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  #121  
Old 02-08-2011, 12:15 AM
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Re: Unsure about snow performance

There seems to be a lot of ignorance, or, more politely... "overestimation" of what "all season tires" are designed to do. They're not particularly good in any season, but if you live where the roads are frequently snow-covered you must either put real snow tires on your car or stay home. Otherwise you'll be making a menace of yourself at best. The worst case scenario is a lot more expensive than a set of proper snow tires.

It doesn't matter even a teensy little bit that you have 4x4 (awd, really): Most accidents happen because... wait for it... they couldn't be avoided. With all season tires you can't turn or stop well at all on the snow, regardless of whether you have awd, fwd or 4x4. Snow tires make all the difference in the world. (Bridgestone Blizzak, Michelin Xice, Nokian Hakkapeliitta are all top brands.)

The reason for this is the rubber compound is engineered to remain soft and pliable in cold temps, and they are filled with jagged little sipes that allow the tread to flex and grip the ice.

All season tires use rubber compounds that become stiffer and harder when the temps get cold, which means they can't flex and grip. They also have fewer sipes in the tread blocks. This is necessary to ensure they perform well at moderate to high temps the rest of the year. Some of the most advanced 'car' all season highway tires use stripes of softer compounds to help them maintain greater effectiveness in colder temps, but they're still only a marginal improvement vs proper snow tires.

For those of you who think studded tires are even better: They aren't. Tests have shown that when partially worn, modern non-studded tires outperform studded tires even on ice. Studded tires are truly a thing of the past.

If you insist on using one set of tires year-round and you see snowy roads regularly, look at the Nokian WRG2 SUV, or if you need all terrain tires, the Nokian Vatiiva A/T.These tires are good choices for people who live at sea level and drive into the mountains on the weekends - i.e. Seattle, SF bay area, etc.
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  #122  
Old 02-08-2011, 02:37 PM
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Re: Unsure about snow performance

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Originally Posted by Sarge View Post
There seems to be a lot of ignorance, or, more politely... "overestimation" of what "all season tires" are designed to do. They're not particularly good in any season, but if you live where the roads are frequently snow-covered you must either put real snow tires on your car or stay home. Otherwise you'll be making a menace of yourself at best.
So this is basically entirely false. Don't go spreading this crap please.

I grew up in Vermont on unpaved roads and also lived in northern VT with lake effect snow. This was for the first 25 years of my life. My family never bought snow tires. We used all-seasons and had plenty of front-wheel drive vehicles and did just fine. No accidents and were not a menace to society. Take your time and drive intelligently, learn how to drive in the snow. I learned to LOVE driving in it (except for the morons out there who don't respect it).

Snow tires are not a "requirement" in most locations. They are nice to have and definitely make it better and safer, but only a small percentage of people actually must have them to make it up their driveways, to their farm roads, etc.

I will never knock someone for buying them, it's a smart move, but don't tell people they are a menace if they don't. Do you work for a tire company?

-Ryan
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  #123  
Old 02-08-2011, 02:45 PM
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Re: Unsure about snow performance

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Originally Posted by rybocf View Post
Snow tires are not a "requirement" in most locations. -Ryan
in VA. if you are in a accident and do not have m+s rated tire you get a ticket. you also get one if you get stuck.
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  #124  
Old 02-08-2011, 03:45 PM
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Re: Unsure about snow performance

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in VA. if you are in a accident and do not have m+s rated tire you get a ticket. you also get one if you get stuck.
But M+S is not a snow tire...it's an all season tire.

-Ryan
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  #125  
Old 02-08-2011, 03:59 PM
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Re: Unsure about snow performance

I live on the east coast of Canada and went out today in the snow. I am used to an Audi with snow tires and I must say these all seasons blow. I will be getting a set of snow tires very soon.

I just need to know what is the best options for wheels + tires + Pressure sensor combo. I don't know if I should get 18's or just put winter shoes on the 20's. I don't want to spend more than $1500 probably. And I don't want a hassle either.

Any info on what would be best would be really appreciated.
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  #126  
Old 02-08-2011, 04:14 PM
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Re: Unsure about snow performance

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Originally Posted by rybocf View Post
So this is basically entirely false. Don't go spreading this crap please.

I grew up in Vermont on unpaved roads and also lived in northern VT with lake effect snow. This was for the first 25 years of my life. My family never bought snow tires. We used all-seasons and had plenty of front-wheel drive vehicles and did just fine. No accidents and were not a menace to society. Take your time and drive intelligently, learn how to drive in the snow. I learned to LOVE driving in it (except for the morons out there who don't respect it).

Snow tires are not a "requirement" in most locations. They are nice to have and definitely make it better and safer, but only a small percentage of people actually must have them to make it up their driveways, to their farm roads, etc.

I will never knock someone for buying them, it's a smart move, but don't tell people they are a menace if they don't. Do you work for a tire company?

