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Winter tires - what do you use?

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

  1. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I have studded Haakas on the Mazda and studded Coopers on the Mini. I tried to get Haakas for the Mini, but it was too late in the season, I guess.

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  2. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

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    In NJ studs are legal November to May, but I just feel like we don't get enough bad weather to justify them. How bad is the clicking noise inside the car when you're running on clear dry pavement? How fast do they wear down from that kind of driving?
  3. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    REALLY noisey.
  4. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Our 2005 honda Odyssey was a PITA in the snow, so about 3 years ago I picked up some Firestone Winterforce from TireRack.com mounted on steel rims. I know that the Firestorms are reviewed to be inferior to the other brands folks have mentioned, but have to say that I am very happy with ours, and the pricepoint was good as well for about $65tire and $35 for the Rim. On our 4th season with them, and they make the roads in winter much easier to deal with.
  5. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    I use Nokias Haks on both my vehicles. Their US headquarters is near Burlington VT. They are hard to find at a local tire store but worth ordering them on the internet. The microsiping works real well in ice and wet roads. They do tend to have a bit of "squirm" on the sidewalls but I really shouldnt be cornering that hard in winter conditions;)

    I see lots of cars from Vt where the tires are worth more than the car they are attached to.
    Swedishchef likes this.
  6. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    Badfish: I do believe that the tires would be decent in snow. The concept it simple on a winter tire: release the snow when the tire lifts from the ground. The larger treads are meant to absorb the snow enabling the sipes to come in contact with the ground, release again again and again. I believe mud tires use the same principle: grab mud, release mud. The main difference would be in cold weather due to the mud tires hardening before the winter tires.
  7. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    Someone has seen the light! ;)
  8. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    Winterforce tires are not a bad tire. There is no such thing as a BAD winter tire: they are all better than all season tires. For that price you can't beat it.
  9. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    Yeah they sometimes are out of stock in Canada depending on how late in the season you buy them. They are nice tires!
  10. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    They are certainly noisy. And you appreciate it when they come off. Put it this way: I turn my radio up to 22 in the winter but 14 in the summer LOL.

    The studs on Nokians don't wear down at all. They use a square stud system (it "bites" more than a round one). They state "On the front edges of the tread blocks, there are air shock absorbers shaped in the form of droplet-like chambers. They soften the stud contact with the road and absorb the impact. At the same time, they reduce the stud vibration when coming into contact with the road. The air shock absorbers reduce wear and tear on the road, dampen tire noise and prolong the service life of the studs"

    Check out their specs:
    https://www.nokiantires.com/tyre?id=131172&group=1.01&name=Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7
  11. Vincent

    Vincent Member

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    Wife runs studded Nokian Haka's on her Chevy Trail Blazer and I run them on my Van. I Would never run all seasons tires again in the winter.
  12. Stegman

    Stegman Feeling the Heat

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    While I understand the superiority of winter tires, both of our vehicles have AWD and do just fine when it gets messy. Yes, I know AWD doesn't help you stop, but we're lifelong New Englanders and know how to drive in the snow. Since I work at home, and my wife works only 10 miles away, there's not much need for us to pop for winter tires.

    My truck right now has Hankook Dynapro ATMs on it. They're great. My wife's car has some weird tires I've never heard of [Commando or something - they were on it when we bought it], but they've been pretty good.

    On my old Mazda3, I used Firestone Winterforce tires mounted on steel rims and they were fantastic - and vital for the 45-mile daily drive into Boston back then.

    One time I was forced to take that car up to Vermont during a storm to check to see if our cabin had been damaged by a nasty ice storm from a week earlier. I somehow managed to make it through 12 miles of an unplowed dirt road that had six inches of snow on it. It was dicey, for sure, but I made it in and out and lived to tell the tale.
  13. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    Steg: at least you understand that you don't stop faster with AWD. AWD helps with handling around corners and getting through snow. Ever thought of getting some second hand winter tires? Often people buy tires and the next year or two get new vehicles. Cheap way to get decent winter tires.

    All my vehicles are AWD as well. It's nice in the winter: Subarus turn into Skidoos with Nokian tires :D
  14. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    AWD helps somewhat with cornering, but at the limits 2WD with snows will still win around corners. When you run out of grip you WILL skid no matter how many wheels are under power.
  15. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

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    We bought a 2009 Kia Borrego CPO from the dealer. What's unique about them is that they literally have the best of both worlds which is pretty rare nowadays. Full time AWD which will engage the front wheels when the computer senses slip so the wife can drive it without having to push buttons, pull levers, etc... BUT it also has selectable 4x4 HI and 4x4 LO so when I want to have some real fun with it I can. They only imported them to the states for one year :(
  16. Stegman

