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Discussion Starter #1
How does the Element (2wheel drive) handle in the winter with all season tires? Should I put winter tires on my box??
 

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Depends on which all-season tires you're talking about.

AWD is kinda fun, but it really isn't necessary. Your E and most other FWD cars can get through remarkable amounts of snow, especially with appropriate tires.

Winter specific tires improve the driving characteristics of whatever car you put them on. I imagine roads in the Toronto area can get pretty packed snow/ice as well as black ice on freeways like the 401, conditions like that are worse to drive in than feet of dry, fluffy powder.

The softer compounds of winter specific tires simply increase grip on slippery surfaces improving starting, turning and most importantly STOPPING.

If you've got a place to store an extra set of wheels/tires, a set of snowshoes is a good investment. I've never heard of anybody who regretted buying a set of snows.

I thought Ontario passed some sort of snow tire law, but apparently you're neighbors to the east are more sensible than you all.

BTW, lived in Buffalo for a couple years and I think we spent as many weekends in Toronto and environs as we did in Buffalo itself. Should get back there soon.

-hs

-hs
 

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having commuted from TO to Buffalo and up north.........snow in TO isnt too bad....all seasons are not great for stopping and turning.
 

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In 25 years of driving most of my cars have been front wheel drive. About 11 years ago i started using winter tires and never had problems with getting stuck or losing control.

I thought Ontario passed some sort of snow tire law, but apparently you're neighbors to the east are more sensible than you all.
Our friends to the east are notoriously bad drivers at any time of year. While i agree with the passing of the manditory snow tire law two points come to mind.

Quebec gets much worse weather than we do in the winter.

The roll out of this law should have been done over time. Last winter was a nightmare for getting winter tires. Everything was being shipped off too quebec creating huge shortages for the rest of the country.
 

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right now there is an incentive....5% off insurance premium for winter tires

most companies have them....so be wise to check around!
 

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I'm actually quite pleased with how the 2-wheel-drive version is in the snow but only with snow tires. The stock ones on the SC don't even like rain, let alone the white stuff.
 

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I have a 2WD and I've put it through both mud and snow and it has been good to me.

I have General Grabber AT-2's in the stock size (215-70-16) and I love them. They work very nice in winter and I would highly recommend them for anyone who wants a dedicated set of year-round all-terrain tires that can handle the snow. Some sizes of Grabbers have the mountain snowflake emblem (severe snow rating) on them, but the stock size does not.

The only time I had a tense winter driving moment was in some deep snow when we had a cold snow-warm slush-cold snow spell and it made a nice hard icy layer on top of the existing snow then another light layer on top of that. This hung the subframe up and I had to back out and find a less-deep route. However, had it been just fluffy white stuff, I could have plowed right through no problem.

Only area the Grabbers start to gracefully bow out compared to dedicated winters is on ice and icy hardpack, but even then it's not terrible and the Grabbers are still confident tires if driven carefully when things get icy.

I'm contemplating buying a set of General Altimax Arctics for the coming 2010/2011 winter season to give my Grabbers a break over the winter and for that extra bit of traction when things get icy and the snow gets packed down hard.

All in all, betwen the handling, the plastic floor and all-weather mats, winter driving has been a lot more enjoyable with the Element than other cars I've driven and/or owned.
 

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snow tires

I was able to find a set of the Nokian Hakka SUV hardly used, on rims.

Had the E out in a few parking lots and it has a lot of grip. Tomorrow, we are supposed to get a storm, 10 cm of snow and freezing rain. I'll find another parking lot and test her out again. I will not be on the roads though. Too many crazies for my liking. :lol:
 

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The 2wd E does pretty well in the snow if you've decent all-seasons on it. I've never had storage space for dedicated winter tires, so I can't attest to how much improvement they'd make, but right now I have Yokohama Geolanders on my 2wd E, and as long as I go easy on the throttle, it'll do ok.
 

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2WD Manual in Snow

I usually have the back seats out of my 2007 2WD manual LX, the first time I drove in snow the back end kept swinging back and forth a small amount, so I now install the back seats in the winter and carry a full size spare in addition to the space saver. That seems to provide enough weight to keep the back end planted.
 

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we got snow

I have been having a lot of fun with my E in empty parking lots, unplowed with ice under the snow! Of course you can drift, lose traction, but you have to push hard. On the roads, at highway speeds, seems very sure footed. Many on the roads appear to be afraid, cautious or have summers on, but I find the E with the Nokians a great winter combo. I have been able to engage the ABS, have the rear wheels engage and find the E wants to hold the road. Happy canuck here, I like the E more and more.
 

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I usually have the back seats out of my 2007 2WD manual LX, the first time I drove in snow the back end kept swinging back and forth a small amount, so I now install the back seats in the winter and carry a full size spare in addition to the space saver. That seems to provide enough weight to keep the back end planted.
I'd like to see a few members weigh in on this subject...
I've driven high top conversion vans for 30 years, which are absolutely horrible in the winter. This is my first Element and my first front wheel drive vehicle. I always kept 2 of those 80lb tubes of sand in the back of the van. I have 4 new snow tires and the Element seems to do fine in what little snow we have had so far. Does the Element need some weight in the back? What do the rest of you do?
 

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extra weight in the back of a FWD vehicle is not going to help acceleration or braking. it might help turning at the limit, if you like spins. up 'til that limit, the extra weight in the back may help the rear tires dig down to firmament.
 

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Winter handling

I put my E to the test last winter on a closed course.

I never have used snow tires, always all seasons.

This thing sticks to the road unless you try, and i mean really try to shake it free. The ground was iced, with a good inch or two packed on top. I pushed it more and more. The E held its ground until a sharp 40 mile per hour turn with a telephone pole lied again. Nope, no crash. The ABS did its job, the car bumped into the curb, then slid back away.

I do have chains in case i ever need them, but i never have had to use them.
 

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additional weight

On the subject of additional weight in the back of the E, that adds to the distance when stopping, so if there are any arguments for adding traction to rear drive wheels in any vehicle there is the additional penalty ( distance to stopping) when you apply the brakes, as well as reduced mileage. I don't see think it pays off to add weight, especially if the roads are slick. Best to slow down when the roads are slick, rather than to try to boost traction/friction with adding weight.
 

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I'd like to see a few members weigh in on this subject...
I've driven high top conversion vans for 30 years, which are absolutely horrible in the winter. This is my first Element and my first front wheel drive vehicle. I always kept 2 of those 80lb tubes of sand in the back of the van. I have 4 new snow tires and the Element seems to do fine in what little snow we have had so far. Does the Element need some weight in the back? What do the rest of you do?
I get in my car and drive it. You don't need any extra weight in the back, since the E's not a rear-drive car. Just drive intelligently and you should be fine, as a 2wd Element drives like pretty much every other front-drive car ever made.
 

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Weight in Back of 2WD E?

Regarding my earlier comment about weight in the back of my 2WD E seeming to help, I should point out that I'm still using the OEM tires, so I'm sure that Nokians or other more winter-friendly tires would reduce or eliminate the need for weight.
 

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BigBlue

How many miles do you have on those original tires ? I dumped mine at about 35000km cause I could get stuck on a postage stamp. Can't imagine how your still getting around on yours.

Mark
 
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