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I know this subject comes up every now and then - how good is the RAV on ice.
I put mine to the ultimate test this weekend. Saturday morning I went to Vancouver Washington (where Kelly lives) and they had a ice storm with freezing rain. For about 75 miles I was in some of the worst driving conditions I have ever been in and I have hauled logs off some of the highest mountains in Washington in a lot of snow and ice. This RAV is awesome on ice!! Streets and a lot of Portland, Oregon were closed down! I came back today with about 50 miles where chains or traction tires were required and winds of 40 -50 MPH in the Columbia river gorge. The RAV4 with Cooper M/S tires - gets my vote!! I couldn't count the cars and trucks that were in the ditch or rolled over --- Off and on ramps were blocked with cars that couldn't get traction. (a lot of Ford SUV's)
All I can say is you can do it with a RAV4!
 

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Kinda wondered how the Rav would do on ice myself. Been seing alot of news footage about the cold, icy weather up in Portland, Oregon. They keep showing this footage of a huge pileup from cars that couldn't stop and kept sliding into the cars in front of them. One woman actually jumped out of her vehicle and was sliding behind her car with another car right behind her. Man, she almost got crunched. Never jump out of a moving, sliding vehicle like that. Wondered if there were any Ravs or Vs in that pile up.
 

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Stelly do you have studs on the Coopers?

I have the same Cooper M/S tires on right now, they're great in snow and ice, and even better if you throw a few bags of sand in the Rav for extra weight. I don't have studs, chains, ABS or traction control but the tires still work fine even driving in a foot of snow. They also work pretty well on dry pavement or in the rain, and they're not terribly noisy either.

Don't get me wrong, the Rav will slide on ice, but so would any other car or truck unless they have studded tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Jeff,
No studs. I have never used studs on my RAV's and they seem to do good without them. Any you are right anything will slide on the ice - it is a combination of car, tires, and how you drive. The AWD system on the RAV is a great system.
In places it looked like a war zone. Some places on the freeway you had to wind through all the smashed up cars.......
 

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Stelly said:
...went to Vancouver Washington (where Kelly lives) and they had a ice storm with freezing rain.
Yeah... it was pretty nasty around here yesterday. All melted and back in the mid 40's today.

The wife and I did venture out with our RAV4 yesterday. Gotta agree with Stelly... the RAV does a great job on ice. I've heard some mention they don't care for ABS, but ours does a great job of stopping on ice/snow. :)

It's been several years since I've pushed the diff/lock button. Word to the wise... might be best to engage/disengage using the button at least once a month or so, just to keep things freed up. Ours went into lock mode OK, but didn't want to come out. It did eventually unlock, after going over a few road bumps.
 

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I don't have the luxury of ABS, but I really don't miss it that much. Sometimes I wish I had it when driving down the highway in the rain when some fool cuts me off, but most of the time I drive in such a way that I don't need it to stop in time. Honestly the Rav stops pretty well even without ABS, I really have to wail on the brake pedal in order to get the tires locked.

People talk about having a tough time going from a car without ABS to car that has it, because they have to learn not to pump the pedal. But let me tell you it's a lot harder to go from driving cars that always had ABS to a car without ABS, and have to learn how to pump the pedal.

I had ABS on previous cars and found it offered little comfort in ice and snow, however snow tires helped the ABS a bit. ABS needs at least one tire to have traction, otherwise it is useless. So if all four of your tires are sliding on ice and snow the ABS fights to gain traction but it can't until at least one tire gets traction. In that situation where all four tires have lost traction, ABS can actually increase your stopping distance or cause the car to slide out.

Well before I go off on a tangent here, I will say that ABS can both help and hinder braking, depending on the situation and the driver. It just gives you the comfort that you can just stomp on the brakes and the car will do its best to stop, which is great for 90% of people on the road and works 90% of the time.

I've never driven a Rav with ABS so I can't comment on how well it works with respect to the Rav, however I would like to find out someday.

Would I get ABS on my next car? Absolutely. Would I like to be able to turn it off when I want? Absolutely.
 

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I should mention it's snowing pretty well here as I speak (or type) so hopefully I'll have a few inches in the morning to play around in. Normally I would wish for a snow day, but since tomorrow is MLK day the campus is closed anyway. This storm isn't supposed to be big, but my previous experiences show that the good snow storms usually occur when you have the day off in the first place...
 

