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Old 01-14-2009, 11:38 PM   #1
summer4077
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Default Ion Quad treacherous in snow?

I live in Ohio which got about 5 inches of snow over 7 hrs today. Trying to make my way home my car spun around 4 times...we're talking 180, facing oncoming traffic when it finally stopped. I was only going 15 mph. Finally got it to the side of the road and had my dad come get me, drove his truck and he drove my car. He basically said my car is a deathtrap and that the car is "pigeon toed"--when you barely touch the steering wheel the rear tries to swing out from underneath the car as what happened to me.
I just got my car back from the shop from a tire blowout that did a decent amount of damage to the front and rear passenger tires...needed new rims, new axles, new everything pretty much. The tires are Firehawks--front are one week old and rear have about 25k on them. My car did not do this last year in more snow than today. Do you think this is something the body shop did? Is it possible to overalign a car, mess up the suspension, etc that would make my car act like this? Or should I simply get new tires for the back, too? The tread indicator isn't showing a need for new ones yet but it was VERY nerveracking. BTW other cars like Toyotas, Hondas, Sunfires, even other Saturn Ions were flying by at 40 mph so I'm pretty sure it's my car.
Sorry for the length but wanted to give as much info as possible as I've seen others on this forum say their Ions are great in snow.

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Old 01-14-2009, 11:51 PM   #2
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Default Re: Ion Quad treacherous in snow?

Quote:
The tires are Firehawks--front are one week old and rear have about 25k on them. My car did not do this last year in more snow than today.
The problem is your tires. New ones on the front are gripping the road better than the rear tires. With 25,000 miles on them, your rear tires have much less tread depth remaining so they are no longer working in snow. Having more traction on the front than the rear makes your car over-steer.

Quote:
Or should I simply get new tires for the back, too? The tread indicator isn't showing a need for new ones yet but it was VERY nerveracking.
Yes -- new rear tires to match the fronts would help restore the handling. This is why I rotate my tires so the front and rear tires wear at the same rate and I replace all four at the same time Oh yeah my SC2 has an autocross alignment so it's squirrely but with the snow tires it's awesome.

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Old 01-15-2009, 12:05 AM   #3
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Default Re: Ion Quad treacherous in snow?

I live in Québec, we get a lot of snow and I've found my ION to be a good performer in the case of snow on the roads. I don't think you've specified, but do you have winter tires or instead 4-season tires? It makes a lot of difference, 4-season tires can be OK when it's cold, but they don't have good traction on either ice or snow.

Also, spinning while driving on a road with snow on it is a possibility for every car. I was a passenger in a car that did it once (yeah snow banks that prevented any damage), the car in question was a Subaru Legacy with 4 good winter tires from BF Goodrich and of course AWD. If there's a car that should theoretically be good in the snow it's that one.

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Old 01-15-2009, 10:09 AM   #4
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Default Re: Ion Quad treacherous in snow?

I know it's been said, but these cars aren't death traps in any sense of the word, these cars are driven in the yukon daily, if they can survive in the yukon, they will handle any of the BS in the states. your car may have been aligned improperly, but bad back tires will magnify this, you need four good tires and at the very least all season tires if not snow tires. My car makes it in the U.P. of michigan, we have some of the most severe weather in the states temp and snow combined (there are some colder and the mountains get more snow, but we get about the worst combo) granted I have snow tires, but my car goes through the amount of snow you described safely at 55, and goes through 2 feet of snow at up to like 15 MPH without losing control around corners.

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Old 01-15-2009, 11:24 AM   #5
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Default Re: Ion Quad treacherous in snow?

I know that any car can slide out in certain conditions but mine was REALLY bad and everyone else around me seemed to be doing fine. This is my 3rd Saturn and I'd never had those problems before, especially not w/ this one. Thanks for the responses--I will definitely be going out tonight to get 2 new tires for the back!

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Old 01-15-2009, 11:39 AM   #6
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Default Re: Ion Quad treacherous in snow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by summer4077 View Post
I live in Ohio which got about 5 inches of snow over 7 hrs today. Trying to make my way home my car spun around 4 times...we're talking 180, facing oncoming traffic when it finally stopped. I was only going 15 mph. Finally got it to the side of the road and had my dad come get me, drove his truck and he drove my car. He basically said my car is a deathtrap and that the car is "pigeon toed"--when you barely touch the steering wheel the rear tries to swing out from underneath the car as what happened to me.
That would be a 1260, not a 180. Spun around 4 times and only going 15mph? What were you driving on, snot-coated glass? There's no way the car would just do 3 360's and a 180 at 15mph without some help from the driver. That's parking lot speed, which even in snow, is slow enough to be able to stop within a car length. You had to have been going faster than 15mph or you over-compensated. Never heard of a car being 'pigeon toed' before, and since you can't change the alignment on the rear end of an Ion, I'll say that maybe it's you tires that caused the problem combined with, maybe, a bad alignment job. My Ion has never had a lick of trouble driving in snow or ice, heck my driveway has a drift that's almost 2.5 feet high by 15 feet long and my car went through it like it wasn't there. Just this Tuesday I drove 40 miles on a partially ice-covered Interstate at 40+mph and never felt like the ass was trying to pass me. The Delta platform is incredibly stable in these kinds of conditions.

I'd look at your tires first, alignment second.

