Author Topic: Car Advice  (Read 1924 times)

stacheasaurus

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Car Advice
« on: December 03, 2019, 09:11:24 AM »
Looking for some facepunches here --

Moving to Salt Lake City from Philadelphia in a month or so, and will be driving myself out in my 2013 Honda Accord (paid off, currently with all-season tires).

I'm currently debating between just putting some good snow tires on my accord, or also upgrading to a Subaru Forester/Honda CR-V.

The drive from PA to SLC shouldn't be too bad, mostly highways, but I wouldn't throw winter tires on until I arrived in Salt Lake to keep the tread life of the winter tires as fresh as possible.

My commute out there will be about 10 miles of highway, but I'm an avid hiker/skier so thinking a bit bigger car would be more effective.

TL;DR:  Just put winter tires on honda accord or get AWD as well for move to mountains

ketchup

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Re: Car Advice
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2019, 09:20:40 AM »
Buy snow tires.  Put them on now.  If the temp is below 45F, you benefit from the switch, regardless of actual snow.

If you think a bigger car might be more effective, wait until you're in a spot where you think that, and decide then.  I certainly wouldn't do it preemptively.  Also, not framing it to yourself as an "upgrade" might help.  It's a change, not necessarily an upgrade.

therethere

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Re: Car Advice
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2019, 09:33:33 AM »
I would double check the routes before you go. I-70 over the mountains from Denver to Grand Junction requires you have AWD/4WD, snow tires, or carry chains after September. All tires require 3/16th tread depth.

If you have no other complaints about your car, and you have somewhere to store them in the off season, I would get a set of snow tires on separate rims. DH had a set to commute with for our compact car and it made a world of difference.

I love my Subaru and hate it at the same time. So be careful buying one. Admittedly I beat the crap out of mine and used it to tow about 70% of the time. But in 50k miles I've replaced more in parts than the 8k I paid for the car initially. That was with deals on labor, getting the head gaskets under warranty, and it now needs a catalytic converter! If you did want to buy a Subaru get it in PA, not in Utah. Subaru's around here are in high demand and priced accordingly.

MoneyQuirk

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Re: Car Advice
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2019, 10:22:43 AM »
I would go the snow tire route.

ketchup

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Re: Car Advice
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2019, 10:43:04 AM »
I would double check the routes before you go. I-70 over the mountains from Denver to Grand Junction requires you have AWD/4WD, snow tires, or carry chains after September. All tires require 3/16th tread depth.
Shit, really? I just drove through there in a RWD rental van and none of that about a month ago.

Sanitary Engineer

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Re: Car Advice
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2019, 11:05:10 AM »
A month ago was not winter.  It is winter now.
I would get the snow tires now and travel with them on the accord, unless you are going to live on a dirt road, which I think would be not the norm in SLC.  Chains are also amazing. I would get a set of chains in case you get caught in the mountains during a storm and the roads happen to to be open.
Read this article to get you in the proper mind frame.
https://www.outsideonline.com/2152131/freezing-death

therethere

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Re: Car Advice
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2019, 11:30:10 AM »
I would double check the routes before you go. I-70 over the mountains from Denver to Grand Junction requires you have AWD/4WD, snow tires, or carry chains after September. All tires require 3/16th tread depth.
Shit, really? I just drove through there in a RWD rental van and none of that about a month ago.

Drivers of vehicles without four-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive can comply with the traction law by having either snow tires (with or without studs) or by using all-season tires with a mud/snow designation (often marked on the sidewall with “M+S”). But experts say the latter type are less effective on ice and in slush.

Owners of two-wheel-drive vehicles with standard tires can carry chains or an AutoSock set in the trunk to use when winter weather strikes.

stacheasaurus

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Re: Car Advice
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2019, 12:16:09 PM »
Buy snow tires.  Put them on now.  If the temp is below 45F, you benefit from the switch, regardless of actual snow.

