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Winter tires - what do you use?

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by Swedishchef, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    Hey guys

    Just curious: what kind of winter tires do you use? I hope that people are not longer gullable with "all season tires". Those are good in places that it never reaches temperatures below 5C. The rubber simply stiffens and no longer "bites" into ice/snow.

    I for one will only install ONE model winter tire on my cars: Nokian Hakkapeliitta (I had 2s, then 5s and now 7s). I once saw Subaru use them on their winter rally cars (if they are good enough to go 120 Mph on snow, they're good enough for me) and bought a set. I normally get about 45-50K on them before changing them.

    So what about you?

    Andrew

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  2. Locust Post

    Locust Post Minister of Fire

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    Learned my lesson on the all season tires on the wife's Mazda. Put some Michelin Ice on last winter but I take them off for the warmer weather. There back on since Nov.
  3. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    My Dad used to swear by Bridgestone Blizzaks. Ive used mostly Michelin snow tires on my cars, as they have won the Tire Rack snow tire comparison tests many times and done well in the coparison tests in many of the car rags.

    On my wifes old Toyota Corolla we ran Michelin X-Ice XI2s. On my RSX I used to run Pilot Aplin's and when those wore out I put a new Set of X-Ice XI3s on it this year. When my wife used to commute to Boston at times Id have to go out and get her on snow days when the train got stuck and plowed that little car through drifts on unplowed roads and somehow got back alive ;)

    On my wife's current Honda Pilot we just have a set of all season LTX M/S2s. We haven't had any issues in winter on those but then again nowadays we have no need to take that car out and drive it through foot deep snow.
  4. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    NOw we're talking. Someone who has been converted!

    It's been proven time and time again. Winter tires are much better in cooler/colder weather. On pave, snow and ice.

    Lots of people say "I can't afford 2 sets of tires" and I always say "sure you can: each set lasts twice as long so it comes to the same thing. What makes you change tires is tire wear which results (normally) from mileage".
  5. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    X-Ice Xi2s are good. But they seemed to wear out terribly fast. A friend of mine only got about 20K on them and they were done. He had them on a Civic.
    Winter tires are the best.

    In the province of Quebec where I live, they are mandatory between December 15th and March 15th of every year.
  6. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Is that KM or MI? I'd have to go back and look at how many miles I put on mine... probably under 30k miles. I got a surprising amount of time on them, like 5 or 6 seasons, but I put below average mileage on the car.

    So far I like the XI3s a lot, but haven't tested them in serious snow. They rounded off the shoulders more like the Alpins and put in more tread blocks so the handling is quiter and smoother. Also upped the speed rating to H. Meanwhile the Alpins new design for the PA3 looks like it goes too agressive towards performance. Im wondering what they are giving up in snow traction with these changes.

    I had heard aobut hte mandatory snow tire rule up there, my company has an office in Montreal and my current boss works there. Intersting idea, but then you guys probably get much worse snow than we do, this weekend notwithstanding.
  7. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    It is in KMs.

    If you are getting 5 or 6 seasons that is damn good!

    they uppped to an H? I didn't know that. I have no idea why they would do that. Perhaps to make more young kinds by them for their tricked Civics thinking they can go faster ;) If you have ever gone 100MPh+ with winter tired, you will know it is not a pleasant feeling (if the car is on pave...it feels like it's floating due to the soft rubber).

    Montreal's weather would be similar to Boston's. Montreal is only about 350 KMs north Boston. I think the storm systems that pass through you would be very similar to Montreal's. However where I live, pfffffffft. We use brooms in 30cm storms.
  8. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    I did in Germany once. Business trip to the VW engineering training center at HQ in Wolfsburg in a February many years ago. Picked up my rental at Hanover Airport Hertz and the dash had a sticker "Achtung! Winter tires mounted to vehicle. Max speed 185 km/h"

    So of course I was doing 184 km/h down the autobahn to get over there. Seemed ok :)
  9. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    LOLOL.

    That must have been a cool center!

    Andrew
  10. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    It was cool. I spent the week at the engineering training center demoing our new cad software to their designers. Got to visit the Autostadt ( auto city.... Vw museum very cool) but ran out of time for the plant tour.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autostadt

    Funny story, being a young inexperienced engineer on only my second business trip ever, I just took whatever car the rental company offered me... Which turned out to be a Diesel Renault Megane! And then I had to go park that in the VW employee lot! From day two our local sales guy had mercy on me and picked me up in his Audi.
  11. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    LOL. A renault MEGANE!? Nice...very nice. Why not take a Lada instead?
  12. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Like I said, young stupid and didn't think to ask for something else...