-Ryan
The major difference is the rubber used and the temperatures that it stays soft at. Snow tires stay soft at much lower temperatures than summers or all season. You might be an excellent driver with whatever tire you have. But if some jerk who drives like crap is about to hit you and you need to punch it to get out of the way there is no way that would be happening in snow with all seasons. You would spin out or slide. It is much more unlikely that this would happen with proper snow tires on.
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  #127  
Old 02-08-2011, 04:15 PM
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Re: Unsure about snow performance

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Originally Posted by rybocf View Post
Snow tires are not a "requirement" in most locations. They are nice to have and definitely make it better and safer, but only a small percentage of people actually must have them to make it up their driveways, to their farm roads, etc.
In most places, the right choice of all season tire (they ain't created equal, even the stuff labeled M+S) can mean you'll have no problems even in a pretty decent winter storm. However, most people can wait out a truly ugly ice storm without having to get on the road.

For those who have to get out in it, I do recommend the winter tires. I've driven good all seasons on ice, and I've driven good winter tires on ice. There really isn't much comparison when it comes to stopping and turning. Snow is easier for tires to handle, but people need to consider what kind of weather they get and just how badly they need to be out in it.

Summer tires in the winter are plain foolish, but quality all seasons will probably be just fine most of the time. If you're likely to end up driving around in major winter conditions, the winters are a good idea. IMO, in an ice storm they're a necessity.


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Originally Posted by BHHJEEP View Post
I live on the east coast of Canada and went out today in the snow. I am used to an Audi with snow tires and I must say these all seasons blow. I will be getting a set of snow tires very soon.

I just need to know what is the best options for wheels + tires + Pressure sensor combo. I don't know if I should get 18's or just put winter shoes on the 20's. I don't want to spend more than $1500 probably. And I don't want a hassle either.

Any info on what would be best would be really appreciated.
I bought from the Tire Rack. I went with 18" rims, and don't notice any real handling difference from the 20" ones (to me, the GC is a touch numb anyway, so no biggie). If you stick to the stock sizes (I went with 265/60R-18), there aren't many different choices out there.

I have the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1 on the Sport Edition CX. With the pressure sensors, shipped ready to bolt on and the wall rack to free up some floor space, they were a bit over $1500. Delete the rack, and you're looking about $1400ish (this is USD, mind you). They had a slightly less expensive wheel, but I decided the $80 was well spent for a better looking rim. Downsizing to a 17" tire wouldn't have saved any money at all.
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  #128  
Old 02-08-2011, 04:51 PM
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Re: Unsure about snow performance

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Originally Posted by rybocf View Post
But M+S is not a snow tire...it's an all season tire.

-Ryan
+1

I think some people above are confusing all season with a "summer" tire. A summer (high performance) tire is not good below about 40-45F. "All Season" are just that, all season. They are a trade-off but they will do for 90% of the people. My GC is just fine in snow (at least 9") with the stock tires (20"). My SLK 350 w/AMG has "Summer" tires and I would not take it out below 40F even with dry roads.
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  #129  
Old 02-08-2011, 05:02 PM
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Re: Unsure about snow performance

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Originally Posted by BHHJEEP View Post
The major difference is the rubber used and the temperatures that it stays soft at. Snow tires stay soft at much lower temperatures than summers or all season. You might be an excellent driver with whatever tire you have. But if some jerk who drives like crap is about to hit you and you need to punch it to get out of the way there is no way that would be happening in snow with all seasons. You would spin out or slide. It is much more unlikely that this would happen with proper snow tires on.
This reminds me of my situation.. In all my years driving a car (12 now), I have never had snow tires and have never gotten in an accident because of the snow. Then, last winter, with my first set of snow tires ever, I got in an accident on a commute home in the snow.. lol. Ironic..
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  #130  
Old 02-08-2011, 07:56 PM
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Re: Unsure about snow performance

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Originally Posted by rybocf View Post
So this is basically entirely false. Don't go spreading this crap please.
Hey guys, where are your manners??!!

I mean, no one even welcomed Sarge to the forum.

(Welcome aboard, Sarge. With a handle like that I'm guessing you're not thin-skinned.)
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  #131  
Old 02-08-2011, 07:57 PM
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Re: Unsure about snow performance

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Originally Posted by chibianh View Post
This reminds me of my situation.. In all my years driving a car (12 now), I have never had snow tires and have never gotten in an accident because of the snow. Then, last winter, with my first set of snow tires ever, I got in an accident on a commute home in the snow.. lol. Ironic..
Awkward.
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  #132  
Old 02-08-2011, 10:58 PM
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Re: Unsure about snow performance

Up here in Seattle there usually isn't enough snow around town to go with a winter tire. I'm only concerned with driving through the passes to get to the mountains. The destinations should work out perfect for my conditions right?
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