If you think a bigger car might be more effective, wait until you're in a spot where you think that, and decide then.  I certainly wouldn't do it preemptively.  Also, not framing it to yourself as an "upgrade" might help.  It's a change, not necessarily an upgrade.

Thanks for the advice!  Only trick is I don't have space for the other set of tires during the drive out there.  Only taking what I can fit and selling everything else!

I think based on what I've seen there is no need to get a different vehicle right now, so I'll stick with the great car I have.  As for driving out there, I think the best route is to get a set of chains (actually much cheaper than I thought) for emergency during the cross country drive, then get snow tires when I arrive and have a place to put the other set.

robartsd

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Re: Car Advice
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2019, 02:08:41 PM »
I would double check the routes before you go. I-70 over the mountains from Denver to Grand Junction requires you have AWD/4WD, snow tires, or carry chains after September. All tires require 3/16th tread depth.
Shit, really? I just drove through there in a RWD rental van and none of that about a month ago.
The Colorado requirement to carry chains on I-70 September through May applies only to commercial vehicles (16+ passengers or over 26,000 lbs). Other vehicles can be required to carry chains on any highway based on weather conditions. Even if passenger vehicles were technically required to carry chains at all times, there would be no practical way to enforce the requirement. Commercial vehicles are commonly required to stop at scales where a variety of regulations can be enforced.

Buy snow tires.  Put them on now.  If the temp is below 45F, you benefit from the switch, regardless of actual snow.

If you think a bigger car might be more effective, wait until you're in a spot where you think that, and decide then.  I certainly wouldn't do it preemptively.  Also, not framing it to yourself as an "upgrade" might help.  It's a change, not necessarily an upgrade.

Thanks for the advice!  Only trick is I don't have space for the other set of tires during the drive out there.  Only taking what I can fit and selling everything else!

I think based on what I've seen there is no need to get a different vehicle right now, so I'll stick with the great car I have.  As for driving out there, I think the best route is to get a set of chains (actually much cheaper than I thought) for emergency during the cross country drive, then get snow tires when I arrive and have a place to put the other set.
Sounds like a good plan to me.

therethere

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Re: Car Advice
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2019, 02:17:17 PM »
I would double check the routes before you go. I-70 over the mountains from Denver to Grand Junction requires you have AWD/4WD, snow tires, or carry chains after September. All tires require 3/16th tread depth.
Shit, really? I just drove through there in a RWD rental van and none of that about a month ago.
The Colorado requirement to carry chains on I-70 September through May applies only to commercial vehicles (16+ passengers or over 26,000 lbs). Other vehicles can be required to carry chains on any highway based on weather conditions. Even if passenger vehicles were technically required to carry chains at all times, there would be no practical way to enforce the requirement. Commercial vehicles are commonly required to stop at scales where a variety of regulations can be enforced.

This is not true any longer. There was a new law passed in May 2019 that updates the traction law to apply to passenger vehicles, as I stated above. It also extends it so certain stretches covered under the traction law from Sept 1-May31st regardless of weather conditions. Even if you can't readily get ticketed for it (until you cause an accident or get pulled over) it doesn't mean you shouldn't follow it and endanger others by being ill-equipped. Especially if you're driving somewhere on a timeline when you're less likely to be cautious and pull off when conditions are poor.

Driving over the Rockies in the winter shouldn't be taken lightly, especially if you're an inexperienced winter and mountain driver.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2019, 02:19:03 PM by therethere »

robartsd

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Re: Car Advice
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2019, 04:03:06 PM »
The Colorado requirement to carry chains on I-70 September through May applies only to commercial vehicles (16+ passengers or over 26,000 lbs). Other vehicles can be required to carry chains on any highway based on weather conditions. Even if passenger vehicles were technically required to carry chains at all times, there would be no practical way to enforce the requirement. Commercial vehicles are commonly required to stop at scales where a variety of regulations can be enforced.

