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Discussion Starter #1
WOW! I drove into downtown St. Paul this morning for a doctor´s appointment. What a mess! Everything was fine as I drove south from Blaine on I-35W until I reached MN-36. That is where I started encountering glare ice.

The electronic traffic sign said ´ramp closed to MN-36 eastbound´. Okay, I figured on detouring down MN-280 to I-94. MN-280 was completely gridlocked south of Kasota so I exited and drove Kasota/Front/Como to Marion.

Traffic was gridlocked south of the Sears store, so I drove across the Sears parking lot to St. Peter where traffic was crawling across the I-94 bridge. Then an articulated MTC bus jackknifed in front of me and completely blocked the bridge.

I u-turned my smart across the median on St. Peter and drove past the Capitol and down Cedar. Traffic gridlocked south of 10th street, so I u-turned on the one-way and took 10th street to my destination.

If I hadn´t been driving a smart it would have taken me MUCH LONGER! When people ask me about driving in winter conditions I tell them that it works well except when the snow is too deep and hasn´t been plowed.
 

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Glad to here the smart is doing well in snow. Thursday I am heading to Montana to visit grandchildren. Wish me luck although Gigi originally came from Colorado.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Now I have put snow tires on my smart and I can say to old man winter: Bring it on! - I am ready.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
With the new tires/wheels the little car does great in the snow. Gas mileage is suffering though this morning I refilled and found that I only got 38.4 MPG on the last tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)


My son and I drove the little car down to the Gulf Coast and back two weeks ago. I am amazed by what a great car this is on the open road.

The first day we drove from the Twin Cities to Dayton, Ohio - 750 miles with some of the worst driving conditions that I ever encountered. Rain with gusty crosswinds! The weather service was reporting 50 mph gusts. Semi-trucks were being blown over onto their sides around us. We saw the aftermath of 7 such wrecks. The smartie was sure on its feet as we zipped by. I am very pleased that we have Pirelli snow tires.

After we spent a couple of days in the sunny south we drove back from Pensacola in two days. Coming through Iowa and southern Minnesota we again experienced extreme wind gusts - this time removing snow from the farm fields and at times creating white-out conditions. I watched many SUVs struggling to stay straight and out of the ditches. The smart was safe and steady. The quartering headwinds hurt our gas mileage (30.8 mpg for a tank is the worst that I have ever gotten)- but we felt safe in the car.

I am very impressed by what a great car this is in bad conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
A few more comments about my roadtrip:

1) My son almost collided with the rear of a semi-trailer when he started to pass... the suction from the back of the truck surprised him. I told him that when passing semis he can hug the far side of the lane and stay out of the semi´s wake. This works well in smarts because they are not so wide as conventional cars.

2) I noticed that just because a strong wind gust pushed me over 3 feet does not mean that I have left the lane.

3) in high, gusty cross winds the smart´s stability systems wouldn´t let me exceed the fastest safe speed. A big gust would cause me to crab into the wind and the smart would reduce speed regardless of how heavy I was on the gas pedal.
 

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Sounds like a good trip, if hard on the winter tires. Should have stopped off in Dayton for a visit. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Grille covers

For the past few years I have fastened cardboard to the grille of my car when it is very cold outside. This year I fashioned custom grille covers from a corrugated political yard sign. I used a magic marker to blacken it.

It is supposed to be -13F for my commute to work tomorrow morning.
 
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