Winter time options in NE Ohio

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by BillsPrius, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. BillsPrius

    BillsPrius New Member

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    I'd like to hear what people think about winter options as it applies to NE Ohio. I live in SE Portage County (near Ravenna) and commute to Cleveland Hopkins area.

    Wondering about the need to switch to snow tires or if factory is good enough for our general winters (I got the Avid S33D on mine).

    Also wondering if grill blocking and engine heaters make that big of a difference here as well.

    I'm sure these answers would vary greatly around the US so am trying to get answers at least comparable to northern Ohio winters.

    Love to hear your comments!
    Bill
     
  2. Bica2go

    Bica2go New Member

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    Hey! My outlaws are in Mentor and we'll be driving out from Boston for the holidays.

    You're in a snow belt and with that commute I'd probably opt for snow tires for the margin of safety. I'm on the fence about getting snow tires this winter since my tires are new, but I typically work from home. I can set the time to go to the office so I easily avoid nasty conditions and traffic and it's only 8 miles away. My biggest fear - the 9hr ride across NY, PA and into OH going through Syracuse, Buffalo and Erie!

    Grill blocking is inexpensive (it cost me $2 in materials). I'll be blocking my lower grill soon. We're down in the 30's at night and up to the 50's on a good day. I've noticed a drop in mileage already. Between work, rain and raking leaves for the town pickup, I just haven't had a chance to put it in. I don't have a garage so an engine block heater won't work for me. I'm not certain I'd do it anyway.

    This thread has the Consumer Reports review of winter tires in case you decide to pursue that option: http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-iii...shooting/70379-snow-tire-recommendations.html
     
  3. wvgasguy

    wvgasguy New Member

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    I started to reply yesterday but didn't want to sound like a [email protected]$$ so I thought I'd wait to see if anyone gave you additional good information. You're new here so I'll go ahead and give it a try.

    First, a general question seldom gets you a usable response. No one knows the route you take or the terrain you drive in NE Ohio. Even your neighbor may have different needs than you. So with that in mind I would simply ask you, do you normally use snow tires? If so, I would recommend them for your Prius as well. If you plan to keep the Prius long term and can get several years out of a set of tires then you really don't spend that much incrementally by rotating them out seasonally. I would suggest picking up an extra set of wheels.

    As for the AVID's you might go to The Tire Track and see what the ratings are for snow versus what you typically drive.

    As for the Prius and the traction control, there are some newer threads on this, but the 2010 is a new system that is supposed to be better than previously, allowing some spin from what I saw on the video posted recently. For me though, if I lived in an area with lake effect snow, I would want dedicated snow tires. You'll have better traction and as long as you have traction then the traction control system should not shut you down. There are several winter tires available for the Prius even in the 17" size.

    I have the Bridgestones and past experience on my TCH and looking at the tread tells me they will be worthless in snow.
     
  4. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Good all season tires should work for that area. I lived in Mentor and Mentor-on-the-lake for many years.

    Tom
     
  5. wvgasguy

    wvgasguy New Member

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    That's OK, but if you plan to run them all year you'd lose the performance of the low rolling resistance tires. If you just plan to run them in the winter then why not go ahead and buy winter tires?
     
  6. mindmachine

    mindmachine Member

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    Well if it were just a set of tires I would agree, but you need another set of rims and oh you also need another set of TPMS "sensors" and the sensors will cost as much if not more then the tires. Plus every time you change back and forth you will have to pay your Toyota dealer to reregister the sensors, since the Prius can only deal with one set of sensors.
     
  7. spiderman

    spiderman wretched

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    ... or ignore the TPMS light as I am doing.
     
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  8. wvgasguy

    wvgasguy New Member

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    I've driven without sensors for 40 years I can live without them on my snow tires. You don't have to have a second set of rims, but for long term use I think it might pay. You can get a set of Scion TC rins that looks good for around $200.
     
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  9. wvgasguy

    wvgasguy New Member

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    .... and some people simply pay to have them mounted each year on thier rims w/ the sensors. Do it when the car is in for service and a rotation and it's no big deal.
     
  10. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Certainly snow tires are better winter tires than all season tires, but for Cleveland weather it's not worth the cost and bother of switching tires and rims. Traffic will come to a standstill long before you need the snow tires. Cleveland winter traffic moves at the speed of weakest link, which is always someone with an old rear wheel drive junker with bald tires.

    Tom
     
  11. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    If you do this on a regular basis, you will soon need new wheels. Alloy rims are not meant for frequent mounting and unmounting of tires.

