Get your ST ready for winter with tips for prepping and winter tire selection

Discussion in 'Fiesta ST Wheel and Tire Upgrades' started by BRGT350, Nov 11, 2014.

  1. BRGT350

    BRGT350 Well-Known Member Staff Member

  2. Register or Sign in

    Advertisement Sponsor

  3. mrtn

    mrtn Active Member

    Awesome. Thanks! Any way you could write up a summary for those of us who can't watch the videos?
  4. BRGT350

    BRGT350 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    the quick summary is to pick the skinniest tire and the smallest wheel for the winter package. The skinny tire will dig into the snow and find the packed snow for traction and the sidewall will protect the wheel from damage. As for car prep, start with snow tires, add mud flaps to protect the sides of the car from abrasion, wash and add plenty of wax to protect the paint over the winter months, add winter floor mats to protect the carpet, and check wipers and wiper fluid. Something that I did not mention is to clearcoat as much of the suspension bits as you can to protect them from the salt.
    Dyn085 likes this.
  5. LuvfiestaST

    LuvfiestaST Active Member

    Clear coat with what?? Thanks for the info
  6. BRGT350

    BRGT350 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    with clear coat :p

    I use clear coat spray paint to cover the steering knuckles, tie rods, control arms, twist beam and about anything else I can get coverage on. I had some really good clear rock guard spray, but ran out of it and can't seem to find it anymore. That stuff worked great on my 2011.
  7. timboslice

    timboslice Active Member

    +1 for the winter wash and wax. I did mine last weekend. A little extra effort goes a long way in protecting your paint. How are you planning on keeping your car clean for the winter? I'm thinking about doing a periodic hot water rinse from a coin op place and maybe try a waterless wash/detailer.

    The clear coat is another good tip that I actually haven't seen before. Where did you get the idea from? I'll see how mine wears this winter and repaint/apply protection where needed for next year. I pretty much replaced every suspension bit on my rusty mazda3 (not fun). Again, a little more time now could help a lot later.

    One thing I would add is to try change your oil or any other regular maintenance prior to winter (if you're a DIYer and you're close to your regular maintenance interval). Doing stuff in the cold sucks :(

    Also, I'm not a fan of how rain-x smudges the windshield when exposed to wipers and slush. I try to strip it off before winter...

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  8. Removed

    Removed Guest

    I will have to try the clearcoat idea!

    Good to see you back in action.
  9. BRGT350

    BRGT350 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    timboslice, I am not sure how I am going to clean the ST over the winter. With my 2011 I used a regular car wash since the white paint didn't show too many scratches. The blue shows everything, so I might try a touchless car wash. Going to be researching that this week. Not sure where the idea for the clear coat came from. I started doing it on my 2000 Focus, along with repainting suspension bits come spring time. I try to lay it on thick around bolts I know I will be taking apart (shocks, struts) and on anything facing forward that will be subjected to debris coming off the drive wheels. Over Thanksgiving weekend I will be adding some underbody and side skirt protection. Still working on the cardboard templates. Good point about getting any maintainence you will be doing yourself done before it gets cold.

    Cinderbike, it is great to be back in action! My brother is sitting on a few videos to edit, so hopefully he will get those done so I can get them posted. One is an unpacking video showing all the prep work after it arrived at the dealership. Anything that doesn't require lots of editing is posted on the BRGT350 YouTube page, including some reviews and comparisons.
  10. johnnyquest

    johnnyquest Member

    I guess I did it completely wrong, I went with the stock tire size (205 40 17) on the stock rims and got Pirelli Winter Sottozero tires. I did this mainly because I wanted the handling to be close to stock when the pavement is dry or wet. I haven't driven these in snow yet (supposedly getting an inch or more tomorrow) but they are really solid at high speed in wet and dry conditions. Of course the overall grip is not the same as the stock Bridgestones, but there is plenty of grip and it's predictable if not a bit squirmy. Hopefully the stock tire size/stock rims won't prove to be a poor choice this winter, I'm planning on putting my summer tires onto some new OZ wheels in the spring. ST&autoModClar=
  11. BRGT350

    BRGT350 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I wouldn't say you did it wrong, just a different way than I go. I plan on winter being spent a highly reduced speed, in fact, most days I never get within 10mph of the posted speed limit on the highway. Traffic just doesn't go that fast, except for the ass in the Dodge truck that flies by and ends up stuffed in the ditch down the road. As long as you are not trying to drive in the winter with summer tires, you are moving in the right direction.

