Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

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Generator515
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Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by Generator515 »

Was wondering what this forum's thoughts are on winter tires? I live in NJ and have a FWD car. Reading up most her turn their nose up when the thought of them here as the plows are out. That said seems they do help even on dry cold roads and when there is precip adds an extra security layer.

Big con is obviously cost. I figure it would be about $1,000 for a spare set of rims plus the tires. Some of the tire cost is offset by less wear on the all-season/summer tires but not 100%.
Andyrunner
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by Andyrunner »

I live in MN and use them. Great when the neighborhood roads are covered in ice and the plows won't get to the bottom of the ice.

Since you live in NJ I will point out that when temps are above 50 degrees or so, it ruins the winter tires. So observe the temperature of their average winter.
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blaugranamd
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by blaugranamd »

It depends on your local conditions and if you are likely to need to drive in poor conditions. I live in Ohio and work at a hospital, so there's no chance weather gets me a day off but we also usually have fairly well-cleared off roads most of the time, so I opted for an all-season on my AWD car that has very good snow/ice performance (for all-seasons anyway). If you're not sure you need winters, a good set of all-seasons like the Continental ExtremeContact DWS, Goodyear TripleTred All-Season, or Nokian WR G2/G3 are all well reviewed for their winter performance.
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Stonebr
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by Stonebr »

NJ? I might take a pass. Just slow down in bad conditions or stay home until the plows and salters get their job done -- basic common sense.

I survived a decade or so in Massachusetts with ordinary 4-season tires, but trips to family in Maine could be dicey. Now that we live in Maine, winter tires are pretty much mandatory on a FWD car.
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Rodc
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by Rodc »

Note that not all all-season tires are created equal.

I once had some Uniroyal Tiger Paw tires on my 1987 Accord. They had aggressive snow tire like tread and were amazing in the snow. But they were noisy. (note they still make a tire of that name but they look entirely different now).

When they wore out I bought some Pirelli Aquamile tires. They normally were much more expensive but the local tire place received a giant delivery in my size because an extra zero had been entered on the store order to the warehouse. So I got a set cheap. They may have been optimized for rain, being quiet, and having a nice ride. But they were the worst tires for snow I have ever seen - just amazingly horrible.

I now run all-season tires even in the winter but buy tires rated tops among all-season tires for snow traction. This has worked very well and I drive in a moderate high snow area.
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Generator515
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by Generator515 »

Thanks. Guess will take a pass it seems. Just got a new Accord unexpectedly and the OEM Michelin's not the highest rated which had me researching and wondering.
elwing
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by elwing »

Living in Pittsburgh, PA, we put snow tires on our cars in the winter (put on late Oct/early Nov, remove mid-late April). We also have a friend who will mount and balance them for us, so we spend at most $450 for tires for our 4WD RAV (that's the car that goes out if it's bad) and about $335-$350 for our Camry. Our summer tires also last longer for us since they're not being used in the winter, so keep that in mind. You can probably find rims at a junkyard for a lot less if you wanted to keep them mounted all the time.
NJ is iffy, consider how well your streets are plowed and the average temperature.
kmurp
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by kmurp »

Upstate NY. Big yes.
sport
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by sport »

I live in an area called the "snow belt". We get lots of snow due to a phenomenon known as "lake effect". I have used all season tires since 1986 and have never been stuck. However, I live in an urban/suburban area and the roads are well maintained in the winter. If you are in a rural area, or have a situation where it is critical to be able to drive, even in the worst weather, then snow tires would be a good idea. Otherwise, they would be a luxury that is not really necessary.

One additional point. All of the above is for a front wheel drive vehicle. For rear wheel drive, snow tires are a necessity in snowy areas.
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by krannerd »

Minneapolis here....have AWD and run winter tires for ice performance. When it's -20 for a week and the city's a hockey rink, I like to be able to start and stop more effectively. My wife has FWD and all season tires...huge difference.

If you were concerned about the tires....late spring is usually a good time to find them on craigslist. I got my set from a friend who was leaving town. I also have a spare set of rims on which the tires are mounted....changeover and full tire cleaning is 45 minutes at Thanksgiving and Easter (or thereabouts).
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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by Epsilon Delta »

elwing wrote:Living in Pittsburgh, PA, we put snow tires on our cars in the winter ...

