Snow tires anyone?

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by HeatherC, Nov 8, 2018 at 5:04 PM.

  1. firefly_ris

    firefly_ris DIS Veteran

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    I have never used them. All season radials on my old FWD minivan. I've lived in Buffalo for 12 years now and haven't had a problem. I know a few people that use them on their RWD sporty vehicles but not that many in general. But I guess it depends on where you're going too.
     
  2. lanejudy

    lanejudy Moderator Moderator

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    For one trip? Just this year? No, I would not go to the expense of buying a set of winter tires just for 1 trip. Assuming it's a new vehicle you bought in March, and has decent all weathers, you should be OK. If it's a blizzard, nothing is going to help much and you are safer waiting it out rather than being on the roads.

    We use winter tires, put them on a couple of weeks ago and they'll stay on until sometime in March. I don't rotate, though I think the garage typically marks which tire comes off which location, and when they put them back on the tires will "rotate" then. Winter tires will usually last about 4 years or so; same with my summer tires. New all weathers are usually decent enough for a winter up here, maybe 2, but definitely not after that.

    OP - enjoy your ski vacation!
     
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  4. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

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    Apparently Quebec is unique in the snow tire requirement. Saskatchewan, Alberta, Ontario and and Prince Edward Island where my family lives, have no such requirement. https://www.save.ca/community/winter-tire-regulations-in-canada/
     
  5. Hikergirl

    Hikergirl DIS Veteran

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    This is what I have on my car and have been very happy with them. Dh just put them on his car, we put them on my dd's car and my ds is next.
     
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  6. mnrose

    mnrose Queen of all she surveys

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    Never have had snow tires and I live in Minnesota. Never found them necessary. Nor do we have 4 wheel drive vehicles. If you drive sensibly, you can get through winter just fine. We have a pair of Prius. Never gotten stuck. My husband has never failed to get to work, and he works 25 miles away in the middle of the night, often before roads have been adequately cleared. The expense and hassle of storing a whole other set of tires simply is not worth it.

    We have high quality all season tires on all our vehicles. That's sufficient.
     
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  7. ronandannette

    ronandannette I gave myself this tag and I "Like" myself too!

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    ::yes:: ...and the only people who don’t think so probably have never experienced the difference. Winter tires aren’t about “going” through snow, they’re about “stopping” on ice.

    I’m in a new vehicle right now that I bought this summer and haven’t yet acquired winter tires. It’s the first time in many, many years I’ve driven on icy roads in all-seasons (yes, we’re in full-on winter here unfortunately) and it’s way, way more precarious. I’ll be getting a good set of winter tires very shortly. Both DH and DS already have theirs on.
     
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  8. mnrose

    mnrose Queen of all she surveys

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    I don't think so, and I've lived in snow and winter and ice the majority of my life (40+ years of my 60 years). The key to stopping on ice is driving a sensible speed. Too many people go way too fast. See it all the time. I've never gotten stuck. Never ended up in the ditch. Never had a fender bender from being unable to stop on ice. Hasn't happened. The majority of people here in my state do not have "snow tires." Some do, of course, but not the majority. They are a complete PITA to deal with, IMO. Snow tires are "better" in some ways, but everything is a tradeoff. You need a second set of rims, and a second set of tires. You've got to store your summer tires in the winter and your winter tires in the summer. Not everyone agrees that this hassle is "worth it." Shrug.
     
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  9. RangerPooh

    RangerPooh DIS Veteran

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    Our last few years living in WA we put Blizzak tires on our minivan, can;t recall what we had on our truck or SUV. We opted to not go with studded tires as the amount of ice/snow on the ground could vary. The ice might be 2" thick one week and gone the next. A benefit to them over studded tires was that the stud removal date of April 1 did not apply to us. Where we lived it was not unheard of to get (light) snow in June. We did have a set of chains that we carried with us when taking trips through the mountain passes during winter. Rarely had to use them, but it was better to have them than not. With the BLizzak's they did wear out quicker left on year round and driven in hot summer locations.


    When I lived in the Sierra Nevada foothills in CA I carried cable chains in my trunk year round.
     
  10. soccerdad72

    soccerdad72 DIS Veteran

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    I've always just used all season tires and never had a problem - born and raised in one of the snowiest cities in the US, so I've had more than enough experience driving in snow. :)
     
  11. Klayfish

    Klayfish DIS Veteran

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    Really, both of these are true. You absolutely need to drive at a sensible speed. That's extremely important. If you're flying through snow and ice, doesn't matter what tires you have on, it's going to be very dangerous. But winter tires do stop far better in icy conditions. As someone else said, they have a soft compound of rubber and grip the ice better. But again, if you drive with common sense, all season tires can do just fine for the overwhelming majority of people.

    I just can't agree with people who say their car (FWD) or minivan are horrible in the snow, even with good tires. Any FWD vehicle with decent tires will do fine in most typical snow conditions we encounter.
     
