: Need Advice on Winter Setuo - 08 STS V8 AWD



chubbyranger
12-18-10, 08:02 AM
Hi all - been here awhile but lived mostly in the Seville/Eldo forum as that's what I've got. So as if dealing with my 99 STS wasn't enough ($4K HGs :thumbsup:) I pulled the trigger on an 08 STS4 N* AWD :cookoo: Pretty sure it has the Performance Handling Package (18" wheels + F55 MagRide). Now I have the questions I should have asked before I bought :banghead:

I pretty much assumed the AWD would be a good setup for snow and ice but as I look closer I'm starting to worry - if you ever read any of my old threads in the Seville section you'll know I'm good at that :yup: The dealer put on a new set of Sumitomo HTR ZIII tires which are ctegorized as "Max Performance Summer" on tirerack.com so now I wonder if it'll just be an AWD sled in any kind of bad weather like we get in New England. Starting to contemplate that I may have to cough $$$ for a second set of wheels and a set of Bridgestone Blizzaks to get through the slop season or just leave it in the garage and run the Seville which was definitely not the plan. So the questions:

Can anybody share some bad weather handling experience with an AWD PHP STS?

If I go with aftermarket wheels is there a way to add tire pressure sensors compatible with the TPMS or do I just learn to ignore the yellow light and DIC warning?

This is suppsed to be the wife's car and I know warning lights and messages will bother her. The SERVICE STABILITY SYSTEM warning on my Seville bugs her (I think SWPS is toast - no time to fix). Any advice/insights appreciated.

BaTu
12-18-10, 10:19 AM
You're in RI? I'm in CT so, I guess we experience much of the same winter....

I think you'll be just fine,,, I certainly wouldn't go out and spend alot of money on a winter tire set-up without giving it a season first. With AWD and Traction Control you should be able to go pretty much anywhere (ice of course, is a problem for everybody) being in an area that's not going to be under really deep snow very often.

I went several winters with the stock Goodyears and they weren't "Summer" tires but they sucked in wet so I can only assume they weren't doing much in snow too ;)

As far as the option packages your car came with, look at the carpeted wooden "door" covering the spare. When you lift it up there will be a white sticker with the build codes that will define all the options.

I'm sure the tires that are on there now could be improved upon for traction in the snow, but, as I said, your cars computer will do a good job of managing a couple of inches of snow with any tire on it. Just let it do the work, don't "over think" it and try to help. Easy throttle and watch it work :)

EChas3
12-18-10, 12:25 PM
I'd advise being careful at first. Summer tires get awfully hard in Winter and wide tires tend to go over snow rather than through it. With that proviso, I did OK with the rock-hard OEM Michelin MXM's for miles 40k-50k with no Winter trouble.

I'm on Conti AWS 235's now and they are better all-around. It would be fun to try my wife's Blizzak's on my AWD, but a RWD NEEDS them in Wisconsin's climate!

chubbyranger
12-18-10, 07:16 PM
Thanks guys :thumbsup: I had already pulled the full RPO listing before I went to look at the car through the Compnine decoder but it doesn't list all the packages. Near as I can figure from that they only made 399 AWD N* STS in 2008 and only 20 of those were 53U Antique Bronze Metallic It says its got the 1SG and 1SZ packages but I don't see anything that translates directly to the PHP option. Its got the 18" wheels but I don't know if that means its got the Brembo brakes and the rest of the PHP goodies. Ended up taking the Mrs. to the hospital right after we picked it up so she hasn't even seen it yet much less gotten a ride and needless to say I haven't had much time to study. I guess I'll just have to try it low and slow in the slop.

EChas3
12-18-10, 07:44 PM
I find the AWD usually performs best when the driver ignores the traction control. Just let it do its job and ignore the brake actuation & display.

