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Discussion Starter #1
My youngest daughter just accepted a nursing job at Mayo Clinic. Pretty exciting stuff. We live in Oregon where they don’t salt the roads. Not sure what to do about a car. She has an older Camry now but wants a 4 wheel drive for winters. What do you guys do for winter rigs where they salt the roads. I hate to see her sink a bunch of money in a car only to have it trashed. She may be there a year or the rest of her life. When I lived in up state NY in the 70’s the car back then were real rust buckets. I welcome any ideas.
 

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NYS still uses salt but the cars of today seem to hold up well. I like to go to the automatic car washes in the winter and get the chassis washed which I think helps.
 

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She will likely experience better winter driving conditions here than Oregon. Modern road treatment programs do not rust cars like they did in the 70's. And today's cars are better rust proofed.

I am in Waseca, 70 miles west of Rochester and we do not have rusty cars on the road, a 10 year old car looks like a new one.

Rochester for the most part is flat, there are some hills along the river so 4 wheel drive is OK, not a necessity. Thoughtful route planning will avoid most problems in the winter.

Ken
 

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I am in NW PA and snow is a fact of life, lots of fact. They are now combining rock salt and grit with liquid chloride. While the cars are better protected the liquid chloride is nasty and get into every nook and crannie.
I have the cars sprayed each year with Crowne or Fluid Film. It is a lightweight, penetrating rust protector that is supposed to get into all of the nooks and crannies first. It costs about $150 or so a year. My call it is worth it.
 

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Right out of college I took a job in Buffalo, NY, and was there for three winters, including one full-fledged blizzard. Not only did I not have a 4WD vehicle, I was driving an old rear-drive AMC Concord. Did just fine for the most part.

Your daughter needs to understand first off, that areas that get a lot of snow are generally prepared for it, with plows and salt trucks. If she can't get around in that Toyota then it's probably for the best because she shouldn't be on the roads anyway. Hope that makes sense.

IMHO putting a fairly young driver in a 4WD just gives them the belief that they can go anywhere, so they try. Convince her to go through two winters in Rochester with her old Toyota, saving her money for something else. After two winters, she likely will decide her little car is doing just fine. If she still has the hots for a different rig, she'll be more settled and will have friends up there who can advise her.

That's my 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys

All good advice, that helps. I knew there was no way they could continue letting cars rust out like I saw back then. Kentucky Fisherman I feel your pain. I read that Buffalo gets more snow than any major city in the lower 48. I went to school in Lima just outside Rochester. I also lived in Sioux Falls for several years as a kid.
She is a great driver and has she head screwed on right. Well for the most parts. I did lone her and a girl friend my locked and lift Jeep a few years back. When they got back they jumped out and started washing it real quick. I later noticed a big glob of mud hanging off the rock slide on the passenger side. A few weeks ago her friend was here at the house. I comment on the time I found the mud. There was a lot of giggling but they never did explain.:rolleyes:
 

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I' go with what George said. Keep the Camry. MN is better prepared for snow because they have to live in it, have long winters, and have the taxes to pay for it. Wash the car several times during the winter to help keep the salt down, and wax it during the summer before the snows start.
 

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I've lived my life in Wisconsin. When I bought my first 4WD truck, I told my wife (at the time) to think of 4WD as "it doesn't help you go faster or thru worse roads, it just gives you a better chance to get out of the ditch in case you do either of those..." Often times I'd rather drive in snow in a FWD car, than the meanest 4WD truck. I think the best is to drive carefully, and wash the car after the roads are clear for a couple days.

Steven
 

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She should have some lock de-icer in the glove compartment because after wash in the car the door locks freeze up. Not so much of an issue if she’s able to operate the door locks wit a remote.
 

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KF, Buffalo NY and some points east of there have a history of snow. This year Erie, PA. just missed 200 inches (by 1.5") Unfortunately 60 inches of it came over a 1 1/2 day period. It was a mess to clean up. Our normal is about 140 " for the season.
 

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KF, Buffalo NY and some points east of there have a history of snow. This year Erie, PA. just missed 200 inches (by 1.5") Unfortunately 60 inches of it came over a 1 1/2 day period. It was a mess to clean up. Our normal is about 140 " for the season.
My last winter up there, 1976-77, was when we had the blizzard. We finished the winter a half inch short of 200" of snow. I remember seeing photos from up around Erie this past winter and it sure brought back memories. And if you grew up in a place with trees and hills, you just can't understand what happens when you combine heavy snow with steady high wind. Somewhere up that way is the first place I saw snow fences and tall orange fiberglass rods attached to fireplugs.
 

