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  #1  
Old 09-29-2009, 01:37 PM
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95 280 and snow

my daughters going to school in boulder ,co.commute will be short,will her 280 be ok there,or is it mandatory to have 4wdr.not a tech question,but some of you live in the snow and might have an opinion.

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Old 09-29-2009, 01:41 PM
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I won't say much since this has a lot to do with how they deal with snow in that area and I don't live there. But a more general question is has she ever driven in snow? 4 WD is often overrated as a snow and ice solution. If the tires are getting no traction then it's just "4 wheel slide". Also, even with enough traction you need correct driver response. It might be a fair argument that FWD with Blizzaks or studs is the best answer for the inexperienced driver. And if the conditions are worse than that, then just stay off the road. IMHO.
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  #3  
Old 09-29-2009, 02:12 PM
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I don't want to scare you, but my C280 is a handful in the snow, even with snow tires. I have much older Blizzaks on it and just ordered a new set of WS60s today to hopefully make it easier to manage. The back end is just too light. I'd advise you get her a top quality set of winter tires and maybe even put some 200 lbs of something in the trunk to help get more traction. Use something that wont slide around, like a big bag of unmixed cement or salt or something like that.
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Old 09-29-2009, 02:32 PM
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I have had no trouble in the snow in my '89 300CE. I use four good winter tires and load the trunk with a couple bags of salt and sand. The weight in the back really helps to keep the rear of the car planted and maintain good traction. The only problem I've experienced is not quite enough ground clearance. Does her C280 have ASR?
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Old 09-29-2009, 03:07 PM
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thanks for the info,sounds like its doable with weight in trunk and good snow tires,what is asr?
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Old 09-29-2009, 04:12 PM
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ASR is Anti Skid Regulation also known as traction control. If the car has it there should be a button somewhere on the center console as well as a yellow light in the middle of the instrument cluster. I think having ASR as well as the snows and weight would help a bit more in tricky situations.
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Old 09-29-2009, 04:48 PM
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My ASR is very nice, but I don't know if the 95 had the same (or any) system. However, it can only go so far. The tires have to "meet it half way" so to speak. It needs some traction on one tire at least. There have been times it "threw it's arms up" and I no go.
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Old 09-29-2009, 05:59 PM
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All-wheel drive is by far the best solution, with 4 studless ice tires such as a Nokian Hakkapalleda (sp?), Dunlop Graspic, mostly anything IMO other than a Blizzak. Blizzaks are good new, but when you get to the 60% point you're on summer rubber, so you need to keep new ones on, the other (better IMO) tires I mentioned have winter compound down to the cords (the reason that Jonathan is having trouble with his car and used Blizzaks).

If you have to choose 2WD, I will take RWD over FWD anytime, I've been driving in snow for over 30years, mostly aggressively and I have never stayed home due to weather (drive 1500miles/week in Michigan) and it plain works. With RWD you can put a 50# bag or two in the front of the trunk, sand is good as it can be used for traction, a bag of salt or better still is Calcium Chloride (melts ice when it's REALLY cold). Keep it dry.

Look on ebay for a set of Shru Grip Z cable chains in her size, or buy new from SCC (the manufacturer) and show her how to install them, I've been in places where two 6X6 F350s were towed up the dune and I drove out with my chains on regular M&S tires, worth the expense for a set (I carry 4).

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Old 09-29-2009, 06:34 PM
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i was going to say the same... check into some nokians, I never had problems with my 1994 c280 with nokians and i did not have any weight in the trunk but it might help. My 1994 does have the traction control, i would assume it was in the 95's as well. The big thing is knowing what your driving in and dont go to fast. stay home if you need to, bad drivers make it hard for even the most experienced of us. ( I love driving in the snow)
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Old 09-29-2009, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlomon View Post
I'd advise you get her a top quality set of winter tires and maybe even put some 200 lbs of something in the trunk to help get more traction. Use something that wont slide around, like a big bag of unmixed cement or salt or something like that.
Weight in the trunk is a good idea, just not cement or salt unless you want a hole in the floorboard. Both are corrosive.

