November 29, 2006

Fit In The Snow

While at a client's home painting on the 25th, Vancouver had its first snowfall of the year. This wasn't a small one either. 20-50cm of snow fell within a 24 hour period, and continued on through the next few days to tie or break records in various parts of the lower mainland. While this may not be a huge number for other cities that are used to snow. A normally extremely mild Vancouver could never justify the public works infrastructure necessary for more effective snow removal.

My Fit handled the snow very well with its factory all season P175/65R14 tires. No wheelspin, no sliding, very easy to drive. The fact that it's manual transmission probably helped as well. However, once the snow turned to ice, the Fit's lack of weight became very apparent. It's still ok to drive, but it was easy for the car to start "floating". Filling the gas tank helps a bit, and adding rear passengers helped as well.

Oh, and the picture, yes. After attending the Eastside Cultural Crawl, My visiting mother and my insane wife decided that our close proximity to the ice cream factory meant we must stop for a few scoops. Nevermind that it's snowing like mad and freezing. Surprisingly, at least to me, we were not the only customers in the store!

So a couple of days after the snow first hit, I decided to dig out my old Mazda because I had snow tires for that car. I drove the Mazda before and after the snow tire install and the snow tires made a huge difference on the ice. So I decided to keep driving the Mazda until the ice was gone from the street, and keep the Fit out of the elements and out of harms way from stupid SUV drivers who think that AWD means they can go as fast as normal, and stop just the same on ice. Remember folks, 4 x 0 = 0.

For those who actually have been reading my blog, yes, the Mazda was fixed finally. In my first post How I Decided on a Fit, and even when I picked up my Fit, the Mazda was not starting. I had hoped to trade the non-running Mazda in to lower my purchase cost, but my Honda dealer was only able to offer me $100 for the car. So I thought it was worth it if I fixed it first and then sold it privately. I would most likely get more than $100 on the difference between the selling price and what it costs me to get it fixed. However, I sure am glad I haven't sold the Mazda yet, since I'm getting good use out of it during the snow storm.

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