NJ is iffy, consider how well your streets are plowed and the average temperature.
Don't forget the topography. There must be a hill somewhere in Jersey and a flat bit of road in Pittsburgh, but neither is the norm. Hilly terrain ups the need for traction if the weather and plowing are equal. I know some people who use snow tires only because of a steep driveway.
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Winter tires grip better in cold conditions than no-season tires do. They also have much more tread depth when new. You could run winter tires only. They'll last as long as no-seasons but will actually help keep you on the road when it's cold out.

As a quick measure, we had a Subaru Outback that we had the dealer swap out the garbage all season tires for Dunlop Graspic winter tires when we bought it. We drove that car 72k miles with those tires and then traded it for our Crosstrek. (I tell that story for the inevitable cries that snows will wear out if used year round).
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stoptothink
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by stoptothink »

Utah, we get some pretty heavy snow and in our neighborhood the plowing is sometimes almost non-existent. Replaced all-seasons with snow tires two years ago on our FWD compact - literally night and day. We'll always have a dedicated set of snow tires for every car we own.
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pennstater2005
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by pennstater2005 »

Yay. Winters for both wife and myself. And on dedicated rims so I can change them. I didn't put them on this year until late December. We hardly had any snow.
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alfaspider
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by alfaspider »

I would point out that other than the cost of wheels, it really doesn't cost much more to run proper winter tires as long as you keep the car long enough to wear out the set. Either way you are putting wear on the tires.

I bet you could get a setup much cheaper than $1,000 by finding some cheap steel wheels for the winters.
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hand
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by hand »

I tend to think of the winter tire decision more holistically:

1) Do I want increased start / stop ability in snow & cold weather
2) Do I want summer / highway optimized tires for the warmer months
3) Am I willing to deal with the hassle of storage
4) How critical and avoidable are my snowstorm drives
5) Will I consume the full life of the winter (and summer) tires, or will there be useful life on the tires when I dispose of the car
stoptothink
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by stoptothink »

alfaspider wrote:I would point out that other than the cost of wheels, it really doesn't cost much more to run proper winter tires as long as you keep the car long enough to wear out the set. Either way you are putting wear on the tires.

I bet you could get a setup much cheaper than $1,000 by finding some cheap steel wheels for the winters.
Steel wheels usually run about $50-$55/each new and could probably be found at a pick-a-part for far less. Our steel wheel and winter tire set was ~$500 during a discount tire direct sale.

I'm not sure we'll get a dedicated set of winter wheels for the next car, might just have the local mechanic switch them when when we take it in for an oil change.
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by MathWizard »

With Front wheel drive, I just use all season.

Long ago, when I had RWD, I used snow tires with studs.

If I lived in Colorado, in the Rockies, I'd probably have snow tires, 4WD and chains in the trunk.
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by Rodc »

FWIW: I agree good snow tires are better and while something of a hassle are not that big of a hassle. And other than the cost of some wheels from the junk yard not really more costly as long as you wear out tires before they dry rot.

I have at time use set of snow tires in the winter.

I may again. I think about from time to time, just seem to get by fine in my personally driving by sticking to All-season picked for snow performance. But I can certainly see the appeal in doing otherwise.
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by White Coat Investor »

We use all season here in Utah on our 4WDs. They seem fine even in Winter storms. If I was in Alaska I'd probably fork out for some studded snow tires for the Winter though. NJ? Probably not.
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alfaspider
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by alfaspider »

MathWizard wrote:With Front wheel drive, I just use all season.

Long ago, when I had RWD, I used snow tires with studs.

If I lived in Colorado, in the Rockies, I'd probably have snow tires, 4WD and chains in the trunk.
That would probably be overkill for Colorado unless you live in a remote area. Any main road in Colorado is going to be closed before it gets to the point that a FWD car with snow tires won't make it through. I had no problems living in Colorado with FWD and snows.

Keep in mind that winter tires aren't just for snow. They will also grip better in dry cold conditions than all seasons will. You can probably avoid getting stuck with AWD and all seasons, but you do add a considerable safety margin for stopping distance if you are running winter tires.
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by lightheir »

I lived in NY for most of my life. Not exactly a snowbelt place, but I've been through regular snow and quite a few big-time blizzards.

I would DEFINITELY say yes to the snow tires. The improvement in drive quality in snow and ice is very noticeable. It goes from feeling quite dicey with lots of slippage and slidage, to feeling like you can drive full speed 65+mph on snowy roads (even though you obviously shouldn't!)

I'm a cheapskate at heart, but snow tires is def something I found completely worth it after a few unexpected slideouts at icy intersections.

