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Winter math


Pretty funny and quite true!

That math is unknown in most states south of the Mason Dixon line where it rarely snows. Snow in Atlanta is usually a disaster because of the “unknown” math. Sure lack of snow plows helps but 1 inch will decimate ATL, Birmingham, and other good sized cities.

Very true. But in their (our, DFW has the same problem) defense, you have drivers that have not had to deal with snow, and you often have snow that quickly turns to ice. It often snows on warm streets, then gets cold, so the first snow melts, then freezes. Turns the roads into skating rinks.

More and more new cars come with low profile “high performance” tires that perform well only on dry roads. Most car buyers are not aware of this. Also AWD confers an unrealistic sense of safety at speed.

A friend of mine bought a new Nissan Maxima, circa 1989, and it came from the factory with “high performance” Yokohama tires. However, he was not aware that those tires were totally unsuited for winter driving. When he told me that his Maxima could not move even one inch on a snowy day, I didn’t really believe him.

So, I drove to his house in my Taurus, which had decent-quality Goodyears on it, and–sure enough–when he put his Maxima in gear and released the brake, the front wheels just spun–slowly.

I had no problem driving to his house with my Goodyear-shod Taurus, but he couldn’t even get out of his driveway with his high performance/summer Yokohamas.

My winter math:

Buy a new car you like. In winter decide if its snow and ice traction is OK. If not, revisit the question of if you like it enough to keep it. If yes, buy winter tires on steel rims. Cost of rims 4 X $80-100 = $320 to $400. Over the long run you will use up the OEM tires and the winter tires and probably more tires than that. The cost of having a car that works well in winter is that ca. $400, plus the time or cost of the autumnal and springtime switchovers.


I far to often see giant jacked-up 4wd pickups with nearly bald tires. Why? Giant tires have giant prices.

Same thing happened last winter to an acquantence’s 2017 Mustang…couldn’t get out of his driveway with very little snow on the ground. My 2014 Mustang has allready been re-shod, so didn’t have that problem- though I prefer to leave the Mustang home on snowy days.

I no longer live where it snows. Now rain… that is another matter, but not until summer.

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I remember my parents had a 1952 Dodge Coronet. In the winter, they put snow tires on the back. The car was rear wheel drive.
Dad bought the tires from a local recapper and the tires had walnut hulls in the tread. This really helped the traction on ice.
Some years later, I had steel studded snow tires, but I doubt that studded tires are used anymore.
Back when I was a kid, we used tire chains. These really improved the traction on ice and snow. I haven’t seen anyone use tire chains in years.

PENNSYLVANIA? Really? Only place in PA that gets significant snow is near Erie. Rest of the state - MAYBE 70" year.

For significant snow-fall it’s either mountains (Rockies) or around the Great Lake with their lake effect snow.

Another factor is that the traffic in a lot of those cities has reached a critical mass where a stalled car on the shoulder brings traffic to a crawl. It doesn’t take much to trigger free flowing traffic into a traffic jam, a car that stopped and then resumed progress an hour ago can do it.

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