Everyday Driver Car Debate
Episode 163

Winter Driving Tips; Fun Commuter for Paul in Ogden, UT; Missed Performance Potential

Everyday Driver published on

The guys are adding new discussion topics for the Tuesday podcast, and beginning with winter driving.  Paul in Ogden is married with kids, and has permission to get a new fun commuter for his 74-mile round trip--he's looking for more options.  Then, the guys talk about V8 collectability, Amazon & Walmart jumping further into the automotive industry, and good dynamics but bad styling..

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  • Chris Sun

    Bang on about the winter tires. Totally agree that regular winters are preferable over performance winters in areas where the roads are snow covered on a regular basis. One thing to note is that for roads that are usually clear but in areas with freezing temperatures my experience is that performance winters are far superior to regular winter tires. Performance winters have much stiffer sidewalls and a harder compound vs. regular winters. Performance winters feel much more stable during cornering and you can take corners much quicker when compared to a regular winter tire. The tradeoff is that in snow/ice the harder compound will not give you as much traction as the softer compound in a regular winter. So it really depends on your location and how the roads are in winter. Most of the Nokians i've driven on have softer compounds than even your typical blizzak/x-ice so they tend to do better in snow/ice but really suffer in the dry.

  • Everyday Driver

    Thanks Chris - Good to hear your perspective and experience on these tires.

  • Kyle Forgie

    I would like to issue a word of caution about engine braking with an automatic (in the snow). I live in Northern Alberta and have a lot of experience with this. I would say that automatic transmission engine braking is something that should be left to the experienced driver. In a manual transmission you can use the clutch to terminate the engine braking effect if it becomes too strong, and the car breaks traction. In an auto if you force a downshift and the car looses traction, recovering the car is much more difficult. You've just initiated a lock-up and lost your means of ending it. The driver is now left to add throttle to gain traction, which is not what we want. What's more likely is that the average driver is panicking at this point, and laying on the brake. I would leave this maneuver to those who are quite skilled with their vehicle and understand fully the consequences of doing this, and how to recover the vehicle if it goes wrong. I do this on occasion. I would advise my mother and wife against it.

    ......but I love the show.