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Old 01-11-2016, 05:45 PM
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Snow Tires? =New Tires

So we were headed through the Sierras on Christmas eve. Literally across the street from our hotel the "road conditions" sign indicates that chains were required 17 miles ahead (north of Bishop, CA).
I checked the on line conditions and it elaborated that 4x4 with snow tires would suffice (or you needed chains).
I have my fancy new Jeep diesel with OR2 etc but do I have "snow" tires?
I spent the next few hours trying to figure this out. Nowhere, on the Michelin site, could I find where it stated that the Latitude Tour tires that came on my GC were "snow" rated.
We were headed to Reno and luckily there is highway 6 that comes off of 395 just north of town. That would take us an extra 40 miles out of our way but chains were not required.
There was a little snow on the highway but we did not have any issues.
While in Reno I considered getting the Goodyear Duratracs that I had been dreaming about. After leaving Reno we would be traversing the Donner pass and I didn't want to get in a bad situation and have to feed my wife to the dogs.
However I didn't want to have to give my nearly new Michelins to the tire dealer either. So I would have to buy a rack so I could take them home with me. My head hurt and then I went on Craigs list and saw how many good deals were to be had for nearly new tires and rims.
We toughed it out and had no issues getting to the coast. Too bad the Donner party didn't have Jeep GC's with heated seats and steering wheel.
Anyhow, got home spent some more time researching and found a full set (5) of 2016 Jeep Wrangler Sahara wheels (factory Black) Bridgestone dueler AT RHS 255/70/R18 tires on Craigs list. Still had the nubs on them, estimated less than 200 miles.
Put them on Friday evening. Now, here's the funny part. As I was taking the first original tire off I see, in really small letters, M + S.
Don't know how I missed it when I was scanning the tire in the hotel parking lot and I don't know why the tire manufacturers don't make it easier to discern on their web site but I now have two full sets of snow tires. Here are some pics- The first three are with the original wheels and tires at OR2 Height. The Next three are with the Sahara Wheels and tires at OR2 Height. The last two are with the Sahara wheels and tires at regular height.
Paid $850.
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Old 01-11-2016, 05:54 PM
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Re: Snow Tires? =New Tires

Those wheels look good but in wondering why you swapped out one set of all season tires for another? I thought the whole point was you needed dedicated snow tires.
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Old 01-11-2016, 06:55 PM
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Re: Snow Tires? =New Tires

That was the "funny" part. Both sets of tires are considered to be "snow" tires. Despite all of my research it wasn't until I pulled the wheel and tire off (after buying the "new" set) that I found the little "M+S" marking on the Michelin's.
The new tires are taller by almost 2" and are much more aggressive so I was happy to get them but it wouldn't have been justified (as if that matters) if I knew that the original tires were technically "snow" tires.

P
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Old 01-11-2016, 07:10 PM
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Re: Snow Tires? =New Tires

I found this to be helpful when I was looking to get rid of the Latitudes:

Winter Tech Information - How to Confirm a Winter Performer

https://www.kaltire.com/what-is-the-winter-tire-symbol/

I settled on the Nokian wrg3's which have the snowflake emblem, but can be driven year round. So far they've been unstoppable.
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Old 01-11-2016, 07:20 PM
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Re: Snow Tires? =New Tires

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterC View Post
That was the "funny" part. Both sets of tires are considered to be "snow" tires. Despite all of my research it wasn't until I pulled the wheel and tire off (after buying the "new" set) that I found the little "M+S" marking on the Michelin's.
The new tires are taller by almost 2" and are much more aggressive so I was happy to get them but it wouldn't have been justified (as if that matters) if I knew that the original tires were technically "snow" tires.

P
There's quite a difference between a M+S and a dedicated winter tire with the mountain/snowflake symbol on the sidewall. The dedicated winter tire will have a softer compound and far more siping which increases the grip on snow and ice. They'll also wear faster if you do a lot of driving on dry roads. So there's a trade off if you don't swap them out with another set.

You'll find a lot of posts out here on winter tires. Ultimately, what you go for is based on your snow driving skill, comfort level and how frequently you'll find yourself driving in those conditions. That's your call.

I do a lot of snow driving and I've done just fine on my OEM Forteras, although there are better tires that Jeep could've chosen for the GC. Touring tires have no business being on a GC for any reason.

It was 118 F the last time I was in Bishop, so snow was not an issue in the region at the time. But I've driven every route over the Sierras and Cascades that you can find in a Rand McNally road atlas, including the routes you mentioned on your trip... so I am familiar with what one can encounter out there in the winter. If you find yourself making frequent trips through those regions in winter then you really should have a set of dedicated winter tires.
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Old 01-12-2016, 11:02 AM
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Re: Snow Tires? =New Tires

I don't do much snow driving but If I do I now have another set of wheels for "real snow tires". My main concern was getting past the CHP. According to Cal Trans a tire that has some iteration of M+S on the sidewall is considered a snow tire.
Thanks for the comments.
P
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Old 01-12-2016, 11:11 AM
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Re: Snow Tires? =New Tires

That's surprisingly vague. An M+S tire in my experience doesn't mean much when it comes to snow and ice.

Snow-tread Tires:

The California vehicle code section 558 defines a snow-tread tire as follows, " A 'Snow-tread tire' is a tire which has a relatively deep and aggressive tread pattern compared with conventional passenger tread pattern". Snow-tread tires can be identified by examining the sidewall of the tire where the letters MS, M/S, M+S or the words MUD AND SNOW have been stamped into the sidewall.
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Old 01-12-2016, 12:02 PM
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Re: Snow Tires? =New Tires

Quote:
Originally Posted by MOFSTEEL View Post
Those wheels look good but in wondering why you swapped out one set of all season tires for another? I thought the whole point was you needed dedicated snow tires.
I do not recall if the California law requires the snowflake symbol or not.

