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Old 11-07-2012, 11:00 PM   #1
kirkus8
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Winter mode

I will be working up at a local ski resort this winter and I want to make sure my focus is ready for some winter travel. They normally do a good job keeping the road plowed but sometimes the parking lots can be sketchy. Right now I'm lowered 1.5" with 17" wheels with continental extreme contact dws fairly new tires. What can I do to make my car more safe? Or will these tires be ok? Idk If I have enough clearance for chains and I am on a low budget to go buy steelies with snow tires $500+.

Thanks


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Old 11-08-2012, 01:09 AM   #2
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You could just put snow tires on the front. Now some will say that is dangerous because the back can lose grip and lose control. One has to remember that kind of advice is probably out there because the average person's response to a sliding car is probably to slam the brakes, close their eyes, and hope for the best.

If you can walk and chew bubble gum (so to speak) I don't think that would cause a situation too dangerous if you are driving in a safe manner to start with. I'm a huge advocate of winter tires and like to show up those who think all season are the only way to go. When you can go through snow deep enough to create a bit of a snow plow effect and keep going the nay sayers pretty well have no more ammo to argue with.

One thing to know about winter tires. Depending on tread design some are designed more for snow and others appear to be almost purely for ice traction. I use Goodyear Nordic winter tires (on all 4 wheels) which leave a tread pattern that reminds me of a tank track and allow me to piss off some truck guys when they see me pass through something they're stuck in. Love it, and they work great.
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:30 AM   #3
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[QUOTE=Supernaut;4445509]You could just put snow tires on the front. Now some will say that is dangerous because the back can lose grip and lose control. One has to remember that kind of advice is probably out there because the average person's response to a sliding car is probably to slam the brakes, close their eyes, and hope for the best.

Dont do it. I tried last year when I got a flat in one of my tires. I threw on the snow tires in front and we only had an inch of snow. I use my car all day long for work and am a cautious driver, but i was spinning out all over the place. The all-seasons dont have the grip of the snow tires. I repeat - Dont Do This.
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:42 AM   #4
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Get yourself a set of snow tires. It's the best thing you can do to prep for the winter.

Try watching Craiglist for rims and used tires. You can get a good setup put together for $200 if you wait the right deals come along.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:01 AM   #5
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Just keep your eye out for some spare wheels. 15-16" wheels from a Focus, contour, cougar will all work. Smaller the wheel, generally cheaper the tires. New snow tires for a 15" will cost less than $80/tire compared to 130/tire for 17", not to mention some shops charge more for mounting a 45 series...

On the plus, you at least have a good set of all seasons on the car now. That is a lot better than some mid grade half used tire. Just keep looking for a set of wheels to pop up.
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:13 PM   #6
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Okay. Ya I feel like my tires now would actually do pretty decent. I will have to keep my eye out on craigslist because I don't want to spend too much
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:08 PM   #7
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you'd be alright lowered with snow tires.

chains would not fit. and you risk damaging things.
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:43 AM   #8
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The best all-season tire (the DWS) for snow still isn't as good as the worst winter tire for snow traction. The compound used stay flexible in cold weather and the tread design creates tons of biting edges.

You should be ok with the DWS for now, but please, PLEASE do not just put 2 on the front.

If you still question it - Check out this video
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Old 11-10-2012, 06:03 PM   #9
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Noting that you're in Washington, there are a lot of roads out there into the mountains where you won't be "legal" without snow tires (you need the snowflake symbol on them, all seasons don't count).

Don't know the roads you use, but I-90 for example might cost ya if you get stuck in traffic when the "chain law" is in effect AFAIK.

The forum (BST) might even score ya some stock alloys in 15" cheaper than new steelies, so keep an eye out (junk yards as well).

Even cheap snows are like driving on wet pavement in the snow compared to slithering around on those 17's.

I tried it on tires that size last year a couple times, and though it worked on the flat i had to be REAL careful how & where I drove with them.

Luck!
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