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Re: Descending Icy Hills

>From my youthful perspective, I may not be the most knowledgeable on this
subject. However, from my limited experiences I've come to realize that any
attempt at rapid deceleration will throw the vehicle into a spin. Every vehicle
differs amazingly in their handling characteristics in the slick stuff. I
usually perfer to downshift if possible and then apply pulsed braking. It all
depends on how quickly you want to stop.

With every car I've ever driven in the winter, I make an attempt at learning
about it's handling characteristics in the snow. It's fun to boot. It's really
amazing the way different vehicles handle. 

The best bet is to take your car out on a snowy day and go play in a safe
place. Perferably a large unplowed parking lot, which you are well familiar
with. Obviously, don't attempt this at noon-time at your local grocery store. 
I believe that most police officers/revenue collectors will leave you alone if
you tell them why you are sliding all over the parking lot at 6am. I seriously
doubt a judge will let you keep a ticket when he realizes why you were doing
what you were doing anyway.

It's hard not to want to stomp the brakes when in an emergency situation. I
recall many an instance when I was driving my 85 Mr2 around twisties in the
rain, and felt a large degree of understeer. Usually, letting off the gas a
little (or completely depending on the degree of the skid) and even light
applying some braking force is enough to transfer enough weight to the front
end to regain steering. I hear that sudden removal of throttle in certain cars,
like a Porsche 911, will throw you into sudden oversteer and result in an
uncontrolled spin. So.. the best bet is, again, to go play. Since it's all
great fun anyway.. and you learn about the handling characteristics of your
particular car.. it's a win-win situation. Just make sure that you check out
the parking lot before it snows. Wouldn't want to see anybody run into any of
those concrete parking lot barriers or anything.

GO have fun! I think that all the playing I've done in the snow has probably
saved my butt more than a few times. 

In regard to ABS... I understand that the entire purpose is to regain steering
control when braking hard. I'm not sure how that plays into the entire
scenario.. I'm sure somebody else has something to say about that.

                               -Osman Parvez
                                89 200q (149K miles)
                                Siena College
                                Albany NY