Northern Norway driving in winter

Marpey

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Hello I'm planning to drive my LC HDJ100 (4.2TD) to northern Norway in February (looking for northern lights!) to Tromso and maybe as far as possible towards the North Cape. Any good advice from anyone? In particular
-studded tires, a necessity?
- oil, for this extreme temperatures what would be preferable?
Thanks for your comments
 

Chris

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We were there recently and judging by the amount of very heavy duty snow clearing equipment that we saw even in the most remote regions, I doubt you'd need anything special at all. We get a smattering of snow here and the country stops. Over there, they know it's coming. I doubt they stop at all. We took the road up to the Northern Cape where it ends way up into the Arctic Circle and the surface was incredible with no cats eyes to interfere with the snow plough. There are people living up there looking after their reindeer so I'd guess that access is managed extremely well. We did see the Northern Lights on several occasions.
 

Julian T

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Just a indication of how difficult it is to get to remote places is these days, not to put a damper on your plans of course because we all know what we prefer to travel with.
Harry Metcalf of Harry's garage on You Tube took his 1969 RR Silver Shadow to the arctic circle in February 2018 I believe, video linked below.


Ps looking forward to some pictures and a trip report ;)
 
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uHu

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Just watched both parts of Harry's RR-trip -- It contains some good tips for your trip if you listen to all his comments along the way.

Studded tyres are not a must, but they are better on pure ice, particularly on wet ice. Studded is not so nice on paved roads without snow or ice, and if you drive all the way, that's what you will se most of. What is important, is to have good Nordic winter tyres, with or without studs. Make sure it is Nordic, not Continental type, winter tyres. Unstudded Nordic winter tyres have a soft rubber compound with lots of sipes to make them even softer, and they give a good grip on wintery roads. They are not that good for high speed Autobahn, as the rubber can prove too soft if it gets hot. The speed rating of such tyres are often lower than allowed for the car, but that's OK according to road regulations up here.
Studded tyres have harder rubber (in order to hold the studs), and can be less good in snow. There are some tyres sold as "studable", but without studs, which is the worst. They have a hard rubber which is not good for winter and no studs to give them some hold.
The most important is that the tyres are new. Check the production week stamped on them. 4 years old winter tyres have only about half the grip of a new set.

For oil, you're OK with normal 10W30 or 10W40. You could use 5W30 if you were to stay inland (away from coastal areas) Lappland/Finnmark all winter.

There are a few mountain crossings and I recommend always having sleeping bags and blankets available as a survival kit, in case you get stuck in a blizzard. I've been crossing those mountains weekly for years, and never needed a survival kit though. But better safe than sorry.

PS:
All this talk about good tyres -- it's not for getting ahead, it is for being able to stop and to actually stay on the road, in your lane.
 
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clivehorridge

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I’ve also heard that in many countries, running studded tyres on cleared asphalt is illegal, due to the additional wear on the road surface.

I’d heed uHu’s advice and go for good new Nordic tyres.

I’d also up the concentration of your coolant or anti-freeze ... I don’t think you can over-dose it.

Back in ‘84 (I think it was) we had a winter in the UK when they recorded -26C (at Shifnal) and it was crippling cold/snow for 3 weeks straight IIRC.

I kept my old Cortina functional with neat anti-freeze, it boasted -30C as a 50/50 mix, and that froze solid at about -20C :lol:

Toyota red is good stuff, highly recommend it. I’ve never had a freezing problem, and I’ve seen -25C here.
 
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Gr8Yota

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I've been up there in Nov, on summer tyres in a Subaru Forester, no issues. Whilst the locals have to run studs the legislation does not apply to 'visitors' You shouldn't need anything special lubes wise, Northern Norway doesn't get that cold, Gulf Stream. I was also out in Canada/Alaska in Feb, temps down to -60C and I drove the ice roads... on BFG MT's... def not the best tyre but no issues. I would say that if you can make use of them afterwards I would fit winter tyres, Nokian would be my choice, my Subaru Outback was fantastic on them... was going to say unstoppable... but it stopped great too! I run any 2WD road car of mine on winters or all season all year round.
 

clivehorridge

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I've been up there in Nov, on summer tyres in a Subaru Forester, no issues. Whilst the locals have to run studs the legislation does not apply to 'visitors' You shouldn't need anything special lubes wise, Northern Norway doesn't get that cold, Gulf Stream. I was also out in Canada/Alaska in Feb, temps down to -60C and I drove the ice roads... on BFG MT's... def not the best tyre but no issues. I would say that if you can make use of them afterwards I would fit winter tyres, Nokian would be my choice, my Subaru Outback was fantastic on them... was going to say unstoppable... but it stopped great too! I run any 2WD road car of mine on winters or all season all year round.
-60C? :wtf: Blurry Nora - I thought -30C was cold enough last winter here in the north...
 

uHu

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....Whilst the locals have to run studs the legislation does not apply to 'visitors' ....
A small correction:
There is no difference between locals and visitors. There's even a check at the border, or soon after the border, at times. The legal requirement is not that strict, but summer tyres will not be allowed to drive, and the tread depth has to be more than 3 mm (I think that is changing to 4 mm now) for wintery conditions.
Edit: 3 mm for cars under 3.5 tons, 5 mm for heavy vehicles. 4 mm is only a recommendation from insurance companies.