    Stegman Feeling the Heat

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    If I still did a lot of driving I would definitely consider getting winter tires. But since I work from home now, I'm fortunate that I can basically avoid driving in the snow.
  17. Stegman

    Stegman Feeling the Heat

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    Not to digress too far from the original thread, but the best car I ever had in the snow was a 1988 Volkswagen Fox. The thing practically had bicycle tires on it, they were so narrow. I used to never even bother shoveling - it would blast right through two feet of plow crud at the end of the driveway with no problem. These were all season tires, too. If it had snow tires, it would have been unstoppable.
  18. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I run BFG Commercial T/A Traction tires on the 3/4 ton 4X4 Suburban. Year around since I don't drive much. But those things make that truck climb my S-curve 900 foot uphill driveway in deep snow like a mountain goat. If I drove more I would change them out in warm weather because of the soft compound but it isn't worth the effort for my low mileage.
  19. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    Smartest darn law I've heard in a long time. I remember we were up in the Adirondacks around when they passed that and it was all over the radio how hard it was to find snows! I wish NYS would do the same, I'm really tired of dealing with people that can't go more than 5mph and take up the whole freaking road because their car is sliding all over the place. Makes me crazy.

    I can't recall what we've got for snows. Picked em up almost brand new off craigslist for $100.
  20. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    Something in my mind told me you would have a Suburban. At my work we just got rid of a 3/4 ton 4X4 suburban: it had the 8.1L gas engine. 2006 model. We just got a brand new 3/4 ton loaded to the gills.

    That is key. The narrower the tire, more pressure on the road point, better traction. IF you watch international rallies, they put the narrowes tire available!

    I have never heard of that model Kia....seems like a great concept! However, the BEST AWD system is in Subarus. They have had it for over 15 years on EVERY model. And until 5 years ago, it was simple: if one wheel turned, they all turned. 60/40 power split between the front and the back.

    Exactly. For the 1-2 people who know how to drive in snow, there's 10 that don't.
  21. rtljr

    rtljr Member

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    I've exclusively used Nokians for my winter tires since 1988 (first set were the NR09s). The Matrix has studded Hakka 7s, the Tacoma has studded Nordman SUVs, and the Grand Am unstudded Hakka 1s (the previous owner of the Grand Am did not believe in studded tires).

    All of my snow tires are mounted on dedicated rims, so changeovers are a snap. I just bought another small sedan today for one of my children and next week will be mounting studded Hakka 7s on four steel wheels sourced from a regional auto salvage yard ($35 each for the rims).

    The Nokians are expensive, but well worth it given the level of control that they afford. Too many people do without snow tires especially those with 4WD or all-wheel drive. Most of the vehicles that I see off the road most likely are shod with "all season" tires.
  22. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    I run studded Hankook I Pikes. Popular tire up here. http://www.1010tires.com/Tires/Hankook/W409 Winter i-Pike

    The Blizzaks suck ass compared to studded tires on ice. Couple weeks ago we had a thaw and rain. Two guys at work could barely get out of the parking lot with their Blizzaks. The guys with all seasons were hopeless. Everyone else with studs did fine. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't like I was driving on dry pavement or anything, but I still got home!

    One of my renters ran some of those magic almond shell tires. He slammed into the back of my truck twice and almost went through the garage door another time. My driveway has maybe a 1ft drop in 90ft from the road to the garage. I thought it was just him, but I drove the car once and it was scary!
  23. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    We can get Nokians at some stores like Discount Tire out here. They are popular tires with folks that know winter or mountain snow. Even their all-season tires are good. I think they might have to order the Hakkapeliitta though.

    Here's a review article on snow tires. http://www.liftopia.com/blog/top-5-snow-tires/
  24. hossthehermit

    hossthehermit Minister of Fire

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    Pacemark SNOWTRAKKERS on all 4 on the Tacoma, year round. Run offroad enough to make it worthwhile.
  25. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    For us, it's winter tires in the winter & all seasons the rest of the year.

    I just get whatever is the cheapest at the time, as long as they look fairly aggressive and are real winter tires. Studs for the Civic (wife drives to work every day with, 90km round trip), but not for the Pilot - at least right now. The studded ones on the Civic now I got from a buddy who sold his Civic but kept his winter wheels. Forget the brand but they came from WalMart, and after this winter that will likely be the end of them after 4 full winters - so they did all right. I think the Pilot winter tires are on their last winter too. So it'll be an expensive go-round next fall. I don't have steel rims for it, since I was told I'd need another set of pressure sensors for it too if I went to steels for winters. Now I'm hearing you don't - so not quite sure what the fall will bring when tire shopping comes round again. But now after year round use, the stock alloy rims on the Pilot look like absolute garbage.

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