I can only remember the rear stepping out once on an icey road just after a right turn. I fault those old Michelin MXM's. I haven't felt a fishtail since.

chubbyranger
12-18-10, 08:30 PM
Just finished fighting through programming the garage door openers. Waaay to much work for non-rolling code openers compared to the Seville. Looked at the RPO codes on the spare cover compared to online and seems consistent but now confused. Its a 1SG car but no HUD :hmm: Has the JE5 brakes which I think are the Brembos.

dkozloski
12-18-10, 09:11 PM
I have an '06 V8 AWD STS. I drive on snow and ice on mountain roads for about half the year and I wouldn't even consider doing it on the performance tires. I use WS-60 Blizzaks, the same size all the way around. I use the same wheels and just have the tires swapped out and rebalanced at the tire shop in the spring and the fall for $60 a season.

chubbyranger
12-18-10, 09:41 PM
Where you are I'd do the same. Here bad weather lasts a couple days but I need to be able to move the Mrs. at a moments notice so I'm going to check into the Blizzaks. I'm sure if I use the same size on all four tires I'll have the PCM bent out of shape but as long as it moves... Maybe I should have just bought an Escalade.

dkozloski
12-18-10, 09:48 PM
ABS, traction control, and stabilitrac all work without a hitch.

EChas3
12-18-10, 11:14 PM
Its a 1SG car but no HUD :hmm: Has the JE5 brakes which I think are the Brembos.

Prior to 2008, HUD was bundled with ACC. 2008 & later it became available without ACC. ACC requires HUD. Both are options, even on the 1SG.

I was also told that ACC & AWD could only be had on the 1SG prior to 2008 (no V6's had AWD & ACC.) It might be true for 2008-2010, too. ACC was not available on the 2011's.

I think the Brembo brakes are only on the V's. The JL9 are the standard brakes and JE5 are the upgraded ones on the (1SG) Premium Luxury Performance Package.


I'm sure if I use the same size on all four tires I'll have the PCM bent out of shape but as long as it moves... Maybe I should have just bought an Escalade.

The OEM tires are all the same size (within about 0.10 inch). I don't have any trouble running the same all around. I didn't have any trouble with the OEM's rotated to the wrong ends! (DPO <groan>)

I wouldn't want an Escalade. I think they are hard to get into. The STS seats automatically adjust up and forward for entry & exit. If you do want one, have at it!

TimmyC
12-18-10, 11:24 PM
I think the Brembo brakes are only on the V's. The JL9 are the standard brakes and JE5 are the upgraded ones on the (1SG) Premium Luxury Performance Package.


08 and later cars had the option of the V brakes. They got 6 lug hubs and 1st gen CTS-V wheels. I've seen a few cars like that on ebay. Pretty cool option.

chubbyranger
12-19-10, 07:13 AM
Prior to 2008, HUD was bundled with ACC. 2008 & later it became available without ACC. ACC requires HUD. Both are options, even on the 1SG.

I was also told that ACC & AWD could only be had on the 1SG prior to 2008 (no V6's had AWD & ACC.) It might be true for 2008-2010, too. ACC was not available on the 2011's.

I think the Brembo brakes are only on the V's. The JL9 are the standard brakes and JE5 are the upgraded ones on the (1SG) Premium Luxury Performance Package.



The OEM tires are all the same size (within about 0.10 inch). I don't have any trouble running the same all around. I didn't have any trouble with the OEM's rotated to the wrong ends! (DPO <groan>)

I wouldn't want an Escalade. I think they are hard to get into. The STS seats automatically adjust up and forward for entry & exit. If you do want one, have at it!

Good to know about the tires - thanks. I knew you guys would straighten me out but like I said, I like to worry. The memory seats in my Seville are one of the main reasons I went after an STS. The Escalade comment was the mechanics lubricant :alchi: talking. Plus my wife would hate it and never drive it for the reasons you said - to hard to get in to (she's 5'1") and toooo big to park. We were contemplating an SRX but to tell you the truth it just kind of hacked me off that the new ones are built in Mexico so I didn't even look at them. After owning the Seville for the past 3 years you'd think I'd know what to look for; I'm still trying to figure this one out. Maybe it just hasn't sunk in that even though they both say STS on the trunk they're completely different cars. Nice to see a N* pointed in the right direction when I open the hood.

