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I have two 2018 Volts and I live in Vancouver British Columbia Canada. Although winters here are relatively benign, there have been periods of snow and ice, much like the weather in Seattle. I have yet to drive the Volts in snow or ice, and I would like to know if it’s worth my time and money to get either two snow tires or four, on one vehicle or both, and how well a 2018 Volt drives in winter with OEM tires in Seattle (or equivalent area).
 

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Idk about Seattle but the OEM Tire’s aren’t really good at anything. You’ll want snow tires if you want any confidence in the car during snow/ice. 3 season tires aren’t really that great when it gets colder and there is frozen water on the road.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks very kindly, but I need to specifically know how well the Volt would drive with OEM tires in the Seattle area or equivalent. I understand that all season tires have winter performance limitations, but as a point of comparison my 2012 Toyota Sienna’s OEM all-seasons were good enough for Vancouver in the winter.
 

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I have driven my 17 Volt in two winters in Detroit without any issues. Of course I do not drive it when there is 8 inches of snow on the roads.
 

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I can't speak to your need for snow tires where you live, however I'll comment on something else you mentioned.

If you do decide to get snow tires, get them for all four corners of the car. Having uneven levels of traction/grip between front and back is probably worse than no snow tires at all.

I live in Minnesota and just put the four snow tires on our Volt yesterday. It's a no brainer here IMHO.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

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I haven't driven over winter yet but when I took my car into tire shop where I know the owners well (used to be one of my customers) he mentioned that one of his customers had an electric vehicle and it handled snow very well (Shawnigan Lake which gets more snow than Duncan) which was a comment on EV's and snow than a specific make. If you travel in areas that are hilly or on the eastern side of Vancouver where they get more snow than the west's ocean side you have more need of winter tires. Inland gets more snow than coastal even if it's a few miles. I have gone into Duncan from the ocean and never see a hint of snow but see lots of cars in from west of Duncan that have snow on their roofs. If you live in the Frazer delta, I'd get snow tires as the softer rubber will help grip the wet snow you sometimes get. On a wet icy hill nothing is going to stop you and those few days are the days you leave your car at home and take a bus and let it careen down the hill. I've lived here for 38 years and have seen zero snow (one year) to a few days to two weeks of snow (one years). On those few days I would take public transit (if that's an option) rather than get snow tires (or Mud & Snow, not All Season) unless you regularly have to travel over the few highways (passes) were snow tires are mandated from Oct 1.
 

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I have not had the Volt over the winter here (I’m across from Victoria).
But winter conditions are certainly different here than many areas. Generally the snow comes most when the temps are barely freezing, and the resultant road conditions are much slicker than in quite cold areas. (So I’ve observed anyway) plus you never know what you are going to see- black ice pops up when 99% of the road is just wet or even dry.

I will be interested in what others that have the car a few winters here have to say. I have another car I can use if it is really nasty out.

Mark
 

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I've been asking this same question too as I live in the Pacific Northwest and have to cross either Snoqualomie or White Pass at least twice a year when there is a high possibility of Snow and Ice. I have driven my Volt in snow only once while in Yakima, Washington last winter. It did fine, but I was VERY careful and avoided encounters with deep snow...the volt is so low in front I worry about becoming a snow plow. Was thinking about have Les Schwab "sipe" my stock tires. I did that on truck tires a few years ago and it definitely improved my traction on snow. (noisier on dry pavement was the drawback). I really don't like the idea of chains, and I really don't like the idea of buying a set of snow tires and wheels for maybe 4 trips a year when they might really be "required". I might just cancel trips over the pass to Yakima IF I know ahead of time that conditions are not going to be good.
 

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I was fine on OEM tires last winter in my Volt. I seem to recall 2 times we got snow over ~2", once was about 4-5" and it wasn't a big deal at all. I felt like the car had tons of traction for the conditions, with a decent bit of weight for the width tire, and plenty of weight over the front drive wheels. These were very fresh OEM tires, so the full tread depth helps. Summer heat cycles and wearing them down will reduce grip in the snow. But the general behavior of the Volt is pretty good in snow.

