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Hi all, I have a 2016 European Mazda 3 2ltr sport black nav 120 bhp with the 18" black alloys and dunlop sp sport max 215/45/r18 tyres. I have concerns coming into winter that the car may not preform well in snow. The car has been with us since may 2018 and we have not really seen any snow in the uk during that time. I looks like it might be colder this year and I am wondering what people's thoughts are for snow driving. I find even in damp weather that if I pull out of a junction the car can wheel spin easily. The first cold spell of this year the cars abs was coming on and its not even snowed yet. My previous alfa mito 155bhp have lots of grip and manage the snow well.

Thank for you answers.
 

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I have a 2015 3 hatchback. 16" snow tires on it right now. I also live in Ontario, Canada. I drive an hour to work each way on 12hr shifts. On days I'm on the road at 5:20am. This is some of the worst winter driving anyone can endure. Snow, ice, slush, flurries, high winds, freezing rain, you name it.

Having put it to the test, your car will do just fine. AWD would be nice, but it is not necessary. You've already got snow tires which is a big help. The excellent handling of this car is also helpful and I even find the traction control helpful occasionally.

The secret to driving in winter is to keep safety your priority. Getting there alive and in one piece is the goal above all else. That means slowing down when it gets bad. Some days I can't do better than 60km/h. I just use the Bluetooth to notify work, they can suck it. Take corners slower. You're much more likely to lose control while turning. And finally, give yourself more room between the cars in front of you. You cannot stop as quickly so you will need more braking room. Don't trust the idiots around you.

I used to do this journey in a 04 Hyundai accent, 2 door. I didn't have snow tires because I couldn't afford it at the time. I also did just fine. If I can handle what we have here in a crap car that is much lighter with inferrior handling and all season tires, I have every confidence in how you'll do in the 3. I find it's actually pretty good in the winter for what it is.
 

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Sorry, read that as you already had snow tires. It's a worthy investment. Get some spare steel rims for them too. That way you can save some money by swapping them yourself.
 

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Thank you for your replies guys it gives me a little more confidence. Maybe its time to change to snow tyres.

I hope you canadian winters have not hit too bad yet. I've spent a number of winters weeks in banff I just wish i had the confidence to drive on the other side of the road. :(
 

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The issue is the tires. I believe (but may be wrong!) that Dunlap SP Sport Max tires are summer performance tires and will never do well in snow or even the cold wet roads.

I don't think you need Winter or Snow tires in the UK. I have them in the Mid-Atlantic region of the US and I don't think that I really need them since we only get a half dozen storms of 3 inches or more.

All Season or All Weather tires should be sufficient for your needs in the UK.
 

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Thank you for your replies guys it gives me a little more confidence. Maybe its time to change to snow tyres.

I hope you canadian winters have not hit too bad yet. I've spent a number of winters weeks in banff I just wish i had the confidence to drive on the other side of the road. :(
It's actually not too bad here yet.had a few inches of snow and it all melted. I'm dreading the mornings with freezing rain. I've had a couple of drives where my 1 hour commute turns into 3.

Not trying to show off here, just fact, but if you had some experience here you'd laugh at driving in the UK in the winter :p

Still no reason not to play it safe. Be very cautious until you get a little more confident.
 

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It's actually not too bad here yet.had a few inches of snow and it all melted. I'm dreading the mornings with freezing rain. I've had a couple of drives where my 1 hour commute turns into 3.

Not trying to show off here, just fact, but if you had some experience here you'd laugh at driving in the UK in the winter :p

Still no reason not to play it safe. Be very cautious until you get a little more confident.
What part of Canada are you in? My assumption was that most of Canada stayed much colder and that you didn't have the problem we had further south with ice.

Freezing rain and snow that refreezes are far worse to drive on than nice cold packed snow. I too have a 1 hour commute that can easily turn to 3. My biggest barrier to getting home, however, is my fellow drivers who don't have a clue of how to drive in winter weather.


The bottom line for the original poster and others is: Summer tires stink in snow/ice and should be avoided whenever there is a chance of either. The decision between All Season, All Weather, Winter Non-Studded and Winter Studded tires should be based on the local conditions and the types of tires that are available and required for your specific region.

