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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 23rd December 2009 Thread Starter
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Winter Driving - My 1st Time in an Automatic

As some of you know, I've got a Vel Satis and very soon it will be the 1st time I've driven it in serious snow, mainly getting out of the street where I live, which is completely thick with deep snow as we don't get many cars down here, or sunlight!

So just got a few winter queries... (sorry if I sound think!):
  • I've topped up the coolant with the proper Renault RX Type D in the same colour as the old stuff, but haven't had time to get it drained and replaced. Anyway, do I need to get a specific screenwash, or will any do?
  • As previously mentioned on this forum, my heater only blows hot when set to 26 degrees, but I can have it on any fan setting as long as it's set to 26, so I'm fine with this, as long as having the heat set to max (albeit on a medium-strength fan) for a 3 hour journey won't be bad for the car?
  • Any advice for using my automatic gearbox in snowy/icy conditions, as it's not got a low range or winter setting and I've never used the + and - manual option before so would prefer to stick to leaving it in auto mode?
  • As also previously mentioned on the forum, I had a scuttle drain leak (flood!) in the spring, but after having had them professionally emptied of solid mud, they seem to have been fine since, but I'm worried that they may have iced up inside and any new snow and ice that melts near the windscreen will flood into the footwell?

Thanks very much and happy holidays to you all.

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 23rd December 2009
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Re: Winter Driving - My 1st Time in an Automatic

Hi Oliver, perfectly understandable questions, given the circumstances.

1. Any screenwash will do - don't use it in too high concentration amounts as it can be damaging to paintwork - I carry a bottle (pre-mixed) in the boot for topping up.

2. You won't damage the heater at all.

3. You're best to leave the gearbox to sort itself out, the +/- selection is purely advisory, the gearbox will only change gear when it agrees with you!

4. As long as the repair was carried out correctly (and if its been fine since then, it will have been), it shouldn't be a problem.

Hope these answers help, just be aware its a heavy car, so judge your speed wisely, as there's a lot of momentum to slow down. Anticipation & smoothness are key.


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 23rd December 2009 Thread Starter
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Re: Winter Driving - My 1st Time in an Automatic

Thanks Paul, you're a star as always. Woudl bring you round a bottle of wine/beer if you lived nearer, so the best I can do is Thank your post!

I just worry about my Vel Satis because it seems to sensitive and touchy, plus has a few common niggles like the 26 degrees heater thing.

Anyway, will do as you say and leave in normal auto mode, top up with any brand of screenwash in a low concentration mixed with water, and drive carefully, with the heater on 26 (albeit not full speed, as the fan is then too noisey!).

If the tyre system tells me the pressures are well low, I'll put it down to the very cold temperatures and drive off as normal, as I remember after I had the new front tyres put on, the system told me I had no tyres at all, but after driving round the block, the tyres appeared as normal.

PS1 - Shame there's only been 1 more vote re my Vel Satis meet-up poll, but maybe an email about it hasn't been sent to Vel Satis owners on the forum yet

PS2 - Are you enjoying your Merc ownership more than the VS, less worries/problems etc?

Have a good holidays & thanks again.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 23rd December 2009
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Re: Winter Driving - My 1st Time in an Automatic

All I would add is be gentle with all the controls, no sudden braking, steering or acceleration.

Smoothness is the key. I've seen my neighbours slipping and sliding all over the place, whereas I've driven up and down the road with no problems.

Take your time, plan ahead and be gentle.

Most importantly though don't travel unless you have to.

Be safe.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 23rd December 2009
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Re: Winter Driving - My 1st Time in an Automatic

My Grandis is unusable in purely automatic mode. I don't think the 18" low profiles do it any favours. The only problem is although you can start in 2nd, you can't change up to 3rd until 30 and 4th until 40. Without being able to bump it into 2nd, however, I'd get absolutely nowhere. Take it easy folks!

1st , automatic , driving , time , winter

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