    Tom
     
  12. Bobsprius

    Bobsprius BobPrius

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    Thank You for that valuable advice. I myself did not know that!
    I really appreciate it...;)
     
  13. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Alloy rims have a lot of drawbacks. They don't rust, but they do corrode and they are soft when compared to steel. After a few years it gets hard to get a good bead seal. The wear and tear from repeated mounting only aggravates this problem. Those of us living in the snow belt with road salt have an even harder time with them.

    Tom
     
  14. BillsPrius

    BillsPrius New Member

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    Thanks all for the advice!

    Bica2go, Have a safe trip! I'll check more into the blocking then, thanks for that.

    WVgasguy, don't woory about sounding like a [email protected]$$ if I ask a question that isn't well formed I want to know. :)

    To the point of the different driving areas though thats why I listed my route (SE portage county to CLE). I was thinking those familiar with NE Ohio would know that route. I actually barely skim the bottom area of the snowbelt which mainly covers the eastern suburbs of Cleveland. Plus although we have the snow we are generally pretty flat, not KS flat but surely not WV hills either. :D

    Although these Avids aren't snow tires they are at least new so I was hoping they'd do OK for this first winter and then next I might use snow tires.

    Oh and previously I've driven 4x4's with fairly beefy M&S tires so this is quite the switch for me. I live rurally and my drive may be more of a concern then the mext 57 miles to work. :eek:

    qbee42, thanks for the alloy wheel info. Waiting till next winter will give me more time to save for a second set of rims as well.

    As for the TPMS, I don't think I have them on a II... at least I don't remember that being a base option but I could be wrong.

    Thanks All!
    Bill
     
  15. spiderman

    spiderman wretched

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    They all do, standard equipment.
     
  16. wvgasguy

    wvgasguy New Member

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    The problem with any "route", even a flat one is the everyone has a different access to the main highway. If you live in town possibly no problem. But if you are out of town and have a secondary road to travel before you get to a well maintained highway you may have problems. Additionally, just because you have no problem on a well maintained highway, doesn't mean you won't have a problem if for some reason you decided to pull over to the curb, of which many times have snow thrown onto this area from the plows. Snow tires may keep you from getting stuck.

    I'm hoping the Prius is better than my TCH. I tried to pull it off of my daughters driveway on a very slight slope when the grass was damp and it simply shut down on me. Even with a better system, the Prius will shut down if the initial allowable wheelspin does not gain traction. I live on a hill and I know that if I have to stop, and the hill is slick I may have to back down to a place where I have tractions to get started. Fortunately I also have two 4wd vehicles for bad weather. I bought a Highlander Hybrid specifically for milder winter driving. Even with it, I am looking for a second set of wheels for snow tires as I do plan to keep it longer than I normally have kept cars. many of the side streets in the towns near me have slopes at the red lights. Stopping on them with the old Bridgestones the TCH had would have been disappointing. My Bridgestones on the Prius at 7K miles still look like they have some bite, but the OEM TOYO's on the HH look like they would be worthless in snow, thus I'm looking for 17" rims and snow tires for the wife.

    I've driven many years without snow tires and I know it can be done, but the nondefeatable traction control systems throw this into a whole different light for me.

    BTW, i did see on ebay a set of 17" TC wheels for $200. Perhaps a set of 15" Prius wheels can be had even cheaper and the 15" tires would be a lot more reasonably priced. I have a set already from my son's Scion so the cost of 4 snow tires to use 3 or 4 years is pretty insignificant to me for the added safety.
     
  17. Apexbill

    Apexbill New Member

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    Well I just received my Prius I drove it up from Florida to Ohio and now I was concerned about slipping because for whatever reason this car just did its own thing from a little tiny tiny little speck of snow and I freaked out also the Prius engine computer thing does not kick in unless it's above 40° so I'm using gas now in the winter and winter in Ohio last until a little bit after March sometime April and I'm going to start driving this car in b mode and I'm worried if it's even possq
    I'm in Ohio also the dealership told me not to put snow tires on my Prius because we don't have that much snow during the year and he refused to put them on so he put on all weather tires and I'm still sliding everywhere so I'm going to just drive it and be mode I guess I'm going to have to stay in a hotel just to get to work because my job is a 30 minute drive both ways
     
  18. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    The dealer refused to put on snow tires??? I'm certain you can find a tire store to do that for you.
    What brand of tires did you put on? What tire pressure are in there? You should NOT be sliding at all.

    And what "Prius engine computer thing" are you talking about??????
    The Prius used both the engine and hyrbrid battery. WHY would you drive in "b" mode?
    Probably not a good idea to do that all the time.
     
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  19. KeinoDoggy

    KeinoDoggy Member

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    I live in Warren, Oh and sold one of my 2 Prii. I have an extra set of Michelin ICE snow tires mounted on rims for sale if you are interested. You are welcome to come down and check them out.
     
    #19 KeinoDoggy, Jan 27, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2021
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