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Discussion Starter #1
Let me first assure you I am not a troll and this is not a flame post. I legitimately am looking for some insight. First time Xterra owner and my X is pitiful in snow, slush and lets not even talk about ice. It is almost scary on anything slick and in 4wd through snow (most we have had so far is 4 or 5 inches) it tends to plow straight when I turn or at best slide. And coming to a stop on fresh unplowed snow is a gamble!

I am running the BF Goodrich All Terrain T/A KO's with the severe weather badge which I upgraded to soon after I bought it - its a 2012 and the tires have less than 4 or 5 months driving on them.

I am not a novice driver - having driven for a living in a past job and I have owned 24 vehicles. My last 5 vehicles have been awd/4wd - Honda Element, Dodge Nitro, Jeep Cherokee and most recently a '10 Wrangler Unlimited. There was a Kia Soul in there for 8 months we don't like to talk about lol.

Al of my 4wd vehicles to date performed much better than my X is. In the Wrangler last year I seldom used 4wd and was fine - and when I did use 4wd it drove and turned as though I was on dry pavement no matter how snowy or slushy it was. Now I know its apples and oranges, and the Jeep has a wider stance - but what am I missing?

Has anyone else experienced handling issues with the KO's?
Has anyone else also owned a Jeep and an Xterra experienced similar?

I definitely don't want to trade the X on another Jeep - its just an all around better vehicle - but I need a little more confidence for driving my 2 hour commute in the rough stuff. I would love to hear how folks running Duratracs are getting around. That's what I ran on my Jeep and it was literally a tank and I gave most of the credit to the tires. On the X I wanted to keep a more traditional look and the KO's got great reviews - but now I am second guessing that and hoping its the tires not the truck.

Welcome all feedback!
 

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I have no input on driving in snow, I live in Mid GA but.... if i had to guess.. and I say guess, because I do not live in snow area but I would say your tires are not made for snow?
 

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I have 12.5'' wide BFG AT's and they run great in the snow. Both in 2x4 and 4x4.. I have no problem turning or plowing the snow and I can comfortably drive 35+ in about any snow conditions.

Not sure
 

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I'm guessing you should air your tires down, that truck should be awesome in the snow with those tires, I have a 2004 with toyo mud terrains and it works great in the snow, also have a 2011 pathfinder with cooper all terrains and it grips the road awesome in the white stuff
 

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I did not have any problems with the OE tires during the big snowstorm that hit the DC area a couple of years ago. I now have the General Grabbers on and haven't had any issues with them in the 4-5 inches of snow we got so far.
 

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Definitely would air down to around 20/25psi. That will allow your tires to widen and give you more grip. Also if the are overflated they will just dig deeper into the snow when you go to take off.
 

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My AT KOs are excellent in the snow. Didn't go into 4wd at all last ski season. Acceleration, braking and turning are all good. Of course, if you have a layer of ice under the snow, nothing is going to really work short of studs or chains.

Also, skinnier tires are generally better in the snow so they dig down to firmer stuff. Wider is really only better when you're in deep stuff that you won't be able to dig down in, so you float better.

Assuming your tread is making full contact with the road at the psi you have them set at, I don't see how airing down will help much. Sure it will extend your footprint front and back slightly, but that's more for conforming to obstacles off road.
 

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This might be dumb question but lets start with the basics first. Are you sure youre in four wheel drive? maybe its not engaging properly. if the was already mentioned I apologize. ive had ZERO problems with my 04, and im just running cheapy Firestones that might be stock tires.
 

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What exactly is your complaint with the how the truck handles in the snow?

Is it general traction? Stability in the corners? Braking? Deep snow capability?

With good snow tires, the Xterra is awesome in the snow. And unlike my '01, yours has ABLS which should make it even better!
 

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Well, nothing is good on ice, and the harder packed the surface is, the less a tire's tread elements can sink down into it to bite in for grip.

I have never had a problem with ko's in snow, in deep blizzards, etc, they are great.