  12. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

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    LOL. All I know is several in my family in Canada have FWD cars that they don't drive in winter. Those are just summer cars. A few 4x4 or AWDs, but like I posted earlier, big on rear wheel driver with 150 pounds of sand in the trunk. As I kid I remember them having big old rear driver Chryslers, Buicks and Fords. As GM and Chrysler phased out rear drive, they shifted to Crown Vics.......and then when Ford only sold Mercury Grand Marquis in Canada, lots of those.
    Now the preferred car is the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300.
     
  13. aprilgail

    aprilgail DIS Veteran

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    I don't know anyone around me that has used them since the 1970's. Our roads get cleaned up very fast so really no need for them, I can see needing them if you lived upstate or really rural snowy areas though.
     
  14. Hikergirl

    Hikergirl DIS Veteran

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    My dh said that our minivan was the best car in the snow that he ever drove, and that says alot. He grew up in the boonies and had alot of (reckless) driving experience in all kinds of vehicles. We never had snow tires on it either. I actually miss that minivan :sad1:
    He hates the car he has now in the snow but it is because of the traction control.
     
  15. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

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    Yeah, I haven't had them since high school. As an Essential Employee, I drive in every storm imaginable, often at night, and have never had a problem. I do drive either a 4WD or AWD vehicle and keep to reasonable speeds. In 34 years of this I've never missed work due to snow.
     
  16. I loveStitchnippyjon

    I loveStitchnippyjon DIS Veteran

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    I lived for 69 of my 71 years in upstate New York, which averaged 200 inches of snow. We lived in a rural area, and I drove 1 hour each way to work. An AWD car with 4 good snow tires kept me alive!
     
  17. mrodgers

    mrodgers DIS Veteran

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    #1 thing to have for driving in snow, ice, winter, etc is skill. It's understandable people in the south or other non-snowy areas do not have the skill to drive in snow.

    I'm in western PA. Lot of snow and hills. Biggest problem for driving in winter is getting started again when stopped on a hill. You can fix the slippery situation while driving by how you drive (ie. slowing down and being careful.) You can not fix getting stopped on a snowy hill and getting going again with skill.

    I have ranged from a car that I literally had to turn by using the parking brake to kick the back end out to get the car to face the direction I wanted to go to 4WD with winter tires on it.

    In 2WD cars, I have only had 1 that I had winter tires on. I received the car with 4 non-matching almost bald winter tires. That was the 3rd best capable vehicle I've driven in the snow. My true 4WD truck with off-road oriented tires and manual transmission was the best with the RAV4 with 4 winter tires a close 2nd.

    Back to that regular car with non-matching almost bald winter tires. It was a 94 Civic automatic with 175k on the clock. I drove into the unplowed area of the parking lot at work and stopped. The snow was around 4 feet deep and I plowed the car into it and stopped just to see if I could move again. I couldn't open the doors and couldn't push through the snow with my fist putting the window down a bit. I was completely buried in the snow. You never would have known I was there if not for the path into the snow. Those almost bald winter tires pulled me through and back out of that 4 feet of snow with no problems.

    My number 1 feature for being able to drive in snow aside from actual skill is a manual transmission. If I don't have control and the car does what ever it wants, I feel completely out of control of the vehicle in hazardous conditions. Without a manual transmission, I can't select a higher gear to get started and also can't use the engine to slow me down (though that no longer seems to work with them designing everything away from being in control of your driving for automation and for gas mileage.)
     
  18. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    The one thing I heard about driving in the snow is try and do one thing (accelerate, brake, steer) at a time, since doing two can often result in loss of traction. And losing momentum can be difficult because you might not get it back, although AWD/4WD might help.

    I've done practice in a parking lot of empty stretch with snow. It was disconcerting at first when trying out a fast stop and feeling my car keep on sliding. But after a while I could confidently move into a parking spot in a lot.

    A lot of modern cars do have traction control, although it doesn't perform miracles. And most new automatics have some sort of manual override mode. They will automatically shift to prevent a stall, but otherwise it's easy enough to keep it in a lower gear. When I drive in the snow in my AWD Subaru, I'll typically keep it one gear lower than I would at the same speed in dry conditions.
     
  19. firefly_ris

    firefly_ris DIS Veteran

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    Can it be disabled? My van has it and I usually turn it off because I hate it.
     
  20. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    They also help steer better. Really though - any tires with chains will probably be better in snow/ice. I don't know about traditional "ladder" style chains, but the diagonal type are much easier to install and always have contact with the road. The ladder style will have the metal contacting the road periodically.

    Also - contact pressure is very important. There are ways to increase it - with narrower tires than stock, with tires that have a smaller "footprint" (even with the same size), and of course putting more weight over the drive wheels. That's why FWD typically works better, because the weight tends to be distributed heavily over the drive wheels. But it's also important to have traction on the rear wheels of a FWD car, because losing traction there could result in spinning out. I've seen crazy stuff in the snow - including a RWD pickup truck with an empty bed just spinning its tires. I guess the old trick of sandbags or some other load there would have helped.
     
  21. Hikergirl

    Hikergirl DIS Veteran

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    No not on his car.
    I have the option to use it or not on mine.
     

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