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MidCoast

When driving a 2wd like a sedan on the lake, do you need winter tires?

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Hi all,

I usually drive my half ton truck out on lakes for ice fishing, but this season, I want to drive my 2wd sedan out there to save on gas.  I only have all season tires on it.  Would that be okay to not get stuck or would I at least need winter tires if I don't drive awd or 4x4 out?

Anybody with experience driving a sedan with all season tires out ?  Any issues?

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I have blasted through some pretty deep stuff in my ford fusion with all season

Just follow someone else tracks when it gets too deep

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Most of the time I drive my Ford Taurus. I don't have any issues as long as there isn't more than about 4" snow and not much drifting. And where I go there's a couple rental houses and the guy keeps a pretty well-maintained road. Almost the bigger issue many times is the condition of the approach onto the lake. The approach can get beat up pretty good to where I worry about ground clearance and tearing something out. I ALWAYS carry a scoop shovel. Once it starts looking dicey, I drive the 4WD SUV that has some ground clearance.

BTW, I have a 4' x 8' suitcase style Canvas Craft portable that's 4' x 4' when folded. That won't fit in the car, so I'm always pulling a light trailer.

 

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My friend drove past stuck 4x4's in his Sicon Xb with snow tires. I wouldn't have believed it if I had not seen it. That said gas in your truck would cost less than snowtires. Next time you need tires on your car look up Nokian they sell a all season that performs almost as well as dedicated snowtires that you can run year round.

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Rear wheel drive you're limited to little snow or plowed roads. Front wheel drive helps with more difficult conditions. Ground clearance is critical, especially at ramps. If you have a 4wd truck, really how much gas do you save driving the sedan? Is it worth the hassle of getting stuck on the lake in nasty weather?

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The 2 biggest concerns would be deep snow with no plowed road or worn down path and the landings.  I've had my Mazda 3 out on the ice more than a few times and haven't been stuck yet.  Most of that is due to avoiding deep snow in the first place and avoiding landings that are really torn up or really steep with loose snow.  I have run into a few landings that are pretty steep but were in good condition that I had to hit with a pretty good running start to get up but it wasn't a big deal.  I'd say as long as you pay attention to the conditions you'd be fine.

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How about off lake performance? I've been running winter tires the last 3 years. There's no going back once you've experienced them.  It has yet to happen, but just like 4wd, I'm sure snow tires can get you more stuck than all seasons. 

Thanks to my wife, I have made up a condition I call snow tire rage. What is wrong with all these other people on the road??? I also told her to check the rear view before any quick stops when it's slick. 

General Altimax Arctic's are hard to beat for the money. The Nokian WRG3's mentioned above do pretty good, but a dedicated winter tire will do better. I know a deliver guy who ran the generals all year on a Chev HHR. He would get 2 new tires/rotate every 50k, in the fall. Come fall the fronts were done, rears still great. New pair on the back, back's to the front, good until next fall!

 

 

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This may sound bad depending on your point of view. But unless it’s life-threatening conditions a lot of guys with trucks will drive right by a stuck car on the lake. You shouldn’t be out there unless it’s a really flat hard packed Road

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I drove an accord out for a few years with regular tires.  Never got stuck.  Just gotta know your limits. 

 

I feel like clearance is going to be an issue before snow vs highway tires becomes a real problem.

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