Unbelievably poor performance on snow

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by Dolgon, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. bruceha_2000

    bruceha_2000 Senior Member

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    The TC will kick in on bumpy roads because each wheel is hitting a DIFFERENT bump at a DIFFERENT time. Inevitably, one wheel will occasionally not have traction for a fraction of a second. Yeah, it is disconcerting until you know what is happening.

    If you are heading to Tahoe, I would invest in some chains. You won't be in snow enough to want snow tires ALL the time. You'll just ruin your mileage and wear the snow tires out before you actually need them. When you wear out the OEMs, get GOOD All Season tires that have high snow ratings, like the GoodYear TripleTred.
     
  2. Macomb

    Macomb Junior Member

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    No bruceha_2000, I'm not made of money...perhaps I didn't make it clear in my note. The tires came that way---full stock equipment right off of a brand new Prius and placed on EBay by the owner who, once he got his new car home from the dealer, immediately switched out the complete brand new tire set for some alternate wheel/tire package that he himself purchased a week earlier off of EBay in anticipation of delivery of his new car. My purchase of his complete set (Integrities, alloy wheels, trim rings, lugnuts, center cap and four brand new pressure sensors which COULD be calibrated to my car if/when my stock ones die) on EBay was an excellent value and my car has the showroom look winter AND summer with the convenience of merely swapping the tires Spring and Fall. In the long run it will be way cheaper than any other alternative. All-season tires will not do here in snowy Rochester, NY. They won't work in most conditions on any car although Rochester drivers do manage to master snow/ice conditions pretty well by mid-winter.

    The best part is the Nokian Hakkepeliitta R tires that I'm now driving on now have transformed my Prius into a vehicle with surprisingly secure feel in snowy/icy conditions. I'm VERY pleased. I got them from TiresByWeb.com for about $560 complete to my door. Considering that I'll have these tires for the remaining life of my Prius and will get another 36,000 or more miles from the brand new set from EBay I'd say that $1200 total is a bargain for 7-9 years of tires. I spent 2/3 of that amount for one set of tires alone for my previous car and only got about 35,000 miles from the deal. The Hakkepeliitta R's were delivered to my front door in just a few days after ordering them via toll free telephone #. The Toyota Dealer's mounting, balancing and tire disposal fee with taxes was the lowest charge around and they mounted them within a few days of receipt. I hope this clarifies a bit.

    I like the idea of being able to switch tires.
     
  3. bablang

    bablang Junior Member

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    I ended up getting some super z chains for when we need chains to go up the snow... I'll probably post a tread when I finally go up in a couple of weeks.
     
  4. morpheusx

    morpheusx Professor Chaos

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    nowadays they claim that there is a salt shortage and they have been using it very sparingly so far this season.
     
  5. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    So I suppose their solution is to not use salt and still not plow. Winter driving in the Cleveland area is a challenge.

    Tom
     
  6. eurosteve

    eurosteve Member

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    I bought my 2008 in February (2008) and muttled through the rest of last winter on the OEMs Intergrity tires. Terrible experience. I recently put on a set of Nokian WRg2's. The car handles much better. We had 6 inches of snow a few days ago and so far I've made it up my (long and fairly steep) driveway with no problems. Most of the problem with the Prius in snow is the OEM tires.
     
  7. bruceha_2000

    bruceha_2000 Senior Member

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    Ah, sorry, I did see that they were on EBay but I hadn't considered that someone had pulled them off a brand new car! I know some people are REALLY picky about their wheels. Not me, I care a lot more about the rubber ON the wheels.
    If your dealer isn't charging much, you could get the sensors registered in whatever set are on the car when you go in for oil changes.

    Same here and I like the ability to do it when *I* have time, not when everyone figures out there is a big storm coming and all want their tires switched over on the same day.
     
  8. canesfan

    canesfan Culture shocked...

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    We got about 4" of snow yesterday. School is cancelled for my son today so no need to go out. My husband says we need to take the Prius out and see what it can (or can't) do. I am very reluctant to do this as I am afraid that all it will do is end up parked at the bottom of our street since we live on a hill. Right now it's in our cozy garage. Not really so cozy as it's 38 degrees in there, but better than the 25 degrees (not counting the wind chill) outside. Plus, our driveway is very user UN-friendly (steep). He may insist we change out the tires even though we just got the car in May. I have seen the Goodyear Triple Tred & Nokian WRg2 tires mentioned in previous posts. I am in the Portland Metro area. We don't get a lot of snow, just a few minor episodes like this or icy conditions during the winter, mostly just lots of rain. Anyone else have votes of confidence for the two tires mentioned or suggestions for others? Thanks very much!
     
  9. nooaah

    nooaah New Member

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    I'm in a similar situation in Philadelphia.

    Suggestions would be nice. X-Radials or Nokian WRs? Price? How to order and get installed? I've never done this before.
     
