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How Does The '02 Handle In The Harsher Weather? (Noob Question)


S-L
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Hello, I'm currently saving up for my '02 and am not far off from getting it a couple months from now.

 

I reside in the Portland, Oregon area..and as you know, we have plenty of mountain ranges around here (including Mt. Hood) to do lots of snowboarding/skiing, and I've seen plenty of 2002's driving around with ski racks, and was wondering if they come to actual use--do the 02's handle decent on the snow? I understand it's not the most advanced car in the world, but how does it handle in the colder climates? That aside, how about the regular 'ole Oregon rain?

 

Appreciate all your help & support! Sorry for the possibly, noob question (although, I'm sure there's plenty newcomers wondering the same).

 

Thanks, once again! :)

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Ton o fun in the snow, I run Hancook snows, non studded, and havent found a drift that could stop me yet, flipside, where there is snow there is salt, not good for 45 year old unibodys, stay off of I-5 and check if local streets are salted, mine are not. Rain is no problem, if your car is weathertight, biggest leaker is door & window seals, gets in and soaks your floor all rainy season if not tight & right, She was born in the snow country, just have to take care of business if you drive in the winter

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It's rear-wheel drive with a front-mounted engine: sub-optimal from a snow traction perspective. But we drove them everywhere in my snow belt days, even up to Rochester, NY in January and February.

Running good snow tires all around will certainly help. One of the challenges today, however, is finding good snow tires of the correct size. Wide is generally not a good answer for snows and, I suspect, the original tire size, 165/80-13, remains one of the better solutions. Everyone -- Michelin, Pirelli, Semperit, etc. -- made 165/80-13's back in the day. Today you'll have to shop around if you want dedicated snow tires.. I bought a set of 165 Semperit snows a couple of years ago out of Canada: these tires have not been distributed in the U.S. for a decade but the U.K., Europe, and Canada markets remained viable until the tires were discontinued two years ago (triggering my purchase).

I've never driven an '02 with all season tires in snow. Lots of people believe that an "M + S" rated all season is as good as a dedicated snow tire. I believe there is a difference.

But all of the above assumes you want to be driving a rust-prone 40 year old car in snow, ice, and salt!

Good luck and best regards,

Steve

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I drove mine once in slush and lightly snowy roads, and it was okay with all seasons, and than once in blizzard conditions here in Alberta. With 4-6 inches of fresh snow and only big 4x4 tracks in the snow it made for one of the most white knuckles rides of my life. Wipers were too slow, wind was screaming and pushing the car around, and the headlights were basically blocked with snow every few minutes (even my hella fogs iced over).

Would I drive it in plowed areas, maybe in sparse traffic but not a highway. As for a blizzard, be prepared for a heart stopping time. As with any place that uses salt and gravel, wash wash wash wash wash wash... Wash every part of the car, not just the shiny side.

I'd definitely suggest finding a winter beater instead of risking an 02 in winter. Smash a cheap civic or cavalier, eh who cares, smash up an 02 in winter, assuming you survive without cardiac arrest, you will feel like a fool

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From 1989-1994 I drove my now deceased '02 year round. Never had a problem with driving in the snow in fact it was fun. I kept a set of chains in the trunk so I could get out of the parking lot at our apartment in Pittsburgh. After 6 winters and trying to keep it clean, it was deemed too far gone to save from the rust.

 

If you want a year round daily driver buy something else with a galvanized body and fender liners. We have an X3 for winter with dedicated snow tires and it's great, consider one.

 

Don't let this happen to your 2002.

 

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2002 is quite a fun in rainy weather. Salt is a problem for any old cars since the salt mixed ith water has a special thing that i hate the most... It can climb trough cracks so it's really hard to get it out.
2002 in snow is a car you want, you need just a 100kg weight in the back, good winter tyres, mind for speeds and most of all experiance.
Otherwise this is a very dangerous car!

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Second the above motions:  my '02 was a daily driver in Ohio for 30 winters--always got through even without snow tires--the old Michelin XAS tires were almost as good as snows...but the salt took its toll--when I re-did the body I think I did some welding on every panel except the roof to repair salt-induced rust.  Fortunately it wasn't terminal as I had done some internal rustproofing back in the late 70s.  And the car hasn't seen salt since I finished the bodywork in 2000.

 

Around 1977 or so we were returning to SW Ohio from downstate NY and found ourselves in a real, no-kidding blizzard on I-71 between Akron and Columbus.  Snow was so heavy that the wipers would clog every 20 mins or so.  With no place to pull over, I'd crank the sunroof open and Carol would reach out and knock the snow off the wipers as they moved back and forth.  Car never faltered, maintained a steady 25-30 mph in the single lane that was open, following the car in front.  Lotsa cars in the ditch or median; not us.  We got off the Interstate onto the parallel two lane just before a major accident closed I-71 for 18 hours.  Spent the night in Mansfield and made it home the next morning--on back roads.  

 

They're a blast to drive in the snow--I always had a 40-50 lb toolbox stowed in the trunk between the fender wells; you could put a couple of dumbell weights under the back seat if you need the trunk space.  And if you can't find 13" snow tires, get a set of E30 14" wheels (steel or alloy, whatever's cheaper) and put snows on them.  More sizes are available in 14"--check Tire Rack.  

 

Just stay away from road salt--it'll eventually look like adawil2002's pictures above--and that's terminal!

 

mike

Edited by mike
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Put four snows on a front wheel drive beater and you're all set.  

 

Note: Back in the 80's my tii was a blast to drive in the snow.  I had Phoenix 3011 tires and they worked great.  I made plenty of ski trips to VT and NH and always washed the sand/salt off when I got home but there is no way to get it out of all the little hiding places.  Save you '02 for sunny weather and you'll be much happier!

 

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Oregon & Washington don't use much salt.  I drove my tii as a DD in Bend for a few years, and you just have to be careful.  Even if you know how to handle your car in the snow you still risk getting hit by some kid who thinks 4WD means they can drive like they are on dry pavement.

 

If you're taking it to the slopes, get a set of studded snow tires.  And a couple bags of sand in the back will help with traction and provide some grip when you do get stuck.

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If you go with a 175/70-13 there are a few choices in a winter tire, including a Firestone Winterforce, Cooper Weathermaster, or Dunlop Graspic.

 

As far as driving in the snow, it can be a great advanture, and also can be a great way to learn about drifting and right foot steering.  On the other hand, yes dangerous and your car will rust away in a few years, but I do look back with some fond memories of my early days of driving with a small, light rear wheel drive car early in the morning on fresh powder, but have to admit the BMW and the Triumph only go out on dry pavement in the winter these days..... :( older and wiser isn't nearly as much fun as young an foolish.

Edited by glemon
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