Snow tires, without a doubt. I am doing some research on them and I see some people say going down a size from stock really helps with traction. However, I also read an article that says going down a size on modern cars with traction control/stability control is not good and you should stay with stock size.
Going down a size for =
Going down a size against =
What should I do?
From the article...
"I noticed that the problems were mainly on the Venza and Corolla, both equipped with an EPS system. Complaints about stability were resolved by simply reinstalling the original rims with the winter tires and replace the steel wheels that are one or two inches lower than the originals. "
I will attribute the stability of the drive with taller sidewall tires (-1 set) being changed back to the stiffer sidewall (OEM rims). The writer also does not state whether the return to OEM were wider snows, which they would have to be to fit OEM rims.
A shorter, wider tire WILL react differently to a taller narrower tire. Go figure !
The snows also have more squirm just based on the rubber compound versus the "all season, eco tire with hard as a rock compound" tires.
If EPS is THAT sensitive, how does the system allow for a slightly lower PSI tire on one side of the front "axle" ? EPS won't shutoff if it recognizes a different contact patch of the flat vs full PSI tire. Additionally the EPS has a variable "boost" when driving slow or at speed. Maybe, just maybe it will act unstably if the tires are OVER inflated and that patch is so minimal then it will be noticeable.
I'm also going to call the writer out as whether or not ALL 4 tires were changed. That would
cause problems. Believe me a car that is as low cost as Venza or Corolla probably, I said probably, will have an owner that won't put snows all around. My parking lot can prove that. Rears are OEM rims and fronts are steelies. Oooops!
And to complete the fallacy IMHO, don't OEM's have a range of two tire sizes themselves usually? 17's to 18's or allow 19's? These change the contact patch, width, and stiffness of sidewall to a much greater extent than a snow setup. The EPS doesn't get "recal'ed" to fit the new tires !
Have used -1 set on my 13 for two seasons so far and the EPS does not go wonky nor act unstable.
Ask anyone who has used snows and didn't have EPS in years gone by and ask them if there is a difference. The squirm and "compliance" of the taller sidewall is noticeable.