We also don't get much snow here if you're at a low altitude, so you don't really get a benefit from true snow tires, and ice is pretty rare (compared to some place like lower midwest or northern TX). If you're going up in the mountains, you should have chains ready to put on, as it's required on a lot of passes if it's snowing hard from what I understand.

IMO, I say no big deal to use OEM tires as long as you're not making frequent trips to the mountains, in which case I'd get some snow tires and/or chains.
 

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It's probably not very necessary. Not only does the area get little snow and ice conditions, the whole area doesn't really get cold enough long enough to gain much from the lower rolling resistance at cold temperatures that winter tires' different rubber compounding will gain. (Winter tires start doing better at grip at about 40F and below about 20F are far more flexible than all-season tires, even LLR ones.)
 

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I took my 2012 Volt out in the neighborhood in 1-2" of snow one winter. It did OK on the OEM tires, but since I have an AWD Ford Escape, I never drove it in the snow beyond that one test.
 

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BTW, I bought some of the (rather expensive) ‘Snow Socks’ for mine. Some places require carrying traction devices (4x4 or no) and Chevy says to not use chains.
Of course I could anyway, but figured I would rarely (if ever) use these. but might save me in a pinch.
 

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Perhaps look into the newish 3PMSF, 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake, designated tires, like the Vredestein Quatrac5, the Continental Purecontact, Pirelli P7 all-season Plus, Goodyear Assurance Weatherready? Snow tires that can be driven all year round, and are Quebec certified. Probably good for BC as well.
 

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I live in Seattle area and drive 50+ miles a day. I drive to work at 5am when it is cold and can be icy. I have a winter set of wheels with Michelin Ice-x studless snow tires I put on in November and take them off in March. The factory tires suck in the heavy rain, snow and especially the ice. My Michelin's perform extremely well in the rain, snow and ice and hardly suffer any loss in EV range.
 

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The snow that you get in Seattle and Vancouver is much unlike the snow that the rest of the country gets. While they don't get snow that often, when they do get it, it is usually a wet, slushy "corn" snow that is very hard to drive in. That is complicated by the fact that many of the other drivers have little experience in driving in snow, making defensive driving even more important. Plus there are hills in Seattle, plus their is a shortage of public snow plows.
Many of the people who comment live back east where it is colder, flatter, with more experienced winter drivers, and it is generally easier to drive in the snow. So I would definitely have snow tires available for use on my Volt if I lived in Seattle. There is a good chance it won't snow and you won't need them, but if it snows, they will be very valuable.
 

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where do you really live though? I have snow tires on mine but I travel to the valley a lot. If you are in Richmond/Surrey/Delta, I wouldn't bother. At least not this year. If you are in Tri-cities, you should regardless of whether you are driving a volt or not. Vancouver is a toss up. I probably would suggest it just because there are some steep roads that won't get paved quickly like Renfrew or Rupert.
 

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The snow that you get in Seattle and Vancouver is much unlike the snow that the rest of the country gets. While they don't get snow that often, when they do get it, it is usually a wet, slushy "corn" snow that is very hard to drive in. That is complicated by the fact that many of the other drivers have little experience in driving in snow, making defensive driving even more important. Plus there are hills in Seattle, plus their is a shortage of public snow plows.
Many of the people who comment live back east where it is colder, flatter, with more experienced winter drivers, and it is generally easier to drive in the snow. So I would definitely have snow tires available for use on my Volt if I lived in Seattle. There is a good chance it won't snow and you won't need them, but if it snows, they will be very valuable.
Ice is much worse than slushy snow to drive through.

I will say the general "driving ability" is fairly low in Seattle, so most bad weather accidents are largely self-induced by drivers.

I've driven summer tires on BMW M3s in actual icy conditions (Dallas, TX), as the next week it'd likely be in the 70's after the ice. That takes a large amount of car control, but Volt stock all-seasons in a few inches of slush? Grip for days.

Are most the people commenting even commuting in the Seattle area in winter? Eastern WA is significantly different...
 
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