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Old 16th January 2013, 23:52   #1771
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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8. If you are in an area where it snows a lot and you dont have AWD, then think of investing in winter tires. People also recommend putting sand bags in the trunk so that you get more traction.
Another option for tires is, tires with both All season (M+S) rating & Snow rated (Snowflake symbol). They are pretty rare. What this dual designation means is they qualify as an all season tire and a snow tire.

An Indian company sells those tires in the US (Appolo -Vredestein) and they have one of the best traction on Snow & they are certified as a Snow tire also.On top of that it comes with a 40k mile treadwear warranty,

http://www.vredestein.com/autobanden...l-season-tyres

I've these tires on my corolla and did not have any issues on 3-4" Snow on the ground.


But still, If i had money, I would buy these

https://www.nokiantires.com/tyre?id=...me=Nokian+WRG2

Nokian tires are the fastest tires on ICE,

http://www.nokiantyres.com/fastest-on-ice

I had Nokian Hakkas on the Accord, a couple of years back. I was In school,in the upper peninsula of Michigan, one of the regions where there is crazy amounts of snow. THe Hakkas was so good on snow, so that People used to use my car for emergencies in blizzards (like airport drops etc).

I had the Nokian Hakkapellita Rsi's.. The down side of those tires are - heavy wear once the Snow melts off.

Last edited by Jomz : 16th January 2013 at 23:55.
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Old 17th January 2013, 00:23   #1772
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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http://www.vredestein.com/autobanden...l-season-tyres

I've these tires on my corolla and did not have any issues on 3-4" Snow on the ground.

So these are your only tires on the Corolla, I suppose. Anyway, people should think clearly before they decide to buy snow tires. Like I said earlier, most main roads, shopping areas, offices, apartments etc. are all cleared off any snow in most major cities. If you foresee yourself in a place where snow events are frequent and snow ploughing on roads you need to take is not fast enough, then it is very important to have tires that can give you traction in winter. If not, you should be able to make do with most All Season tires. I also see that this year in the Chicago area, because there have been very little or no snow for most places, people have still not changed their wide low profile summer tires on several high power cars. So they are stretching their luck, weather can change all of a sudden and they might get stranded because of not having changed tires.
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Old 17th January 2013, 01:12   #1773
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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An Indian company sells those tires in the US (Appolo -Vredestein) and they have one of the best traction on Snow & they are certified as a Snow tire also.On top of that it comes with a 40k mile treadwear warranty,
Didnt know about these. I have heard of Nokian though.

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Originally Posted by vineethvazhayil View Post
Like I said earlier, most main roads, shopping areas, offices, apartments etc. are all cleared off any snow in most major cities.
Come to New Hampshire. Even the interstate isn't cleaned up that well here. All who come in to work from Mass or CT complain about it.

Btw, a colleague of mine who has a Subaru WRX and is into rallying, took me out for a spin (literally) in his car in an empty parking lot. Needless to say, we were not going in a straight line much
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Old 17th January 2013, 01:15   #1774
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Come to New Hampshire. Even the interstate isn't cleaned up that well here. All who come in to work from Mass or CT complain about it.
I used the word Major for that reason . And we all know why Subies are mighty popular in that region. I lived in RI for a bit, they were also sort of slow (as compared to Chicago) in clearing up roads.
Btw, nothing beats Dallas metro area - we had a week of staying home because the roads were unusable and the cities did not have enough snow ploughs and salting trucks. This was in 2011 when they were to host the Superbowl in Arlington, TX. A week of sitting at home with roads covered with 2-3 inch layer of ice making driving totally treacherous. I enjoyed slipping in sliding in a car and on foot though.
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Old 17th January 2013, 01:25   #1775
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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So these are your only tires on the Corolla, I suppose. Anyway, people should think clearly before they decide to buy snow tires. Like I said earlier, most main roads, shopping areas, offices, apartments etc. are all cleared off any snow in most major cities. If you foresee yourself in a place where snow events are frequent and snow ploughing on roads you need to take is not fast enough, then it is very important to have tires that can give you traction in winter. If not, you should be able to make do with most All Season tires. I also see that this year in the Chicago area, because there have been very little or no snow for most places, people have still not changed their wide low profile summer tires on several high power cars. So they are stretching their luck, weather can change all of a sudden and they might get stranded because of not having changed tires.
I still think that, if there is the slightest chance of snow & if the normal drives last ~100 miles, Should get the AS + Snow rated tires.