This is not true any longer. There was a new law passed in May 2019 that updates the traction law to apply to passenger vehicles, as I stated above. It also extends it so certain stretches covered under the traction law from Sept 1-May31st regardless of weather conditions. Even if you can't readily get ticketed for it (until you cause an accident or get pulled over) it doesn't mean you shouldn't follow it and endanger others by being ill-equipped. Especially if you're driving somewhere on a timeline when you're less likely to be cautious and pull off when conditions are poor.

Driving over the Rockies in the winter shouldn't be taken lightly, especially if you're an inexperienced winter and mountain driver.
I guess the Colordo State Patrol needs to update their website then.

Xlar

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Re: Car Advice
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2019, 01:04:57 PM »
Looking for some facepunches here --

Moving to Salt Lake City from Philadelphia in a month or so, and will be driving myself out in my 2013 Honda Accord (paid off, currently with all-season tires).

I'm currently debating between just putting some good snow tires on my accord, or also upgrading to a Subaru Forester/Honda CR-V.

The drive from PA to SLC shouldn't be too bad, mostly highways, but I wouldn't throw winter tires on until I arrived in Salt Lake to keep the tread life of the winter tires as fresh as possible.

My commute out there will be about 10 miles of highway, but I'm an avid hiker/skier so thinking a bit bigger car would be more effective.

TL;DR:  Just put winter tires on honda accord or get AWD as well for move to mountains

Snow tires is the correct answer. Even if you get AWD you should get snow tires. There a lots of articles and videos out there showing 2WD and snow tires outperforming AWD with all seasons.

Here is an example video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=dhpG251vK8s&feature=emb_logo
« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 01:06:46 PM by Xlar »

MilesTeg

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Re: Car Advice
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2019, 02:13:38 PM »
I would double check the routes before you go. I-70 over the mountains from Denver to Grand Junction requires you have AWD/4WD, snow tires, or carry chains after September. All tires require 3/16th tread depth.
Shit, really? I just drove through there in a RWD rental van and none of that about a month ago.

The traction law is only in effect if conditions warrant it. Typically the road signs will say "Traction Law In Effect" or something similar. And the minimum barrier with all seasons with M+S. Pretty much just means you'll get a ticket if you're running summer only tires and get stuck or cause an accident.

MilesTeg

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Re: Car Advice
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2019, 02:27:16 PM »
Buy snow tires.  Put them on now.  If the temp is below 45F, you benefit from the switch, regardless of actual snow.

If you think a bigger car might be more effective, wait until you're in a spot where you think that, and decide then.  I certainly wouldn't do it preemptively.  Also, not framing it to yourself as an "upgrade" might help.  It's a change, not necessarily an upgrade.

Thanks for the advice!  Only trick is I don't have space for the other set of tires during the drive out there.  Only taking what I can fit and selling everything else!

I think based on what I've seen there is no need to get a different vehicle right now, so I'll stick with the great car I have.  As for driving out there, I think the best route is to get a set of chains (actually much cheaper than I thought) for emergency during the cross country drive, then get snow tires when I arrive and have a place to put the other set.

I would not recommend chains unless you know what you are doing with them. A snow sock is a better option for a novice. You can also just ship your summer tires/wheels, or if your current tires are close to or over 7 years old just get winter tires now and plan to buy new all seasons in the spring, heh.

However, if you have decent all seasons (with M+S) rating you'll be just fine as long as there is no weather and you drive sane. You can always stop if you hit weather.

You might be tempted to use i-80. Don't, i-80 is a shit show through WY due to high winds. Gets closed and/or becomes treacherous quite often.

robartsd

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Re: Car Advice
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2019, 08:56:23 AM »
However, if you have decent all seasons (with M+S) rating you'll be just fine as long as there is no weather and you drive sane.
When traction controls are in place in Utah, a M+S rating is not adequate to meet snow tire requirements on 2WD vehicles.

stacheasaurus

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Re: Car Advice
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2019, 09:56:39 AM »
Buy snow tires.  Put them on now.  If the temp is below 45F, you benefit from the switch, regardless of actual snow.

