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.

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Modern winter tires (the term “snow tires” represents outdated technology) on all 4 wheels will allow you to get through virtually any winter road conditions, and as previously mentioned, will allow your ABS and stability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.


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’)

With extreme traction like studded tires or studless on slippery surfaces match all four. The differential in traction on ice or slick snow between studded (&studless) vs all-seasons tires is extreme so its easy to go off into a spin.

I think its better and far safer to pick four of the same.

Let endless banter of people’s justification of needed or not needing winters not answering the question began or has it. I did not scroll up :slight_smile:

I bought the following studded winter tires last year for all four wheels:

You can view subjective assessment of tire performance in the “Survey” tab, and get objective measuremnts under "Tests. " Here are some additional absolute performance measurements sent to me by TireRack after I requested them:

(These relate to the following test: )

Ice Surface Tire Characteristics:
10-0mph Braking (feet)
General Altimax Arctic (unstudded) 30.7’
General Altimax Arctic (studded) 20.8’
Firestone Winterforce (unstudded) 36.0’
Pirelli Winter Carving Edge (unstudded) 34.5’

60’ Acceleration (seconds)
General Altimax Arctic (unstudded) 5.309
General Altimax Arctic (studded) 4.093
Firestone Winterforce (unstudded) 6.402
Pirelli Winter Carving Edge (unstudded) 5.764

These are also a Consumer Reports recommended Winter Tire. They are the only winter tires to get a rating of “very good” or “excellent” rating in all of the following categories: snow traction, ice braking, wet braking, and hydroplaning. Surprisingly, not many tires are rating well for wet braking, which can be a big deal when ice/snow is melting.

I’ve driven 5,000 miles on these tires, combination highway and local roads. In my opinion, they were the best investment I’ve ever made in my car, besides the car itself, and they were very well priced. The studs have held up just fine, there has been little wear to the tread. The handling between these and my all seasons (Michelin Pilot MXM4) was night and day. My driveway has about a 15-20 degree incline, and I was able to get up in any amount of snow, so long as it wasn’t higher than the clearance of my vehicle.

Surprisingly, the tires are not very noisy.

I do not believe studless tires give you any better traction that this particular set of studded tires, because these tires have a very good, very soft, tread compound (similar to studless) in addition to the studs.

Read reviews and test chart data on TireRack & Consumer Reports to make your decision. Careful objective study of the characteristics of each tire is a better way to make a decision than going by subjective opinions.

If you want my subjective opinion, these tires provide the best wintertime performance on snow, ice, and wet roads, in comparison to other winter tires, and happen to also be the least expensive.

Also, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of getting winter tires on all four wheels. Doing anything else is very dangerous, because you’ll be able to get the car moving on surfaces where one set of wheels has no traction, and you can easily lose control of the vehicle.

See this video for more details:

Studded tires, hmm, good on icy, icy stuff, - makes regular pavement seem like icy, icy stuff. Great for doing burnouts in the local hangout parking lot!
No way.
Good deep tread all/winter weather tires on all four will be best for your situation. Noisy - but if you can hear em you can hear em - if you can’t ??

Ask around - Ask your mail carriers in your area - they will be able to provide the Best tire traction and wear for your area.
Hope this helps,

Winter driving conditions generally call for:

Traction: To get you moving. But more important you need traction to stop your motion and to direct your motion, to say on the road.

Many people look for a 4WD to drive during the winter for safety. However, if anything they may be less safe. They can give you false sense of security. You can’t stop or reduce the chance of loosing control via 4WD.

Guess what percentage make it to and fro without any changes, my guess is 80%

@Joseph_E_Meehan "… 4WD to drive during the winter for safety. However, if anything they may be less safe. They can give you false sense of security. You can’t stop or reduce the chance of loosing control via 4WD. "

Agreed on stopping but not on losing control.

I recently purchased a used Acura MDX that has something called SH-AWD. What it does is uses the AWD to actually improve the handling of the vehicle. Not only can the vehicle shift drive torque up to 70% to rear it can shift the drive torque to an individual rear wheel. If you corner very hard in this SUV it will concentrate power to a rear wheel pivoting the vehicle on track. Acura made their AWD an extension of the vehicle stability control. Honda initially used in their Honda Prelude of the late 1990’s in their FWD to improve handling.

It works beyond well on pavement as the vehicle can actually corner with all-season tires. On snow its supposedly excellent. Audi a leader and pioneer of AWD has added this to their AWD in response. Also Saab uses this system but few cars are sold.

Also on back gravel and snowy roads there is significantly more stability in my Subaru and current Acura vs a FWD vehicle especially at washboard sections. I find the tail wags all over in FWD/RWD but our Subaru/Acura simply go fine.

I agree with others that a set of good unstudded winter tires is the way to go. Tirerack and 1010tires both have excellent consumer feedback/rating sections and I recommend a visit to their sites to help with selection.

Studs were a definite asset in the early days of my driving experience, when all we had was bias ply tires and chunky “snow tires” made without siping. Today’s softer compounds and siping designed right into the design, combined with radial ply design (which squirms less as it rolls) have improved winter traction so much that studding in all but rare driving environments is actually a detriment.

You can’t stop or reduce the chance of loosing control via 4WD.

I agree with stopping…but 4wd…you have a much better change of staying in control…I suggest you drive a 4wd in snow sometime.