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PT Auto - Dangerous in Snow:

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Old 19 Nov 2003, 10:27 pm
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada.
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Default PT Auto - Dangerous in Snow:

PT Auto - Dangerous in Snow:
The PT Auto has 3 positions on the shifter, (Drive, 3 and 1). Note that here is no ability to select "2nd" and herein lies the problem. We recently ran the PT down a mountain pass in a heavy snow storm. If you select "3" as we did, you have minimal (zero at lower speeds) motor braking. If you select "1", the trans. will go into 2nd gear if the speed is above about 20 MPH. When you drop your speed, the trans. automatically drop into 1st gear and the immediate motor braking to the front wheels will likely cause you to loose control of the vehicle.
On downhill slippery roads this can be a very dangerous situation. I found it so serious that I am considering getting rid of the car (lots of mountain passes here in Western Canada).
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Old 19 Nov 2003, 11:03 pm
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Livingston, TX, USA.
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You just need to trade it in on a GT with the AutoStick. That way you have full control over the transmission. Of course you could also go to a manual.

2003 Almond GT AutoStick, body colored rear splash guards and hood struts, chrome gear shift, AC & vent knobs, billet steering wheel spokes and pedals, AMX1397 Turbo-Intake Pipe.
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Old 19 Nov 2003, 11:07 pm
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Sounds like you found a flaw in the design of the auto trans in the cruiser and unless you change your driving habits during a heavy snow storm while driving down a mountain pass there's not a lot you can do. Is there any chance of just slowing down and staying in 1st gear the whole way down the pass?
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Old 19 Nov 2003, 11:27 pm
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Jacksonville, NC, USA.
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Glad there are no mountain passes and very little snow , if any, in southeastern North Carolina. That sounds very unsafe.

2002 Inferno Red PT Limited
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Old 20 Nov 2003, 10:52 am
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Location: Germantown, Maryland, USA.
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Those snowy roads are not quite what the PT was designed for. All things being equal, I'd rather be in a 4 wheel drive SUV on a snowy mountain road than a Mustang, Firebird, Beetle, Matrix or PT. You have to pick your battles.

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Old 20 Nov 2003, 12:01 pm
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Posts: 1,319

Just about every new auto trans on the market has this same setup!

Sounds like you need an AWD manual instead of a FWD auto...or compromise with a PT GT w/autostick.
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Old 20 Nov 2003, 12:18 pm
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No way am I comparing my snow driving experience to Canada, but I got ABS with traction control, both of which only came into play twice in 65,000 miles, both times in snow on the same steep hill (two separate storms). If you do go for another car, check for that. I think without the ABS and traction control, I wouldn't have gotten up the hill (at least on first try) or down as smoothly. By the way - I passed a Volvo Cross-country that had skidded into a ditch on the way down.
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Old 22 Nov 2003, 07:36 pm
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Tsawwassen, BC, Canada.
Posts: 35

driving in snow has many many applications.
First: what kind of tires do you have when you are in this situation.
Second: what is your driving style?
Third: what kind of snow are you driving in? Wet and heavy or powdertype with very cold temperatures.
Fourth: what terrain are you driving? Flat, hilly, steep downhill
Some suggestions: number one with me will always be a lot of distance between me and the guy in front.
slower speeds are definitely an asset.
no sudden changes in speeds, avoid braking,
If you drive automatic, stay in D and use brakes cautiously, very cautiously; if you think you want to shift down you are already too fast.
Think: if you have to bail out - where would you go? I rather drive into the ditch then into a powerpole
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Old 22 Nov 2003, 07:53 pm
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i think a stick would be your best bet
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Old 22 Nov 2003, 09:16 pm
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Driving in snow is a problem, I agree with Jody AND quicksilverdon.

Do you have your nomal highway tires on, or have you put on snow/studded (if allowed in your area) tires?

What kind of vehicle/tires had you used in the past?

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