Driving E-Class RWD in Seattle winter - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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Smile Driving E-Class RWD in Seattle winter

Hi everyone,

I need some advise about driving W211 E-Class Wagon in Seattle.

I live in San Francisco bay area with my W211 wagon. Of course it's rear drive, otherwise I won't compose this thread at all.

We will move to Seattle in 2 weeks. I have been Seattle once for the interview, but it shocked me that I didn't see many Mercedes out there. I asked around and people warn me that owning an RWD in the rainy Seattle is like owning a moving coffin ready to serve my entire family. They said that Seattle is a rainy city, the road is icy in the winter and the hilly Seattle road makes the worst case combination.

On the other hand I believe Mercedes must have considered icy/snowy road driving. Otherwise this Germany car can't be sold to northern Europe include Berlin.

Should we trade-in the W211 for an AWD car? Should we count on snow tire? Should we load the trunk with 100lb sandbag to improve traction? Or have we worried too much?

Appreciate a lot for any advise, thanks.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 08:47 PM
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Seattle is having snow once every 20 years.
The city doesn't even own snow plows and when unusual freezing hit it about 6 years ago, youtube was flooded with videos how helpless cars have been sliding down icy streets banging several parked cars on the route.
On other hand you will see more Ferrari and lambos there,. They do just fine with the weather.
We do have few active members from the area in W210 section. Talk to them for details.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 10:36 PM
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Yeah, I thought Seattle got snow and ice on the roads as often as Houston.

My 4Matic saved my ass on a Minnesota Interstate one day, but Minnesota ain't Seattle.

I wouldn't worry about rain. Keep good rubber on the car and don't get completely gonzo, and you'll be fine. Just don't get completely timid, like all too many drivers do in the rain.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 09:20 AM
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BTW Alee, did you had snow last winter in the City? I am in East Bay and had some slushy stuff on my deck. Second time in 23 years in this home.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 11:20 AM
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Indeed if you don't go anywhere on that one day when we have snow, you're good even with stock tires. If you want to be mobile or go skiing (the slopes are an hour away) then I suggest to come prepared.
I have two sets of winter tires (Bridgestone Blizzak) that I put on my E350 and Odyssey. Ody runs fine wherever I take it so far, and Benz hasn't even seen the snow yet. So it's more of an insurance against bad weather than anything, I'll probably be selling my Benz wheels+tires this autumn and count on the Ody to drive around.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 04:21 PM
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I live in Toronto and my daily commute is a w209. I have to admit that FWD is far superior in snow and ice driving.

I have a dedicated set of winter tires and for bad snow days, I will put 2 summer tires (with wheels) in the trunk.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 04:38 AM
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it seems that i have never experienced that
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 08:25 AM
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I live in Portland, which has similar weather to Seattle. It does not snow very often here but when it does, it is a huge mess - the snow is sloppy, it is crazy hilly, and cleanup (plowing, etc.) is very limited.

However, my experience is that AWD/4WD is of limited benefit unless you plan to drive into the mountains. It does not help you stop or prevent skidding. Your best bet is to get a dedicated set of winter tires. In Portland, studded winter tires are allowed from Nov - March. (Studded tires are of course controversial - many say modern snow tires do just as well and don't wreck the roads. But I know people who will religiously switch every winter for the peace of mind).

And whenever possible - STAY HOME! No matter how good your setup is, there are always people out there woefully unequipped and you can't keep them from sliding into you!
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