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any thoughts on winter tires?
Posted by: lazydays
Date: December 20, 2009 08:59PM
My Toyota Solara convertible isn't exactly a winter vehicle and I've had a little trouble getting around in the snow. Not terrible but I would like to do better and be as safe as possible. So I called Big O, my favorite tire store, and they quoted me $600 including tax to put snow tires (non-studded) onto my existing wheels. They are artic claw's [www.gobigo.ca] . Any thoughts on these tires?
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Re: any thoughts on winter tires?
Posted by: lazydays
Date: December 20, 2009 09:03PM
I found two positive reviews here, [forum.tiremedia.com] , but nothing else. Let me know if you've had these tires or know anything about them. thanks
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Re: any thoughts on winter tires?
Posted by: St. Bernard
Date: December 20, 2009 09:06PM
Tirerack recommends the Michelin X-Ice Xi2: [www.tirerack.com]
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Re: any thoughts on winter tires?
Posted by: S.Taylor
Date: December 20, 2009 09:57PM
Studded snow tires are great. Spend a little more money, go down to your local scrap yard and pick up a set of extra wheels, and have your snow tires mounted on them. Saves you having to get them changed over twice yearly.



This remote controlled tree is a must for the person who wants to be on the cutting edge of Christmas technology.
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Re: any thoughts on winter tires?
Posted by: space-time
Date: December 20, 2009 10:10PM
I have Michelin X-Ice (I think version 1) on a Civic in central NJ. we got a foot of snow yesterday, and last night I had to drive to work to check on my problem in the middle of a horrible blizzard and I got there and back home without any problems, and I saw SUVs that couldn't handle the weather (presumably they had all season tires, who knows)

I second the idea of a second set of wheels, makes changing tires a snap and I did that yesterday morning and took about 30 minutes, probably faster than driving to a shop. 2 years ago when I got snow tires I decided to put them on the old wheels and I bought new wheels for the all-season tires (michelin hydroedge)
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Re: any thoughts on winter tires?
Posted by: michaelb
Date: December 20, 2009 10:19PM
I got the michelin x-ice at costco for around 500 for the set of 4. I haven't really tested them yet, they do drive nicely on pavement, much quieter than other snows I have used. Definitely don't get studs, unless you live in the far north and see a lot of ice.

If you plan to keep your car, the investment in snows should double the life of your summer tires, so doesn't increase the overall cost of tires that much.
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Re: any thoughts on winter tires?
Posted by: space-time
Date: December 20, 2009 10:32PM
Quote
michaelb
...
If you plan to keep your car, the investment in snows should double the life of your summer tires, so doesn't increase the overall cost of tires that much.

I agree, however, it makes keeping track of tire rotation and warranty issues a little bit more cumbersome. it's easy to write on each wheel where it came from so the next season you put it in a different place. But if you change wheels yourself (like I do), how do you prove to Costco that you only have 30 k miles on those tires when the odometer reads 60k more that when they installed the tires?

sure, if you get the wheels changed by a shop (or even costco), and keep all receipts, you can prove it. If not...

I got the all season tires at Costco and the winter tires at TireRack. So I usually go to Costco in the summer for tire rotation, and I never rotate tires in the winter (but I do rotate when I install them the next winter).
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Re: any thoughts on winter tires?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: December 20, 2009 11:38PM
Largely a comparison of real winter tires vs. all-season and other miserable pretenders: [www.caranddriver.com]

But yeah, proper winter tires will have you cruising right past AWD and 4WD drivers running all-seasons, who don't know any better.

space-time, when I bought tires at Costco all they cared about was that I wasn't bringing the car in too OFTEN for the freebie rotation. As for warranty worries, if you have one go bad there are two things that will happen. 1) You'll explain that the tires and wheels aren't on the car all the time 2) They'll believe you, because they'll check the tread depth and know they couldn't last for that many extra miles. When in doubt, ask upfront. Having a spare set of rims for winter tires is a common thing in areas that get ice and snow.
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Re: any thoughts on winter tires?
Posted by: WHiiP
Date: December 21, 2009 05:48AM
I don't understand your problem. I had my Solara (NOT a convertible, you miserable slime... burnout smiley ) in Michigan for 8 years and with the front wheel drive I had no problem. Both city and hiway driving. Perhaps your foot is a little too heavy or you are making turns a little too sharply or suddenly? ? ? Just sayin' . . .

