The Ford Mustang has been the symbol of American muscle cars since its release in 1964. It has been an icon in the American car industry and continues to pile on its legacy. But have you wondered if you can drive this car in all four seasons, especially during the winter? Well, in this article, we have researched and asked the experts if a Mustang is safe to drive on snow.
You can drive modern Mustangs on snow. With new technology, such as traction control plus all-season or winter-specific tires, driving your Mustang is safer compared to before. But Mustangs are still not the best car for snowy weather because of their design. Driving muscle cars on snow requires extra caution and controlling your speed.
Interested to learn more about what it's like to drive a Mustang on snow? Continue reading the article as we discuss further details and safety tips behind the wheel of your Ford during winter.
Can you drive a Mustang in the winter - What to consider
Driving cars in general during winter is no easy task. Factors such as poor visibility, slippery roads, and careless motorists make driving during this season harder. No matter what car you use, if you don't observe extra caution behind the wheel, your driving experience will be terrible.
You have to do several things differently when driving your Ford Mustang during the winter. One is keeping your traction control on all the time.
You may get away with turning it off during other seasons, but during winter, when roads are extra slippery, traction control will give you the extra grip you need by limiting how much your wheels spin. This gives you enough friction between your tires and the ground for enough braking power.
Your type of tire also plays a huge role in traction. We advise that you use winter tires or four-season tires as these are built and designed for this type of weather because some tires become brittle at low temperatures, which can pose a hazard while driving.
Another factor to consider is the rear-wheel drive of a Mustang. In a previous article, we have answered the question Is The Ford Mustang Rear-wheel drive or AWD?" Go ahead and check it out, as this affects the car's performance during winter.
If the conditions are severe, we recommend not to attempt driving no matter what the vehicle. Lowered vehicles should especially consider this. Snow drifts can be a big problem because of the Mustang's low ground clearance. Getting stranded in the middle of a snowstorm can be dangerous, as rescue might take several hours to arrive.
How bad is Mustang on snow?
Vehicles like Mustangs are more susceptible to losing control and traction on snowy and wet roads. This would have to do with the low weight of its rear axle, causing its wheels to slip on snow – fishtailing.
Stock tires of sports cars are also not good in these conditions as they have a lesser tread for less rolling resistance; that's why most owners have extra sets of tires for winter.
A good fix for this problem is by putting weight in the trunk of your car. By adding weight, you are adding stability to your car, making the rear-end tires more planted to the ground. This also adds additional traction.
The Mustang's 5.7 inches of ground clearance make the car difficult to handle thick snow. Snow could fill the wheel wells during heavy downpours and may cause your vehicle to stop moving. As visibility grows poor, potholes can be unnoticed and easily damage lowered vehicles.
One good advantage for performance vehicles is their stronger than average breaks, meaning their braking systems are superior and perform better under heavy use compared to normal vehicles. Learning the proper techniques for braking, especially on slippery roads, is a great skill and can help you avoid accidents on the road.
Why do Mustangs spin out easily?
This would have to do more with the drivers' styles compared to the car itself. In 2021, the Ford Mustang topped the list in sales for US muscle cars, outselling its competitors like the Chevy Camaro and Dodge Challenger. A lot of drivers lack the technical skills to drive high-powered vehicles such as the Mustang, causing accidents on the road.
Since the Mustang is a street-ready performance vehicle, the techniques needed to handle it are more technical than other vehicles. With a 2.3L EcoBoost® engine, it delivers 310 horsepower, 350 lb-ft of torque with turbocharging, direct injection, and twin independent variable cam timing. The power that it outputs can be too much to handle.
Especially because 28% of its buyer demographics are younger than 25 years old, experience and maturity will be lower as some do tricks and push these cars to their limit. And the fact that it is cheaper compared to its competitors is also a factor why nearly everyone can buy them.
While on the topic of power, we have previously written an article about horsepower in Mustangs titled, "Which Mustang Has The Most Power?"
Do Mustangs have limited slip?
Limited slip differentials have been on and off throughout Mustangs throughout the years. When Mustang first launched, it came with the option of having a limited-slip differential. But it has since become a standard feature for the car. Ford GTs also come standard with this feature, plus four and six-cylinder Mustangs have had one since 2011.
Limited slip differentials limit the wheelspin for the drive wheels when it loses grip when power is applied. This works in conjunction with traction control as a safety feature in cars with high power output to avoid accidents caused by loss of grip on the road. It also helps the engine perform more efficiently by increasing the car's handling.
Is a soft-top convertible OK in the winter?
Don't worry if you think that convertibles might be inferior to heating compared to hardtops. The materials used for convertible roofs are thick enough for your insulation to work during winter. The roof material is a single texture vinyl with a two-ply composite from a PVC sailcloth grain outer layer with a polyester and cotton lining fabric.
Are Mustangs cheaper during the winter season?
Winter serves as the offseason not just for Mustangs but for sports cars in general. As we explained earlier, they are not the ideal cars for this season. Thus the demand for these vehicles from buyers in winter is very low. So dealerships offer plenty of discounts to entice customers to buy.
This makes the winter season the best time to get a Mustang. Dealerships are also less crowded this time of year, giving you more time to negotiate. You can also easily choose the specific model and trim level you want easily because of less buyer competition.
You can drive a Ford Mustang in winter but with extra caution compared to other times of the year. The Mustang is also not ideal for harsh weather conditions because of its light rear and low ground clearance.
Though technology such as traction control and all-season tires help, an SUV or an off-roader would be a better option, but if you elect to go with a Mustang, you must practice extra caution behind the wheel.