Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Car: 2004 Outback Wagon, 2.5, 4EAT, All weather package.
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
A lot of people have a problem... they think "Pfft. I have AWD/4WD, I don't need snow tires...". This is why you see so many SUVs with all seasons tires upside down in ditches along the side of the highway during snowstorms, while a FWD vehicle with four snow tires flies by them, with no problem at all.
AWD helps you go... that's it. On ice and snow it does nothing to improve handling/steering or most importantly: braking. That, comes down to the tires. I work in sales for a local chain of tire stores. Every day this time of year I have customers who are shocked that we still sell winter tires. And I get asked "Wow, does anyone still use winter tires?". Yes, they do -- I do. I currently have 4 Vanderbilt/Cooper Arctic Claws installed on my Outback. Good aggressive blocky snow tread. They work well.
Do I "need" snow tires? Probably not. But I like having that extra layer of protection. I slid off the road in my old 1995 Pontiac Grand Prix coupe a couple winters ago. There was about 2 inches of snow on the road, I was on my way to work. I had about half worn all seasons on the car at the time. I made it up one side of a hill in my neighborhood no problem... coming down the other side, however, was more of a problem. I had no braking traction at all. Pedal went to the floor, the ABS kicked in and started pumping the pedal like crazy, and my "LOW TRAC" light was on the dashboard. I slid all the way down the hill and through a fence into someone's front yard. Fortunately there was little damage to the car (bent fender and a lot of broken body cladding), and the home owner didn't care about the fence because the township owned it (it was just a little chain link fence). But from then on I decided I'm going to use winter tires in the winter, no matter what kind of car I have. It just so happened that by the next winter I picked up a Subaru Outback.
If you are going to go with just all seasons... go with the Nokian WR-G2. Or at the very least a set of Goodyear Assurance Triple-Tred All Seasons if you want the best traction. If you want to forget the forecast and never have to worry about where you have to go in whatever kind of weather... pick up a good set of dedicated winter tires.
2014 Ford Explorer Sport - 29,000 miles, 3.5 EcoBoost V6, K&N Intake, vent-to-air mod, DD
2004 Subaru Outback Wagon - 146,000 miles, 2.5 H4 EJ251, 4EAT, sold to my brother
1999 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP - 197,000 miles, Toy/money pit
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