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2nd gear in snow...O/D on, or off?

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    2nd gear in snow...O/D on, or off?

    Got a question about my car.

    Today we got a bunch of snow (4 freaking whole inches!) and of course the city didn't plow or salt.

    I know to use 2nd gear on my automatic when starting out and for braking to help reduce sliding around, but my car also has Overdrive. The Overdrive is normally on, but I can turn it off with the little button on the gear lever. My question is this:

    When I know I'll be shifting into 2nd due to the snow, do I have the O/D on, or off? Or does it even matter? The manual was useless......
    Booooooooored

    #2
    OD does not matter at slow speeds. Turning OD off means that, at highway speeds, of it's especially hilly, or your car is loaded, it won't keep going back and forth between your second highest gear, and OD. It'll keep you in that 2nd-highest gear letting you have the power you need to maintain your speed. You'll use more fuel, but it won't be shifting every 5 seconds.
    There is no such thing as a stupid question.* *but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots.

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      #3
      As Necro says, doesn't matter at all. All it does on your Taurus transmission is keep it from shifting up into 4th from 3rd.

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        #4
        Get a manual I've never really understood the whole starting-out-in-second-gear thing. What's the point? Most people don't have any torque or power
        "Men with guts attack those corners!" - Keiichi Tsuchiya
        2006 Acura TL and 1999 Mazda Miata

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          #5
          It's necessary in my car. 1st gear spins the tires way too easily.

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            #6
            Re: 2nd gear in snow...O/D on, or off?

            I too find starts in snow easier in 2nd gear. But thats likely because im a manual n00b.
            "The way I see it a car enthusiast is somebody who is enthusiastic and interested about the motor car in all its various shapes and forms from supercars to East German 2-strokes made of cardboard. Everyone else is merely a car elitist IMO." ~ Captain 70's

            Get out of my way! I have photocopiers to sell! ~ Perc

            "A computer is a Lite-Brite for bad fucking ideas."

            FinalGear's Dash-Stroking Whore

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              #7
              Originally posted by rickhamilton620 View Post
              I too find starts in snow easier in 2nd gear. But thats likely because im a manual n00b.
              First gear, no gas, and off you go. If stuck you start rocking, again no gas. If the snow/ice hills you're stuck in are too tall you use a bit of gas when in the middle of the forward rock, not when at the end - spinning just makes things worse.
              Octavia
              Fabia
              Beetle

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                #8
                1st gear, no gas, and you go nowhere as you have no torque and the engine stalls

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by thevictor390 View Post
                  1st gear, no gas, and you go nowhere as you have no torque and the engine stalls
                  QFT. My Vtec engine has no low end torque.

                  I just start normally in first. Little bit of spin but after a few feet, its fine. I don't like starting in second because it feels like I'm abusing the clutch.
                  2013 Subaru BRZ. #Handling
                  2004 GMC Yukon. #TowRig and #Daily

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                    #10
                    My car won't move off in second.

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                      #11
                      In the Miata first gear, no gas gets it going
                      "Men with guts attack those corners!" - Keiichi Tsuchiya
                      2006 Acura TL and 1999 Mazda Miata

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by thevictor390 View Post
                        1st gear, no gas, and you go nowhere as you have no torque and the engine stalls
                        Worked in my n/a 1.2 3cyl VW Fox that had negative torque all you need is nerve endings in your left foot.
                        Besides, there must be a point between going nowhere and spinning the wheels, provided they aren't up in the air.
                        Octavia
                        Fabia
                        Beetle

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                          #13
                          You take everything in absolutes

                          Of course it is possible to launch in 1st without gas, I just find it very difficult. The throttle is extremely touchy and the gearing is very low so once you need to start moving more it's very easy to spin the wheels. Second gear makes things much easier.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by thevictor390 View Post
                            You take everything in absolutes

                            Of course it is possible to launch in 1st without gas, I just find it very difficult. The throttle is extremely touchy and the gearing is very low so once you need to start moving more it's very easy to spin the wheels. Second gear makes things much easier.
                            Once you're moving you can shift up
                            Octavia
                            Fabia
                            Beetle

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by LeVeL View Post
                              Get a manual I've never really understood the whole starting-out-in-second-gear thing. What's the point? Most people don't have any torque or power
                              I helped out a little hatchback's driver with this tip during a good snow last year. I heard him outside my house spinning his wheels for a good five minutes. When I told him to try it in second he looked like I was an idiot. He then got up the hill with no problem.

