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Discussion Starter #1
hi.
Recently purchased a 2007 S FWD - love it so far:)

Now with the winter weather approaching (not often do we get to see snow, but we do) I am beginning to feel a bit anxious about driving the Mo around with just FWD and the all season tires (Riken Trail AP in good condition - barely any wear on it). Last year I drove my Honda Accord 03 (albeit with Michelin Ice) with pretty much no problem at all.

Who has experience with FWD on snow/ice and maybe even with the Riken Trail (I couldn't find any reviews on them at all)?

We're thinking of going up to the mountains tomorrow and I need some reassurance :))

p.s. should I get chains just in case for the front?

p.p.s. Happy Holidays!
 

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If you drive where they salt and plow the roads, FWD is fine. If you will be driving in areas where the roads are poorly maintained or not plowed, you can get stuck even with AWD. Just go slowly and you should be fine. Snow tires trump chains anyday.
 

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Winter tires make the biggest difference on any vehicle. For stopping and turning, winter tires are the only thing that really matters. I drove FWD for years and used only winter tires with no problems, including driving in blizzards. Since going to AWD (with winter tires), the only things that have improved are acceleration and hill climbing.
 

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My 2005 handles GREAT in the snow, every year I'm very impressed with how well it does. Granted, I have AWD, BUT it very rarely switches to this. Most of the time, even in the snow, it's in FWD. I can feel when it shifts power to the rear wheels, and it DOES help me sometimes, but I wouldn't worry about it. FWD only should still get you around just as good as pretty much any other car.

If you live in an area where you get a lot of snow, I'll echo mattski and say get some good winter tires. That can help tremendously. Although I've never felt the need for them on my Murano here in Seattle, I've had them on previous cars when living in Pullman.

I also always recommend carrying chains during the winter, no matter what. I don't care what kind of a vehicle you have or what kind of drive system, if you car allows chains, have them on hand. They are a cheap insurance to have around, and most places let you return them for a full refund at the end of the season if you haven't used them.

FYI, I've only used chains once on my Murano since I got it in spring of 05. And even then, I didn't really NEED them, I just felt safer with them on in the conditions I was driving. This was driving between Pullman and Seattle on a particularly nasty winter a couple years ago.

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT CHAINS: Make sure you put your chains on when you buy them to make sure they fit. (just fitting them on doesn't prevent a full refund, as long as you don't drive with them on) Les Schwab looked up chains in their system to fit my Murano a couple years ago, and when I tested them they did not fit. When I went back, they tried themselves, and had to go up TWO SIZES before they got the correct ones. Each set of chains is designed to fit a range of tires, and weird-sized tires don't always fit into the ranges like you expect.
 

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Very true. Every year I'm always disgusted by the people on the news here in Seattle. Video shows an SUV sliding sideways down a hill, and when they interview the driver they say "I don't know why I wasn't able to stop, I have 4WD!!!"

<sigh>
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you all for your comments and suggestions.
Of course good driving is the key to staying safe on the road, although sometimes it's limited to other drivers as well.

I'm probably going to turn to Costco for the chains, just to keep a spare in the car.

For the snow driving (although Ice scares me the most) we'll go up to the mountains with my husband and I'll practice there on a parking lot first before getting onto the big road.

Corin - We live in Portland and get not as much snow as you do up in the Seattle area, but you never know :)


p.s. I'm probably going to have more questions about my car later on - you've been such a great group of people with this question :)
 

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I live in Colorado and most of the time FWD is great. I bought AWD because I like making it easy on myself, and I bought my Murano used.

Hey, I grew up in Pullman (eastern WA, home of Washington State U) and that whole town is steep hills. EVERY road is up or down. And there weren't any FWD or 4WD cars - there were only good old RWD cars. We slid a bit, but we always got where we needed to go. I've gone highway driving while busting snowdrifts with the headlights in a big 'ol '63 Pontiac Grand Prix with street tires...no problem.

We did fine. You will, too.

You won't have any problems as long as you stay on roads that are tended, and drive sensibly. If you really want to prepare for winter and plan on doing a lot of snow and ice driving, a set of Bridgestone Blizzak tires are the best made. But since you live in Portland, carry a set of chains in case of emergency and you'll be fine with the good tires you already have.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Pilgrim, thank you so much for your comment:) I feel reassured!
Back in Russia (I lived in the city of three major hills), people drivng RWD would just back up the hill when the roads got super slick during the winter :)

Have you heard of these tires (Riken Trail)? I can't find a decent review or discription on them, but so far do like them.
 

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I remember what a friend of mine said when my dad bought a Jeep CJ many years ago. He said:

"I never got stuck as much in my life as I did after I bought a 4WD. After I got it, I went all the places I had the sense to stay out of when I had two wheel drive."

I quickly learned that he was right.

There are few places a skilled, thoughtful driver can't go with 2 WD, whether front or rear. Good tires and practice at winter driving are both great assets.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So, here's my update!

We finally made it to the snow pack in our Mo today... what can I say... Impressed!!

I felt so much safer in it, the tires performed wonderful and the car performance (in my book) was outstanding even with the FWD. It was nothing like the Accord (of course) havier, much better braking response (almost no slip, unless I really hit that brake hard and turned at the same time... aтв I mean hard) and virtually ni spinning at all. I've practice once I got to the Mt. Hood Meadows and it felt great. Brake and acceleration responce - wow. Fell in love all over again :))

Here's a little photo proof :)

p.s. didn't even feel like I needed a AWD... (so far)

 
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