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Old 01-21-2007, 10:14 PM   #1
d40winker
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Default First snowfall and lost control

Hey everyone,

Couple days ago we had our first snowfall and I lost control of the car going no more than 3-4 mph around a turn. I did a complete 180 and a mailbox stopped me. I assume I hit ice...this is my first winter with the wrx and I thought the AWD would at least hold through what was on the road.

In no way was I being reckless and I'm just dumbfounded on what the problem could have been. My tires are BFgoodrich g forces all season and there is a little wear from not getting an alignment right after lowering springs.

I am not knowledgable about tires but I still feel like this tire is still not suitable for the snow. I do not want to buy winter tires but I want a set of all season that can at least hold it's own in light snow.

I did a little searching but I still feel uninformed. I used the sources on Tirerack to narrow my choices but I feel like I need insight from those with firsthand use of the tires. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Thanks for any help, I appreciate it

-Dave
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Old 01-22-2007, 02:16 AM   #2
jerzeyboySTI
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I've felt the same way about my old 06 wrx tires. There have been many occasions, including heavy rain, where I have felt less than safe. Besides the actual tire thread maybe its an offset issue. My stock wrx tires felt very narrow. Btw you would have probably been better off trying to give the car some gas and counter steer as apposed to just going along for a ride on the ice.

Last edited by jerzeyboySTI; 01-22-2007 at 03:32 AM.
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Old 01-22-2007, 02:18 AM   #3
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sorry to hear that man....is the ride still in working order???
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Old 01-22-2007, 05:58 AM   #4
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In my opinion, the only way you can spin out of control going 3-4mph would be that you were on black ice...
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Old 01-22-2007, 06:06 AM   #5
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Ouch. Unfortunately, AWD doesn't do diddly if your tires have no grip. Lesseon learned. I hope your car isn't too borked.

The big problem with most A/S tires in the Winter is this: once the A/S tire is used in high temp conditions (Summer), its rubber compound becomes less grippy in cold temps (Winter), regardless of tread depth.

Basically, you're good for one safe Winter with a set of typical A/S tires -- put more than two Summer driving seasons on 'em, and you've got hockey pucks at each corner for subsequent Winters.

A higher treadwear rating usually means you'll have them on the car longer, and every Winter they're just a little more useless.

There are very few tires that don't harden -- look for a tire like the Pilot Sport A/S that uses three different compounds across the width of the tread. Yes, they're $$, but so is bodywork and paint.

Your best bet is always going to be a dedicated set of snow tires on separate rims, period.

That said, it would be easier for us to offer comments on the tires you're considering if you'd let us know what they are.
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Old 01-22-2007, 03:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spenk View Post
Ouch. Unfortunately, AWD doesn't do diddly if your tires have no grip. Lesseon learned. I hope your car isn't too borked.

The big problem with most A/S tires in the Winter is this: once the A/S tire is used in high temp conditions (Summer), its rubber compound becomes less grippy in cold temps (Winter), regardless of tread depth.

Basically, you're good for one safe Winter with a set of typical A/S tires -- put more than two Summer driving seasons on 'em, and you've got hockey pucks at each corner for subsequent Winters.

A higher treadwear rating usually means you'll have them on the car longer, and every Winter they're just a little more useless.

There are very few tires that don't harden -- look for a tire like the Pilot Sport A/S that uses three different compounds across the width of the tread. Yes, they're $$, but so is bodywork and paint.

Your best bet is always going to be a dedicated set of snow tires on separate rims, period.

That said, it would be easier for us to offer comments on the tires you're considering if you'd let us know what they are.

This is actually extremely interesting! I don't mean to be rude, but can you link to any technical documentation to back this up? It is NABISCO, after all, and it is always a good idea to check references.

Also, does anyone know if the Pirelli PZero Nero M&S's suffer from hardening after heat-cycling, or are they like the Pilot A/S and work around it?

Ty
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Old 01-22-2007, 03:10 PM   #7
MFR Sweep
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the heat cycling is a factor of the tires being rubber and nothing more. all tires do it to some extent.

