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Old 01-08-2017, 02:18 AM   #1
flyboy
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Newbie to RWD and Ice/Snow, any suggestions??

I am excited. Just got me a used 2013 Scion FRS-10 series, with 21K miles and no mods on it. It is a clean car and single owner.

I have always wanted to get FRS/BRZ, more inclined towards the BRZ due to bells and whistles but the 10 Series takes care of it. A bit of background- I wont be driving the car regularly. It is for fun and to get around town and enjoy it during the summer. I might be driving it about 5-10 days a month and sometimes might have a long gap of about 3-4 weeks in between. It will be parked in a covered garage, so won't be covered in ice/snow. Any suggestions about storing it for long periods of time without driving (disconnect battery etc.).

The car is going to be in Anchorage where temperatures are between 0 to 32 degrees Fahrenheit in the winters and mostly ice (not much of snow as compared to Maryland). After reading the blogs here, I am thinking to get a set of steelies and Blizzak WS80 205/55/R16, not really looking for performance winter tires. Just something to keep safe and be able to drive from 'point a' to be 'point b' without getting in the ditch. However, the tire specialist recommend getting the stock tire size and some recommended me to get the studded tires, Hankook I*Pike RS. One guy suggested getting Himalayan (never heard of them). Any suggestions? Also, using 205/55/R16 would that pop up any mechanical problem, rotor rubbing etc etc. The tire specialist wasn't sure if it would be a good idea to use a different tire size other than recommended by the manufacturer. The 205/55/R16 are considerably cheaper than the 215/45/R17 for sure.


Should I and can I install a block heater? Would it help for the 6 months of cold in Alaska. In Fairbanks they say it is a must, not so much of it in Anchorage?

RWD on snow/ice maybe not the best advise, every car dealership wanted to make sure I knew FRS/BRZ is a RWD. But I think if you get proper tires and drive slowly, it shouldn't be a problem. I have driven RWD trucks and Camaro but only in Florida. Mostly AWD SUV, or FWD Sedans and Hatchback in Snow.

About the FRS, how much of a reliable car is it beside the few quirks? Just like any other Japanese car, just regular oil change and maintenance? I don't have a heavy foot.

Any other recommendations or suggestions for a newbie to FRS?

Thank you all
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Old 01-08-2017, 02:46 AM   #2
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Hello flyboy and welcome to FR-S ownership and this forum ......

No need to overthink the winter driving of an FR-S.

I'd suggest:

Get some good, dedicated winter tires ..... in the OEM size.

Be aware of the low clearance (avoid snowdrifts).

Drive slow on slick roads.

A battery tender would be a good idea for storage as would a gas stabilizer for longer storage.

I don't reckon you will need a block heater for the Anchorage area.

Keep up on the scheduled maintenance.

Stay waaaay back from parking stops.

Enjoy your new machine!


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Old 01-08-2017, 03:02 AM   #3
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I would suggest Blizzak WS80 in 205/55R16. Excerpt from tire rack:

Why is Narrower Better in Winter Conditions?
Thursday, January 12, 2012 by Hunter Leffel
Winter Driving"Why does Tire Rack recommend narrower tires for winter use?"

It's all about physics. Wider tire sizes have to plow through the snow which causes more resistance and a tendency to float. A narrower option, with a smaller contact patch, has more weight per square inch that helps the tire cut through the ice and snow.

In addition to the increased winter capability, there are other advantages to a minus size winter / snow tire. In most cases, narrower tires have a lower price tag. The advantage will apply in cases where you're purchasing a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package with smaller diameter wheels. By decreasing the wheel diameter there's an increase to the tire's sidewall that keeps the overall diameter very similar between the two size options. As an additional benefit, the extra sidewall provides more wheel protection from damages that can occur from a pothole.
- See more at:
http://blog.tirerack.com/blog/hunter...ter-conditions
http://blog.tirerack.com/blog/hunter...ter-for-winter
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Old 01-08-2017, 03:13 AM   #4
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Don't drive a nice car on the salted streets of Anchorage. Find something else to drive as a winter beater if at all possible.

Surely they still use salt there:

https://www.adn.com/anchorage/articl...ce/2008/11/28/

And notes here about Fairbanks:

http://www.newsminer.com/opinion/com...494561526.html
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Old 01-08-2017, 03:13 AM   #5
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86 is very good in heavy winter. No need to worry. Just drive with caution as you would any car.

You won't go wrong with Blizzaks but should be aware that most recent reviews seem to think Nokian and Michelin share the crown for best winter tire these days.

All of @humfrz suggestion is good .

Relating specifically to winter the MY2013 window hardware is known to occasionally bug out and refuse to roll up in severe cold. The hardware has completely frozen up for some people because water gets in there -- there's a TSB for it but your car will likely be out of bumper-to-bumper.
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Old 01-08-2017, 03:27 AM   #6
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omg, I have a 10 series too,,welcome.

