Why does my 2010 Honda Civic suffer from snow-pack?

I’ve had five Honda Civics and several other cars in my lifetime. The Civic I have now is the only one I’ve had this problem with. Three times now, this car has gotten snow stuck somewhere on the underside and it makes the car shimmy when it gets up to 50 mph or so. What could be the deal with this car that this happens all the time? If the temps get high enough for things to melt or if I take it through the car wash (like I had to this morning) it clears up the problem. I had to drive 20 miles out of my way this morning to get to a car wash before I could drive normal interstate speeds.

  1. I drove into a snowy ditch because I couldn’t see where the corner was in the fresh snow. If this was the only time it happened I could understand it. But it’s not.

  2. It snowed and I drove in it.

  3. It snowed and I drove in it.

Does this happen to anyone else?

It’s snow getting into your rims and unbalancing the wheels. Probably the design of the rim, and I’ll bet the snow is the really wet sticky stuff.

Thanks. That makes sense. This Civic is a higher trim level than the ones I 've had before and it probably has different rims. Incident 1 was not wet & sticky but, again, I did drive into the ditch. Incident 2, I don’t recall. Yesterday/today was definitely wet & heavy.

I’m fully buying this explanation. I would have expected the rotation and shimmy would shake the snow off though. Next time it happens, take a close look. If it’s on the outside, you could clean it with a snow brush. If it’s on the inside, it will be tougher to even spot, but I would try hard, even crawling underneath for an inspection. After all, a one ounce weight on the wheel edge would throw it way off balance. Ice could easily weigh that, but it would have less effect towards the center of the wheel.

Why would the show not distribute equally around the wheel?
Are any wheel covers involved that might be holding ice?

It doesn’t happen right after the snow gets in there. It’s only after it’s sat overnight. I suppose after sitting in the same position all night the slush settles in the bottom.

We don’t get much snow, but I take my Jeep offroad and the same thing happens with mud (I hate mud!). Driving rarely shakes it off, but I have been able to pour a bottle of water on the wheel and clean it off enough to fix it sometimes. Otherwise, it’s off to the car wash. Since your problem is snow/ice, you might try carrying around a can of windshield de-icer and spray it on the wheels when it happens.

It is probably snow depositing on the inside of the rim from driving. On some European cars there are plastic deflectors on the rear suspension to keep the snow out of the rim.

Thanks. I’ll check with my Honda dealer and see if they have anything like that or if they can recommend another remedy.

Nice user name/topic combo. Hope it doesn’t sake the Civic all the way down.

I had a Mustang back in the 80s that would accumulate wet icy snow on it’s underside. This happened (severely) twice. Both times, the snow pack came off all at once and I thought the car was disintegrating.

We had some kids show up at the ranch a while back when their little pickup started overheating during a blizzard. The engine compartment had totally packed up with snow and it was blocking the airflow. We let the engine heat melt most of it out, and then they could leave. I did not know you could snow pack an engine compartment while the vehicle was moving.

Well, I e-mailed my service guy and he told me it happens to his own Honda (not sure what model) and that he gets a lot of calls about it, but nothing can be done. He thinks it’s more due to the new design of the car than it is the rims.