I can tell you that after a couple summers of Daily Driving and then a season of AutoX Azeins are like skateboard wheels (no grip)
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Old 01-22-2007, 04:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerzeyboySTI View Post
I've felt the same way about my old 06 wrx tires. There have been many occasions, including heavy rain, where I have felt less than safe. Besides the actual tire thread maybe its an offset issue. My stock wrx tires felt very narrow. Btw you would have probably been better off trying to give the car some gas and counter steer as apposed to just going along for a ride on the ice.
skinnier wheels are ideal for driving in the snow...and you were probably going a little more than 3-4 mph if your car got enough momentum to turn 180degress. as you all probably have figured out, awd isn't the cure for all seasons driving. best idea is to practice in snow and bad conditions so you'll at least know how to "best" re-act.
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Old 01-22-2007, 04:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williaty View Post
This is actually extremely interesting! I don't mean to be rude, but can you link to any technical documentation to back this up? It is NABISCO, after all, and it is always a good idea to check references.

Also, does anyone know if the Pirelli PZero Nero M&S's suffer from hardening after heat-cycling, or are they like the Pilot A/S and work around it?

Ty
He's right, and any competent review of winter tires will point this out.

But here is some more information
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...TGQBNHBNV1.DTL
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tire


As for the OP, I'm completely baffled as to how one could actually do a 180 while only going 3-4 mpg, with even the worst all seasons. I had the "dreaded () OEM's for 25k, and they were perfectly acceptable in 90% of the conditions.

In this case, while dedicated snow tires would be better, I think driver education would be the best solution.
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Old 01-22-2007, 04:57 PM   #10
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Both of those links merely pointed out that winter compounds experience accelerated wear at higher temperatures. Neither mentioned hardening of the compound at low temperatures after exposure to high temperatures.
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Old 01-22-2007, 06:25 PM   #11
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Except for the two paragraphs about it in the very first article I like too:

Quote:
"At around 44 degrees Fahrenheit, the way rubber compounds behave significantly changes," said Parmeet Grover, Michelin brand director at the company's United States headquarters in Greenville, S.C. "They become much less pliable.

"Special winter tire compounds are formulated to push that transition temperature down lower. Silica is a part of this, and the rest is the black magic of compounding that we keep to ourselves." "At around 44 degrees Fahrenheit, the way rubber compounds behave significantly changes," said Parmeet Grover, Michelin brand director at the company's United States headquarters in Greenville, S.C. "They become much less pliable.
The other article discused increase wear at high temperatures.

But, because you don't seem to be willing to do your own reasearch:
Quote:
They are specially formulated with tread and rubber composition that will work better in extreme cold temperatures. Tire grip is affected by outside temperature - a decrease in temperature results in a decrease in grip. Snow tires are specially formulated to maintain their grip in very cold climates. On the other hand, they wear a bit more in warmer climates and are not necessarily ideal for driving in the summer months. If you are driving in snow, and you don't have all-terrain or snow tires on your car, then you should definitely use snow chains. Running regular summer tires in snow is a recipe for disaster.
http://www.drivewerks.com/Newsletter/vol-10.htm
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Old 01-22-2007, 08:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LastResort View Post
Except for the two paragraphs about it in the very first article I like too:

The other article discused increase wear at high temperatures.

But, because you don't seem to be willing to do your own reasearch:http://www.drivewerks.com/Newsletter/vol-10.htm
I have now read all three of the articles to which you have linked. I have also googled the wheels right off the internet. I have found NUMEROUS references to the decreases performance of summer tires below 44F and the increased wear on snow tires at higher temperatures. I'm not contesting these two statements. However, I cannot find a reference to all-season tires undergoing increased hardening at lower temperatures as a result of the tire having experienced high temperatures.
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:08 PM   #13
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Now I look like an ass (possibly because I am) Because I totally missed that portion of the discussion. So color me retarded and slap me with a tire (winter preferably). I've got nothing about temperature cycling.
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:18 PM   #14
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Bravo!

How often do you see somebody admitting to mistake?

Krzys
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:31 PM   #15
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Seriously, I am sorry.
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:31 PM   #16
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Yeah, I think I might have fainted for a moment there. Kudos, LastResort, you're a stand up guy!
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Old 01-23-2007, 09:26 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williaty View Post
Both of those links merely pointed out that winter compounds experience accelerated wear at higher temperatures. Neither mentioned hardening of the compound at low temperatures after exposure to high temperatures.

http://www.gglotus.org/ggtech/tires-bfg/BFGTires.htm

Scroll down the the "Heat Cycles" section and read the whole thing. It explains how the grip levels of ANY tire can be negatively affected by improper heat-cycling.

