Saturday, March 28, 2009


I knew something maybe wasn’t right when the tires started slipping on level ground.

Something definitely wasn’t right when the car would move forward on level ground only with extreme effort.

Miraculously, we were able to get out of the parking lot, which had a slight uphill ramp to get up to the main road.  After that, it was all downhill.

Thankfully, the brakes did work for the moderate downward slope.  Not so fortunately, they got a FAIL for firmer braking needed for the stop sign at the end of a steeper slope.

Luckily, we weren’t going too fast and the car in front of us wasn’t damaged.  Cars have bumpers for a reason, and 1 5-10mph collision is what they are designed to handle.  Unfortunately, my friend’s car didn’t fare so well. He’s got dents on a few panels up front and a smashed headlight.

Lesson learned?  Next time someone offers to drive despite clearly inclement weather, make sure that they have all season tires.  I went and looked up the OEM tires on the car:
Pirelli PZero Rosso

On the TirerRack page, you’ll notice that there are no ratings for snow or ice traction – reason being this is a summer tire.  Also mentioned on the page: “PZero Rosso tires are not intended to be driven in near-freezing temperatures, through snow or on ice.”

Very nice.  I can see how summer tires are fun, and they probably make the car handle very well during test drives.  However, selling summer tires as standard equipment in areas that get snow seem pretty irresponsible.  In Seattle it makes some sense since we get very little snow here.  However, the same practice goes on in Cleveland and other cold areas – especially with luxury cars or sporty cars.  Then again, car accidents are good for the industry – more repairs, more parts sold, more new cars sold.

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