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Snow Tire vs. 4 Wheel Drive

Discussion in 'Chit-Chat' started by DenverCruiser, Jul 27, 2005.

  1. DenverCruiser

    DenverCruiser

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    Lets say there was between 6" and a foot of show on the ground and you had to go to work. Would you rather be in a front-wheel drive car with 4 snowtires or a Tacoma with only all-terrain tires?


    Hmmmmm. That 60 degree weather yesturday got me thinking about this.
     
  2. Liam

    Liam

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    or one of the three landcruisers i own....


    I pick the 100 series
     
  3. macneill

    macneill Rollin’ on 33s

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    I'd call in, then take the 100 and head north to make some sweet turns.
     
  4. stinkyfj60

    stinkyfj60

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    The Taco. At least you could let some air out of the tires... And 4x is far better then just front wheel drive.
     
  5. Jman

    Jman

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    Don't forget the ground clearance, too--1' of snow is a bit of a challenge for FWD cars. I'd go for the Taco, too. (mmmm, tacos . . . . . )
     
  6. Doc

    Doc

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    I'd agree. Most all terrain tires will do pretty well in the snow if you keep your foot out of it.

    Sidenote: Not all snow tires are created equally. I had Pirelli snowsport 210's on an integra for a winter, great tire- never anyplace they wouldn't take me if I wanted to go there. Standard FWD car.

    Switched tires next winter to michelin's and even after adding a LSD to my tranny I still felt like they never bit in well at all.

    Those pirelli's were much better snow/ice tires.

    A set of those on a cruiser would be un-stoppable.
     
  7. red dirt squirt

    red dirt squirt

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    4x4 i would think at least that has been my experience but we get maybe 6" on the ground max in oklahoma so i dunno how that applies to where you are. 4x4 definitly works better on the ice storms we get here. good luck.
     
  8. DenverCruiser

    DenverCruiser

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    Damn it! You guys are not helping me with my non practical desire to sell my perfectly good car for a TRD Not helping at all. Not at all.
     
  9. PolterGeist

    PolterGeist

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    We use Nokian WR+ all season tires (Made in Finland, the only all season tires to meet scandinavian requirements for winter driving) They're great. Like having a quiet, smooth, good handling and sporty year round tire, with awesome water, snow and ice traction.

    But for your question, the one concern I'd have is the depth of the snow. The WIfe's Jetta sits so close to the ground, that I can hardly get a jack under it to change the oil! The Mercedes is a bit better, but not much. The Mercedes is, of course, rear-wheel drive so I have sand bags in the trunk....

    due to the depth of the snow in your question, I'd have to take the Taco if it were more than 6 to 7 inches. It depends on the the snow as well, if it's wet and heavy, that's different from powder.... If it were less than 6-7 inches, I feel perfectly confident that the Jetta with the Nokians, coupled with GOOD DRIVING SKILL would not strand me.

    For the best of both worlds, get the Taco with the Nokian SUV sized tires on it. :)

    Steve
     
  10. mabrodis

    mabrodis

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    The Tacoma, no question. I've been in many cars with snow tires and they can do ok at times with good tires...BUT the catch is those good snow tires on a car are for driving through snow, not plowing on top of it. If the snow is loose, even 3-4" of it can totally kill good car snowtires, if it's all packed down so you are just driving on a slippery surface, that is totally different than making your own path. The Tacoma has wider tires and probably not alot more weight than most mid-sized cars and on snow usually you want a wide footprint, so wider tires helps dramatically, and not being so low you can see the snowplow that is about to hit you... :D

    Oh one more thing, Tacomas suck in snow ith no weight in the back and in 2wd, you HAVE to have weight and put it in 4wd early with snow...in 2wd with no weight it's far worse than a car, maybe not as far as plowing through snow, but as far as staying on the road, too much power in a light truck...fun, but your wife probably won't be doing donuts and hopping curbs.. :D
     
  11. VTFJ40

    VTFJ40

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    Taco on BFG ATs works well in VT. We get a few 10+inchers every winter.

    2 sandbags in the bed and I rarely even use the 4WD, but it's nice to know its there.
     
  12. stinkyfj60

    stinkyfj60

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    My wife had a Saturn when we first got married, she loved it on snow and snowpack.

    Then we sold it and she was driving my BFG AT tired 86 mine and found 4x4 far better, even with the light rear end. Then she had the 60 on Michelins and that was even better... Then I got the 60 and she got a Passat with Traction Control. That was great in the snow, as long as it wasnt deep, of if you had to back up from a down hill curb. The 60 was still better for that. Now she has a Range Rover AWD that is better yet...