    At least i drive manual shift so they didn't write me off as a completely clueless.
  13. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    That is true. Young grasshoppers learn fast eh?

    You could have stalled it with them in the car or something. I have done that before. Quite embarassing!
  14. Boog

    Boog Minister of Fire

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    I grew up near Buffalo and gained my winter "combat" training there. Compared to there, living down here in NE Ohio is a piece of cake. I have always run dedicated winter snow tires on all my cars picking up a second set of wheels just for them. Whether its been sedans, sports cars, SUVs, or trucks, I always had the snow tires. While tread design and compounding has changed over the years, as have model names and numbers, I have always liked the Blizzak and X-Ice lines of tires. I currently have Blizzaks on my Ford E-150 Conversion Van and Lattitude X-Ice tires on my Highlander. Overall, the Blizzaks have always seemed a little more aggressive in deeper snow, where the Lattitude X-Ice ones better in the icy environment.

    A friend showed me the snow tires he bought last fall, they were a Goodyear brand as his dad retired from there and gets a discount. There were a couple of sipe lines cut in the outer blocks, versus the numerous ones on my tires, and the rubber compound was so stiff you could hardly bend it with your fingers, versus the very soft outer compound on mine. I'm sure he will get better milage out of those tires than I will with mine, but I have no doubt as to which ones I would rather be riding on.
  15. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    Exactly. The harder the rubber the longer they will last but the less traction in the cold you'll have.

    Nokian tires are not yet that popular in the US. They are made in Finland (it is compulsary to have winter tires in the entire country).
  16. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    I have had excellent traction with both the Michelin X-Ice and General Arctic on fwd mid-sized sedans. We have Good Year wangler silent armor on the 4x4 and they do nicely as well.

    The Michelin X-Ice and General Arctic have silica in the compound for more winter grip.
  17. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Ive heard of them but they are very hard to find here in the US as you noted. I've only ever come across one shop that sold them - a small outfit called Rim&Wheel Works in Waltham, MA
  18. granpajohn

    granpajohn Minister of Fire

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    Montreal is much colder than Boston.
    January average temps in F:

    Montreal: 22 max, 4 min
    Boston: 36/22
    Ottawa: 20/4

    (these numbers can vary, but just to give the idea..)

    I seem to remember that Ottawa is the coldest major city worldwide. Colder than Moscow.

    Maybe that's why you can use brooms for your snow.

    ...and if you think the snow is slick in southern new england, you should come down here to Dixie. (We can't use brooms.)
  19. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Another reason why I lean to the X-Ice over Blizzaks. For us wet snow and icing is a more frequent winter occurrence than unplowed deep powder on the roads.
  20. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

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    I have these Treadwrights (retreads) on Toyota:

    [​IMG]

    Treadwright's whole business is retreading mud tires to provide quality tires at a reasonable cost. I got four 32" Guard Dogs (Basically a copy of the old BFG MTRs) shipped to my house for just under $500. Normally mud tires aren't that great in the snow but they use a fairly soft rubber compound, plus you can order the tires with something they call "Kedge Grip." Basically what they do is put crushed walnut shells in the mold which create microscopic pits in the rubber that work like siping, only better. These are the grippiest tires I've ever used on snow and ice. As soon as the crappy all terrains on the wife's SUV wear out she's getting a set of "Wardens" which are copies of the BFG A/T pattern, but with the Kedge Grip as well.
  21. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    If you try them sometime, you will NEVER use another winter tire again. I used to be a Michelin man before and won't go back.
  22. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    lol. I meant we use brooms for 12 inches because it is nothing.

    I don't think Ottawa is the coldest. Perhaps it is..it does sit in a valley which tends to hold the cold for longer. But Winnipeg and Edmonton must give it a run for it's money.

    I thought Montreal would be similar in temperatures but then I just remembered that Boston sits on the ocean. Montreal sits on a river...
  23. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    PErsonally I am not a big fan of retreads. However, for mudding I would do it. But there's no way that tire beats a winter tire in -15C. The rubber would simply get too hard. Perhaps around the freezing mark they would be ok.
  24. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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  25. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

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    That's usually where they see the most use. The company that sells them is in North Dakota and the Guard Dogs are their most popular seller. I doubt they're as good as Nokians, etc...but they are the best mud tire I've ever used in the snow.

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