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Winter Driving Observations from a new T4R owner

Discussion in '5th Gen 4Runners (2010+)' started by Chris In Milwaukee, Oct 31, 2019.

  1. Oct 31, 2019 at 6:44 AM
    #1
    Chris In Milwaukee

    Chris In Milwaukee [OP] New Member

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    So, winter came a smidge early this year in SE Wisco and I've been waiting for this day to give the 4Runner a first drive on a snowy day. When I went to clear the driveway this morning, it was a slushy, snotty mess. Figured it was a good opportunity to see if the Tire Rack reviews of the stock Dunlop AT2 on my '19 ORP matched real-world conditions. So many negative comments elsewhere on the Interwebz on them as well, but you just never know.

    Short story is the 4Runner handled nicely. The factory tires didn't perform any worse than any other tire I've had, honestly. I left the vehicle in 2WD for the entire trip into work this morning and never felt that I was at a loss for traction or safety. I could certainly feel the vehicle breaking loose from a traffic light stop if I forced the issue (which I did a couple of times, just to see what its limits were). But normal stops and starts weren't a problem. Now, granted it's the first snow, 32F degrees, and the roads aren't frozen yet. So there's no ice. But I think the snotty slushy stuff is probably just as hazardous.

    Cornering at a normal cautious rate didn't present any problems, nor did normal cautious braking. I did get a little aggressive with the brakes a couple of times to find that limit, and there wasn't any kind of reaction from the ABS or veering off path. So far, so good.

    The weight distribution of the 4Runner is a lot nicer than my previous Ram 1500. Of course, with a Hemi, if you think accelerated thoughts you're going to spin the rear wheels. :) An F150 ahead of me in traffic broke loose nearly every time he started out. Didn't experience that once with the 4Runner. I feel quite safe in it so far, but will be careful not to let my guard down.

    I'll report back in a couple of months when the deep freeze really starts to set in up here on the frozen tundra. When streets freeze and rubber gets hard, things may change.

    ~Chris
     
  2. Oct 31, 2019 at 7:27 AM
    #2
    Thatbassguy

    Thatbassguy New Member

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    I had the Dunlops replaced within 2 weeks of ownership.

    They were OK in the snow. But, we had a severe cold snap right after I bought mine last January. When it warmed back up and snowed, I almost spun out on the freeway. I was able to correct it, and then I put it in 4WD and it was OK.

    The Dunlops are OK in snow, but definitely not great. I'm just telling you so you don't get too confident in them.
     
  3. Oct 31, 2019 at 7:32 AM
    #3
    Chris In Milwaukee

    Chris In Milwaukee [OP] New Member

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    Glad to hear it first hand. I was a little worried about the trek to work this morning since I take back roads, but I did take it easy. I'll be sure to be conservative.

    I'm on the fence about ponying up for a set of Blizzaks (love those tires), but there are other ATs out there that others speak highly of for winter driving.
     
    Strandskov likes this.
  4. Oct 31, 2019 at 8:08 AM
    #4
    zizzy34

    zizzy34 New Member

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    I've been running Duratechs. They get me where I need to go!

    IMG_2427.jpg
     
  5. Oct 31, 2019 at 8:15 AM
    #5
    Thatbassguy

    Thatbassguy New Member

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    If you decide to go with dedicated snows, definitely check out Nokian Hakkapliittas. I have them on a Scion TC and it's ridiculous how good they are.

    Not that you could go wrong with Blizzaks. I just really like the Nokians.
     
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  6. Oct 31, 2019 at 8:41 AM
    #6
    Chris In Milwaukee

    Chris In Milwaukee [OP] New Member

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    I'll look them up. Any local places that carry them? Didn't see them when looking into any of the places very near me.

    Edit: Looking them up on their web site, it appears they're mainly available at auto dealerships. I'll look down that path. Thanks!
     
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  7. Oct 31, 2019 at 8:54 AM
    #7
    Agent_Outside

    Agent_Outside New Member

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    The stock tires are fine, they are an all-season that are quieter, smoother riding, better wearing, with better braking, handling, acceleration, and fuel economy than any A/T or M/T. If were being honest typically the complaints are people trying to justify replacing perfectly good tires for ones that look cool.
     
