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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I live atop a large hill (we live in the foothills of the Appalachians). My driveway is about half a mile long and uphill about 80% of the way. Currently, my driveway is gravel (but will be chip sealing in spring). After the recent snow storm, I had about 11 inches of snow on the driveway. Alot of it has melted by now, leaving about 2-3 inches of sloppy snow on the road with patches of gravel in the ATV tire tracks I made. I tried driving up it today and made it about half way before bogging down. I am pretty sure the culprit is the eco friendly tires. They just don't grip well enough. I decided to look into some all-terrain, all-season tires, but tirerack does not have any available for the new XC90.

Has anyone else put all-terrain tires on or had to do any significant offroading? Thanks!
 

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Were you in off-road mode with esc off? Just wondering. Obviously there's going to be some terrain that beats the xc90 but based on my limited snow driving experience I wouldn't think what you describe would be too much for it. How steep?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Were you in off-road mode with esc off? Just wondering. Obviously there's going to be some terrain that beats the xc90 but based on my limited snow driving experience I wouldn't think what you describe would be too much for it. How steep?
I was definitely in off-road mode, but I assumed that off-road mode would turn off the esc?! Aha! Maybe that will help. I'll use ski references. It's probably 60% green and 40% blue. My car petered out about halfway up around a bend b/c I ran out of momentum. That could be the esc kicking on and slowing me down.
 

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Hello all,

I live atop a large hill (we live in the foothills of the Appalachians). My driveway is about half a mile long and uphill about 80% of the way. Currently, my driveway is gravel (but will be chip sealing in spring). After the recent snow storm, I had about 11 inches of snow on the driveway. Alot of it has melted by now, leaving about 2-3 inches of sloppy snow on the road with patches of gravel in the ATV tire tracks I made. I tried driving up it today and made it about half way before bogging down. I am pretty sure the culprit is the eco friendly tires. They just don't grip well enough. I decided to look into some all-terrain, all-season tires, but tirerack does not have any available for the new XC90.

Has anyone else put all-terrain tires on or had to do any significant offroading? Thanks!
What wheel/tire package do you have? The 22's are summer tires I believe and probably not very good for the conditions you describe. I plan on going with the stock 18" wheels with winter tires for next season.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have the 20 inch tires and wheels. They are Pirelli all-season tires. After my last post, I turned off the esc and turned on the off-road mode. I was able to get up the hill that time. However, I don't know if it was because I turned off the esc or because the snow had melted more since the last time I tried going up. Either way, I know that turning esc will make a significant difference. I don't usually buy winter tires because we just don't get enough snowfall to justify winter tires. We normally only get 1-2 snows over 4 inches each winter with multiple smaller (less than 2 inches) snows. It's not a very common event to get 11 inches like we did last week. Rather than buy new winter wheels and tires, I think I'll just buy some snow chains to throw on for next year if I need a little more grip to get up my hill in the event of a deep snow.
 

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I have the 20 inch tires and wheels. They are Pirelli all-season tires. After my last post, I turned off the esc and turned on the off-road mode. I was able to get up the hill that time. However, I don't know if it was because I turned off the esc or because the snow had melted more since the last time I tried going up. Either way, I know that turning esc will make a significant difference. I don't usually buy winter tires because we just don't get enough snowfall to justify winter tires. We normally only get 1-2 snows over 4 inches each winter with multiple smaller (less than 2 inches) snows. It's not a very common event to get 11 inches like we did last week. Rather than buy new winter wheels and tires, I think I'll just buy some snow chains to throw on for next year if I need a little more grip to get up my hill in the event of a deep snow.

I think you will do fine with a set of good winter tires to get up a snowy driveway...you shouldn't need all terrains for a gravel driveway. It is amazing what a difference snows make...I used to live in Buffalo, NY with a fwd car and I never got stuck with snow tires on, and I would see plenty of SUV drivers stuck despite their AWD systems. Nokian and Bridgestone blizzaks are available in 19 and 20 inch sizes for the XC90
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Right I agree with you. I used to live in Columbus, Ohio, and we got significantly more snow there than where I live now in Ohio (on the border with WVA and KY). Winter tires were great! I just can't really justify spending over $1500 for a wheel/tire combo when we only get 1 or 2 larger snows per winter. I think I'll just buy some cheap chains. I also just bought a plow for my ATV so that should help too!
 

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The reason (at least that's what they teach us in Switzerland) for using winter tires is not only the driving on snow, it is the low temperatures that alter the behaviour of the tires and (already mentioned by others) the profile difference that makes driving on bad surfaces less challenging.
 

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The reason (at least that's what they teach us in Switzerland) for using winter tires is not only the driving on snow, it is the low temperatures that alter the behaviour of the tires and (already mentioned by others) the profile difference that makes driving on bad surfaces less challenging.
In Luxembourg it is very close as well. If the temperature is below 3 degrees than it is obligatory to have winter tyres. It doesn't matter if there is snow or not.
 

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..., I think I'll just buy some snow chains to throw on for next year if I need a little more grip to get up my hill in the event of a deep snow.
You might give these a shot in lieu of chains. I've never used them, but heard positive reports and much easier to install than chains and easier to store.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You might give these a shot in lieu of chains. I've never used them, but heard positive reports and much easier to install than chains and easier to store.
Did you forgot to include a link in this message? I'm curious to know the option your talking about
 

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I wonder if 26GAP is talking about "snow socks"? I have not seen them available for 20"+ wheels though.
 

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It is Snow Socks indeed. My apologies for not including the link (intended to). Here's the link. http://www.autosock.com/en/ Here's the US retailers site: http://www.autosock.us/fitting-guidepurchase/

I had looked at these a few years back for my rear wheel drive German car (which is next to worthless in any more than 1/2" of snow). They didn't have the right size then. Looks like they have expanded their offerings significantly. You can search using R20 as the search criteria in the product window and it shows multiple options.
 

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If you are looking to upgrade your stock Pirelli's to a better All-Season tire than you should head over to TireRack because they do offer some great choices like the:

Continental DWS 06

Pirelli Scorpion 'Plus' (upgraded version with awesome snow/ice ratings)
 

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I've used the Continental DWS tires on my S40 (I don't know if they were the exact same as the ones listed, it was about 3 years ago) and I was very impressed with them. That's definitely the way I'm going when the time comes.
 

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I've used the Continental DWS tires on my S40 (I don't know if they were the exact same as the ones listed, it was about 3 years ago) and I was very impressed with them. That's definitely the way I'm going when the time comes.
I've had DWS's on a few cars (2010 Mazda 3 and 2012 S60RD) and they are wonderful tires with plenty of confidence in any weather condition. The one's I listed are the updated version that came out last year some time.
 
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