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Hey all,

I'm new to this group as a poster, but I have been reading articles since I bought my 2019 Bolt new... I'm dreaming of the day I can replace the white noise generator with Jetson's sound effects.

I'm curious about other folks experiences with only running snow tires on the front. Anyone do that?

My experience has been the front end is generally 10 times more likely to lose traction than break the rear end loose, and if the snow is deep I should choose a different car for the drive anyway.

A little background, I live in Northern Colorado, and we have some pretty decent storms, but nothing like the atlantic northeast and great lakes regions... We have lots of dry snow that gets packed, then goes away pretty quickly with the dry climate and sunny days.

I am used to buying two snow tires for a front wheel drive car to get around in the mountains, even if it looks a bit funny. The stockers have such nice deep grooves to provide lateral stability.

That being said I have a front wheel drive CRV with 4 dedicated snow tires for my 19-year-old kid, after 19 years I'm kind of attached to him 馃槈.

I've made it through two winters without anything but the stock tires with really no issues even in L, but they definitely aren't great all
seasons for the torque and regen.

Thanks to all of you who have made such great recommendations on wheels and tires, I definitely appreciate the info!
 

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Individuals may have opinions based upon having gotten by with only snow tires on the front of an FWD, but I've never seen any professonals recommend anything other than snows on all four.

The reason is letting off the go pedal immediately applies a retarding force to the front tires while the back tires are still rolling free; having tires on the rear with less traction is especially likely to cause a skid on a downhill curve. If the road is at all slick, almost guaranteed the back end will come around.

jack vines, who was a tire service manager in a former life and always puts the same tires on all four corners.
 

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Everyone has different financial and safety goals...

I'd get 4 snows because oversteer is way more dangerous than understeer. If I lived in CO, I would have 3-season tires and nice wheels, and steel rims with winter tires. Over time the cost isn't much higher because the tires simply last longer by having more of them. I'd do my own wheel changes too, to save time and make sure it's done correctly.
 

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4 TIRES. Always use a full set.
 

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I'd rather buy 4 used snow tires than 2 new, but that's just me. I found a set of winter's on steelies with only 1 season of wear on them for $300 off a Sonic.

I personally don't see any reason to go to 2 tires, not when you can get barely used winter treads fairly easily online.

I don't believe in used tires in general but for winters, you get 1-3 seasons of use on rims being sold for under $500 all-in with I'd say an average of 10k miles on the treads... with tpms! People just want whatever they can get off lease-turn ins or getting sick of cycling their wheels.

If you're going to go winters (I approve) go all-in.
 

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Always 4 snow tires.
I am pondering (without any data on the subject). This demo had both a lightweight and aheavy car, but they were both ICE with most of the weight on the front (drivewheel) tires. I wonder if an EV with its low CG and a nearly even weight distribution over the four tires would fare differently.
 

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I am pondering (without any data on the subject). This demo had both a lightweight and aheavy car, but they were both ICE with most of the weight on the front (drivewheel) tires. I wonder if an EV with its low CG and a nearly even weight distribution over the four tires would fare differently.
I'd expect it to be worse. Snow tires work because they actually retain snow. If you've ever smashed two snowballs together and tried to separate them with shear force you know how powerful the bond is.
 

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There's no reason to speculate, we can see on many a Youtube video pretty starkly what's going to happen, you're only going to have traction on the front wheels, not dry weather traction mind you, and your rear end is going to act like it's on ice. Your stopping power will be greatly decreased. You don't need an engineer to break down the numbers, the visuals are all you need.
 

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I would say depends on your skills.
I know budget is tight, but health is precious as well.
I guess I would say - all 4 or none.

In some areas it may not be legal, though.

Yet, just today, in icy conditions, I drove my Boxster on true summer tires. I just had to.
Problem? Well, not for me.

so, going back to you - sudden braking in turns, or sudden direction change - it will be tricky. I landed in a ditch years ago because I installed 13-year-old spare. It was hard and much lesser grip than the other 3 tires. And it was cold (about +5 C), dry morning, so not really slippery.

good luck man and let us know how it drives.
 
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"Depends on your skills" is what makes you avoid the skid you can't control that hits things in the first place. Doesn't matter if you're the best race car driver in the world if your steering wheel has no input.

