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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2002 S60 AWD with 16" tires.
My car came with Michelin MXV4 Plus XSE Tires (205/55/R16)which I am pretty happy with for regular wet and dry driving.

However, I am still a big believer of putting Winter Snows on all four wheels come winter-time. I know that the AWD "helps", but my experience is that there is nothing like a set of true snows to get you through the "deep, white stuff". We live in PA and do a bit of skiing (driving up into the Poconos) and will encounter a reasonable amount of snow over the winter. I have also read articles in Car & Driver where they did some testing and basically came to conclusion that a FWD Car with Snows on all four wheels does about as well as an AWD Car with All Season Tires in the snow/ice. However, a AWD with Snows on all four wheels basically kicks butt against anything! I also like the idea that putting 4 snows on for 4 months a year prolongs the life of my regular tires a bit.

Well, now that I have you convinced (maybe?!), I am looking at my options on what to put on my 2002 S60 AWD for the winter.

I am not a fan of the Bridgestone Blizzaks because although they are awesome in the snow, they are WAY too soft for regular driving around town (which we will still do lots of) and wear out too quickly.

I was thinking of either the "Michelin Pilot Alpins" ($119 each at tirerack.com), which are a slightly higher performance version fo theirk "Arctic Alpins" and trade a bit of snow tractions for a lot better dry road drivabilty. My other option was the Dunlop Winter Sport M2 ($92 at tirerack) but I don't have any experience with these tires.

I am looking for anyone with any experience with snows on an S60 (I know the S60 AWD is too probably have had anyone drive in the snow yet). I also know that the Volvo Web site recommends a Swedish Snow Tire (don't remember name) but I don't know anything about it's cost or quality.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

I am also going to post this in the "wheels/tire" forum as well.

Regards,

Michael
 

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I highly recommend the Arctic Alpins. They are pretty quiet for a winter tire and have phenomenal traction. The only thing that I didn't like was a high pitched whistle in the rain, but you get used to it.

I am in the same predicament and will either go with these tires or the Gislaveds (the swedish ones you were referring to). I hear a lot of good things but the drawback of this tire is they are tremendous in deep snow but in everyday winter conditions (90% on dry roads), they are not that good).
 

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quote:

Originally posted by coladin:
I highly recommend the Arctic Alpins. They are pretty quiet for a winter tire and have phenomenal traction. The only thing that I didn't like was a high pitched whistle in the rain, but you get used to it.

I am in the same predicament and will either go with these tires or the Gislaveds (the swedish ones you were referring to). I hear a lot of good things but the drawback of this tire is they are tremendous in deep snow but in everyday winter conditions (90% on dry roads), they are not that good).
I would second that, about the Alpins. But why???? Why spend the extra money to put snows on and you will get $Hitty handling for at least 4 months??? You have an AWD!!! As long as the car's ground clearance permits you (up to 10" of road snow), believe me, you can climb a 20% to 25% of an incline covered with the white stuff. ICE? It does not matter what you have on unless you get snow tires with metal studs.

My advice, go to the POconos as often as you can and enjoy the Haldex!!! Even the older AWDs with the viscous coupling were great with up to 12" of snow on steep inclines.

Yannis
 

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I can't comment on snows with the AWD, but I can say that I too believe in snows for the winter (on all four corners). If the AWD is good with all season's it will be great with four snows. As for which type I have the ones for volvo for my V40 and they are great, they don't loose too much of the handling in the dry, and a excellent in the snow. I can also recommend Michelin snows (I have had them on a previous car) and goodyear ice guard snows. They all handled well in snow and dry conditions without noticibly great noise, or decrased dry performance vs the all seasons on the cars the rest of the year. One thing to remember is that most snows are not rated for speeds in excess of 80 mph though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yannis,

I totally agree with you that the AWD will give you good traction with all seasons going up a hill in the snow, but remember that AWD only helps you when you are hitting the gas and asking the engine to move the tires. The real "weak link" in snow and ice driving is the adhesion (or more like the "lack of adhesion") between the tire and the road. The AWD will certainly help you get traction so you won't get stuck easily and you can climb hills and go over roads that most cars couldn't handle.

But what most people don't realize is that if you are coasting, going around a turn or even slowing down, the AWD gives you NO ADVANTAGES over every other car on the road. The only thing stopping you from skidding off the road is our good friend Sir Isaac Newton's laws of physics that apply to to adhesion, and the grip of your tires onto the surface of the road. This is where a good snow tire comes into play and can make all the difference in the world. A snow tire's tread and rubber composition allow it to get traction where normal All-season's can't. The tread is designed to cut through the snow and hit the road. The rubber compound is much softer on snows to allow you to grip the ice much more easily and they are usually designed with thousands of small "sipes" to get through the snow and hit the pavement which is what let's you stop and turn. The rubber is also designed to perform better in the cold weather of winter (it doesn't get as rigid as a regular tire does at low temps). All in all, the entire design is to trade-off many of the things that make a tire great in the "dry" and instead make it great in "snow". Sure, you will lose dry performance and some handling due to the different tread and rubber, but the goal here isn't to maximize lateral g's, but instead to keep you glued to black ice or to cut through a snow drift and hit pavement.

I have owned a number of AWD cars previously, and although they were "good" in the snow with all-seasons and the AWD, they were no better then any other car going down a hill unless you had snows on. I used to laugh to myself as I used to drive down snow covered back roads and see all of the 4WD cars and trucks stuck in ditches and gulleys off the road. I used to see them blow by me in the left lane and then I would just wonder how long it would be until I would see them plowed into a guard rail somewhere. They didn't get it. Their big 4WD trucks would like tanks going up the hills, but what they didn't understand was that if they went down the hill or around the curve too quickly, good old Sir Isaac Newton would have the last laugh.

Respectfully submitted,

Michael
 

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I recommend that you look at Nokian snow tires. They have a range of tires, depending on the performance you are looking for.

I've had particularly good experience with the Nokian NRW, which I drove with on my Maxima each winter and plan to install on my V70 T5 in just a few short months. You'll find a lot of positive commentary about them if search around the web. Also the Hakka's are a consideration.
www.nokiantires.com
 

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meinstei,

I agree with all your comments on snow tires for your car. I drive 01 S60 2.4T and went with the Dunlop Winter Sport M2's. I live in Illinois, and used them last Winter.

Here is what I can tell you so far:

We never had a killer storm, so how they do in deep snow is still unclear to me. They ride great and do not make much noise. Wear seems good so far. I put about 3000 miles on them and noticed only minimal wear. Great on wet reads and in light snow. On dry roads handling was very acceptable. They wash out a little on freeway ramps, but other than that you would be hard pressed to notice much of a difference in day to day driving. By the way, I used to live in York PA.

Regards.
 

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I wonder if a 15" volvo steel rim will fit your car? I always though the fat profile and skinny width were a winning combo for the snow and ice. Steel rims are cheap and you won't need your tires switched and rebalance on the same rim every change. This could also save you frustration in a quick switch back and forth season were the change is made to early. Heck if you own a torque wrench you can do the switch yourself free of charge when ever you want.
If the 15's don't fit over your brakes I think the S60 had a 16" steel rim and hubcaps that would be winter suited. Also save the horible winter time corosion caused by winter salt on your pretty aluminium wheels. I'll always switch back and forth between seasons. Last winter I left off the hubcaps as it screams I actually have nicer wheels at home
 
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