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Old 02-29-2012, 12:43 PM   #1
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Default Tires or stability control?

Being a new and proud owner of a pristine 2004 GXP I would like to ask all you old schoolers a question about winter driving with this car.

First off I would like to say that I'm a born and bred North Dakota boy with thousands of miles of ice and snow driving under my belt and I'm of the school of "smooth inputs" when driving on ice. Meaning I don't try to force a vehicle into submission when it gets out of line, I kind of let it do it'* own thing while keeping it under control with smooth, slight nudges in the right direction. (It keeps slight slides from getting out of hand and turning into something far worse).

The other day I took the GXP for it'* first drive down the interstate after a good storm. There was patchy ice on the road where blowing snow had stuck to the surface. Sometimes these patches would be a few hundred yards long.

My problem is that when I hit these patches the car got squirrly as hell. Insanely squirrly! I've driven everything from single axle F650 trucks to a Corvette on roads with these conditions before without nearly the drama I went thru with the GXP.

The tires are all season Goodyear Eagles with plenty of tread on them so I honestly don't think they are the problem....... what I'm thinking is that it could be the StabiliTrak trying to get the car immediatly back in line and causing the car to squirm side to side a little more then it should be due to the patchy ice?

Any thoughts or simular experiences?
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Old 02-29-2012, 01:45 PM   #2
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i would say first make sure your tires are all good pressure. other than that was your light blinking to indicate it was working? my 07 monte has that and the good years that came with it and 75% of my morning commute is through slushy and icy conditions during the winter and havent had any issues like that
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Old 02-29-2012, 02:05 PM   #3
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Well, during the moments when the car is getting squirrley I haven't bothered to check to see if my light is on. :P

When the actual traction control kicks in during accelleration it does though.

Keep in mind that 70mph on icey patches of road is the norm in these parts of the woods, especially when there aren't many cars out there. No other vehicle has been so dramatic for me at these speeds though.... Eventually I had become a danger on the interstate because I was slowing down to 40 to 50 mph over these patches and any other traffic was going 60 to 75 mph.
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Old 02-29-2012, 02:27 PM   #4
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i seriously doubt thats normal for the car. check the tire presure, the tread has to be even too. any worn out suspension items will make it handle funny in the ice too.
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Old 02-29-2012, 02:41 PM   #5
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Well, I plan on putting it on the hoist and going over everything on the underside when I go back to the company shop. Not sure if I'll be able to do it before or after we go back out on the road so it may be a bit before I get a solid answer on that.

I put it through some aggressive driving before the snow hit just for some giggles and by the seat of my pants, everything feels tight and working normal on dry pavement thru slow speed tight stuff. I didn't get a chance to take it through any high speed sweepers yet though.. Tire pressures are all good too.
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:06 PM   #6
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After trying to get around in 4 inches of wet snow in the driveway with some ice underneath, I'm going to blame it on the tires. In the cold, dry snow they worked just fine, once it started melting today they were unbelievably worthless.

I broke down and drove the pickup to work tonight and I won't be needing to drive the car for a month or two so it won't matter but I know by next fall Clarise (yes I already named her) will have some new shoes.. 225/55R18 snow tires and that'll give me a reason to by some 20 inch rims and tires for summer use
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:29 AM   #7
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ive never liked the goodyears. the ones that come with the car are either to hard and get poor traction or to soft and wear out before 30k. i always replace them with bfg traction t/a'*
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