If you think a bigger car might be more effective, wait until you're in a spot where you think that, and decide then.  I certainly wouldn't do it preemptively.  Also, not framing it to yourself as an "upgrade" might help.  It's a change, not necessarily an upgrade.

Thanks for the advice!  Only trick is I don't have space for the other set of tires during the drive out there.  Only taking what I can fit and selling everything else!

I think based on what I've seen there is no need to get a different vehicle right now, so I'll stick with the great car I have.  As for driving out there, I think the best route is to get a set of chains (actually much cheaper than I thought) for emergency during the cross country drive, then get snow tires when I arrive and have a place to put the other set.

I would not recommend chains unless you know what you are doing with them. A snow sock is a better option for a novice. You can also just ship your summer tires/wheels, or if your current tires are close to or over 7 years old just get winter tires now and plan to buy new all seasons in the spring, heh.

However, if you have decent all seasons (with M+S) rating you'll be just fine as long as there is no weather and you drive sane. You can always stop if you hit weather.

You might be tempted to use i-80. Don't, i-80 is a shit show through WY due to high winds. Gets closed and/or becomes treacherous quite often.

The driving route I was going to choose has me going I80 from Cheyenne to SLC.  It doesn't look like there are many other options. 

MilesTeg

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Re: Car Advice
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2019, 10:26:59 AM »
Buy snow tires.  Put them on now.  If the temp is below 45F, you benefit from the switch, regardless of actual snow.

If you think a bigger car might be more effective, wait until you're in a spot where you think that, and decide then.  I certainly wouldn't do it preemptively.  Also, not framing it to yourself as an "upgrade" might help.  It's a change, not necessarily an upgrade.

Thanks for the advice!  Only trick is I don't have space for the other set of tires during the drive out there.  Only taking what I can fit and selling everything else!

I think based on what I've seen there is no need to get a different vehicle right now, so I'll stick with the great car I have.  As for driving out there, I think the best route is to get a set of chains (actually much cheaper than I thought) for emergency during the cross country drive, then get snow tires when I arrive and have a place to put the other set.

I would not recommend chains unless you know what you are doing with them. A snow sock is a better option for a novice. You can also just ship your summer tires/wheels, or if your current tires are close to or over 7 years old just get winter tires now and plan to buy new all seasons in the spring, heh.

However, if you have decent all seasons (with M+S) rating you'll be just fine as long as there is no weather and you drive sane. You can always stop if you hit weather.

You might be tempted to use i-80. Don't, i-80 is a shit show through WY due to high winds. Gets closed and/or becomes treacherous quite often.

The driving route I was going to choose has me going I80 from Cheyenne to SLC.  It doesn't look like there are many other options.

There aren't really great options in the winter. The major routes are I-80 and I-70

I-80 from Cheyenne to SLC is less mountainous, but is mostly big rig traffic, frequently experiences extreme winds (80mph+ gusts) and that combination is pretty bad. This section of I-80 experiences closures very frequently in the winter just due to wind. Storms are more frequent than I-70. But it's the quickest route if you don't hit trouble.



I-80 to I-76 to I-70 then north on UT-191
I-70 Denver to Glenwood Springs, CO is very mountainous and can be heavy traffic in ski season, but is mostly car traffic. If there is a winter storm it can be pretty bad. After Glenwood the drive is easy and you start traveling through flat high desert instead of mountains most of the way to SLC (someone familiar with UT could give you better info). Would take longer, but quite beautiful drive and IMO less problematic than I-80.

It's a bit of a pick your poison situation, hah.

Jon Bon

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Re: Car Advice
« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2019, 11:21:52 AM »
You're doing to do this just the one time right?

If only there was a way to know or predict what kind of what you were going to see in a specific spot......

Seriously though if your thinking about buying an AWD car just to get through a mountain pass one time your crazy. Longer term SLC and Denver have the real deal when it comes to snow removal. If your gonna live way the hell out from civilization yeah AWD might be something worth looking into. But if your going to live near the city it is not that different from living anywhere else that sees snow.

