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Highlander Hybrid Tire/Wheel Questions

qqqqqqqq Posts: 7
Does anyone have a good recommendation for Snow/Winter tires that they have run on their HH?

I live in Calgary and need a tire more suitable to Icy and Snow conditions.
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Comments

  • Read the article in Canadian Driver (on line magazine). They recomend Nokians
  • cdptrapcdptrap Posts: 485
    Like Kullenberg says, we are going with Nokian. We are down in US, northern California. Friends in Redding and Mt. Shasta city use Nokian for winter driving in snowy conditions. They like them a lot so I guess we will soon find out for ourselves.

    Nokian is hard to find in the US and I cannot find the exact size for the HH: 225/65-17. They do have 235/65-17 that supposedly will fit the HH. A tight fit for the rear wheel well but should do OK.

    Please let us know what you decide to buy.
  • "I cannot find the exact size for the HH: 225/65-17. They do have 235/65-17 that supposedly will fit the HH. A tight fit for the rear wheel well but should do OK."

    I mounted this size in the Nokian WR (winter rated all season), and they are fine. I have the nav system so had to do a recalibration per the manual.
  • cdptrapcdptrap Posts: 485
    Kullenberg,

    Thanks for confirming it!!!

    How does the WR work in snow and ice? Do you feel confident with it in such conditions?

    Cal
  • "How does the WR work in snow and ice? Do you feel confident with it in such conditions?"

    Don't know, first hand , yet. Canadian Driver rates them very well, in this regard. Of course, dedicated snow tires would be better, but by all reports, these do very well. I have 10k miles on them so far,and no apparant wear. I'm in the mtns of w. NC, so we get a fair amount of snow. This winter will tell the tale. :confuse:
  • qqqqqqqq Posts: 7
    Thanks Kullenberg I'll be interested to here how they work. Interesting that a tire designed by a European Tire Manufacturer for European Winters is so highly rated. I've personally never used a Nokian before.

    I am unsure about a bigger tire as last winter the rear wheel wells were getting packed with snow in several snow storms here. I am worried about that causing problems, however, availability of 225 65 R17 tires seems to be low. :(
  • The Nokian is only .2" greater in diameter, and .39" (10mm) greater width. The comparison can be looked at: http://www.miata.net/garage/tirecalc.html
    This a useful tire size comparison calculator.
    As to a European tire mfg making winter tires,; many serious winter tires are sourced from Europe. Nokians are from Finland, and the Finns certainly know about winter.
  • cdptrapcdptrap Posts: 485
    We have been running on 235/65-17 GY Fortera SilenetArmor since last Fall. The change in size is negligible. After a winter of driving through mud and snow, it seems to be fine. We did pay attention to clearance under the rear coil spring and the turn angle in the front wheel wells. While the rear remains tight, the front has plenty of room.

    We are narrowing it all down to Hakka SUV and WR SUV, now we just need to decide on wheels, something simple and strong.
  • 8241582415 Posts: 38
    We had a set of Dunlop SJ6 on last winter in Northern Ontario and they worked great on both ice and snow. Tracked the roads like a hound. :)
  • cdptrapcdptrap Posts: 485
    Just a quick reminder to all of us Californian drivers.

    Regardless of what our car manufacturers say, regardless of what magical snow tires (even studded tires) we all have on our HH, by CA laws, all cars entering chain-control areas MUST carry chains in the trunk ready for use. No chains, no passage.

    CA DOT GOV site specically points out that there are chain devices for tight clearance vehicles (like the HH).

    Now back to regularly scheduled Snow Tires programming........ :shades:
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    Exactly.

    And, they sometimes don't even bother to check, but they will ask, or the signs will state you must carry them.....

    Should you get stuck, or become involved in an accident, they will check. And I doubt if anyone not from California can imagine the fine. $1000+ :surprise:
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,846
    "CA DOT GOV site specically points out that there are chain devices for tight clearance vehicles (like the HH). "

    Also known as cables. Does the owner's manual give instruction on snow cables (type S, probably), and how to install them?
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    I am fairly certain the package the cables come in will do that....
  • I have not seen any instruction in our HH manual about chains. Do be careful that the rear tires *cannot* use normal chains or cables that cover the whole tire. There is very little clearance under the coil spring. Most chains or cables will strike that rear spring. The front wheel well has enough room for normal full-coverage chains.

    If you plan to install only over the front drive wheels (HH is really FWD), then a normal full-coverage chain will work. If you want to install over all four tires, then you will need to get something special for the rear tires. CA Dept. of Transportation FAQ said something about Spike Spyder and I checked their site. It supposedly covers the outer half to outer two-third of the tires only. May be it will work.

