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Snow - a little dissapointed

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Old 01-21-2014, 01:51 PM   #1
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Default Snow - a little dissapointed

I have a new Q5 2.0 and had to do some local driving - all low speed, non highway and was a bit under-impressed with the Q's performance in the snow. The temps are way low - single digits, windy a few inches of snow. Everyone driving 10 - 20 mph and still felt the car not did not have a firm a grip as I thought I would have with Audi's Quattro and driving in 1st and 2nd gear.
Maybe snow tires are in my future, because I sure would not feel safe driving on the parkway doing 25-35.

Bob
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:52 PM   #2
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It's all about the tires . . . . .
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:59 PM   #3
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It's all about the tires . . . . .
Couldn't agree more.

I just took delivery of my Q5 TDI on Friday. It came with summer tires, so I was not expecting to be impressed when it snowed this weekend. I was able to get around, but not with the level of control that I want in the winter. I had snow tires installed yesterday, and the difference in traction, control, and even braking has been huge.

To the OP: If you have all-season tires on your Q5, then you already have a head start compared to my OEM summer tires, but even all-seasons can't compare to true snow tires.
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Old 01-21-2014, 02:10 PM   #4
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Dumb question; do most get the snow tires with their own rims or does anyone ever just have the snows remounted/swapped with the All Seasons?
Am I looking at about 2k for tires and rims?

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Old 01-21-2014, 02:30 PM   #5
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What tires are you running??? I could see that if you have summer only tires.
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Old 01-21-2014, 02:42 PM   #6
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Expecting any vehicle (not just the Q) to perform well in the snow without snow tires is like buying a $50,000 HiFi sound system with CD player, preamp and amplifier and hooking them up to the speakers in your iPhone.

Buy dedicated wheels (smaller the better) and mount the best winter tires you can find on TireRack. I've had excellent luck with Dunlop WinterSports (M3, 3D and now 4D) and at least a half dozen sets of Blizzaks. Currently running Blizzak DM-V1 on 19" Hartmann replicas and the Q5 is unstoppable. I don't even see the ESP light when I floor the 3.2L on snow-covered roads. It's a street-legal snow mobile.

Disclaimer: You'll be frustrated and infuriated with all the other vehicles crawling along like they senior citizens on walkers while you are wondering, "What the big deal?". These cars are made for foul weather. Winter is the most enjoyable season to own an Audi. If you don't think so, you don't have the correct tools for the job!

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Old 01-21-2014, 04:06 PM   #7
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It's all about the tires . . . . .
Absolutely true. People always seem to think AWD is all you need for winter driving, but tires are so much more important. Tires are where the traction begins and ends. AWD simply lets you take advantage of good traction... so why not get the most out of your AWD and put a good set of snow tires on the Q5. The benefits include safety (and peace of mind), better efficiency, and less wear and tear on the drivetrain and brakes.
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Old 01-21-2014, 04:24 PM   #8
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Dumb question; do most get the snow tires with their own rims or does anyone ever just have the snows remounted/swapped with the All Seasons?
Am I looking at about 2k for tires and rims?

Bob
It is more cost effective and less wearing on your stock wheels to get a dedicated winter wheel/tire set. If you do the swap from summer (or all seasons) to winter tires in the fall and again in the spring, that's at least $100 each time so $200/yr. You'll have to decide what is worth it to you but to me, I prefer having a separate set and the ability to sell them and recoup some of my money if I don't need them anymore. $2k is a pretty fair estimate for a set.

It depends on what your stock wheels are, how much snow you expect, and how aggressively you drive but here are some options:

Agressive, some snow = 19x8.5" with 255 width performance winter tires (Dunlop Wintersport, Pirelli Scorpion Winter, etc)
Daily driver tire with expected moderate to high snow use = 18x8 with 235 width studless winter tires (Blizzak DMV1)

The main problem you'll find though is that it's late season for buying winter tires and selection is minimal now, but both the Pirelli Scorpion Winter and Blizzak DMV1 have availability on Tire Rack still.
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Old 01-21-2014, 05:26 PM   #9
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It is more cost effective and less wearing on your stock wheels to get a dedicated winter wheel/tire set. If you do the swap from summer (or all seasons) to winter tires in the fall and again in the spring, that's at least $100 each time so $200/yr. You'll have to decide what is worth it to you but to me, I prefer having a separate set and the ability to sell them and recoup some of my money if I don't need them anymore. $2k is a pretty fair estimate for a set.
I concur. It takes me just a little over an hour (perhaps 90 minutes) to do the swap twice a year. It is less hassle than scheduling an appointment and waiting for the tire shop to change out tires and less chance of damage to the wheels. In the past, the tire shop has damaged my OEM rims... and good luck getting them to admit to it.
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Old 01-21-2014, 05:48 PM   #10
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Ok, I hear you about the dedicated winter tires with rims, but don't they have to be "balanced" at a shop?

Has anyone ever bought the winter tires from Audi?

Bob
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:03 PM   #11
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Ok, I hear you about the dedicated winter tires with rims, but don't they have to be "balanced" at a shop?

Has anyone ever bought the winter tires from Audi?

Bob
Once you mount tires to rims you get them balanced once and then it should be good for a while. This is assuming you have two sets of rims, one with winter tires + another one with whatever
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:17 PM   #12
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As everyone said, snow tires are the answer. I had a set on my A4 and it was better in the snow than 4x4 Tacoma that I used to have.