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  8. Oct 31, 2019 at 8:55 AM
    #8
    Thatbassguy

    Thatbassguy New Member

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    I know that a few places carry them, because they were recommended to me by several local tire shops.

    I know Mr. P's carries them, but I'd rather get kicked in the nuts repeatedly than ever deal with that place again.

    Edit: discount tire in Waukesha has them, I believe.

    Discount Tire
    1111 Spring City Dr, Waukesha, WI 53186
    (262) 506-3232
    https://maps.app.goo.gl/?link=https...4cea3393:0x5c36b8cdf9ff6bd1?utm_source=mstt_1

    I bought my wheels and tires for the 4runner there, and plan on using them for all of my future tire purchases. Very happy with the service there.
     
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  9. Oct 31, 2019 at 9:09 AM
    #9
    Dougie

    Dougie New Member

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    I had Nitto Grapplers stock on my 19 ORP. I’m from Buffalo although I live in Texas now. Anyone have experience with their snow performance?
     
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  10. Oct 31, 2019 at 9:13 AM
    #10
    Chris In Milwaukee

    Chris In Milwaukee [OP] New Member

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    That's pretty close to work. I'll give them a look. Thanks for the referral :)
     
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  11. Oct 31, 2019 at 9:15 AM
    #11
    Chris In Milwaukee

    Chris In Milwaukee [OP] New Member

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    I wasn't going to say it out loud ;)
     
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  12. Oct 31, 2019 at 9:32 AM
    #12
    Thatbassguy

    Thatbassguy New Member

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    They are OK tires, but not ideal for severe snow conditions.

    I wanted to keep them and get dedicated mud tires for summer, but I wasn't satisfied with them. They would be a fine summer tire or all season if you don't get much snow where you live.
     
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  13. Oct 31, 2019 at 9:34 AM
    #13
    Thatbassguy

    Thatbassguy New Member

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    I'm working very close to there right now as well. I'm doing an office addition at a factory off Sunset and Prairie.
     
  14. Oct 31, 2019 at 9:46 AM
    #14
    JHawk

    JHawk New Member

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    Certainly not severe conditions, but we had maybe 2 inches of snow and rain changed to ice overnight here in KC. I had zero issues with the stock tires. Just used 2WD the entire route to work this morning. Went to the gym at 4 a.m., then to work, so not much traffic to contend with. I fully expect the 4Runner to handle more than this, with more snow, etc. The T4R gives me much confidence.
     
  15. Oct 31, 2019 at 9:48 AM
    #15
    KSJ08

    KSJ08 New Member

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    I have driving in some deep snow on unplowed highways since new last Dec. NO issues at all W/Stock tires ,hell I rarely need 4x4. I only did for extra stablilty on the Hiwhay/Turnpike. Just like the FJ's these things will go through alot!! But hey it's your $$$ spend it on what you want. Not condemming anyone who does buy tires when they feel the stock ones aren't good enough for them :hattip:
     
  16. Oct 31, 2019 at 9:52 AM
    #16
    Agent_Outside

    Agent_Outside New Member

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    They aren’t a winter tire so obviously they aren’t ideal for winter conditions, but I was making a general statement. I always support the idea of dedicated winter tires for winter environments.
     
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  17. Oct 31, 2019 at 9:53 AM
    #17
    Thatbassguy

    Thatbassguy New Member

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    Do you have the Dunlops? Some came with other tires.
     
  18. Oct 31, 2019 at 9:54 AM
    #18
    Thatbassguy

    Thatbassguy New Member

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    Screenshot_2019-10-31-11-51-42.jpg Screenshot_2019-10-31-11-52-29.jpg

    I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who thought they sucked.
     
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  19. Oct 31, 2019 at 9:55 AM
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    Thatbassguy

    Thatbassguy New Member

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    Gotcha. I fully agree with this. That's what my thoughts were. I would use them spring, summer, and fall without hesitation.
     
  20. Oct 31, 2019 at 9:57 AM
    #20
    KSJ08

    KSJ08 New Member

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    No tire will work good in ice unless it's studded on have chains on. Ice is a completely different circumstance:wink:
     
  21. Oct 31, 2019 at 10:02 AM
    #21
    Thatbassguy

    Thatbassguy New Member

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    Right, but the Dunlops were only OK in snow. I've had all-terrains that were excellent in snow. Still not as good as dedicated snows, though.

