Hi. Great show. I have a question about my 2006 mercury Milan. It has the premier package with the 17 inch rims. I bought it new but had 4000 miles on it. They told me it was driven by the owner. The problem was when I first drove it in the rain. If I drove over the tar strips that are in the road the car would squirm. Then when it snowed and I drove it did the same thing. I drive 40 miles one way to work and all on the e-way. If there is one inch of snow or less really the car will just slide to one side or the other. I will only drive 30 and will get pasted by semi trucks and the car will just slide toward the passing semi until it catches and then jerks are heads. Then it might slide the other way. One time we were driving home and mind you going start under a over pass the car would just slide to one side. I am talking maybe like a foot or 2. It did this the hole way home. Every over pass I came to. I would slow down to 20 mph and cost and it still did it. I have put new different tire on it. I even tried to put sand bags in the trunk but nothing helps. Could it be a alignment issue or the tires being low profile and wide it sits on top of the snow. I have not checked the alignment because the tires do not wear funny. Need help please.

Wide tires don’t do well in the snow. What size are your tires?

I would suggest two things:

  1. Sell your current set of wheels/tires.
  2. Go to and read owner’s survey results, and choose a tire that has good ice/snow traction. Then buy a set of wheels and tires that are narrower than the ones you had on originally.

PS–In addition to the tire size, tell us what brand/model tire you have on now.

I agree with Jesmed. The wide tyres usually found on fancy rims do well on dry summer roads, but really poor on ice or snow. I recommend a set of four winter tyres and four new wheels for those tyres. Switch off fall and spring.

I would like to add that this vehicle is rear wheel drive and if the OP has only had past experience with front wheel drive, then the back end breaking loose can be disconcerting at first. Tires are vey important, but even with these changes the car will never handle in the same fashion as a front drive car.

Steven, Is this the first rear drive car you have owned?


The Mercury Milan is FWD, not RWD.
Were you thinking of the Grand Marquis, Carveaholic?

oops. Yes. Maybe I should read more carefully. Never mind. I fail.

I second Mr. Meehan’s advice. Do we know in what part of the country Mr. Devine (the OP) lives?

Take the sand bags out of the trunk. This helps with rear drive but makes traction WORSE on a FWD car.

Sometimes, bad alignment or worn out ball joints and tie-rod ends won’t cause trouble until the roads are slippery. You should also tell the alignment shop about the problem. If you are going straight and the steering wheel is turned, the alignment isn’t perfect and maybe should be checked anyway.

Have the car checked for evidence of collision damage too. If the doors all seem to work differently or one is hard to open, it could be a sign of damage.

You need to spend good money on a good tire to deal with snow and rain.
The $30 Walmart Specials just are not going to provide you with good traction in the winter.

The tire size, according to is 225/50-17.
There are plenty of good quality tires that are going to provide decent traction in this width. The Goodyear Assurance TripleTred comes in that size, and I can’t recommend it highly enough for rain and snow use.

I don’t know where the OP lives, but if he lives in a high snow area, he might want to invest in a good set of winter tires instead. The OE tires were Michelin Pilot HX MXM4 tires, and they have a incredibly poor ratings in snow and wet driving conditions, according to the user surveys.

If that’s what they put back on the car, then I can understand why their car feels like it is sliding all over the place.