need advice on snow tires

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You mistakenly imagine that only traction matters when driving on snow. How about cornering and stopping?
Modern cars with traction control and snow tyres have amazing traction in snow, more than adequate for all conditions except when snow is deeper than groundclearance. There small disadvantage in these conditions is vastly outweighed by their greatly superior cornering and handling in most snow and ice conditions.
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Now you are slicing the baloney.
A good set of snow tires on a rwd car with traction control, near 50/50 balance and decent ground clearance for the amount of snow on the ground will do very well on snow. My wife has been driving an LS400 through twelve mid-Michigan winters on all-seasons and she has only had trouble when the snow got above the car's ground clearance. same thing will happen with an SUV, except the SUB will have more ground clearance. I put snow tires on the car last winter and it became even better than a fresh set of all-seasons (naturally).
Buy good snow tires that are no wider than they need to be and you will not have trouble with your 5-series with traction control through moderate snow falls.
- nopcbs

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admin is quite right. I'd far rather drive a decent handling two wheel car fitted with snow tyres than a SUV in most winter conditions except very deep snow. On icy roads, or ploughed snowed roads, or even lightly snowed roads, the better handling and brakes of a car on snow tyres are far more advantageous than a lumbering, rolling, heavy SUV. I live in the French alps and drive a Mercedes C-Class on Michelin snow tyres and it is far more wieldy than SUVs. With the traction control, I have never got stuck once and have very rarely had to use chains. On the other hand, I have passed any number of SUVs in the ditch fitted with either no snow tyres (usually Dutch or UK plated) or "all season tyres", because they have fallen off the corner because of the weight and high centre of gravity of their vehicle.
A SUV fitted with winter tyres does have better ultimate traction in deep snow than a car - but that is the only time four wheel drive is an advantage. For me, that is greatly outweighed by all the disadvantages of a SUV in other conditions. In any case, most SUV drivers seem to get lulled into a false sense of security and don't fit winter tyres...
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Ric- I'll agree with part of your arguement, for the most part SUV drivers are lulled int a false sense of security, and they dont really know how to drive what they have. All I would ask is this.. have you tried a real SUV, ie a Range Rover, Discovery, Grand Cherokee, Mercedes G-Class, Land Cruiser, etc.. with all seasons in the snow. I think for the most part the answer is no, or you would see what my arguement is...
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De-lurker for the moment - If you put the clowns usually driving SUVs (I laugh at them in the ditch as I drive up over the passes just east of Seattle in my plain Jane primitive 4 wheel drive Jeep Cherokee), it's laughable to think that a rear wheel drive vehicle with snow tires will out perform a 4 wheel drive vehicle in the snow. I used to have an Audi quattro and it would give my Jeep a run for its money no doubt - that is until the snow really piled up and the Audi got high centered. Now, I have and love an '05 330Ci. But when the white stuff falls and the idiots in Seattle start slipping around or I'm off to the mountains to go skiing, it's time for fire up the Jeep and leave the bimmer at home.
my 2 cents worth - Jon
On Thu, 1 Dec 2005, Corey Shuman wrote:

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Corey Shuman wrote:

Corey - might I offer that you do the same? I *have* gone up hills passing SUV's with all-season tires. I have stopped my 5-touring when SUV's were sliding around on their roofs.
BTDT - and if you can't out-drive a FWD in ANY weahter with a good RWD you just don't know how to drive. I learned how to drive on RWD about 40 years ago, haven't driven anything else except a few rare brain-farts when I got a FWD (never lasted long - the first time they did a 360 on me in snow was the last time..)
I'll repeat it - a good RWD (a BMW with ASC for instance) with good SNOW tires - will outhandle an SUV with all-seasons in snow. Also on ice and in the rain.
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okay, whatever, just dont try and flag me down to pull you out of a snow bank when you slide off the road with you GOOD snow tires.. its just a ridiculous arguement. All this thread is showing is who has actually driven a 4wd and who hasnt.. note-- I never said anything about front wheel drive. I mentioned ALL WHEEL DRIVE (AWD) and FOUR WHEEL DRIVE (4wd) both of which will out perform your snow tires every day, Like I said at the top, unless you are driving a escalade on "dubs" with slicks on them.
Im not sure that you guys have a whole lot of experience driving in snow or you would concede what Im talking about, you going up hill is about momentum or condition, your stopping is about condition as well, you have to have a surface that will provide friction to stop, any compound of tires and ice will not produce a stop.
-as a side note, Im curious as to how you get a fwd to spin a 360 without serious effort-- the physics are totally against it, maybe you were mistakenly driving a rwd, which will easily spin a 360 because it is "pushing" instead of "pulling" (like I state above)
Im not trying to trash on the bimmers ability here, I love brand and if the roads are wet or dry I would rather drive them. But if you are on ice and snow they just dont compete with awd or 4wd, no matter how much you waste on tires.
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waffled on about something:

Pssst.... I'm with you on this one cos I know what my "real" 4x4 can do with it's all season tyres...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/18313866@N00/69081451 /
I did hit a bump half way through, someone said it felt like an E46. :o)
Dodgy
--
MUSHROOMS ARE THE OPIATE OF THE MOOSES

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Im sure that with some good snow tires the average 5 series could make it through that mud and probably take a solid 90 degree turn without slipping too... ;)
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wrote:

See, up to this point I was willing to listen to you. Now I know you're clueless. Thanks for clearing that up!
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First, drop the term snow tires. What you are looking for is "winter tires."
Winter tires do more than plow through snow. They also help on ice in ways that conventional snows can't. The reason ice is slippery is that a fine layer of water develops on the surface of the ice from the pressure of the tire (we're talking microscopic) and that works like tiny ball bearings. Tires like Blizzaks have tiny channels molded into the tread that suck that moisture away.
Second, the compound, the rubber that meets the road, stays pliable at low temps (freezing or below) and therefore grips better even on dry pavement. Summer "performance" tires have the traction of polished wood in those conditions.
And finally, all all-wheel/4-wheel drive systems are not created equal. For reason too long to go into here, I had to drive a Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 with summer tires in snow. Well, it didn't go. At all. The all wheel drive system has open differentials (if you know what that means) so the wheel with the least traction slipped all to easily. Of course, with the summer tires there wasn't much traction to begin with. And the 3000GT didn't have much ground clearance either and the snow was several inches deep.
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I have several vehicles to drive in the winter. A 4x4 truck, a 325i and an old beater Pontiac Fiero GT. My number one pick for most of my winter driving is the Fiero (none of my vehicles have winter tires). The exception is when the snow on the road is more than 3-4 inches deep or my drive is drifted shut. Then the 4wd is picked. But it is much better to be able to stop and turn than to accellerate fast, so the cars are preffered if they can get out the drive. The truck does not turn very well at all especially when the t-case is locked in 4wd. When I do have to drive the truck in snow I leave it in 2wd unless I need the 4wd to get moving, its handling is effected that badly. Plus the 4wd drasticly reduces the feal for how slippery the road is, making it hard to tell when your in trouble untill it far to late to do anything about it.
Winter tires are great but here where I live in Ohio we just don't have enough days of snow covered roads to quite justify a set. The local govenment does a good job of clearing and salting the roads (I hate road salt). But the roads are usually clear within 1/2 day from the end of a storm.
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Todd Zuercher
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Todd Zuercher wrote:

Have you tried winter tires in recent years? They aren't the same as the old "snow tires" of days gone by. The softer compound and improved design characteristics make them actually perform better on dry roads than non-winter tires if the temps are low. So even if you don't get a ton of snow, it may be worth having a second set of tires for the cold months.
There is also some economy to be gained by having a second set of winter tires and wheels. Put the mileage on the thinner (generally cheaper) winter tires and save the treadwear on your more expensive performance winter tires for when it can be best utilized (warmer months). Of course if you're just using cheap all-season tires to begin with than the savings will be negligible.
--
-Fred W

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