Author Topic: Need snow tires with AWD?  (Read 4775 times)

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GotAW8

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Need snow tires with AWD?
« on: November 25, 2007, 11:36:26 PM »
ok, so re the w8: my wife's going to be driving from downtown to the tech center and back every day and we'll take it out in the evenings, but if we're heading up for the snow then we'll take the pathfinder (with snows on it). 

just got 4 bridgestone potenza re960as pole positions put on it which tire rack rates as handling quite well in snow/ice (for all season's that is).  if we're just doing city driving like that then is there any real need to spend an extra $500 on snow tires?  we just moved to colorado so don't quite know what to expect but happened to be here for two weeks last winter so know what could happen...

thanks all for your thoughts!
Tim
2004 Passat W8 - for the city
2002 Pathfinder 4x4 - for the mountains

92UrS4

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Re: Need snow tires with AWD?
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2007, 12:11:07 AM »
I lived for years running all seasons on FWD and RWD cars and got by just fine. Last winter was the first winter I had snow tires ever on my cars. For the FWD 2006 Passat it became a necessity, and once they were on night and day. For the Audi, well they are on the winter wheels which I don't mind getting abused by curbs, mag chloride, sand, and the harshness of winter.

In reality, we don't get that much snow down here, but we do get some big storms occasionally and the AWD with good all seasons will get you by, but by no means should you expect to be invincible.

I guess to directly answer your question, you should be fine, but if you save up for another set of used wheels for the winter it wouldn't be so bad to throw some middle of the road snows on there. Just helps keep you that much safer and more in control while the other boneheads decide it's okay to drive 80.

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Re: Need snow tires with AWD?
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2007, 12:11:07 AM »

Docwyte

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Re: Need snow tires with AWD?
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2007, 02:04:18 AM »
Just pick up a set of wheels cheap from craigslist and throw some snows on em. 
ttp://www.projectonelap.com

Stock parts for sale, contact me for info!

scottvw

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Re: Need snow tires with AWD?
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2007, 03:12:02 PM »
Prior to moving to Colorado I put Michelin Exalto A/S's for my 2 Passats.  They had good snow traction rating and have been great so far.  I would think with AWD you could get by with a good all season. Just my .02 cents.

KWilson

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Re: Need snow tires with AWD?
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2007, 03:49:02 PM »
You'll be fine with the all-seasons.  Especially if they are new.  Just understand that with AWD, you can get going easier than stopping. 

You've got a tiptronic, right?  I found that driving in tip mode in the snow was a lot better as it gives you a lot more control when slowing down.

gragravar

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Re: Need snow tires with AWD?
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2007, 07:24:04 PM »
if it is a denver only car then likely you wont NEED snow tires, but, that said, having them gives a ton more control on the days we have that are snowy.  it is a small price to pay for the additional confidence that that control brings.
Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.  ~Albert Einstein

GotAW8

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Re: Need snow tires with AWD?
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2007, 07:50:25 PM »
You've got a tiptronic, right?  I found that driving in tip mode in the snow was a lot better as it gives you a lot more control when slowing down.
that's a good point...

i'd like to just get some wheels and put snows on them for the extra safety for her.  one the other hand we just spent $600 on those tires and need to buy snows for the pathfinder also so not sure if i really feel like spending almost two grand on tires this month!

it's probably a naive question but what sort of wheels should i be getting?  should i just put any old 16's on them?  i need to be concerned about the bolt pattern, right?
Tim
2004 Passat W8 - for the city
2002 Pathfinder 4x4 - for the mountains

92UrS4

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Re: Need snow tires with AWD?
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2007, 07:52:38 PM »
5x112 for the bolt pattern. As doc mentioned there are always sets on Craigslist. Also, in our for sale forum stuff pops up but gets snatched up pretty quick this time of year.

EDIT: I forgot to add, you could go with steelies or nicer wheels. I can't remember the offset you need. Most people will list what cars the wheels work on so they can sell them. You will find whole sets ranging from about $150 - $800 depending on the wheels and tires.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2007, 07:54:16 PM by gietl »

GotAW8

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Re: Need snow tires with AWD?
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2007, 07:58:35 PM »
something like these?

http://denver.craigslist.org/pts/490100733.html

how do i figure out if they would work?  don't really want to buy them and then have them not work!
Tim
2004 Passat W8 - for the city
2002 Pathfinder 4x4 - for the mountains

92UrS4

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Re: Need snow tires with AWD?
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2007, 08:24:47 PM »
If they are off of an A6 they should fit your Passat, I guess the only concern I have, and I need to remember, is that the W8 may have beefier front brakes like the C5 A6 2.7T and B5 S4 2.7T?

Can someone  else confirm? If so that will make a difference in what you can run. Sorry I spaced it before.