    And, good snow tires will run circles around any other type of tire on ice. Of course it won't be like dry pavement, but you might have a little control compared to none at all.
     
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  22. Oct 31, 2019 at 10:09 AM
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    Huzer21

    Huzer21 New Member

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    I didn't have traction issues with the stock Dunlops on my Tacoma, but they were weather cracked and dry rotted after 3 years. They looked like 10 year old tires that lived in the sun, not relatively new tires that lived in a garage when parked.

    My 4Runner came with the Bridgestones, but those were replaced with the K02s. I didn't have issues last winter with the Duelers, nor have I had any issues this winter with the K02s. Mainly, I think winter driving comes down to ability/experience regardless of vehicle. When you drive appropriately for having less traction, you're already better off than 90% of the drivers out there. I used to DD my RX8 in the winter, and other than clearance issues in deep snow, it was fine. Not great, not terrible. When I put snow tires on it, it was quite good.

    I will say, I tested the K02s in snow this week and stomped on it in a couple of turns and was quite happy with the stability. They are better than the Bridgestones that would wander a little more, but definitely weren't what I would call bad.
     
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  23. Oct 31, 2019 at 10:26 AM
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    Chris In Milwaukee

    Chris In Milwaukee [OP] New Member

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    That’s the review collection that gave me pause. And the price? Oy...
     
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  24. Oct 31, 2019 at 7:49 PM
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    WallyT4R

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    The 4 is a snow machine with tires. It really is a great all conditions type vehicle.
     
  25. Oct 31, 2019 at 8:16 PM
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    KSJ08

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    Giddy Up!
     
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  26. Nov 1, 2019 at 4:53 PM
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    wmdtech

    wmdtech Send MOD Money!!

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    True but my KO2s do look bad ass in my opinion
     
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  27. Nov 1, 2019 at 5:27 PM
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    4runningMan

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    I’ve noticed the Dunlaps really start to fail in performance around 20k miles. You can wear Michelin’s Defender right down to the bottom of the lugs at 60k miles and still feel confident. But the Dunlaps not so much.

    As such, I’ve always traded my Dunlop’s right off the lot for a different set of tires (MS2/Defender). When they’re new, a lot of shops will give you some money for the Dunlaps.
     
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  28. Dec 1, 2019 at 7:31 AM
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    Chris In Milwaukee

    Chris In Milwaukee [OP] New Member

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    So my first real winter driving experience in the 4Runner was last night during a winter storm headed home to Milwaukee from Green Bay. New KO2s two weeks ago lead the charge. I kept the truck in 4WD the entire trip. It started as heavy sleet and turned into heavy snow as the trip progressed. No snow plows out yet, and what was flying was wet, heavy, and snotty.

    When driving on the interstate, I kept it to about 40mph. There were some tracks down to pavement in most places and things were starting to get rutted. That’s my least favorite because you get yanked around a lot. Next thing you know, you’re in a ditch. While in the ruts, I didn’t feel much in the way of pulling by the vehicle. And when I did, it didn’t take a lot of pressure to keep it straight. I found the 4Runner performed better when I drove in the left lane with less- or undisturbed snow.

    Short story is that I’ve never felt more in control and stable in any vehicle. My truck weighed 1500 pounds more than the 4Runner, but I was always worried what it was going to do next. Not this trip. While it was stressful, it was uneventful and well within my control.
     
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  29. Dec 1, 2019 at 8:04 AM
    #29
    KSJ08

    KSJ08 New Member

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    Chris, I had 2 FJ's 08 & 12 then Tacoma 15. The two FJ's I rarely had to put in 4WD because the traction control kicked in. It was like a Billy goat, sure footed. The Tacoma being truck was less stable. The 4Runner is very stable in the snow. eel the same as the FJ's sure footed ALL my vehicles had OEM tires NO problem what so ever & we do get decent snow here in NW Philly in suburbs.
     
  30. Dec 1, 2019 at 8:43 AM
    #30
    Chris In Milwaukee

    Chris In Milwaukee [OP] New Member

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    I’ve always liked the FJ. Too bad they don’t make them in our market anymore. :(
     
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