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Snow/Ice winter tires



  • Steve, Host, writes:
    Hey Geoff (and here I thought you were just a SUV bigot, LOL).

    I have a strong and preconceived opinion on virtually any topic. Just ask me. *grin*

    I didn't run my mounted studs last winter and don't plan to this year either (they are pretty stale anyway).

    You don't live in a place that's all that prone to black ice where studs give you that essential traction advantage. I'm pissed that Nokian did away with their Hakka Q friction tire. The Hakka 2 isn't as good unless you stud it. The RSI is more of an autobahn snow tire. I guess I'm going with Michelin X-Ice at the local BJ's Wholesale (Costco/Sams warehouse store). $97 per tire mounted, balanced, new valve stems, dispose of my old Nokians, lifetime tire rotation. They told me they've got a $5-off Michelin coupon starting November 5th so that shaves it down to $92.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 51,360
    That's a good tip!

    I haven't even seen any black ice since moving to Boise 5 years ago, but a surprising number of people here run studs. I guess they could come in handy over in the Sawtooths. Here's hoping for a snowy winter.

    Steve, Host

    Moderator - Buying questions? Please include city or zip code and trim you are shopping, FWD or AWD, etc.

  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    Have X Ice on the wife's Venture for last season. she had Blizaks before that. They are almost identical except the X Ice is appreciably better in the dry. I had Arctic Alpins on a Legacy before replacing those with NRWs. The Arctic Alpins were not as good as the Blizzak on ice but much better in dry , only problem was a pretty prominent tire whine - so bad I took the car in twice thinking there was an engine problem with a vacuum leak!
    There was an article somewhere I read about how the different tire manufacturers have different goals for their winter tires depending on their domestic markets, eg the Japanese supposedly sit in traffic jams turning the snow into black ice at intersections so they are most interested in straight line traction and ice traction, hence the special compound used on the lower speed rated Blizzaks. The mainland Europeans are interested in high speed running - autobahns etc. The Scandinavians who hardly ever plow their roads don't want to skid off the curves.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    I too am considering the x-ice. I did have a set of Arctic Alpins in the past and found that they were not very good laterally - it was a nightmare driving on icy roads with a stiff wind from the side (my wife was behind me in the minivan and had no problems with regular all season tires).

    I am willing to try the X-ice if they are appreciably better - their tread does look like it is not so fore and aft centric.
  • I posed the question to a fairly large group of Vermont-centric skiers who either drive to the resorts every weekend or live full time in ski country. The Nokian RSI got quite a few very positive responses including several who had previously run the Hakka Q I'm replacing. At my local Nokian dealer, they're $107 mounted rather than the $97 mounted that BJ's Wholesale is getting for the X-Ice in my size. I haven't tried to bargain at all with the Nokian dealer but I can usually get them to knock a few bucks off. I think I'm going with the devil I know.
  • Has any one tried the Green Diamond tire and if so how would you compare it to the Mich Arctic Alpin? I need to replace the aspins this season. I was researching the Blizzak vs the X Ice vs the Nokian and ran across the Green Diamond site and was interested in the tire. Thanks in advance
  • Anyone else have experience with these ? From all the reviews I am reading I would be better off with the M3's

    2001 Volvo S60 2.4T
    Spirited driving, 35000 miles per year (80% highway)

    Obviously would like treads to last more than one season, 2 or 3 is better (duh)
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Now one year old, 11,000 km. Much of that in the summer. It dusted with snow on friday. In a restaurant other patrons were commenting on how slippery it was. I scared my passengers because when I left my Pathfinder stopped so hard when I tested to see what they were talking about. I think they need real tires. ;)
  • Are snow tires necessary on 2005 Nissan Maxima? I live in NY state and we certainly get our share of snow. I've never had to buy snow tires for any of my other cars but have heard it is recommended for the Maxima.
  • Snow & ice tires are all about safety margin. Any modern FWD car will perform fine on plowed roads with stock all-season radials as long as you drive the car correctly for the conditions. You have to drive defensively to compensate for poor stopping distances and unsure cornering. It'll struggle on unplowed snow and ice but you're very unlikely to get stuck and unlikely to crash unless you get surprised by black ice at the wrong time.

