Commuting in harsh winter requires a vehicle that is both safe and comfortable to drive in cold weather. The Chevrolet Silverado gets high points for reliability, towing ability, utility, and performance.
Can it get you through winter safely and comfortably? Let us find out.
Here is the short answer to whether the Chevrolet Silverado is good for snow and winter driving:
The Chevrolet Silverado does well in snow and other winter conditions, especially if equipped with four-wheel drive. Chevy Silverados also have features such as Stability Control, Traction Control, ABS, and an impressive ground clearance that improve balance and handling in snow, ice, and slush.
Is a Chevrolet Silverado Good in Snow?
As a fullsize truck, the Chevrolet Silverado has enough weight to keep it stable in snow. Snowy roads can be slippery, and it’s common to find smaller vehicles losing control while driving in snow.
The Silverado’s sizeable proportions mean you need not worry about your truck landing on its side while driving in snow.
Another attribute that helps the Chevrolet Silverado with navigating snowy roads is its high ground clearance.
When snow comes fast and thick, you’ll need a truck that sits high above the ground. The Chevrolet Silverado has enough ground clearance to get you through even the thickest snow.
The Silverado’s V8 engine also comes in handy when traversing roads covered in snow.
Producing about 305 pound-feet of torque and 285 horsepower, the engine gives you enough power to plow through the white stuff, no matter how deep or thick it is.
What Features Will Improve Winter Driving?
The Chevrolet Silverado performs better than most trucks its size in winter driving. But why is this so? Find out below as we review some of the features that make the Silverado a great winter vehicle:
StabiliTrak Stability Control
Unless you have not bought vehicles in a long time, then you must have heard of stability control at some point. ‘StabiliTrak’ is just Chevrolet’s name for its stability control system, and it is hardly different from the stability control system on other vehicles.
Stability control helps you drive in winter safely by keeping your vehicle on its intended course at all times.
In wintertime, the slickness of roads increases your chances of losing control of your vehicle. This could cause you to veer off the road and crash, which won’t be a pretty sight.
The Silverado’s StabiliTrak stability control system helps keep your vehicle stable while driving on wet and slick surfaces.
It uses sensors that monitor throttle position, wheel speed, steering angle, and yaw rate to know if your vehicle is moving along its intended path.
When the StabiliTrak Stability Control system senses your truck moving in an opposite direction, it applies the brakes to some wheels to nudge it back into position. It could also reduce or cut the engine’s power output to prevent a crash.
Traction Control System
The Traction Control feature is vaguely similar to the StabiliTrak Stability Control, and it’s easy to confuse the two. However, traction control plays a different role compared to StabiliTrak Stability Control on the Chevrolet Silverado.
The Silverado’s Traction Control System enables it to maintain adequate levels of road grip, especially in slick conditions. Should one or more wheels lose road grip, Traction Control will do either–or both–of the following:
- Activate brakes on each affected wheel
- Limit torque supply to affected wheels
The combination of these actions forces the suspect wheels to stop spinning and grip the road properly. It will also force your vehicle back on the correct track in case it lost its direction.
If you are an off-road enthusiast, then you know that four-wheel-drive helps improve handling and control in less than stellar road conditions.
Winter road conditions (snow, ice, and slush) are hardly ‘stellar’, so 4WD definitely comes in handy when driving in such conditions.
How does four-wheel drive improve winter driving capabilities, really? It provides better vehicular control and traction, which are scarce on wintry roads.
Instead of sending torque to only rear wheels as rear-wheel drive does, a four-wheel-drive Silverado sends torque to front and rear wheels.
With each wheel receiving torque, your truck’s level of traction witnesses a significant increase. This grants you increased control of your vehicle in treacherous road conditions.
Antilock Brake System/Electronic Brake-force Distribution
The Antilock Brake System is not a new feature, and has been around since 1971. Still, it has undergone several tweaks up until this point to ensure maximum effectiveness. ABS is designed to preempt hard braking from locking up your wheels.
When driving on snow and ice, you might need to brake harder because surfaces are slippery and wheels have low road grip. However, this can endanger you, as it increases risk of wheel lockup, which happens when your wheels stop rotating.