                              Off-roading tips are useful on road too! I use 2nd probably 90% of the time I'm on the rough stuff.


                              Top Gear
                              [18x04]...I was there!

                              "You shouldn't drive crappy cars, and you shouldn't drink crappy beer." - Eric Tingwall - Automobile Magazine

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                                #16
                                Thanks guys! And my car does seem to have a nice chunk of torque in 2nd. I have no idea where it comes from but..I'll take it. 1st just seems to spin the tires even with a minimum of gas on the ice, which is freaking everywhere right now.

                                I actually came home from work the whole way in 2nd. Didn't slide once, but saw 3 people off the sides of the roads.
                                Including a Range Rover. :p
                                Booooooooored

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Sevs753 View Post
                                  QFT. My Vtec engine has no low end torque.

                                  I just start normally in first. Little bit of spin but after a few feet, its fine. I don't like starting in second because it feels like I'm abusing the clutch.
                                  *shrug* I can get my vtec motor rolling in 3rd without gas, it's just not a good idea for the clutch.
                                  woohoo someone changed my sig

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                                    #18
                                    Automatic is easy as pie to drive in winter, IMO. I've never used anything but normal D in any of the cars I've owned. Just go easy on the throttle. I haven't ever given it any thought, tbh. Two of my cars have had a special winter mode that made the transmissions only use the gears from third and up. Made for very smooth starts. They also became very reluctant to shift down, you basically have to push the pedal past the kickdown switch. I was never in a situation where I found it to be useful though. D and a light foot was enough.

                                    The thing about some Ford transmissions AFAIK is that "2" on the selector means only second gear, and not first and second like in most other transmissions.

                                    Of course, if you have wrong tires for the weather (which it sort of sounds like you do) nothing you do with the gearbox is going to help you. I've driven on snow with summer tires a few times and it's useless.
                                    Last edited by Perc; December 30th, 2012, 12:44 AM.
                                    2014 Opel Insignia Country Tourer Biturbo CDTI 4x4
                                    For once I don't have the same car as everyone else.

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                                      #19
                                      Re: 2nd gear in snow...O/D on, or off?

                                      Originally posted by Perc View Post
                                      Automatic is easy as pie to drive in winter, IMO. I've never used anything but normal D in any of the cars I've owned. Just go easy on the throttle. I haven't ever given it any thought, tbh. Two of my cars have had a special winter mode that made the transmissions only use the gears from third and up. Made for very smooth starts. They also became very reluctant to shift down, you basically have to push the pedal past the kickdown switch. I was never in a situation where I found it to be useful though. D and a light foot was enough.

                                      The thing about some Ford transmissions AFAIK is that "2" on the selector means only second gear, and not first and second like in most other transmissions.

                                      Of course, if you have wrong tires for the weather (which it sort of sounds like you do) nothing you do with the gearbox is going to help you. I've driven on snow with summer tires a few times and it's useless.
                                      That reminds me...i have no clue what tires are on my car....
                                      "The way I see it a car enthusiast is somebody who is enthusiastic and interested about the motor car in all its various shapes and forms from supercars to East German 2-strokes made of cardboard. Everyone else is merely a car elitist IMO." ~ Captain 70's

                                      Get out of my way! I have photocopiers to sell! ~ Perc

                                      "A computer is a Lite-Brite for bad fucking ideas."

                                      FinalGear's Dash-Stroking Whore

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by Perc View Post

                                        Of course, if you have wrong tires for the weather (which it sort of sounds like you do) nothing you do with the gearbox is going to help you. I've driven on snow with summer tires a few times and it's useless.
                                        I have Pirelli P4's on there now. I was going to get Blizzaks, but the weather here in Ohio is just too unpredictable.

                                        We'll get a heavy snow one day, then everything will be cleared up and back to warmer weather just a few days later.

                                        It's not out of the norm to get 6 inches of snow, then less than a week later have the temps up in the mid 60's or even touching 70. I'd be switching my tires out every few days and to be honest, I'm to lazy for that.
                                        Booooooooored

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