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  #21  
Old 01.09.2011, 11:53
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Re: Rear wheel drive in snow?

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Understand - thanks so much for pointers. What I'm hearing is... recreational driving with winter tyres 360 (ish!) days a year is ok, if we stay on main roads and drive with care. Thats enough for us for now. Will also get chains if we need, and when weather bad be careful about our route / plans.

More specific question - how does this affect the snow / ski resorts near Zurich? Liek are these main roads which are treated and ok to drive on most of the time with just a fwe bad days to leave, or would we always have an issue with these.

Again sorry for level of the questions - total newbie at this real winter thing. Know it's not siberia, but in Ireland we get small amount of snow and when we do country stops _
don`t use winter tyres in the summer. theyre designed specifically for low temps and will disappear faster than lewis hamiltons tyres if you try to drive on them in the summer. if youre buying second hand there is a very good chance the seller will have winter tyres for the car anyway.
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Old 01.09.2011, 12:09
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Re: Rear wheel drive in snow?

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WE might be going ski'ing, but to resorts / areas not exploring high in the mountains on uncleared roads etc I doubt.
Last Winter I had an experience in a bus (I should just leave it there and get you all wondering, shouldn't I?) while going up the mountain to a resort. It had started snowing, and about half way up a car coming down the road suddenly started sliding sideways, eventually coming to rest. The bus stopped so that the driver could help out. The stopped car and bus gave the other cars driving down an interesting extra problem to deal with, and before long there were three or four cars in various states, including one which was hanging over the edge, and a bunch of other cars & drivers who had stopped to avoid experiencing the same fate. And then there were about three 4/AWD cars (a couple of Subarus and another I forget) who simply carried on driving. If I ever need a car here which I drive in the Winter I'm going to make sure it's 4WD.
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  #23  
Old 01.09.2011, 15:03
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Re: Rear wheel drive in snow?

my car is RWD, summer tyres are 225 and winter are 215. in general driving i have not had any issues, yes sure the rear makes a small twitch every now and then on a bend but nothing to be alarmed about.

but as the rear is a lot lighter traction can be an issue, i have been stuck in a car park when reversing out over a small snow bump - i now reverse into the spaces during winter.

ideal situation is 4wd but the car can start to crab if its slipping which presents its own issues.

if you are really really worried and losing sleep over it then go for FWD or 4WD
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  #24  
Old 01.09.2011, 15:27
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Re: Rear wheel drive in snow?

I would totally recommend a AWD/4WD. I've had a BMW 3 series (RWD) for the past 5 years, and this year I've just had enough. Each year the winter tyres go on mid October, and come the first heavy snowfall, I get the bus! It's an Automatic which may add to my problems, but basically if a matchstick is covered in snow and I try to go over it the BM will be off doing a sideways tango. I love the car, in 6 years it's been EXTREMELY reliable, but only for summer driving. Am off to look at the X1 xDrive for this coming winter. oh, and I don't live in the sticks, only about 4 miles from Zurich Airport on main roads.
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  #25  
Old 01.09.2011, 15:37
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Re: Rear wheel drive in snow?

Back in the States, my mother had a rear-wheel drive car (think it was a Ford Thunderbird). The first time I ever drove it was during the winter, in the snow, and I managed to get into an accident with it because it handled SO badly in the snow/ice. It "fish-tailed" everywhere. She also had a few accidents in it, in the snow, herself...

So I would strongly advise anyone to NOT get a rear-wheel drive car if they ever plan to drive in the snow or ice with it.
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  #26  
Old 01.09.2011, 16:47
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Re: Rear wheel drive in snow?

if you on ice it makes no difference if its fwd/rwd or awd , you need to have studded or spiked tyres.
and of course it depends how you drive and if you know what to do in a slide - ie dont put the brakes on, which is the natural instinct
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  #27  
Old 01.09.2011, 17:09
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Re: Rear wheel drive in snow?

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if you on ice it makes no difference if its fwd/rwd or awd , you need to have studded or spiked tyres.
and of course it depends how you drive and if you know what to do in a slide - ie dont put the brakes on, which is the natural instinct
Correct instead you should apply.....


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  #28  
Old 01.09.2011, 18:37
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Re: Rear wheel drive in snow?

I have driven all season tires, snow tires, FWD RWD and AWD, in winters with as much as 4 meters of snowfall.

I recommend snow tires no matter what. The rubber compound is softer so even on dry pavement, once the temperature is less that +7c the tire has better grip.

As for RWD vs FWD I prefer a well balanced RWD (as close to 50/50 front/rear as possible), it is easier to control and is less likely to understeer (drive into oncoming traffic). Many AWD vehicles also understeer. In fact some are only AWD in a pinch. So it is important to test drive the vehicle on a wet road to see how it feels going into corners just a little too fast ( not. Lot - you do not want to hurt yourself or the vehicle).
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  #29  
Old 01.09.2011, 18:38
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Re: Rear wheel drive in snow?

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Now I know you get winter tyres, but just wondering how bad an idea is rear wheel drive?

Don't do it. It's not worth it.
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  #30  
Old 01.09.2011, 19:22
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Re: Rear wheel drive in snow?

TCS, BMW and others offer winter driving courses, could be useful for "many"...
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  #31  
Old 01.09.2011, 20:12
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Re: Rear wheel drive in snow?

