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Old 01-07-2009, 12:36 AM   #1
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Don't get it - snow tires vs stock

Okay so I don't get how the stock tires seemingly handle poorly in low temperatures. I can't afford snow tires so I decided to rough it out this year and just refuse to drive if its snowing or if its forecasted (I have a flexible job). However, I've read that at low temps, the tires harden reducing traction.

Tonight it was raining pretty hard at 33 degrees F. I just got back from hawaii so I'm a little not used to low temps and I sort of forgot about handling my rx8 softer in the cold. So to make a long story short, I ran it hard in the rain in the cold. Revving high, passing ppl on the highway goin 70, etc. I have good tread but, still stock tires. So whats the deal? Are people blowing this out or proportion? I don't plan on driving hard in the rain in the future, but I commute to work 30 miles in the mornings at like 20 degrees and the car handles fine.

I'm moving to san diego next year so I really don't want to bother with new tires for just 2 more months of winter

Before flaming me, remember that I AM NOT driving in the snow at all. If I get stranded in the snow, I'll refuse to drive home and get a ride. Been there and done that
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Old 01-07-2009, 01:11 AM   #2
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As far as temperature goes, you wouldn't notice anything unless you regularly drive near the limit. I suspect you don't take corners near 1 g. If it snowed, you'd definitely notice a difference between the stock tires and winter tires.

Your plan sounds pretty good. I'm doing something similar. I kept my old Accord for snow days, so I don't have to take the 8 out in the snow and salt. When the Accord reaches the end of the line, I'll get snow tires.

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Old 01-07-2009, 01:14 AM   #3
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As far as temperature goes, you wouldn't notice anything unless you regularly drive near the limit. I suspect you don't take corners near 1 g. If it snowed, you'd definitely notice a difference between the stock tires and winter tires.

Your plan sounds pretty good. I'm doing something similar. I kept my old Accord for snow days, so I don't have to take the 8 out in the snow and salt. When the Accord reaches the end of the line, I'll get snow tires.

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1g. Haha. I came from a 1995 buick so I'm gradually getting used to what I can do with my 8. I prefer to stay on the safe side.
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Old 01-07-2009, 01:16 AM   #4
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There is a huge difference in the snow in that your tread is not designed to cut through the snow or gain traction in the snow. The compound is only part of the issue.

Your tire width and tread pattern will make driving in the snow virtually impossible.
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:27 AM   #5
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Do what you plan on doing . Take it out only when the roads are clear . When the temps do drop, those tire will feel like a hockey puck . So do be careful. I don't drive mine in the winter but I tried it the first year I got it and I did'nt like the feel.
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:32 AM   #6
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Yeah, you should be fine with what you are doing. If you REALLY want to notice the difference on dry pavement that summers have, between warm and cold, after warming up the engine, pull out of your driveway/parkinglot/etc... hard, you will notice that you can get the rear tires to break traction MUCH sooner than if they are warmed up.

The general temp that they start hardening at is around 40-45F, but they also warm up as you drive them, to some number of degrees higher than the road surface you are on, and this gets them more flexible. The more flexible they are, the better the contact patch and the more the grooves will expand and contract as it rolls, 'biting' the road surface. A super hard tire will have a reduced contact patch size and not 'bite' for traction nearly as much. If you take it easy and not push the limits of their traction, then yeah, you will probably not notice a big difference.

Ice and snow... it is a night and day difference with snow tires, it is not overblown hype.

If you think you have a risk of getting caught out in the snow or have to drive in it despite your objections to the contrary, then get some snow cables (chains don't fit in our wheel well gap). You will be able to move around on flat ground -ok-, but your ABS will kick in with light braking even under 20mph, and it will be nearly impossible to go up any measurable incline. You will sit there and spin if you don't have the TCS, and if you do, the TCS will cut the power completely, not leaving you enough to move.