Plus, at least when I was in NY, a lot of places offered to store your other set of tires and/or swap them in/out for free. Don't know if they still do that, but it did make things very easy at the time, and the tires weren't prohibitively expensive.
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by alfaspider »

lightheir wrote:
I'm a cheapskate at heart, but snow tires is def something I found completely worth it after a few unexpected slideouts at icy intersections.
Exactly. Snow tires are a lot cheaper than ending up in a ditch.
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by Polymath »

If you live where you get ice or snow - I highly recommend getting them. They provide a massive increase in safety.

Likely having them will save you from a mess at some point. I've literally driven "through" trouble spots where people in front of me have slide off the road or into oncoming traffic. Obviously how you drive is more important, but sometimes there are just bad spots where having the tire will make the difference.
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by TomatoTomahto »

Epsilon Delta wrote:
elwing wrote:Living in Pittsburgh, PA, we put snow tires on our cars in the winter ...

NJ is iffy, consider how well your streets are plowed and the average temperature.
Don't forget the topography. There must be a hill somewhere in Jersey and a flat bit of road in Pittsburgh, but neither is the norm. Hilly terrain ups the need for traction if the weather and plowing are equal. I know some people who use snow tires only because of a steep driveway.
We live in a town called . . . Short Hills in NJ. When we moved into our house, we gave up our RWD cars because of . . . the hill. I have summer tires on my car now. When they wear out, I will probably replace them with all seasons. For the winter, I will use winter tires on their own rime, not because we get so much snow (although we sometimes do), but because they won't turn hard as plastic in the cold.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
jharkin
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by jharkin »

First off... The reason to buy winter tires is NOT because you "dont have 4WD/AWD". :oops:

The reason to buy winter tires is you want increased all around traction in accelerating, cornering and braking that will make the drive easier and may save your life in an emergency.

4WD will NOT save you if the other idiot slips on the ice and skids into your lane and you have to panic swerve/stop on a slick surface. 4WD will NOT help you stop going down the hill that it just gave you false confidence going up.

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/maga ... /index.htm
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/vid ... p?ttid=103
http://www.tirerack.com/winter/tech/tec ... techid=122

Basically it comes down to a judgement call. If you wait for the plows and drive cautiously all season tires are fine for most of us most of the time. Your winters in Jersey are very mild so its probably fine.... But if you are wiling to deal with the cost and hassle, dedicated winter tires are ALWAYS better in cold/snow/ice.
Atilla
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by Atilla »

Back in my college days in the snowy upper midwest I ran regular all season radials in front and Wintermaster snow tires on the back of my 1977 Delta 88 year round.

My driving style in heavy snow was - you can't get stuck if you're still moving.

There was one time I had to clear out the snow packed between the grill and the radiator from plowing through high snow drifts on the road.

Real snow tires rock if you need them.
nura
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by nura »

Winter tires do not solve the problems due to lack of ground clearance on unploghed streets. During 2014 NJ winter, our Civic was stranded on the driveway for a few days, while Forester helped to get to work, shop and put food on the table, both cars had original all-seeing tires. AWD milage penalty is easily offset by a day's lost wages
6bquick
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by 6bquick »

YAYx10

All I can tell you is, as a car guy, I never would have believed the difference snow tires make had I not experienced them for myself.

all-season tires = no-season tires. they are mediocre at best at a few different things. they suck in summer compared to a true HiPo summer tire, and suck even worse compared to a true winter/snow tire in any weather condition below 42F.

I drove a 2004 mazdaspeed miata year round in northeastern ohio (lake effect snow) for 2 years. bought car in april, drove with summer/all season (not true extreme summer tires, but not great all-seasons either) until january when my light little rwd car slid out around a curve in a parking lot going 15mph and i scuffed my bumper pretty good. 2 days later, at a friends recommendation, I bought 15" steelies and 4 cooper winter/snow tires, unstudded, from ntb for <$650 mounted and balanced. Friends, ever since i've been a true believer. night and day difference. my apt complex at the time NEVER plowed the dern parking lot and that little mazdaspeed miata would idle thru 7-8 inches of fresh powder; it actually plowed piles into my parking spots. Honest to god, on a paved surface it was impossible to get that sporty little summer car stuck in snow. (i never tried off-road snow tests :wink: )

