Terrible performance on Snow

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blankmonkey
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Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:30 am

Terrible performance on Snow

Post by blankmonkey » Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:17 pm

I have an 06 vibe, I have been very very happy with it over the years and I am an original owner. I have almost nothing but great things to say about my Vibe.

But ... Every Winter my performance on the snow and ice is beyond terrible. I have tried Blizaks, studded tires, all weather tires all kinds of tires $$$ and there doesn't seem to be anything that gives a significant improvement. I end up going 30-40 miles an hour on the highway or the vibe starts to swerve and swivel. I am now almost completely convinced this is the car and not the tires.

1st question, are there any tires that people have had great experience with on snow and ice specifically in Alaska

2nd question, could this possibly be a car issue, something like traction control or something like that? Maybe a sensor is muddy and is not tracking the tires correctly. I do know that I have a air pressure sensor that is badd and has almost always been badd that I cannot figure out how to Find or fix.

This is starting to become a real safety issue as I am letting my wife drive the car and I would really like to get this corrected. Any help at all would be great, as my mechanic cannot seem to find anything wrong

Bookworm
Posts: 454
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Houston, TX

Re: Terrible performance on Snow

Post by Bookworm » Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:07 pm

Is the _front_ end doing the movement, or the _rear_.

If it's the rear, try dropping some extra weight directly over the rear tires. (Bag of sand, mother in law, whatever :) )

If it's the front, then it could be the traction control.

Also, is it AWD or FWD?

zbyers
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Location: Sheffield, Pennsylvania

Re: Terrible performance on Snow

Post by zbyers » Fri Nov 08, 2019 5:19 am

On the 06' the tire pressure sensor is a passive sensor, and is based on the ABS. If the ABS is acting up, that could be part of your issue.

We average 108" of snow where I live here at the PA/NY border. (Anchorage averages 75" by comparison) I have run Blizzak's and General Atlimax Arctics with really good success with vast quantities of snow on the road, as well as some icy conditions. Hands down, two of the top winter tires on the market. I do not use studs, as I like to use my snow tires to pass inspection in the summer time. :lol:

Otherwise, what Bookworm suggested is solid. Some added weight over the rear end could help vastly.
(2) '03 Bases, '04 GT, '04 AWD, '06 AWD, '07 Base, '17 Frontier CCLB
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jolt
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Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota

Re: Terrible performance on Snow

Post by jolt » Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:45 am

I will add, just to be clear, that you are putting snow tires on all four corners of the car when you switch to the snow tires?

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blankmonkey
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Re: Terrible performance on Snow

Post by blankmonkey » Fri Nov 08, 2019 4:15 pm

Yep, 300lbs in the back.
The back is moving. like the whole car is wobbling. Its as if the lug nuts are loose, but they are tight.
All 4 tires get changed every time. Currently they have generic studs.

This is not a breaking thing, and I don't feel/hear the breaks going off, but I will check them anyway

Bookworm
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Location: Houston, TX

Re: Terrible performance on Snow

Post by Bookworm » Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:18 pm

Weird. My FWD (both of them) never did that on ice, even with regular tires. I don't think it's the tires at all.

Maybe the rear shocks?

Mark
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Location: Cheyenne, WY

Re: Terrible performance on Snow

Post by Mark » Sat Nov 09, 2019 6:49 am

I've had Vibes since 2006 and have never had any problem, other than deep snow, and in fact have always been impressed with how well the cars handle on snow and ice. I have Firestone Winterforce2 on my daughter's 2004, and Cooper Weathermaster2 (I think, they don't make this one anymore) on the 2008. But unless the snow is over 4" deep or we're expecting drifting I just drive my 2005 with Evolution Tours, it handles the snow and ice great.

Wonder if you have a rear brake or bearing that's hanging up? Or maybe need a 4 wheel alignment?
'04 Base Frosty, '08 Base Stealth, '05 Base Satellite

jolt
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Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota

Re: Terrible performance on Snow

Post by jolt » Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:32 am

Yes, a good four wheel alignment and have all the suspension items checked. Be sure to find a good rated alignment shop in your area .... this can be hard and will cost you some money but is worth the trouble. You may have something worn out or bent. Next thing is poor quality tires that have bad side wall construction and poor tread pattern that is letting the tire move around as it rolls on down the road, but since you said you have tried different brands, I do not think that is it. That is provided all four tires are the same size, brand, and model of tire. You should also check the tire diameters and make sure that all four tires are the same. Take a tape measure and go around the outside and measure each tire. The measurements need to be within ~1/8" of each other. If not it could cause problems with your anti-lock brakes and /or traction control.

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