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Mollox

Not the Ultimate Driving Machine

102 posts in this topic

To say I'm bored of this snow is an understatement. I've probably used the car for 2 days in the last month (although that did include a week out of the country at xmas) and so was itching to give it a runout last Friday. It was a couple of days after the worse of the snowfall but there was still masses of residual snow. Anyway, had a meeting in Herts about 20m north of me and although common sense said don't do it, I was desperate to get the car out and see what it was like in the snow. Plus, much better than training all the way into London and training out again.

Here's the situation on Friday morning - looked like quite a silly idea...

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Took a while to dig the car out but eventually, got to my meeting bang on time and with no drama at all. Journey there was 2/3 motorway and 1/3 B road but it was all gritted (and I made sure I followed a bus route) and zero problems - it did feel like there wasn't much margin for error though. Was sure to park up in the main High St and not on any side roads.

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Had a nice long lunch and then left some 3 hours later and oh how different. I'm not sure whether it was cold tyres (now not pre-warmed on the motorway) or if the temp had dropped a couple of degrees but suddenly it was awful. The M3 is, to be honest, utterly, unequivocably rubbish in any kind of marginal conditions. I'm not talking about snow drifts either - just frosted roads with a little snow and at worst a covering of slush with clearly marked tyre lines through to the asphalt. On hills I couldn't use more than about 5% of the throttle without lighting up the rear and I had several very surprising instances of the back swinging out at 5-10 mph - on roads with parked cars on both sides! Wasn't happy. Had to cut across to St Albans to drop someone off and was really concerned about getting stuck on any kind of hill. Following sat nav, I didn't know the place well enough to be sure of staying on main roads so it was ultra edgy until I could finally get on the motorways and back to safe North London.

Pulling into my car park the sense of relief that I'd gone out when I probably shouldn't and made it back was overwhelming. The thought of having to abandon the car in a random street in St Albans really didn't appeal. Anyway, I was home and wasn't about to venture out again for a while. Apart frome one small thing...when I popped it into reverse to slip into my parking space...nothing. What's this? Flashing yellow light, back end swaying from side to side and we're going forwards instead of backwards? Incredibly, I'd survived a 40m round journey and then managed to get stuck in a flat car park just 1.5 metres from my parking space. Wonderful.

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Being on private land, my car park is ungritted and was covered in a 4in layer of compacted snow. I hadn't given it a second thought as I'd got out without any problem on more than one occasion. However, I soon realised why - I'd only got out in the first place as there was the dry patch it was parked on that gave me an initial push to get out of there. As soon as I stopped on the ice that was it. Doomed.

Now what? I was blocking 5 cars and getting nowhere. Just letting the clutch out in reverse was lighting up the rears (traction on/off or in M mode) and I kept slipping forward towards other parked cars (its a dead end and by this point I had about 2ft left to the car in front). Saw a neighbour turn up and asked him for some help pushing. Useless. I didn't even laugh when he kept falling flat on his face. I live in a flat so don't have any of the gardening equipment you'd normally resort to either and no one I could think of was around to help. I wasn't amused.

In the end, after half an hour I managed to free it by melting 2 black lines behind the rear wheels (using kettles and 2l bottles of fanta) and shovelling the ice with a bloody dustpan! Got it back far enough to pull into another space but its now in there forwards with packed snow/ice behind the rear wheels and so it wont/can't be moving until the snow thaws. Great.

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To add insult to injury, I went to bed last night thinking "one or two days more and I'll be able to drive" and then woke up this morning to this:

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You'll notice that my neighbour's 3 series is next to mine, at the back, and hasn't moved for a week either! Say what you want about BMWs and it all being about driver skill - In my experience with the M3 it has nothing to do with it, there's simply bugger all traction in the first place. Plain and simple.

Now looking at "snow socks" as a means to get me the 50m from my parking space to the (perfectly clear) roads.

Bored of this snow. Want to drive.

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I hear ya Mollox.

As much as I enjoy some sideways driving, I have done very few miles in the last month for the same reason and doubt I could get the car on the drive at the moment let alone make any real progress. I'm bored of it now.