For example (warning ...long true story follows)

Indianapolis was hit by a blizzard on 26th Dec. THe Corolla made through 3-4" snow easily and did regular grocery shopping and family video trips on 26th.

27th Dec, we planned for a Shopping trip at an outlet mall, 50 miles from Indianapolis. I decided to take the s2000 (All season perf tires- Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 ) since the roads looked clear around me.

15 min into the trip, there was an accident on the interstate and all traffic was routed to the side roads. The sideroads on the outskirts of Indianapolis were not cleared as well as the interstate. Only 2 lanes of the 4 were cleared and still there was significant slush on the cleared lane.

It was a white knuckle ride for the next 30 mins. Driving a lightweight, RWD on 2 inches of slush... Added to that fact was there were stoplights ever 0.5 miles or so. Stopping and accelarating with interstate traffic around you on slush covered sideroads was a nightmare.

I gave up after 5 miles, turned around and came back home..

Wife still wanted to go shopping, hopped into the Corolla and drove the same roads. This time I used the not cleared lane and clould easily keep the speed limit. The Vredesteins had great grip in the snow/ slush. we made the 50 mile drive in 1.5 hours, on side roads.

The cost of those 4 tires are less than my insurance deductible. ($500), So if I can avoid one accident, I would think the snow tires are worth it.
The Vredesteins suck on mpg though. The mpg dropped from 35 to 32 with the Vreds.

I gave away the Nokians with the Accord when I sold it. I should not have done that

Last edited by Jomz : 17th January 2013 at 01:30.
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Old 17th January 2013, 02:04   #1776
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

If you find yourself on thin ice or compacted snow and feel your car losing traction, just put the transmission into Neutral. If you brake,even with ABS, if the driving axle cannot get traction, the wheels will continue turning and keep pushing the car. Selecting Neutral prevents that. You'll regain some control although, it obviously depends on the speed. This has saved my skin many times.

A light right foot and plenty of gap between cars is mandatory in snow. If I find someone tailgating me on a snowy road and if I cannot change lanes, I get of the next exit and loop back to the highway to let the idiot pass.
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Old 17th January 2013, 02:06   #1777
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

In most urban areas, its not the snow that you need winter tires for - its the slush and ice.

Its for stopping:

A couple of instances saw me being stupid and following a bit closely resulting in hard breaking and ABS kicking in. There was ice on the road that was covered with fresh snow. I am 100% sure that I would have crashed had it not been for the tires digging in.

And going:

I live close to a highway and the main road has a 10-15 degree incline to go over the highway. As luck would have it, it snowed in the afternoon and the temperature dropped significantly afterwards resulting in roads being covered with slush/ice. The weather forecast didn't cover such an event so the city didn't salt the roads (As anyone living here will know, Toronto runs on salt in winter - they literally dump tons of it to avoid ice build up).

The incline that I just mentioned apparently became so slippery that it thwarted cars/truck with all season tires and even transit buses, which are supposed to be immune to this because of weight. I have dedicated winter tires on my car and I could climb up the incline without a hiccup, stop on a red on the way and keep on going. All this while there were FWD taxis and cars around simply spinning their tires.


Its an extra expense for sure but as Jomz mentioned. You can get a set for the amount of your insurance deductible - A small price to pay for safety and peace of mind.
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Old 17th January 2013, 02:08   #1778
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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If the Mazda 3 hatch is a hot drive, the Mazdaspeed is a "on steroids" version of the same buddy! It has 100 more horses and torque and is only available in six speed manual, people claim to do 0-60 in 5 and a bit seconds - you get the drift? Test drive it once, just to get a feel..
Yep, but unless I cant take it to canyons unless I buy one
Do rental companies have it? I haven't seen one though.