Only 2 winter tires = might as well drive like you're on 0 winter tires, or you're going to put yourself into a "no skill can save me" situation.

We own GM vehicles, I once again point out that you can easily nab a set of winters on stealies from someones lease return easily for $3-500 with only a few seasons of wear on them, easily below half their expected life. That's cheaper than a set of 2 new winter tires + steel wheels.

I'm not talking about going down to the corner junkyard and getting bald tires that are unsafe, you can get wheels off a Trax or Sonic (just double check the size). I put my money where my mouth is, all-in cost for everything (including tpms, mind you!) $300.

No reason to make bad choices here.
 

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I am pondering (without any data on the subject). This demo had both a lightweight and aheavy car, but they were both ICE with most of the weight on the front (drivewheel) tires. I wonder if an EV with its low CG and a nearly even weight distribution over the four tires would fare differently.
I can tell you this : with 4 winter tires, on a slope, on black ice, I still wasn't able to stop my car and I crushed into the one in front of me. It doesn鈥檛 take much to get urself in trouble during winter. If I'd be you, I'd keep all tires of the same type. Yes, I agree, 400$ could be seen as an expense, but if you have an accident, the 400 may grow to 500 or more, depending on the deductible you have. I usually don鈥檛 tell people what to do, I provide the best info I have for them to make a decision. Personally, I don鈥檛 care if you use 4 different tires on your car, but don鈥檛 come later and blame the tires or the car for your poor choice.

P.S. Skill doesn鈥檛 matter when the car just acts on its own, skidding across the road and you being unable to control the skid.
 

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I鈥檓 going to go with the 鈥済o for 4鈥 crowd, especially if you鈥檙e planning on keeping your Bolt for a while, and plan on having the snows on dedicated wheels.

Aside from the handling issues noted above, I find that having 4 snows allows me to rotate the tires as needed to maintain even wear among all four tires. If you plan to keep the car for a while, you could use up 4 snows during that time. If you buy them all at once (instead of 2 at a time) you get the benefit of 4-wheel grip in the snow starting now.
 
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P.S. Skill doesn鈥檛 matter when the car just acts on its own, skidding across the road and you being unable to control the skid.
There's usually some action a driver can take to optimize the situation.

I went down a snowy hill and quickly realized I wouldn't be able to stop, and had no control of the car while attempting to slow. So, I steered and missed all of the parked cars on the street, waiting until I made it to the bottom to brake. My girlfriend following just mashed the brakes until she slid into a car.

The natural reaction for most people is to steer and brake at the same time, but often it's better to pick one or the other. That takes practice.
 

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We in a city of steep hills, atop one of them. Often, the arterials will be blocked off until a sanding truck can make a couple of passes. With fifty years of experience descending these hills in all conditions, we're never the cause of the problem, but more than once another nearby vehicle has gone sideways, spinning, ricocheting between curbs.

My girlfriend following just mashed the brakes until she hit a car.
Once or twice on a hill with a 19-degree gradient, when there was black ice on the pavement, even with the best snow tires, the only way to get emergency stopped was to ease over and scrub the curb with the tire sidewall. I remember once, when a spinning pickup in front of me required use of this field expedient, the car behind me near-missed me while gathering speed brakes locked down the hill, colliding with the truck which had necessitated the emergency stop.
The natural reaction for most people is to steer and brake at the same time, but often it's better to pick one or the other. That takes practice.
For true. The real stupidity was the truck driver had a clear road in front of him. When his brakes wouldn't stop him, had he just let off and steered straight, he'd have gotten to the bottom of the hill OK.

jack vines
 

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The best is when you see these people complain on the community social media sites about how their AWD Escapes don't perform great in the snow with their all seasons and I just want to respond so so so bad but I know better.

What I don't get, with the shock, is how the physics works out in their head. What part of AWD makes them think their car will "handle better" in the snow and ice? If you never apply your foot to the gas pedal in the course of the manuever your worried about, what exactly is the system that distributes that power going to do for you? Did it not occur to you that your SUV may be heavier than a small car and might actually do more poorly in winter conditions?

Here's the facts: If you spend $2-10,000 for a higher trim or option for AWD and leave all seasons on your car because you live "up north in snow" and absolutely need that AWD you've wasted thousands and could have done better by just getting a pair of snow tires. Probably also gave yourself some false confidence and caused an accident, too.
 
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