Winter Driving - Chevy HHR Network

HHR SS Topics and information on the 2008-2010 Chevy HHR SS Turbocharged models.

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Old 01-28-2010, 09:07 PM   #1
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Join Date: 01-26-2010
Location: Massachusettes
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Winter Driving

Due to living in the state of MA in the Western region, the weather is anything but good in the winter, that is unless your a penguin. Anyway, I would like to know from those with experience how their HHR's are in the snow. I would most likely put good snows on a set of cheap rims on all four wheels, would that get me through reasonably well? Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:24 PM   #2
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Might use scearch on this as we have covered this many times here. You will find a wide range of replies.

For the most the SS does fine in the snow with the electronic aids. Some here find the factory tires work well enough to others with no problems like myself with all season tires on steel wheel. Then some feel winter tires are a must.

the variables with most of the replies are where they live and the drivers skill and confidence in snow.

I put on a set of 16" Goodyear Triple Treads more to protect my factory wheels than anything. But even in the snow belt here of Lake Eire I have no isses getting around and my SS drives like a tank.

The only thing I have an issue with is in deep snow I tend to push it with the front bumper and I worry more about paint damage than anything else.

To this point to be honest I find the SS boring in the snow as I used to drive a Sonoma with a limited slip and it was a blast drifting it around in the snow. The SS for the most is has little in the way of drama and I have seen it in all conditions. The dirty rear window bothers me more in the winter than anything else.

To be fair anyone with average skills should be able to take a SS anywhere with no majore issues even on the OE tires. Winter tires will work better but they are not a must have. The SS is not a white knucker drive in anyway.

You would have to do something pretty stupid to not make it.

This is my 2nd winter.

But check out the other threads and you will see a varied assortment of ideas.

Note if you have Brembo front brakes you can not use the 16 inch wheel but I think I saw you can use a 17".
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:28 AM   #3
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Thanks for taking the time to reply. Sounds like I should be all set, all I need now is to find a nice SS locally and purchase it.
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:49 AM   #4
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X2 what Hyper said. I went one really bad winter with the stock tires and had very little drama, and for the most part went wherever I wanted to go.
The only problem I had was an area where I deer hunt has a really steep drive that tends to build up with packed snow/ice. I had trouble getting up that one. To be fair, there were a couple of 4X4s that had trouble there as well.
I added snows on dedicated wheels this year on the SS, and I can say that it rivals many 4X4s now!
Good luck finding one.
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Old 01-30-2010, 04:10 AM   #5
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I live in western mass, i didn't have any problem with the stock tires the first year, till 4 to 6 " of snow. I just switched to 16" stock wheels to save the factory rims. and so far no problems either.
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Old 01-30-2010, 07:43 AM   #6
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Not so much for control but for the sake of saving the stock SS rims I switch my rims and rubber in the winter.

I purchased a set of black Cobalt steel wheels on craigslist and as a bonus they came mounted with Blizzak tires. I feel invincible when riding around town with this combo on my SS. (Hard to remember it's supposed to be slippery out sometimes)
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Old 01-30-2010, 09:22 AM   #7
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4 Blizzak tires on 16" steel rims, combined with the LSD option on the SS, and the electronic goodies make this the best 2WD car I have driven in winter. Unfortunately, I'm hibernating for the winter this year, and driving a 98 Cavalier with MEH all seasons and it's not as good.
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:51 AM   #8
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all the above. There are some steep hills around here that I couldn't get up with the stock tires, otherwise it was ok. With the snows on, it's no problem in any situation. Be aware that while 17"s do work it, is only specific ones so make sure the rim you are looking at will clear all aspects of the brakes. (if u get brembos). I actually do believe snows are a must-the technology is at a point where its not just about having big tread, the rubber compounds are helpful in extreme cold, ice etc.
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Old 01-30-2010, 11:44 AM   #9
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Do not underestimate the compounding on the All Season tires. Compounding in all tires has come a long way.

I know many people here in town that work for the tire companies. The one thing they like about winter tires is the fact they can sell you a second set of tires. The truth is while there is some people that many need then most don't and tire companies see $$$ with these tires. They are a very good profit center.

Note few people from the tire companies here use winter tires and just use a good quality all season. Some in REW cars or those with out electronic aids may opt but that is about it.
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Old 01-30-2010, 04:10 PM   #10
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I don't like the stock tires in the rain. I hate them in the snow. That being said, I haven't white knuckled the steering wheel yet. They are capable tires, but not my 1st choice. Driving ability is the real concern in snow. It just took me 2 hours to make a 45 minute trip where I saw multiple cars, and a couple trucks spin out and end up doing some body modifications by way of gaurdrails and ditches, but I was motoring on past them.
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