How To Drive A Toyota Prius In The Snow

How To Drive A Toyota Prius In The Snow

The Toyota Prius is a front-wheel-drive hybrid fueled by gasoline and electricity. As with all front-wheel-drive vehicles, the Prius performs rather well in snow because the car pulls the car through the snow rather than pushing it, as with rear-wheel-drive vehicles. Prius owners have reported driving their automobiles successfully in the snow, but snow tires are recommended. Several people have said that the Prius's traction control cuts power to the front wheels when the road is slippery.

Drive slowly and smoothly, and feather the gas pedal by depressing it in little increments as opposed to pressing it to the floor. The Prius does not have a lot of horsepower, so driving it in the snow is not like driving a sports car. However, excessive throttle can cause even the Prius to lose traction. When accelerating from a halt, gradually apply the throttle. If the tires begin to spin, release the gas pedal until they stop spinning.

Accelerate when exiting corners. In the snow, when accelerating too quickly in a corner in a rear-wheel-drive car might cause the back end to slip out when the tires lose traction, the Prius' front-wheel-drive system will help you pull out of bends. Gently accelerate out of curves, lifting only if the car begins to slide to the outside of the turn or the tires begin to spin.

Focus on the road ahead and apply as little braking force as possible. This will save you from having to apply the brakes in the nick of time, which could cause you to lose control if they lock up. Also, when slowing down, especially on downhills, use the Prius' B option, which stresses braking (but badly affects fuel economy) and enables the automatic gearbox to assist in slowing the car instead of the brakes. As you come to a halt, change the automatic transmission from D to 3, then to 2, and finally to 1 while lightly braking.

Avoid driving your Prius in really deep snow. While the Prius' front-wheel-drive chassis may provide adequate traction in the snow, it has a relatively low ride height to improve its aerodynamics, resulting in a ground clearance of only around 5 inches. In extreme snow conditions, the lower portion of the car can become fully buried.

If you will be driving in snow for several months, purchase winter tires, such as Bridgestone Blizzaks, from Tire Rack or a local retailer. Install a pair of winter tires on your Prius if you are in a location that receives a significant amount of snow. The Prius comes standard with tires optimized for maximum fuel efficiency and warm-weather driving. Additionally, you can purchase an additional set of Prius wheels and have winter tires placed on them. Consequently, you can choose when to utilize the snow tires.

Take a course on snow driving. A professional driver might be the best person to explain the many small details of driving in the snow.

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