Get a set of inexpensive rims (or look for used Audi rims from someone who's upgraded their wheels) and you can easily swap them yourself for the winter.
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:49 PM   #13
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Does anyone get the tires and wheels from their dealer? I took a look and there are several winter tires available at the dealership?
Are they not competitive with dedicated tire dealers like TireTrack?

Bob
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Old 01-21-2014, 07:12 PM   #14
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Does anyone get the tires and wheels from their dealer? I took a look and there are several winter tires available at the dealership?
Are they not competitive with dedicated tire dealers like TireTrack?

Bob
It would be much much cheaper to buy the wheels and tires yourself. Blizzak DMV1 are great tires and excellent reviews on tire rack. Dealership wouldnt carry these tires.

Im running Blizzak DMV1, had no trouble in handling on todays snow storm in nyc. But there seems to be a little slipping when turning into corners.

I dont know if anyone is experiencing this, when I brake too hard I can feel the brakes bumping to a stop. Like a hard vibration on the brakes. this may be the ESP working? but the ESP warning does not show up on dashboard.
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Old 01-21-2014, 07:20 PM   #15
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It would be much much cheaper to buy the wheels and tires yourself. Blizzak DMV1 are great tires and excellent reviews on tire rack. Dealership wouldnt carry these tires.

Im running Blizzak DMV1, had no trouble in handling on todays snow storm in nyc. But there seems to be a little slipping when turning into corners.

I dont know if anyone is experiencing this, when I brake too hard I can feel the brakes bumping to a stop. Like a hard vibration on the brakes. this may be the ESP working? but the ESP warning does not show up on dashboard.
Ok, cheaper, even with shipping? That sounds good! DCH Audi website says they carry them.

Yes, breaking hard there is that loud breaking sound; I thought it was just the anti-lock breaking system?

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Old 01-21-2014, 08:05 PM   #16
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yeah I guess it would be the ABS not ESP working. The ABS seems to be really sensitive .

I remember shipping from tirerack was only $50 for a set. Tirebuyer offers free shipping, but they were out of stock. you can check again.
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:11 PM   #17
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Ok, cheaper, even with shipping? That sounds good! DCH Audi website says they carry them.

Yes, breaking hard there is that loud breaking sound; I thought it was just the anti-lock breaking system?

Bob
Check this out for Audi's winter tire info:
http://microsites.audiusa.com/ngw/12...T_Brochure.pdf
The listed 17x7 with 235/65/17 Dunlop tires is $2500. I believe they also have an 18" and 19" package but expect even more cost. Also dealer will vary.

Do it yourself options include Hartmann/Achtuning, which is not the cheapest but has a good rep and excellent customer service through Achtuning.com
http://hartmannwheels.com/audi-wheels
18x8 wheels will run about $1060 + shipping
235/60/18 tires will run you $625-$770 on Tire Rack
Add ~$100 shipping between wheels/tires + $100 mount and balance at a local tire shop = total to get them on your Q5 is somewhere around $2k and will look a lot better than 17" wheels.

If you want to cut cost more, Power Wheels Pro is a legitimate outfit that has very cheap knockoff wheels but you may struggle to figure out size and in stock availability. I ordered some 18s from them for a Tiguan several years back and they were excellent quality and customer service.
http://www.powerwheelspro.com/shop/index.php?cPath=21
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:28 PM   #18
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Ok, cheaper, even with shipping? That sounds good! DCH Audi website says they carry them.

Bob
It depends on what you want. The standard Audi Q5 winter package includes the excellent Dunlop WinterSport 3D tires, but they are mounted on very plain 17" wheels at a cost of about $2500. Personally, I think those wheels look too small on a Q5. There is also an standard SQ5 winter package (not shown in the linked brochure). As I recall, it includes 19" wheels, but runs over $4500. My dealer also priced out a set of stock 19" Q5 wheels that I like with Pirelli Scorpion Winter tires for $4600.

But if you look around a bit, you might find a better deal. I got lucky and found a set of takeoff wheels on eBay (same 19" style the dealer offered) and tires from TireRack (same Scorpion Winters) for about $2000, including shipping. You can also check Craigslist for local listings, or even ask the dealer and see if they have a set of takeoff wheels from some other customer.

I was also considering Hartmann wheels, but the ones I wanted were on a long backorder from Achtuning. I can also confirm that winter tire stock at TireRack is running short, as another poster noted.
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:35 PM   #19
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By the way, wheel design may not matter to everyone, but it was an important consideration for me. The hardest experience I have had so far with my Q5 TDI S Line Plus was packing away the 20" titanium peelers for the winter -- less than 3 days after taking delivery of the car.

I guess it gives me something extra to look forward to, come April.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:27 PM   #20
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Hi Bob,
You guys have really been hit hard this winter with storms and winter weather. I live in Vancouver, BC, and prepared myself for winter a few months ago and apart from driving in the interior in really bad conditions, it has been frustratingly warm and mild here. I love the Nokian tires that are available, use the 19"WGRs for summer driving, and currently have the MVR wheels with 18"x8" Nokian Hakka 7 245/45R18 studded tires that are amazing in snow and ice. Had to buy a separate set of wheels for these tires at $150 each but it makes swapping them out in March a breeze. KalTires here in Canada only charge $C75 to store your tires so the hassle of keeping the extra set of tires in your garage in no longer an issue.
Enjoy the snow and ice!! Wish I could!!
John
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