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Old 01-11-2009, 12:07 PM   #1
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Question TSX in snow?

Hey All!

I am considering buying an 06-07 6spd TSX for my daily drive. A friend of mine lent one to me for a day, and it was a great car, especially for daily driving (I drive about 15km city traffic daily one way).

My only concern is how it reacts in snow. I live in Canada and snow is common. Just last night we got pounded with snow...again! From personal experiences, how is the car in the snow? I plan on getting winter tires which (of course) will greatly help for traction.

I am considering either the TSX 6spd or an 04-06 (late E46 or early E90) BMW 325xi/330xi in manual. My concern with the BMW is the maintenance costs, as this is a daily driver I want it to be trouble free. I do take care of my cars, sticking to the maintenance schedule and never treat it harshly. With the BMW there is the added benefit of AWD (with winter tires that's a great combo). I currently own an 02 M5 as a weekend/summer car, so I am no stranger to BMW's.

Any ideas/advice/suggestions/comments are greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
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Last edited by Pea Tear Griffin; 01-11-2009 at 12:10 PM.
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Old 01-11-2009, 12:16 PM   #2
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if you get snow tires it'll be sufficient... right now i have OEM tires and it sucks balls in snow (and especially ice). The stability control warning light comes on when you accelerate in the snow.
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Old 01-11-2009, 12:25 PM   #3
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i haven't had problems with the car in the winter. i have dedicated snow tires, lowered, and i also live in canada (toronto/gta).

if your streets are getting plowed consistently, and within a reasonable time frame, i don't think you'd have any concerns of owning a tsx for winter driving.
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Old 01-11-2009, 12:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afici0nad0 View Post
i haven't had problems with the car in the winter. i have dedicated snow tires, lowered, and i also live in canada (toronto/gta).

if your streets are getting plowed consistently, and within a reasonable time frame, i don't think you'd have any concerns of owning a tsx for winter driving.
Thanks for the reply! I had to do something at work last night, and wow driving on University at 12am was ridiculous...nothing was plowed!

Thanks again, your post is reassuring.
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Old 01-11-2009, 12:33 PM   #5
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I recommend having some snow tires handy during the winter time. Get the Bridgestone Pole Position RE960AS. They are pretty much all season tires and rated as one of the best tires. They have good traction on wet and snow surfaces. You won't go wrong with these tires.
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Old 01-11-2009, 12:45 PM   #6
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There are many vehicles that handle snow better than the TSX. The stock wheels and tires are rather poor. But FWD is better than RWD.

The wide, low profile, tires are not an asset. So, I would highly recommend getting a second set of wheels -- and winter tires for snow. I would get wheels, and tires, that are one step narrower and one step higher in profile. Be aware that it will alter your speedometer reading -- causing it to read a little too low.

You can buy the sets (wheels and tires), from online vendors, with the tires mounted and balanced.
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Old 01-11-2009, 1:22 PM   #7
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I've got an 06 6MT with winter tires, this is my first winter with the car and the tires are new. I have really enjoyed the tsx in the winter, no problems, haven't gotten stuck once, and the VSA works well. When it annoys u or u want to have some fun, just turn it off. Overall I'm very pleased.
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Old 01-11-2009, 1:57 PM   #8
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Everyone has their own experiences, but I personally think the car does excellent in the snow. Its actually kind of fun sometimes. I'm sure there are cars that handle snow better than the TSX, but its mostly fine... you won't slide into the curb or anything crazy (even without the help of ABS).