At low speeds, wheel lock may or not affect driving. However, if your wheels should lock at high speed, your truck will likely skid off the road.
ABS preemptively stops your truck’s wheels from locking when you apply the brakes harder than normal. This keeps your wheels spinning freely and ensures your winter travel is as safe as possible.
Electronic Brake-force Distribution is an improvement on the Antilock Brake System and typically comes in the same package as ABS. The Silverado’s EBD system has a similar role as that of the ABS system: to prevent wheel lock, which can cause a skid.
To prevent wheel lock, the EBD system varies the amount of force applied to individual wheels under braking.
Excess brake-force applied on wheels is the leading cause of wheel lockup. Therefore, even if you brake hard, EBD ensures the wheels get ideal brake-force so the wheels don’t lock.
Also check out our article about driving the Ford F-150 in snow and winter.
Does a Chevrolet Silverado Have Snow Mode?
The Chevrolet Silverado has several cool technologies, one of which is a Drive Mode Selector. The Drive Mode Selector enables you to calibrate your Silverado’s performance to suit your driving needs by selecting specific modes.
Included in the Drive Mode Selector is a Snow/Ice Mode, which helps your Silverado truck to drive better in winter weather.
Selecting the Snow/Ice mode reduces the torque your wheels need to accelerate, which limits slipping and keeps your vehicle stable.
Can You Install Additional Snow Gear on Chevrolet Silverado?
The Chevrolet Silverado can take any snow gear or equipment designed to improve driving experience in winter. Some snow gears that are particularly helpful in improving winter driving are:
- Snow socks
- Snow chains
- Ice studs
- Snow boots
- Snow tires
However, before you install any snow gear on your Silverado you must consult local traffic laws to know if it is legal. For instance, some parts of the US have laws banning the use of snow socks in winter.
Then you must check your Silverado’s proportions before you head to the snow gear shop. Take correct sizes to ensure that you don’t buy non-fitting snow gear for your truck.
How Much Snow Can a Chevrolet Silverado Handle?
The Chevrolet Silverado sits over eight inches above the ground. That makes for increased ground clearance and gives your truck the ability to traverse deep snow safely and easily.
Based on its impressive ride height, the Silverado should handle snow up to seven inches thick comfortably, especially if your model has four-wheel-drive.
How Do Chevrolet Silverado Handle Low Winter Temperatures?
The Chevrolet Silverado models use fuel injection in their engines. Fuel-injected engines provide faster warm up times and optimal operation in all conditions, even cold weather.
So, starting your Silverado truck on a chilly winter morning should present no problems.
Make sure to also read our article on driving the Chevrolet Colorado in snow and winter.
Can a Chevrolet Silverado Drive on Ice?
Whether rear-wheel-drive or four-wheel drive, the Chevrolet Silverado can drive in icy road conditions. However, the body weight and higher center of gravity on a Silverado puts it at a higher risk of a rollover accident.
You need not be scared, though; slow and careful driving will go a long way to prevent a rollover accident.
Does the Silverado Have 4WD?
The Chevrolet Silverado has standard rear-wheel-drive, but some models come with 4WD. 4WD can be very useful for winter driving. You are better off buying a 4WD Silverado if your area experiences heavy winter weather.
What About Older Silverado Models And Winter Driving?
Most of the older Chevrolet Silverados have ABS, Traction Control, and Stability Control, though this depends on the model in question. As these features became standard on Silverados later, some older models don’t have them.
If you intend to buy an old Silverado and those features are absent, it most likely drives poorly in winter. This is because those features are essential for safe and comfortable winter driving.
Thus, their absence will affect a Silverado’s ability to drive in winter.
Do Silverados Need Snow Tires?
For driving in winter, snow or winter tires are your best friend. They enhance traction and control on winter roads, something that your OEM all-season tires don’t do so well.
If you are looking for reliable winter tires, check out our article about Yokohama Tires.
Can You Mount A Snow Plow on A Chevrolet Silverado?
With enormous engine power, 4WD capability, and a large body mass, the Chevrolet Silverado is more than able to plow snow.
Moreover, the Silverado’s pre-drilled front bumper and frame makes it easy to fit plowing accessories, including snow plows.