I did notice that for some people, when it gets REALLY cold, the rubber gets a bit hard in some size ranges, based upon the compounding differences they use...and that makes it worse.


What is the specific size and load range and max psi on the sidewalls, and, what PSI are you using in them now?

I second the motion to confirm you are IN 4wd as well, as if the t-case is not engaging, you'd be in 2wd (Your hubs and diff are always spun...and don't disengage, same for all 2005 + models)

You should also have traction control that will kick in if you DON'T give it too much gas.

If you give a lot of gas, the front tire just spins. If you let it nibble at the snow just off idle, it will find a way to ite and then get you moving.


I also have a Wrangler JK (4 door) and it HAS the ko's on it because of how good they are....and, they work fine on the jeep too. The jeep is not better than the X in snow though, about the same mostly. I have mud tires on the X right now though, so if its slick, the jeep with ko's is better, but with kos on both, they are pretty damn similar in snow.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
All great feedback and I appreciate all of it. Will check on the 4wd system, but it definitely feels it is engaging and the minute a patch of dry comes up you can feel difference so I think that is working. Air pressure is probably at or near the prescribed amount since DiscountTire just swapped the whitewalls in a month or so back - maybe airing down a little will help as well. I did verify that the sidewall is stamped with the severe weather icon. My dad pointed out this afternoon that my jeep hap a much wider stance, and was severely underpowered - where this is a torque monster with a narrower stance and I may just be giving it too much power when turning.

I still may bite the bullet and throw some Duratracs on - I am sure I can put the KO's on the stock wheels sitting in my garage and make someone a deal if the Duratracs prove to be better. Or I may just keep at it - it only snows about 8 or 10 good times in Indiana to worry about it.

Thanks to everyone for the insight - I think I was partly venting out of frustration. A good, dry day of driving today leveled me back out a bit!
 

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Just incase you decide to go with the duratracs, i will vouch for them... this is my second winter with them. Last year I went through snow up to my bumper, which is pretty deep. I ate through it... even decided to go through some cornfields and wood trails in that snow... looking back probably not the brightest idea at midnight... but it was good.
 

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love my duratracs ... great in the snow.... i run at 35 psi in the winter which begins in october and runs to about april here

I find that the X's traction control works too good . I end up turning it off for around town and put it on on the highways...

even in winter i driver slower, there is alot of packed ice around here and 4wd will not help if you are still driving the speed limits and try to stop in a hurry.
 

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I've never had the BFG's to compare, but after driving around all last week in 2wd on packed ice and slush, I'd definitely vouch for the Duratracs. Had no issues at all, unless I chose to have some fun


Sent from AutoGuide.com App
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well I went ahead and pulled the trigger on the Duratracs. The Discount Tire I buy all my stuff from is helping me out. Downside is Duratracs are on backorder from Goodyear so they are trying to make a deal with a couple stores that have them and are willing to give them up. Hopefully have them here by the weekend.
 

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I went from the stock BFG Rugged Trails to Goodyear Wrangler Silent Armours and am really happy with the X in the snow (that's an April snowbank next to my X).

I've found my Xterra to be the best snow vehicle I've driven. Only thing that came close was an 85 Subaru Turbo RX sedan. That couldn't handle the deep stuff and had some problems with stopping (no ABS), but it was faster in a drifting turn.
 

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We had snow/ice in Tulsa last week and my 02 xterra(4x4) with stock size Firestone destination LE2 tires handle it great. Unless you have studs or chains nothing stops great on ice though.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well the Duratracs are on. A couple of quick observances. Traction on ice (had to find a parking lot that hadn't started melting) was what i expected and nearly identical to my Jeep. Navigating an unplowed rutted and frozen over farm road was flawless so i think the problem is solved. It is also a noticeably softer ride, though road noise is increased. The downside is that unlike the AT's, these are rubbing a ton - same size but such a different lug pattern especially on the shoulders. Looks like a met mod is in my future.
 
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