I did your plan last winter, and got caught 3 times, it wasn't worth it. I have snow tires this year and have faced the New England snow storms just fine.
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:15 PM   #7
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well snow tires make a HUGE difference in snow driving but if ur just driving in rain when its 30 some degrees out rain is rain weather is 33 degrees or 3333 degrees it's rain..however it that rain turns into ice u will know it and b sliding all around....so no technically for just drivng when dry or raining NO SNOW AT ALL your stock ones are fine as long as the thread stays good
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:35 PM   #8
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Very well stated. Tires are tires, in that even summer tires will still permit [cautious] travel in winter (I take mine out my summer-shorn '8 on sand/salt/snow free days in winter just to keep the fluids flowin'). However, as again you've well cited, winter snow tire compounds remain softer in cold temp's and therefore permit better sidewall flex and in turn 'bite.' Snow tires also have more aggressive tread patterns. Snow tires generally wear out quicker than summer tires due to this soft compound, but again due to the softness they're also very capable in summer.

Ideally you want taller and thiner tires for winter so as to provide more ground clearance and lessen plowing thru the snow. That's why many go with 17" rims and 215x55 tires in winter.

All season's are a compromise between dedicated Summer and Winter tires. Good in light snow and slush; not so good in heavy snow. Good dry grip year round.

No tires are any good in the ice storm we're getting today (except for studded/chained, which were outlawed here years ago).


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Yeah, you should be fine with what you are doing. If you REALLY want to notice the difference on dry pavement that summers have, between warm and cold, after warming up the engine, pull out of your driveway/parkinglot/etc... hard, you will notice that you can get the rear tires to break traction MUCH sooner than if they are warmed up.

The general temp that they start hardening at is around 40-45F, but they also warm up as you drive them, to some number of degrees higher than the road surface you are on, and this gets them more flexible. The more flexible they are, the better the contact patch and the more the grooves will expand and contract as it rolls, 'biting' the road surface. A super hard tire will have a reduced contact patch size and not 'bite' for traction nearly as much. If you take it easy and not push the limits of their traction, then yeah, you will probably not notice a big difference.

Ice and snow... it is a night and day difference with snow tires, it is not overblown hype.

If you think you have a risk of getting caught out in the snow or have to drive in it despite your objections to the contrary, then get some snow cables (chains don't fit in our wheel well gap). You will be able to move around on flat ground -ok-, but your ABS will kick in with light braking even under 20mph, and it will be nearly impossible to go up any measurable incline. You will sit there and spin if you don't have the TCS, and if you do, the TCS will cut the power completely, not leaving you enough to move.

I did your plan last winter, and got caught 3 times, it wasn't worth it. I have snow tires this year and have faced the New England snow storms just fine.
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:37 PM   #9
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I have tried to drive stock tires in the snow (not the rain) .... trust me you arent gonna go anywhere !
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:48 PM   #10
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thanks guys.

yea I got caught in the snow once this year and it was a nitemare. Never again. I made it up steep hills with the 8 in summer tires keeping it in first and going no faster than 4 mph. It was scary but I made it. Still never risking it again though.
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Old 01-07-2009, 01:11 PM   #11
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When i think snow tires i thin kmore of the people who are not running stock tires still. I am running Azenis RT-615's on the car. Definatelyl not going to get any kind of traction in 32 degree weather. so someone who would sant to drive in the winter would need winter tires. I am thinking the change from stock to a winter tire would not be as far apart on the spectrum as if you were running a high performnce soft tire in the summer.
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Old 01-07-2009, 01:32 PM   #12
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I wouldn't want to drive my 8 in the snow on anything but snow tires.

My stock tires dealt with the cold OK, but my RT-615's get surprisingly slick on cold days. I was driving to work a few weeks ago in 41 degrees and rain, and found my rear wheels spinning just trying to get going in first gear like I always do (I wasn't dropping the clutch from 3.5K or anything that should make the tires break traction). Thank god here in the east bay we don't have many days like that.

