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Old 09-24-2011, 10:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default VW Beetle reliable snow vehicle?

with the winter season approaching I am having some concerns on being able to get to the mountain when a good storm hits. My girlfriend and I share her 06 VW Beetle and I have never driven it in snow. It obviously doesnt seem like it would be the best choice but Id rather not have to go out and buy something else.

Anyone have any experience driving a beetle as their primary snow vehicle? Does it work fine with chains/snow tires? I live in Portland and could always ride the GRease Bus if needed but I like to go on my own schedule.

I know an AWD or 4x4 is the best bet but If I can make it work I'm fine with that.
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Old 09-24-2011, 11:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Go to discounttiresdirect.com
and tell them you want to order a set of steel rims with Hankook iPike snow tires for your car. My SRT-4 goes like a raped ape through snow Best $500 I spent on that car other than speed modifications. The tires come mounted, balanced, shipped, ready to mount for that price.

My point is get some good snow tires, my only issues is clearance, my car is lowered, but has TONS of traction and we get some nasty, wet, icy conditions here in the upper midwest.
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Old 09-24-2011, 11:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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thanks. yeah clearance is gonna be a bitch but cant look at spending 3-5k on a snow vehicle right now. so do you ride those tires all winter and just carry chains in case you really need them or do you not even need the chains?

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Old 09-25-2011, 07:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Haha not really but it should be fine for oregon with winter tires. It's 95% driver anyway.
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Old 09-25-2011, 08:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Tire Ratings:

Code:
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/surveyresults/surveydisplaywinter.jsp?type=W&VT=C&width=205%2F&ratio=55&diameter=16&tireSearch=true&autoMake=Volkswagen&autoYear=2006&autoModel=Beetle+Coupe+2.5L&autoModClar=
Review for the better liked tires:

Code:
www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/testDisplay.jsp?ttid=123
I personally hate Hankook tires. But I have limited experience with them on my girlfriends 2011 VW Golf. It came with Hankook optimo all-seasons... cheap, junk tires imho.

Don't put performance winter tires on it. I run Michelin Pilot Alpin PA3's on my GTI in the winter, and they are only marginally better then all-seasons. But this is my to and from work vehicle, which is only a 10 minute drive.

So, with all that rambling. The important thing with winter tires is your weather conditions. Not all winter tires are created equal. Some are better in ice then deep snow, etc. So buy for what kind of conditions you have. I run General altimax arctic's on the VW Golf and Blizzak WS70's on our dedicated winter car. We get a mix of ice of snow, so I think these tires are good balance.

As you have not really driven in the snow much/at all. I think the bigger factor will be lack of experience over the car you choose. If you decide to use the beetle, spend some time in big empty parking lot, where you know were all the curbs are (snow hides them sometimes). Practice breaking hard, getting used to the ABS and traction control. Try turning hard in one direction, so you start to slide, turn slightly into your slide to regain traction and once you have control again point the car where you want to go. Always look where you want the car to go, not where it is sliding!

Some winter driving tips:
Winter Driving Tips on Braking - YouTube
Winter Driving Tips on Accelerating - YouTube

For my GTI, the manual recommends that you disable traction control in deep snow. It is designed more for gravel and wet conditions. So, if the beetle recommends the same thing make sure you practice with it off at least a few times.

EDIT: Not sure why, but the tirerack links wouldn't work properly as urls

Last edited by aiidoneus; 09-25-2011 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 09-25-2011, 09:19 AM   #6 (permalink)
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These are ONLY snow tires. They are not a mud/snow, not an all season, *pure snow tire* and Yes I run them the entire winter.
I must clarify, the snow falls you get are much more than we have. A big storm is 8" at a time, so I don't know about chains plus they are illegal here.
I do use them on my work truck, our company supplies them for us.
I run these from Nov - March, they are a softer compound tire and don't hold up well in the warmer spring temps.
If you haven't dropped your bug, my car is much lower than that and I need to drive smart, but like I said traction was never the issue.

If you don't care for Hankook brand I still recommend finding a winter only tire I think you will be safe and in good shape.
My brother-in-law loves the Blizzaks but for the price I bought 3 tires to his one and I thought my car had better traction than his.
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Old 09-25-2011, 10:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Generally speaking, VW's aren't even reliable fair weather cars.
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Old 09-25-2011, 10:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgrwilco View Post
Generally speaking, VW's aren't even reliable fair weather cars.
Ya my father-in-law bought a VR6 GTI new a few years back and had nothing but issues, intake manifold and electrical.
Now several years later he is considering a VW CC can't believe it....
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Old 09-25-2011, 10:45 AM   #9 (permalink)
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All of my friends bought VW's. I told them not to. They bought them new within the past two years. Now they wish they listened to me.
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Old 09-25-2011, 12:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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We've used a bug in Colorado and it was pretty good. Get good snow tires. I use Michelins. One time we put chains on it and it was amazing.
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