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thanks all for the advice. I'll be driving from Shin Chitose to Furano and then all around Furano up to Asahidake and Sahoro.

That's quite a distance you will be driving. Other than the driving techniques that people have mentioned here, you should be prepared for weather conditions like blizzards and possibility that your car get stuck in deep snow. So pay attention to weather forecast and also you should carry some blankets and food just in case.

 

One of my favorite things in the winter is driving on the snow. It's unreal out there in Hokkaido where everything is white, especially in mountains and rural areas where you don't even see dirt trails of cars. Safe drive and hope you will enjoy the experience.

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hmm, technics for driving on snow? First thing id probably do is take off my slipmats. Then id likely ramp up the anti-skate.

Do they give you a choice there with that Tubby then? Is there a difference in price?

 

can't remember if there's a difference in the price....I don't think there is. I think we've always told them its to go snowboarding and they have them on as standard. Their insurance maybe demands that they do this

 

I booked a rental for next month through ToCoo. Pick up Narita. I requested snow tyres (I'll be going north) and the charge for snow tyres is 1050 yen per day. If you pick up your car in the northern prefactures snow tyres are standard (no charge) during the winter months. Wouldn't attempt to drive in the mountains without snowtyres, chains are a pain, and if you're in a 4WD you really need 2 set of chains.

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Hello all. First-time poster building stoke for a Hokkaido trip next month. As a life-long snow driver I can say all good advice in this thread. A maybe obvious tip to add - If you need to brake, look for dry patches to do it on. Plan ahead, scrub off speed where you know you can do it safely, then coast over the slippery stuff.

 

Another thing about Hokkaido rental cars - they may have AWD and snow tires but still only weigh a few hundred pounds and don't grip the ground like the heavier SUVs and larger cars I was used to. Learned that after a 720 on the way from Kamui to Furano. Luckily the snowbanks were so large and soft the vehicle was unscathed.

 

Question - Before my last trip I wasted a bunch of time and a bit of money to acquire a piece of paper called an "international driving license" that the rental car people never asked about. Is this ever required for foreign drivers or can I just forget about it this time?

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As a life-long snow driver I can say all good advice in this thread.

what's your view on going down a moderately steep slope in an automatic tank - change into 2nd or let the tank decide?

 

Also, to change gears on an automatic do you have to come to a complete standstill before doing so, or is it ok to be moving a bit?

 

Thanks

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As a life-long snow driver I can say all good advice in this thread.

what's your view on going down a moderately steep slope in an automatic tank - change into 2nd or let the tank decide?

 

Also, to change gears on an automatic do you have to come to a complete standstill before doing so, or is it ok to be moving a bit?

 

Thanks

 

When driving autos (only driven them in Japan & in snow) I've always shifted down while moving. I constantly use the lower gear 'manual' option when it comes to descending steep snow covered roads.

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If you are descending especially down hill with an automatic keep in the low gear either 2 or L and keep your speed down, no need to stop to go down to the low gear, but if you go fast then drop down you will be in for a bit of a surprise, if its a manual keep in the first 2 gears.

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thanks, very valuable info. Going down that hill the last few days, leaving it up the auto, it didn't feel quite right. Basically you have to break the whole time there not to go too fast, but you don't want to break because it's pretty steep.

 

And how fast is too fast for going from auto to 2nd?

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thanks, very valuable info. Going down that hill the last few days, leaving it up the auto, it didn't feel quite right. Basically you have to break the whole time there not to go too fast, but you don't want to break because it's pretty steep.

 

And how fast is too fast for going from auto to 2nd?

 

 

I did not believe that was a serious question. Stopping to change down? WTF?

 

Engine braking (not breaking) is rrecommended on long declines to prevent the brakes from overheating and boiling your fluid giving you no brakes.

 

Old autos have

P

R

N

D

2

1

 

Newer ones have

P

R

N

3

2

1

 

Even newer ones

P

R

N

D -> +/-

 

The +/- is semi auto mode meaning it will allow you to change if within the rev range. I have a 7 speed CVT which makes each number in the +/- mode a virtual gear. There are no real gears.

