2000 Saturn Pulling In Snow

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Matt, Jan 29, 2004.

  1. Matt

    Matt Guest

    Greetings,
    I have a 2000 Saturn SL1 and this was the first year I've actually
    gotten to drive it in the snow! (yeah what fun!) Anywhoo.. I love the
    way it handles... seems to do very well with it's traction control and all.

    The one quirk I've noticed is if I'm stopped at a stop light or some
    other area which snow on the ground and then go to accelerate the car
    will try to pull to the right, and I have to cut sharply to the left
    until the car is a bit more up to speed.. then it will track correctly
    straight.

    Any idea what this is?
     
    Matt, Jan 29, 2004
    #1
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  2. Matt

    Shawn Guest

    Sounds like all season tires.
     
    Shawn, Jan 29, 2004
    #2
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  3. Matt

    Matt Guest

    Sounds like I HAVE all season tires? Or sounds like I need them? If
    the first, why would they do this?
     
    Matt, Jan 29, 2004
    #3
  4. Matt

    Wurm Guest

    Well, I cant answer why they do this.... but I too (stupidly) never put
    winter's on my SL'98 and I have the exact same reaction when starting from a
    full stop on snow. So at least its not just you :)
     
    Wurm, Jan 29, 2004
    #4
  5. Matt

    Bob Shuman Guest

    Its been too many years since I took physics in college, but I seem to
    recall that there is an angular moment of inertia and something about a left
    or right hand rule where the fingers pointed in the direction of the motion
    and the thumb pointed to the direction of the force. Sounds to me as though
    the vehicle pulls toward the direction of the force when the tires spin...

    Again, its been too many years, but with enough time I bet you can find
    something on the web. I also seem to recall something about "torque steer"
    which is worse for front wheel drive vehicles since the drive and steering
    are done on the same front axle. This might be another explanation of why
    it is noticeable on front wheel drive vehicles.
     
    Bob Shuman, Jan 29, 2004
    #5
  6. Try eliminating the road crown as a possible source of your rightward
    slipping and find a nice flat parking lot to see if it does the same
    thing.
     
    Bon·ne·ville, Jan 29, 2004
    #6
  7. Matt

    Walter Guest

    W: I always sucked at physics, so I agree with whatever he said.
    Yeah, it's torque steer. Since there's less traction for your tires,
    because of the snow, the tires are more apt to go wandering.
    You can experience this on a dry road too - Gun the engine, drop the
    clutch, and hold on to the steering wheel as it's yanked away from
    you. Note - Do not try this at home, I am not a professional, and it's
    not my fault if you damage something while trying this.
    W: Something about having all the work being done by the front wheels
    and having axles of unequal length. The stronger the engine, also, the
    more you notice it.
    Not to pick on the original poster, but with the SL1 engine you'd need
    snowfall before you's notice torque steer. I have an SL2, and torque
    steer is more available, shall we say.
    The cure of course, is to back off the throttle. In the OP's case, the
    traction control system can only do so much. Winter tires would help,
    but your fighting physics, and the drift could still be an issue.
    YMMV.
    Another poster commented that the road crown could be doing this. His
    suggestion of a parking lot test is excellent. Also, if you get snow
    tires, try the parking lot test before-and-after to see how much they
    help, if any.

    Walter
     
    Walter, Jan 30, 2004
    #7
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