Cadillac STS Forum - 2005 through 2012 Discussion, Winter / snow driving Experience with Summer tires STS4 v8 in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Hi all,
Now that I've had some seat time driving on ice and snow I thought I'd report back to ...
Winter / snow driving Experience with Summer tires STS4 v8
Now that I've had some seat time driving on ice and snow I thought I'd report back to the group. Earlier in the season I was sweating it a little bit over what to do about winter driving. I looked around for a winter wheel/tire package but never pulled the trigger.
Here in New England we just had a major storm. Roads are now snow packed, icy, and very slippery. The 18" summer wheel and tire setup is obviously not ideal for these conditions. The car will fishtail VERY quickly if you goose the gas pedal. But the car handles bad roads very gracefully if you allow the traction control, stability system, and abs to do their thing. I watched a Camry spin out multiple times and eventually back down a fairly steep hill near my home. Caddy climbed the hill with no drama. I just kept a light steady foot on the gas. The car was communicating back to me through the DIC about traction active, etc.
Likewise with braking. On a snow packed road I did a brake check - stomped and held the brake pedal. Abs was grinding away but the car slid helplessly down the hill. However if I used light constant pressure on the pedal, abs and trac knew what to do and the car crept safely down a pretty steep and very slippery hill.
I will probably try to find a good deal on a winter wheel and tire package for next season, but I am much more confident in the car's ability to handle winter conditions. Hopefully that will take some of the worry away from sts owners or potential buyers.
Glad you found the car quite good in the snow and slippery weather. Like yourself it was also my first shot at winter driving in a CTS4 I just got. Just like you mentioned the car handled impeccably. I'm very impressed with it. I don't do all that much winter driving anymore now that I'm retired, so I'm just using my all season radials with no problem.
It's possible to make your way through ice and snow on hi-perf tires if carefully handled but you're in a poor position to deal with a child sliding down a hill into traffic or someone not as skilled as yourself busting through a misjudged red light. Give yourself and others some margin by investing in a good set of winter tires.
^ I have the same car with the same setup, car will outperform many FWD and RWD in this weather, but you'll still need a snow/winter tires, If I didn't have another car with better tires I'd def go for winter.
Glad to hear the car works well for you. I almost picked up a second STS for winter duties but was afraid of GM not having the history in AWD to make me comfortable in having a reliable vehicle. I've also got an Escalade that is having problems with the AWD drivetrain, haven't torn into it yet but I think the front diff is going as it's common and the feedback (binding) I get from the vehicle when driving it tells me that it is likely either the front or rear diff.
I ended up with an Audi and just had my first few trips in the ice/snow with it and I couldn't be happier. I live out in the country where not all the roads are plowed or treated so I got a pretty good taste of what she can do. The only thing I need to be careful of is not getting over confident in her abilities as the feel (stability) I get from the car somewhat disconnects me from the conditions outside in the bad weather. After an hour drive home the other night in the bad weather I stopped in the nearly empty grocery store parking lot where the car felt fine, got out to head into the store and nearly fell on my butt 3 times before making it 50 feet off the parking lot.
I'm running all season Uniroyal GTZs on it, two new ones came with the purchase and it made more sense economically to buy two more tires instead of 4 different tires. I hadn't driven on Uniroyal tires for 25 years but they seem to be a very good all season radial.