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Old 07-08-2009, 05:22 PM
51 posts, read 323,987 times
Reputation: 74


I live in Los Angeles and would like to purchase a car, which I would give in 3 years to my father who lives in Toronto (Oakville to be exact). I am getting a good deal on a base model of 2009 Infiniti G37 (USD 29,300) rear wheel drive. I would like to know what are driving conditions during a winter in Ontario. My father is retired, so he does not need to drive everyday. He would not need to drive in a snow storm, but do they plow snow fairly quickly. Do they put salt or sand there. He has friends in Windsor and London, so he would drive there too. He does not own a car right now, so i would like to get drivers' opinion. Snow tires are not really an option as he would not have a place to store them.
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Old 07-08-2009, 06:11 PM
409 posts, read 1,424,693 times
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I'm not a car expert but real wheel drive cars do not usually have the same grip as front wheel drive cars since the weight of the engine pushes down to give them traction. There are some service centres that will store off-season tires but they are not as easy to find as they used to be.
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:40 PM
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Ontario encompasses a huge area; you can not blanketly describe winter driving conditions for the entire province. Driving conditions can vary widely in as small a distance as 40 miles.

As far as driving conditions in the Toronto area, they tend to be pretty mild in terms of winter conditions. That said, snow does fall from the sky, roads need to plowed, and the sand/salt trucks follow up to make a slushy mess. A good set of all-season tires can manage Toronto conditions except in extreme circumstances --- when you should probably stay home anyway.

Twenty years ago rear-wheel drive was pretty much the only option available in cars and folks managed just fine. Many pickup truck drivers still manage just fine with RWD. However, RWD does require a little gentler foot on the gas pedal. If your father doesn't have a car, a refresher driving course might be a wise idea.

Before making plans on passing your car on to your father, you might want to check into the process involved with importing a vehicle into Canada; usually you can't just drive them in and register them.
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:21 PM
Location: Etobicoke, ON
111 posts, read 575,442 times
Reputation: 100
Winter driving isn't bad if you use your head.

That being said, rear-wheel drive vehicles are the worst for slippery conditions. He would have to put several hundred pounds of weight in the back to weigh down the wheels to get better traction, and going around corners and turns he would have to be extremely mindful about his back end sliding out. Even with a front wheel drive car I often find that when you hit a turn at the wrong speed or angle you find yourself either fish tailing or having your back end slide out. When you throw a rear wheel drive into the mix, it tends to bring itself around and spin out.

If you're concerned for his driving in the winter, I would recommend a front wheel drive or an all wheel drive. In LA you can buy rear wheel drives and have a blast bombing around, but when using them for winter driving here they can be tedious, especially for a senior.
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Old 11-30-2009, 08:51 AM
Location: Rural Nova Scotia
3 posts, read 10,826 times
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Default Winter Driving

For a RWD car like that Infinity, you'll need snow tires. Actually you should have them on any car - some provinces in Canada are making them mandatory after December 1st. Not Ontario, yet. Negotiate where you buy them, to store them during summer if you have them changed over there.

Oakville gets more than average snow because of what they term the "lake effect" - the area from Halilton to Oakville gets very snowy. Ditto for London, where you said your father will do some driving. London is in a heavy snow belt area.

They will have the streets cleared within 24 hrs of the end of a storm, and may do it periodically during the storm.
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Old 11-30-2009, 11:03 AM
Location: Dripping Springs , TX
786 posts, read 2,646,165 times
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The biggest winter driving problem in Toronto and Southern Ontario is not snow. Its ice. You will get a lot more days with slippery icey roads than you will get days with snow covered roads.

All season tires can handle a certain amount of snow, but they are useless for ice. Especially a RWD vehicle. On ice it will spin out from too much power being given to the rear wheels with no traction in the front. If the car has a stability control system, that will help reduce the effect.

I highly recommend getting ICE tires, not SNOW tires on a RWD car. I have driven front, rear and four wheel drive in all parts of Ontario. A RWD car with ice tires and stability control is a safe car.

Four wheel drive will give you better control in the snow, but will not add anything when there is ice. Of course your odds of staying in control are increased simply because you more tires with driving traction, so if one tire is on ice, you only lose 1/4 of your driving force. Most 4 wheel drive systems these days will recognize wheel spin on one set of axles and switch the power to the stable axel.
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Old 12-03-2009, 04:59 PM
Location: toronto
87 posts, read 381,523 times
Reputation: 89
It'll be fine.
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