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Old 01-15-2009, 01:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: Ion Quad treacherous in snow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by saturn_69 View Post
That would be a 1260, not a 180. Spun around 4 times and only going 15mph? What were you driving on, snot-coated glass? There's no way the car would just do 3 360's and a 180 at 15mph without some help from the driver. That's parking lot speed, which even in snow, is slow enough to be able to stop within a car length. You had to have been going faster than 15mph or you over-compensated. Never heard of a car being 'pigeon toed' before, and since you can't change the alignment on the rear end of an Ion, I'll say that maybe it's you tires that caused the problem combined with, maybe, a bad alignment job. My Ion has never had a lick of trouble driving in snow or ice, heck my driveway has a drift that's almost 2.5 feet high by 15 feet long and my car went through it like it wasn't there. Just this Tuesday I drove 40 miles on a partially ice-covered Interstate at 40+mph and never felt like the ass was trying to pass me. The Delta platform is incredibly stable in these kinds of conditions.

I'd look at your tires first, alignment second.
Sorry, that was poor wording on my part. It spun around 4 separate times, not 4 times in a row. It would spin around, I'd get it back around and going the right way for a mile or two, then it would do it again. This is my 3rd winter with my car and the first time it's done this. I drove 3 hours (normally 1.5 hour drive) from Cinci to Columbus yesterday just fine under the same conditions in a Ford Focus (work provided car), then got into my car to go home and started spinning around. Needless to say my Saturn ego was bruised lol. I'm definitely going to put new rear tires on tonight. Any suggestions on a brand? The body shop put Firestones GTA 03s on the front but I've read those things are crap and think I'm going to get rid of them. Thoughts?

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Old 01-15-2009, 01:53 PM   #8
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Default Re: Ion Quad treacherous in snow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by summer4077 View Post
Sorry, that was poor wording on my part. It spun around 4 separate times, not 4 times in a row. It would spin around, I'd get it back around and going the right way for a mile or two, then it would do it again. This is my 3rd winter with my car and the first time it's done this. I drove 3 hours (normally 1.5 hour drive) from Cinci to Columbus yesterday just fine under the same conditions in a Ford Focus (work provided car), then got into my car to go home and started spinning around. Needless to say my Saturn ego was bruised lol. I'm definitely going to put new rear tires on tonight. Any suggestions on a brand? The body shop put Firestones GTA 03s on the front but I've read those things are crap and think I'm going to get rid of them. Thoughts?
Oh yeah, most definitely the tires. It sounds like they are over-inflated or bald.

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Old 01-15-2009, 02:17 PM   #9
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Default Re: Ion Quad treacherous in snow?

I like one season tires, don't know how ohio winters are, but tire rack.com has a rating system that they do on a snow covered track, rain covered track, ect... because you just had your car aligned, go back to them and call BS, get them to realign it, if possible, just to drive the lack of trust home, make them do it in front of you and prove the dimensions in their book are the ones on the car.

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Old 01-15-2009, 07:50 PM   #10
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Default Re: Ion Quad treacherous in snow?

i dont know what kind of snow you guys are gettin down there.. but 2 feet of snow aint goin through that up here. in NB canada.... we get anything over 8inch and my ion with brand new winter tires goes basically nowhere... the snow we get is packy and builds up in front of the car.... so you must be getting pure powder and fluffy snow....

ive seen my car do 180's before.. but even pullin the hand brake on a snowy parkin lot i cant get it to do 360... haha...

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Old 01-15-2009, 08:16 PM   #11
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Default Re: Ion Quad treacherous in snow?

the 2 feet was an unplowed area. I went through 1.5 feet of what a plow left behind with ease, you may have a bad set of winter tires. another thing is of coarse, nothing will go through really heavy wet snow.

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Old 01-21-2009, 10:00 AM   #12
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Default Re: Ion Quad treacherous in snow?

I had a problem with the stock tires on my Ion. we got about 16" of snow a couple weeks ago, and with my new Pirelli P3000 tires, I've yet to get stuck this winter. Tires are crucial, and just because they are new doesn't mean they are good. These Pirelli's are all-season tires, but the tread is more towards snow than summer.

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Old 01-23-2009, 05:26 PM   #13
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Default Re: Ion Quad treacherous in snow?

http://www.tirechain.com/P205R-16.htm

lol


OR just get some good snow tires on steelies. My Firestone Winterforce tires have been great for the past 2 winters. $50 per tire, cant go wrong.

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Old 01-24-2009, 10:22 AM   #14
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Default Re: Ion Quad treacherous in snow?

i think someone just needs a driver mod.. honestly these cars arnt bad at all in the snow..

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Old 02-13-2009, 03:53 AM   #15
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Default Re: Ion Quad treacherous in snow?

I posted about this before, but I was doing 65-70 on an interstate 2 weeks after getting my 2005 Ion coupe, and switched lanes and applied brakes and POW right into the barricade! It was perfectly dry out! Since my car has been fixed and don't have many problems with it. 7inches of snow and drove home from work 19miles doing 30-40mph fine.

I'd say these cars NEED a sway bar in the back. Theres way too much roll! In my 2003 Focus that thing was like a rock and took winters with ease! This car can get unstuck easier but (sorry to say it) the Ford handled way better...

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Old 02-13-2009, 09:24 AM   #16
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Default Re: Ion Quad treacherous in snow?

worn rear tires are most likely the problem, but it could also be a mis-match of brake pads front and rear with aftermarket and OE parts in case you had a brake job done recently, they may be grabbing at different rates, just a second thought. I had good luck with Michelin Hydro Edge, they have good ratings for summer and winter on Tire Rack.

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