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Studded snow tires

I have a '98 Ford Crown Victoria. I have a new job and that means that I now have to drive 110 miles round trip everyday on mostly 2 lane roads. Last winter here in Ohio we had a lot of snow and ice. I am thinking about getting studded snow tires for the rear and non-studded snow tires (or really good all season tires) for the front. Here in Ohio we can have studded tires from November 1st to April 5th. Would it be a good investment to get the studded tires for the rear? I am thinking of getting two extra rims to put the studded tires on that way I can change back to the regular tires in the spring. Also will having studded tires on just the rear hurt any of the suspension or change the handling to where it would be unsafe? Thanks.


  • You really need the same type of tire on all 4 wheels. Good winter tires all around, either all studded or all not studded. You need good handling as well as stopping/starting.
  • You will regret having studded tires....90% of the time, you will be driving on dry roads and the studs get old real fast. A set of four winter tires on rims would be a better option. Or a front drive econobox car to use as the commuter..
  • Good winter tires have softer rubber and do pretty well on ice without the studs. The studs actually reduce traction on wet and dry roads so in all I think the studs aren't worth it. You should spend the money for the same winter tires on all 4 wheels. If you have ABS brakes mixing winter tires on the back and all season tires on the front is going to be dangerous. 4 non-studded winter tires is the best way to go.
  • edited August 2011
    I concur 100% with the preceding posts.
    In addition to the other negative factors mentioned for studded tires, you should be aware that the studs will wear out in ~10k miles.

    Modern winter tires (the term "snow tires" represents outdated technology) on all 4 wheels will allow you to get through virtually any winter road conditions, and as previously mentioned, will allow your ABS and stability control system to work at their optimum. Having mis-matched tires will "confuse" these systems.

    I strongly recommend the Michelin X-Ice winter tires, but virtually any winter tire (with the snow flake/mountain peak symbol on the sidewall) will give you an incredible increase in winter traction as compared to so-called all-season tires.
  • RWD Cars Are A Little Different Than What Many Folks Are Used To Driving. Heavy Cars Have Their Own Characteristics. Also, Snow / Ice Covered Roads Are A Little Different.

    You've got a relatively heavy RWD car that you operate in poor traction conditions.
    The RWD is not as desirable as FWD in these conditions. So, that's a negative.
    The heavier the car, the less need for FWD. So the weight is a positive.

    I have lots and lots of miles of experience driving in poor traction conditions with FWD and RWD cars. From my point of view (others will argue this) the oldschool heavy RWD did alright in the traction department in poor traction conditions. With the advent of smaller lighter cars, RWD did not work as well. Therefore, the smaller lighter cars began being designed as FWD to make up for the light-weight induced poor traction.

    To make a long story even longer, I think you'd be helped with studded snow tires on the rear-end. I've run studded tires before and found they didn't help much except for very icy conditions which I'm sure you experience. Then they are not the ultimate solution, but they do help a bit, sometimes just enough from keeping you from losing it or being in an accident.

    FWD cars can sometimes be accelerated gently to straighten out a skidding car, whereas RWD cars can accomplish this with gentle braking. Therefore studded snow tires go on the front of a FWD and the rear of a RWD vehicle.

    That's how it has traditionally worked well. These tires should be removed as soon as snow / ice threats are gone.


  • edited August 2011
    New Idea. Go To The Horse's Mouth.

    Police departments have long used Ford Crown Victorias. I'd stop by a couple of Ohio State Highway Patrol posts and talk to the troopers who have actually driven winter equipped Ford Crown Victorias and see if you can get a feel for what works.


  • I've owned and driven several older RWD vehicles and they ALL had problems in snow...Some of the vehicles may have been heavier then todays cars (my 66 Fleetwood was huge)....but it still had problems in snow due to the light rear-ends. Did fine in wet weather..but NOT snow.

    My wifes Lexus ES350 (mid-size car) weighs in at 3580....while my 1970 Chevy Nova weighed in at 2,843...making the Lexus about 700lbs HEAIER.....NOT lighter. The Nova was fine in dry or wet roads...but did only OK when I put 4-50lb bags of sand in the trunk...with good snow tires...The ES350 is EXCELLENT in snow...even with just All-season tires.

    I never used studded snows...although my Dad did...They were great for snow...but NOT good for anything else.
  • Thank you for all of the comments. A lot of good information. I did fail to mention that this car has the traction control option which I know doesn't help too much if you are already in a skid. I have not had too much trouble in the snow in this car. I do put some extra weight in the trunk in the winter and it has actually done better when my road drifts over with snow than my wife's Dodge Caravan. I will definitely check into the winter tires. Thanks again for all of the great advice.

  • watch this video and then ask yourself if it's still a good idea
  • What?! Nobody made a single mention about tire chains. Now, THAT'S what I call fun! (Just kiddin')
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