HELP! First Time Snow Driver - Page 2 - Dodge Charger Forums
Wheels/Tires/Brakes/Suspension Discussion about anything involving the wheels, tires, suspension components, etc.
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post #11 of 58 Old 11-07-2012, 10:45 AM
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Come by my winter tires!

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post #12 of 58 Old 11-07-2012, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ddaddy View Post
Well, it depends on where you live. I have driven my SRT with the original RSA tires through several winters without issue. I upgraded to the Continental Extreme Contact DWS 2 winters ago since they are the best all season tires I could find and haven't had any issues.

If you see lots of snow, get full snow tires. If you see only a few inches at a time and the occassional heavy snow, you don't need more than all season tires. The Charger is a heavy RWD vehicle with managable low end torque and traction control. It was far more difficult driving the RWD cars 30 years ago, but we never feared the snow then either. I drove through a 33" snowfall from a Nor'easterback in the winter of 1993 in a '92 RWD Ford Ranger compact pick-up truck without traction control and had no issues

I've seen snow across this kind of range and I have no fear of driving in it with all season tires in my 425 hp RWD SRT Charger...
Thank you for the information Ddaddy!
I live in Danbury, Conencticut and from what i have heard from locals, it snows pretty heavy out here. So, i guess i'll go for winter tires over all-season tires...

Originally Posted by Ddaddy View Post
I would add one old trick I've always used...when trying to stop or turn in extremely slippery conditions, put the tranny in neutral to take the power off the wheels. It will help to make the stops and turns far more easily controlled, and after you complete the turn or stop, put it back in to drive to regain power.

It's very surprising how few folks know this trick, and after they try it are impressed at how effective it is.
Now, this is a great piece of information. I'll be trying this when i get a chance. Now i know when to use 'Neutral', other than when driving the car on a car wash track.
Thank you!
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post #13 of 58 Old 11-07-2012, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Hazmat11 View Post

Welcome to the forums first of all.
Thank you Hazmat!

5. As much as possible, try to keep moving and avoid stopping in deep snow. If you do need to start from a stop, do so gently to avoid as much wheelspin as possible. Traction control will be a big help here.
Is traction control the same as ABS?
Is traction control activated when required or is the something i have to look into each time i drive?

I don't personally go for the sandbag route but in Oklahoma, where most people drive 2WD trucks with light rear ends, people swear by that tactic. I would think that a full tank of gas, which weighs around 160 lbs. is more than enough to hold the rear end to the road.
Hmmm... Any alternatives to sandbags?

Due to salt content in the Northeast (we mercifully use sand here) I would at least get an undercarriage wash when you can and at the very least pressure wash everything off of the wheels and body whenever possible. Make sure you've waxed your baby before the season starts to at least protect the finish as much as possible.
I take my car to a local touchless car wash system nearby and go for only the simple exterior wash. All the other jazz, i feel is unnecessary. Now that winter is here, i'll go for an undercarriage wash too.
How is waxing going to help? What kind of waxing do i need?

More than anything else, relax and take your time. Don't let anyone pressure you and don't feel rushed. Once you understand your limits and those of your car, you'll be fine.

Good luck!
I will Hazmat! Thanks for all the tips
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post #14 of 58 Old 11-07-2012, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Chargermaster View Post
Welcome Yash!

A couple of things to mention...

1st, I would HIGHLY suggest you spend some $$ & take a 1 day winter driving course...they are worth their weight in gold & it will absolutely be an 'eye opener' especially for someone with no winter driving experience.
To be honest, i was actually considering this. I'll set something up in the coming week...

I will kindly direct you to this link from Automobile Magazine that (ironically) is actually testing a 2012 Dodge Charger RWD SXT Blacktop of the differences in summer, all season & winter tires...
Very informative! Thank you

As for as set of winter tires...after months of research, I went with the new Toyo Observe GSi5 for my 2012 Blacktop. More info here...

Good luck!
Now, information like this is really what i was seeking. Appreciate this so much.

I have an irony to share, too...
The quote on my key chain, is the same as your signature!!
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post #15 of 58 Old 11-07-2012, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by michiganpat View Post
a few things....

they really aren't just SNOW tires, they are WINTER tires. besides the tread pattern and siping meant for grip on snow and ice, they also typically have different rubber compounds that stay more flexible and compliant in sub 45 degrees for better grip.
Phew! thanks for the correction

good article w/video

I'd have no problem buying used snows, with a few caveats. I'd ask the seller the tread depth, and make sure there's at least 50% tread (can usually find new tread depth measurement on the tire manufacturer's site) and also find out the tire date code. I'm leery of buying used tires more than 5 years old, as the rubber tends to harden as it ages.

here's info on how to find out about a tire's age
This is very very informative. Thanks for the links!

lastly, if you want an all season that works as effectively as a dedicated snow tire, look at the Nokian WRG2 tires when it comes time to replace yours.
These are expensive!!
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post #16 of 58 Old 11-07-2012, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ColdSteel View Post
Welcome to the forums. For starters, good for you to realize that you don't have the knowledge/experience and have sought help here.
Better safe than sorry

All of the suggestions so far are good ones. I am from CT originally and drove through 8 winters there from when I was first licensed until I moved away. I also use to drive I-84 all the time between Southbury and Hartford (full-time EMT in Waterbury).