z06bigbird
12-19-10, 10:27 AM
What be this snow stuff you guys keep talking about?? Outside temp in San Antonio is about 70 today. Too much sun!! Gotta go change oil.

chubbyranger
12-19-10, 12:03 PM
Found this option package listing on automotive.com that says JE5 = Brembos


http://www.automotive.com/2008/12/cadillac/sts/packages/index.html

JE5 Performance Brakes - $395
Brembo Performance Brakes; Requires: [QF8] 18" Polished Aluminum Wheels And [MX7] All Wheel Drive 2

EChas3
12-19-10, 12:18 PM
Cool! The ACC & AWD Traction Control does seem to work the brakes harder than cars equipped otherwise. It makes sense to me for the options to be linked.

Another forum member said the 17" wheels will fit JE5 cars (and they look like they would.) I also recall someone positing that the standard brakes have two piston calipers; JE5 have four pistons and the V's system have six piston calipers in front. I'm not sure but as disks and pads get bigger, more pistons would stabilize brake action and should help ensure even wear.

EChas3
12-19-10, 12:26 PM
What be this snow stuff you guys keep talking about?? Outside temp in San Antonio is about 70 today. Too much sun!! Gotta go change oil.

We have 6 seasons. 'Locking' is almost over. Next is Winter. In March comes 'Unlocking'. Spring starts in May, Summer is a week in July. Fall is our longest season, lasting until about Halloween.

Are your seasons Spring, Sauna, Hades & Fall?

chubbyranger
12-20-10, 07:46 AM
Well at least the PO paid this one for me:

R8E Gas Guzzler Tax - $0
Charges: gas guzzler tax: 1,300

Kinda' funny the Compnine site lists R8E as "Unk."

Does the heated steering wheel delete the wood trim on the steering wheel? Mine (err.. the wife's) has the heated steering wheel but no wood trim on the wheel. While I thought that heated wheel would be the most useless option ever I gotta admit I kinda like it. Next I'll be getting manicures...

EChas3
12-20-10, 08:21 PM
The heated wheel is a great feature. Both my wife & I use ours a lot. Both have the wood trim. It seems kinda silly at first but I've gotten spoiled having warm hands and a rich-looking wheel.

chubbyranger
12-20-10, 11:23 PM
So I can write my own review: AWFUL. Just drove back from Boston in the first snow of the season. OK on the highway with the Sumitomos but HORRIBLE on off ramps and side streets. Thought I was going to pole it on the first highway off ramp. Getting some new winter shoes tomorrow.

skexius
12-21-10, 04:03 AM
Just finished fighting through programming the garage door openers. Waaay to much work for non-rolling code openers compared to the Seville. Looked at the RPO codes on the spare cover compared to online and seems consistent but now confused. Its a 1SG car but no HUD :hmm: Has the JE5 brakes which I think are the Brembos.

Chubbyranger,I went back and did some research on the options that you are questioning for the 1SG cars. In order to have the Brembo brakes on a 1SG car, you must have the Performance Handling Package, which was option code 'PCZ'. It contained these specific options:- QAF - P255/45R18 Front and Rear Michelin Pilot Sport Summer tires- J56 - Brembo brakes- P73 - 18&quot; Chrome WheelsThe base 1SG cars include as Standard equipment these options:- P235/50R18 Front tires and P255/45R18 Rear tires- Q12 - Polished 18&quot; aluminum wheels- JE5 - Performance brakesA separate option that was optional only on the 1SG AWD V8 STS was:- JL7 - Active Steering with Enhanced StabilitrakIt seems that you have confused the 'JE5' Performance Brakes with the 'J56' Brembo Brakes. There were three (3) braking options on the STS and 'JE5' is the middle level brake option. The true Brembo brake option can only be had as a part of the Performance Handling Package, which is a separate option by itself.Also on the 1SG cars, option 'K59' Adaptive Cruise Control and option 'UV6' Head-Up Display were Standard equipment. You should have both options. If you do not, it may be that you have an early build car in the 2008 model year that did not include Head-Up Display as Standard until later in the model year. All Adaptive Cruise Control cars have a grille with a big, round black emblem with the color Cadillac crest centered inside it.Go back and check your RPO sticker codes and the VIN RPO Decoder results for your VIN and see what you truly have of the above options. Also, check the build date of your car.Let me know if you have further questions or if this doesn't make sense.skexius

