Winter Tires (Only 2 needed for RWD?) - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 11-06-2009, 09:05 PM
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Winter Tires (Only 2 needed for RWD?)

I was told today by my local tire guy that just the 2 rear tires can be snow tires and that it will make little difference if the fronts are not snow tires.

I have a 2002 W203 RWD.

While I would love to save 50% of the cost of snow tires I think I would get better handling and braking if I had all 4 wheels outfitted with snow tires.

Thoughts?

Thanks!
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#2 (permalink) Old 11-07-2009, 03:12 AM
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For us that would be an illegal combination, and with a good reason.

You are not saving 50% if you buy only 2, if you put all 4, the summer tyres are not going to wear out while you have the winter tyres on.
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#3 (permalink) Old 11-07-2009, 05:40 AM
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snows on all four

You are exactly right. All four give you much better braking and steering in snow.

That said, if you live in an area where snow plowing is done early and often, you can probably get away with snows on your traction wheels only. Once you leave that area and get into a place where snow is deep, you will wish you had them on all four.

Just noticed that you are in Wisconsin. All four would be a no-brainer to me.

Last edited by rocky raccoon; 11-07-2009 at 05:41 AM. Reason: add info
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#4 (permalink) Old 11-07-2009, 06:12 AM
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Tire Rack had some videos (last year I think) that showed braking ability both ways and they might still be on there somewhere. The difference wasn't staggering but still convincing that all 4 is better than 2 in RWD cars. They also had some winter wheel packages, 4 tires and 4 wheels, in the $600 range.

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#5 (permalink) Old 11-07-2009, 06:59 AM
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You need all four, Mark. On your 4Matic wagon, you do not have to use snow tires.

I use all four snow tires on my sedan and the Michelin Primacy MXV4 on the 4Matic wagon all year round.

I am actually putting the snows on the sedan later today. It is about time.
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#6 (permalink) Old 11-07-2009, 09:59 AM
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Don't snow tires on a 4Matic make it an unstoppable force? I am going without snow tires on the 4Matic initially. If my wife complains, I will get a set for her.

I found it strange that someone would suggest only using two It is illegal to only put two on a front wheel drive vehicle in Wisconsin but not on a RWD.

$600 for tire and wheels? That's an awesome price! I was quoted $500 just for the tires/mounting and balancing.

Off to Tire Rack!

Thanks guys!

Last edited by markjpcs; 11-07-2009 at 10:33 AM.
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#7 (permalink) Old 11-07-2009, 10:42 AM
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I was quoted $498.00 for 4 General Altimax Arctic with road hazard warranty, mounted, balanced.

They will remount and balance my summer tires in the spring for no additional charge.

I could not find that $600.00 Tire/Wheel package so I think I will go with the local guy.

Unless anyone knows where that $600 tire/wheel package is available!
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#8 (permalink) Old 11-07-2009, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by markjpcs View Post
...$600 for tire and wheels? That's an awesome price! I was quoted $500 just for the tires/mounting and balancing.
Off to Tire Rack! Thanks guys!
Well it was last year and those weren't MB wheels but they didn't look bad. Plus it might have been $650 but I'm sure it was less than $700. I suppose there's shipping and mount/balance to pay on top of that.

[edit] Just checked the $79 tires and the $89 wheels and they came to $672 before tax/shipping. Noticed their preferred package was over $800 but neither one is that bad a deal.

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Last edited by Musikmann; 11-07-2009 at 10:55 AM.
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#9 (permalink) Old 11-07-2009, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by markjpcs View Post
I was told today by my local tire guy that just the 2 rear tires can be snow tires and that it will make little difference if the fronts are not snow tires.

I have a 2002 W203 RWD.

While I would love to save 50% of the cost of snow tires I think I would get better handling and braking if I had all 4 wheels outfitted with snow tires.

Thoughts?

Thanks!
I disagree with his "little difference" statement. True, snows on the front make no difference in getting moving, but thats only part of the story. How much time do you spend getting moving vs. turning and stopping! There the difference is apparent.

you will get better and more predictable handling and braking in snow/ice/rain with snow tires all around, especially with studless winter tires. You will get more predictable handling and braking on dry roads with snow all around. One could debate if it is "better" on dry roads since the winter tires do give up some ultimate traction vs. summer, performance or all season tires.

Having done the rears only vs. all around on several vehicles, (Full size Vans, pickups, and rear wheel drive cars) I have always seen a noticeable improvement in stopping and turning with snows on the front as well on snow and ice. Remember, most of the braking on a car is done on the front end, as well as the turning forces.


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#10 (permalink) Old 11-07-2009, 12:22 PM
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I am going to see if the local guy will match or even come close to the price at Tire Rack.

I really prefer dealing locally. This tire shop has always treated me right. Just yesterday I took a tire from my John Deere Tractor in that had a slow leak. They patched 3 small pinholes and didn't charge me a dime.
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