I now live in central ohio and drive a 2005 subaru baja, DW drives a 2014 subaru impreza (both awd) and we both have designated sets of snow tires/wheels. I bought both sets of wheels off of CL for $150 and $200 respectively, and put matching General Altimax Arctic tires on each car for ~$425 a piece mounted and balanced. Sure, i've got $1200 in "extra wheels/tires" and I've got 2 stacks of 4 tires in my garage year round, and it takes me an hour to rotate both cars come october and april. But fellas, i'm telling you it's not propaganda. no-season tires simply dont compare. Sure it's an initial investment but the safety and peace of mind afforded by good, designated winter tires will pay huge dividends. **i'm not in the tire/wheel or even an automotive related industry**this is not a paid advertisement**no conflicts of interest to report**

As I said in the beginning, I wouldn't have believed the difference had I not experienced it myself. YMMV

PS: the only downside I can see to converting to the dedicated summer and winter rubber crowd is the lifetime investment, because neither I nor DW will EVER own a car again that we don't have 2 sets of tires for. unless we retire to boca. which i'll never be able to afford :P so it's bound to add up over the long haul.
Last edited by 6bquick on Tue Jul 26, 2016 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Rodc
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by Rodc »

alfaspider wrote:
MathWizard wrote:With Front wheel drive, I just use all season.

Long ago, when I had RWD, I used snow tires with studs.

If I lived in Colorado, in the Rockies, I'd probably have snow tires, 4WD and chains in the trunk.
That would probably be overkill for Colorado unless you live in a remote area. Any main road in Colorado is going to be closed before it gets to the point that a FWD car with snow tires won't make it through. I had no problems living in Colorado with FWD and snows.

Keep in mind that winter tires aren't just for snow. They will also grip better in dry cold conditions than all seasons will. You can probably avoid getting stuck with AWD and all seasons, but you do add a considerable safety margin for stopping distance if you are running winter tires.
They no longer require chains when it snows up on the passes? Use to be going over passes on I70 you would from time to time be required to use chains. Or over Loveland pass to A-Basin, etc. But that was 30 years ago.
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Incendiary
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by Incendiary »

Yea. :happy
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by whodidntante »

I bought one set but haven't bothered again.
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just frank
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by just frank »

I'm next door in PA, and like NJ we can get ice and black ice. A lot of folks around here get 4WD or AWD vehicles 'for winter' and pay a big silly premium on vehicle cost and gasoline costs (IMO). I think on ICE snow tires and FWD are better than all-seasons and 4WD, so we do that instead on one of two vehicles, and consider it 'cheap insurance'.

My spouse often ends up commuting in icy conditions....and she sees SUVs off the road all the time, when she seems to be doing ok on the snow tires.
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by TomatoTomahto »

Just frank, I'm a belt and suspenders kind of guy, so I'm going for AWD and winter tires :D
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
alfaspider
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by alfaspider »

Rodc wrote:
alfaspider wrote:
MathWizard wrote:With Front wheel drive, I just use all season.

Long ago, when I had RWD, I used snow tires with studs.

If I lived in Colorado, in the Rockies, I'd probably have snow tires, 4WD and chains in the trunk.
That would probably be overkill for Colorado unless you live in a remote area. Any main road in Colorado is going to be closed before it gets to the point that a FWD car with snow tires won't make it through. I had no problems living in Colorado with FWD and snows.

Keep in mind that winter tires aren't just for snow. They will also grip better in dry cold conditions than all seasons will. You can probably avoid getting stuck with AWD and all seasons, but you do add a considerable safety margin for stopping distance if you are running winter tires.
They no longer require chains when it snows up on the passes? Use to be going over passes on I70 you would from time to time be required to use chains. Or over Loveland pass to A-Basin, etc. But that was 30 years ago.
Only for commercial trucks.
takeshi
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by takeshi »

Generator515 wrote:Big con is obviously cost. I figure it would be about $1,000 for a spare set of rims plus the tires.
Depends on winter conditions where you live but if conditions warrant winter tires then an even bigger con is losing control of the vehicle, crashing, and not having the significant added safety margin. Check out Tire Rack's (and others) videos on winter tires versus all seasons versus 4wd or AWD.
RudyS
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by RudyS »

We have owned Subaru AWD Outbacks since 1998, lots of miles, and have always run all-season tires. We do a meals-on-wheels route. Always been satisfied; never gotten stuck. This is mid-Michigan.
smackboy1
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by smackboy1 »

Generator515 wrote:Was wondering what this forum's thoughts are on winter tires? I live in NJ and have a FWD car . . . That said seems they do help even on dry cold roads and when there is precip adds an extra security layer.
We've been in NJ for over 3 decades. Like many mid-Atlantic states NJ is difficult because of the potentially large variance in winter conditions. Case in point this past winter: Christmas 70F, followed by Snowmageddon w/ 3 feet of snow in January.