  10. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    Tempting fate, I'd say. Of course, if you really want to find out what it won't do, this could be your opportunity. :rolleyes:

    Two sets of wheels is more convenient, and not necessarily more expensive, given that you'll wear out both sets of tires in the car's lifetime anyway, and factoring in what you'd pay to have the tires changed twice a year. Saves salt damage on the nice rims, too.
     
  11. canesfan

    canesfan Culture shocked...

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    But what kind of wheels?

    No salt here! Not environmentally friendly, you know?!
     
  12. zcat3

    zcat3 New Member

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    It's all about the tires - clearly the car is not the issue -
     
  13. Romeo

    Romeo New Member

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    Couldn't agree more with zcat3. I had two incidents in summer (!) when my Prius went into a full stop on a slightly wet road when I was making left turn and there were cars approaching me from the opposite direction. After that, I was extremely worried about winter driving particularly because I live in Calgary where winter lasts almost six months a year. But no worries any more! It's -30C right now with lots of snow and ice on the roads. And I am using every opportunity to get out and throw my Prius into this mess. I am climbing the hills covered with thick layer of complete ice and plowing through 10 inches of snow with 100% confidence and enjoyment. The traction control works as it supposed to be - spin and grip; I don't even have to release the gas pedal to find the grip as I used to do on my previous car. The secret? Good set of winter tires (I am using new Hakka R). So, I'm gonna toss these OEM tires and get something decent for summer driving too.
    And one other thing I really enjoy on Prius in winter driving - braking by engine (B mode). Really helps to stop quickly in emergency braking even on 100% ice without ABS (!). Very cool and useful feature not available on any other car.
     
  14. Illini

    Illini New Member

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    We are in the same position--just bought an '09 Touring. After a few scary experiences in the past week, we're ready for winter tires.

    Our Sam's Club can special order the Michelin Primacy Alpins and Dunlop Winter Sport M3s. Does anyone have experience or general comments regarding either?
     
  15. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    From the perspective of car handling in the winter, what is the difference between shifting Prius into B, vs. shifting any other car into low gear? Either act seems to result in the same outcome: the drivetrain goes into a lower gear to help retard vehicle speed.
     
  16. Romeo

    Romeo New Member

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    Well, I might be wrong but I think that's true only if you have manual transmission. I think with automatic you can only declutch to neutral, which also helps to stop faster but not nearly to the same degree as the B-mode. I know I was really missing this inability to shift to lower gear when I switched to auto-, so having auto and still be able to break by engine is one thing I really like about Prius.
     
  17. donee

    donee New Member

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    Hi Romeo,

    Most automatic cars have PRND21 (or 32 for a 4 speed). Those numbers are the gear that the transmission will not exceed. They can be used like B for braking, although most people just use them to avoid having the tranmission snap the wheels free during accelleration (and jump up into 3 rd or 4th highway gears).
     
  18. PriusDiver

    PriusDiver New Member

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    I'm in Portland, last November (2007) we junked the OEM tires as I couldn't stand them on dry pavement, yet alone wet or icy pavement. We ended up putting Michelin X-Ice tires on it which have been great. Our car commutes to Salem on a daily basis currently, so having a versatile tire that will handle all of the road conditions is critical. Between dry, wet (it does rain a bit), snowy, icy and just frosty...many "all season" tires just don't cover them all.

    After doing the math of either swapping the tires out for the season (winter vs summer), owning a second set of wheels (with TPMS or without) and the hassle, we settled on driving the X-Ice all year. Unlike most "winter" tires, they handle dry and wet pavement well...we have had no issues so far. Sure, it won't match the Jeep Wrangler (which the Prius replaced) with locking differentials and all when it comes to the worst of the the roads...but when its that bad, I don't need to be there anyway.

    I would advise against studded tires for this part of Oregon. For the amount of time that the studded tires are truly benefiting you are giving up everyday safety on wet/dry pavement. The modern day studless snow tires are the way to go. And if you really have to deal with the worst days, get chains.

    That being said, I have driven around "all wheel drive" Subarus that couldn't leave the stop light.

    In summary, take your OEM good year tires and sell them on craigslist. Then buy real tires, and either maintain 2 sets (summer/winter) or go with a good tire that will meet both. Just keep in mind the traction tire/chain laws in Oregon if you venture through any of the mountain passes (or state highways around Portland with ice/snow).
     
  19. canesfan

    canesfan Culture shocked...

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    PriusDiver: I sent you a private message regarding your post.
     
  20. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Another thought relating to braking on snow and B mode: B mode braking with the Prius is effectively the same as pushing the brake pedal. Normal braking on the Prius is regenerative, braking only with the front wheels. B mode is also regenerative braking through the front wheels, with the exception that some of the power is thrown away. I think Prius drivers who find B mode more effective for winter braking are mostly noticing a placebo effect.

    Tom
     
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