The other factor to consider is that regardless of the type of tire and even having All Wheel Drive, winter driving on either snow or ice requires a much gentler driving style. Limit the top speed, anticipate turns and stops and begin to slow down far in advance, build up some speed at the bottom of a hill to minimize accelerating when going up a hill. Ice is far worse to drive on than Snow but the same rules apply and require an even gentler driving style.
 

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What part of Canada are you in? My assumption was that most of Canada stayed much colder and that you didn't have the problem we had further south with ice.

Freezing rain and snow that refreezes are far worse to drive on than nice cold packed snow. I too have a 1 hour commute that can easily turn to 3. My biggest barrier to getting home, however, is my fellow drivers who don't have a clue of how to drive in winter weather.


The bottom line for the original poster and others is: Summer tires stink in snow/ice and should be avoided whenever there is a chance of either. The decision between All Season, All Weather, Winter Non-Studded and Winter Studded tires should be based on the local conditions and the types of tires that are available and required for your specific region.

The other factor to consider is that regardless of the type of tire and even having All Wheel Drive, winter driving on either snow or ice requires a much gentler driving style. Limit the top speed, anticipate turns and stops and begin to slow down far in advance, build up some speed at the bottom of a hill to minimize accelerating when going up a hill. Ice is far worse to drive on than Snow but the same rules apply and require an even gentler driving style.
Oh God no, we get freezing rain and ice all the time. It's far worse now with the warning climate I find. When I was a kid we used to get piles of snow and the freezing rain was occasional. Now it happens a lot. I also lived further north then, but definitely warmer than it used to be.

I live about and hour and a half drive from Toronto going north east. That's without traffic, so maybe call it 2 hours? Our weather does get cold, but it seems we're getting more warmer periods these days. So we will still get the temperatures of -30C or even less at times, but we also get times where it's around 0 give or take. -4 ish seems to be when the ice is a real problem. Right now it's around -1C. The real cold doesn't seem to set in until end of December. Usually January is a beast.
 

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Oh God no, we get freezing rain and ice all the time. It's far worse now with the warning climate I find. When I was a kid we used to get piles of snow and the freezing rain was occasional. Now it happens a lot. I also lived further north then, but definitely warmer than it used to be.

I live about and hour and a half drive from Toronto going north east. That's without traffic, so maybe call it 2 hours? Our weather does get cold, but it seems we're getting more warmer periods these days. So we will still get the temperatures of -30C or even less at times, but we also get times where it's around 0 give or take. -4 ish seems to be when the ice is a real problem. Right now it's around -1C. The real cold doesn't seem to set in until end of December. Usually January is a beast.
With the Chinooks we get out west here, we end up with many random days of icy roads too. That's why I run studded winter tires each winter season. That and I enjoy some ice racing events occasionally.
274357
 

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With the Chinooks we get out west here, we end up with many random days of icy roads too. That's why I run studded winter tires each winter season. That and I enjoy some ice racing events occasionally. View attachment 274357
Unfortunately studs are illegal in Ontario. The concern is that they are too hard on the roads. At least the major highways get heavily salted.
 

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Unfortunately studs are illegal in Ontario. The concern is that they are too hard on the roads. At least the major highways get heavily salted.

Just one more reason for you to move West and join us for Wexit lol
 

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Unfortunately studs are illegal in Ontario. The concern is that they are too hard on the roads. At least the major highways get heavily salted.
Be glad they are. People in Portland throw their studs on as soon as they're legal on November 1st and leave them on until they're required to take them off on March 31st. Our freeways need to be repaved after seven years or so and the ones that aren't have deep trenches carved into the lanes. When it rains these trenches fill with water and make it almost impossible to control your vehicle.

All this in a town that almost never sees significant snowfall or ice....and the people that do have studs? 95% of the time if there's even snow in the forecast they just panic and stay home. After clearing out the grocery stores, of course.
 

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Be glad they are. People in Portland throw their studs on as soon as they're legal on November 1st and leave them on until they're required to take them off on March 31st. Our freeways need to be repaved after seven years or so and the ones that aren't have deep trenches carved into the lanes. When it rains these trenches fill with water and make it almost impossible to control your vehicle.

All this in a town that almost never sees significant snowfall or ice....and the people that do have studs? 95% of the time if there's even snow in the forecast they just panic and stay home. After clearing out the grocery stores, of course.
Portland Oregon or Portland Maine?
 
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