Where in CT are you exactly? Those not familiar may not realize that CT is by no means flat, and the odds of encountering inclines and hills in snow and icy conditions are better than flat, level roads. Also, they may not realize that CT has no county government and all the 169 towns are responsible for clearing their own roads (State number routes excluded). Many do it poorly.
I live in Danbury (Exit 6) and drive east on I84 towards Newtown (Exit 12). I agree, the roads are not flat and i am not happy to learn that the maintainence is poor during winter.

I would consider dedicated winter tires a must in CT with a Charger. Being that it is a RWD, be sure to add some weight (sand/kitty litter) in trunk over the drive wheels. It will help you to get going and if you get stuck, you can always lay down the sand/kitty litter.
What is kitty litter?
What do you mean by 'lay down' the sand/kitty litter?

EDIT: I just had Firestone Winterforce tires installed yesterday, so I have no winter driving reviews yet, but they are less expensive and should be fine for your needs. Don't need a speed rated Blizzak on your Charger
Now that is what i wanted to read. Somebody who could guage my needs and provide budget friendly advice. I'll look into them, thanks!
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post #17 of 58 Old 11-07-2012, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by CHARGERTREV View Post
Come by my winter tires!
Did you mean, buy your winter tires?
Where are you located?
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post #18 of 58 Old 11-07-2012, 02:31 PM
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I swear by sandbags. Putting them in your trunk really helps. I have 3 x 20lb bags. Weight is weight. Doesn't have to be sand.

Winter weather is more than just snow. My sister-IL wrecked her Liberty on black ice last year. Just because you don't see snow doesn't mean there's no danger.

If you have a desk job ask your boss if you can telecommute when its bad. Just remote in and connect from home.

I'm fortunate enough to have Delta Sonic car wash. I pay $18/month for unlimited washes. I wash my car at least twice a week and it shows.

Driving in snow just takes practice. You'll figure out:
  • If you brake and turn at the same time, your car could continue to slide forward until you take your foot off the brake.
  • Try to stay in the tracks of other cars ahead of you where there's less snow. Sometimes the far left lanes are not plowed well.
  • If you need to change lanes, wait for tracks from someone making the same lane change. Take your foot off the gas and take your time switching lanes. Sudden lane changes will send you off to the ditch.
  • Never ever try reverse if sliding forward. That will not help.
  • If your back end starts sliding to left or right take your foot off gas and slowly steer into the direction of the slip. It should straighten right out. This is a sign you are going too fast for conditions. Don't panic and cut wheel hard over as this could send you into a spin.
  • Don't let your windshield washer fluid get low. You'll need it when washing salt spray off your windshield to see. Some mornings I wash 5-6 times on the way to work! Never use water for washer fluid like they do in the south.
  • Ultimately it comes down to tires. If you slide too much invest in a new set.
Me, personally: I would just spend the money on getting a higher end pair of All season tires you can enjoy all year round. I went with Goodyear Assurance ComforTred Touring tires. They have a 80k tread warranty and do just fine in snow. I took advantage of Goodyear's $160 rebate for four of them. Winter tires might be overkill for CT IMO.

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post #19 of 58 Old 11-07-2012, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Based on all the suggestions and feedback, i've made up my mind to buy
winter tires and not all season tires.

Please advice on the following:
1. Are new tires really worth it, considering the amount of money i'll be investing, for use over the next 6 months only? Can i stock them after winter is over and get them back on for the next season? How many seasons would they last?

2. If yes, what are the most budget friendly recommendations? For instance, Firestone Winterforce over Bridgestone Blizzak... What do you think of this one?

3. If i were to go for used tires, How much are they worth spending for? If i am spending $350 for a set of used tires, i'd rather get a set of new tires for $500. Apart from the tread and age, what other factors do i need to look into?

4. Do i buy tires and get them on the existing rims, or buy tires with rims for easy chage over? Will the extra set of rims be additional maintainence? Rusting and other issues?

5. What are the things to be taken care of, after repalcing the tires? Alignment, balancing etc.

6. Can the spare tires work as replacements for sand bags in the trunk?

7. How to place sand bags in the trunk (in a protective cover?) to avoid sand spill?

8. How to store the spare set of tires when not in use? (I don't have a garage, just a patio)

9. Specific winter care for the car itself?

Thanks again!
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post #20 of 58 Old 11-07-2012, 05:09 PM
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I bought my first set for my 09' and slide down a hilly drive way at work. (I did stop at the bottom of the hill)
Try to avoid turning sharply in any direct, take the turns a little more gradually.

Most important: avoid the desire to jam on the brakes to stop: take your foot off of the gas instead. Down shift whenever possible to reduce your speed.
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