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Go back to COMG-The Cruze Owner's Maintenance Guide


Much of the northern parts of the United States recently got their first taste of winter. Our Canadian friends are wondering what took us so long! Seeing how we have some Cruzers who are driving their Cruzes (Cruzen?) in the snow for the first time, these tips might come in handy.

1. Go slow. If you only have dry weather experience with your Cruze, go slowly in the first few storms to get a feel for the car.
2. Leave the traction control and stability control (Stabilitrak) on. Those systems are there to assist you. The only time traction control should be turned off (press once onto the black button to the right of the shifter/gear selector for traction control off, hold for 5 seconds for stability control off) is when starting from a stop in deep snow. This would be when starting on a hill, or stuck in a drift.
3. Clean the car off completely before starting out. If there's ice/snow on a window or surface, clean it. That car that hits you will be coming from the window you didn't clean off. Also, our LED center tail light is mounted right above the trunk. Clean off the trunk to make sure other drivers can see you stopping!!!
4. Leave LOTS of room between your Cruze and other cars on the road. 4-5 seconds at the minimum. If you can count "one one thousand two one thousand" when the car ahead of you passes that billboard, you're too close. Slow down and get some more room. Space = time to avoid the yahoo spinning out ahead.
5. Test out the brakes to see if the ABS kicks in or not, and how fast the car slows down when the ABS kicks in. If it's really slick out, the ABS could make the car keep going even when you think it should stop.
6. If you haven't already, spend the $500 on a set of 4 15" (205/70-15) snow tires on steel wheels. Snow tires work magic for car handling in cold, snowy weather. Snow tires will ensure you stop and turn when wanted in bad weather.
7. Especially for the folks out west where exits are 100 miles apart, carry an emergency kit. Shovel, flashlight, blanket, water bottle, maybe even an emergency radio that charges your cell phone too.
8. If you live in area where deep snow is common, carry some kitty litter to help with traction if you're stuck.

Above all, use common sense to avoid being stuck out in bad weather. If you have to drive, be careful and safe!

Any other suggestions would be much appreciated!
 

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Here's an emergency radio that I would very highly recommend:

Amazon.com: Energizer Weather Ready Multi Function NOAA Lantern: Sports & Outdoors

This will run on AA batteries or a hand-cranked battery charge. It has two good sized LED-based lamps that will light up a large area on a low and high power setting, a AM/FM, and NOAA weather-band radio, a long telescoping antenna that comes out of the side, and a USB charger for charging your cell phone. It's something I would recommend everyone have in their car for emergency purposes.
 

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Those are some great tips, sciphi! After driving last night in our first flash freeze of the season (seriously, something is wrong in Canada) these are everything that we must think about!

Here's another general few tips!

1) As quick and convenient as some back roads are in the summer, don't try them in the winter. Take the extra few to get home, your family will thank you. Main roads are more lit, higher traffic (if you slide into a ditch, people are more likely to see/stop/help), and they will be salted prior to a backstreet.

2) Don't be the moron who thinks that they can press the gas down and gun off with no traction. I watched someone do this last night and end up in oncoming traffic, luckily there was no oncoming cars.

3) Give yourself extra time when taking turns. Your car won't accellerate/may not go exactly where you intended for it to go. If you normally play it close with turns, just don't. This is for both left AND right turns. Although a car may be in two lanes over, your car may decided to turn two lanes over.

4) Distractions are that much worse in bad weather. Phones, radio etc. Although phones are ban in most states/provinces, even if it's not - don't do it! The two seconds it takes to look at caller ID will be the two seconds too late.

5) My last (and favourite) tip: Calling for freezing rain, flash freeze, or a bad storm? Take a snow day!
 

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This thread should be stickied.

Drove a good 80 miles in snow today and it finally stuck.

Piggy backing on other tips:

1) When roads haven't been salted, try to drive in the ruts (the uncovered grooves from previous cars) as much as possible.

2) Let off the gas when rounding a turn. DO NOT get into the accelerator when turning especially on side streets! Your car will try to find traction and may not grab hold right away which can spin you out.

3) Cruise control? If you like me, you love it. Do NOT use it if it snowed that day. Those bridges on highways get very very slick and freeze well before the road. The cruise control is constantly feeding the accelerator and you need to be in control not a computer.

4) Take acceleration just as slowly as braking. Leave your jackrabbit at home.
 

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2) Don't be the moron who thinks that they can press the gas down and gun off with no traction. I watched someone do this last night and end up in oncoming traffic, luckily there was no oncoming cars.
On my way home Friday, some idiot in an Escape did just this. I was in the left turn lane and he started coming toward me from doing that. Had the roads actually been more icy and not so wet, it probably would have been much worse. Fortunately he was able to correct before he got all the way through the intersection.

DO NOT get into the accelerator when turning especially on side streets!
You mean I can't get on it and pull the e-brake at the same time? haha I've done that a little bit the last few days in my very icy sub here while trying to learn how the car handles, as well as testing the ABS. I think it's important to experiment with stuff like this in a new car if you can be on a quiet street/parking lot to have a better idea on how to predict it in real world scenarios. It's not a bad idea to do early on every winter to re-familiarize too. Unfortunately my sub gets icy from people driving and packing down the snow, and it never really goes away.
 

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How about just checking the weather before taking a trip, some thing the FAA requires you to do before taking off. No requirement for driving, and is risking your life really worth that trip?
 

