Will snow tires really keep me out of ditches? - Pontiac Solstice Forum

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Old 12-04-2012, 07:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Will snow tires really keep me out of ditches?

I drove my Solstice last winter and still don't know how we both made it out alive. She doesn't even want to get moving from a stop light if there's any snow on the ground. Last winter was very mild. I'm scared of this year.

I live in Wisconsin and my only vehicles are the Harley and the Solstice... I'm obviously in snow denial here.

Do snow tires really make this car function in snow or is it pretty much a lost cause? It would be awesome to be able to start from a stop, not get stuck in the driveway, and not feel like an ass going 3 MPH down the road for the next few months.

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Old 12-04-2012, 08:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yep, snow tires' compound is unsurprisingly amazing in the snow.

I've been able to pull it off on all-seasons but luckily we don't get much around here so I leave the summers on year around.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Snow tires!

I use them here in Chicago. Drive through every snow we get.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:29 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ten96 View Post
I drove my Solstice last winter and still don't know how we both made it out alive. She doesn't even want to get moving from a stop light if there's any snow on the ground. Last winter was very mild. I'm scared of this year.

I live in Wisconsin and my only vehicles are the Harley and the Solstice... I'm obviously in snow denial here.

Do snow tires really make this car function in snow or is it pretty much a lost cause? It would be awesome to be able to start from a stop, not get stuck in the driveway, and not feel like an ass going 3 MPH down the road for the next few months.

Hello fellow Wiscomsinite! I live in the Fox Valley and every year I swap my tires. I have Blizzaks and I've not had any problems driving the 15 miles to work in the winter. Not sure if you know this, but when there is snow on the ground from a stop I start out in second gear....makes the 'get rolling' a lot easier.

Find some good snow tires and you'll be fine as long as you don't drive like the roads are clear and dry!
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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(Tire Rack) Modern winter / snow tires utilize soft compounds that bring high levels of snow and ice traction. This level of grip is offered by having three very important characteristics. The first factor is tread depth. The best snow traction comes from a tall, deep tread pattern that will pack snow in, causing snow on snow contact, and therefore, providing excellent traction. When there's less deep tread depth, the tire is less likely to hold snow. This is why tires designed for muddy conditions don't do as well in snow.

Last edited by ChopTop; 12-06-2012 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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GS Stage 1 drives his Sky year round in Ft. Collins Colorado. He has snow tires for the slipery season and they work well for him.

The issue is less traction when you have good tires, but the depth of the snow. Just dont try to drive in 18 inches of unplowed snow. :-)
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I ran old school style snow tires for the first fours seasons: Firestone Winterforce

I loved them, but then again I am an old ranch kid; so the big knobby tires are what I am used to. And the fun part was whenever some butthead would tailgate me in the winter, all I would have to do is stab the throttle briefly and kick a rooster-tail of snow all over his front windshield. That tended to result in the tailgating issue going away.

Overall, the Winterforce Tires provided very good traction in snow and ice conditions. It would be common for me to be able to launch from an ice and snow packed stoplight, when the cars next to me were spinning out. But part of this is also knowing how to drive in the conditions. When necessary, start out in 2nd gear. (with the snow tires, this is not usually required) Allow plenty of stopping distance when driving, etc. etc. I run a separate set of 17 inch winter rims with 225 width snow tires. The narrower tires help with plowing through the snow. (wider isn't a good thing in snow, you push snow banks in front of the tires) The knobby Winterforce tires do make more noise on the highway, and of course they will wear down quickly if you install them to soon in the season and drive on dry pavement.

This season is the first time I am running the new age snow tires: Bridgestone Blizzaks

I have only been through one mild snow storm so far, so not enough experience yet to report. However, I will say this: Thus far I find the Blizzaks superior in cold/dry weather. Snow tires in general will tend to stick better in cold weather, on dry pavement because the tire compound is designed to not "freeze up" in cold weather like summer tires. Summer only tires are pretty much useless in the winter on our cars. The summer only tires start to "freeze up" at about 45 degrees. Which means the rubber gets so hard that you no longer have near the traction as you did in the summer. And that is a bad combination with 340 lbs of torque. The Winterforce always seemed pretty good to me. But I must say after experiencing the Blizzaks that they are definitely superior in these conditions. They really stick very well in cold weather; still not like a hot summer day on good summer tires; but surprisingly close. The Blizzaks are a heavy stippling block style tread design. They are much quieter on the highway and probably won't grind down as fast on dry pavement. I have a bad feeling that I won't be able to kick as big of rooster-tails though. And I have to see how they will perform in heavier snow.

I have driven my car in snow deep enough that the front bumper is pushing like a v-plow without issue. Not necessarily a recommended procedure, but I have not a problem. Keep in mind, that out here in CO, the snow is light and fluffy. If your snow is heavy and wet, you would not want want to be driving in that deep of conditions.

And above all: Get snow tires on all four wheels. I see knuckheads all the time put snow tires on the drive wheels only (rear only for rear wheel drive or front only on front wheel drive) This is a recipe for problems. You want the snow tires on all four wheels, because that provides you the best traction at all four points of the car. It isn't about just getting going, it is about stopping and handling as well.
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
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GS

Well said

You can order a mounted and balanced set of tires / wheels from Discount Tire or Tire Rack online and they will be delivered ready to go to your door.

I have gone to the Blizzak tires and love them. They have some amazing micro thread built into them that allows for some amazing grip even in sub-zero weather.

But as GS said, its all about planning ahead when driving in low traction conditions. The traction control and stability control help a LOT but its all the other idiots out there who dont see you or think they can drive in low traction conditions just like its a normal summer day that will cause you the most problems.
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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PS: I have a spare set of 17" rims that I have been meaning to sell.
(Just keep forgetting about it because they are sitting in my basement )
So if you are interested, shoot me a PM.

But like Rob said, you can order a set put together and they will show up at your door. If your car is equipped with the TPMS system (2008-2009), don't forget to order with the sensors installed.
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I like rear wheel drives and anti-lock brakes, Practice....find a lot with some snow on it and practice.
Or try this link.........Road America Winter Driving School
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:57 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Hey, Tad, you forget the link.
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Actually, I have yet to get sensors for Carols Kia. I just do it the old way with a gauge
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:17 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by rob the elder View Post
Actually, I have yet to get sensors for Carols Kia. I just do it the old way with a gauge
The stupid TPMS warning on the dash drives me fricken nuts on the Sky, without the sensors. So I just cave in and buy the damn things.

I'm a little "wheel poor" now. Got an extra set of 17s and and extra set of OEM Sky Chromes sitting in the basement. I really should get around to taking pictures and selling.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:03 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Well, I'm going to find out this winter. We get tons of snow and REAL cold temps where I live. I've mounted a set of new Blizzaks on 225/55/17 wheels and they are on my car ready to go and snow has already fallen. However, right now I'm sitting in Cambodia, the temp is about 95 outside with humidity at a similar number! Will be home next week and find out if the Blizzaks are as good as I read here on the Forum.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:28 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Good luck. Let us know how they do for you.
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http://www.skyroadster.com/forums/f2...cussion-42115/

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