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#682448 - 27/03/14 11:58 AM 2WD Xterra and snow - questions
blackbearlake Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 19/01/10
Posts: 3
Loc: Minnesota
I've had my 2000 Xterra for 14 years now - drove it off the lot brand new and she now has 200k on it. I love this truck. About 7 years ago moved from Florida to Minnesota and realized 2WD does not do well in the snow. No matter how slow and careful I drive, the back end wants to outrun the front, even with minimum snow on the ground. I mean, it was downright scary to drive the X in the winter. Even going down neighborhood streets it wanted to go all over the road... not fun at all... Stopped driving it in the winter and got myself a little Honda Civic for the daily driver.

Question is, what can be done? Anyone else have similar problems? Would snow tires do the trick? I put weight in the back so starting traction is okay, but it still wants to float all over the place... I would like the option of being able to drive the X in the winter if needed. Not looking to go drive up the side of a mountain, but making it so driving around city roads with a few inches of snow would be safe.

I thought when I put BF Goodrich All Terrain tires it would be better, since they have the snowflake emblem on them, but they are no better than the OEM tires I ran for years. Don't want to spend money on $$$ snow tires if the results will not be all that much better.

Any suggestions other than mothballing the X for six months out of the year? At some point my wife and I will have kids and having an SUV to drive in the winter would be nice. I would hate to have to get rid of the X and get something else. As it stands now, I would not drive the X in the snow, much less with my family in the truck.

#682454 - 30/03/14 04:26 PM Re: 2WD Xterra and snow - questions [Re: blackbearlake]
Nail Bender Offline

Registered: 21/06/09
Posts: 22
Loc: chicagoland
I have an 02 2wd and I feel your pain. I tried geolander at's and it was OK but not real good. Went to Revo's and when they were new I thought my problem was solved. But each season they seem to get progressively worse. I keep lots of weight ( tool boxes with hundreds of pounds of tools)in the back and it is drivable, but not spectacular. I think the right set of tires will help. I just don't know which ones they are.
Therapy is extremely expensive, popping bubble wrap is radically cheaper, you choose which one helps with your problem, I'm gonna get some sleep!

#682459 - 02/04/14 06:23 PM Re: 2WD Xterra and snow - questions [Re: Nail Bender]
GreyX Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 25/03/14
Posts: 5
Loc: Quebec, Canada
As we do here in Canada with 2wd pickups (2wd Xterra was never sold here)... keep a lots of heavy stuff in the back (4 bags of 40 pounds of sand are good, you can use the sand as an abrasive if your stuck on some icy roads).

Studded tires are less expansive than hi-end winter tire. they are noisy on the pavement but very gripping on ice.
2005 Xterra, Gray, just got it, no mods yet.

#682462 - 11/04/14 05:26 PM Re: 2WD Xterra and snow - questions [Re: GreyX]
TJ Offline

Registered: 08/03/01
Posts: 7756
Loc: Lawrenceville, NJ, USA
Yeah, 4WD is better in the snow. You can learn techniques to improve 2WD capabilities, but for the same learning curve, you'd still get farther with 4WD, and so forth.

A 2WD truck is really just a minivan with a less efficient form factor.

The best fix is to sell the minivan that looks like a truck, and buy a truck (4WD X).


BTW - Some snow tires work better than others - the Bridgestone Blizzak for example is a LOT better in snow than most other DEDICATED SNOW TIRES.

A point to consider with tires: The depth of the snow, and how hard packed it is, makes an enormous difference in what tires will work best in it.

For example, the deeper and softer the snow the better a large deep cleat-like tread works, as it can sink a tread block into the snow, and paddle wheel you along.

If the snow is hard packed, so that cleat-like tread block can't sink down into it for grip, you skitter along the top like a girl in high heels on ice.

The harder packed the snow gets, the smaller the blocks have to be to get enough ground pressure to sink in for traction...and, by the time its like ice, nothing penetrates it. At that point, micro-textured tread patterns (Lots of sipes and surface texture, even on the microscopic level) are all that can still get any grip.

So, depending on what KIND of snow you have to get through, some tires will simply be a better choice than others.

Edited by TJ (11/04/14 05:27 PM)
- TJ

2001 Xterra '03 VG33, SE 5 spd, 305/70/16's, Revolvers, UBSkidderz, Doubled AAL's, 3"SL/2"BL, winch/bumpers, skids, sliders, OBA, Snorkel, pine stripes....

Friends don't let friends drive stock.


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