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A snow/ice storm and my A4Q (longish)...
Well, I finally managed to experience my 97 A4Q in a real storm and all
I can say is 'wow'. The winter here in the Northeast has been totally
lame, such that we haven't had any significant snowfall in the Boston
area since December. Well, last Friday night a good size storm came
barreling through, glazing the roads, strong winds, and a good bit of
snow up in the mountains. It was also on Friday night that I had
planned a ski trip to New Hamphsire. Couldn't wait...
We packed the car (love the ski sack) and took off. Traffic was moving
slowly until we got north of Concord, NH, where it thinned out quite a
bit. Seems that the dire weather predictions kept a lot of would be
skiers off the roads. On the way up I was easily outpacing most traffic
- and while I'm mindful that Quattro doesn't alter any fundemental laws
of physics I found that the car was *really* stable on the slick stuff,
especially during lane changes when I was crossing over the deeper snow
between the lanes. We arrived safe, comfortable and happy at our
destination well before any of the other guests (whose vehicles were
mostly Explorers/Cherokees/Suburbans). I felt smug...and detected an
admiring glance or two from the SUV drivers - "that's got AWD, huh?" :)
Things I love about the car in a storm: heated mirrors, good headlight
washers, heated washer nozzles, and of course Quattro. BTW, I installed
the adjustable intermittant wiper relay from VW - big win!
Nits: This is my first car with ABS, and while I don't deny it's
ability to stop a car on the slick stuff I have found the the lack of a
switch to defeat the system impairs my ability to determine how slick
the roads actually are. In non-ABS cars I can judge road conditions by
gently pressing on the brake, while feeling for impending wheel lockup.
ABS doesn't allow me to do this test, or a least makes it harder to
judge these matters since the ABS pulsations really mask any brake pedal
feel. Does anyone else feel this way, or do I just need to get use to
the system? I've even entertaind the idea of wiring in a 'defeat'
switch to the ABS fuse...