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snow

My last winter up there, 1976-77, was when we had the blizzard. We finished the winter a half inch short of 200" of snow. I remember seeing photos from up around Erie this past winter and it sure brought back memories. And if you grew up in a place with trees and hills, you just can't understand what happens when you combine heavy snow with steady high wind. Somewhere up that way is the first place I saw snow fences and tall orange fiberglass rods attached to fireplugs.
_______________________________________________

Those were bad years. A child hood friend was doing his post grad work there. I visited a couple of times and paid the price. It is hard to describe what a "lake effect snow storm" can entail. Some of my southern relatives witnessed one up close and personal. I doubt they will ever visit between September and April ever again. My home stead suffered a lot of damage in the 77-80 winters. Yes, it was three years in a row. The house was a flemish lay brick with four layers on the lower floor, 3 on the upper. We lost the exterior veneer to ice forming behind the veneer. The drifts at the east end of the Erie airport runway were huge. You had to dig down to see the street signs. There were 4 or 5 vehicles that went off the road and spent a couple of months buried.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Deicer for the lock

Yep I forgot that one. You have to get at least one car crunched somewhere in the city by a snow plow. Most people think snow plow, I was shocked to see them hauling it off. As kids we loved to play on the melting piles in the parking lot, mud, gravel and all.
I think I am going to recommend she keep the Camry, it has low miles but a reconstructed title.
 

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WY is moving towards chemicals. Worry more about what that stuff does to your vehicle.
Front wheel drive or all wheel drive cars, do an exultant job for winter driving. Camry might be a little low to the ground for deep stuff. My wife drives a Ford Edge all wheel with no issues in the winter. You just learn to drive in the snow and slush.
 

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Minnesota winters really haven't been what they used to be. Most of the blizzards we get seem to be followed by 40 degree days. Worst part of this is the state has a tendency to wanna park the plows and let nature take its course. Seen maybe 2-3 times where they parked the plows after 8 and run em out at 5 in the am.

That being said, I own a Camry and haven't had an issue during winter. I live in Faribault, work in St. Paul, and had to drive to Rochester quite often the last 2 years due to my daughters medical issues. In that time, I only got caught once where the snow was really serious. I was driving home at 10 and roads had some huge drifts in areas. More then anything else, a good set of tires really make the difference. They gotta be able to get traction once the roads start getting icy. Like others have said, it doesn't hurt to run through the wash and spray the undersides clean.

Always live by the motto: if it's snowing and your passing a lotta people, you run the risk of having a real bad day. Gotta choose: drive slow and be a little late or drive fast and not make it at all. ;)
 

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One thing to practice in a snowy parking lot is making turns as you would in an intersection. With front wheel drive you need traction to make the turn, traction to brake and accelerate. Dont try to do too much of any one at once. I tend to try and coast when making a turn or at best just enough throttle to keep moving. Goose it and break traction you are going into the curb. Remember, oversteer is when the back end hits the wall first, understeer and the front goes into the wall first.
 

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As stated above, camry will prob do fine w/ "good" tires, and a good snow driver ethic. I have found narrower than normal aggressive winter tires w/ studs will take some handling away, but will greatly improve traction. Helped my old Toyota pickup immensely, which is rwd 2wd, along with some weight added in the back. Having had a few wrecks in the snow and ice of PA (with a couple of cars that were BAD in the snow), all under 15 mph, it cost me a neck surgery (screws, cages, discs removed, a plate, etc.) from eating a windshield. Winter traction is a biggie for me. I have a 4wd F350 also, and now plow snow in the winter, so I have a "real" truck if I wish to drive it, but as an uncle once said, 4wd can help you "go" better in slippery conditions, but does not stop any faster than 2wd.
 

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While on this topic I thought I'd share something funny.
It seems a good pal of mine was driving into work in his 4WD truck after a snow storm a couple years back. He was driving along at about 45 in a 55 zone. A car comes up behind him that seemed to be in a hurry. Paul just held his course. The car behind him couldn't pass because of turns and hills. Finally the road straightened out a bit and that car zipped past and out of sight. On the very next turn, Paul comes up over the rise and sees that car well past the ditch and into the field. With the driver out of his car and on his cell, looking for damage to his car, Paul stops at the side of the road and rolls down his window. He then yells "HEY" as the guy looks up he follows that with "YOU CAN'T PARK THERE!!!". With that he drives off... He checked with a friend that follows that same route behind him and said there was a tow truck digging him out 30 min. later.

I just may use that sometime...

Steven
 
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