Don't drink the Koolaid. Not every person needs a subie when they move to the Rockies. Or worse a damn wrangler.




RWD

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Re: Car Advice
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2019, 12:08:36 PM »
Buy snow tires.  Put them on now.  If the temp is below 45F, you benefit from the switch, regardless of actual snow.

This isn't quite true. The OP has all-season tires already, not summer tires. Summer tires greatly lose grip in cold temperatures (when wet) but all-seasons can outperform winter tires in cold temperatures when there is no snow. Relevant testing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKtnczk8Mxk

If you aren't driving in temperatures below freezing you'll do just fine with all-seasons. And it's not like they are helpless in the snow either, just not optimal. They are not like summer tires where you'd have to be worried about compound cracking.

robartsd

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Re: Car Advice
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2019, 02:01:10 PM »
I-80 to I-76 to I-70 then north on UT-191
I-70 Denver to Glenwood Springs, CO is very mountainous and can be heavy traffic in ski season, but is mostly car traffic. If there is a winter storm it can be pretty bad. After Glenwood the drive is easy and you start traveling through flat high desert instead of mountains most of the way to SLC (someone familiar with UT could give you better info). Would take longer, but quite beautiful drive and IMO less problematic than I-80.

I'm not familiar with getting to Utah from the east, but I have taken I-80 from California to Salt Lake City a few times and one winter came up I-15 through Las Vegas.

Knowing nothing of the route, I probably would plan I-80. With the warnings against I-80 here, I'd consider taking I-70 nearly all the way to I-15 (cutting over on US 50 from Salina to Scipio). At least I'd look at weather forecasts and road conditions before committing to US 191, US 6, US 89 from I-70 in Green River to I-15 in Spanish Fork (the route I think MilesTeg is suggesting). Adds about 75 miles, but I would expect much better road conditions in bad weather. (Last summer, locals in Manti suggested we take Utah 132 through Nephi canyon rather than US 89 to get to SLC).

nereo

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Re: Car Advice
« Reply #20 on: December 05, 2019, 03:23:12 PM »
Buy snow tires.  Put them on now.  If the temp is below 45F, you benefit from the switch, regardless of actual snow.

This isn't quite true. The OP has all-season tires already, not summer tires. Summer tires greatly lose grip in cold temperatures (when wet) but all-seasons can outperform winter tires in cold temperatures when there is no snow. Relevant testing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKtnczk8Mxk

If you aren't driving in temperatures below freezing you'll do just fine with all-seasons. And it's not like they are helpless in the snow either, just not optimal. They are not like summer tires where you'd have to be worried about compound cracking.
Yes... but...

The worry is what happens if the OP is making the drive and snow/sleet/ice hit. 
Either snow or all-season tires are ‘good enough’ when the pavement is dry and there’s no ice.  When there is frozen water there’s no comparison.0-

OP:  I’d put snow tires on your accord.  Like Ketchup said I wouldn’t think of buying a new car as an ‘upgrade’. FWIW I liked in Quebec with a Civic (with snow tires) and a roof box, and we went skiing every week in the mountains.  I’d take an accord with dedicated snow tires over those other cars with all-season tires in winter.  The only exception would be if you needed high ground clearance for unimproved roads, but that doesnt sound like the case here.

RWD

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Re: Car Advice
« Reply #21 on: December 05, 2019, 03:27:38 PM »
Buy snow tires.  Put them on now.  If the temp is below 45F, you benefit from the switch, regardless of actual snow.

This isn't quite true. The OP has all-season tires already, not summer tires. Summer tires greatly lose grip in cold temperatures (when wet) but all-seasons can outperform winter tires in cold temperatures when there is no snow. Relevant testing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKtnczk8Mxk

If you aren't driving in temperatures below freezing you'll do just fine with all-seasons. And it's not like they are helpless in the snow either, just not optimal. They are not like summer tires where you'd have to be worried about compound cracking.
Yes... but...

