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Good news, not-so-good news about my car.
blaisepascal
On Wednesday, after coming home from Rochester before the snows came, I decided I wanted Eggs Benedict (mainly as a carrier for Hollandaise). The nearest place I knew of to get Eggs Benedict in the late afternoon on a Wednesday was the Perkin's Restaurant, in Cortland. So at 4pm or so, I headed out, picking up sheherazahde along the way, and drove off into the beginning of the snow storm.

I immediately noticed two things: First, as the snows continued to fall the windshield wipers became more and more ineffectual. The blade acted as if it weren't touching in the middle, leaving a long streak of wet snowy slush pretty much right across my center of vision. The blades have had this problem for a while, but it's less annoying in the rain. Previous experience with old wiperblades suggested that these blades wouldn't pass the annual safety inspection I need to get in a month.

Second, my antilock brakes were triggering a lot more than I'm used to on any car. My tires were having major traction problems on the snow. I had seen this when driving on country roads on Solstice, but we haven't had this kind of snow since I got the car in February. A visual inspection of the tires shows plenty of tread left, consistent with my estimation of the tires being new when we got the car about 8000 miles ago.

Needless to say, the drive took a lot longer than expected, and the drive back also took a lot longer.

On Friday, I stopped by Autozone and picked up a new pair of wiper blades. The new blades set me back about $30, and they are wonderful. Clear vision, no streaks. They are "beam blades", meaning they don't have an exposed superstructure like traditional blades, and are better at resisting snow, ice, and debris damaging or otherwise mucking up the works. That's the good.

The not-so-good is that my tires are still crappy in the snow, and there's no cheap way to fix that. On Thursday, when I got home from work, I found the city had plowed a 12" ridge of ice and snow in front of my driveway. In the past, in previous cars, I've been able to look at that, gun the engine, and voom! I'm in my driveway. Instead I looked at it, gunned the engine, and voom! I'm stuck, and have to spend 30 minutes digging the wheels out to the point where the car will move.

I usually go to the Catskills for Candlemas weekend. I'm now concerned the tires won't make it.

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Yeah.... That ride to Phil's really sucked.... Is it possible to get heavy duty snow tires? I so don't want to miss Imbolc :(

Ray and I always spend Christmas with Ascenza's family in Rochester, and we knew there was a storm coming up from the Gulf on the 26th. I'd been watching the radar online, and I thought we'd be okay if we left Rochester about noonish. There was no precipitation when we left, although the sky was very overcast. We stopped for a snack and a pee break on I-81 a little south of Syracuse. Just as we got out of the car, a fine dusting of snow began to fall. Fifteen minutes later, there was close to half an inch on the ground, and it was snowing hard. And it just continued to get worse as we continued on. In some places, the heavy snowfall and strong winds created almost white-out conditions, and traction was minimal at best. We saw quite a few cars that had spun off the road, and we almost did ourselves a couple of times.

Somewhere around Scranton, the snow began to mix with sleet. At first I welcomed it, because it meant that the air was getting warmer and all the precip would eventually turn to rain. However, it just made the going even more slippery. But we pushed on - not as if we had much choice - and, as I'd expected, I-80 was well plowed and sanded. Finally, as we continued eastward on I-80 in NJ, the sleet turned to rain, and began to melt the snow that had already accumulated. The rain wasn't much of an improvement in driving, though, because it was "fire hose" rain - torrential, high-pressure, and coming at us pretty much horizontally, because of the wind. The entire trip, which usually takes us about six hours, took more than ten. And the fire hose effect continued long after we finally got home... disclosing some leaks in the northeastward-facing wall of our house, where there had already been some repairs (the place is still very much under reconstruction).

Did you check your tire tread with a Lincoln penny?


Please be safe tonight!

Now that the snows have stopped and the plows have been out, I don't think there'll be a problem. If that changes, I'll let you know.

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