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[OT] snow/all-season tires?


kjl
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My tires totally stink in the snow and on ice.

Should I get winter tires, or do the all-season ones work well enough?

I suppose I already have fairly new tires that work well on dry pavement, so should I just get a winter tire and use it only for the winters?

Also, does anybody know of any tire review websites, where I can just do a search for "best grip on snow and ice" and buy whatever that one is?

Finally, anybody have any specific brand/model recommendations?

I have a light AWD car (Subaru Impreza, 205/55 R16 tires).

Thanks,

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I'll bet you are replacing those no-grip having RE-92's, eh? ;) I have a brand new set of 4 that I'll sell you (or anyone) for 200 bucks if you are interested. (I took them off my WRX after about 1.5k)

To answer your questions:

Should I get winter tires, or do the all-season ones work well enough?

I recommend winter tires for anyone who drives on snow/ice regularly. If you don't drive when it snows, all seasons might be your thing.

I suppose I already have fairly new tires that work well on dry pavement, so should I just get a winter tire and use it only for the winters?

Yes. Winter tires are safer than all season tires in the snow and other slick conditions. I have a set of tires for the winter, and another set for the summer.

Also, does anybody know of any tire review websites, where I can just do a search for "best grip on snow and ice" and buy whatever that one is?

http://www.tirerack.com

Brand specific:

http://www.nokiantyres.com/index_en.html

I'm sure there are more, but they aren't coming to mind at the moment.

Finally, anybody have any specific brand/model recommendations?

If you do a lot of interstate travel and like to 'drive spiritedly when it's dry:

Michelin Pilot Alpin or Arctic Alpin

Dunlop SP Winter Sport M2

Nokian WR

If you spend most of your time driving on snow/ice, and/or don't drive spiritedly on dry pavement:

Nokian Hakkapeliitta 2 (Probably the best winter tire around, but you won't find it at tirerack.)

Bridgestone Blizzak (Very soft, and wear very quickly!!)

I have used the Pilot Alpins on my Impreza RS, and now I have Nokian WR's on my WRX. I like them both very much. The Dunlops are very good too, but I have only experienced them on other cars. I was NOT impressed by the Blizzaks unless mother nature left tonnes of untracked or packed snow on the roads!

I have NOT driven with the Hakka 2s, but I have heard nothing but praise for them, over everything else.

Good luck! You'll probably get a whole lot of responses on this topic, so do your own research and take what people tell you with a grain of salt! (Except for my advice, of course! ;) )

Send me an email if you have any questions. :)

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Thanks for the pointer - would you consider the online survey ratings on tirerack.com to be trustworthy and/or precise? i.e. if something gets an 8.7 Snow Traction rating and something else gets and 8.3, does that actually indicate anything meaningful, or not?

Actually, I felt like my stock tires were much better than my current ones. I've got some Sumitomo's right now - not sure which model. I was sliding all over the place a week or so ago, and I'm usually a pretty reasonably snow driver.

My preliminary research has me leaning towards the Michelin Arctic-Alpin for the winter months and my current tires for the other 3 seasons...

Thanks,

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Guest Randy S.

Ken,

My suggestion would be to get the snows mounted on steel wheels from TireRack. They ship from Reno, so you could pick them up there and probably save a buck or two. They'll mount whatever you want on steel wheels that will fit your car. Get cheap hubcaps and they'll look fine. Then you just need a decent jack and you can change them yourself as the season dictates. If you want to be anal, buy a torque wrench so you can torque the nuts to Subaru spec. And no, I'm pretty sure they don't make 5mm hex lug nuts for your car. You'll need a different wrench from the one you use on your boots and bindings. :D

Plus if you go on a long roadtrip where there's not going to be snow, you can change them. I've had great luck with Blizzaks on both Nissan Minivans and Acura Integras. Any snow tires out there will make your car kick butt in the snow. Since 90% of your driving will be on dry pavement, you don't want studs and any of the snows will be great. If they have Michelin Arctic Alpin, those should be good.

Oh, one more thing. Wait until March to buy them. If you buy them, its a guarantee we won't get any more snow in Tahoe for the rest of the season. I wouldn't want a bad season to be on your sholders. :eek:

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Hi to all,

At the moment I'm driving a VW Golf IV stationwagen, with all season tyres. These are ok in little rain and when it's not freezing, BUT;

This christmas I was in France, in the snow. My tyres sucked. I was sliding all over the place, driving very slow. Every other car was overtaking me, all with wintertyres.

Now I'll buy wintertyres, 'cause I had good experiences with them before. I was just curious about the cheaper 'all season' solution. For me no more all season tyres...

cheers,

Sam

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Originally posted by Mellow Yellow

Mellow's winter shoes......

Very nice car Mellow! (I'm a big fan of small cars) But I heard the Mini doesn't have any spare tire because of its size and has unflatable (that won't go flat - don't know if it's the right word) tires for the summer. Could you confirm that? If so, what do you do in the winter if you have a flat?

Derf

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back in the day i had a '96 Talon TSI awd, and i had two dedicated sets of tires for the car. i ran blizzaks in the winter and bf goodrich comp ta's in the summer. i was very happy with the blizzaks, but im sure having an AWD car helped. WAY WAY back in the day i had an '85 celica that i did the same thing with, except that car was rear wheel drive. The blizzaks made all the difference in the world. I made countess trips to the mountain with no problems. I do agree that 2 sets of tires is the way to go. Maybe you could find a set of rims for cheap at a junkyard. You might also want to hit ebay for the tires and see what you come up with.

Scott

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IIRC the survey ratings are based on buyer feedback, not actual test results. As such, I don't know how accurate they are, and believe they are subjective only. Your best bet is to read the tire articles on winter tires from TireRack, and go with their findings.

Sluggomania mentions the Nokian NRW...I don't know if that tire is available anymore, but the WR is its replacement tire, and can be run all year round. too. (Though I'm using it strictly as a winter tire.)

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Originally posted by Randy S.

Oh, one more thing. Wait until March to buy them. If you buy them, its a guarantee we won't get any more snow in Tahoe for the rest of the season. I wouldn't want a bad season to be on your sholders. :eek:

A haha yeah I was actually thinking about that. Luckily I am going to be really busy later in the season at work, so on all those weekends I can't be riding, you'll be getting dumped on, especially if I get the snow tires. So you have two choices:

1) I don't get the snow tires and you get an unknown amount of snow.

2) I do get snow tires and you get guaranteed massive multifoot dumps every weekend I can't get out of work.

Which would you like?

Thanks for everybody's help - I think I'm going to get some snow tires mounted on some cheap wheels.

I apologize for the changing weather patterns.

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Derf....

...the MINI does come with a spare, but the "S" does not...battery is in the "boot"....the "S" comes standard with run-flats...which can be very $$$ to replace (205/45R17)...so for winter I carry a can of good ol' fix-a-flat...MINI comes with roadside service so for a major blowout that would be the option...if I decide to go on a long trip in the MINI I may buy a donut and put it in the "boot" ....this summer I am going to need new tires so I'll probably go the non run-flat route again... I can get a much better tire for far less going non RF....

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