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Questions about "weekend" snow driving...

3736 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  monymony
Okay, here are some stupid questions from someone who doesn't have to deal with snow regularly, since I live in Southern California. As you know, we don't really have what some of you call "seasons" over here. I know, I know - "tough life, buddy"... anyway... :wink:

I'm planning on taking my new C230 coupe for a weekend trip to the mountains for skiing, and I was wondering if I am going to have serious issues with my C7 package tires. Snow tires seem like the safest option from all the posts I've read on here, but it also seems very expensive to buy a full set of snow tires and rims for something that I do maybe two or three times a year at the most.

Can I make do with chains or cables if I encounter heavy snow? Can you even fit chains on the C7 tires? If chains are a bad idea, should I only do the two back wheels as some recommend? Or should I just bite the bullet and buy 4 wheels that will sit in my garage for 350+ days out of the year? This is all new to me, this is the first time I've ever taken my own car up into the mountains, let alone a "non-SUV".

Any answers are appreciated...
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I would rent a truck,so-called "SUV", to go to ski.

I love to my own MB to the moutain, but not for the skiing in the winter.
I am not sure about the road condition where you will go, but if there is any snow on the road, and you have c7... :(

I wouldn't!!!
Renting something might not be a bad option. However, if you want to drive your own car, bite the bullet and get four snow tires. All sources agree that you shouldn't put just two snow tires on a vehicle. The C7 summer tires are not meant for snow. Although for '03 I've heard there is a choice betwen summer and all season for C7. You may only use the set-up 3 or 4 times a year. But, it only takes one accident to make you regret the decison not to buy them. Be safe, enjoy the slopes, and get the dedicated snow tires.
Thanks for the replies. I do have an '03 model, although I don't remember the dealer offering a choice of summer vs. all-season tires. Maybe I'll call and ask them. So would you recommend completely swapping out my summer tires for all-season, and perhaps leaving them on all year round just in case? Could C7 all-season tires handle moderate snow driving? How much would my regular driving be affected by them?

Renting a car or SUV/truck is an option that occurred to me, I was just wondering if driving my own car would make any sense before I went ahead with something like that. I agree it would certainly be a lot cheaper than buying my own snow tires, and a lot safer if the car I rent is already equipped with them. Because while I really enjoy mountain road driving without snow, especially in my MB, I'd hate to get up to high elevations and have to deal with the snow driving issues, especially if my car really isn't built to handle this situation very well.
Do not take a C& equipped car into snow or ice condition

Especially when you don't drive in those conditions regularly. For the price of snow tires and wheels, you can rent a vehicle many times. Maybe you can rent a Subie for less than an SUV.
Most ski areas in Ca do a very good job of keeping the roads plowed though, so snow tires would be a luxury; however you might need chains if you go up during or right after a storm (or if one happens while you're up there) I don't know if MB has or recommends them, but if they do it'd be covered in the manual.

But Another factor to consider is that most of the ski areas in So Cal have narrow, treacherous parking lots and dings from doors and people dropping skis are incredibly common.

If it were me, I'd go rent a Jeep Liberty for about $30/day.
Chains must not be used with C7/Evolution tires and wheels. This is on page 374 of the 2002 operator's manual. They don't state a reason, but usually it is because of insufficient space between the tire and the suspension.
I have driven through snow but with the all weather tires only. The ESP is worth it's weight in gold and most times you won't even know your tires are slipping except for the little warning light blinking on your dash. The ABS breaks work great for stopping even on ice but so I would not be worried about driving on plowed roads with your car. So if you want to go to the hill in style go for it. However, I would worry about all those people walking around with all those skies. They have a way of accidently dropping skis or turning around (the classic ladder turn around trick). Do you really want to risk scratches on your car???
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