Driving in snow

With an automatic transmission, what gear would be best for climbing a snow covered hill? How about the same question for going down that same hill with the same road condition?

Leave the gear selector in drive and let the engine/tranny find their own way. Keep a steady throttle.

Going down the same hill, you can select a lower gear than drive and keep the foot brake applied lightly.

It depends. How much snow and is it rear wheel drive or wrong wheel drive?

I asked about driving in snow because someone (a man) just told me that he puts his jeep into 4 wheel drive and uses neutral to go down hills??? This sounds a little nuts to me, but then again, I’m not familiar with 4 wheel drive suv’s.

That is a little nuts, putting it in neutral will reduce the amount of control you have. Under most conditions, it is best to leave it in drive and do everything gently. You can use a lower gear going down a hill at lower speed to reduce the mount of braking required.

Well, if he’s in neutral then he’s in zero wheel drive. Now, if you put a 4wd vehicle into it’s 4-wheel low-range, it provides engine braking to all four wheels as well as a super-low gear, which can be usefull for avoiding sliding down a steep hill.

You don’t want to use a lower gear going downhill on snow. When the tires slip, you will go right into the ditch. Use the brakes only. Keep the speed down. Rear wheel drive cars used to straighten out in lower gears, front wheel drives do the opposite. Climb a hill in any gear you want as long as it’s D or 3.

I agree that he’s nuts. However that doesn’t make him a bad fella.

In your case, “D” is the best option. Putting the shifter in gears above “D” doesn’t keep it from downshifting, only from upshifting beyond your selection. If you COULD keep it from downshifting, then “2” might be a better selection because “1” has more torque and would tend to spin the tires more easily, but since you can’t “D” is the best choice.