Winter tires in NJ are not a requirement if you have all season tires that are decent in snow and ice and are willing to not drive in poor weather. But understand that all tire compounds are a compromise and all season rubber is sacrificing grip even on dry roads when the temp drops below mid 40 F.

That being said we have winter tires on all our cars in the winter: FWD, RWD and AWD. We don't like to be forced to stay in during bad weather. Winter tires are like an insurance policy, better to have it and not need it than the other way around. For NJ we prefer winter tires that are biased towards cold dry/wet conditions as opposed to deep snow.

Last couple of seasons we've had Nokian WRG3 "all weather" tires on the AWD minivan. It's a tire seemingly designed for mid-Atlantic states. The compound is not as soft as true winter tires, but softer than all seasons. The tread is like a winter tire. Great for fall, winter and spring.
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flyingbison
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by flyingbison »

30+ years of driving in Buffalo and Wisconsin, and I only used snow tires on my very first RWD car.

They do improve winter driving, and I think about getting them from time to time, but it always seems like too much trouble ... especially now with TPMS.
Beck49
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by Beck49 »

+1 on Smackboy's recommendation of Nokian's. More popular a bit farther north, but you might want to do a little research on them. Good luck.
mlcolorado
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by mlcolorado »

We live at 7,000 feet in the Colorado Rockies, have two Subaru's, one outback wagon, one turbo Forester, and have two sets of wheels/tires for both cars. Michelin All Season Radials on the original wheels for spring, summer, fall, (good in the rain) and Blizzak dedicated snow tires on steel wheels with plastic hub caps for the winters (Thanksgiving to sometime in late April/Mid-May). The safety of being ably to start, and more importantly STOP, steer around corners and avoid others is the key. An all wheel drive Subaru Outback/Forester will go through anything until the snow is so deep, and you drive so bad, that the tires come off the ground (your fault). We only have to buy new tires now and then. Maybe two sets of summer and two sets of winter tires (8 per car) every 80,000 miles or so. We tend to keep our cars for 10+ years. Be sure to get a impact wrench and proper sockets to make the change over easier as you will have to change 8 wheels, per car, per year. The real Boglehead fun is when you need to buy new summer and winter tires for one of the cars, it has nearly 100,000 miles on it, and you have to wonder if you will keep the car long enough to wear out both sets, again. Enjoy.
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JaneyLH
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by JaneyLH »

After 3 years of living at 8,000 feet and driving down my mile-long road to get to the village, going 10 MPH in first gear... I went into a slide and nearly ran of the mountain. Hit one of the places where the snowplows push all the snow off the road but only did $600 cosmetic damage to my AWD Jeep. If it had been 10 feet one way or the other it would have been a very different story... I bought studded tires the next day. Cost about $600. :oops:
jharkin
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by jharkin »

Beck49 wrote:+1 on Smackboy's recommendation of Nokian's. More popular a bit farther north, but you might want to do a little research on them. Good luck.
+2 Its a good compromise if you want traction approaching a winter tire without the hassle osf switching. I have a set of Nokian Rotivva AT on my 4x4 truck. Like the WRGs they are an all season that has the "snowflake/mountain" sever winter service rating.

The tradeoff is that they wear fast and give up some dry weather summer traction. On my pickup I don't care about it as I drive far under their limits on dry roads. For a sporty Sedan I'd want to keep separate summer and winter compounds.

Again, all of this may be overkill for mild NJ winter commuting if he waits for the plows to finish...
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JDCarpenter
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by JDCarpenter »

yay.

Even though we live in flatlands of Tennessee, we get snow/ice once or twice a year. Road clearance is extremely slow and DW is OBG driving a Honda Civic. The snow tires have made a huge difference.

If you have a garage, just buy a floor jack and, if not already owned, an air compressor & Impact wrench. Takes me less than 15 minutes to change her wheels/tires when ominous storms are on the way. (Steel wheels used via ebay; tires from tire rack; ignore the tpms warning light for the few days that she uses them.)
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ubermax
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by ubermax »

We drove FWD Jettas for many years during our New England winters and never had a problem - now we have AWD and still use all seasons - that was our personal experience only .
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blaugranamd
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by blaugranamd »

Rodc wrote:
alfaspider wrote:
MathWizard wrote:With Front wheel drive, I just use all season.