I dont know much about driving snow, but snow tires is a must.
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Old 01-08-2017, 05:42 AM   #7
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Thank you @humfrz @phrosty @WWFT86. Great advise guys. The battery tender and fuel stabilizer would certainly help. I will do some research about battery tender.

About the tires, being a physics student my self, i can't wrap my head around that narrower tire providing better traction. But you guys have more experience and I will take your word on it. Plus it is only an inch difference and saves $$. Blizzaks are the synonym for winter tires I guess. $1200 for 4 blizzaks WS80 205/55/R16 and steelies? Does that sound about right?
@phrosty The car windows was working for now and the auto up and down just takes some getting used to. It reminded me of the 1990's corollas where you had to hold it down for a second to work.

I guess hearing from you guys, it seems a pretty good reliable car as well. I did get a Manual Transmission FRS, so looking forward to driving it and having fun with snow tires on it.
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Old 01-08-2017, 05:45 AM   #8
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Don't drive a nice car on the salted streets of Anchorage. Find something else to drive as a winter beater if at all possible.
@ToySub1946 I don't think they salt the roads in Anchorage anymore, it is so cold here. I know, I will try to not drive it as much in winters though.

@FR-Sky How do you like the 10series? I am guessing the dash electro luminous SCION stopped working for you too. The dealer didn't even knew something like that existed.
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Old 01-08-2017, 06:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyboy View Post
@ToySub1946 I don't think they salt the roads in Anchorage anymore, it is so cold here. I know, I will try to not drive it as much in winters though.

@FR-Sky How do you like the 10series? I am guessing the dash electro luminous SCION stopped working for you too. The dealer didn't even knew something like that existed.
NAH!!! MINE STILL WORKING LIKE A CHAMP!!!!!
I like my 10 series alot!!!

Not surprised that dealer doesnt know this model,,everytime i go to dealer for service, and i will hear something like where did you get your after market glowing badge-.-?
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Old 01-08-2017, 08:35 AM   #10
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Once the snow melts, have plenty of spare windshields on hand. Cars in Alaska in the Spring with pristine windshields are extremely rare. Also maybe you should think about carrying two spare tires.
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Old 01-08-2017, 09:31 AM   #11
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Nokians are far superior to blizzaks now. You can even get them studded. I have 205/55/16 sized because cheaper is better. I chose General altimax artic because they are cheaper, and they are supposedly and old version of Nokian, plus I don't see much actual snow.
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Old 01-08-2017, 12:14 PM   #12
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For narrower vs. wider tires, narrow tires will cut down through the snow better and give you better traction and control. Wider tires have a tendency to stay on top of the snow and losing traction and control. You will be skiing more with wider tires.
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Old 01-08-2017, 12:29 PM   #13
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NAH!!! MINE STILL WORKING LIKE A CHAMP!!!!!
I like my 10 series alot!!!

You are one of the lucky few I guess.

@WNDSRFR, I will keep that in mind.

@why? I will check if they are available, thanks for the advise. General Altimax Artic are quite reasonable for sure. I believe the Nokians are more expensive though.

@Casey10, I agree with you, it kinda make sense. A narrower tire will certainly put more pressure on the snow and slice through it. I think more surface area will lead to more area to slide around. Plus the cost, and if they is no harm to getting narrower tires, it would certainly work out the best.
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Old 01-08-2017, 01:03 PM   #14
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@ToySub1946 I don't think they salt the roads in Anchorage anymore, it is so cold here. I know, I will try to not drive it as much in winters though.

@FR-Sky How do you like the 10series? I am guessing the dash electro luminous SCION stopped working for you too. The dealer didn't even knew something like that existed.
Even if they do salt the roads don't worry about it. Just wash the car in a spray wash as often as you can. They have upped the rust prevention on all cars so much over the last 20 years that salt is almost meaningless. Will it rust faster? Sure, it will take 12 years to rust instead of 14. Maybe. I live in one of the heaviest salt use areas in the world and you have to work to find a rusted out car made after about 1995. The day of the 5 year old rotted out Chevy Citations and Dodge Omnis is well past.

As far as driving in the snow and cold goes RWD is no worse that any other car. As said get some good snow tires. Good does not mean expensive there are 100s of cheaper choices that are just as good or better than Blizzaks. Drive carefully and do everything smooth and calm. Don't panic if you start to lose it on ice and remember that steering and even accelerating a light weight car can be much more effective skid control than hitting the brakes.

Oh, and one more thing which rarely gets mention. Be very, very aware of what is happening when driving in strong winter winds! You get hit broadside by a strong gust and it WILL scare the crap out of you. Don't panic and try to keep your reactions subdued. I had this happen last week. Came out from under an overpass at about 70mph and a the wind hit me and moved me over half a lane in a split second. I have never had a car so susceptible to wind.
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