GotAW8

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Re: Need snow tires with AWD?
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2007, 08:45:09 PM »
is there any easy way to see what the max/min specs are that i can use?  and then look up another car (like this A6) and see what it's specs are?  and then compare?

thanks for your help - really appreciate it!   :)
Tim
2004 Passat W8 - for the city
2002 Pathfinder 4x4 - for the mountains

gragravar

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Re: Need snow tires with AWD?
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2007, 09:01:34 PM »
those 16s SHOULD fit.  I think the W8s did have the same brakes as the 2.7T A6's and the B5 S4's.  those brakes also were on the allroad and I know allroads can run 16" winters (at least those with stock brakes - wont work for me.)  the only question in my mind would be offset.  you should be able to pull one of your stock rims and check the ET stamp on the rim to see the offset.  then compare that to the ET stamped on the seller's rim.
Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.  ~Albert Einstein

GotAW8

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Re: Need snow tires with AWD?
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2007, 09:30:16 PM »
you should be able to pull one of your stock rims and check the ET stamp on the rim to see the offset.  then compare that to the ET stamped on the seller's rim.

is it stamped on the inside of the rim?  so if i just pull it off i should be able to see "ET" somewhere?  it's not under the tire is it?

also i've got 16s on there right now...  probably should have mentioned that before!
Tim
2004 Passat W8 - for the city
2002 Pathfinder 4x4 - for the mountains

gragravar

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Re: Need snow tires with AWD?
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2007, 09:33:55 PM »
yep, and it may even be under the center cap if you have one.  should say ET then have a 2 digit number.  that is your offset measurement.  Id put money on it being ET 35.  if the rim you are looking at has a number higher than what your stockers are, you'll need some spacers to fill the difference.  if the number is less, then the wheels will stick out further like you are running spacers.
Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.  ~Albert Einstein

gragravar

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Re: Need snow tires with AWD?
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2007, 09:40:32 PM »
    one more thing to add - when looking at rims you need to match a couple of measures.

    • the bolt pattern (how many and what spacing?)  the B5's used 5x112.
    • the centerbore - you want a hubcentric rim that fits over the hub of the right size.  not sure what the right size is, but B5 and C5 audis and vws all used the same centerbore
    • and the offset - or how far from the vertical centerline of the rim is the mounting surface.  IIRC most Audis and the B5 VWs are about 35mm.  the allroad uses a 25mm offset.
    • and finally the rim width.  go wider and you get the rim closer to the suspension bits, so you might need to adjust the offset you look for in order to compensate and move it back out

thats all I can think of.
Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.  ~Albert Einstein

Eric18T

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Re: Need snow tires with AWD?
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2007, 10:08:33 PM »
Personally i have always had snowtires and won't drive an allseason tire in the snow, especially the high country. A good snowtire provides more control in diffcult situations. Maybe it's just me, but i can't predict the weather and i can't predict when the next dumbass is going to cut me off when the roads are glazed and icy. I want the most control i can get.

For some reason North America is one of the only countries that gets snow and doesn't require snow tires. Bridgestone or Dunlop (one of those large companies) actually created allseason tires for our lazy american society (generalization). They have caught on around the world, but many countries (certain regions) like Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, etc. still require use of proper snow tires during certain months of the year. I don't understand why this country doesn't do this.. Or atleast certain states.

Oh and i still beleive people should have a "w" endorsement on their drivers licence proving that they have taken proper winter driving classes. No 'w' endorement means no winter driving.  yeah i know i am kinda a freak. But oh well.


GotAW8

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Re: Need snow tires with AWD?
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2007, 12:48:45 AM »
thats all I can think of.

thanks for your help!

Personally i have always had snowtires and won't drive an allseason tire in the snow, especially the high country. A good snowtire provides more control in diffcult situations.

i agree regarding the high country: if we're heading up to the snow then we're taking the suv with snow tires.  the passat will strictly be an "around town" car and though last winter was an anomaly (hopefully!) i was just getting people's thoughts on if we need snows for around town driving.  i know awd+abs+esp+a/s tires < snow tires but was looking for the consensus on snows for the city.
Tim
2004 Passat W8 - for the city
2002 Pathfinder 4x4 - for the mountains

92UrS4

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Re: Need snow tires with AWD?
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2007, 01:09:34 AM »
I believe for the most part the consensus is you should be okay, but you can come across a set for the right price, it is worth doing if even for piece of mind.

GotAW8

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Re: Need snow tires with AWD?
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2007, 03:41:42 AM »
yeah i totally agree. 

and i was thinking that for the time being i'm working at home so if we're supposed to get a "major snow event" (just today we got the flyer from denver public works about snow removal plans! :) ) my wife can take the pathfinder...

that raises an interesting point.  in snow/ice what's better?  passat or pathfinder, both with highly-rated brand new snow tires?  the passat's 3953 lbs while the pathfinder is 4304 lbs.  so the weight surprisingly isn't too different.