Even though the link is specifically referring to R-compound tires, the information can be easily applied to A/S tires.

Just think about heat cycling your new tires, but by doing the exact OPPOSITE of how the article says it should be properly done (which is how most of us would drive a car). Add in colder Winter temps as a factor, and you've got a far less-pliable compound and a bunch less grip.

THEN add the hardening effects of ozone, UV and the natural aging and stiffening of rubber, and you'll realize why A/S tires that have seen two or more Summer driving seasons are really, really dangerous in the Winter.
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Old 01-23-2007, 09:44 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spenk View Post
http://www.gglotus.org/ggtech/tires-bfg/BFGTires.htm

and you'll realize why A/S tires that have seen two or more Summer driving seasons are really, really dangerous in the Winter.

you say "dangerous".. i say fun!! . just kidding. thanks for all the info guys, not that it would help me living in Florida and all.....
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Old 01-23-2007, 09:50 AM   #19
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...and exactly how would we know that you live in Florida? By reading your profile?
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Old 01-23-2007, 10:46 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrxzboost View Post
skinnier wheels are ideal for driving in the snow...and you were probably going a little more than 3-4 mph if your car got enough momentum to turn 180degress. as you all probably have figured out, awd isn't the cure for all seasons driving. best idea is to practice in snow and bad conditions so you'll at least know how to "best" re-act.
It might be possible to do a 180 at 3-4mph on a severly off-camber corner with extremely slick ice under all wheels but one of the front ones. It'd be a rare situation though.

BTW - skinnier tires don't help on ice. In fact, wide drag slicks would probably be the best on ice, short of using studs or ice tires. Skinnier tires are good for deep snow only. I had a set of 195-series unstudded Hakka2's, which I loved, except they were crap on ice. I now have a set of 205-series Toyo Garit HT's which are much, much better on ice, equal to the Hakka's on snow, but not nearly as good on dry pavement (everything's a trade-off).

I agree though that practice is good. It's possible that you (the OP) could have avoided the spun by getting on the gas instead of coasting or using the brakes (not knowing the specific details I can't say for sure). The only way to learn what is possible is to find an empty parking lot and play.
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Old 01-23-2007, 03:15 PM   #21
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Sorry to hear about your car, but all the talk about tires has me wondering. We've had nothing but ice for a week here in Tulsa (it's nice now, but the week before last) and I had no issues getting around town with the stock Re070 tires. I realize it wasn't perfect, but I just bought the car and excise tax comes before a second set of wheels and tires for next winter. Driving on a solid 3" layer of ice/sleet mix wasn't as bad as I read it would, so I'm just glad I was careful and went slow.
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Old 01-23-2007, 03:23 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williaty View Post
Also, does anyone know if the Pirelli PZero Nero M&S's suffer from hardening after heat-cycling, or are they like the Pilot A/S and work around it?

Ty
my PZero Nero's were pretty much poo in the snow after a track day in the second summer of its life. i'm not sure if it's typical, but take it for what it's worth.
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Old 01-23-2007, 03:27 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhatBoyG View Post
Sorry to hear about your car, but all the talk about tires has me wondering. We've had nothing but ice for a week here in Tulsa (it's nice now, but the week before last) and I had no issues getting around town with the stock Re070 tires. I realize it wasn't perfect, but I just bought the car and excise tax comes before a second set of wheels and tires for next winter. Driving on a solid 3" layer of ice/sleet mix wasn't as bad as I read it would, so I'm just glad I was careful and went slow.
if it snows you are screwed. i'm surprised you haven't already killed yourself. why on earth would you spend 30,000+ on a car and not buy proper tires? it is part of the cost of owning the car!
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Old 01-23-2007, 03:47 PM   #24
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It's a good think it was just a mailbox... just think if that 180 put you into an oncomming car experiencing the same ice. :/

Hope you get any cosmetic work all fixed up soon!
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Old 01-23-2007, 04:58 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spenk View Post
Ouch. Unfortunately, AWD doesn't do diddly if your foot is not on the gas.

Your best bet is always going to be a dedicated set of snow tires on separate rims, period.

.

Fixed. oR should I say alternate answer

And if you can't navigate rasonable amounts of snow/ice on all-seasons, like 95% of the world, its your driving that needs attention, not your tires.

Last edited by REX8; 01-23-2007 at 06:20 PM.
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