2001 focus wagon tires

Had the bad experience driving in cold weather (-25C) with slushy road conditions. At 80 km rear of car was sliding around, thought had loose wheel. Was told by two garages, low profile tires do that
in poor winter conditions, should change to steel rims and snow tires.
I have 195/60R15 tires. Rear tires where little different in that one was Firestone Firehawk with 50 km and other Sears Voyager with 20 km, they have similar all weather pattern.
Like to know if this tire difference while not ideal, was the cause or just contributed to the unstable feeling in car?
Anyone with similar experience?
GO
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Gary. My first experiences driving a Focus in slippery conditions were similar. I felt as though the car was always trying to swap ends - quite an odd sensation from a car that has its center of mass located so far forward. I quickly learned that proper tire pressure is key. I keep my tires inflated to the recommended 32 psi in summer, but only 29 or 30 psi in winter. Do you think that would help in your case?
I have steel rims and higher profile all season tires, BTW.
Rob
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...guys - I don't miss that squishy feeling of the wagon I had doing that.(2000 Focus) as I now have a 2003 ZX5 that doesn't "wiggle" but I do have snow tires on it. Thanks for the memories...Linda
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My Daughters 2003 ZTW with pirellis 205 50 r16 is just great in snow and slippery conditions, Gerry. ps We live in Ontario, Canada

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Since you live in Canada, I think it would be a good investment to get 4 steel wheels and real snow tires, sometimes called mud & snow tires, (not all-season) and swap them out in the fall and spring. From experience, I can tell you you well be amazed at the improvement in traction and handling on bad conditions. If you do any amount of winter driving they are a good investment. You should normally get at least 5 sesons out of a set of snows.
Notice I said *4* wheels/tires. I have driven front wheel drive cars almost exclusively for the beter part of 30 years, and from experinece I know that putting snow tires just on the front wheels can be dangerous. On a couple of occasions a few years back I had a car swap ends while driving in the snow with just front snow tires.
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Darned has good advice. Same tires all around. I plan to get snows on steel rims for my 2000 ZX3 but we already have Nordic Icetracs (winter snows) with steel rims on our 2000 Subaru Outback Wagon and it is almost invincible in bad winter conditions.
Ron
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4 good snow tires are the only way to go unless you plan on leaving the car in the garage for the winter.
I have the Bridgstone Blizzak on steel wheels and they are great. I had the Guardex 600 on a previous car which were also very good. Both tires are ice and snow and they do make a tremendous difference.
my 2 cents.
Chris. 2002 Focus Wagon SE Zetec 2.0

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with
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I have 4 Nordic Icetrac's from Canadian Tire on my ZX3 and they work great!!!
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What was the tire pressure??? As tires will loose about 1 PSI per drop of 10'F. 70'F and down to 0'F would be about 7 PSI. Tires 5 PSI down can feel a bit slushy on dry roads.

just
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