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Snow Tires for a Carrera 2...

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Question - does anyone have a Carrera 2 that they put snow tires on and drive it all year round? I live in NJ and have some good sized hills that typically BMWs and Mercedes will get stuck on and not make it up.

I was speaking to another owner and he swore that snow tires and the fact that the car hunkers to give more traction it would be fine. He drives his all year round w/ snow tires but he has a 4S, which is controlling the wheel spin.

Anyone have any thoughts on this? I am considering using the car all year round but dont want to spend the cash if its not going to be able to go up hills w/ 3 inches of snow on them...

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I haven '04 C2 and I will be putting blizaks on this winter, although the car currently has all season michelins. I have a steep driveway. What tires are on the car now? If they are "summer" performance tires which have no traction in even light snow I suggest getting M+S designated shoes.

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I live in NJ too, and use snow tires in the winter on my C4. As a general rule, however, I avoid wet salted roadways in the C4. I also put snows on our other cars, including a rear wheel drive CLK. IMHO, a rear wheel drive with snow tires performs better in the snow than a four wheel drive with all seasons. Snow tires also generate more road noise than summer tires.

Edited by 1dmurrray
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I have not had my Porsche for a winter yet, but I got my first set of snow tires 2 years ago for my kids when they started driving and what a difference. My research on the web and personal experience have confirmed you should be fine. My daughters FWD car with snow tires easily out performs my AWD car with snows.

AWD may help with acceleration over 2WD, but stopping and sliding are tire dependent.

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I'll try to contribute without repeating what has been already said:

The biggest factor is the driver. No tires can compensate for a driver's lack of experience or bad choices made while driving.

Porsche Stability Management should help significantly. I haven't personally driven a 911 with PSM, but I have driven rear-wheel drive cars in the snow with such driver aids and they help significantly when you are trying to correct a loss of traction. Traction control will help a little bit, especially if one tire has more traction than the other while you are applying power, thus potentially causing a slide. But traction control is nowhere near as beneficial as having the car be able to detect slip on all four tires and adjust brake biases dynamically.

If you do plan on going this route, do yourself a favor and pick up a cheap, used set of Boxster S rims and put snow tires on those. The tires are narrower, so not only should they be cheaper, but you will have more weight concentrated on a smaller contact patch.

The beneficial characteristics of front-wheel drive in the snow carry over with respect to better traction when starting and accelerating, as the weight distribution due to the rear engine puts more weight over the drive wheels. However, less weight in the front means less weight over the wheels that are steering the car. Add to this the, for lack of a better word, twitchiness of the 996 once traction limits are exceeded, and it is difficult to recommend a C2 as a winter car unless the driver is not only experienced, but also experienced with the handling characteristics of a rear-engine car. I know I still have the ill advised tendency to let off the throttle and countersteer when the rear-end slips.

Everything said, you can get a beater car or truck for under $1,000 to drive in winter. I don't know what your insurance policy is, but for me that's half of my deductible. Even if Walter Röhrl asks you for driving advice, that doesn't make the other drivers on the road safe and competent. If you are unsure enough to be asking a forum, then there are probably worse investments than a throwaway car to use in adverse weather conditions. Just make sure to save $15 for a "My other car is a Porsche 911" license plate holder. :)

I am considering using the car all year round but dont want to spend the cash if its not going to be able to go up hills w/ 3 inches of snow on them...

I hate the phrasing on this, as not all three inches of snow are the same. Powder doesn't behave the same as packed snow, which doesn't behave the same as a light dusting of powder on top of a slippery sheet of ice, etc. I guess the real counter-question is how often do other drivers get into accidents in these weather conditions, and can you avoid driving when the roads are not yet maintained?

IMHO, a rear wheel drive with snow tires performs better in the snow than a four wheel drive with all seasons

It depends on the quality of the all-season tires, but in general, with the exception of stopping, no. The ability for the drive wheels to help pull the car in the intended direction facilitates both cornering and straight-line driving in low traction conditions, and the ability to have twice the drive wheels attempting to apply power on a start tends to outweigh a softer rubber compound when starting.

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Look on Pelican Parts, Rennlist, 6SpeedOnline, Ebay, etc for a set of used wheels or wheels and snow tires. I bought a set of mounted snow tires (Pirellis) for $700 a couple of years ago. Having a mounted set of snow tires makes swapping them very easy. You shouldn't be driving normal tires in the Winter - even if there is no snow.

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  • 4 months later...

Just to close this out. I purchased a set of Sport Cup Rims and Blizzark WS70s from tire rack. i went with narrower tires up front 205/50/17 and 225/45/17, not from choice but that was the only setup tire rack could give me w/ the blizzarks. They came balanced so I had my local Porsche shop swap them out for me. We got a few inches of snow yesterday so decided to test them out, WOW what a difference. I love these tires the snow was the wet heavy stuff ~4 inches. My driveway is a hill and the car didn't even slide down and I was able to hold it a complete stop on the driveway, going back up was no issue either. I tested some hills up/down, no problem. I was careful not to overdo it, but no slippage and felt really confident. Thanks all for the advice.

My question has been answered. Winter tires on a Carrera 2 no issues w/ the snow and hills, still have to be careful, but u don't have to worry about getting stuck.

We did some donuts in the HS parking lot for good measure...

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Having the weight over the driven wheels is a huge traction plus with these cars. You have to watch understeer though as the front is rather light in heavier snow, in curves.

You did absolutely the right thing with your set-up.

With PSM off, it is a blast to practice doughnuts in a safe, open area. Have fun!

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