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post #21 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-06-2017, 01:07 PM
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10" and still coming down today, and no problem at all getting around the hilly terrain with my new Michelin Premiers. Bottom is draging in a lot of spots, just plows right through it!! Love this thing in crazy weather!!



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post #22 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-06-2017, 01:24 PM
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I've got a hybrid, and I'd imagine there is a lot more you can do with that setup than you'd get with an integrated drive system.

So far, even with all-seasons, I've yet to have a single problem getting anywhere on icy and snowy roads in New England.

I might get snow tires for it next year, but for now, it's doing really well.

I disagree with the previous post about order of importance in snow and ice it's:

1. driver
2. tires
3. tires
4. tires
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post #23 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-06-2017, 02:31 PM
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But it's so much cheaper to go with winter tires.

As long as I have room in the garage, I will always fit my cars with winter tires. It kinda gives us a little edge over mother nature.

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post #24 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-06-2017, 03:04 PM
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*** Warning, long read. My own winter experience.**


I run Nokian Hakkapelitta R2 SUV tires and im pleased with stability and control. Like people have mentioned, the understeer is common given the fact that the RAV 4 is pretty light in the front end (my 4cyl engine is the same engine used in the Corolla), and the front tires carry the lion share of the load in the all wheel drive system. In fact, the electronically-engaged AWD system only engages when turning, slipping, or descending steep hills to increase fuel efficiency (best in class, I might add).

Subaru's symmetrical AWD never disengages and, given all its rally accolades, is arguably the best AWD system in mass production. By the same token, we must also acknowledge the RAV4's recent success (Ojibwe Forest).

To follow the OP: Bridgestone Duellers are the kind of tires they put on production lines because they meet minimum requirements and are cost effective. They should never be ran in a proper snow trial unless your aim is to bobsled.

Ways to increase traction in the RAV:

-More evenly distributed weight (when I have my family inside I can notice more traction)

-Proper snowflake-rated tires.

-Avoid big snow ruts because despite our feelings of confidence, the RAV's a unibody construction (not body on frame like a Jeep Wrangler) and it responds in bewilderment to jarring movements.

-Slow down around that corner because it is not a perfectly balanced vehicle (high center of gravity, and the long wheelbase combined with a short track makes it want to throw momentum "over" the wheels). If you begin to slide gently apply power until control is restored.

-When stopping on snow or ice, the RAV has a proclivity to shift all it's weight forward given it's uneven proportions (I might need new struts soon), so leave room for breaking. I found this out the hard way as I once barrelled through an amber light like a paperweight. This is why people put sandbags in the box of their 4x4 trucks, to evenly apply weight to both axles. In the Rav, there's no beefy differential or driveshaft to offset the weight imbalance - leaving the front tires, rotors, and brake pads to carry most of the stopping force. Obviously, this is not ideal and puts strain on the ability of the ABS to work properly during abrupt stops in winter conditions.

Elaborating further; don't overload your tire's ability to wick away snow, water, and ice. By driving in heavy, thick snow with a compacted underlayer your tires effectively lose their traction altogether no matter how skilful you are. We've all jumped that mark a few times, and are quickly reminded of how driving is a responsibility as much as it is a right.

Oh, and if any of you noticed the chime that sounds when your traction indicator senses you are being a bit adventurous...it sounds like a stall warning on a cessna aeroplane -- enough to keep me grounded, lets just say.

Last edited by ravverdriver; 02-06-2017 at 06:38 PM.
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post #25 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 11:14 AM
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I agree with quite a bit in here. For the record, I live in the Snow Belt in Upstate, NY and have never run dedicated snows on any of our RAV's. That being said, I will only purchase M&S All Seasons that test well on snow and ice.

Our 2014 XLE currently has a set of the new Michelin Defender LTX M&S All Seasons. The compound on this tire is amazing. Stays soft in -5 F firms up in 80 F. The tread is moderately aggressive, but it's the new compound, IMO.

With an 80lb Tube Sand Bag over the back wheels it is unstoppable until the snow goes up to the grill. Grips packed snow like a Tiger.

Snow tires are always the best choice for most drivers. But with the right tire and experience All Season M&S are more fun.

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post #26 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Glideslope View Post
I agree with quite a bit in here. For the record, I live in the Snow Belt in Upstate, NY and have never run dedicated snows on any of our RAV's. That being said, I will only purchase M&S All Seasons that test well on snow and ice.

Our 2014 XLE currently has a set of the new Michelin Defender LTX M&S All Seasons. The compound on this tire is amazing. Stays soft in -5 F firms up in 80 F. The tread is moderately aggressive, but it's the new compound, IMO.

With an 80lb Tube Sand Bag over the back wheels it is unstoppable until the snow goes up to the grill. Grips packed snow like a Tiger.

Snow tires are always the best choice for most drivers. But with the right tire and experience All Season M&S are more fun.
What about black ice, do you get that often in your area?
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post #27 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 01:21 PM
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What about black ice, do you get that often in your area?
I drove to work this morning and the hills were a large sheet of black ice coming in. My M+S all season Michelins handled excellent with no issues. Yesterday I pulled into the fire station parking lot that had an unplowed 10" of rutted snow. A Dodge Ram 4 x 4 truck pulled into the the lot just after me and got stuck right next to where I was parked. He had help and got it out, and I simply drove right out of there problem free. I also agree that knowing how to drive these conditions is darn important. I grew up snow skiing many years, and many mountain pass trips teach you pretty quick the do's and dont's in extreme slick weather driving.

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post #28 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 01:41 PM
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But it's so much cheaper to go with winter tires.

As long as I have room in the garage, I will always fit my cars with winter tires. It kinda gives us a little edge over mother nature.
It is law here in Quebec to have Winters on after December. Even without snow, Winter tires reduce stopping distances on cold pavement. Cars and trucks can have tons of safety tech but they won't work properly without proper rubber for road conditions.

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post #29 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 02:22 PM
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It is law here in Quebec to have Winters on after December. Even without snow, Winter tires reduce stopping distances on cold pavement. Cars and trucks can have tons of safety tech but they won't work properly without proper rubber for road conditions.
It's isn't mandated in Toronto but I'd rather put on winter tires before the onset of winter than trying to dig the car out of the rut in the middle of winter.

My manager at work went with the Nokian all-weather tires. Tires still have to rotated though so tire swapping essentially covers that. I learned to do my own tire swaps because it's so much more convenient this way, especially with three cars in the household.

But life is all about compromises so even with the special rubber compound and sipes of the all-weather, I doubt it will be as good as the top 10 winter tires produced. Either these all-weather tires may wear out the special compound faster than all season tires outside winter (some Bridgestone Blizzaks are known for two types of compounds where the inner compound is not as good but still better than all-seasons) or maybe the all-weather compound is a little harder offering less stopping power or rolling resistance.

I had already spun 180 degrees while in London, Ontario twice and I told my wife, once we move to Toronto and both get jobs, winter tires will be a must for us. I'd rather have the advantage of winter tires, electronic stability control and driver skills than rely on just one or two of them. Maybe I'm practical which is why we settled for a Toyota, and Honda's in the past.

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post #30 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 08:22 PM
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I live in the snow belt and we get pounded with snow due to the lake effect. I do not think I have had a set of snow tires on any vehicle I have owned on over 30 years.

The factory tires stink. Go out and buy a good tire that is all-season and you will have no problems. There is a reason your RAV4 came with the tires it has...because that tire manufacturer was the lowest bidder..
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