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Fast & Dirty
2009 Forester XT 4 speed auto
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Discussion Starter #1
As some of you may know from my recent trip there was a portion of the road that had me and the family quite concerned.

I am running stock Geo All Season tires with about 30k on them. I was driving on a section of road that was quite muddy. 2" or so deep. The wheels were covered in mud. It looked like the tires were 2 inches bigger because the mud would stick to the tread.

I did make it down and home safely. I inched down the road and made it. At one point I was driving down the hill at an angle.

Any suggestions on how I should have handled this would be greatly appreciated.

Please do not post a comment about the tires. I know they suck but I just bought Rota rims and I am stuck with these until the end of the season.
 

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2005 Impreza RS Wagon Auto
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3,658 Posts
Besides tires, I would use lowgear (1st/2nd) assuming you have an auto I forget. Besides that a semi-sideways technique when in trouble as you did is really all you can do.
 

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Unfortunately, mud traction is 99% about the tires. Most tires will just pack with mud and basically turn into a slick, which really just makes it impossible to do much no matter how good the car or your skills are (its like driving on ice with all seasons).

Depending on how deep/thick the mud is, you want to keep the revs up so you don't bog down and keep your momentum up (with the AT, 2nd works pretty well in most cases). If you stop, you might not get going again. If you do get stopped, you don't want to keep spinning the tires as it will just dig in, you have to rock back and forth, or saw the wheel back and forth while feathering the throttle. Going downhill you'll probably want to use engine braking and give it gas to keep it straight.

Dont do this lol (on all seasons, he got himself dug in, the ground is much softer than it looks, I didn't even attempt to bring the forester back there, just got a friend with mud terrain tires and a winch!):

Car was never the same again lol, but it gave him the chance to get an 06 forester instead!


Up here pretty much all the "offroading" is mud, as theres not much in the way of rocks. You learn very quickly that its all about the tires, unfortunately tires that are good in mud generally aren't the best anywhere else.
 

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2008 Forester AE
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1,723 Posts
Sometimes there is not much you can do; the balance between tires, throttle, available grip, and slope is pretty small.. lots of times you are not going to be able to slowly creep along comfortably.

From the sounds of it you were probably trying to holdback and go down cautiously, once you start slipping though you might need to goose it to get straightened out..

it's all about experience and reading the surface.. and dealing with AB muck :biggrin:

I parked a 4x4 on the shoulder of the Berland Rd up near Fox creek back in my field days, I got out to talk to a crew and we stood there while it slid down to the ditch and sunk in..
 

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2009 Outback XT-B 5MT
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10,254 Posts
Put it in the lowest gear you have, turn on the A/C, and let off the brakes when you need to change direction or anything.

An auto hurts you a little in this situation. It is, inherently, going to be less responsive than an MT.
 

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Fast & Dirty
2009 Forester XT 4 speed auto
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4,039 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Additional info:

I was in 1st gear (I have sport shift).

I wasn't sure that if I am heading for the ditch if I should point the FXT in teh direction I want to go and begin to give it some gas.
 

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2008 Forester AE
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1,723 Posts
Things I learned on this day;



-a week of rain and poorly drained clay roads result in slick snotty mud.
-2nd gear and lots of quick steering worked to keep things straight.
-point where you want to go and give it gas to keep momentum up.

we were on an uphill slope though so there wasn't a worry of it getting away from you, just the worry of getting pulled into a ditch. :biggrin:

not everyone managed to stay on the road; but Duct tape makes it better..

 

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2008 Forester AE
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What kind of tires are they and you running? It is near impossible to get something close to an AT tire in 225/55R17.
I had my X-ice2s on because it was late fall, we didn't hit snow but there had already been snow on the ground. Some of the guys had gravel rally tires, but most had winters or all seasons..

the fastest car through the worst stage was a beater 90 prelude on winterforce tires..:icon_redface: brought home the message of being first vs. bringing the car home in one piece.
 

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What kind of tires are they and you running? It is near impossible to get something close to an AT tire in 225/55R17.
An AT will do worse than most winter or M+S tires in mud, I found the goodyear tripletreds to be pretty good (they're on the outback in that picture, I was able to get back to the main road with just a pull out of the hole it had dug itself into). Point the car where you want to go and give it gas, off throttle will just cause it to understeer/slide out. On throttle you'll get a little drift going on and then you just need some counter steer to keep it under control. Practice driving offroad, just like in snow, is the most beneficial to keeping the car under control.
 

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2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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I had my X-ice2s on because it was late fall, we didn't hit snow but there had already been snow on the ground. Some of the guys had gravel rally tires, but most had winters or all seasons..

the fastest car through the worst stage was a beater 90 prelude on winterforce tires..:icon_redface: brought home the message of being first vs. bringing the car home in one piece.
That reminds me of the graduation runs on slippery mud at the Primitive Rally School a couple of weeks ago. The one car that beat everyone's time in the end was a bone stock Toyota Yaris with snow/mud tires. He had a completely unspectacular run, and left all the AWD Subies and Evos in the dust... or mud, so to speak. Goes to show what a difference the right tires for the job can make.
 

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Two methods for handling really slippery slopes; 1 - stay in existing ruts as that will give you directional control and just let it slide down; 2 - if no ruts then you need drive to obtain steering control and with an auto you can drive through the brakes to achieve this, one foot on the brake and the other on the throttle, enough brake to just hold the car then accelerate.

Now that you've done that - do it in reverse! :)
 

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Put it in the lowest gear you have, turn on the A/C, and let off the brakes when you need to change direction or anything.

An auto hurts you a little in this situation. It is, inherently, going to be less responsive than an MT.
but but but - turning on the A/C in my auto increases revs.
 

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Forester X
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What kind of tires are they and you running? It is near impossible to get something close to an AT tire in 225/55R17.
AT tires are some of the worst for mud actually... my Geolander AT/s do OK, but with mud and sand AT's seem to hinder more than help.
 

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2001 Forester Slushbox
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1,777 Posts
The Geo AT's will do just fine in mud and sand but you gotta air down.
I've gone as low as 10 psi in the sand (kinda low,don't recommend it unless real careful) and in the mud you gotta spin them up to clean the tread.

With regular street tires that are loading up your just screwed off road.
 

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MY08 Forester 2.5XT
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101 Posts
So you're saying HT M+S tires will do just fine on mud/sand? Wow this is new.
I'm on A/T-S 225/60/17. stuck in mud twice.
 
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