Winter ice driving

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  #1  
Old 01-21-07, 09:16 AM
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Winter ice driving

This is something I heard about a long time ago and I thought had a lot of value in the right situation, being from Iowa (winters-snow-ice-slick roads). I've never tried it myself and was curious if any of you had or knew about it.

Winter specialized tires are made of softer rubber (along with other design characteristics) to grip slick surfaces. But they have to be changed at the end of winter. So you have the all season jobs that do OK in the winter, but with the harder compounds, less grip on slick surfaces.

A cross country truck driver told me if you spray the tire caps with chlorox bleach it will soften the tire surface to grip the road much better. It was to be good for a couple hundred miles. Myth or fact?

Bob
 
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  #2  
Old 01-21-07, 10:01 AM
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I would say it is fact. Because some time back drag racers would use the bleach to do burn outs with, But don't get it on the paint. Not sure what would happen with the newer paints.
 
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Old 01-21-07, 10:21 AM
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Bob,

I think your truck driver is trying to start or perpetuate an urban myth.
Bleach may soften the tire surface under some conditions but if sprayed on a cold tire would likely freeze to the surface giving you a nasty surprise first time you hit the brakes.
I had seen this done on dragsters in the day. They would pour a half gallon puddle on the strip before lining up at the tree and then do a brake stand in it.
I'm sure the hot rubber would have helped the bleach do its job.
 
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Old 01-21-07, 11:58 AM
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Snow tires are somewhat like football cleats. As long as you have something to dig into, like snow, you can do pretty well. On a sheet of ice? I believe you know the answer.
 
  #5  
Old 01-21-07, 01:32 PM
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snow tires are over rated , drive with care and caution and you will be alright , a good all season is good enough i drive about 70000 kms a year in canada land of crap weather, and if you need help buy a ford 1 ton crew cab with 4 x 4 diesel nice and heavy you will never leave the road at least i have nt yet . lol safe driving and happy truck shopping
 
  #6  
Old 01-21-07, 05:13 PM
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So that explains why all of the 18 wheelers are sliding off of the road.
Just kinding guys.
Putting bleach on rubber creates a very slippery situation.
To add to the other reply about drag racing, they would use bleach because it is realy slippery and helps to get the tires spinning easier to heat them up making the rubber get better traction on dry blacktop but the bleach would all burn right off.

Don't put bleach on your tires before going onto the ice unless you have dry blacktop to do realy smokin' burnouts and If you do put it on the web so we can all watch.
Who dosen't love watchin' smokey burnouts.
 
  #7  
Old 01-21-07, 05:50 PM
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Fact or myth, I'd much rather carry sand in my car than bleach. For one, bleach is nasty and if it leaks it can corrode metal or bleach the interior. Of course it won't work for a hundred miles; it's just to get you out of a jam.

Sand is underrated for its gripping power. I sprinke sand on any icy spots on my walkways. It's amazing how much traction you get from sand. I can't see why anyone would use salt on their property and destroy their vegetation.
 
  #8  
Old 01-22-07, 07:59 AM
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Fact

The bleach was used to soften dragster tires. I was talking to a gentleman that us to drag race and he conformed why bleach was used. Bleach was out lawed because it could catch fire.

So yes you could use bleach to soften tires for winter ice but you would have to use you head on how and when to apply the bleach. Put on a tire that is cold or well below freezing the bleach would freeze. If you had a day when temps. were just above freezing and or in a garage and let it set you would be good to go. Still don't know what bleach would do to the paint but I would be careful and after applying the bleach let it set and then wash off with fresh water. I don't know how much the tire would soften and how much of a traction gain you would get but what I have found out it is not a myth.
 
  #9  
Old 01-24-07, 08:46 AM
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Thanks for all the responses. I was able to do some research on the subject after starting this thread to get more current myself. I wasn't aware of the use of bleach in drag racing.

Using bleach for better traction seems to be more common knowledge among those who do extensive driving - primarily over the road drivers. It doesn't seem to be frequently used, however. Few carry a bottle of bleach with them.

It apparently does work - by deteriorating the very surface of the tire which softens it and in turn gets better traction on slick or icy surfaces. It would help to get up the icy hill, but not for a hundred miles.

Typically it would applied to a tire in use, in which case the tire would be warm enough to prevent the bleach from freezing. For someone in a "stuck" situation sand would be a better option.

It doesn't take a truck load of sand to do a lot of good. A light sprinkle of sand down a tire track does a lot of good and most of us (even my wife) has room for a twenty lb bag in the trunk.

My personal experience and opinion on winter tires are; they take over where the All Seasons stop. They are seasonal, specialized and very effective. If you wanted to turn a Ford Escort into a mountain goat, start by putting Blizzaks on it.

Thanks again,

Bob
 
  #10  
Old 01-24-07, 09:12 AM
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Tip: It's most convenient to carry sand in plastic gallon jugs. This way you can cap it, store it without making a mess, and easily dispense it.
 
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