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Old 04-21-2009, 08:44 PM   #21 (permalink)
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What does lowered have to do with winter handling (besides bottoming out)? Both my Paseo and Matrix are lowered and handle great in the snow/ice.

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Old 04-21-2009, 09:11 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Bottoming is the biggie, but if it's substantially decambered that might have a negative effect in snow and ice...
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Old 04-21-2009, 09:40 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Hiya,

The things about modern snow tires that make them so good are:

low temperature compound -- they stay soft in colder weather
the "snicks" in the tread blocks open up when the tire is under rotational torque:

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/BigPic...tnum=865TR5XI2

...which provides much more surface area to grip the snow and ice. The zigzags in the "snicks" act to lock the tread blocks together, so they do not lose dry pavement turning grip.

These Michelin X-Ice tires have a sidewall maximum pressure of 51PSI, and they have lower rolling resistance than my Yokohama "summer" tires. They grip very well in ice and snow -- I drive through almost anything; uphill, in deep snow, on wet ice, you name it.

I like a standard shift in the snow, for the control of tire spin and torque, and the ease of gently downshifting. Though an automatic with full stability and traction control, and full snows, I think this combo would be unstoppable.
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Last edited by NeilBlanchard; 04-21-2009 at 09:49 PM..
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Old 04-21-2009, 10:03 PM   #24 (permalink)
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With 2+ decades of driving in the snow with everything from sub-compact cars to full size, lifted 4WD trucks, my all-time favorite was my 1995 Civic DX Coupe with 4 Nokia Hakkepelita snow tires. I used to cruise down a 3-lane highway at 5:30am in 4" of powder. Car felt like a snowmobile. The only thing about this car that could have been better was more ground clearance so it didn't 'plow' deep snow. It took a blizzard and massive snow drifts to get me stuck ... once.

However, one spring I took off the snows too early then put just the front two back on to deal with a late season storm ... the amazing little car became almost undriveable and I looped it twice on the way to work. A FWD car with snows up front and summer and/or bald tires on the rear becomes too tail-happy and it wants to come around on you as you brake or downshift.

99 times out of 100 when I hear someone complain about the car in snow, I assume it's the driver. Either a lack of skill, some really bad habits and/or a lack of confidence in inclement weather.
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Old 04-21-2009, 10:07 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I prefer manuals, even in the winter. The auto has a nice advantage if you can start in 2nd gear, though, it's great for people who aren't too sensitive in the foot area, and can't really feel minute changes in the car's behaviour.

PS - why do people feel that they should put the grippier tires on the heavier part of the car, then complain that the rear end was "slippy"?

PUT THE BETTER TIRES ON THE BACK!
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Old 04-21-2009, 11:30 PM   #26 (permalink)
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I put the tires with the best tread in front, and don't complain about "slippiness".
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Old 04-21-2009, 11:59 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Perhaps it's just a Wisconsin thing, but when I told people I was going to buy a Civic, the first thing a number of them did was mention this issue.
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Old 04-21-2009, 11:59 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Darwinism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
I put the tires with the best tread in front, and don't complain about "slippiness".
I'm sure that it's just a conspiracy by all the tire companies to make those willing to listen to them wreck their cars. The more new cars that are sold, the more new tires are sold with them, right?

OF COURSE you don't complain about slippiness in the rear. You're not an "average" driver, just like I can't compare my mippigs to Darin's. That would be extremely biased, just like your comment.

By the way, I subscribe to Darwinism almost exclusively, off subject.
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Old 04-22-2009, 12:04 AM   #29 (permalink)
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As much as I like the Civic, I have to say that, at least w/ the older ones (4th gen Civic, 2nd gen CRX) they weren't all that great in the snow.

You'd want about the skinniest tires you could find, and the car was still too light to go any real speed, or risk floating on even light snow. Packed snow, you could manage, but still, don't go throwing the suspension around, or it will throw you back for a loop.

I drove 35 miles to work at ~30 MPH in my Civic. It sucked, but even with brand new tires, I couldn't keep traction on that day. While I was creeping up the highway at 4 am, a handful of SUV's with 4WDrive decided to fly around me, over steer into a corner, and play ping-pong with each other. Laughter ensued. I don't know if anyone was hurt or not, I couldn't stop, but it wasn't on the news, so I assume everyone was fine. (Funny how that works, ain't it?)

That was in Binghamton, NY, in late 2007.
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Old 04-22-2009, 12:45 AM   #30 (permalink)
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All I found so far said put the good ones on the back re: hydroplaning. Tire Tech Information - Where to Install New Pairs of Tires?

I don't suffer hydroplaning conditions, but do snow and ice. Still looking...

Edit: More: http://www.popularmechanics.com/auto...o/4243992.html

"Some tire stores insist on installing two new tires on the rear wheels of vehicles when the fronts are worn, and moving the old rear tires to the front—much to the dismay of many customers who want the new tires on the front. So, who’s right?

Actually, I agree with the stores, as do the tire companies. Here’s why: In dry, clear weather it really doesn’t make much difference. But if the road is wet, the new, full-treaded tires are less likely to lose traction than the partly worn ones. If you’re hauling ants down the road and come to a wet curve, the full-treaded tires on the rear will stay behind you, where they belong.

If the rear tires have less tread, there’s a greater chance that they will slip, putting your rear bumper into the ditch. Okay, if the front tires skid, there’s the chance you might go off the road, too—but at least it’ll be headfirst, where your seatbelts and airbags offer more protection."

OK, this and some other things I've found cite loss of control on corners in the wet in the "oversteering" mode as worse than "understeering" mode. Oh well- as a long-time VW/Corvair pilot, I'm accustomed to oversteering tendencies so don't find them scary or unexpected. As one who, as mentioned, doesn't really ever see hydroplaning conditions (ain't going fast enough!) but do see snow and ice (and we are talking about snow and ice) I want the traction for go and whoa more than cornering. Plus, I don't rotate tires on any regular basis so having the deeper treaded ones on the front tends to even things out in the end.

Interesting comments here: http://blog.marketplace.nwsource.com...t_or_back.html I'm like the Ohioans and Alaskans: Getting that thing going is tougher and more likely a problem then sliding butt-first off a corner.

Guess I'm too old-school to change in that department. I believe motorists should be able to handle oversteer- and that's decidedly old-school. Anyway, when I die in a flaming wreck on the far side of that turn (there is only one turn in N.D.) my last thought will be "Christ! Why didn't I listen to Christ!"

So YMMV.


Last edited by Frank Lee; 04-22-2009 at 01:17 AM..
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