than you do not get stuck? No positive indication! There is even almost no reference in the OM about it. Must just seamlessly work by applying the brakes to the spinning wheel. Thereby transferring torque to the non rotating wheels with more traction.

    I unfortunately never drove it in open enough space to see the VSA straighten the Vs attitude or trajectory around a bend! Awesome!

    Rats!

    -RG

  11. #10
    crv|oc Rank: Member
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    Same snowstorm here in central NH, (More today!!!) and similar experience. I am coming from a long line of Subarus which have no problems in this weather, so I was very glad to find my new V doing as well. The only issue I have is the one mentioned with the right wiper. Was pretty much worthless in the heavy snow. The Subies all had wiper heat strips in the windshield which was a great feature.

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