However, Birmingham tomorrow, East Mids Friday and Stansted next week... hope it clears up a bit !

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Looks like block paving on your car park, it's the worst, don't know why but it makes everything freeze much more.

The forecast said we'd miss the snow overnight, and everything had started melting so hoped it was all over, but we got another 2 inches overnight, went out to do my school run and it was chaos, much worse than we've had so far, lot's of crashes and minor bumps, a lorry had smashed it's front end into something in the high street and all the hilly roads were closed, which meant my school run got cancelled.

Then my mum rang, from a tiny village on the south downs, the main road to the village was shut (steep hills littered with smashed up cars), she needed to get to the station, as she has a hospital appointment in London.

Fired up the Subaru again!!

Was an eventful journey, having to help push cars uphill on country lanes so we could get past (builders dust sheets under the wheels helped massively), and being advised by a policewoman that we shouldn't attempt the hill into the village, well the Subaru got her to the station in time, lets just hope the trains get her to London!

I love that fecking car!!

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:grin: blimey that car looks pretty STUCK to me.... ;):jump:

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Yep - block paving is lethal in this weather! The snow ahs nowhere to go, so just stays and compacts.

I can even feel it in the quattro!

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Which one?

Obviously the M3 in the picture above :P

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Obviously the M3 in the picture above :P

The M3? No, that one's definitely parked

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:jump::lol:

I'll pop up next month with a tow rope to pull you out from your STUCK location.

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Totally agree on the rear wheel drive thing.

I managed to get my self properly stuck in the railway station car cark yesterday - resolved after 20 mins of digging. Not great when your suited and booted :rolleyes:

Given the number of accidents occuring, I hope my insurance isn't going to be affected and that costs are apportioned to those who are to blame.

If you've got rear wheel drive, it seems you just have to accept that there may be occasions where you have to travel by other means when others will be fine with fwd cars.

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* parked

Edited by bazza_g

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Two comments on this one.

1) Your car is stuck. Not parked. STUCK +++

2) Mollox is a really sh*t driver :P

Edited by Mook

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Last edited by bazza_g; Today at 01:37 PM.

Cock! Bazza's a Bastard. And Mook can't draw or drive for toffee.

Edited by Mook

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Last edited by bazza_g; Today at 01:37 PM.

I'm a Cock! Bazza's a Bastard.

:grin: I'd run out of ways to make you understand your car's situation - direct action was needed :roflmao:

I don't like that Molly can edit posts without leaving a "last edited by" note!!! ;)

Edited by Mook

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Thanks for clarifying that Mook +++

Look, Mr "I can change any post without it showing it's been edited" Admin user.

Parked ;)

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Two comments on this one.

1) Your car is stuck. Not parked. STUCK +++

2) I'm a really sh*t driver :P

Will you make your mind up :coffee:

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Looks like you need a 'winter car' too.

Stooh's just got a Freelander, Tipex has his Subaru, there's a Landie too.......

What will you get?

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Two comments on this one.

1) Your car is parked. Not stuck. STUCK +++

2) Mollox is a really sh*t driver :P

But its not stuck, right?

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No, my car's definitely not stuck.

But yours? Well, difficult to say really.

No, it's not stuck now.

But it was before you got the (and I was nearly crying when i read this bit) kettle and Fanta bottles out... :P

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The bit that made me laugh was this: while I was stood there hacking away at the ice with a dustpan and generally scratching my head, my young student neighbour with the smiley-faced Ford Ka was scraping the ice off her car getting ready to go out. I apologised for blocking her in and explained just how treacherous the conditions were and how it was no place for an inexperienced (woman) driver like her.

Once I'd moved the fecker, she backed out, waved, and drove straight off :roflmao:

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You're right Cruiser, and if it wasn't for the lack of parking space (or stucking as it seems to be called now on TSN) I'd have been out and picked up a £1k landrover weeks ago. I quite like the idea in fact.

Maybe I should get one of these and see if I can hide it behind the bins :grin:

panda4x4.jpg

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