    I look at snow tires as insurance. I get 4 seasons out of them so I pay about $150/year to get an improved safety margin.
  • After we got our 2001 Maxima, I discovered that even the *slightest* snow and ice were not good on the stock Potenzas-stuck in the driveway. The traction control didn't help much, either.

    Unless the new Maximas have better stock (all-season, not sporty) tires, I'd strongly recommend some kind of snow tire.

  • I live in the DC area and travel about 70 miles round trip for work. I would like to purchase a set of snow tires to ensure a safe trip. The weather is all of nothing. Some snow, ice, and sunny days. Want a recommendation that will be great under all conditions and still give a good and hopefully quiet ride.
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 845
    It is not snow country and I think decent all seasons should be enough.
    I would not buy dedicated ice/snow tires (Q rated tires like Blizzak 50, Dunlop Graspic etc) because one would wear them off in no time driving on dry, quite warm days.
    If you still want snow tires then I would look at high performance winter tires (H rated at least like Dunlop M3, Blizzak LM-22 and LM-25). Nokian WR might be good choice too. They give up ultimate ice/snow grip for better treadwear, higher speed rating, better dry and slush performance.

  • I have an '06 M45 Sport with summer tires. Living in the Northeast I am prepared to put snow tires on soon. My question is this. The owners manual says to use four snows while the dealer told me two will do. The car comes with 19" wheels but when I called Tire Rack, I was told I could use 17, 18 or 19" tires/wheels. they also recommended four tires. can someone give me some advice on this subject?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 48,984
    Please, please, please... get four winter tires...

    If you put winter tires just on the rear of your car, you'll basically have all the propulsion you need... with no steering control or grip with the front tires..

    Downsizing to 18" or 17" (are you sure 17" will clear the brakes?), will also optimize your winter traction.. But, of course, you'll need another set of wheels, as well.

    Did your dealer really suggest that you go through winter with summer performance tires on the front of your car?

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  • If you stay in DC then all seasons are OK cus they manage the roads and stuff. It's when you start moving out to the next door Virginia country side (Herndon, Ashburn, Leesburg etc) that it get's tough and definitely recommend snow tires. You can still traverse it with all seasons by driving really slow and driving thru the tracks left by other cars assuming they're still there. But if you are caught in a incline - good luck. :surprise:
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Nokian WR would be good for the DC area. They can be run year round.

    Maybe things are different now, but when I lived in the area they were terrible at removing/treating snow, and an inch or two would shut things down. I see no problem with snows in DC. Just wait to put them on until the first storm, and they won't wear out so fast.

  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 845
    I bet Infinity has customer care phone number.
    Call them (maybe they have an e:maill too?) and tell them about your dealer suggestion. It asks for some reaction from higher authority.

    Follow the TireRack recommendation. They know what they are talking about (most of the time - always would be too dangerous to say ;-)

  • What would folks out there recommend for a VW Passat and Honda Odyssey for winters in Boston? The Nokian WR and RSI both look good, with the WR being better on dry ground (most of the winter here the ground is dry, though we do get heavy snow on occasion) and the RSI doing a bit better in the snow and ice. I know the WR can be left on year round, but how does it do in the summer compared to a normal tire?

    Would I be better off with one than the other in the winter here?
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,857
    That's weird - we have the same 2 vehicles.

    We've been running Michelin Arctic Alpins on the Ody since 2000. It's been a good tire for Boston winters because they run well on dry surfaces. But alas, they've been discontinued.

    The Passat is new for this year and I'll be mounting Dunlop Winter Sports on T-Day. I've heard good things about them in both snowy and dry conditions.

    The Nokian WR may be the best bet if you want that brand. Since they tend to plow pretty well in Boston, the WR will probably work well since they really are an all season tire with the snowflake designation.

    The only problem I see with Nokian is that the purveyors of fine vulcanized rings for automotive applications in this area seem to think they're Shreve, Crump & Lowe.
  • Yes, that's a strange coincidence. Thanks for the reply. Where are you getting the Dunlops? (I'm in Newton)
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,857
    I ordered them from mounted on steel rims. I don't know how they do it but they beat everyone I've ever compared to locally.

