Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Sandbags for traction or no?
I have a 2003 Olds Silhouette minivan. Currently, the traction control & ABS are inoperable more than likely due to needing rear brake work. I don't care about the ABS, but the traction control definitely made a difference. I do not have the seats in the back of the van. My sister, who has TONS of experience driving curvy backroads in the worst of Michigan winter conditions, recommended I get sandbags and put them over the axle & rear wheel wells to aid in traction. I have done so - a friend loaded me up with feed bags full of wet sand, which are laying flat across the width of the van, probably weighing in at a total of between 175 and 200 lbs. But my dad thinks this is either useless or counter-productive, as this is a front-wheel drive vehicle. He wonders if this isn't even maybe causing an ever-so-slight dip in the back that is bringing the front tires every so slightly off the road (as if you put all the weight at the back of a boat, causing the front to rise up out of the water). My tires are ok, could be better, could be worse. I am generally an exceptionally good Michigan winter driver. But I have already ended up in a ditch once and had to have AAA come get me out, and ended up on the side of the road another time and had to dig out from under the tires to get back on the road. I'm now feeling exceptionally paranoid driving in snow, which I never did before. I have seriously never gotten into a skid I couldn't get out of before this. Do you think the sandbags are a bad idea?