I have Micheline MXM4 17'' tires,

Ice is a totally different story.
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Old 01-11-2009, 2:03 PM   #9
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I live in Canada and often drive my 6spd 05 tsx in the snow with snow tires and it seems to handle the snow without issue.
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Old 01-11-2009, 4:05 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone...TSX seems to be the way to go
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Old 01-11-2009, 4:21 PM   #11
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I live in Calgary where residential streets are not plowed. My 06 6MT is into its third winter, all with winter tires mounted on 16 inch steel wheels. I have had no trouble handling whatever winter conditions I've encountered, which has included several road trips to BC on miles of packed snow or lots of slush. The VSA works wonderfully although it is a little annoying when starting from a stop on ice. Sometimes I start off in second gear when the road is icy and this minimizes the intrusion of the VSA. I have tried taking the same icy corner at full throttle with the VSA turned on and turned off and the difference is amazing. Without the VSA on you seriously slide sideways but with the VSA on the throttle is automatically cut back and you can carve the corner with no fuss. After that little experiment I never turn off the VSA in winter. Best winter vehicle I have ever owned. Get the manual transmission definitely.
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Old 01-11-2009, 5:13 PM   #12
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The key is the tires. We just had the snow storm here in Seattle a few weeks back, and while I'd say the car was great, the OEM Michelins were terrible. I have an O6 AT, but I found the combination of the traction assist and being able to shift using the sport shift a very capable combination. If I had better snow tires, I really would not give it a second thought.

Also, if you really want a maintenance free daily driver, go with the Acura. I don't know a single BMW owner that does not have expensive repairs once the car is out of warranty. While I'm sure there are, I think the statistics would heavily favor the Acura on that subject.
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Old 01-11-2009, 5:38 PM   #13
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Thanks guys

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flames View Post
I live in Calgary where residential streets are not plowed. My 06 6MT is into its third winter, all with winter tires mounted on 16 inch steel wheels. I have had no trouble handling whatever winter conditions I've encountered, which has included several road trips to BC on miles of packed snow or lots of slush. The VSA works wonderfully although it is a little annoying when starting from a stop on ice. Sometimes I start off in second gear when the road is icy and this minimizes the intrusion of the VSA. I have tried taking the same icy corner at full throttle with the VSA turned on and turned off and the difference is amazing. Without the VSA on you seriously slide sideways but with the VSA on the throttle is automatically cut back and you can carve the corner with no fuss. After that little experiment I never turn off the VSA in winter. Best winter vehicle I have ever owned. Get the manual transmission definitely.
May I ask what tires you are using (on your snows)?
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Old 01-11-2009, 6:46 PM   #14
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I had a TSX in Saskatoon for a couple of years. Had winter tires on steelies for it and never got stuck once. The key really is the tires (as previously mentioned).
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Old 01-11-2009, 7:25 PM   #15
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Thanks guys



May I ask what tires you are using (on your snows)?
I use Michelin X-Ice. I haven't tried any other type so I couldn't say which are the best.
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pea Tear Griffin View Post
Thanks for the reply! I had to do something at work last night, and wow driving on University at 12am was ridiculous...nothing was plowed!

Thanks again, your post is reassuring.
i'm sure the drive on university avenue in your current car, with dedicated snows, would've alleviated a lot of your concerns.
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:03 AM   #17
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the michelin pilots blow in the snow and ice, waiting for the tires to fade and maybe get some all season potenzas.
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:38 AM   #18
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depending on your location, snow here in buffalo is sometimes a killer so its better safe than sorry to have a set of snow tires, or in my case all season tires that are rated for snow.

Instead of getting stuck or sliding around.
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Old 01-12-2009, 8:25 AM   #19
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The TSX does well in the snow. I have Dunlop Winter Sport M3s on my stock wheels and the car does great.
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Old 01-12-2009, 8:31 AM   #20
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Just put the Michelin X-Ice on this year, previously ran Bridgestone WS-50s until a pothole did one in last year. I did not like the snow in the OEM tires and have been running summer and winter tires sets since 2005. With winter tires, the snow is absolutely no issue even with all the mods I have in the drivetrain department. Very controllable and predictable. The lack of 50-50 weight distribution makes the rear a little lighter, but the additional weight over the drive wheels makes everything but corners a breeze. I haven't had much snow this year to test the tires on, so I can't say how much better the X-Ice are than the WS-50s, but I can say the tire is very confident in the dry and "meh" in the wet.
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:32 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afici0nad0 View Post
i'm sure the drive on university avenue in your current car, with dedicated snows, would've alleviated a lot of your concerns.
I have a pair of new snow tires - hardly used for 500 miles, and now in California, so dont need them. Let me know if anyone needs them.
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Old 01-12-2009, 1:50 PM   #22
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The TSX is a wonderful car. But it seems a little to floaty in the snow IMHO. Compared to the TSX, my 3.2TL with balding tires drove like a tank in the snow. Granted the TSX is no where near as bad as a Civic or RSX or RWD G35, but not as good as the TL is/was.
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Old 01-12-2009, 3:28 PM   #23
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In areas with lots of snow, go for the TSX with snow tires. Second option is to get the TSX with good all season tires. I thought the stock tires were okay in snow/ice. After returning a different brand replacement set, I landed on the Goodyear Assurance with Triple Tred. Very good traction in the snow and ice for an all season tire. A little loud is my only complaint.