I am absolutely amazed that these discussions come up every year and that you still have people advising that you don't need winter tyres etc.

I am not going to say a lot new here, but it may help to summarise.

A few facts:

- Summer tyres are designed to operate in warm weather (hence the name). When the (road) temperature drops they go harder - the cut over point is typically below some 5 - 7 degrees C. At this point they substantially lose grip.

- Similarly winter tyres will tend to wear too quickly in summer, because they simply melt. this is partly to do with the compound and partly to do with the larger rubber blocks which moves and generate heat. As a result they also lose grip.

- All season tyres will because of the above always be a compromise. Although a better compromise than running summer tyres in winter.

- 4wd will certainly help you if you get stuck in the snow, it may also help you when setting off, turning, in rain etc etc. What 4wd does is giving you more TRACTION. But 4wd does not give you more GRIP. This means that breaking is not going to be easier whether you have 4wd or 2wd. But the good tyres will.

We all make our own choices. And it is a choice as the law does not require you to have winter tyres. I personally think it should, like in Austria. And I for one would never venture out in winter on summer tyres here in Switzerland, irrespective of whether I was going skiing or a nice drive a long the lake. It is just not a risk worth taking.
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  #32  
Old 01.09.2011, 21:42
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Re: Rear wheel drive in snow?

Ok, let's add to that:

- some of the newer/better summer tyres have compounds that will still function well down to freezing on dry roads, but will help you not at all with frost, ice or snow, to the contrary, it's whoopty-doop!

- there are many brands and models of winter tyres on the market, the lousy, the average and the good, and the difference between their safety and performance can be dramatic, however the real difference between the five top performers is minimal.

- your tyres are your only contact with the ground, and a primary element in your and your loved one's safety, not the place to play smartass-cheapo.

- AWD has its advantages and disadvantages, so does RWD and so does FWD, however if you don't have any experience in winter driving, or even winter driving in theory, it will make little difference which WD you are driving.

...I guess it is worth going through this newbie process every year
for their and our own safety. There will always be newbies and there is always the possibility of one running into an experienced winter driver, even if his car is parked.
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Old 01.09.2011, 22:05
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Re: Rear wheel drive in snow?

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I would totally recommend a AWD/4WD. I've had a BMW 3 series (RWD) for the past 5 years, and this year I've just had enough. Each year the winter tyres go on mid October, and come the first heavy snowfall, I get the bus! It's an Automatic which may add to my problems, but basically if a matchstick is covered in snow and I try to go over it the BM will be off doing a sideways tango. I love the car, in 6 years it's been EXTREMELY reliable, but only for summer driving. Am off to look at the X1 xDrive for this coming winter. oh, and I don't live in the sticks, only about 4 miles from Zurich Airport on main roads.
I drive a RWD BMW 328, I often overtake Range Rovers with UK no plates , FWD Audi A4's & the very worst is that fat Quasqoi thing,
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  #34  
Old 01.09.2011, 23:44
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Re: Rear wheel drive in snow?

Perhaps another thing to remember is that some neighbouring countries (Germany for one) it is a legal requirement that you have winter tyres fitted and if you don't and are involved in an accident you are automatically deemed liable.
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Old 02.09.2011, 00:12
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Re: Rear wheel drive in snow?

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I drive a RWD BMW 328, I often overtake Range Rovers with UK no plates , FWD Audi A4's & the very worst is that fat Quasqoi thing,
Perhaps you should slow down
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  #36  
Old 02.09.2011, 02:22
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Re: Rear wheel drive in snow?

I drove a 2 tonnes car all this last Winter, RWD. Even with snow tyres I had alot of traction problems, climbs were painful (ESP blinks alot!)! It's possible to drive safe, but it's hard and the "regular" driver won't feel confortable in those conditions.
It's important to say that I live at 1100 meters, the winter here is really heavy.

I'm going to buy a new car, and since I had experienced RWD cars on snow and ice I'm sure I won't buy a car like that while living in Switzerland.

Last edited by Metallising; 02.09.2011 at 04:20.
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  #37  
Old 02.09.2011, 07:13
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Re: Rear wheel drive in snow?

When my dad had RWD cars, he would always (1) get good winter tyres and (2) put 4 heavy paving slabs in the boot (they went in as the big garden umbrella went into the attic for the winter - their "summer job" was to stabilise the umbrella).

FWD or AWD with winter tyres all the way for me. And even the Swiss struggle with the first heavy snowfalls, every year. On that day, you really need to take it easy, no matter which car you're in. Once everybody has resigned themselves to the fact that Winter is now here, things will get a lot smoother.
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Old 02.09.2011, 08:30
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Re: Rear wheel drive in snow?

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Perhaps you should slow down
I could walk faster than some people drive in Snow. After work I may have to drive 300km to get home or to where I am working the following day so it's not an option.
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  #39  
Old 02.09.2011, 10:19
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Re: Rear wheel drive in snow?

Here is how I decide which tire to buy:

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/survey...sp?type=W&VT=C
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  #40  
Old 02.09.2011, 11:11
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Re: Rear wheel drive in snow?

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I often overtake Range Rovers with UK no plates

who never have winter tyres..... last year there was a photo shoot with the british ski team, range rover as a back drop ( and sponsor) they were all complaining about slippery roads - yep you guessed it, pure summer tyres!
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