Romantic driving with Mini Cooper on a snowy day

What do you do when it snows? This may sound crazy. I drive my Mini Cooper. It might sound risky but when you get in the seat in the Mini, you wouldn’t feel risky anymore. Somehow modern Mini has a good job of preventing slippery situations. So unless you try something crazy, it’s rather safe to drive a Mini Cooper in snowy day.


Beautiful but sometimes dauntingly risky road in Colorado mountain area.
Beautiful but sometimes dauntingly risky road in Colorado mountain area when it snows.

However, any normal car is not meant to be optimized for snowy weather. So you need to very cautious when driving in snowy conditions. Here are a few tips for your safety.

1) Keep your tire as good as new (or use winter tire if possible)

This works for a rainy day as well. But basically you need to check with your tire tread depth reguarly, if you live in the United States, you can easily check this out with the penny. Place a penny between the thread. Turn the penny, so Lincoln’s head points down toward the thread. See if the top of his head disappears between the threads. If you can see his entire head, you must replace your tire.


Don't save money on replacing tires. It's for your own safety.
Don’t save money on replacing tires. It’s for your own safety.


If your tire threads worn out, your car would be extremely slippery under snowy day. You wouldn’t feel this normally, so you might say. I didn’t feel it at all. But when it’s slippery, you can definitely feel life threatening risk when driving, as you can’t stop immediately.

Winter tire would also help. But winter tires also can’t make your cars almighty. So, you need to apply caution at all times during snowy driving conditions.


Check your brakes and brake oil when replacing tires.
Check your brakes and brake oil when replacing tires.


2) Hit the brakes slowly.

Literally step on a vehicles brakes to slow down slowly not abruptly!

Of course, modern car has ABS braking system which will prevent the system from hitting the brakes hard instead, system apply brakes and release it repeatedly. This will prevent cars from slipping. But in snowy day when the road is extremely slippery, ABS doesn’t help much. You have to apply brakes from time to time before stopping. When hitting brakes, you shouldn’t make any turns. Under normal weather, ABS will play a role, so it doesn’t matter whether you make a turn or not, but under snowy road, this makes a huge difference.


Engine braking


Most cars including Mini Coopers support the engine braking. It’s easy to use. Turn your gear into the manual mode, then simply shift the gear down (one by one). This will slow down your vehicles substantially, then apply full brakes to make a stop.

When the snow begins to melt, it’s the most dangerous time as it’s getting more slippery. You would feel this road condition immediately because when you hit brakes, ABS works right away. Even under the circumstances, engine brakes will make you stop very safely.


Seoul city in a snowy day.
Seoul city in a snowy day.


Now you’re ready to enjoy driving in snowy day without having to worry it. You might start taking a photo of your car whenever it snows. Listening to a music, see beautiful white world passing by, all you have to do is remember the above techniques.


I take a photo of my Mini on a snowy day.
I always take a photo of my Mini on a snowy day.


If you drive a Mini Cooper Diesel or any diesel car and if you wish to make it perform as good as new, you might want to check out this article. 
This article reveals uneasy secrets of Diesel engine and how to get around to it.