Long ago, when I had RWD, I used snow tires with studs.

If I lived in Colorado, in the Rockies, I'd probably have snow tires, 4WD and chains in the trunk.
That would probably be overkill for Colorado unless you live in a remote area. Any main road in Colorado is going to be closed before it gets to the point that a FWD car with snow tires won't make it through. I had no problems living in Colorado with FWD and snows.

Keep in mind that winter tires aren't just for snow. They will also grip better in dry cold conditions than all seasons will. You can probably avoid getting stuck with AWD and all seasons, but you do add a considerable safety margin for stopping distance if you are running winter tires.
They no longer require chains when it snows up on the passes? Use to be going over passes on I70 you would from time to time be required to use chains. Or over Loveland pass to A-Basin, etc. But that was 30 years ago.
They have "traction law" times where they will require some form of "traction aid" either AWD, Winter Tires, or Chains. I found this out after flying in to rent a car before driving from Denver to Steamboat. Had to pay an extra $300 to rent an AWD SUV because a huge storm went through as we got there and they enacted traction law on I-70...
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William4u
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by William4u »

jharkin wrote:First off... The reason to buy winter tires is NOT because you "dont have 4WD/AWD". :oops:

The reason to buy winter tires is you want increased all around traction in accelerating, cornering and braking that will make the drive easier and may save your life in an emergency.

4WD will NOT save you if the other idiot slips on the ice and skids into your lane and you have to panic swerve/stop on a slick surface. 4WD will NOT help you stop going down the hill that it just gave you false confidence going up.

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/maga ... /index.htm
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/vid ... p?ttid=103
http://www.tirerack.com/winter/tech/tec ... techid=122

Basically it comes down to a judgement call. If you wait for the plows and drive cautiously all season tires are fine for most of us most of the time. Your winters in Jersey are very mild so its probably fine.... But if you are wiling to deal with the cost and hassle, dedicated winter tires are ALWAYS better in cold/snow/ice.
+1
In winter up north if there are two identical cars with two identical drivers, the one with the winter tires is WAAAY safer. It is all about the "cornering and braking" which AWD does not help much if at all. Consumer Reports found 50% better grip on winter tires in snow and ice (cornering grip is as important as braking grip for keeping control). The extra traction at startup is nice too (which is also helped by AWD). This is a huge difference. HUGE! And again, AWD does not really help with cornering and braking grip and traction.

And the cost isn't so much over time. Sure it is $500+ up front, but (1) your all seasons last longer (since they aren't used for winter) and (2) the winter tires last 40,000 miles (if you get the Michelin X-ice3's). I use my winter tires about 10 years (I drive on them less than 4k per winter), so they really end up being less than $100/year. And for $100/year you get a HUGE HUGE increase in safety up north in the snow belt. It is really a no brainer if you think about it.
bonustreats
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by bonustreats »

jharkin wrote:First off... The reason to buy winter tires is NOT because you "dont have 4WD/AWD". :oops:

The reason to buy winter tires is you want increased all around traction in accelerating, cornering and braking that will make the drive easier and may save your life in an emergency.

4WD will NOT save you if the other idiot slips on the ice and skids into your lane and you have to panic swerve/stop on a slick surface. 4WD will NOT help you stop going down the hill that it just gave you false confidence going up.

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/maga ... /index.htm
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/vid ... p?ttid=103
http://www.tirerack.com/winter/tech/tec ... techid=122

Basically it comes down to a judgement call. If you wait for the plows and drive cautiously all season tires are fine for most of us most of the time. Your winters in Jersey are very mild so its probably fine.... But if you are wiling to deal with the cost and hassle, dedicated winter tires are ALWAYS better in cold/snow/ice.
+1(thousand/million)

Accelerating/going is not the problem I would worry about in snowy conditions - slow and steady wins the race, after all. But turning and MOST importantly stopping are definitely things to worry about. I'm also in northern NJ (not too far from the Short Hills poster), have a Subaru, and definitely recommend winter tires. I think I got my set from Tirerack for <$800.
dbr
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by dbr »

While the facts are clear, this survey says only about 20% of drivers living in snowbelt states actually use winter tires:

http://www.tirebusiness.com/article/201 ... nter-tires
flyingbison
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Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Post by flyingbison »

Question for those who do use winter tires - Do you keep them on a separate set of rims, or do you have the tires swapped on/off your rims twice a years?
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