chubbyranger
12-21-10, 06:49 AM
Chubbyranger,I went back and did some research on the options that you are questioning for the 1SG cars. In order to have the Brembo brakes on a 1SG car, you must have the Performance Handling Package, which was option code 'PCZ'. It contained these specific options:- QAF - P255/45R18 Front and Rear Michelin Pilot Sport Summer tires- J56 - Brembo brakes- P73 - 18&quot; Chrome WheelsThe base 1SG cars include as Standard equipment these options:- P235/50R18 Front tires and P255/45R18 Rear tires- Q12 - Polished 18&quot; aluminum wheels- JE5 - Performance brakesA separate option that was optional only on the 1SG AWD V8 STS was:- JL7 - Active Steering with Enhanced StabilitrakIt seems that you have confused the 'JE5' Performance Brakes with the 'J56' Brembo Brakes. There were three (3) braking options on the STS and 'JE5' is the middle level brake option. The true Brembo brake option can only be had as a part of the Performance Handling Package, which is a separate option by itself.Also on the 1SG cars, option 'K59' Adaptive Cruise Control and option 'UV6' Head-Up Display were Standard equipment. You should have both options. If you do not, it may be that you have an early build car in the 2008 model year that did not include Head-Up Display as Standard until later in the model year. All Adaptive Cruise Control cars have a grille with a big, round black emblem with the color Cadillac crest centered inside it.Go back and check your RPO sticker codes and the VIN RPO Decoder results for your VIN and see what you truly have of the above options. Also, check the build date of your car.Let me know if you have further questions or if this doesn't make sense.skexius

Thanks for the research skexius :thumbsup: Mine is an early early 08 - build date is 6/12/07 and went into service July of 07. Looking at the RPOs it may have been ordered by the PO and no PHP, HUD or ACC. Found J56 as an option code it doesn't have. If I read the numbers right they only made 8 J56 cars. The link I listed above lists the J35 code = Brembos which is how I got confused. Right now the brakes work great but the tires gotta go for winter. Anybody used the Toyo M&S tires? My tire guy can get me those for $200 less than the Blizzaks.

chubbyranger
12-23-10, 12:08 AM
Ended up getting a set of Toyo Open Country 235/50/18 to try and tame the beast to handle in snow. So far so good.

CADDYBLACK99
12-23-10, 08:57 AM
I think the winter tire swap thing is good insurance for us here in the northeast. Toyo also makes a winter tire with ground walnut shells. I've only had one chance (the last storm of 2009) to test my STS-4 and it worked well. I live on quite a steep hill and found the T/C worked against the AWD. The first 100 feet of my hill is the steepest and when the T/C kicked in it felt like I lost power!? I quickly turned off the T/C and the AWD felt sure footed. I regained traction and proceeded up the hill. Does this sound right? I expect to get more experience with the system this season, so I will report back. Good luck chubbyranger!

Merry Christmas and Happy New year to all!

EChas3
12-23-10, 07:30 PM
In my AWD, I just keep my foot on the throttle and it imitates a tank.

Frikiton
12-26-10, 03:28 AM
I should of gotten an AWD lol ... Because in NorthEast or at least in New York City/New Jersey we get A LOT A LOT OF RAIN! more than Snow days .. but when we get SNOW we get snow that last a week or so all over the place. I am def looking for a replacement of tire after I try my current one on rain and snow and see how traction control behaves. I rather have something that performs really good on rain/snow/summer in that range since the most dangerous weather times are when we need the best. I been reading on tirerack about Ultra Performance Winter Tires

EChas3
12-27-10, 12:31 AM
You might be surprised by how good the Blizzaks handle. At least one member runs them year-round.