posted March 29, 2001 04:38 PM
The formatting in my last post was hard to read so I'm trying again...
I have been using the BF Goodrich Control T/A M80 tires for about 2 months now and they've been great. They've worked wonderfully in the snow and rain and provide good dry traction. I have them on a 1996 Bonneville SE with anti-lock brakes. I was prompted to buy them because my old tires (which were 4+ years old) were balding and I was having trouble maneuvering in the snow. I live in Pittsburgh, PA where there are a *lot* of hills and the snow can often be wet and icy.
I haven't previously used the BF Goodrich tires but I had used Michelin Rainforce MX4 tires on an '88 Cougar. The Michelins had great handling on dry roads but weren't very good on wet or snowy roads. They tended to lose traction too easily when stopping or starting.
The reviews in Consumer Reports rated the BF Goodrich Control T/A M65 tires highly for snow traction and other reviews were also positive. I ended up getting the M80 version of the tire since the M65 wasn't available in the right size for my car (R16).
I've been extrememly happy with them so far. I haven't noticed any more road noise than I had before. They work well on wet roads -- I have to try really hard to get the anti-lock brakes to kick in even on a wet road going downhill. In early March, I was able to put them through a good snow test when driving back from Maryland across the mountians. Most of the way through the mountains it was snowing with about one quarter of an inch up to an inch of snow on the main highways like I68; it was deeper on Rt. 40. Having just got the tires a month earlier, I was almost glad to have the snow to try them out.
When there was about 1/4 inch of snow on the road I was able to go about 55-65 mph on the highways and feel in control. At some points there was salt on the ground and other times I was ahead of the salt truck. Having the salt on the road did help of course. When no one was around, I tried various maneuvers to see whether I could change lanes and so on in a controlled but quick manner. The tires managed it with no problem. I tried slowing quickly and accelerating up hills. I was surprised at how hard I had to step on the brakes to get the anti-lock brakes to kick in. And when I accelerated up a hill (front-wheel drive), the wheels would sometimes lose traction but I felt like I still had control. I could even steer a bit while spinning the wheels.
When the snow got deeper (1/2 inch to 1 inch or more) I had to slow down to 30-40 mph but I was able to retain control at all times. I had the least control in the slushy wet sections but that's to be expected. I even tried driving around a parking lot a bit to see how well it cornered in the snow and again the tires did well, exceeding my expectations for how fast I could corner while in control. I'm sure that these tires could lose control on an icy patch or at excessive speeds on snow, but they're much better than other tires I've had in the past.
Based on my experience, I highly recommend these tires.