The worry is what happens if the OP is making the drive and snow/sleet/ice hit. 
Either snow or all-season tires are ‘good enough’ when the pavement is dry and there’s no ice.  When there is frozen water there’s no comparison.0-

OP:  I’d put snow tires on your accord.  Like Ketchup said I wouldn’t think of buying a new car as an ‘upgrade’. FWIW I liked in Quebec with a Civic (with snow tires) and a roof box, and we went skiing every week in the mountains.  I’d take an accord with dedicated snow tires over those other cars with all-season tires in winter.  The only exception would be if you needed high ground clearance for unimproved roads, but that doesnt sound like the case here.

No disagreement from me. I just wanted to correct the sub-45 degree statement which is a better threshold for considering switching from summer tires.

stacheasaurus

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Re: Car Advice
« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2020, 10:12:56 PM »
Just as a follow up, I drove successfully using 80 through the midwest, then there was sun for a few days so made it to denver and through the mountains on 70 to SLC.  What an amazing drive!  I did purchase some dedicated snow tires/wheels now that I am here for heading up into the canyons, and wow it's night and day in the winter conditions, for a fraction of the cost of changing vehicles.  Thanks for all the advice!

ApacheStache

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Re: Car Advice
« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2020, 12:23:36 AM »
Congrats on making it safely out to SLC. Yes, the conditions in the mountains are usually drastically different than at lower elevations regardless of season. It's definitely worth keeping your vehicle maintained, fueled up and prepped with emergency essentials just in case something happens.

Also, for anyone who still wants clarification on the CDOT Passenger Vehicle Traction and Passenger Chain Laws, I've attached a flow chart and here's a link to some basic info: https://autosock.us/new-2019-colorado-passenger-vehicle-traction-law/. As far as I can tell, unless I'm looking in the wrong place, the CDOT site still only has information available on the Commercial Vehicle Traction laws. Based on the 2019 Copyright at the footer of the page, I'm assuming they'll make an update and add more passenger vehicle information in the future.

nereo

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Re: Car Advice
« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2020, 05:01:14 AM »
I don’t understand why they both with the first question about AWD/4WD— it doesn’t change the subsequent questions and requirements, near as I can tell.

use2betrix

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Re: Car Advice
« Reply #25 on: February 02, 2020, 05:24:37 PM »
If you’e moving from Philadelphia, you’ll be fine in SLC regarding winter. Their winter low’s are pretty similar, and even the low’s for the winter are barely below freezing. It snow’s in SLC, but has a tendency to warm up fast and melt fast.

It can be questionable in the mountains, but pretty easy to just... not go into the mountains if the weather is rough.. There’s really no reason to go through them unless you’re doing mountain activities.

If you planned to work in the mountains/travel through them daily, then I would definitely consider either an AWD vehicle with higher clearance.

Enjoy SLC! I just spent the last 4 days there for work and also have family there. Beautiful area.

stacheasaurus

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Re: Car Advice
« Reply #26 on: February 03, 2020, 04:11:14 PM »
Congrats on making it safely out to SLC. Yes, the conditions in the mountains are usually drastically different than at lower elevations regardless of season. It's definitely worth keeping your vehicle maintained, fueled up and prepped with emergency essentials just in case something happens.

Also, for anyone who still wants clarification on the CDOT Passenger Vehicle Traction and Passenger Chain Laws, I've attached a flow chart and here's a link to some basic info: https://autosock.us/new-2019-colorado-passenger-vehicle-traction-law/. As far as I can tell, unless I'm looking in the wrong place, the CDOT site still only has information available on the Commercial Vehicle Traction laws. Based on the 2019 Copyright at the footer of the page, I'm assuming they'll make an update and add more passenger vehicle information in the future.

According to my friends that live here, even though I have 3 peak mountain snow tires, the police at the bottom of the canyon routinely turn away people that have 2WD regardless of their traction devices, as it is up to their discretion for public safety.