Although I love BMW's as much as the next guy, I couldn't afford the maintenance costs. My coworker has a 530 and the maintenance is sky high for all the problems he's had.
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Old 01-12-2009, 7:48 PM   #24
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Live in Edmonton, and lived in Witerpeg AKA Winnipeg.I have a `05 TSX and never had a problem, even in deep snow (i do 90 % highway driving now) Good set of winter tires and traction control makes winter alot easier. I am personally using 205 55 16 Dunlop graspics DS2`s.
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:56 AM   #25
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My TSX (with Bridgestone Blizzak Revo1's) handles great in the snow. Never got stuck in our last 3 week long snowstorm in Vancouver and with minimal wheelspin. VSA helps out a lot in helping you keep in control.

Compare this to the crap PT Cruiser rental I was driving in the last week and a half in Denver. It had all seasons, no traction contol or ABS. I managed to slide right through a 4 way stop on ice (luckily there were no cars), and would slide sideways when turning (in this scenario, I was making a right turn into another street)

I've also had a 01 Mitusbishi Eclipse when I was living in Denver, and it also had some traction issues going up hills in snow with all seasons (Goodyear RS-A's), but had ABS and traction control, so I'd suggest investing some money into some decent winter tires.

The biggest issue you'll probably have in snow is the clearance. As long as you can clear the snowbanks in the center of the road, you'll be fine - but that will be a problem in any low (read non SUV) car so it's not limited just to the TSX.
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Old 01-15-2009, 12:42 PM   #26
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My TSX hasnt touched the snow yet, but from my experience, FWD cars are alright in the winter unless u have bald tires, fully automatic transmission and 10+ CM of snow. Just remember that this is a car, not a tank
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Old 01-15-2009, 1:07 PM   #27
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tsx is one wheel drive (no lsd).

I suppose you could have your right front tire stuck in snow and the left tire on dry road, and get stuck?

I'm afraid to try it, and the tsx is the worst car in the snow even with snow tires, even worse than rwd lsd 325
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Old 01-15-2009, 2:16 PM   #28
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^^^ You stand almost completely alone in that opinion.

As far as getting one tire stuck, the VSA will apply the brakes lightly to the free spinning wheel in order to transfer some torque to the other wheel. Obviously this doesn't work as well an LSD but it's better than nothing at all. I have yet to get my TSX even a little bit stuck but the last two winters have been fairly mild.
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Old 01-15-2009, 2:57 PM   #29
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^^^ You stand almost completely alone in that opinion.

As far as getting one tire stuck, the VSA will apply the brakes lightly to the free spinning wheel in order to transfer some torque to the other wheel. Obviously this doesn't work as well an LSD but it's better than nothing at all. I have yet to get my TSX even a little bit stuck but the last two winters have been fairly mild.
When the going gets tough, I turn off the VSA. I don't really want to try the one tire stuck, but if it happens, I'll turn on and off the VSA. We have a mod on this board that blames a winter accident on VSA
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Old 01-15-2009, 3:06 PM   #30
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I think 99% of the time you're much better off with the VSA on because it can do things the driver physically cannot such as applying the brakes on an individual wheel to keep the car pointed forward. Besides that, 99% of drivers are not nearly as good as they believe they are. This being a site full of people who are car enthusiasts though, there is a probably a higher ratio of "good" drivers here than is representative of the general population.