 

Moving from D to +/- gives me 4 and revving in the 3500 range.

 

If you are moving to 2 from D, brake first to lower your speed, then pull down to 2. On really steep declines, you may find 2 still does not give you enough engine braking. Slow right down with the brakes and then select 1. I've had to do this on some 1:4 roads in Europe. Narrow and steep, brown pants driving.

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I did not believe that was a serious question. Stopping to change down? WTF?

well, sorry, maybe you have an advanced level driving licence. I've never needed to use gears on an automatic before. The previous poster said if you change while going too fast you'll get a surprise, and I'm guessing it's not a pleasant one (unless it's just a Kinders). I'll check how many gears I've got tomorrow.

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Trip, basically you want to slow down and move from D to 2 BEFORE getting onto the steep. Then use very gentle braking, never for more than a second at a time, to maintain a slow, in-control speed. If it's very steep, you probably want to get down into 1, again before you're onto the steep.

You get a pretty good feel for controllable speeds after the first few encounters with snowbanks and ditches :blush:

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Gear conbinations depend on the car, there are many types:

 

 

My wifes car :

 

P

R

N

3

2

 

 

My ESCUDOR that I used to have had the following

 

P

R

N

2

1

L Low gear

 

+ Low (crawler gear) / High on the 4WD gear box

 

 

My Delica has the following gears on Auto

 

P

R

N

D 6 speed

DS 6 speed sports mode

 

And then on Manual mode using the gear shifters on the steering wheel has 6 gears which I can change up and down anytime regardless of the revs or speed.

 

On the 4WD setting it has 4WD + LOCK + LOW gear if I drive it on manual

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first-gear.jpg

FIRST - The gear giving the greatest power but lowest speed. Used for moving off, manoeuvres and negotiating hazards.

second-gear.jpg

SECOND - Used for slow speed situations such as roundabouts and junctions, for moving off downhill and for increasing speed after moving off.

third-gear.jpg

THIRD - Used for driving uphill, through a hazard at speed and where a greater degree of power is needed than fourth will allow.

fourth-gear.jpg

FOURTH - Low power but the greatest speed range. Used for most driving situations at and over 30 mph where there are no hazard to negotiate.

fifth-gear.jpg

FIFTH - Lowest power, highest speed. Used for high speed cruising on dual carriageways, motorways and other such open roads.

reverse-gear.jpg

REVERSE - A high powered gear used for driving the vehicle backwards.

neutral-gear.jpg

 

NEUTRAL - Disengages the engine from the wheels.

 

And There Endeth The Lesson - Send Snowjunky AUD$200 And I Will Email Your Licence :evilgrin:

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first-gear.jpg

 

FIRST - The gear giving the greatest power but lowest speed. Used for moving off, manoeuvres and negotiating hazards.

second-gear.jpg

 

SECOND - Used for slow speed situations such as roundabouts and junctions, for moving off downhill and for increasing speed after moving off.

third-gear.jpg

 

THIRD - Used for driving uphill, through a hazard at speed and where a greater degree of power is needed than fourth will allow.

fourth-gear.jpg

 

FOURTH - Low power but the greatest speed range. Used for most driving situations at and over 30 mph where there are no hazard to negotiate.

fifth-gear.jpg

 

FIFTH - Lowest power, highest speed. Used for high speed cruising on dual carriageways, motorways and other such open roads.

reverse-gear.jpg

 

REVERSE - A high powered gear used for driving the vehicle backwards.

neutral-gear.jpg

 

 

NEUTRAL - Disengages the engine from the wheels.

 

And There Endeth The Lesson - Send Snowjunky AUD$200 And I Will Email Your Licence :evilgrin:

 

 

thats not an automatic tho, right?

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Well it automatically, sort of, goes into the slots you push it into............most of the time

 

Don't get picky, just send me the money :friend:

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