‘My RAV handles horrible in the snow and ice. I’ve tried a number of different tires, and nothing seems to work—my RAV just feels so squirrely.’ That was a complaint on a recent forum post–we might have a solution.
RAV4’s run great in the snow and ice. But there is no doubt the right tire can make all the difference in the winter. A good, soft compound winter tire can stick to a slickery road, even after all the street tires, mud tires, and even all terrains with their harder cold temperature rubber compound have long given up. So where does the problem lie with this slippy handling RAV?
Short story—there is a good chance the toe alignment is a bit off. RAV4’s, and most all the modern AWD cross-overs, are extremely sensitive to correct toe alignment. Especially in the rear. And this makes sense—if one tire or another is trying to go right or left instead of straight, on the ice this will make for some really dicey, darty handling. Then with the sensitive modern AWD systems, the computer is sensing a little bit of slip as the tire is dragged slightly sideways down the road. So it over reacts to apply a little more torque and power to that corner, making the problem even worse by creating more slip. Now your RAV, even with good tires, handles like a ’72 El Camino on worn out bias plys.
So maybe consider a good 4 wheel alignment at your local shop. It will help with tire wear, steering wheel alignment, and probably really help your hard water handling. And with all of our Northwoods lifts, we design in the correct caster and camber adjustments when needed so you can get right back within factory alignment specs.
Now let’s get out there and hit some white trails! And if you’re heading up the mountain early to get that first run on a POW Day, think about one of our skid plates to help protect your engine from all those ice chunks you hear banging off your belly pan.