E 550 & snow and ice - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-08-2009, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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E 550 & snow and ice

I have a new E550 and it is not 4WD---It recently snowed about a foot here and I am afraid to take the car out of the garage.
Anybody know how this car will do in snow and/or ice ? Naturally presuming the driver is capable !

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-08-2009, 05:58 PM
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Generally speaking any RWD cars are not much good in the snow without snow tires. Even then, you have 382 ponies so be sure to use the W or C setting for the transmission and if you have to drive your E550, get the best snow tires you can find. Blizzaks are highly thought of and I'm sure Michelin makes some good ones.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-08-2009, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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Generally speaking any RWD cars are not much good in the snow without snow tires. Even then, you have 382 ponies so be sure to use the W or C setting for the transmission and if you have to drive your E550, get the best snow tires you can find. Blizzaks are highly thought of and I'm sure Michelin makes some good ones.
The car already has all weather tires making it unnecessary to add snow tires,so says the dealer. My trans. has only P/N,D,R with the paddle shifters, no W or C to be had ! Dealer says it should be like a tank in the snow ! What I really would like to hear is the voice of experience;I know rear wheel drives traditionally have a reputation of being rather unsure in snow. I need to count upon it for "back up" use in a pinch. If it won't fill the bill,guess I'll have to find a more suitable vehicle. I really like the car for fair weather driving and would hate to "crunch" it using it in a manner for which it was not designed .
..................BTW--I have faith in my dealer but I feel that he would not say anything derogatory about this car,even if it would be more truthful !

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-08-2009, 07:23 PM
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The car already has all weather tires making it unnecessary to add snow tires,so says the dealer. My trans. has only P/N,D,R with the paddle shifters, no W or C to be had ! Dealer says it should be like a tank in the snow ! What I really would like to hear is the voice of experience;I know rear wheel drives traditionally have a reputation of being rather unsure in snow. I need to count upon it for "back up" use in a pinch. If it won't fill the bill,guess I'll have to find a more suitable vehicle. I really like the car for fair weather driving and would hate to "crunch" it using it in a manner for which it was not designed .
..................BTW--I have faith in my dealer but I feel that he would not say anything derogatory about this car,even if it would be more truthful !
Don't believe the dealer that "all weather tires" are any kind of snow tire. They are NOT, repeat NOT anything remotely comparable to a set of blizzaks, michelin ICE or other true studless winter tire in snow or ice. (Those with the snowflake on the side)

If your at all concerned, buy a set of blizzaks or equal, put them on another set of rims, and put them on when the weather gets bad.

After switching from studded tires and running blizzaks on my E420 and my silverado 4x4, IMHO blizzaks easily outperform even studded winter tires.

I grew up driving RWD cars, then switching to FWD, IMHO a RWD car with the right tires and knowledgeable driver can perform darn good. I've kept going in my E-420 while FWD cars (probably with inexpericed ice/snow drivers) were stopped, stuck or spinning out. To many folks think FWD is a magic bullet, but it's only an advantage if you know how to drive on ice/snow. Yes AWD is a big step up, but again, they are no substitute for driving skill.


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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-09-2009, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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I am no longer a bit worried about my MB being able to handle snow and ice;I drove it,out of necessity,last night and ALL fears /doubts were dispelled. German engineering is so far advanced from our GM(gov't. mtrs.) that all standards instilled in me by U.S. manufacturers are antiquated !
The E550 performed as though it DID have snow tires. It never spun the tires once and went where others cars were already stuck ! My dealer was absolutely correct;this car performs like a tank ! I can think of no reason to ever question the need for snow tires again.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-09-2009, 06:49 PM
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Well,, with present weather in the area you should have lot of opportunity to practice.
When I used to live in 4-seasons I spend long hours practicing ice driving. We had old air strip where the Fire Dept used to pour some water just for the purpose.
Just because the car didn't spin wheels this time absolutely is not giving any guarantee it will not do it next time. Without practice you might end facing the road where you come from before you realize what happened.
So my advice is to find empty, ice covered parking lot, turn ESP off and have some fun. Traffic cone making center of donuts might help.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-09-2009, 07:19 PM
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Agreeing with Kajtek1. My father and I took a defensive driving course when we both had Porsches and that included a skid pad. After you have slid around a bit on an oiled surface, you will know how to handle that situation.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-09-2009, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys but I was brought up in Chicago,Ill. and I received my bad weather training for about 30 years driving there.
Nope, no frozen air strips,no empty ice covered parking lots with traffic cones,no skid pad & oiled surfaces. Iam too old and tired--just me my Mercedes and the occasional snowy road,and only out of necessity !
I have every confidence in the ability of my MB;and that was the only thing that I had previously questioned. Confidence certainly is the product of a reasonable ability and excellent equipment ;I'm confident that I now possess both !

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-09-2009, 10:30 PM
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Really intelligent machines are coming, but they don't exist yet.
On my ski trips I occasionally HAVE TO turn the traction control off, because with it the car is not going anywhere.
TC is great on occasional slippery spot, but when whole road is slippery you have to apply brutal power to the wheels and control the fishtailing.
For some it is easier to spend money on 4WD and loose all the fun
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-12-2009, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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$hit !---Guess I get to eat my words-----We now have about two feet of snow and I am stuck again-------This GD car is wonderful in tropical climates but not worth a tinkers ---- in snow of any depth ! IT flat will NOT go !

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