W211 (E class) in the snow

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by smillion, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. smillion

    smillion Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    We have a skiing trip planned for Christmas in the French Alps and I need to get snowchains (any recommendations?) -

    I just wanted to ask what W211 owners experience is of their car in the snow. I have never been impressed with my car in winter and the slightest dusting of snow or ice has me feeling like I'm on a tea tray.

    Tyres are 265 at the back and I guess that may not help.

    Thoughts and advice welcome. I need assurances that the E is no more likely to get stranded in snow than any other medium sized saloon.

    Thanks

    Marc
     
  2. Chattonmill

    Chattonmill Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Having spent many years in ski resorts it is very obvious that the car itself is not necessarily the problem.........except if it is a Ferrari F1 car.
     
  3. Fady

    Fady Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    No major experiences - asides from getting stuck at the bottom of a hill in the snow in the UK. Knocked on a door and borrowed a snow shovel and once I moved the car 10 metres from where it was stuck all was well again.

    Personally I wouldn't feel particularly safe on such wide tyres on such a trip - I was on 18's when I got stuck, and I don't believe that snow chains are recommended for anything bigger than a 16?
     
  4. jeremytaylor

    jeremytaylor Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Don't bother with chains - have you seen how little clearance there is in the wheel arch of the W211?? They will be a bugger to fit.

    If you are planning regular trips to the mountains, get yourself a set of cheap 16" W211 alloys on ebay (from someone who, like you, has upgraded ;) ). Doesn't matter if they're curbed or have flaking lacquer, and fit some winter tyres. I've got a set of Michelin Alpins.

    These are fine on snow-packed roads. The last time I took our W211 into the alps we had better grip with our snow tyres than father-in-law had with his 4x4 Subaru Forester with standard tyres. I tend to keep these tyres on over our winter, as they give better grip (softer compound) and it's the only way I'll ever wear them out!

    Most countries insist on winter tyres or chains when it's snowing, so don't think you can get away with neither chains or winter tyres. Also, check what the handbook says about using ESP in snow.

    Just be aware that the biggest problem with driving on snow is not starrting but stopping, whether you have snow tyres, chains or 4x4.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    smillion

    smillion Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I've been stuck in our car park at work before. And thats only on the very slightest of gradients - hence my concerns. I needed pulling out by a 4x4.

    I have been looking for a set of winter tyres and wheels but no avail thus far.

    Thanks

    Marc
     
  6. x332race

    x332race Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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  7. andy_k

    andy_k MB Club Veteran

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    driving anywhere in snow on summer tyres is really not adviseable. A set of winter tyres is a must if you are heading for the snow in europe
     
  8. Satch

    Satch Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    That is indeed the only way to go: another set of rims (ebay is your friend) refubish them if you want and fit winter tyres. I have Goodyear ultra-grips and they work very well indeed, to the point I have never had to use the snow chains during any of my alpine excursions even in vile conditions (you can only fit fine link ones to the rear wheels of a W211 or S211 anyway).

    Difference a proper set of winter tyres makes is vast. Only thing I do is set the box to "C" and leave the ESP to get on with it.

    Many people do drive to the Alps on normal tyres though and rely on snow chains. I think they are extremely ill advised to do so.

    Even through most get away with it, they do so only if the roads to the resorts are clear and perhaps they do the last bits on chains. If however road conditions turn nasty (and it does not take a lot) the same people can find themselves in a real fix.

    Try this at home: attempt to put a set of snow chains onto the real wheels of a W211 in the dark on a cold wet night. Then imagine you are trying to do same on a roadside in a snowstorm and with the wheel arches packed with snow/slush. It the last thing you want to do, not being the only thing you can do.
     
  9. Chattonmill

    Chattonmill Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I ran a Citroen BX for two ski seasons in the alps The only time I couldnt get up the hill was when the key snapped in a frozen lock. The roads are normally cleared immediately, they cant afford for them not to be as that is the only way to ship the punters into resort.
    Saying that they now have roadside checks and if you dont either have snow tyres or chains you are not going any further.
     
  10. andy_k

    andy_k MB Club Veteran

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    mainly due to Brits who see no point in snow tyres or those silly little johnny foreigner rules and regulations :)
     
  11. Chattonmill

    Chattonmill Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Luckily those laws were not n place when I was out there!
     
  12. raymont

    raymont Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Good advice. Get snow tyres, I fit them for the winter and trips to the alps, they're better than summer tyres at 7c or below snow or no snow.

    The difference between having snow tyres and summer tyres is quite surprising.

    As someone said braking and steering is just as important, coming down a slippery hill towards a a sharp bend and not being able to steer or brake is no fun at all.
     
  13. raymont

    raymont Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    How about these

    http://cgi.ebay.de/E-Klasse-W211-Winterraeder-Winter-16-Zoll-327_W0QQitemZ350115272540QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item350115272540&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1229|66%3A4|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1318

    16" wheels and winter tyres.

    Undamaged tyres with 5mm tread *2 and 7mm tread *2. Wheels in good used condition.

    Wheel centre caps not included. Can be for an extra 25euros.

    Buy now 589 euros plus 130 to ship to uk, say £575.

    Takes Paypal, 100% feedback and ships to uk.
     
  14. grober

    grober MB Club Veteran

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    As others have suggested a set of wheels + winter tyres. The higher the tyre aspect ratio the better while retaining the rolling radius. This may mean a shift to a larger diameter wheel+ narrower rim. Just make sure the wheels are of large enough diameter to clear the brake disc/caliper assembly.
     
  15. Diesel Benz

    Diesel Benz Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Be aware of winter tyres loosing grip when they get old. Also a 5mm tread is perhaps enough still but has no room for additional wear, winter tyres need a lot more tread to work properly in snow.
     
  16. Rory

    Rory MB Club Veteran

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    I don't know if this is enforced in any way, but winter tyres are supposed to have at least 4mm tread depth. They usually start with 10mm (vs 7-8 for summer tyres).


    Very tempted to get them from my W203 and was hoping to Michelin Alpins from Costco but Michelin don't do Alpins inthe 225/50R16 size on my rears. With 8J wheels on the back I really couldn't fit anything smaller (in fact if you look at the various tables, even 225 doesn't seem wide enough for 8J wheels).
     
  17. Satch

    Satch Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I have 225/55 R16 winter tyres fitted on 8" rims and they are fine. My summer tyres are the same size but on a 7.5" rim. The only difference is that the sidewall is more upright so the rims are a bit less recessed behind the tyre sidewall. So fitting a tyre with rim protectors is a pretty good idea especially so if you might need to fit snow chains at some time.

    The prime source has to be tyre makers website which should have details of the rim width a given tyre will fit but according to the link below the ideal size for an 8" rim is 225 to 235, which matches my experience

    http://www.pneus-online.co.uk/equivalency-tables-advice.html
     
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