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View Poll Results: Would you ever consider going through a snowy winter on stock tires?
Are you f***ing nuts?
I don't get snow where I live / I don't own an RX-8.
I just wanted to say that I made it through last winter without any snow tires living in Michigan. That's right, I rode stock tires because I didn't have the several hundred dollars to spend on snow tires.
It was creepy at times. I almost crashed it once when almost sliding into an intersection when brakes weren't working. Other than that though, it was just a little skiddy ride from here to there.
The most I snow I really had to drive in was usually between 2-4 inches of snow. It's managable as long as you drive very slow, and try not to stop. (Because it can be difficult taking off after you do.) I did get stuck a couple times, but after a few minutes of reverse and forward, I got out of it.
I'd like to add that streets around here are plowed fairly quick, so I never really had to drive in 5"+ of snow. Main streets are usually plowed very quick, so getting out of your neighborhood or a parking lot will be your only trouble.
It is also helpful to have other people to rely on if conditions are too bad outside when you need a ride. Remember there are a lot of days in the winter where there is no snow on the ground at all, which makes stock tires fine. It would be a shame to buy snow tires when you will only REALLY need them maybe 10 -> 20 days out of the year. Is your safety really worth it? :P
Another thing that I didn't like were the very cold days (below 0*F) when the tires froze. The ride will just feel very wierd and unstable, but does go away after a few miles of driving. This is really only a problem if you park your car out in the freezing cold for an hour or enough time for them to freeze. I think this happens with any tire in extreme temperatures.
Anyways, I just wanted to report having a successful winter without spending hundreds to thousand of dollars on snow tires. So if you live in a climate that gets snow and don't want to spend so much money on snow tires, give it a shot without them. It can be dangerous at times, but with extreme carefulness, it's do-able. Drive very slow and careful. Avoid stopping if possible (ignore the stop signs). And best of all, have fun and try not to crash.
If anyone else has made it through snowy climates on stock tires, please post your pleasant experiences here. I'd love to hear your success stories.
Winter of 2006-07 here I come!
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I'll clarify though that I have a winter beater. I'm not gonna store the 8, but yet if we get above 2 inches of snow...maybe even a lil less even, i'm not gonna bother with it.
Soooo it's kinda like a half-winter car. Gonna keep the performance tires on. Then again, if I pull out and find out that it's truly less effective then lighting a match under water, i might just park it for any snow-free winter driving. we'll see what develops.
Nice work. I'm planning to do the same this winter. When there's snow, the 50/50 weight distribution works against you when you brake and your vector is not straight on, which is why front heavy cars feel more predictable in snow.
My feeling is that having ballast in the trunk only works for traction if you have snow tires and that the ballast will work against you if you have stock tires because the heavier rear is certain to swing out when you brake and your vector is not straight on.
In my youth I made it through a couple of Ithaca, NY winters in a worn-out Alfa Romeo without snow tires. Fronts were a pair of mismatched Pirellis. Rears were a pair of worn out bias ply tires - don't remember the brand.
I had a couple of minor deals of sliding into curbs when I lost traction on slushy stuff.
The big one was when I discovered you can't go 55 mph on packed snow. I was eastbound on Rte 17 just east of Binghamton - right where 81 splits off to the south. Slight upgrade, the road is clear. Crest the hill, and it's a gentle downgrade with packed snow. Did fine about halfway, until suddenly I noticed that the road ahead was to my right, not through the windshield.
I countersteered, and found myself looking ahead out the left window. A few more corrections and the car was going the way it was pointed - which was about 30 degrees to the road.
I went off into the median, which was a wide depression. To my amazement, I did not flip, but rode across to the other side. The uphill turned me back toard the bottom.
I rode the median back and forth for a few oscillations, then the car came to a stop pretty much by itself.
I got out and looked back. The median ditch was wide where I entered it, then tapered down. I left a decaying sine wave in the snow - like that high school science demo with the chalked trough and a marble. As the ditch narrowed the center rose, so I was almost level with the highway and actually wound up just driving out! The only damage (if you could call it damage) was that my fog light got pushed back when I ran over a small bush.
Winter driving is always a crap shoot. Even if you're careful yourself, you never know when some kid in a beat up Alfa might skid into you. You may know how to maintain momentum to climb a snowy hill, but that doesn't do any good when the feeb ahead of you thinks the technique is to come to a full stop at the bottom before trying to start up.
