Winter traction 2007 Honda Civic

My car skidded all over the snowy road yesterday…through stopsigns, into the curb on turns and I was driving slooowwwwly. Help! Do I need snow tires (never did before), or do I pester Honda? - I just bought the car brand new on Labor Day!

If you have all season radials on the vehicle, they’re not very good for traction in snow. You need a set of snow tires if you want to be able to stop and turn in the snow.

Sorry, but Honda isn’t responsible for putting snow tires on your vehicle. You are.


As one of the members of this board used to say, “All-season tires are best for no season”, a reference to the fact that an all-season tire is, at best, a compromised design that allows use in all seasons, but usually is not very good at anything.

That being said, you clearly need a set of 4 winter tires (the new name for snow tires), and I can tell you that they will make a world of difference as compared to the tires that you have on your car currently. In addition to improving your ability to go and to corner, they also dramatically shorten your stopping distance on slippery surfaces, thus making winter tires an important safety advantage.

However, even with a set of 4 winter tires, you still need to exercise caution on a slippery roadway. Get them mounted on their own dedicated set of 4 steel wheels, and you will be able to mount them and demount them yourself, as the seasons change. I recommend both Tire Rack and Discount Tire for their tire and wheel combinations at a very good price.

I would like to add that winter tires will not fix everything.  You need to develop winter driving skills.  Winter tyres will help however.

You may not have “roughed up” the tires enough yet. As the tires wear down a little, they usually get better.

Most cars do better than that on snow. You can’t pull up to the stop ay 25 MPH on snow and ice. You have to almost crawl up to the stop. The first snow is the worst snow and a lot of cars go flying through. Since you never needed snow tires before, I’ll bet you need four studded ones now. Make sure the traction rating is good.

If you have all season radials on the vehicle, they’re not very good for traction in snow.

All season radials are FINE in the snow…Sure snow tires will give you better traction…but a decent all season tire is just fine unless you live in the mountains or around the great lakes and their ungodly amount of snow.

Amen to that. You need to find a biiiig open parking lot with no cars in it, and get the feel for accelerating / turning / stopping in snow. If my RWD Thunderbird can handle snow with performance tires, so can your mountain goat Civic with all weather radials.

As stated by (most) others, studless ice & snow tires will help your situation. It is good practice to shift automatics into neutral when slowing and stopping on very slippery surfaces. This will free the drive wheels from the engine power. This is one of the reasons manual transmissions are better in the winter. It’s second nature to put the clutch in when stopping. With automatics it’s not second nature, and, in fact, most folks will argue with this advice.

Other things that affect how the car handles slippery weather are tire tread design, tire compound, and air pressure. If you have (for example) Michelin summer tires, the compound is hard (for long life) which compromises traction on slippery roads.

No matter how good your tires are, you need to know how to drive on slippery roads. Driving slow is good advice also.

Yes, you obviously need snow tires. Evidently, you also need ABS (antilock brakes).

Doesn’t every car now come equipped with ABS?

Of course, if someone doesn’t know how to use ABS, panics when the pedal vibrates, and winds up pumping the brake, the ABS will not work as intended. Also–if you are on really slippery glare ice, even ABS will not totally prevent the car from sliding. Winter tires will help to a great extent, but then there are situations where it is so slippery that nothing will help.

All season tires were not fine for the OP’s circumstances. I don’t know where the OP lives, but based on his post, all season tires were not adequate.

I guess they do all come with ABS now. That hadn’t occured to me.

This guy sounds like he was all over the road. If snow tires don’t help, maybe he should take the bus!

You don’t know that…You’re saying that ALL All-Season tires are bad for this car based on the tires he has. Not ALL All-Season tires are built the same. I’ve seen all-season tires that are CRAP in the snow. But just because his are doesn’t mean they ALL are. The All-Season tires on my wifes Accord(s) and now her Lexus are EXCELLENT.

The tires that come with a new car can vary…all seasons are NOT created equal. Our RAV4 all season Toyo’s were terrible. The ones that were on our Subie were OK. Few are suitable for anything but occasional dusting with some exceptions. Talk to a tire expert about tread design, and you can get a pretty good idea ahead of time which all seasons might be passable.

“Our RAV4 all season Toyo’s were terrible. The ones that were on our Subie were OK.”

Wow! Those Toyos must have really been crappy tires because the “all-season” Bridgestone RE-92 tires that came on my Subaru were absolutely USELESS on wintery road surfaces. Subaru should have been ashamed for equipping their cars with tires as bad as those RE-92s. And, if the Toyos were even worse, someone at Toyota was a definite candidate for Harakiri or Suppuku!

Are your tires the Goodyear Eagle RS-A, Bridgestone Turanza EL400-02, or even the Michelin Pilot Exalto PE2/HX MXM4? rates all those very poorly on snow traction, the PE2s are actually a summer tire.
I’d recommend the Exalto A/S, Goodyear Eagle ResponsEdge or Assurance TripleTred. Those 3 are rated pretty good all around.

That really is too bad the OEM tires are cruddy. Mine were too on my 1995 Civic equipped with RE92’s and then sadly a pair of Subaru’s I owned.

Check out for true winter tires. Otherwise the one size fits all (eg all-seasons) that really work very well in the snow are Nokian WR’s. They are the only all-season tire that is rated for winter severe service(eg snow tire rated).

Not a Civic, but still a Honda. Last year, my 2007 Accord, with about 25K miles experienced it’s first REAL winter driving, equipped with Michelen XSE all-season tires. On the first serious snowfall, the car was a basket case on even the slightest of grades. Stuck 2 blocks from home and needed a tow to get it home. My snow solution ended up being to wait until the plows come through. In conversations with other Honda Accord owners, they all admit the car SUCKS in snow. I never had any issue with my 1995 Chrysler Cirrus that I owned for 12 years (also with all-season Michelens) or rental front-wheel drives such as For Taurus’s. Really, in this day and age, needing snow tires (call them what you want) except in serious snow country is so totally 1970’s. My solution is to start looking for some other brand. And to check the bad weather rating for the vehicle. Sorry about your Civic.