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Steep/Wet Road Advice?


DILLARD000

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@sleaux_meaux
Per your nickname, slow down on wet\snowy\icy\winding\narrow & inherently dangerous roads; always drive defensively, assuming others won't.
As road\weather conditions deteriorate, increase the spacing between you & other vehicles accordingly.
If roads\weather deteriorate enough as judged by only you, consider staying put at home\work; is it worth risking priceless life & expensive vehicles?
Keep vehicle in good order: especially tires+brakes+suspension, but also engine, tranny... a breakdown in a bad spot in bad weather is bad news.
FactoryOE tires are typically the cheapest FairWeather HighWay tires the maker can find that will not deter sales.
Buy better tires for practical utility, not for pretentious good looks.
Personally I've learned to run basic Mud+Snow\M+S tires, 1"Diam smaller than factory for better LoEndTraction, with slightly aggressive tread
for satisfactory Grip+LowNoise on highways & narrow winding mountain grades in all weather\pavement conditions, & for winter SnowPlowing.
If you've got good tread on sturdy M+S tires, studs aren't needed for winter unless you drive frozen lakes or your area is exceptionally icy.
I also keep ~100lbs of supplies in a toolbox in the truck bed, which improves rain\ice\snow RearEndTraction; I fishtail only if I try really hard to.
You've got RWD only, so more weight may be needed.
Monster tires & jacking suspension 2", 3", 4"... looks really cool & might impress dumb blonds, but is pretentious & impractical for daily driving,
& will likely make your vehicle less stable driving plus less maintainable\affordable.
My 2 cents.
 
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Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: 7FA902352B4C01: April 5th, 2021

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Unless Firestone changed the formula on their Destination tires, I'd avoid them. The rubber compound is too hard.

I had them on my Silverado 4WD and they would break free easily in the on ramp when it was wet. Also, while visiting a friend in Blairsville, Georgia, the truck started to slide down the hilly road he lived on... While my foot was mashed on the brakes! Yes, the hill was steep, but the road was paved and the tires were only two years old.

I went to Goodyear Duratech and had no problems with them. They even handled Florida's tropical storm rains and flooded roads well.
 

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Snow/Ice Tires and play sand thats really it..... I lived in a town that was built on the side of a mountain so you where either going up hill or down there was no in between.
 

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This part I'm having trouble with. Based on my limited knowledge and research, it seems like siping would be helpful but my understanding is snow and winter tires are designed to pack snow in the treads which rather than expel water from the treads like summer tires. To me this seems like it would be counterproductive to driving in Seattle since we never get snow (<a week a year) and when it does it doesn't matter what tires or drivetrain or anything because the roads are impassable due to other drivers and Seattle lack of investment in snow clearing vehicles. Smart people just don't drive or come to Seattle the few days it snows.
You are confusing terminology. Siping is the small squiggly cuts in the tread blocks. They help gain better traction with ice and packed snow from my understanding.

You might be thinking of the grooves and channels. If it is warm enough for there to be water, the grooves and channels will be clear enough to allow water to pass through them. In slushy conditions where there is a transition, the tire is going to have difficulty of course. That time is the most dangerous for any tire.

Of course, all this is from a lay man’s understanding from studying and paying attention information published out there. I don’t work in the tire industry and I’m not an engineer in the field. So, beyond the basic terms and understanding, I am out of my realm.

All I can tell you if you wish to know more is search out and study why tires are designed, why tires designed for specific conditions are the way they are like mud, sand, and snow tires, and why non-specific tires are designed the way they are like All-Terrains and all seasons.

Tire Rack has a lot of content means to explain those things. There are other tire related sites as well. You can also look at the tread patterns in tires. Notice the similarities of tires designed for the same purpose. Snow tires have many small blocks with a lot of siping, small grooves, and small channels. Mud tires have large blocks with wide grooves and channels. Some have sipes and some don’t. All season and all-terrain tires are somewhere in between.

Also, all tires are a compromise somewhere. They focus on certain aspects but lose in others. Handling traction, when and where that traction happens best, water clearing capability, etc., etc.
 

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Siping will help with rain, assuming the big tread grooves are enough to prevent hydroplaning. Whether you can find a tire shop willing to do it, is another question. The grooves don't have to be cut deep, but when that part of the tread wears off, it will have to be done again. Kind of a stop-gap measure for a tire with marginal traction.

If you look at a new tire, there (generally) are more grooves in it, than one getting close to the wear bars. That's one reason traction goes down (usually) with tread wear. Siping adds new grooves back into the tire.

So a brand new tire can be fine going up a hill on slick pavement, but the same tire worn down quite a bit might not, because some of the squiggly little grooves that the tire had new, are gone.
 

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I'd be tempted to put either snow tires or studded snow tires on the rear... you can hit up a junkyard and buy two spare wheels and just keep them mounted up all the time so you can swap them out at the beginning of winter months. Snow tires alone may be fine, studded tires are much better on ice.

You could also pick up a set of tire chains or cables and just chain up what you have now... I remember my dad running some godawful cheap sketchy street tires on his pickup when I was a kid but it got around pretty well with the chains on. He always had 2wd pickups though, I've had almost all 4x4s and have only thought about chaining up once.
 

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When the road gets wet the best option is to dry it thoroughly before resuming driving. Jet engine dryers are the most effective way to do this.

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looks really cool & might impress dumb blonds
Let’s be precise with safety items: in my experience, dumb brunettes are equally impressed.

& to @[B]DILLARD000[/B]’s comments: amen.

Two things would be a factor in slippin’ & slidn’ on wet roads: rubber compound and driver. The harder the tire compound, the more durable the tire, but also the lower the traction, the pure friction coefficient (in most cases). Hard tires don’t stick well in wet conditions.

The bigger factor is the driver: water is incompressible. Sooo, as you run over it, the high points push it into the grooves and channels which gets it out of the way as you roll, so the rubber can contact enough of the pavement or terrain to keep the tires stuck. If you go to fast, not very fast but too fast for conditions, the water isn’t pushed out, you end up riding on the water and not what’s under it.

Slow down and Teflon tires will work....
 
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Dirtman

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@DILLARD000

Pretentious seems a little harsh to me...

pretentious
[prəˈten(t)SHəs]

ADJECTIVE
  1. attempting to impress by affecting greater importance, talent, culture, etc., than is actually possessed.
 

Dirtman

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MikeG

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The right foot may be a critical factor, but it isn't the only one. I've had tires that were so crappy I could break them loose in third gear, on wet pavement, when it had stopped raining and there was no water puddled up in the road. Just wet. And fairly flat where I live. And my mazda 3 has the smallest engine available for the car, and over 300k miles at that. Not dumping the clutch, either, just trying to get out of the way to keep from being run over.

I would seriously doubt that studded / chained tires would be looked kindly upon in Seattle. Besides, if it is anything like the idiots in Austin, you would be taking your life in your own hands driving anything less than an M1-Abrams when it snows. Maybe not even safe in that.

He needs wet traction, period......
 


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