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I have a 2.0L stick shift Mazda3 which is fun to drive in the city but struggles in the freeways. Once drove to SFO with 5 people on board and I had a hard time maintaining the speed limit.

Wish they came in AWD. Would have been more fun to drive.
Yea I was talking bout the ones we get in rental. Its mostly the 2.4L 160 odd horses Auto
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Old 17th January 2013, 02:37   #1779
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Take your car to the car wash occasionally and get the underbody thoroughly cleaned. This will prevent rusting from the salt that's put on the roads. But do this very occasionally because a regular car wash with brush or soft cloth will eventually leave swirl marks and i am told that the brushless ones use very strong detergents. So, stick to only the occasional wash.
You sure about that? I usually take my car for a full wash atleast once every month, worst is once in 1.5 months. They do a good job & car looks fresh & new after all these years & mileage(of its existence & not my ownership ). No swirl marks so far.

I cant wash my car in my Appt however I do clean it with water & cloth in between.
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Old 17th January 2013, 02:41   #1780
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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You sure about that? I usually take my car for a full wash atleast once every month, worst is once in 1.5 months. They do a good job & car looks fresh & new after all these years & mileage(of its existence & not my ownership ). No swirl marks so far.

I cant wash my car in my Appt however I do clean it with water & cloth in between.
Sure about what part? The swirl marks? Oh yes. Pretty much. But going there once a month is occasional only
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Old 17th January 2013, 02:47   #1781
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Yeah, I thought once a month is frequent .

hmm got to check my car well on a Sunny day for swirl marks.
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Old 17th January 2013, 03:04   #1782
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Yeah, I thought once a month is frequent .
That would be about the frequency I go too. Sometimes heavy heartedly I ignore all the dust and grime on my black Infiniti because I know most days in winter as soon as wash is complete, the spots will come back. I guess I haven't also observed the swirl marks much as yet.
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Old 17th January 2013, 03:05   #1783
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

None of my cars ever see automatic car washes. There are hand car wash locations in every city, if you cannot do it yourself. Wax the car and treat the leather interiors at least twice a year, one at the beginning of winter and one at the end.

Engine bay cleaning after winter and coolant flushing every two years. Some basics.

Fewer and fewer engine degreasing places nowadays. Steam cleaning is become rare due to issues with damage to electronic components in the engine bay. It's mostly degreasing compounds with lot of elbow grease, nowadays. A true pain in the butt but necessary, if you value your vehicle.
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Old 17th January 2013, 03:22   #1784
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None of my cars ever see automatic car washes. There are hand car wash locations in every city, if you cannot do it yourself. Wax the car and treat the leather interiors at least twice a year, one at the beginning of winter and one at the end.
For the same reason as Amitoj said or something different?

I do have self wash centers near my place but the Automatic ones are very convenient & much less time consuming.

Any tips(links etc) on maintaining the leather would be great
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Old 17th January 2013, 04:31   #1785
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But still, If i had money, I would buy these

https://www.nokiantires.com/tyre?id=...me=Nokian+WRG2
I've always trusted the Nokian Hakkas. My in-laws introduced me to them - they've had the studded versions on all their RWD cars.

I've been using the studded Hakka 5s on my cars for the past two seasons - granted they're overkill in NYC but I do travel a lot all over the North-East in peak winter.

I drove a V12 RWD BMW to upstate NY in peak snow with studded Hakkas (Hakka 2's, I think) and the car would push through as though it were a snow plow.

I've tried Continental ContiWinterContacts, Goodyear Ultragrips and even the acclaimed Michelin X-Ice 2 snow tires but always keep reverting back to the studded Hakkas. They do reduce dry weather grip.


Here's a tiny cell-phone picture I managed to click of the new springs on my car.
Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America-20130112_192213-resized.jpg

Last edited by aah78 : 17th January 2013 at 04:39. Reason: Picture
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