  • ground clearance
  • tire size 16 vs 17 (bigger hydroplanes more with lots of snow, right?  what about ice?)
  • awd/4wd
  • center of gravity?
  • what else am i missing?

is there a clear winner?   :-\
Tim
2004 Passat W8 - for the city
2002 Pathfinder 4x4 - for the mountains

scottvw

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Re: Need snow tires with AWD?
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2007, 11:48:52 AM »
I would opt for the pathfinder in snow due to the ground clearance.  Last year was a bear on my Passat due to the Eibach suspension.  I am going to drive my "new to me" 94 Landcruiser if a flake flies.  You can't predict the wacky weather here. 

92UrS4

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Re: Need snow tires with AWD?
« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2007, 12:24:55 PM »
The W8 is probably more balanced in terms of weight, I'm not sure what year your Pathfinder is. Plus the car is lower to the ground as is the weight so it should be easier to keep control of.

I guess the way I tend to look at it, if it's really bad out, which vehicle would you be more upset about being in an accident with. Not because of you causing an accident, but because of someone else causing it.

GotAW8

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Re: Need snow tires with AWD?
« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2007, 01:28:45 PM »
I'm not sure what year your Pathfinder is.

it's an 02.  so it's a mid-size unibody like this: and not a massive truck-based behemoth like this:   :o

I guess the way I tend to look at it, if it's really bad out, which vehicle would you be more upset about being in an accident with. Not because of you causing an accident, but because of someone else causing it.

that's really the most logical argument i think anyone could make... and it's a pretty each choice!  thanks jay  :)
Tim
2004 Passat W8 - for the city
2002 Pathfinder 4x4 - for the mountains

gragravar

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Re: Need snow tires with AWD?
« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2007, 10:10:26 PM »
for me it would depend on the forecast for that day - if it were like most snow days around here with 1-4 inches predicted, usually happening during the evening rush home, then I'd take the car with snowtires.  the lower center of gravity and smaller tires would simply preform better.  if there is a snow day where there is 5+ inches on the ground and it is still coming down - or if you'll be headed down roads the plows havent reached yet - then take the truck.

FWIW, In last years big snows the allroad was awesome.  granted it has more clearance than the passat, but they still do really well in the snow.
Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.  ~Albert Einstein

GotAW8

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Re: Need snow tires with AWD?
« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2007, 10:19:37 PM »
I'd take the car with snowtires.

that wasn't an option!  ;)  passat without snows or pathfinder with...

jay's point really struck home...  i'd rather the pathfinder get messed up rather than the passat!

when we get one of those snows i'll send her out in the pathfinder and i'll take the passat out for "testing".
Tim
2004 Passat W8 - for the city
2002 Pathfinder 4x4 - for the mountains

gragravar

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Re: Need snow tires with AWD?
« Reply #24 on: November 28, 2007, 12:13:32 AM »
that wasn't an option!  ;)  passat without snows or pathfinder with...


ISATRC
(I suck at teh reading comprehension)

In that case pathfinder by a huge margin.
Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.  ~Albert Einstein

GotAW8

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Which snow tire?
« Reply #25 on: November 28, 2007, 03:06:36 PM »
so there was a little bit of snow this morning, right?  had to go out early to take the passat to the dealer to get both rear speakers replaced (under warranty!) which finally came in.

driving with the pole positions wasn't too bad but it wasn't really that great either.  was testing acceleration/branking/turning traction on some slick side streets and was definitely getting a lot of slip & abs action.

i decided that since i bought them at discount tire and have a 30 day return option i'm going to take them back and get them switched out for snows.  my issue originally was with buying snows for the passat on top of all season's for the passat and snows for the pathfinder - as i said i didn't want to spend two grand on tires this month!  so i figure why not just return the pole position's now and exchange them for snows and then i'll re-purchase the pole positions in the spring. 

was tossing up between the bridgestone blizzak lm-25's and the dunlop winter sport 3d's.  anyone have any opinions about either of these (or something else)?

now that i'm actually heading in the snow direction hopefully you guys can offer some feedback?
Tim
2004 Passat W8 - for the city
2002 Pathfinder 4x4 - for the mountains

GotAW8

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Re: Need snow tires with AWD?
« Reply #26 on: November 28, 2007, 03:42:47 PM »
figured i should move this to a new post so that someone looking for snow tires someday doesn't have to wade through all this.

thanks for all the feedback - hope you'll be as helpful here http://www.rmcb5.com/forums/index.php/topic,6526.0.html   :)
Tim
2004 Passat W8 - for the city
2002 Pathfinder 4x4 - for the mountains