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I am not a big fan of ABS.... I had ABS on my Honda Del Sol and I did not like it one bit.... in rain there was one time I was following another buddy of mine and he was in a Del Sol with ABS as well... the roads were wet, and we were coming to a stop light.... both of us were in separate lanes... right before getting to the light I hit the brakes ( and not suddenly either) and the ABS kicked in...
all of sudden both of us in each separate cars end up sliding almost in the middle of the interesection.... dammmmm ABS kicking in caused the poor braking....

Another time raining again I was coming up to a stoplight behind traffic, the dammm ABS kicked in again and I almost ended up hitting the person in front of me.....

There were several times in snow where the ABS kicked in around a corner and almost caused me to lose control....

Thing about the ABS is it's hypersensitive, you really don't have to slam on the breaks for it to kick in..... the dammmmm thing has a mind of it's own, which is not good!!!

I think it only works well on dry pavement....


And don't say it's because it's Honda...


ABS is no good period.

Just my .02 cents and experience on ABS....
 

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DJ Sueno said:
And don't say it's because it's Honda...

ABS is no good period.
OK... I won't say it :wink:

I will say that the ABS on my 1996 RAV4, that I've owned for almost 9 years, has worked EXCELLENT for me. If any of you are familiar with the weather here in SW Washington and NW Oregon, you will know that I spend plenty of time of wet pavement and roads that are in need of repair. No close calls... no complaints. It's kicked in quite a few times and works great.
 

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Everytime i've locked the wheels on my 96 RAV i wish i had ABS. Sampling the ABS on our 03 LandCruiser makes me think like this. Even though the LC weighs a tonne more than the RAV it stops better due to ABS and EBD.
 

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It all depends on the vehicle, because every ABS system is different, and some are more sensitive that others. The ABS system in my brother's Acura Integra Type-R is so finely-tuned that it works very well in all conditions. It allows the tires to lock just a little bit before it kicks in, so that it doesn't mess with you while you're doing autocross or a road course.
 

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Our RAV-4 works very well on ice and in snow.
Blizzak are installed on it in winter (same since the first winter!)

About ABS, it does job for almost all people almost all of time.
 

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Kelly Smith said:
I should also give my Michelin Cross Terrain SUV - P225/70R16's some credit for the stopping power.
This is a tire I've short-listed for my RAV4 when the cheapo Bridgestones are finished, probably before next winter. Can I ask what you think of the Michelins so far?

I know they don't make them in the stock P215/70R16 size (my tire dealer recommended the LTX M&S instead) but assuming the 225's fit on the stock steelies I prefer to go with the Cross Terrain.
 

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Are Michelin Cross Terrain SUV winter tires?

I'm not sure... :?:
 

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I believe they are all-season.
 

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bmorton said:
Kelly Smith said:
I should also give my Michelin Cross Terrain SUV - P225/70R16's some credit for the stopping power.
Can I ask what you think of the Michelins so far?
Yeah, more of an "All-Season". So far I've driven 46,500+ miles with them and they still look pretty good. They've done a great job on snow/ice and are excellent in the rain. I paid $120 each from America's Tire Co. The 225/70's are a little larger than stock, but IMHO give the RAV a little needed LIFT 8)

If you CLICK on the YELLOW text in my post, you can read the full specs on these tires.
 
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I think ABS saved mine...

On the way to work one morning, I came around the corner and a 4 point buck was standing in the middle of the road. I slammed on the brakes and started to steer left and right as visions of my new Rav being destroyed flashed through my head.

Luckily, I stopped about a foot short of nailing him. I am thankful that I had ABS so my stopping distance was reduced and I had control over the vehicle. Otherwise, who knows what kind of damage would have been done...
 

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Michelin LTX M/S 215/15 R16

Just placed an order via the costco website. Will take ~10 business days for the tires to be shipped to our local Costco. Costco has a special right now till the end of January($60 off a set of 4 Michelin or Bridgestone tires). The whole deal cost me around $520 including lifetime rotation and balance. I cant wait to try out the new tires!
Is it reccomended to get a 4 wheel alignment aloing with the installaition?
I am now wondering if there is any significant advantage to going with the plus size zero (225/65/ R16). Will my Rav perform any better on the highway? Does it help/affect my fuel consumption?


Ravster
 

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Yes it is a good idea to get an alignment. The general rule of thumb is to get an alignment every time you get new tires. Even though the steering may be straight and the previous tires wore evenly, the alignment still could be off a little. It's just a good idea to get one every couple years since they are usually less than a hundred bucks for a 4-wheel alignment, and can reduce wear on your tires and suspension. If your alignment is off, even just a little, it can cause one or more tires to repeatedly come out of balance as the tire(s) wear unevenly.

If the shop says they can't adjust the rear wheels on the Rav they don't know what they are talking about, go to another shop.
 
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