So yeah, drive like a granny on real cold/rainy days. you'll be fine, but snow means you need snow tires.
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Old 01-07-2009, 04:13 PM   #13
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I HAVE driven summer (not all seasons summer only)in the snow it sucks but i got through it....if u were just learning to drive or something you couldn never do it...turst me many days i was driving at 20mph when other could easily go 55 or 60 and were passing me but i got the car in Feb and didn't have the extra cash for tires and knew the next winter i was going to park it and get a beater(which i recommend for winter anyway)
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Old 01-07-2009, 04:25 PM   #14
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not overblown at all, you drove in the rain. tires are made for that, the snow is a whole different story. Even with snow tires you will still get squirly when it really snows if your not easy on it.
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:43 PM   #15
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^exactly
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:26 PM   #16
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take your car out when its 30 degrees and the roads are dry.

do a u-turn.

just touch the throttle a tad more than you think is necessary.

the *** will go out wiiide. a lot sooner than you expected. as CoW said before, you lose traction far sooner in colder temps.

when there is snow/ice on the roads, the difference is so large its not even worth arguing. its like comparing a ford fiesta to a ferrari 360. what is there to compare? the fact they both have 4 tires?
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:37 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlfarrell View Post
Tonight it was raining pretty hard at 33 degrees F. I just got back from hawaii so I'm a little not used to low temps and I sort of forgot about handling my rx8 softer in the cold. So to make a long story short, I ran it hard in the rain in the cold. Revving high, passing ppl on the highway goin 70, etc. I have good tread but, still stock tires. So whats the deal? Are people blowing this out or proportion? I don't plan on driving hard in the rain in the future, but I commute to work 30 miles in the mornings at like 20 degrees and the car handles fine.
My experience with the OEM Potenza RE040 tires does not match yours but if that is what you experienced then I can hardly argue with you (maybe you had the Dunlops and maybe they don't suck as bad).

However, I can say that without exception, if it was below 45F and raining, I could break the rears loose every time I made a turn at a traffic signal if I wasn't careful. The tires would never warm up. If it was dry and cold I could tell the difference in grip between the first mile and the last so I know they will warm up eventually. DSC is my friend.
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:39 PM   #18
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I hardly drive my car ever these days. damn record breaking snow.....
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:42 PM   #19
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Try some ContiExtremeContacts....

I've never had so much fun
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:55 PM   #20
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That's drifting Kersh haha
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Old 01-09-2009, 11:15 AM   #21
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I think snow tires need to be mandatory on all cars during winter months in heavy snow areas (such as salt lake city). people think since they have fwd or awd there car is invisable, there freaking retarded. Im driving wherever I want, not avoiding high spots of snow, just driving like normal without a single issue. Then I See these big lifted trucks, fwd cars and stuff spinning all over, skidding to stops constantly etc. There a danger to anyone on the road with those shitty *** tires.
AWD owners are the worst. Sure, you can take off a little faster but AWD DOESNT MAKE YOU STOP FASTER, i cant tell you how many people here have made comments about how well there awd stops in the snow.
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Old 01-09-2009, 01:15 PM   #22
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Quote:
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I think snow tires need to be mandatory on all cars during winter months in heavy snow areas (such as salt lake city). people think since they have fwd or awd there car is invisable, there freaking retarded. Im driving wherever I want, not avoiding high spots of snow, just driving like normal without a single issue. Then I See these big lifted trucks, fwd cars and stuff spinning all over, skidding to stops constantly etc. There a danger to anyone on the road with those shitty *** tires.
AWD owners are the worst. Sure, you can take off a little faster but AWD DOESNT MAKE YOU STOP FASTER, i cant tell you how many people here have made comments about how well there awd stops in the snow.
Hey! That Audi stops in a quarter of an inch when it runs into a lamp post! Not even a ferrari on dry pavement can stop that fast.
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Old 01-09-2009, 03:07 PM   #23
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^hahaha
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Old 01-09-2009, 03:15 PM   #24
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I've always heard that Americans are kinda dorks about snow tires, and that might be right. Over here we can be a bit slow in changing over, so there's a few days of chaos.

There's not much snow where I am though, the reason for snow tires is more the fact that if there's some black ice or a middle thing you have at least got a chance with some decent snow rubber. Also it doens't wear summer tires and gives you extra nice wheels to buy :P
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Old 01-09-2009, 03:20 PM   #25
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Here in Canada, it's law in some Provinces - ticket for no snow tires.

They found that the 10% of cars without, are involved in 38% of the accidents.....

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Old 01-09-2009, 03:20 PM
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