    Sullivan, Hogan, NTB, and Direct are always more.
  • yeah, the bummer is that tirerack is out of them for the season in the size I would need for the Passat. you must have gotten the last set :) and they don't have steel rims to fit the Odyssey, so the cost of alloy would be a lot more.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    I purchased Nokian WRs just over a year ago. They have worked just fine on my Pathfinder in the summer with "normal" wear rate for all season tires. They were great last winter. So far this winter they have been good in the little snow we've had. It's a record high 15 C here today, so no test for them this week.
  • I called Infiniti customer care today and was told hey would have to research and get back to me with an answer. They suggested I call the dealer for advice. I went that route before with no luck. Called another dealer and spoke to the service manager who told me to go with either 4 all season tires or 4 snows but preferably the snows. He also suggested I call Tire Rack and look at an 18 or 19' wheel/tire combo for ease of installation. He said Tire Rack has a good reputation and a 17"wheel would be no problem on the M45 Sport. I am still waiting to hear from Infiniti at this point.
  • I haven't tried the RSI (yet). The WR is excellent choice. I run them as my 3 season because of their excellent wet and dry grip. I tried them for a couple snows the first winter I had them and was very impressed. I then switched to my Q's for the added winter grip. Many family and friends run the WR's all year and are on the 2nd and 3rd sets. They live upstate NY and in the Berkshires in MA.

    The only downfall to running them all year is of course you don't have max tread for winter time since it wore down some all summer. None of them have had any complaints and my inlaws even replaced the tires on their new at the time 2003 RX300 the first day with the WR's from their experience on their previous vehicle. The Nokian site has a dealer locator that might help you.

    Still looking for rims? try e-bay if your into it otherwise ask local dealer if they have any take-offs from people upgrading. Local junkyard might have also.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,857
    yeah, the bummer is that tirerack is out of them for the season in the size I would need for the Passat. you must have gotten the last set and they don't have steel rims to fit the Odyssey, so the cost of alloy would be a lot more.

    Try - they may still have packages left.

    Town Fair Tire ads seem to have pretty good pricing on packages but I don't know what the actuality is.

    As for the Passat, were you looking at 15 or 16 inch? I got the 16" and they still have the Dunlops available. For the Odyssey, try some dealers. Some folks on another forum has reported finding them for about $45 each.
  • re:
    "The only problem I see with Nokian is that the purveyors of fine vulcanized rings for automotive applications in this area seem to think they're Shreve, Crump & Lowe."

    Very funny, but true. I purchased a set of Nokian WR tires from Their price was great, and they arrived via Fedex Ground in 2 or 3 days (to the Boston area). If I remember, DirectTire wanted about 30% more for the same tire.
  • Got our first big snow in northern Michigan this week, and had a real hoot driving my 2005 G35x on the deep snow and ice.

    I bought it this spring, and had wondered just how well the AWD system would work. Boy oh boy, that was the best money I ever spent on an automobile option!

    After some cautious experimentation, I found that I can pretty much stomp on the gas and the car will accelerate like it's on dry pavement. It pushes back into the seat and there's virtually no fishtail or loss of control.

    The slip indicator comes on and the system responds immediately, shifting torque back, forward or side to side as needed. Amazing!

    I put Dunlop SP Winter Sport M3's on just before the snow flew (see link below -- I used the same size as the OEM all seasons) which I'm sure is making a big difference as well, especially when it comes to stopping.

    Dunlop M3's

    I can't recommend the car or the tires enough, what a thrill!
  • rob49rob49 Posts: 1
    Looking for some advice on the best bet for snowtires for my '03 Civic Si hatch. I live in Ottawa, Ont., a city with snow, slush and freezing rain five months of the year, but also lots of clear days for serious driving. What's the best way to go...Hakka 2s, Michelin Ice X, Pirelli Snow Carvers, Toyo Observe GO-2 Plus? Tell me what works for you.
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