Driving in the snow

I get asked a lot by folks who wonder about my GEM car… ‘how does it drive in the snow?’ I usually grin and say I guess pretty good but being retired and having a ‘Big Boy’ car the GEM is happy to stay in the garage as I stay in the house on bad days… yesterday started as most with a trip to pick up my friend Joe to go top coffee… the TV and posts on FB were saying snow but it wasn’t overly cold and only overcast when I left home… at coffee the weather changed to a light snow… I said if we had snow on the ground I’d pass on coffee until it melted a bit… Joe said he’d heard it was to be a big storm and he could use a few things from the store… I made the coffee a short session and Joe and I followed our friend Rolland on the back way out of the Wendy’s… Rolland has a Prius and can change a lite at the main street that we need to turn left on… the GEM is too light for the switch… the snow had stuck on the windows and I didn’t have a scraper… the wiper let us see out the front the rest dead reconing… the parking at the store was light and we spent about 15 minutes before returning to the car… new scraper in hand… good as the snow had gained the upper hand again… a window clearing and we were off to Joe’s apartment… let him off… another quick scrape and I was blasing a new trail in the snow around the circle to leave his place… I found that with the big motor I had to feather the peddle or I was sideways even at 10mph… back on the street with traffic and I was good… to get from where I was to where I live is up a hill and back down again… you really don’t notice these things unless you are walking or driving in snow… first grade was travled so no real problem until the 4 way stop and I was on the grade turning left… a lot of spinning and I managed to get on the flat and off to the next right… another hill nothing had been there before… I could hear the motor wind up and was sideways or maybe just tacking a nautical reference… I was still climbing… another stop sign this a 4 way and I made a California rolling stop… a little more climb again and sideways… next a left onto another busy street… a quick window unzip to see both ways and out I went a couple of blocks another right and down the hill to the house… about 15 minutes for a 7 minute drive on a dry day… in the garage an inch of snow covered the front of the car as I had to clear it away to plug in… I left the car and won’t drive it today… seems like the cargo box makes a difference in the snow driving… maybe its weight of 60lbs has offset the weight to the front end…

thought I’d share


So you had an interesting ride today eh? :car:
Was the cart really sideways? Are the roads there heavily crowned? Being front wheel drive the rear should track straight. :noidea: I may have to get mine out of the garage and do some testing. :eyebrows:
Also, there are magnets you can buy to trigger red lights. They are usually sold for use under motorcycles.
You could make your own with a strong magnet or buy one from e-bay or a motorcycle site like this -Traffic Light Trigger
They do work.

well when the front of the car goes from facing up the hill to facing a quarter turn… that’s sideways to me… could be that I may have given the car too much throtle as well… as for the magnet… I remember as a kid my racing partner had a Corvette and because it was ‘plastic’ often the passenger was sent to push the walk button or we sat waiting and waiting… I’ll look into that for my GEM…


Oh OK, I was envisioning this happening on flat roads. I suppose on hills with any real grade it would really add to the excitement! :slight_smile: I have trouble in grass with the wheels spinning, of course I have the 10" wheels till spring when I source a 14" or 15" set.

in Denver there are not a lot of places that don’t have hills… ther are a couple that can take you up or down 200-300 feet in a matter of 4-6 blocks… not sure of grade % but steep… especially in snow… as for grass my car won’t see grass… the 10hp motor doesn’t spin the tires… my hot rodding when I first got it has taken a lot of the spark out of the batteries… I start out with only a 13.0 charge in each battery but on the first hill from the house I see them drop to 10.0… at the stop they all come back to 13 again but as I leave the stop the battsix is showing them all in the red under exceleration as I coast they go back to green a 12 mile drive usually uses about 50% of the battery… I do drive more at 30-35 than 25mph so I am a little hard on them… so far I haven’t gone past the point of no return and haven’t had to go knocking on a door to beg a few minutes of power


This is all good info for me, Thanks. I guess the first thing to consider if I move my GEM to Seattle would be getting doors! Or not use it most of the time. The hills in Seattle are going to be a big problem for me. Yikes!

hi Nansea… I think we have quite a few members from WA… I’ve found the doors to be a benefit both for warmth in the winter and security and safety during the summer… I feel like I can leave stuff in the car and people won’t take it…
I love my doors that I got from Scott Southland at Gemcardoors… not sure that he weathered Sandy as I haven’t heard from him in a while… Ride 4 Fun and NEV Accessories have doors as well


Thanks Bob. I have not modified my GEM at all so this will be a challenge for me. I believe I cannot get the hard doors because they only come with the vehicle if so ordered. What type of doors did you get? Are you satisfied with them? The info is so helpful and very much appreciated. Nancy

hi Nancy… I 'm thinking that hard doors can be bolted on any GEM car… I may be way off on that… finding a pair is a trick… watch eBay and search all of Craigslist…

as I said in the last post I got Gemcardoors at http://gemcardoors.com/… not sure if they are still in business at this time…

Ride-4-Fun http://www.ride-4-fun.com/

NEVaccessories http://www.nevaccessories.com/

a friend from FaceBook Undercover Canvas, Inc. specializes in making custom enclosures for neighborhood electric vehicles and golf carts. 6040 SE. 126th St. Belleview, Florida 34420.Phone (352) 533-7777
Email gallopt81663@gmail.com

other than that I have no good ideas