The one place where VSA can be a detriment is when you're trying to get going and neither drive wheel is getting traction. The VSA will just roll off the throttle indefinitely instead of letting you spin the tires enough to get moving.
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Old 01-15-2009, 3:19 PM   #31
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^ VSA is created for winter and yes it transfers power/TQ to the wheel that needs it.if u r dumb enough to think that VSA causes accidents, drive a 98 Civic with no VSA or ABS and see what difference that makes. LSD is not exactly the first thing u need in snow
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Old 01-15-2009, 3:40 PM   #32
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Where I live, an LSD would be freaking awesome to have in the winter... and the summer. In fact I have been seriously considering this option.
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Old 01-15-2009, 3:43 PM   #33
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^ yep, its awesome. However, if u have old stock tires and auto transmission like I do, u better live in california, like I do
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Old 01-15-2009, 3:44 PM   #34
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"^ VSA is created for winter and yes it transfers power/TQ to the wheel that needs it." That is good, and I didn't know...

"if u r dumb enough to think that VSA causes accidents, drive a 98 Civic with no VSA or ABS and see what difference that makes." Again, we have a mod that blamed his winter accident on the VSA. I have induced the stability controll on dry pavement purposely, and the car does behave unexpectedly. I would expect the car to continue to plow into the corner, instead, it turns in defiance of expected physics. The car is not where you expect it to be, and nobody is going to do it enough to get used to it.

BTW-have driven a couple of civics without nannies, and they were much better than tsx in the snow. The issues with the tsx are the monster size footprint of the tires, and crappy brakes. I should have gotten skinny snow tires, but decided to keep the OEM size.

"LSD is not exactly the first thing u need in snow" True
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Old 01-15-2009, 4:45 PM   #35
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Why did u even buy TSX then? Why not a Subaru with AWD if u are so worried about driving on snow? Also, people dont like to admit their own mistakes so they blame others, cars, conditions ETC
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Old 01-15-2009, 4:56 PM   #36
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You're not comparing apples to apples by saying your civic with pizza cutter tires handled better than your TSX. My civic might as well have been a Willeys Jeep in the snow even with bald as hell tires. They just cut right through it. If you put some tires that are up to the task on your TSX I guarantee you will be happy with the outcome.
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Old 01-15-2009, 6:38 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5o9 View Post
tsx is one wheel drive (no lsd).

I suppose you could have your right front tire stuck in snow and the left tire on dry road, and get stuck?

I'm afraid to try it, and the tsx is the worst car in the snow even with snow tires, even worse than rwd lsd 325
You are correct on the one tire getting the car stuck. I have witnessed this first hand on the TSX (and numerous other cars) in the snow.

Once you are stuck the VSA is essentially useless in getting you out.

Also, doesnt the VSA cut power/apply brakes to a spinning wheel? To say that it is "transferring power" to another wheel is a bit misleading and incorrect - no?
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Old 01-15-2009, 6:52 PM   #38
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my car drives great in the snow! got an 06
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Old 01-15-2009, 8:02 PM   #39
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When the going gets tough, I turn off the VSA. I don't really want to try the one tire stuck, but if it happens, I'll turn on and off the VSA. We have a mod on this board that blames a winter accident on VSA
Moderators can be just as wrong as the next guy. I prefer to trust my own experience over the opinion of someone who blames a proven safety feature for his accident. I do agree that if you get winter tires, don't get the OEM 17 inch size. Get 16 inch tires that have a narrower track and a taller sidewall. I would have gone for 15 inch if the calipers allowed for it.
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Old 01-15-2009, 9:57 PM   #40
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Moderators can be just as wrong as the next guy. I prefer to trust my own experience over the opinion of someone who blames a proven safety feature for his accident. I do agree that if you get winter tires, don't get the OEM 17 inch size. Get 16 inch tires that have a narrower track and a taller sidewall. I would have gone for 15 inch if the calipers allowed for it.
Great info, thanks everyone!
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