My 8 is new. For the first few years I plan on not driving it in the snow or post-snow salt. I kept my old car ('87 Accord with all-seasons) as a beater and snow car. I can also usually work at home on bigger snow days. I'm in Virginia (DC burbs) so it's not like there are a lot of snow days.
When the OE tires on the 8 wear out, my plan is to buy all-seasons and drive through the snow. If the Accord dies (or gets run into by some idiot kid in an Alfa) I'll probably spring for a set of snow tires and wheels.
2006 MT, Galaxy Gray
Fuel cap hook
Worst I've seen was driving to BWI airport in MD. They had about 3 inches of snow on the road but hey this is MD. The overpass was frozen in to a sheet of ice about 400 feet long.
I barely made it over with my car. As I get off the bridge the jaguar infront of me pinwheels a 100 feet into the median, tail into the drainage(HOLY #@$#). On the way back out of the airport, the overpass was closed, there were 8-10 cars on the median/in the woods and LOTS of police and ambulances.
Yes, I phoned the accident in once I stopped at the parkade. I wasn't about to stop or grab my phone as the accident happened though.
It's too easy to do $1000 of damage sliding into a curb or guardrail not to buy snows IMO.
I've typically left my car in the garage during the winters here in Chicago. I did spin out once in about 35 degree weather once on summer tires. That was enough to convince me to never drive them again. This winter I'll be driving my car but I have Dunlop M3 tires.
I hate threads like this. They scare me. So many people forget that every time you get into your car, you not only could harm yourself...you could harm innocent people. Losing control of your car (even at low speeds) could (given the right circumstances) seriously injure or kill someone. PERIOD. It's stupid to think that this risk is worth saving a few hundred dollars.
If you can't afford $400 for snow tires, you bought the wrong car. Sell it, and get something that is appropriate for your climate.
Maybe the stock Dunlops are better than the Potenzas but from my experience these tires are flat dangerous in snow (not that I expect summer tires to be otherwise). I learned that in Richmond VA, which is not noted for harsh winters.
What is it about the statement "You can't f***ing drive stock tires in snow!" that people have a hard time understanding? Why take the risk as there is a good chance you will hurt your car, yourself and possibly someone else if you try.
__________________ 2004 RX-8 6MT, Velocity Red w/Black Interior, GT Package (Delivered 7/18/2003 sold 7/18/2009)
I have the Potenzas for stock tires. Last winter was my first with the car and I waited a few weeks too long to buy my winter tires. We had a moderate snow during the day at work and I made it almost home, until I got to the intersection where the plow had turned and I had to go straight. Going from 1.5" to 3" made the car completely undriveable. The back end wobbled back and forth but I couldn't go forward. I finally figured out that I could make the car move in reverse and managed to back into a parking lot. A cop stopped and gave me a ride home. Absolutely scary experience. Almost worse was getting a ride at 5AM the next morning to shovel the thing out of the parking lot.
After that, I picked up some snow tires and my whole winter driving experience changed. I've passed numerous stuck RWD pickup trucks and driven through some seriously nasty conditions without fearing for my life.
You've got to be nuts if you consider driving in snow on those tires.
hey im glad it worked out for ya, but in wyoming it got to 50below with windchill and over two feet of snow i think ill buy some snow tires............actually im trying to get another vehicle all together for winter F. drivin my beautiful 8 in the snow.
In addition to the danger in the snow, the stock Potenzas are rock hard and grip like fried chicken on ice when the temp is in the 40's (F) or lower. Sure, they warm up eventually when it's dry, but throw a bit of rain in the mix and they won't ever warm up.
We don't get enough snow here in Champoo-Banana to warrant snow tires so I picked up a set of A/S M+S rated Falken 512's and mounted them to a set of cheapo 17" alloys.
Safety isn't a binary state, it's cumulative. It's not a matter of whether driving on OE tires is safe or not, it's that it's far less safe than tires that are appropriate to the use and conditions. So, while you may be safe in the snow with the OE's because you are a safe driver, you are far MORE safe in the cold/snow with appropriate rubber. And being a safe driver won't necessarily save you from the unsafe drivers around you.
I just got my 06 Shinka almost a month ago and live in So.Cal; I do have the potenzas but never drive in the snow....it just dont snow where i live, unless i go up to the mountains in winter with my 8 (which i wont...)
anyway, it does get pretty flooded on some of the streets (probably 5in deep max in the worst parts) during rainy weather....is it ok to drive with stock tires during rainy weather? new house+new car means i gotta be as cheap as possible for awhile, and if the stock tires are fine in rain all the better