Some vehicles are better for navigating roadways covered in snow and ice than other vehicles are. I often get asked if the Jeep Wrangler is a good choice for drivers who will encounter snow.
Jeep Wranglers are good to have if you drive in snow. If you opt to get the limited-slip rear differential you will increase the amount of traction these vehicles have in snowy conditions.
What Makes Jeep Wranglers Good for Snow Driving?
Jeep is synonymous with off-road driving and adventurous fun. These vehicles are specifically designed to travel in the worst of weather conditions like snow, extreme heat, and torrential rain.
They are designed to travel across sand, rocks, dirt, and terrains that other vehicles would not be able to get traction in.
The four-wheel-drive features on the Jeep Wrangler make it an excellent vehicle to use when traveling through snow or over icy and dangerous roadways.
The Steering System
The steering system used in the Jeep Wrangler makes it a better vehicle for driving in treacherous conditions like snow and ice. It is a circulating ball steering so it is a little heavier than the typical rack and pinion steering and able to withstand the demands of steering performance in icy conditions.
This type of steering reduces the stiff stops and sluggish performance you can experience with a rack and pinion system when you get into a bind. The recirculating ball steering can be compared to the human hip. The hip “ball” moves freely in the socket and you can change direction without any real issues. The recirculating ball of the Jeep Wrangler steering moves freely and allows for a change of direction that does not require stopping or forcing the vehicle.
The initial ground clearance that is standard on a Jeep Wrangler is 8.3 inches. That is much greater than the average vehicle and it allows you to travel over deeper snow drifts with no concerns.
Most Jeep Wranglers are optimized to have a ground clearance that is greater than 10 inches so you can really travel over snow, through water, and over other obstacles without any problems.
Advanced Locking Differentials
There are many trim levels of the Jeep vehicles that come with selectable locking differentials. Automatic locking differentials can cause you great trouble when you are traveling through snow. They make turning harder to do.
The selectable locking differential lets you decide when to lock the differential and you can do this at lower speed levels. This allows the amount of force being transferred between the tires to be more even so you are less likely to slip or slide. Your traction and grip are improved so you can go where you need to go.
Tires That Are Made For Snow Travel
The tires on the Jeep Wrangler may be the biggest advantage to snow driving. The tread that is on your tires will make a world of difference in how the vehicle handles in the snow or on icy roads. The right tread can stop hydroplaning in water and can get you safely across an icy overpass with little to no slipping and sliding.
A lot of people believe that simple all-season rated tires are all they need to use when traveling through snow. All-season tires have a problem with the tread of the tires stiffening when the temperature plummets to less than 450. These tires are better suited for dry roadways or rainy roads than they are for snow and ice.
Winter tires that have no studs are a big improvement over the all-season versions. They can maintain flexible tread even when the temperatures are below 450. They have deeper grooves that are established at irregular angles so they can take you through snow, slush, and ice better.
If you want enhanced traction on the icy roadways opts for studded winter tires. The studs optimize traction on icy surfaces so you have the best chance of traveling without slip-sliding away.
Large Side Mirrors Increase Safety
The larger than average side mirrors on these vehicles increase your ability to see any dangers or obstacles around or behind your vehicle. The rearview mirror in the Jeep Wrangler is also larger than average so your visibility is greatly improved.
Tips From The Pros To Make Snow Driving Easier and Safer
How you drive in the snow makes a big difference in whether you will travel safely to your destination.
- Reduce your speed to counteract the fact that the traction you have is less than normal.
- Apply brakes with a slow gentle pressure and never just slam down on the brake pedal.
- Accelerate with a slow gentle pressure on the accelerator pedal and do not try to accelerate too quickly, or even at normal rates.
- Use your all-wheel-drive and four-wheel drive options to increase your traction and maneuvering abilities.
- Do NOT engage your cruise control.
- Make certain your wiper blades are new and functioning perfectly before the snow starts to fall.
- Make certain you have a full windshield washer fluid level.
- Keep your gas tank on full.
- Replace won tires. Your tires are the component that is making contact with the road. You need to have ample tread on every tire if you are going to have good traction. If your tires are worn be sure to replace them. If your spare is not in optimum condition replace it before the snow begins to fall.
- When driving increase the distance between you and the car in front of you. It is going to take longer for you to stop when you need to so you will need the extra distance to avoid crashes.
- You need to hold firmly onto the steering wheel with both hands. That’s right, hands at ten and two and make sure your grip is solid. You do not need to try to steer over slick roads using just one hand, your knee, or anything other than two hands at ten and two on the steering wheel.
- Listen to the weather reports and pay attention to all warnings. If at all possible, stay home and off the roads when the weather is extreme.
- Obey all traffic signs. Do not run stop signs or red lights, and be sure that you give the right away to those vehicles who are supposed to have it.
- Make certain your cell phone is fully charged before you leave home
- Carry snacks, warm blankets and water with you in case you are stranded on the roadway for several hours.
Winter Driving Hazards
There are several hazards you face when driving in wintery conditions.
These include, but are not limited to:
- Ice on the road, and black ice on the road. Black ice is the worst because when you see it you may not recognize it as ice. It makes the roadway look wet and glossy and many drivers do not realize they are about to hit the ice until they have already lost traction and begun to spin out of control.
- Less visibility can occur for many reasons. One of the reasons is that ice and snow build up on your mirrors and windows. Layers of snow on the hood of the vehicle can be blown as you drive and cause a flurry before your eyes that interferes with your vision.
- The tire pressure in your tires can be reduced by the cold air. Check your tire pressure prior to leaving home.
- Your battery is more likely to fail in wintery weather.
- People do not give the snowplows a wide enough berth.
Which Jeep Model is Best for Driving in Snow?
Any of the Jeep models manufactured from 2018 until today are designed to handle great in snow.
Do Jeeps Hydroplane Easily?
Jeep Wranglers seem to be more apt to hydroplane than some rear-wheel-drive vehicles are. Remember that hydroplaning can be controlled with speed control and safe driving techniques.
Are Jeep Wranglers Cold in The Winter Months?
Earlier models of Jeep Wrangler were known to be cold to drive in the winter months but the models built after 2016 have improved heating systems that help them maintain a comfortable cab temperature.
Winter driving and mountain driving where snow and ice are common is better when done in a vehicle like a Jeep Wrangler. The four-wheel-drive vehicle gives you options that help you navigate slippery roads and travel safely. The vehicles are also designed to encounter less damage from salt on roads and snowdrifts because they have greater ground clearance. Always obey all traffic rules and slow down when driving in any hazardous weather.
More Jeep Wrangler Related Articles
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3. Jeep Wrangler Water Leak When It Rains
4. How to Clean Jeep Wrangler Soft Top & Windows