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Discussion Starter #1
We had a little dusting of snow last night here in Seattle and I have to say that a W211 with half worn out Pilot 265/35r18s is the worst thing I have ever driven in the snow with my limited 39 years of driving experience! I backed it out of the garage to put the studs on my kids cars and it will barely even move on level ground. Fortunatly we don't have to use it in bad weather.

Dan
 

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05 E320 CDI w/ 4 Zone Climate Control, Panaromic Roof, Parktronics. MB SDS equipped.
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You just have to get used to the sliding driving like those drifters. j/k. I too live in the west. Snow is supposed to hit in a few days. I might need to bus (proven to be the safest transportation here) taking out the getting beaten and robbed risk.
 

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I live in Vancouver and got hit with the same storm. My 2004 E500 4Matic with newer Conti Extreme DWS tires drove better than our 4x4. I tried to get it to lose traction in a parking lot for fun and I could barely get it to break traction with a few inches of snow on the ground. I was impressed with both the car and the tires. Both braking and acceleration and cornering surpassed my expectations. I can see how a rear-drive car without good snows would behave poorly in the snow...but a good set of snows and some weight in the back should fix that...
 

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breaking traction in the snow? press that ESP button you have there and you will be spinning all 4 wheels in no time :D even the best 4x4 will break traction, you just can't go against physics sometimes no matter how much you paid for that car.
 

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1976 Rover Mini; 2003 Z06; 2011 smart fortwo Passion
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FWIW, the standard take on 4x4s when I lived in Denver was "they just let you get farther off the road before you get stuck" - and all wheel drive does nothing for braking performance. Mercedes makes it clear in the Owners Manual that dedicated winter tires are needed to get the best from the car in the winter - makes sense. Haven't tried our car in the snow but as a 2 wheel drive car with lots of torque I'd expect it to be a handful. Has anyone tried using the manual shift option to start off in 2nd or 3rd gear to avoid wheelspin? :)
 

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breaking traction in the snow? press that ESP button you have there and you will be spinning all 4 wheels in no time :D even the best 4x4 will break traction, you just can't go against physics sometimes no matter how much you paid for that car.
Amen to that..

I live in NC and people from the north always come down here and say that us Southerners can't drive in adverse weather conditions. I wanna tell them 'hey stuuuuupid, nobody can drive on ice and iced over snow'.. Yet, every year those are the same bozos that end up in the ditch.. If it gets too bad I just stay home and write about my experiences with my cdi..

If you have power then you can stay warm and terrorize the streets another day..
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Are those summer tires? I have had no problem with my E63 with performance snow tires - and I'm in the same area/weather as you.
Where are you located? yea it's definately the summer tires, next set is going to be the All Season Pilots.

Dan
 

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It's a question of tires and skill.

There are tires that simply will not go in snow, ice, or even heavy rain. True summer only performance tires and some of the high mileage tires with straight ribs just won't go in snow and can't really move water aside. If you've ever tried to drive a big U-Haul on snow and ice you know what I mean - their tires are for mileage on the interstate, not for traction.

To the fundamental issue, you really need to know how to drive in snow. Pretend there is an egg under your accelerator pedal. Start it in second gear if you have that option. Once upon a time many of us learned to drive on dirt roads; driving in poor traction conditions is a very good skill builder. In my part of the World, we spend six or more months a year on snow and ice; you get used to it, but even veterans of that kind of driving sometimes get into situations they can't handle. Drive the AlCan Highway in winter sometime and we'll have something to talk about.
 

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My Take...

Dan, I live over in north Kitsap and our 4Matic with fairly new Michelin Pilot HX MXM4 tires in 245/40-18 did really well. As others suggested, I think tire style (these are M+S rated) is a major factor and the AWD clearly helped too. It was very capable - although, as others mentioned, it has its limits and if you're not careful just lets you get further into the weeds before you get stuck. And AWD does nothing for stopping.

I am trying to teach my daughters that in these conditions, it is all about smooooooth control inputs - whether accelerating, braking, or steering, the idea is to have very gentle accelerations and loadings throughout the tire's friction circle. You can maintain a pretty good pace that way, as long as you don't have to make a fast stop.:eek:

The tires I have got fairly poor reviews on TireRack. The Pilots you are planning on (assuming they are the ones I saw on the site) get excellent all weather reviews.

From the sounds of the weather people, we are in for a serious La Nina winter here in the Pacific Northwest, so Im aguessing I will get more opportunities to try the 4M in the months ahead.
 

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Don't be fooled by the notion of "all-season tire."

Like everything else "universal," they don't do anything as well as the real thing.

The new thinking is "winter tire" and NOT snow tire. That's because it's simply cold temperatures that start to degrade winter performance, and winter tires are recommended for temps less than 40 degrees F. In some European countries, they are required by law during this time of year.
 

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Over here in Sweden we HAVE to have winter tires from the 1st of December (or earlier if there is snow outside) until end of March, it's required by law. I have dedicated winter tires and they were done the last winter, this winter i got used Nokian winter tires (forgot exact model) and just drove 5 days in snow with them and they are very good.

Winter tires rubber will be a lot softer than summer tire. Summer tire basically freezes and gets very hard in low temperatures and gets very slippery. Winter tire won't freeze up that easily. I also recommend to get as narrow tires as possible, everything over 225 in width is not good for winter tires. I personally go with 205/55/16
 

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And AWD does nothing for stopping.
Not exactly, the friction and mass of the added AWD parts to the front make
the car decelerate a tad bit faster than just a RWD vehicle. However I do
agree that stopping anything that is 4000 lbs or more should always be done
carefully when the snow is flying.

I also use Nokians and the difference is amazing in the snow and slush.
 

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Not exactly, the friction and mass of the added AWD parts to the front make
the car decelerate a tad bit faster than just a RWD vehicle. However I do
agree that stopping anything that is 4000 lbs or more should always be done
carefully when the snow is flying.
I also use Nokians and the difference is amazing in the snow and slush.
What do you think of these new "all weather" tires? Half has summer tread/rubber & half has winter tread/rubber.
 

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Not exactly, the friction and mass of the added AWD parts to the front make
the car decelerate a tad bit faster than just a RWD vehicle. However I do
agree that stopping anything that is 4000 lbs or more should always be done
carefully when the snow is flying.

I also use Nokians and the difference is amazing in the snow and slush.
However, it is important to remember that while the all-wheel/four-wheel drive vehicle's ability to accelerate in slippery conditions provides a lot of confidence, it doesn't really offer any unique advantage when the vehicle has to stop or turn. This is because the other vehicles also use all four tires to provide braking and cornering traction. Since four-wheel drive vehicles actually weigh more than their two-wheel drive counterparts, bringing them to a stop or turning a corner actually requires more traction.
:)

Winter Tech - Why Electronic Drivers Aids and AWD/4WD Systems Aren't Enough (Winter)
 
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