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Discussion Starter #1
Message is entered for a friend with a 99 Sentra that is virtually undrivable
in the snow. A few weeks ago she let me drive it and once up to
around 30 mph in ~4" of snow the car became real twitchy and
felt like it wanted to swap ends - accelerating it would want to turn one way, decelerate and it wanted to go the other way. After a few
blocks I was looking to end the drive before I planted the car in someones fender. I've never had a car act like that. She says in dry or wet weather the car tracks fine - just becomes undriveable in the snow. She went and had all season tires put on it - she had some Chinese made performance tires on when I drove - but the new tires didn't help the problem.

Anyone out there with a similar experience with the Sentra??

Since it tracks true in dry and wet conditions, I have doubts if alignment is involved, but the car is undrivable in the snow in it's current state, and suggestions you might have to resolve the issue are greatly appreciated.
 

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Maybe because the tires she had on when you drove were Chinese "performance" tires? Tell her to get some decent snow tires or even some decent all-season ones, I have BF Goodrich Traction T/A's and they do great in the snow. I'm pretty sure it will make a difference..
 

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Discussion Starter #3
re: clarification

Sorry if the post was confusing on this point, but she did replace
the chinese tires with all season tires with the problem still present.

I'm trying to advise her on what, besides tires, might be contributing
to the problem - especially if someone else had similar problems and
was able to correct them.
 

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wildmane said:
How much snow was it?
4 inches!

anyway: im guessing she has an SE with the 2.0L engine and alloy wheels?? the alloy wheels are rather wide compared to the steelies on the other sentras (or other cars for that fact). this offers fantastic traction for dry or wet conditions but terrible traction in snow. wide tires ride on top of the snow, snow has no traction capabilities for normal tires.

so she has three options that are all reasonable.
-get snow tires for winter
-get stock steelies for winter (thinner tire cuts through snow)
-get steelies w/ snow tires for winter (good for quick swaps in fall)

i reccomend the third one, you combine the traction of snow tires and thin steelies, and put them on a platform that is seperate from the normal tires. this will let you/her swap the wheels out in the garage before it snows rather than taking the car to a shop to get the tires swapped out.
 

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Lol.. correct me if I'm wrong, but most cars don't have that much traction in 4" of snow..

What brand of tires is she running currently?

What car do you usually drive, bronze? If you drive a AWD car, and then you switch to a FWD car, you'll most likely notice a difference in handling in snow/ice/rain conditions. With my dunlops in the snow, before I got my Goodriches, I would be sliding through stop signs sideways on snow-covered. Traction was horrible.. then again, I needed new tires. I mean, with snowy roads, you can't really expect a car to retain it's dry-surface handling properties, can you?
 

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Have I mentioned how much I love South Florida, hee hee..... But, in all reality, it was cold here today, 50's. Ha Ha.
 

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50's.. cold.. HA! What a joke! :thumbup:

Not that I live in the Arctic Circle or anything, it's just that up here in Philly 50 degrees is awesome news.. we've been getting low 30's and low 20's..
 

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Put a plow on the front. That'll give you some bad ass traction!! Unless you have 4WD, every vehicle is going to struggle in 4 freaking inches of snow. To get a better idea of this Sentra's snow handling characteristics, try it in a reasonable amount like 1-2 inches. And to repeat previous posts, all-season tires and dedicated snow tires are worlds apart in snow. If she plans on keeping this car and living in snowy climates, buying a set of snow tires is a wise investment.
 

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matcapir said:
30 mph in ~4" of snow
ummmmm, i think you found your problem. we had that much snow a few weeks ago and i wasnt doing 30 mph! 25 tops. i have the 14in alloys and my car does quite well in the snow. i also have the 15 inch SE-r wheels and if i used them with my summer tires i would have gotten no where! also, does it do this while you are coasting? like no foot on the gas? im gona bet your just flooring it, or using to much TQ and its just sliding around. you have to be real gentle in snow. you say its the back end sliding? make sure the rear brakes are adjusted corectly. if they are grabing, then the rear is slidng around on top of the snow. and get snow tires!
98Midnight said:
Put a plow on the front. That'll give you some bad ass traction!!
umm, no it wont, your pushing heavy stuf around. chains will give you traction
 

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I will gladly say that the B14 is a great little car in the snow. I have the stock rims for the GXE though. I have bald tires in the rear and I recently bought 2 snowtires for the front. I am able to do 65 mph no problem on the highway, passing all the trucks and suv's. A MB with the fourmatic and I were cruising about 50-55 on the highway and we had to stop 3 times because people were off the road (airbags went off too). Those people were taken away in ambulances.

I am not going to say this to insult you too but alot of it has to do with the driver. I know alot of people who have snowtires and still can't drive for %$#@ in the snow. If she has good tires as you stated the best advice for her is to go very slow, and have her use her 4 ways if it is snowing out so that people who are going around the speed limit don't rear end her hard. Winter driving is very dangerous. If she does not absolutley have to go out when it is snowing she should not. I don't care for my wife driving in the snow, even with 4WD, although she is a very good driver (even on a stick). My 2 cents is that there is no problem with the car. Again I'm not saying that you guys are bad drivers, but this is a good winter handeling car, know what I mean.
 

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I would have to agree that much of this is probably the driver. Is throttle and brake input being adjusted according to the road conditions?

The other thing to consider is that air pressure in the tires has a lot to do with how well a car handles in the snow. Lower her pressures a bit (if they are set near max) and see how it feels...
 

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2ins of snow, sentra gxe 99' stock tires, rims

i drove fine, and was able to pass by 4x4s whom were going really slow. drove pass a hummer and had a hummer follow me,...

it was funny that you have ppl with 4x4 following you., was leading everyone in the snow.. but then again it was only 2in. not 4ins of snow.. maybe that's the problem..

in my opinion are cars are very reliable
 

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4 inches is a lot of snow, so it will be difficult w/ out 4WD, but some people like to put sand bags in their trunk, i don't actually know if it works though...
 

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I don't know much about snow or driving in it. A harsh winter here is when it goes down to 28* and I have to go out and cover the orange trees ;). BTW, WTF is with the weather?? It's been like 50s all day here in FL, it's the middle of f*ing march. Bring on the 80*s!!! Oh well, my car's not complaining :D.

Now that I've taken away all my credibility in this topic, I would suggest anyone up there has 2 sets of tires, that's why they make summer tires and winter tires. All seasons are crap IMO, they suck in the summer and they suck in the winter.

I don't expect everyone to work on their cars like I do, heck, I don't expect people to change their wiper fluid and fix burnt out tail lights, but seriously, 2 sets of tires, invest $30 into a breaker bar and a hydraulic jack. When November rolls around, it'll take you 20minutes tops to change all 4 wheels.
 
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