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I purchased my '08 SES last summer, and I LOVE this little car. However, we got our first blast of winter last week, and my Focus handles awful on slick surfaces. The only way I can describe it is that it's squirrely as he**. It feels like the rear end is gonna swing out any second. It has Perelli P6 tires from the factory. Anybody else have this problem? I will install special winter tires if this will cure the problem, but I'd like some input from others first. I DO NOT want to part with this gem, but since winter around here is L O N G , I can't live with the car the way it is. H E L P !!
 

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Aurelius Pardus
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definitely get some snow tires...... here's a segment from the description of those tires: "year-round traction, even in light snow." there's your keyword, light snow :p

and [welcome] to FF [:)]
 

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If you're in Minnesota don't even bother with all season tires, go right for the snows. Blizzaks are recommended by more than one member here (I'm happy with mine) but there are other options. Trying to remember the name of the Scandinavian snow tires, Nokia is the cell phone company, yeah... close but not close enough. I just took some cold medicine, so the name of the tire company isn't the only thing getting away from me right now...
 

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When driving in snow with a focus, its all about the tires.
Get yourself some Bridgestone Blizzaks and you will feel like you've got AWD in the snow.
They are amazing snow tires, I use them and recommend them to everyone.
 

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Nokians are probably the best snow tire made. They tend to be on the expensive side and a little difficult to find. They also have good wear characteristics. Blizzaks are the most popular, work well, are easy to find, but are a little pricey as well. I feel they wear a little too fast for what you pay. Two other popular snow tires that tend to be much cheaper but still work very well are General Artics and Brigestone/Firestone Winterforces (check Tirerack for info on both). My son has the generals on his subie and I have a set of the Winterforces on the Focus and my Miata. Both are excellent and I'd recommend either. The Generals are imported and made by Gishaved which is a Scandinavian tire company.
 

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Token Engin-nerd
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sounds like another victim of OEM no-season tires
 

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If you're in Minnesota don't even bother with all season tires, go right for the snows. Blizzaks are recommended by more than one member here (I'm happy with mine) but there are other options. Trying to remember the name of the Scandinavian snow tires, Nokia is the cell phone company, yeah... close but not close enough. I just took some cold medicine, so the name of the tire company isn't the only thing getting away from me right now...
X2, you need some proper snow tires, not all seasons or even winter tires but snow tires.



Blizzaks will make winter both much safer and much much more fun,
 

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If you look around on the site and follow discussions of snow tires, what you will find is that most people have an inexpensive set of wheels with their snow tires mounted to them. The 15" steelies always seem popular for winter wear. And as long as you get them with the right sidewall height, you'll keep the same diameter, and won't have to worry about your speedo being accurate.
 

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And to add to ^^^. It may seem expensive, but really it's not. I spent $400 on my setup and they should last a good 3-4 years as they are only run 3 months out of the year. That also takes down on the wear on your other tires.
 

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I've found the focus to be an excellent snow car, but there is one thing I have noticed: this car is very sensitive to alignment, particularly toe. I don't know about snow driving, but incorrect toe has a big effect on torque-steer, etc. So it stands to reason that when traction disappears, toe would be even more important. Whether you buy winter tires or not, I'd get a good alignment.

I don't run snow tires- we only have a few good storms a year, but I have a mile long hill (steep, with a switchback, even) to pull to get home. I always make it- spinning and burning, to be sure, but I always make it.
 

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Studded ice tires all the way! Go buy some short screws, and pattern them into the tread of ur tires, I did it on my dirtbike in the winter works like a dream!!!! Obviously kidding but this is all good info! I drive a lot of slush and mud, any tires that wud be best? Or wud the nokain snow tires still be the best bet?
 

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I gots the stock Hankook Optimos on my '08 SE and they seem fine in the snow. No worse than any other FWD car I've owned/driven. My wife drives an '07 Camry with Michelin something or other (factory stock). I can't tell the difference.

In the city, snow tires are a waste of money IMHO. Aitken is more rural than St. Paul, so don't really know for you...
 

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I gots the stock Hankook Optimos on my '08 SE and they seem fine in the snow. No worse than any other FWD car I've owned/driven. My wife drives an '07 Camry with Michelin something or other (factory stock). I can't tell the difference.

In the city, snow tires are a waste of money IMHO. Aitken is more rural than St. Paul, so don't really know for you...

I'll take just about any snow tire over an all season tire on packed ice and snow (typical city conditions). There is really no comparision in those conditions.
 

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Just my 2 cents. I have been using the Yokahama Ice Guard IG20 mounted on a basic set of steelies for the last three winters. No problems. Have not gotten stuck, have pretty good traction on glaze ice. Usually install them around Dec. 15 and remove around Mar. 15. Pretty even wear all around. New tread depth was 11/32 3 years later 9/32. Just in case, FYI. Have a safe winter![driving]
 

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Snow tires are your only opion. And if you want to be even safer, go with studded snow tires!

I use the Firestone Winterforce tire and it is unbelievable what this tire can do in snow and slick conditions. And they are only around $70 each.



 

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id say your alignment is out of wack my friend. had the same problem when i lowered my car a couple of weeks ago. It snowed and I was driving to my christmas party. The rear end of my car was goin all over the place. Now that i got a alignment good to go. Its not your tires, although it wouldnt hurt to get some, its your alignment your toes is probley off in the rear or maybe camber
 

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Both the Blizzaks and Nokias are great snow tires but tend to be a little pricey. Consider Cooper Weathermaster when you go shopping.
 
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