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Stickied.
 

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You mean I can't get on it and pull the e-brake at the same time? haha I've done that a little bit the last few days in my very icy sub here while trying to learn how the car handles, as well as testing the ABS. I think it's important to experiment with stuff like this in a new car if you can be on a quiet street/parking lot to have a better idea on how to predict it in real world scenarios. It's not a bad idea to do early on every winter to re-familiarize too. Unfortunately my sub gets icy from people driving and packing down the snow, and it never really goes away.
Sunline's correct. If you've never driven your Cruze (or any new car) in the snow, find a large snow covered parking lot (high schools are good for this) and do donuts for a while. Then, once you get the donuts out of your system, start driving figure eights periodically pulling the handbrake up and then putting it back down. This works really well if you have a passenger to start the skids at random for you. Do this until either the police chase you away (which they probably won't if you're in the middle of a large empty lot and explain you're learning how your car responds in the snow and ice) or you're comfortable with recovering when your car starts sliding.
 

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How about just checking the weather before taking a trip, some thing the FAA requires you to do before taking off. No requirement for driving, and is risking your life really worth that trip?
I was at work and have to make it home...
 

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Treat the accelerator and brake pedal like there is a rotten egg between them and your foot. Be very very gentle - You can go anywhere as long as you are careful. slow. methodical.
 

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For those of you using the MT, practice compression braking, aka engine braking, aka down-shift-braking. More or less downshift to bring the car to the stop rather than use the brakes. If you get good enough you should rarely ever have to use the brakes. For snow driving this can be better bc you're not going to lock up the brakes and continue to slide. If done incorrectly it could be bad on your tranny and clutch, but done correctly is perfectly fine.

Most of the time when you drive, you're putting a load (and causing wear) on what I'm going to call the "forward" face of each tooth on each gear in your drivetrain. The front of a tooth on the crankshaft pushes against the back of a tooth on the next gear in line, which pushes the next gear, etc. When you use "engine braking", all you are doing is engaging the teeth in the opposite direction, and putting force and wear on the faces that normally are just along for the ride.

Now, does that mean you're wearing your engine out faster? Marginally... but the parts you're wearing out would normally have to be replaced (if at all) because they'd worn out from the other side; you're wearing surfaces that would usually be thrown out with hardly any wear at all. To borrow a phrase from the medical field, your engine/transmission will die with that wear, not of it.

To the people who say that you're transferring the wear from your brakes to your clutch, all I can say is... you're doing it wrong! If you downshift as quickly and smoothly as you upshift, then the added wear and tear on your clutch will be a statistical blip - seriously, how many times do you downshift for this reason, as opposed to normal shifting? (If your answer is "at every light", then the poster who advised you to calm down your driving habits had a point.)

Having said that, there's a seriously wrong way to do this; I used to do it when I was first learning to drive stick, and it was incredibly stupid: pushing the clutch all the way in and letting the RPMs fall to idle, then letting the clutch out and allowing the engine to slow the car down in the same gear. If that's how you're doing it, STOP IT! That way wears out the clutch very fast (which might be what the other posters had in mind), drops your speed dramatically without lighting up your brakelights (I confess, that's why I started doing it - trying to sneak-slow past a cop), and runs a high risk of stalling the engine and seriously ^&*@ing something up. Don't be that guy.
 

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Do you guys get much ice up there?

Sent from my SGH-T999 using AutoGuide App
I won't say never.. but very rarely. Any time there is snow in the forecast our salt army is already on the roads powdering them up.
 

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I have done the snow covered parking lot thing with every vehicle I've owned. I am going to experiment with using the engine and manual downshifting. With the AT that my car has it seems that the engine doesn't work very well as a break. Don't know if that is the transmission or the small engine displacement.
 

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I have done the snow covered parking lot thing with every vehicle I've owned. I am going to experiment with using the engine and manual downshifting. With the AT that my car has it seems that the engine doesn't work very well as a break. Don't know if that is the transmission or the small engine displacement.
It's harder to do with an AT, especially with the manu-matic that the cruze has because you have no physical clutch pedal to control how quickly/slowly you drop it in gear. My post was mainly meant for those with the MT
 

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We got our first snow storm the other day. These LTZ tires are junk and I hadn't put my snow tires on yet, I regret that.

Anyone else notice how terrible the electronic steering is with the snow? On the hydraulic systems, you could sort of let the snow pull you into the ruts when the roads are covered, not fight it. With the lack of feedback on the electric steering, I found it to be easier to start to slide out of the rut. I do not enjoy this feature....
 

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Stock 1LT Tires and non-awesome suspension. This snow stuff is quite fun actually around corners with the use of the hand brake. Have had a blast over the last few hours till my front passenger side tire hit a curb. No damage but still worth the fun.
 

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2013 cruze LT auto first time to play in the snow!

I couldn't agree more with all thr listed tips TAKE YOUR TIME BE SAFE.

Tonight I had the pleasure of driving in the first good snow here in Michigan, I have to say I am impressed.
On the stock tires I had no problems going (unless i got on it too much)
Stopping was straight as an arrow even a panic stop from 15 MPH. The ABS shutter felt in the peddal is much less than what I have felt in other cars. I felt in control of the car at all times and only once felt the traction control kick in when I tried (on purpose) to accelerate up a hill.
As for the E brake spins..........oh they are FUN in a empty parking lot!!!!!
 

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Whereabout's in michigan?
 
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