I used to carry big bags of cheap cat litter, no corrosiveness and sprinkled liberally can get you un-stuck. Hasn't been an issue since I moved to Florida.

Having been to boulder, I can tell you that you can get 2-3 feet of snow overnight, and although they have great road crews, the driving can be a bit like skating.

If you ever go to Boulder you will notice that one car dominates every parking lot and street. Subaru Outback. They are absolutely everywhere, and seem like they are at least 20% of the cars on the street.
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Old 09-29-2009, 07:19 PM
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The Outback is one of the cheaper AWD cars available, makes sense that they'd be popular.

I have tried the kitty-litter thing, problem is that it's clay, and makes a fantastic lubricant when it's wet (spinning tire + snow/ice = heat & water). It didn't work.

Put rock salt in a double bag, if it doesn't leak it doesn't corrode. Sand is great too, get the good sandblast grit, not sandbox sand.
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babymog View Post
Blizzaks are good new, but when you get to the 60% point you're on summer rubber, so you need to keep new ones on, the other (better IMO) tires I mentioned have winter compound down to the cords (the reason that Jonathan is having trouble with his car and used Blizzaks).
Almost correct, but not 100% Blizzaks have the specialized winter compound for the first 60% of thread depth. The remaining 40% are rated as all season mud and snow, not summer only. The Michelin xIce, which is another excellent tire, has the winter compound for the first 70 or 75% of depth, I can't remember which. The Blizzaks score a tiny bit higher for snow handling, the Michelins score a tiny bit better for dry weather handling. The Bizzaks were my choice because I figured I would be driving closer to the limits of traction on the snow than I would be in the dry, so I'd rather have the extra grip there.

My Blizzaks, although 6 years old, only have about 35,000 kms on them (about 22,000 miles) so they have tons of the winter compound left, which is another reason I passed on the Michelin - I'll never get even close to the tread life out of a tire before wanting to replace it based on the age. The car just has a very light back end.
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  #13  
Old 09-30-2009, 05:52 PM
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M&S rubber is summer rubber, ... do they make anything else?
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  #14  
Old 10-01-2009, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by babymog View Post
M&S rubber is summer rubber, ... do they make anything else?
No, summer rubber is summer rubber, such as the Goodyear Eagle F1 GSD3 I run on the same car. One of the biggest differences is that they use a rubber compound not meant to be used when temperatures are consistently below 10 degrees C. "M&S" is a specific tire designation given to all-season tires that meet a minimum traction standard in Mud and Snow. All season tires that do not meet the standard cannot be embossed with M&S on the sidewall. Perhaps you're accustomed to referring to "all season" tires as "summer" tires, but they are not. All season tires are acceptable at everything and great at nothing. Part of that compromise comes from the tread pattern, part of it comes from the rubber compound.

Yes, Bridgestone (the manufacturer of the Blizzak line) makes numerous other tires.
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  #15  
Old 10-01-2009, 10:01 AM
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Okay I'm sorry, semantics.

The Blizzak has winter rubber around the outside, after the 60% point it is worn down to what 99% of the tires in the US use for summer rubber, which is technically rated M&S, and you lose some of your siping.

True, my Pirelli P-Zero and P-700Z tires use different rubber that is completely useless when it's even thinking about snowing, plus the minimal tread and total lack of sipes, ...

The point is that tires like the Dunlop Graspic and the Hakks have good winter rubber throughout the tread, I've never understood why someone will buy a tire that is useless for what you intended after 60%, to each his own. I also prefer the diagonal sipes in the hakks to the lateral sipes in most other winter tires.

The Michelin Alpins are good ice tires, but not as good in snow. Quieter and better on wet/dry than most studless ice tires, but after a set of Arctic Alpins and a set of Pilot Alpins, I don't think I'll buy another set, back to the Dunlops and the Nokian/Hakks.

Also true BTW about the amount of winter use, the Blizzaks I bought for my daughter's E320 will probably never wear out, likely she'll wreck the car first.

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