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Snow/Ice winter tires

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  • ...You have to give up a little winter capability to get better dry road performance. I think the performance winter tires are worth it, considering you are probably on dry roads, 90% of the time..

    I agree 100%. For a MS3, I'd consider the Dunlop Winter Sport M3 (or the newer version, the 3D, depending on what fits your car). The "performance winter" tires will work well for you, since they don't turn sloppy in dry weather just for a slight edge in winter driving. Plus, I've found them to last longer than typical winter tires do as well.

    For example: My Mazda 6 has a set of Michelin Pilot Alpin PA2 "performance winter" tires, and since I live in upstate NY, I know all about lake-effect snow and the terrible winter driving it causes. This is my 4th season with the PA2s, and they're still running well. I've never gotten stuck or skidded off the road, and traction, both in 3" of snow and dry pavement, is outstanding. I've gotten close to 15K miles on them, and they show NO wear, and still attack the snow as if they were new.

    I'm looking at the 3Ds for next year, and I think you should check them out as well.
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    Yeah... the ones I listed are all winter tires... Our 325i was like a tank on the Goodyears.. But, like every tire, there are trade-offs.. You have to give up a little winter capability to get better dry road performance.

    Thanks, yes it's hard to give up one when you really need it and yet burning through a set of winter tires in one year is no fun either. I do appreciate your suggestions, please don't think that I don't. It's just I live in 4x4 and Subaru country and when you need it you really need it to get home but driving on Jello on the dry roads is frustrating also. :sick:
    On my road we have like a roller coaster hill step up and down both ways, more accidents there than I could ever count because it's blind going over the top and often cars at the bottom of this small hill can't make it up the other side BAM! Or they try for a bit of speed to make it up the other side and off into the woods they go.
    Thankfully it's not a very busy road the problem with not being busy is it's not maintained as well.
    No issues before as I have a Subaru now but probably buying a Mazdaspeed3 will come with winter drama I'd like to avoid. I will check out all the tires you mention on Tire Rack and see.
    Thanks again :D
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    I agree 100%. For a MS3, I'd consider the Dunlop Winter Sport M3 (or the newer version, the 3D, depending on what fits your car). The "performance winter" tires will work well for you, since they don't turn sloppy in dry weather just for a slight edge in winter driving. Plus, I've found them to last longer than typical winter tires do as well.

    Just how much winter performance do you really give up?
    I've always used Nokian tires and by that I mean the Hakka Q's which is now the RSi but one season is all you can get out of a set and that adds up when you drive as much as I do. I went through 2 sets in one year due to all my driving! These Dunlops sound like they might be ok and having dry performance would really be a blessing as long as I can make it up the hills in the snow and Ice we often get in my area. Locally we get hit worse than the news says.
    I'm grateful for the suggestions, i haven't bought the car yet but am considering it as my #1 choice at this time. 80% chance of buying it within a month.
    thanks for your suggestions. :)
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,717
    I can get 3-4 seasons of top performance... That is 4-5 months X 1250 mi./mo... So, around 20K.. If I notice they start to give up a little snow performance, I leave them on until they wear out the next spring/summer...

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  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    The x-ice actually handles pretty well in the dry for a snow tire. Best of the 4 or 5 different ones I have tried. I also think the max pressure of 51 is a good sign - compared to 44 on many.

    If you want max snow traction consider minus sizing the tires/wheels. I did on my Accord. Do you really want ultra low profile when crashing over ice rutted roads?
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    I can get 3-4 seasons of top performance... That is 4-5 months X 1250 mi./mo... So, around 20K..

    Thanks, I get about 15K out of a set when I use the Nokian snow tires but for my driving that is only 1 winters worth. :sick:
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    If you want max snow traction consider minus sizing the tires/wheels. I did on my Accord. Do you really want ultra low profile when crashing over ice rutted roads?

    Oh I usually go tall and narrow for winter tires I would put 15's on instead on 18's if they'd fit over the brakes.
    No way are you going to be going all that fast except on a cleared highway anyway.
    Low profile is great for the summer but not a chance in the winter.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Y'all are saying the same thing. Minus sizing is the same as going taller and narrower (staying within a tenth or two of the same overall tire diameter of course).

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • I just moved to Sheboygan, WI, drive a Rav4 and have been having a lot of trouble with traction. I have slid off the road 3 times so far. I still have the all seasons on. I need a great tire for snow and ice as I drive 40 miles each way to work. Recommendations please.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    Your best bet is tirerack.com. They have consumer reviews of all their tires.

    The problem is that you probably won't be able to buy snow tires at this time of year. Like fashion, the greatest availablity is the season before you need them.
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    I just moved to Sheboygan, WI, drive a Rav4 and have been having a lot of trouble with traction. I have slid off the road 3 times so far. I still have the all seasons on. I need a great tire for snow and ice as I drive 40 miles each way to work. Recommendations please.

    Your best bet if you want the best tires is to buy Nokian tires. Tire Rack does not sell them. They are not the cheapest tires you can buy but they are the best. Try www.nokian.com and they have a list of dealers. I am using the Nokian WR's on my Civic in the Northeast and we have had a lot of snow and icy roads and no trouble at all. I've used Nokian tires for many years. My Civic Si can go places that will get most cars stuck. The Nokian WRG2 is the newest snow rated all season and the best they have.
    But if you keep going off the road in corners you are probably exceeding the grip your tires have for conditions. Nokian does make dedicated winter tires but they are full winter and Ice and very impressive in nasty stuff.
    The website lists dealers and sizes. Tire Rack always suggests winter tires that aren't all that good IMO. They love to sell Blizzaks which are only a winter tire for 1/2 the tread depth.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,717
    Another vote for Nokian WR.... I run them year round.. As noted, Nokian has more heavy duty winter tires, if needed..

