mrtwiggy

Moving up north with my spark

20 posts in this topic

Hey everyone! :victory: So i have always lived in Florida but recently things have come up and i will be moving to North Dakota. i have never driven in snow let alone in a spark… What can i expect with driving in winter up there in such a small car? Will i absolutely have to change my stock tires with winter ones? I just need some advise on such a big change. My spark is a manual so i hope that will help since i know you can spin out if u take off from a red light too fast. anyways any help on this would be GREATLY appreciated!

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The front wheel drive will really help you. I never changed to winter tired on my Pontiac Wave (aveo), and it was manual, and I never had a problem. And I live in Canada :)

Just take your time, drive to the conditions of the road, and take it easy on both the gas pedal and brake pedal.

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You won't really be able to spin the wheels in the snow, the traction control will prevent it. You will have to get used to driving on ice and snow, and your car will start to rust if that state uses salt on the roads, I think ND does. I do suggest getting a engine block heater installed if you won't have a garage, it gets like -30 degrees there during the winter. I'm going to be moving back to the Pacific NW next year, no need for the mediocre a/c anymore when I do, LOL.

Edited by austex04

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I always suggest a set of four snow tires on separate rims so they are easy to swap when needed. Winter force is one of my favorite snow tires, put them on 14 inch steel wheels to keep the price down.

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14" Studded tires at Walmart.

Plus 4 rims Discount Tire Direct. 4 alloy rims/ $250 shipped.

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You won't really be able to spin the wheels in the snow, the traction control will prevent it. You will have to get used to driving on ice and snow, and your car will start to rust if that state uses salt on the roads, I think ND does. I do suggest getting a engine block heater installed if you won't have a garage, it gets like -30 degrees there during the winter. I'm going to be moving back to the Pacific NW next year, no need for the mediocre a/c anymore when I do, LOL.

with the engine block heater, would i be able to get that installed by chevy or could i just do it myself? and I'm not looking forward to the rust issue…. just glad all thats under warranty for at least a little while. haha

Greg_E and stevesparky thanks for that advise. i kept getting people telling me to just chain my tires. i really think that would damage something if i did that plus the ride would piss me off every day hearing and feeling the thumps! hahaha

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I live in snow country.

If it was me, make sure tires are studded with steel studs.

Studs on all 4 tires.

Every year, my local Walmart get their studded snow tires in.

I am sure Walmarts in ND, would be the same.

When you drive on dry pavement.... you can hear... tick, tick,tick, .. from the studs bitting into the pavement.

Just take it good and easy when you drive. No faster than 35 mph with ice and snow.

You have a real small car.

Exercise Defensive Driving.... make sure no one runs into you.

A refresher class in Defensive Driving might be in order.

So.... why the move? Such a drastic change? Anything to do with the "oil" ?

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hopefully they will have those tires, and ill just buy a separate set of rims to put them on. and defensive driving is a priority here in florida. lol between crazy old people and weather that changes in minutes along with hurricanes…. yea it gets a little crazy sometimes. thank goodness (knock on wood) i haven't had an accident but I've had a few close calls. just glad i pay attention. hahahha and the move is because of a lot of things really. I've got ulcerative colitis and had a flare up that sent me to the hospital for a few weeks and in that time i lost my job. so i pretty much don't have anything left for me here. plus I've been wanting to move way up north for a very long time now. just figure this is my chance since i don't have anything tying me down anymore. so I'm moving up to my dads in Bismarck. :dance:

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oh and speaking of oil, I've been putting in the 5w20 that they say to put in but i put in full synthetic. will i need to change that oil to anything when I'm up there? I'm not really sure about what all the oil mumbo is with the w's and junk. lol

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Your oil should be fine, but if you want to change it then you can now use the Mobile 1 0w20 as they recently paid the Chevy oil fee to add Dexos to the bottles. Chains are OK if you can still find something, but your speed is severely limited or you risk having one come apart and ripping the fender to shreds. And they are a hassle to use and NOT for bare pavement use. Good snows, some Unique 83 steel wheels for $51 each and ignore the TPMS warning light all winter. TPMS is another $55 each wheel and you need a tool to activate them when the car is in learn mode which was $85 when I bought mine, I think they went up a lot since then.

Around here studs are only really needed about 2 days a year, slush is the bigger problem.

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yea i think i will try to avoid chains all together and just get some spare hardcore winter tires and rims. lol don't want to ruin my current rims anyways with all the salt they put on the roads. (which i read that they do that up there in Bismarck unfortunately) and for the trip up there i think I'm going to buy a spare little doughnut tire too. I'm not comfortable with driving that distance with just a "fix-a-flat" they provide. (cheap :censored: skates)

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I grew up in the north, MN, so I learned how to drive on ice and snow at age 12 (don't ask). I never had snow tires, didn't feel I needed them since every car had decent all seasons on them, and never had a accident driving on ice. Wait until you get up there and try driving it on not busy side streets to practice, buy snow tires if you don't feel comfortable driving with stock tires. The block heater mounts by taking out one of the freeze plugs on the back of the engine, I suggest having a dealer do it, because it's probably a dealer only part anyway, just like everything else on these cars down to the oil filters, LOL. Not sure if GM even has block heaters for these cars. Wait until you get to Bismarck to ask about the heater, the dealers in the south probably won't know what your talking about anyway. I would call a dealer up in Bismarck and ask. 5w20 oil is fine for up there, 0w30 or 0w20 is even better for negative temperature in winter up there.

Edited by austex04
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thanks so much for the tips! :) I'm super excited to move up there but still terrified. lol and next oil change, which will be in january, ill change it to probably the 0w20. my dad told me last year in the dead of winter it got down to -14 a few days… the temperature i can get used to, I've been in snow before when he lived in minnesota but driving on it is something that is going to be new and quit frankly scares the hell out of me. hahhaahha heres someone that throws hurricane parties, stands out in the high winds and drives around in them but when it comes to snow is well….. yea. but right now I'm a wee bit short on funds so i will se how things go with my all weather tires since they still have a lot of tread on them and from what I've been reading from reviews they do a decent job in snow. so we will see if i will have to dip into savings. lol

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I found the spark to be very decent in the snow last winter. In the lake effect belt just south of Erie, PA here

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The stock tires are decent, but I like the extra grip that snows provide.

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yea i was looking at reviews and stuff about the tires on it (goodyear integrity) and they seem to do pretty decent in snow, and i have a bit of tread left on these still so i think I'm just going to see how they handle for this winter and by next year ill need new ones anyways probably with how much i drive. lol found some really nice rims too on carID.com that I'm really wanting, but will 17" rims fit these cars? when i buy new tires I'm going to buy new rims too. do it all at once kinda thing.

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Don't fool yourself, it will be night and day difference with actual snow tires.

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Coming from the other person living in the lake effect region. I think I may put my snows on this weekend after the little bit of snow we had reminded me that these tires are not the best in snow.

Forgot to mention that you will need freeze resistant windshield washer fluid ASAP, funny thing it that it won't freeze in the tank but it seems to freeze in the pump and either not pump or pop the fuse. Replacing the fuse is a subject for another thread, it is not as simple as it seems!

Edited by Greg_E

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I own 2 sparks and I live in Minnesota, I do put snow tires on in the winter and I think it improves the driving in winter a lot. They make a falken eurowinter tire that fits the spark, I bought them at Discount tire for about $100 a tire installed. I think it would be worth while considering it.

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I was just looking at those tires actually! Haha thanks for the advise :) has anyone had plasti-dip on their tires throughout the winter? Would that stuff survive or should I wait to do that to my car till it warms up in ND?

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