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Gus

Car is all over the road when Icy

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Wife's new car is a 2014 Ford Fusion. It has the 18" tire option. (not that we cared, but it was what was on the car we picked)

Whenever we are on icy roads the car juts back and forth on the ice. It makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up when it happens. It feels totally out of control. I think it's following the contours of the road.

Tires are OEM Goodyear eagle's LS-2 tires in 235/45 18. They are properly inflated, plenty of tread left. To me, these look like a decent all season tire and shouldn't be as bad on the ice as this car drives.

Am I dealing with a car that is just too light for this size of a tire? Would going with a different size winter rated tire help? Or is this car just not meant for MN winters?

OEM rim sizes look like 17 or 18's. I'm not sure if I could get 16" or not without trouble of brake clearance etc. I haven't researched it yet.

Anybody have any experience with this car?

Thanks all. Much appreciated.

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does the car have some type of Traction Control system? I have problems with my truck with the Stabilitrak, little different symptoms though.

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Yes it does have traction control. Normally a light on the dash illuminates or flashes when it kicks on, at least it does when spinning the front tires getting moving on snow/ice. I haven't seen it illuminate when we are jutting side to side. I could try it with it off though. Not a bad idea.

I was just putting together a tire/wheel package for winter tires. OOOF! that can get spendy! Not liking this one bit.

I've never had a car that behaved like this before. It has me miffed. And in college I drove a camaro, in the winter, in Duluth...

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In 2008 my wife bought a new Chevy impala. We had the similar thing in the winter on ice. Long story short it ended up being the rear tires were out of align. Not sure if that is the correct term but the tires were running on edge. Ours was extreme to the point it could be seen by standing behind the car and looking at the back tires.

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I was just putting together a tire/wheel package for winter tires. OOOF! that can get spendy! Not liking this one bit.

Ya, she may not be worth it. I would just increase her life Insurance! whistle

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I bet those tires do not have much siping on them. Check it, do they go all the way through the depth of the tread? I am guessing this is leading to your symptoms.

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30 years at a Ford dealership and having to deal with cars like this tells me, 1 the rear toe needs to be checked and or changed, and 2 the are a lower profile harder compound tire. you might want to lower the pressure about 5 psi to soften the tire and get more grip. You get 1 free alignment under your 12/12 warranty. If it is an issue for others Ford may have changed the alignment specs.

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Thanks for the input everyone. I'm going to have it checked by the dealer next.

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Off the top of my head, low 30's or so. I normally go by the vehicle place card not the tire max.

I had it into the dealership this morning for an oil change and tire rotate. I talked to the service manager about it, and it seems like this is fairly common for this car and some of the others like the focus and escape. There were 4 other fusion drivers in for service and all of them echo'ed the driving characteristic. They did not check anything on the alignment, but I did not have an appointment for anything other than the quick lane service either.

Should I push harder for an alignment check even if I have to pony up for it? Or should I head down the winter tire package path? I'm leaning towards tires at this point.

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I think I'd go for an alignment, and possibly an independent one (not at the dealer).

For under $100 you could rule that out or fix the problem.

What happens if you buy new tires and they are exactly the same?

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I have a Focus and experience similar traits. It had 205/50 R16 on it when I bought it. The car was scary on slippery roads and the rear tires wore really fast especially on the inside corners. I had the alignment checked at the Ford dealer and they said it was within spec. I didn’t agree and took it somewhere else and they adjusted the rear camber a little bit. It helped a little but not much. I put 195/60 R15 winter tires on it. They helped quite a bit, but it still does the same thing just not as bad. I would get the alignment checked and see what they find. If they don’t find anything I would think about trying winter tires. They make a huge difference. When they are new you can drive in the fast lane with the 4 wheel drive trucks in 3 inches of slushy snow. I put Cooper Weathermaster s/t2’s on. They are a cheaper tire, but I would put them on again. The Firestone Winterforce are kind of similar. Good luck, and let us know what you find.

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Had same problem with wife's Tucson .

Bought better tires stock tires were terrible in snow .

I would get stuck in slight incline driveway.

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I have had that issue on a few vehicles and in those cases a better set of all season tires has fixed it. It is amazing how tires can change the way a vehicle handles in the winter.

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Just ask those who had polyglass tires on a pony car or Firestone 721s back in the day. That Impala with the firestones would get stuck if someone had dumped their McDonalds cup in the parking lot.

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Tell them you don't feel safe driving it in these condition. You do get 1 alignment under 12/12 coverage. If it is toed out and you add weight it will make it worse. The focus's were terrible until Ford came out with new specs for the rear.

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My wife's elantra has the same issue, the Hyundai dealership says there is no rear alignment on that car, and the issue is that the rear end is so light it makes the tires wear very fast and uneven, and they have to be rotated every 3000 miles. We went through two sets of tires in two years, just found out the issue on the third set. Should be some sort of recall from engineering defect, but there is not. So we have to now rotate tires once a month with the miles she puts on. What a joke!

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Waxworm what I hear from your dealer is nonsense. And the advice on here about tires is right on. Not speaking as an expert buy I have driven a lot of vehicles in treacherous conditions through the years and you learn a few things.

I want to toss out one thought I've had and here it is. You don't have to believe it and it may not apply.

Many of these new cars are very light and they tend to have modern and VERY QUICK and right steering-short lock to lock. I wonder how many younger drivers are getting it trouble because the steering is SO quick i.e. a slight twitch left and car instantly swings left, you over correct right with a twitch and it INSTANTLY goes right, setting up a see/saw affect. See what I mean?

It is just a theory but maybe more gentle inputs to steering could help???

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