    But, really.. if you are sliding off the road with all-season tires, you need to re-think your driving habits.. You are traveling too fast for conditions..

    Good luck.. and slow down!

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  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    Another vote for Nokian WR.... I run them year round.. As noted, Nokian has more heavy duty winter tires, if needed..

    Are you running the WR or the newer WRG2's?
    I really like the WRG2's and yes they still have the 50,000 mile warranty. :surprise:

    I used to use the Nokian Hakka Q's which are the same as the new Nokian RSi's which have to be the best full Snow and Ice tire I have ever used. Sadly they are not very good on dry roads and when it warms up they are like driving on Jello. The WRG2's are so great for what I drive in here even with the steep hills and mostly unpaved roads. :shades:
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,717
    Just the WR... I bought them about this time last year... I've put 18K on them..

    Almost as capable as a dedicated winter tire, and better riding/handling than the crappy all-seasons that come on a CR-V.. So, I'm better off in all seasons..

    Right around $500 OTD, though.. for 205-70-15..

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  • Thank you all so much.
    I am going to try to buy the Nokian tires asap.
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    Almost as capable as a dedicated winter tire, and better riding/handling than the crappy all-seasons that come on a CR-V.. So, I'm better off in all seasons..

    The problem seems to be when the roads are clear and dry full winter tires are too squirmy. The WRG2's are really very good. True the RSi is a far superior tire in snow and ice but you'd have to get a lot more than we do and more often with unplowed roads for it to be worth buying them at least in the Northeast where I am.

    The WR's are the only snowflake rated tire on the market. I'll never buy another brand of winter tire for any car I own. They were $600 even, for my WRG2's, free rotation and a discount to remount my summer tires for my 2008 Civic Si.
    I think the lower profile tires cost a bit more but I'm very happy with them.
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    Thank you all so much.
    I am going to try to buy the Nokian tires asap.


    Sure thing, and once you have them you'll be a true believer like all other Nokian tire owners. ;)
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    I run the michelin x-ice on 2 of my vehicles and it does very well in dry weather. Not razor sharp, but certainly not squirmy.

    Had some Dunlops that were very squirmy though.
  • Toyo Observes. As long as you get them off above 50F, they wear like iron. I have a set on their 8th winter, about 50% tread left.

    Cheers!
    Paul
    (former dyed-in-the-wool studded tire fan for 25+ years) :)
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    Nokian does make studded tires but I always buy studless as 1) we don't need them and 2) they are illegal for road use in my State.
    Trouble up here is that we will see 60-70 degree weather and then it will snow again. This really screws you if you took off your winter tires.
  • It's not only the tread that determines a tires useful life, but the age as well.

    The recommended maximum "shelf life" for a set of NEW tires is 5 years old, because the rubber compound begins to break down, leading to cracks in the sidewall and within the tread. I personally wouldn't keep tires longer than 5 years, whether they're full of tread or completely bald.

    This is especially important with winter tires, since it's the compound that assists in deep-snow traction as well as the tread. I'm on my 4th season with my current winter tires (Michelin Pilot Alpin PA2s), and even though I've got over 60% tread left, I can still sense a little more slip, and a reduced traction limit compared to new. I plan on replacing them for next winter.

    If I were you, for the safety of you, your passengers, and the vehicles around you, I'd recommend retiring those 8-year-old winter tires. I'm sure you've got your $$$$ worth out of them. Plus you'll be surprised at just how much better winter tire technology has improved in that time.
  • ntxgalntxgal Posts: 1
    I swear by Bridgestone Blizzaks myself. They grip on ice like you wouldn't believe!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Wait until the tread is about one third gone, you'll be amazed at how bad those tires quickly become.
  • mz6greyghostmz6greyghost Posts: 1,230
    Wait until the tread is about one third gone, you'll be amazed at how bad those tires quickly become.

    Quoted for agreement. I'm lucky of I can get two full seasons of adequate snow traction with Blizzaks, compared to Dunlop and Michelin which usually give me at least four full seasons.
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 845
    I also read that Blizzaks (not LM the high performance ones) drive poorly on anything but ice and snow, especially dry roads. If you drive mostly on unplowed roads then WS-60 or 50 should be your choice otherwise look for high performance winter tires. They drive better on dry and wet, similarly on snow and slightly worse on pure ice. Choose tires for your condition.

    Krzys
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,643
    Wait until the tread is about one third gone, you'll be amazed at how bad those tires quickly become

    I agree, the special soft rubber compound I believe is only the first half of the tread, the rest is regular winter compound. There are other that fall into this catagory also. To me its like buying half a winter tire ;) .
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Blizzaks are not all that bad. It is the first 60% not the first half, and no winter tire does that well once the tread starts to get low, so you should really replace at about 20% anyway.

    Do other winter tires last longer than the Blizzak - probably.

    Is it twice as long - no.
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 845
    I am not sure. Wear depends on temperature and surface and how car is driven.
    It is not hard for me to imagine that during particular warm winter WS-60 would wear twice as fast as LM-25 (both Blizzaks).

    Krzys
  • I have a set of 14" Blizzaks, with quite a bit of tread still on them, that have been sitting in my cellar since the winter of 2002-03.

    I am wondering if they are still safe to use since I thought I read that "old" tires could be a hazard, due to the rubber disintegrating.

    Thanks.
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