I had the Michelin MPVs, an all weather tire.

Great car, BTW! I hope to find a 2008 Convertible is a year or so!!



Bill
Flagler Beach, FL 32136

Carpe Vino!

Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire.
— David Rains Wallace
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Re: any thoughts on winter tires?
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: December 21, 2009 06:26AM
From what I have read, the very best snow tires are Nokian. They're not cheap though.
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Re: any thoughts on winter tires?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: December 21, 2009 08:52AM
But yeah, proper winter tires will have you cruising right past AWD and 4WD drivers running all-seasons, who don't know any better.

I did that yesterday to a Camry and a Corolla in my "antique" RWD Volvo wagon.

Plus, it helps to know how to drive in the snow.

FWIW, I have used Toyo GO-02 and Gislaved II and III tires. I find them about equal, with a slight edge to the Toyos in the dry (but not wet).
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Re: any thoughts on winter tires?
Posted by: Acer
Date: December 21, 2009 09:51AM
Bought a full set of studded snows mounted on steel rims direct from TireRack just this winter. Changing out in my garage took about an hour, and that's with all the figuring-it-out-the-first-time hassle. Bought a torque wrench and a floor jack to make it as smooth a process as possible. Trade-offs: those studded snows are loud, and the grippiness reduces mpg, but it beats spinning in the ditch. I just bought whatever was cheapest. I figure the studding trumps whatever incremental advantage tread design gives, but maybe I'm just uninformed!



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/21/2009 09:57AM by Acer.
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Re: any thoughts on winter tires?
Posted by: michaelb
Date: December 21, 2009 10:37AM
I will say it again: don't get studs unless you live in the far north and see lots of ice (meaning several times a week all winter), and/or specifically need them to climb up your icy driveway, etc. Studs are better on ice; rubber is better on everything else, and you give up a lot (noise, MPG, wet traction) going to studs.

Nokians used to be the best. For example, our local tire guys, selling nothing but tires since the 50s, don't recommend them anymore, saying they have had a lot quality control problems and that they are overpriced. In the old days, everyone had Hakkas around here. Now, the most popular tire around here seems to be the cheap Winterforce (we have them on our van; I had them on my previous Rav4). The winterforces seemed ok, but are loud like most snow tires, and seemed soft when cornering. 4 Winterforce tires vs. Hakkas is a difference of $200 or more.

I did really like the Nokian winter rated all season tires (there are a couple of options, and they keep changing the initials for the names). They are ok to pretty good in the winter, and good to very good in the summer. They cost more, but maybe the only all season type tire that are generally regarded as winter worthy.
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Re: any thoughts on winter tires?
Posted by: ajakeski
Date: December 21, 2009 11:06AM
Firestone Winterforce tires are inexpensive and work well. Put them on my 1996 Roadmaster. $200
[www.tirerack.com]
I had Nokian WR All Season tires on out 2007 Civic. They worked well, but got noisy on dry roads. Not as good as I expected for the money. $850
I just put a set of Continential Extreme Contact DWS tires on out 2009 Fit. Best all season in the winter I've ever had. That little car really get a grip now. $400
[www.tirerack.com]




I'm not a bad guy! I work hard, and I love my kids. So why should I spend half my Sunday hearing about how I'm going to Hell? -Homer.
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Re: any thoughts on winter tires?
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: December 21, 2009 01:47PM
I'm running Goodyear Ultra Grips on my Crown Vic. It is RWD and I'm in MN. Haven't had a problem yet, they grip great in the snow and on ice and get very good reviews at Tire Rack.

The only other thing I would add is to see if you can get them mounted on another set of wheels, otherwise you will be paying $60 every time you switch back to your summer tires for mount and balance. You do NOT want to run the winter tires during the summer, they will be gone before the next winter.



C(-)ris
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Re: any thoughts on winter tires?
Posted by: blusubaru
Date: December 21, 2009 05:22PM
I have Dunlop M3's performance snow tires on my Subaru. I bought them on CL, mounted on steel rims for $250 with ~5k miles on them (about $500 new for just the tires). You don't have to buy new for something you use three months out of the year.

A lot of people like Blizzaks, but I've not had any experience with them. I thought studded tires were illegal on the road anyway?
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Re: any thoughts on winter tires?
Posted by: lazydays
Date: December 21, 2009 11:17PM
I bought the arctic claws this morning. Looking forward to safer driving in the future! Of course now it won't snow the rest of the season.
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