February 5, 2012, 12:21 pm
I have a 2009 1.6 TDCi Zetec with the standard 16" wheels, I have fitted Michelin Alpin A4 Winter Tyres however yesterday in the latest flurry of snow which was about 3-4 inches deep I got stuck 3 times going up a small incline, even just allowing the usual diesel pull by letting go of the throttle and with the ESP on or off. The previous year I had these very tyres fitted to my 1.6 CRDi Kia Cee'd which never had a single problem.
As I was going up hill the traction control was on but just could not get any grip the tyres would not bite at all. Embarassingly we had to dig the road out in front. I never had to do this in the Kia.
I was running the Winter tyres at 36 psi which is 3 psi over Fords recommendation for Summer tyres, I tried lowering the pressure down to 30 psi but with no difference.
Annoyingly the Kia Cee'd performs fine with these tyres again this year, but it seems the Focus is just plain sh*t in the snow even with one of the best and most expensive winter tyres. Dread to imagine what this would be like up an actual hill in France or somewhere they actually get snow!
Does anyone have winter tyres on their Focus? If so what PSI are they running at? I'm contemplating putitng them up to 38-39 to see if they're any better or whether it's just a combination of the car and tyres not working together too well.
Tbh its been a dissapointment in the snow when my Kia Cee'd can easily drive around with the same tyres no problem.
February 5, 2012, 12:34 pm
got stuck on slight incline as well today. Very embrassing as a smart car had no problems.Had a vectra before and had no proplems like this.
February 5, 2012, 12:47 pm
i think if i had normal summer tyres on then I wouldn't be bothered but 220 quid of winter tyres and still stuck! Really annoying!
February 5, 2012, 1:04 pm
Winter tyres run at the same PSI as summer, all should be as per car manufacturer recommendation. This is my first winter with focus, unfo no snow so far. I'm used to very severe winters with lots of snow and ice and would like to see, how focus drives in such conditions.
February 5, 2012, 1:49 pm
The car has a lot to do with it, my Mondeo with winter tyres also michelin, on it is not as good as my C5 with michelin fuel savers on, also the C5 tyres are wider, baffles me
February 5, 2012, 3:18 pm
The driver's right foot has an awful lot to do with it too.
Last winter I never spun my wheels once, while I saw others spinning their wheels when pulling away from rest.
Use a feather touch on your pedals, and brake early, and you should be fine.
February 5, 2012, 7:40 pm
Had my old MK1 last winter and drove through deep slushy snow to work at about 5am and just took it really carefully and light use of brakes and throttle.
Got in fine, only problems i had were the temperature was rising due to snow building up under the front / radiator and had so much snow packed into the wheel arches i had to knock it out before it froze solid and jammed the wheels.
Snow ploughs didn't get out and about until 6am.
Later that day while patrolling i was pulling out of the local Tesco's and saw a Land Rover Discovery slithering around going up the exit road which was a small incline.
When he got out of the way i went up the road no problems. Standard tyres on a MK2.5 Focus estate.
A gentle foot and a bit of thought usually wins in the end.
February 6, 2012, 6:35 am
I was using the lightest of throttle even do slight I stalled. Even just easing off the clutch so it pulled itself up just didn't work at all. I tried with traction control off and the wheels just span even easing off the clutch slowly. None of this makes sense I've never had this problem before we took the Cee'd out after and drove the same but it's unstoppable with these tyres on. I guess it's something to do with the torque delivery and weight distribution that makes it crap in the snow. Can't be the tyres if they work on another car.
February 6, 2012, 4:30 pm
If you need to get up a hill in snow and your car is front wheel drive like most of us will have being a ford, turn the car around and reverse up, extra weight on the driving axel, works everytime.
February 6, 2012, 8:57 pm
I was informed by my pursuit driving instructor that front wheel drive cars do better in snow / ice unless you brake too hard then you will likely swap ends rapidly.
I would rather be pulled than pushed.
February 7, 2012, 2:26 am
And dont forget to turn of traction control, it gets confused and reduces traction also when braking on snow turn of the ABS as stopping on snow requires the wheels to lock and build up a wedge of snow infront of the tyres
February 7, 2012, 4:49 am
I tried it in reverse, tried with and without the ESP and traction control on. Tried 30, 33 and 36 psi in the tyres bearing in mind these are Michelin alpin a4 winter tyres designed for use in the alps in deep snow not just 4 inches of fresh snow. U cannot get my head round this at all. Unless the tyres need to be up to around 40 psi to compensate for the weight on the front end and do the tyres dig in better.
February 7, 2012, 3:04 pm
skinny tyres perform better in the snow not wider tyres thats why littl;e micras and c3s get through it no problems at all
February 9, 2012, 10:36 am
I personally have no issues in the snow, as has been advised above, a lot of it is to do with driving mannerisms. I use summer tyres in the snow, and have no problems at all. if you wheelspin once, even for one lap of the tyre, you have already compressed the snow to ice, and so you will struggle to get out. The Focus is heavier than the Cee'd and so that will account for part of your difficulty, by reducing tyre pressure you are also increasing the contact surface area of the tyre against the snow, and show aid you, but to be honest, depending on who had driven in front of you, you may have driven onto almost an ice rink and got stuck. For that reason, I wouldnt compare the ability of the Cee'd and Focus with the winter tyres, as they are likely to be different environmentall factors...
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