Do you have a set of winter tires?

Just wondering if you still find it necessary despite the AWD.

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On Thu, 25 Nov 2010 19:38:11 -0800, Cameo wrote:

I have studded snows all the way around, basically because they were free. The singer in my band bought them for his girlfriend, and while SHE had all the traction she needed, someone slid into her and totalled the car. They wouldn't fit the replacement, so I got them.
I was delivering newspapers when I got the tires, and would start at ~1:45AM. For some reason that winter saw a LOT of snow, and about 10 days or so when it would snow, then rain, and then FREEZE! Between the tires and the AWD, nothing stopped me. I took my Mazda out in the first freezing rain storm, got going sideways down one road, narrowly missed a tree and had to put the car in first gear and PUSH to get it going again! And that was with Hankook iPike winter tires!
Now I am the Dell Field Service rep for this area, and put the S00b (89 GL Coupe) on the road right about now...still with the studded snow tires. Invaluable!
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Cameo wrote:

I've just been running the all seasons. I live in Nebraska. We do get snow, freezing rain, etc. but not as much as other places.
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Yes, but you don't have hills. Big difference!
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Even with AWD, you really have 2 wheels (one in front and one in back) powering with open diffs. And 3 wheel drive with a rear limited slip diff.
And of course, AWD/4WD might help you get going better, but it doesn't help you stop.
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On Thu, 25 Nov 2010 21:28:23 -0800, 1 Lucky Texan wrote:

A lesson a lot of people seem to ignore. However, with the AWD, even with an AT stopping is a lot better than 2WD...
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1 Lucky Texan wrote:

Something people here in Nebraska seem to forget every year. We have plenty of vehicles in ditches after the first slick stuff hits the roads every winter. You'd think Nebraska was in the heart of Dixie the way people drive at first.
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AWD and ABS can give a false sense of security where you're not as careful as you should be. We have that here in south central PA too. I just have all season tires, but granted, snow tires would be better. I had Blizzaks for a while, but they wear out too quickly especially if you leave them on year round. Now I have Goodyear Triple Treds and have been happy with them. :)
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Cameo wrote:

I just get one set of tires to use in all weather conditions. I don't get [near] baldy tires. The tread is needed for grip when driving in snow (not ice) and to channel out water when driving in rain. I don't put on fat (wide) tires due to the plowing effect in snow. Skinnier tires handle better in deep snow. I just go with all-weather tires and keep the overall profile the same as for the standard tire & wheel to eliminate any problems with tire travel. Of course, these tires are used for a wide range of driving conditions on roads and not at the extremes of pushing the SUV to its off-roading limits.
You may need knobby snow tires if you are continually driving on unplowed unpaved roads or making your own roads. You didn't specify WHICH Subaru model you are asking about. Some have more ground clearance than others hence are more util for off-roading. Outbacks have 8.4-8.1" ground clearance, Foresters have 7.5", and the Legacy only has 5.9". More ground clearance is a boon to off-road adventurers but a bane to roadgoers (due to exaggerated "dancing" due to more roll, dive, and squat in cornering or avoidance manuevers).
Few SUV owners actually beat their beast to test just how nasty an off-road experience they can survive before calling the nearest farmer to yank their vehicle out of the muck. Even rarer are roadgoers that actually test their vehicles and practive regularly to get used to when understeer turns into oversteer, making skid turns or deliberate spinouts of repeatable rotation, when to crank the wheel into the skid and just the moment when to crank it back, and so on. Their "practice" is their everyday driving to and from work, not performance practicing to push the handling for emergency manuevers or racing.
If it's your intention to actually go hard off-roading then you need to get tires that are appropriate for the terrain where you intend to play. You never mentioned HOW you will be using the vehicle for the majority of its use and when, if ever, you will be pushing it beyond your everyday roadgoing use. For example, snow on roads is a different situation than snow on unpaved and uneven roads, like forest logging paths.
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Yes, for both vehicles. I have them installed now and will remove them in April. Stopping and turning are important to me.