The stock Latitude Tours suck in bad weather. OK, maybe not suck, but they are about as good as the generic $25 buy 2 get 2 free specials as your local schlock tire dealer.

The Michelin M+S is at the other end of that spectrum, but although its name has M+S, it also does not have the snowflake symbol. It is fairly decent for the typical supersloppy wet snow and mild temperatures you get crossing the Sierras from California into the Reno area... used it on both I-80 and US 50 traverses.

But, if you want to keep your shiny Jeep shiny and in good shape, get real premium snow tires, not all terrain, not all season, etc. This is not so much for your driving as it is for the folks on I-80 around you who think 4wd = 4wheelstop.

You could ask a CA trooper if the tires must have a snowflake symbol, my recall is that they don't as long as the tire is labelled M+S, which is unfortunate and possibly responsible for some of the fender carnage on I-80 coming down the west side from Donner. I always just went over 50 or Carson pass in bad weather--not nearly as crowded, and much prettier drives, particularly Carson on 88.

If you can afford wheels/tires, run the Latitudes in decent weather, but for trips over the Sierra get Nokians--even better than Michelin X-Ice.
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Old 01-12-2016, 12:41 PM
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Re: Snow Tires? =New Tires

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterC View Post
So we were headed through the Sierras on Christmas eve. Literally across the street from our hotel the "road conditions" sign indicates that chains were required 17 miles ahead (north of Bishop, CA).
I checked the on line conditions and it elaborated that 4x4 with snow tires would suffice (or you needed chains).
I have my fancy new Jeep diesel with OR2 etc but do I have "snow" tires?
I spent the next few hours trying to figure this out. Nowhere, on the Michelin site, could I find where it stated that the Latitude Tour tires that came on my GC were "snow" rated.
We were headed to Reno and luckily there is highway 6 that comes off of 395 just north of town. That would take us an extra 40 miles out of our way but chains were not required.
There was a little snow on the highway but we did not have any issues.
While in Reno I considered getting the Goodyear Duratracs that I had been dreaming about. After leaving Reno we would be traversing the Donner pass and I didn't want to get in a bad situation and have to feed my wife to the dogs.
However I didn't want to have to give my nearly new Michelins to the tire dealer either. So I would have to buy a rack so I could take them home with me. My head hurt and then I went on Craigs list and saw how many good deals were to be had for nearly new tires and rims.
We toughed it out and had no issues getting to the coast. Too bad the Donner party didn't have Jeep GC's with heated seats and steering wheel.
Anyhow, got home spent some more time researching and found a full set (5) of 2016 Jeep Wrangler Sahara wheels (factory Black) Bridgestone dueler AT RHS 255/70/R18 tires on Craigs list. Still had the nubs on them, estimated less than 200 miles.
Put them on Friday evening. Now, here's the funny part. As I was taking the first original tire off I see, in really small letters, M + S.
Don't know how I missed it when I was scanning the tire in the hotel parking lot and I don't know why the tire manufacturers don't make it easier to discern on their web site but I now have two full sets of snow tires. Here are some pics- The first three are with the original wheels and tires at OR2 Height. The Next three are with the Sahara Wheels and tires at OR2 Height. The last two are with the Sahara wheels and tires at regular height.
Paid $850.
Glad you found what you needed...and I guess the good thing (or bad) is that you didnt need to throw the wife to the dogs !...
Rgds
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Old 01-13-2016, 05:50 AM
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Re: Snow Tires? =New Tires

I've been driving for 50 years, owned 4x4s for 47 years, and will say that the Latitude Tours that came on my 2012 GC Limited are the worst tires I've ever had for winter traction. Don't care what is marked on them, they are strictly a summer tire in my opinion.
I got a set of extra rims off ebay, with new Latitude Tours already mounted, and put Goodyear Max Grip Ice on the original rims. Was looking for Blizzaks, but no local dealers could get them in a reasonable time frame. The traction difference is amazing, even though the Goodyears are not studded.
So I've gone back to the summer tire/winter tire routine.
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Old 01-16-2016, 05:11 PM
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Re: Snow Tires? =New Tires

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeON View Post
I've been driving for 50 years, owned 4x4s for 47 years, and will say that the Latitude Tours that came on my 2012 GC Limited are the worst tires I've ever had for winter traction. Don't care what is marked on them, they are strictly a summer tire in my opinion.
I got a set of extra rims off ebay, with new Latitude Tours already mounted, and put Goodyear Max Grip Ice on the original rims. Was looking for Blizzaks, but no local dealers could get them in a reasonable time frame. The traction difference is amazing, even though the Goodyears are not studded.
So I've gone back to the summer tire/winter tire routine.
I second this opinion!
The OEM Michelin tires were a joke in the snow.
I went to Goodyear Wrangler A/T tires and it's a night/day difference in snow traction.

AND....
Looks like they will last 2x as long if not more (OEM Michelins only made it to 27K)
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Old 01-16-2016, 05:18 PM
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Re: Snow Tires? =New Tires

I used Kelly Saharas just fine in Winter in a spare set of limited rims. I bought a set of 2015 wheels with the TPMS and Michelin OEMs for Summer. Just traded in the WK2 and have Firestone OWLs on the TH. They stick like Velcro in any snow or ice situation.
On the use of stick tired it's all about how you drive in Gould weather. Keep momentum rolling, but go slow and anticipate traffic. Understand the physics of friction and momentum and you should be all right but watch out for the idiots that have no idea that icy roads are different than dry warm roads. Best offense is a good defense in Winter driving. Leave early and know your outs if bad things happen in front of you.
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