And there is never a requirement to run studs, but it is required to have tyres suited to the current conditions at all times. Some people just don't use the car on the worst days, like when it's raining at minus 3 C. If you really want to be prepared for all possibilities, you have to bring chains, but I doubt you would ever need them.
More important is to have a plan that allows for using an extra day here and there.
 
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uHu

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And temperatures: The Gulf stream is only at the coast, inland you get -30 to -40 every winter.
As an example, Hammerfest (on the coast) has between -5 and +15 C all year. Two hrs drive south, in Alta (bottom of a fjord), there will be 10 to 30 C summer and +5 to -30 in the winter. Another two hrs south, in Kautokeino, the summers are about the same but easily down to -40 winter, or more.

It is very handy, and common, to have studded tyres in the very north, or in the conditions we could see the Rolls R experiencing. But then again, on e.g. wet snow, good studless are better than studded because of the soft rubber.
 
J

jibberjabber

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Hello I'm planning to drive my LC HDJ100 (4.2TD) to northern Norway in February (looking for northern lights!) to Tromso and maybe as far as possible towards the North Cape. Any good advice from anyone? In particular
-studded tires, a necessity?
- oil, for this extreme temperatures what would be preferable?
Thanks for your comments
If you want to know what it's like driving in Norway, have a gander at this program.

https://www.nationalgeographic.co.uk/video/tv/ice-road-rescue
 
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Marpey

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Just watched both parts of Harry's RR-trip -- It contains some good tips for your trip if you listen to all his comments along the way.

Studded tyres are not a must, but they are better on pure ice, particularly on wet ice. Studded is not so nice on paved roads without snow or ice, and if you drive all the way, that's what you will se most of. What is important, is to have good Nordic winter tyres, with or without studs. Make sure it is Nordic, not Continental type, winter tyres. Unstudded Nordic winter tyres have a soft rubber compound with lots of sipes to make them even softer, and they give a good grip on wintery roads. They are not that good for high speed Autobahn, as the rubber can prove too soft if it gets hot. The speed rating of such tyres are often lower than allowed for the car, but that's OK according to road regulations up here.
Studded tyres have harder rubber (in order to hold the studs), and can be less good in snow. There are some tyres sold as "studable", but without studs, which is the worst. They have a hard rubber which is not good for winter and no studs to give them some hold.
The most important is that the tyres are new. Check the production week stamped on them. 4 years old winter tyres have only about half the grip of a new set.

For oil, you're OK with normal 10W30 or 10W40. You could use 5W30 if you were to stay inland (away from coastal areas) Lappland/Finnmark all winter.

There are a few mountain crossings and I recommend always having sleeping bags and blankets available as a survival kit, in case you get stuck in a blizzard. I've been crossing those mountains weekly for years, and never needed a survival kit though. But better safe than sorry.

PS:
All this talk about good tyres -- it's not for getting ahead, it is for being able to stop and to actually stay on the road, in your lane.
 

Marpey

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Jan 4, 2014
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Thank you very, very much for your extremely clear and informative responses. I apologise for not having been able to acknowledge them sooner, given to a number of reasons , which, by the way, have forced me to postpone my trip.
But I hope to leave in a couple of weeks and your comments have helped me!
Eventually I have chosen Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 275/60 R18
(for general off-road I use BFGoodrich AT KO2 285/75 R16)
 
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Marpey

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Jan 4, 2014
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I’ve also heard that in many countries, running studded tyres on cleared asphalt is illegal, due to the additional wear on the road surface.

I’d heed uHu’s advice and go for good new Nordic tyres.

I’d also up the concentration of your coolant or anti-freeze ... I don’t think you can over-dose it.

Back in ‘84 (I think it was) we had a winter in the UK when they recorded -26C (at Shifnal) and it was crippling cold/snow for 3 weeks straight IIRC.

I kept my old Cortina functional with neat anti-freeze, it boasted -30C as a 50/50 mix, and that froze solid at about -20C :lol:

Toyota red is good stuff, highly recommend it. I’ve never had a freezing problem, and I’ve seen -25C here.
 

Marpey

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I am in italy
Jan 4, 2014
10
2
3
London / Paris / Milan
I've been up there in Nov, on summer tyres in a Subaru Forester, no issues. Whilst the locals have to run studs the legislation does not apply to 'visitors' You shouldn't need anything special lubes wise, Northern Norway doesn't get that cold, Gulf Stream. I was also out in Canada/Alaska in Feb, temps down to -60C and I drove the ice roads... on BFG MT's... def not the best tyre but no issues. I would say that if you can make use of them afterwards I would fit winter tyres, Nokian would be my choice, my Subaru Outback was fantastic on them... was going to say unstoppable... but it stopped great too! I run any 2WD road car of mine on winters or all season all year round.

I tried Nokian, but could not find them in our Toyota recommended sizes. In the end, I contacted Nokian directly in Finland and they suggested the Hakkapeliita LT3 285/75 R16 (studdable). I could not find them in the UK (and maybe just as well, considering uHu comments on non-studded-studdable tyres :) )
 
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