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Discussion Starter #1
I have some time off later in the month and want to spend some of it cross-country skiing.

A lot of the resorts are just off the highway, and roads will be well plowed, but I still wonder about the Insight, since it's so light. One of the most common things I've seen happen is that it may be above freezing during the day, but then drop below after the sun sets at 4:30, resulting in slush re-freezing on the paved roads by ski area parking lots.

Also, just in case--have anyone ever used chains with the Insight? There doesn't seem to be a lot of clearance around the wheel wells.

I keep reminding myself of all the little European cars in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" and the VW Beetles I used to see bombing around in snow in Maine, but for all I know, all those steel vehicles still weighed more than 1900 pounds.

Anyone go skiing with their Insight? Other than silly people overestimating their SUV's abilities, what else should I watch out for?
 

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I also have a vested interest in the outcome of this thread.

I'm about to take a 2 week marathon road trip (one of... 15-25 I've taken in the last 6 years) from KY-OR; I won't be taking any really high elevation mountain passes (besides the continental divide and such) but I will be in snowy areas. I just recently got my Insight and don't have any experience with it and snow or ice.

In general, what are your experience(s) with Insights in packed snow? Ice? Plowed roads with tall piles of snow? Any major problems?

Thanks in advance.
-Phil
 

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Other than getting stuck up on top of a pile of snow, I should think that lightness would be a good thing for a car in the winter, less mass to accellerate and maneuver.

Choosing high quality snow tires seems to be a much more important factor (on any car).

Does anyone know the front to back ratio of weight on the Insight?
 

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The weight of the car only determines how narrow the winter tires should be. A heavier car with very wide tires will have problems finding grip in snow. Although hard to believe at first the insight does have a similar ground clearance of many other cars.
Use winter tires in one of the following sizes
165/65R14
175/65R14
155/80R13
175/70R13
And carry a tow line (buy one specially made for this)
know where the ring eyebolt that screws to the front bumber is located and how to install it. This is the only safe way to get pulled out of deep snow if you get stuck.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Okay, so what I'm hearing is...

...for the half-dozen or so days a year I want to drive up I-90 or Highway 2 to the pass to go skiing, I should invest in a set of snow tires and a winch cable?

No hostility or sarcasm intended--just want to be really clear that the Insight cannot traverse even plowed snow or ice in its factory configuration. If that's true, then I'll look into the ski resort's shuttle.

:?:
 

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Jsanford, I made it through a Cqnadian winter on OEM tires! I cross a kilometer of unplowerd field just to get to the nearest plowed road. OK.....so I'm totally crazy :shock: what can I say? After one particularly bad occasion using the Insight as a snowplow while saying a dozen hail Marys ricocheting through something that resembled a snow filled bobsled run, I decided to use the CRX as a winter beater. My feeling is that if you can't make it with an Insight and good tires then you probably won't make it in any other 2WD vehicle either. Around here they say that an inexperienced driver in a four wheel drive will just get stuck that much deeper and be a bigger pain to pull out. 4WD inspires overconfidence. :wink:
 

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A tow line is a rope with hooks at the end for pulling a car gently.
It costs about $10

Some people say OEM all season tires are "OK" or even "good" in snow and ice, but these people haven't tried winter tires because they don't know what they are missing!

Remember: "ignorance is bliss"
 

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Living in Canada, and personally making the hour and a half trip to Collingwood (Blue mountain about 1.5 hours north of Toronto) or the trip to school in Orillia (Georgian College 2.5 hours north of Toronto) I can saftley say I have experienced some of the harshest conditions an insight has seen.

Winter tires are a must, the 165/65 R14 Bridgestone Blizzaks are a nite and day comparison to stock tires when the weather goes south (Or noth in this case)

On a trip home from Blue mountain one night about 2 feet of snow had fallen, although the plows were able to keep the snow on the roads to a minimum, they couldnt control the speed of which a snowdrift could grow. I found myself having to hit these drifts at 80km an hour to avoid getting stuck in the middle of no where. Whene I got home the undercovers on the insight had been torn off, the following winter driving in a constant 1foot for about 40 minutes caused the same efect, for the covers to be torn off. That will be your biggest problem in the snow (And most expensive if you cant talk honda into replacing it)

My argument was

"Why the hell would you sell the insight in canada if it cant handle the bloddy winters which consume 6 months of the year"
 

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Wait... you rammed snowdrifts with your Insight and convinced Honda to warranty the lost panels?
 

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Ah, I did not now that the snow accumulated accross the highway in a bundle was a "snowdrift"

It is the "1" thing the Insight is worst in. The car is so light that when you hit a big one, the seat belt is used (like you just hit something big). I never experienced this in my previous larger cars.

But I figure it is not only the low weight of the car that create the decelaration but the low bumper/air dam that acts like a plow.
 

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I go skiing in mine all the time - the dog & I just went yesterday, in fact.

It does as well as any other 2WD car in plowed/packed snow. I've driven over 8900' mountain passes in a snowstorm, without problems. Cable chains work well, though they're a little fiddly to put on in the dark. (I suggest practicing this at home first :))

The only problem you should have is if you get a storm that dumps more than 4-5 inches before the plows get to it. When it gets deep enough to reach the belly pan, in other words. First you'll get snow packed into the cracks, possibly ripping off some of the plastic underbody fairings. Then if it gets too deep, you'll be stuck. Not a problem unique to the Insight, though, by any means.
 

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Tim Maddux said:
Wait... you rammed snowdrifts with your Insight and convinced Honda to warranty the lost panels?

You make it sound like this is something strange??? Snow drifts are a part of Canadian winter driving, Big open feilds and lots of "powder snow" Makes jumping snowdrifts a must. The alternative of freezing to death in your stranded car isnt very fun :p

And Yes i did talk honda into replacing them, Twice.... It is not my fault Honda overlooked the design of the underplates for northern drivers
 

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Haven't damageed my panels yet, so I'm not the wildest Canadian driver, eh? Welcome to the Canadian snow drift ramming competition, in the red Insight from Quebec...........:lol:
 

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I have not damaged mine yet either. I thought that it was hard pack snow (and maybe backing into that) that could damage the under panels. I expected going forward to be OK. I'll be more carefull in my speed the next time (just enough to pass).

On a note, I recently replaced the coolant and noticed the air dams are not holding well, the rear is loose, broken near some bolts. Could have something to do with the drifts or backing into snow.
 
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