    One major factor in picking winter tires is also your location, which I really did not touch on in my video. If I drive an hour or so east of my location, the amount of snow drops significantly. I live right on Lake Michigan and the winds blowing over the water create crazy amounts of lake effect snow. Last winter we had over 130" of snow. A few hours to the south and you could probably live on all-seasons in the winter and a few hours to the north you probably need a Raptor. Your location has a lot to do with what is the best option for you.
    Dyn085 and timboslice like this.
  12. johnnyquest

    johnnyquest Member

    Yeah, I just moved to upstate NY in July from Arizona, I'm new to all this. I have family in Ohio, so my thinking was I wanted a tire that could handle more situations well. I figure if the weather is good enough on the through way to make the 6.5 hour trip home then I probably won't be dealing with a bunch of deep snow, most likely wet and/or slushy highway. There will most likely be days where I'll leave in steady snow in NY and end up in cold and dry conditions in Ohio. But, like I said...I don't know. Like you said, I'll just have to remember to go slow.
  13. aar0n

    aar0n Member

    Never knew mudflaps had a function. I just placed an order for a set of RokBlokz. I forgot to put some wax and bi-annual coat of sealer on. Oh well, another thing on the todo list.
  14. BRGT350

    BRGT350 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I started installing mud flaps in the winter back in 2000 and most people, well actually everyone laughed at them. Now, mud flaps have become almost a standard mod for every Subaru owner and have made their way into the Focus and Fiesta ranks. I use them for function only. They aren't meant to look like a rally car or do anything other than protect the rockers, doors, and chassis from abrasion. The fact they do look good on the car is just an added bonus.
  15. Dyn085

    Dyn085 Active Member

    During the winter I do what I can to avoid washing the cars. In all fairness though, I don't have to deal with salt and may only see a couple of days with a dusting of snow. If I was in an area that got actual snow I would probably use a touchless once a week to try and keep salt from building up, coupled with a rally good pre/post winter detail.
  16. Elam

    Elam New Member


    I have the exact same set up as you. We got a few inches last week here in Detroit and the Pirellis performed admirably. Not as good as snow tires but much better than all performance tires. I could accelerate moderately with good traction, and the cornering in the snow was fantastic.
  17. BRGT350

    BRGT350 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I thought about the touchless car wash, but a number of sources said the chemicals and high pressure spray strips the wax and sealant off the paint finish, leaving the paint exposed. My current plan is hand wash the car when temps are 30'F or above (which will become very rare in the next few months), plan B is to use a DIY car wash stall with my own brush and soap, and plan C is to use an automated car wash. I actually have enough wax and paint sealant on the car that most of the salt comes off with the hose and just needs a little bit of brushing to clean the car. So far, I have been able to hand wash my car this winter. Last month we got over 30" of snow and temps way below average. I was able to time the hand washes according to the weather and avoid the automated or DIY wash bays.

    A trick that was passed to me from a rally team is to spray the bottom of the car with WD40 as it will make it easier to clean the salt off.

    This past weekend I made some additional underbody protection panels out of UHMW;
    After a few weeks of driving in the snow, I noticed ice buildup on the rear half of the skirts. Today I added some protection under the skirts and extended the front mud flaps. Hopefully this will help protect the car better.
    by Bryan Redeker BRGT350, on Flickr

    The plastic sheets are located under the rear doors and mounted to the side skirts. They have a removable door for the jackstand/rear jacking point and run from the factory floor pan plastic shield to the rear wheel well and about 10" to the inside of the floor pan. They also protect the skirts, rear doors, and rear quarter panel from debris coming from the front tires. I also lowered the front mud flaps to cut down on the angle debris can exit the front tires.
    Firesail likes this.
  18. timboslice

    timboslice Active Member

    Looks great! Any thoughts on the waterless car wash products? I think there's a whole bunch on the market now from most of the big detailer brands. I think Ultima is still the best. I might invest in a small bottle as a trial.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  19. BRGT350

    BRGT350 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I don't know too much about the waterless car wash stuff, but I have a feeling it won't work well to remove the large quantity of sand/salt that gets caked on the sides and rear of the car. The rear hatch and bumper is really bad in terms in the amount of sand/salt that is collected. Even after washing and rinsing the car, there are salt trails that leak out of the trim for days. I am sure the same thing existed on my 2011, but white salt on a white car wasn't as noticable. A lengthy rinse with warm water is probably the best option to remove as much of the sand/salt as possible.

    The other winter issue with abrasion on the front bumper. I am interested in trying the "spray-on" bra stuff that 3M makes to see how well that holds up over winter. Too late this year to try it as the temps have been below freezing for the past few weeks.
  20. timboslice

    timboslice Active Member

    Yeah, I'm not completely sold on the waterless techniques. It seems like it might work to clean a little dust or dirt but it would but I can't imagine that any product could dissolve and lubricate salt and grime well enough. I'd be worried about inducing swirls into the clear coat :( I'll most likely end up doing some correction come Spring so if there's a little damage, it will be ok.

    The other option are the rinse-less washes. You still use water (not as much) but you don't need to worry about rinsing after. However, given the amount of road grime in the Winter, you will still need to do a pre rinse treatment..

    I'll probably end up adopting a hybrid approach with either the waterless or rinseless wash techniques ie. thorough hot rinse, wash and leave to dry in heated garage.
  21. BRGT350

    BRGT350 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Each spring it is always a massive amount of work repairing the damage from the winter. When the salt is finally rinsed off the roads and the threat of snow is gone (typically mid-April) I put the car on jackstands in the driveway and rinse and scrub the chassis, clean the engine compartment, Iron-X the sides and rear of the car, wash, claybar, and then wax. I am hoping to get enough breaks in the weather to allow reapplication of sealant at least once a month, which will cut down on the amount of work the paint needs in the spring. The white paint on my 2011 hid a lot of the paint damage, but the blue on the ST and black on our Escape love to show everything.

Share This Page