    My gut feel is that a real top-notch set of four snow tires on the HH will cover most Winter conditions leaving the chains only for the worst or the most severe conditions. In such severe conditions, it may be better to stay off the road. So may be a pair of chains over the front tires will satisfy the CA requirement and still get us through most Winter driving.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    The State of California, just like most States, require chains for the main drive wheels, I was just told by a CHP officer. I have no idea how that plays with the HH, as it isn't a FWD, but AWD...
  • CA DOT FAQ says that for AWD and 4x4, chains on either axle will do but DOT prefers chains on the rear tires unless the manufacturer recommends front axle. The HH does not have full-time rear axle so it is for all practical purposes a FWD even though CA may consider it an AWD.

    We will get snow treads this year. It just makes driving in the Sierras a lot simpler and a lot sure footed too. Snow treads, chains in front (or rear) and VDIM, we are ready!
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    See you there! :)
  • Has anyone put 18" wheels on a Highlander Hybrid? Whats has been your experience. Do they improve or inhibit road feel and handling? Note -The Lexus RX has an 18" wheel option.
  • Instructions regarding chains are on page 396 of my user manual. Use chains on the front wheels only.
  • cdptrapcdptrap Posts: 485
    Thank you thank you thank you! These old eyes could not find it until your post. Now we only need to bring one pair of chains for the front!
    Thanks again and thanks to everyone who clarified this chain usage issue.
  • Its our first year with our highland hybrid, can we use only two snow tires in the back or do i need to buy all four? suggestions are very much appreciated!
  • cdptrapcdptrap Posts: 485
    Safest is four snow tires on all four wheels. If it must be two, they should go on the front permanent drive axle of the HH and not in the back. The HH is a FWD.

    If your HH has 4WDi, it will be worthwhile to have Snow treads on all four wheels. This can keep you moving in conditions that stop other less well-equipped cars. This capability is priceless when it is dark, there is a snow storm and you are miles from home. I have had too many of those when we lived in Michigan.

    All safety systems rely on some traction on some of the tires to function. So if there is no traction, there is nothing the on-board safety systems can do. If the HH has traction in the front only, then the rear can still slip and slide in a worst case scenario. Ideally, the Traction Control can handle that if it can find traction in one of the rear tires. But if you hit a patch of ice and the rear tires completely lose traction, the front will try to go where you steer but the rear may wag. So it is safest to have snow treads on all four.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    Claudia, Cdptrap is exactly right! :)
  • 2006rsx2006rsx Posts: 32
    Should work just fine. Maintaining the stock tire outside diameter, with 18" wheels you get shorter sidewalls which flex a lot less. The ride will be firmer, but the handling will tighten up some. They even show 19" and 20" wheels/tires as viable options for a Highlander over on The Tire Rack site.
  • qqqqqqqq Posts: 7
    I'm picking up my 235 65 R 17 Nokian Hakka SUV Winter Tires tomorrow. I'll tell everyone about the performance after i try them for a week or so.

    Research says they are some of the best snow tires on the market for a light truck.
  • qqqqqqqq Posts: 7
    I've now been driving on these tires in Calgary for the last 6 days. Wintery conditions: Quite Icy and Moderate Snow. So far I am very pleased. They grip very well in all conditions, easily clear themselves of snow/ice and also look good on my HyHy.

    Only downside was cost. Was thinking of Michelin Latitude X-Ice since they were not XL rated and hence were 70 Cdn $ cheaper. Unfortunately not in stock at the time with no ETA as well. So went with the Nokian's. Mounted them on Core Racing Evo-7's which were also on sale.

    Nothing would prevent me from recommending these snow tires to anyone who experiences real winter.

    Safe winter driving to you all. :)
  • cdptrapcdptrap Posts: 485
    Thanks qqqq! The info from real-world use really helps.
  • Width and offset info would be most helpful. Or just look inside the back of the wheel and tell me what numbers are cast/stamped into it. Thanks!
  • cdptrapcdptrap Posts: 485
    Just a reminder - CA Hwy patrol has reported that most people who have AWD or 4WD SUV do not know the limits of their vehicles when driving in snow and ice. These people are practically always the ones who get into accidents in the Sierras. They think their cars can go faster than is safe even in winter condition on high mountain roads.

    We watched our friend drove/slid his 4WD SUV off a road in the Sierra exactly for this reason. He has never driven a real 4x4 and had no experience with limitation of 4WD. At the time, he had no true snow (only M/S junk) tires and refused chains. He has since taken a course out in Hollister Hills and became a relatively safe driver.

    Please slow down in our HH, have fun on the slope, get great MPG and get home safely in one piece this winter!
  • Can anyone tell me their experience with the standard goodyear tires that comes on the HH Limited. I live in an area where they really do a good job of snowplowing and since I(I.m retired, I'm wondering should I stay with these tires, or go for snow tires, My HH has 4WDi. There talking about a good snow storm coming (predicting 6" to 12" ) Can anyone give me their experience? Thanks
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