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      10-31-2011, 09:46 AM   #1
checkmate
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Thumbs up ContiSportContact3 Tires-Snow/Ice review

Basis for review: Road trip from Philly to NY/NJ and back last weekend.

People on board: 2

Miles covered: 325

Odometer reading: 2995.

Average Speeds: 55-70mph (Hwy), 20-30mph around residential streets

Temperature during the trip: low of 31'-high of 38'

Review:
Temperature at departure in Philly was 42', by the time I had reached NJ-it dropped to 37' and kept plummeting to around 32' where it stayed for most of the day.

Considering how people kept stating that summer tires don't perform or have any grip below 45'...I was quite surprised by the performance. These tires were a champ.

These tires encountered certain areas with 1-2 inches of snow with little or no issues. There was one moment when I was stuck backing into a driveway but as soon as I disabled DSC-playing with the throttle got me traction.

On the highway-I went upto 65mph during the storm with no drama. These tires had plenty of grip. Ideally-I would've had snow tires on the car but considering I had little time...these tires were put to the test.

I saw Cars/SUVs with All Season tires slipping whereas my car had no drama in the turns and small hills. These tires also hit a road with a significant section of ice yet no drama (speeds were around 10-15mph).

Count me pleasantly surprised at the Conti's.
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      10-31-2011, 11:17 AM   #2
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Congrats to you! You must be a very smooth driver.

Generally speaking I've found driving "summer" tires at less than 40 degrees to be an adventure at best as they tend to become very hard and slippery. Driving them in snow is usually a accident waiting to happen. I've managed to do it in emergencies or when caught out by a freak snowstorm (Saturday!!). But given the oppertunity I'll always put on the snow tires.
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      10-31-2011, 11:43 AM   #3
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What drive mode did you use primarily? Also, if you used D1, did you find it helpful under the conditions for which it was intended?
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      10-31-2011, 11:54 AM   #4
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Even though the temps below 45 deg. F is the minimum recommended temps for summer tires, the tires themselves heat up beyond that from just the friction and movement. If the car has been sitting for awhile outside below these temps you want to take it easy in the beginning to let the tires come to temp.

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      10-31-2011, 01:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SD-E93-11 View Post
What drive mode did you use primarily? Also, if you used D1, did you find it helpful under the conditions for which it was intended?
I drove it mostly from to D4-D6 considering I wanted to keep the rpms low enough as to prevent excessive wheel spin. The M differential coupled with the DSC got me through.
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      10-31-2011, 01:33 PM   #6
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Not really sure what the point of this "review" was. Driving any extreme summer tire in any amount of snow is a pretty poor idea, and I'd hate to see someone with less experience driving summer tires see the review, and think they can get away with the same thing. Yes, the lsd and ESP in this car are very good, but if your tires have no grip, the best systems in the world can't help you.
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      10-31-2011, 01:35 PM   #7
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That's some lucky driving!

Last year I had sport contact 3's on mine in winter. During the snowfall I span, unintentially drifted and got stuck many times. Not this year, I've got myself some winter tyres.
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      10-31-2011, 01:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by New_m3 View Post
That's some lucky driving!

Last year I had sport contact 3's on mine in winter. During the snowfall I span, unintentially drifted and got stuck many times. Not this year, I've got myself some winter tyres.
+1
have had the experience of both an e46 (smg) and e93(6MT) in the hills of manayunk (Philadelphia) with 2-3 inchs and stock tires.... it was like driving on with skids on...
NOT recommended...

btw both times i was driving to get my winter tires mounted
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      10-31-2011, 01:48 PM   #9
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Pretty stupid to knowingly drive into a snow storm with summer rubber on. *Dry* pavement in cold temps is one thing (a lot of people overreact about fall off in grip), snow and ice is another. Consider yourself very lucky.
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      10-31-2011, 01:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swartzentruber View Post
Not really sure what the point of this "review" was. Driving any extreme summer tire in any amount of snow is a pretty poor idea, and I'd hate to see someone with less experience driving summer tires see the review, and think they can get away with the same thing. Yes, the lsd and ESP in this car are very good, but if your tires have no grip, the best systems in the world can't help you.
The point of this review was to inform the community about the performance of these tires at low tempertures with contact w/snow and nice. Keep in mind that most of the driving was on the highway with a few neighborhood streets. I was fortunate enough not to climb steep hills along the way.

That being said-I am not recommending driving on summer tires during the winter rather simply stating that when no other options were presented; these tires performed remarkably.
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      10-31-2011, 02:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by checkmate View Post
The point of this review was to inform the community about the performance of these tires at low tempertures with contact w/snow and nice.
Which helps others how? As others in this thread have pointed out, no one should knowingly driving in snow with summer rubber on, unless they have no other option. Cold pavement maybe, snow no. Perhaps you are a good driver, maybe you got lucky, maybe you were driving in perfect conditions? I would hate for anyone to see this post and think "maybe I can get away with it too". Usually those are followed a few months later by a post like "I slid into a tree trying to get out of my driveway".

Sorry if I this seems harsh, but in situations like this, I consider myself lucky, and move on, not create threads advertising the less than intelligent thing I just did.
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      10-31-2011, 04:27 PM   #12
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It is certainly interesting to hear about this, but I am glad that others are sounding a note of caution, because driving your summer tires in snow can get very scary very fast.

Summer tires in snow are like Russian roulette: most of the time you'll win, but the odds of catastrophe are uncomfortably high.
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      11-01-2011, 12:55 PM   #13
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I was playing Russian roulette the other day. Managed to spin the barrel 5 times and always landed on an empty chamber! I think I'll take out my car on the eve of a storm with the summer tires and see how I do! Don't kid yourself about the "performance" characteristics of those summer tires in the snow.
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