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Nissan Altima Winter Driving

ddd5ddd5 Member Posts: 1
I am planning to purchase a 2008 Altima with the 2.5 engine w/o traction control and I live in Wisconsin. I really like the car, but I read a few posts from other message boards that said this car handles poorly in snow. Can anyone confirm that this car handles OK in snow? Do I need to purchase snow tires for this car?

Thanks in advance!


  • madpistolmadpistol Member Posts: 126
    Snow tires would be preferable as traction control isn't an option on the models w/ the 2.5L engine.

    Unfortunately, I don't know how the car handles in the snow. If traction control is a must for you, the 2008 Accord comes standard with it.
  • karpediemkarpediem Member Posts: 46
    The stock tires are crap in the snow, it has nothing to do with not having traction control. I'm in Michigan, and had to drive it in the snow a couple times at the end of the winter, thought I was safe buying it late in the season, and it was a very very slow go. I am planning on buying some winter tires for sure....I recommend you do the same.
  • nhmtnbkrnhmtnbkr Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2007 3.5SE with TC and have found that the car itself handles great in snow, in large part because it's well-weighted and has great handling. The TC does prevent sliding and helped me to compensate for the crappy Bridgestone Turanza OEM tires that Nissan puts on the car, which have poor lateral edge tread and make the handling diminished in snow and heavy rain. I have a friend with the same car that put Goodyear Tripletreds on it and had great winter traction, something I'm going to do with mine too, b/c they seem to be the best all-season tire that actually gives really solild winter traction
  • harry29harry29 Member Posts: 5
    I have the same problem with 2002 altima 3.5 se. I even replaced the tires but the tire store gave me the equivalent cooper tires to the bridgestone turanza tires. They are horrible in the snow in Pennsylvania. I have never driven a worst front wheel drive car in the snow and never had to put snow tires on any of my other front wheel drive cars before.

    One thing to note is these tires are speed rated tires which are not normally very good in the snow. I plan on replacing my tires next year with a non speed rated tires to see if the traction improves.
  • efitzgeraldefitzgerald Member Posts: 62
    I agree with you guys about the stock tires... but i guess why would Nissan put quality tires on new vehicles? anyway... i took mine off because it was slipping and sliding, and snow built up so tight in the wheel well i felt like a coal miner trying to remove it with my snow brush.... so i went to Walmart and bought some new Nexum tires..all season .. awesome tire .
  • scabpicker101scabpicker101 Member Posts: 3
    I leased a 2008 Nissan Altima V-6 and live in Michigan. This is a dangerous car on ice and snow. When traveling on a slippery surface, the car becomes dangerously unstable. It "swings" on ice, EVEN when NO acceleration! In snow it gets stuck easily(3 times in my driveway this year). I have contacted Nissan, local dealer and am in process of contacting consumers union(Consumer Report).

    I do not know whether the 4 is more stable or not. But, please for your own safety and the safety of your family, do not purchase a Nissan 2008 Altima V6 for northern climates.
  • gooddeal2gooddeal2 Member Posts: 750
    I don't think it's the car. It's the REALLY bad weather you get this year in Michigan. I had '03, '05 and now '07 Altima and it does a fine job here in the snow in PA.
  • jd10013jd10013 Member Posts: 779
    all cars slide on ice
  • cwsiggycwsiggy Member Posts: 3
    I have never felt a car be more unstable than my 09 Altima- horrible horrible horrible tires for snow. Unfortunately - I'm going to just let them wear out and get much better ones when the time comes. Great car overall though....
  • scabpicker101scabpicker101 Member Posts: 3
    You are right. I had new Goodyear tripletreads put on last week and the car is very good in snow. It is the oem cheap tires the mfg uses.
  • scabpicker101scabpicker101 Member Posts: 3
    Don't gamble on the crappy stock tires they put on at the plant.it's not worth your safety. Put on a good set of skins. The GY tripletreads are great. It isn't even the same car with good tires.
    It really bugs me that both Nissan and Toyota are putting cheap, junky tires on their cars, just to reduce the sticker price. The same thing happened with my 2004 Highlander: I got just over 25K on stock tires before they wore out.
  • paws26paws26 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2007 Nissan 2.5SL that had the Continental ContiPros. I made it through last winter barely, but this year the snow in Michigan started early and hasn't let up. Driving was terrifying. I didn't want to buy snow tires and go through the expense and hassle of twice yearly switches so I used tirerack.com to research better all season tires. I settled on the Yokohama AVID TRZ's. It was snowing (blizzard) on my way to the tire place and my drive there was white knuckle. It was like having a different car when I left. I've had the tires on for 3 weeks now and the snow and ice has been non-stop. I can't believe the difference in traction and slipping. These tires are awesome and they have an 80,000 mile treadware warranty. Nissan should be ashamed of themselves for putting such sub-standard dangerous tires on these cars.
  • greengoddessgreengoddess Member Posts: 3
    Personally I like how the car handles in the snow when using the downshift to manage speeds (I have 2.5 CVT) -- however -- one word of caution - the ABS system handles poorly. Lots of crunching noises and I'd don't have confidence that the system is actually helping when it is engaged. ABS is a disappointment.
  • gregd1gregd1 Member Posts: 38
    "Personally I like how the car handles in the snow when using the downshift to manage speeds (I have 2.5 CVT) -- however -- one word of caution - the ABS system handles poorly. Lots of crunching noises and I'd don't have confidence that the system is actually helping when it is engaged. ABS is a disappointment. "

    I did not think that the 2.5 has the CVT. I thought CVT was only available on the 3.5 (v6). Anyone know if this is correct?