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On 11/25/2010 10:38 PM, Cameo wrote:

Since I live in a place now where winter weather is not too horrible for too long I don't have and probably won't ever have winter tires on my Subaru. But, when I lived in Anchorage, Alaska and only had a FWD VW, I only had studded winter tires mounted for one season, finding that they just didn't help as much as really careful gentle driving did. That and the tendency of the tires to toss their studs at the least provocation guaranteed a short life for them.
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I take it that you now live in the Pacific NW as I do. I managed the prior two winters with my Honda Accord without snow tires but this time I put them on the front drive wheels. They do help in packed snow but are not much help during slick conditions, unfortunately. In such instances I wish I had them studded, but I've had similar studed tire exprerience to yours in the past. Those studs just don't last very long. I am considering buying a Legacy or Impreza and that's why I am asking my questions here.
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On 11/26/2010 3:34 PM, Cameo wrote:

No, I don't live in the Pacific NW. My present location is in Eastern Tennessee but in the merely hilly portion -- not up in the 'mountains'. Snow here tends to fall, lay for a day or so, and then melt in pretty quickly. Bad icing is not a common occurrence. I grew up and learned to drive in the NE where winter conditions tended to be bad and was taught 'gentle' winter driving. To paraphrase the old-time automotive writer Tom McCahill "drive as though there are raw eggs between your feet and the pedals". This advice has served me well and I can say that not once between 1980-1997 in Alaska did I arrive late to work because of the weather. Whether getting to work is a good thing or bad is left as an exercise for the reader...
I suspect that if I was living in a location with really bad road icing conditions I'd invest in a set of the flat band-type tire 'chains' which are are quick to apply and remove when needed but would stick with good all-season tires. Studs are definitely out with me unless I take up frozen-lake racing in my dotage.
BTW, when I drove out of Alaska in late 1997 I was in a 1991 Mazda Miata with high-performance Dunlop tires, not a 4WD or AWD, although having one might have been useful at least once when the early blizzard blew through Yukon Territory. There _are_ limits beyond which good driving practices will not move you and a long steep hill covered with shiny ice is one of them. <g>
http://johnmcgaw.com/image/day5b.jpg
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Hmm, I'm getting a slight vibe that you plan to save some money by running allseasons. IMHO if that is a concern subaru might not be the best choice as you will have to be meticulous about 1. rotating tires 2. replacing all 4-5 as a set when you wear out/blow any one or two of them.
I currently run some sort of studded Continental knockoffs on my rear wheel driver and it's fun to have all the power go aft, but i do wish i had 5-15% torque going to the front when climbing the proverbial ice and snow covered hill John McGaw reminded you of in the neighboring post.
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I purposely buy low-lifetime tires for the very reason that I will someday need to throw away 1/3 the tread life on 3 tires and buy a full set - just because one is irreparable. Everyone talks about shaving tires - but that costs, wastes the lifespan of a new tire and finding someone to do that is not easy.
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Hmm, shaving summer tires should be a no brainer. but as for winters i dunno if the customer grade snow or ice tires are nearly as good as winter slicks.
If you run into something close to a winter slick do let us know, please. I would care for a glare ice traction more than for loose snow whenever I switch to some (>1) wheel driver.
PS: I failed to plow through the loose snow with my rear wheel driver this morning (no LSD in the back): had to take public transit to work :-[
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wrote:

Hmm, shaving summer tires should be a no brainer. but as for winters i dunno if the customer grade snow or ice tires are nearly as good as winter slicks.
If you run into something close to a winter slick do let us know, please. I would care for a glare ice traction more than for loose snow whenever I switch to some (>1) wheel driver.
PS: I failed to plow through the loose snow with my rear wheel driver this morning (no LSD in the back): had to take public transit to work :-[
*** Try putting your left foot on the brake a little with right foot on the gas. It will act like an LSD by transferring torque to the other wheel. I did it alot when there were only open diffs on cars..
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Thanks. With the three pedals it's easier to modulate the handbrake though as I have rear driven wheels. Gotta have fun with the three pedals and the lever :-)
JD stands for Japanese Domestic?
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Ok, i've used handbrakes to apply force to the driven (rear) wheels only and got out of my parking spot this morning.
Das ist fantastish.
Thank you JD.
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My opinion is yes. It's too easy to get going with AWD. Stopping (and turning) is the problem. I just put the cheapest set I can find, as the Subaru doesn't need any help to get going. I just put Goodyear Nordic tires on mine last week. (2010 Outback).
And don't skimp, put em on all 4 wheels. You'll find yourself going around in circles with only two.
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