    So yeah, the Taco is the way to go for snow
     
  13. beaufort-fj60

    beaufort-fj60

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  14. Brentbba

    Brentbba Former Golfer SILVER Star

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    4WD would be my vote as also. Grew up driving on snow in Illinois w/two wheel drive and have done my share of driving the Colorado/California mountain ski resort areas. Had the LC in Breckenridge one week and had 7, yes 7 feet of snow that week. Took the beast out w/o wife and kids just to see what it would and wouldn't do. Couldn't get it to fishtail or get loose at all. Several days had to back out over the snow plows dumping along the road and couldn't get stuck either. Of course the LC is much heavier than the Taco. Just throw a couple bags of sand in the bed for good measure. They can always be used in an emergency as well!
     
  15. wesintl

    wesintl

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    I would pic the FWD car with snow tires. I ran my camry up the mountains at least 2-3x a week in ski season w/o any problems (even to CB and Monarch during the big dump. I watched a runner almost go over the edge after the tires broke loose on monarch. If I had snows i'd be going even faster. Taco has no weight in the rear. 6"-12" is no big deal in a car. either way it's all how you drive.
     
  16. stinkyfj60

    stinkyfj60

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    What? I couldnt imagine pushing 12" in most new cars. The new bumpers are so low steep driveways are a problem. My mom's old Celica All-Trac Turbo didnt like getting out in 6" or more snow, the nose was too low. And the wife's Passat would really hit snow if you had to cross a snow berm made by a plow...
     
  17. wesintl

    wesintl

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    Like I said all how you drive. When I was a ski bum, roomate and I ran an 85 diesel jetta with snows. That car was literally unstoppable in the snow and we would routinly pass SUV's and pickups. Car handled like it was on rails in the snow. MY cruiser was literally a death machine sliding all over the place. Once in the ditch though it usually wasn't a problem getting out. :) I had no issues in 12"+ snow. IF you have a low rider yeah problems, maybe on a driveway that no one has been up yet but lets face it most likely you'll never be busting new tracks on most roads/highways.
     
  18. rusty_tlc

    rusty_tlc Dain Bramaged Member

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    I commuted from Reno to Homewood (a Lake Tahoe Ski Resort) through two "Big Snow" winters. Commuted through the Bermuda triangle of weather in N NV, Washoe Valley for 8 years, half in a Hyundai, half in a FJ40. Drove my full size GMC 4X4 PU last winter through the biggest "Snow Event" on history for this part of the world. I have a few observations on this topic.

    For most drivers the biggest advantage 4WD has on snowy paved roads is it makes it easier to get your car out of the ditch.

    FWD defiantly has better control/recovery from spin outs. As long as you keep the wheels pointed where you want to go and stay off the brakes things usually work out.

    Nothing will help if you drive to fast for conditions.

    Whatever you drive watch out for soccer mom's, they believe they are invincible in their H2/Bourbon/Explorer, a little snow won't slow them down. Well even a lot of snow won't slow them down.
     
  19. stinkyfj60

    stinkyfj60

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    I dont know, no matter how you drive I would still want the 4x4. I drove Wolf Creek Pass once a week every week through ski season in some TERRIBLE weather. You dont break trail most of the time, no, but if something happens that you have to pull over and there is 12" of snow and you have a car...UGH!

    I think front wheel drive has great control on snowpack, but I still find AWD or a 4x4 more predictible...
     
  20. DenverCruiser

    DenverCruiser

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    This subject comes up when I remember the big blizzard the front-range got this last spring. My wife and I drove down in my Accord to spend the weekend visiting with my parents, who had flown in, in Santa Fe. We heard on the news that Saturday night that there might be a snowstorm in Denver the following day.

    So we decided to leave EARLY on Sunday morning and try to beat the bad stuff. Unfortunately, beating it did not happen at all. I literally had WHITE KNUCKLES for about 14 hours. It was fun driving over Raton pass barely, while keeping my momentum, passing a jacked 18 wheeler blocking all but one shoulder. I continued on going slowly, surrounded by only large SUV’s, up to Denver until the highway was permanently closed and impassable (cops blocking highway) in Colorado Springs. Luckily we were lucky to get one of the last hotel rooms in town.

    Some might say well why didn't you just stop at a Hotel? There were no more hotels available and we would have to sleep in the car. Some others might say well you didn't get stuck and this is true only because of "my experience in snow driving" as my wife says.

    The thing I remember most is the memory of being about 40 miles outside of any town, among only 4-wheel drives, with signs saying that the highway was now closed, creeping about 2 miles an hour because you could only see about 10 feet in front of the car, passing car upon car in the ditches. The feeling of vulnerability was amazing. I remember saying out loud that not only paying the extra money on gas for the Durango would have been worth it but that I would right then pay an extra 200 bucks to have been driving it.