  • amara_whiteamara_white Member Posts: 1
    I have the 2.5SL with CVT.
  • jona57jona57 Member Posts: 194
    2010 Altima with AL wheels now come with Michelin Primacy tires. MUCH better tire than past years. Check out TireRack.com rating of this tire vs previous Continental. With decent AS tires the Altima is a good car in winter driving.
  • smarty666smarty666 Member Posts: 1,503
    not sure about 2007 or 2008 but the 2009 2.5SL and 3.5SL came with Michelin Primacy's so it is not a new feature for 2010

    It is surprising that Nissan would put a top of the line tire on a car since typically all car manufactures put average/mediocre tires as OEM!
  • jona57jona57 Member Posts: 194
    Dealer may have switched 'em, but when I got my 2010 I saw at least 2 new 2009 Altima 2.5's on dealer's lot with Conti's rather than Michelins.
  • gooddeal2gooddeal2 Member Posts: 750
    The base 2.5S doesn't come w/ Michelin.
  • lshelllshell Member Posts: 1
    Like some of you, I have driven for years on ice and this Altima is the worst car I have ever driven on ice. I thought maybe something was wrong with my car. If you see ice ahead and make no corrections or change in acceleration it tries to swing sidways instantly? Kansas driver. I love the car otherwise. Someone is going to have a bad accident because of this.
  • bb700092bb700092 Member Posts: 16
    I have a 09 Altima 2.5SL. I suspect, the automatic temperature control in my car is not working as it should. Here is what happens.

    The car is parked in the cold outside for hours. So its interior is as cold as the outside, if not more. The outside temperature is showing to be in the upper 30s. I start the engine and then set the temperature to 90 degree with "dual" turned off and "auto" turned on. The air blows towards the leg and the fan speed is lowest. It stays like that forever even after the engine warms up.

    In such situation, I expect the air to blow towards the face (or face and leg) and the fan speed to be maximum. But that is not what happens in my car. Is this normal? Or, do I have a problem with some sensor related to the automatic temperature control?
  • arilling1arilling1 Member Posts: 2
    My 2009 Altima is unstable in winter but it is not the tires. We have law to use snow tires and the stock tires have been changed (2x). With weight, cold, and wintery conditions this car has been very unstable to point of being dangerous in my opinion. Nisssan said it was front to rear alignment but we had same problem re-occur. I am frightened now to drive this car in winter under those conditions.
  • arilling1arilling1 Member Posts: 2
    My own 2009 Altima has shown to be highly unstable in cold winter conditions even with snow tires. In my case, the problem seems to be combination of weight, cold, and wintery conditions. The care basically becomes unstable and I have am literally scared to drive under those conditions.
  • brian_gbrian_g Member Posts: 1
    Our 2007 Altima 3.5 SL has been terrible on ice/snow! Went thru 2 sets of tires but neither fared well in winter. Sliding thru busy intersections and doing 360's on the freeway is not my idea of fun! After much research I bought a set of all-weather tires with the mountain/snowflake rating, Nokian WRG3's (Swedish). Not cheap, but what a difference!! This was Consumer Reports' top-rated snow tire, but it can be run year-round and has a 50K warranty. This weekend we got slammed with two snowfalls totaling 8". Now I'm a believer! Don't sell your Altima; buy these tires!
  • wave54wave54 Member Posts: 211
    edited March 2015
    Thought it was just me. After my 1st winter with a 2013 Altima sedan, I think that it's the worst front-drive car I've ever experienced. Have been driving 45 years. This car slides and spins tires until the traction control kicks in reducing engine power to zero. No grip at all with good all-season tires.
  • m_zm_z Member Posts: 10
    The Continental stock tires are TERRIBLE in the winter but acceptable in dry/warmer weather. Nissan should be ashamed for using Continental tires!
    Winter handling is made difficult because of the tires. It's worse with older cars without ABS!
    Best things to do for winter driving in the Altima:
    1. Drive SLOWER
    2. Drive carefully
    3. Get new All Season Tires or just get snow tires if winter snow is that bad in your area
  • TorontoAltimaTorontoAltima Member Posts: 1
    Nissan Altima 2012. Great car but wimps out when it snows. Continental tires acceptable for dry roads but dangerous if driven in winter. Have Bridgestone Blizzaks for winter but this is the worst car for snow I have ever owned, snow tires or not.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Have you tried using 4 snow tires?
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