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  #181  
Old 02-14-2011, 11:09 AM
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Re: Unsure about snow performance

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Originally Posted by Technosavant View Post
It's a matter of the available performance envelope. The Fortera HL is decent in the snow. But the Blizzak DM-V1 is superior. And that doesn't take into account sheet ice. You aren't always talking 3" of powder. Sometimes it's 1/8" of nothing but ice thanks to the freezing rain. The winter tires REALLY help then- I've driven on that stuff in a vehicle equipped with the Continental ExtremeWinterContact, and it handled like dry pavement. Some others using quality all seasons were sliding all over the place, and in those conditions, all seasons were indeed dangerous.

You look at the conditions that tend to hit your area and compare that to your need to be out in it when things are at their worst. Most people can afford to wait out the worst of it. Some cannot- my wife isn't one who can (she HAS to get to the pharmacy), so we equipped our vehicles with winter tires. Some seasons they won't be that necessary. This winter they saved our bacon a couple times (we live in a rather hilly area- I don't care how good a driver you are, you can't manufacture traction; managing momentum only gets you so far).

Saying that all seasons are just fine and winter tires give you nothing extra is foolish. Saying everybody needs winter tires is incorrect. In some places they are well advised for everyone. In others, most people will be well served by quality all seasons.

But then, if it's someone's practice to go into the tire shop and buy the cheapest thing they have (only buying for the one or two tires that are down to their steel belts), there's no helping that idiot.
Exactly. What most people fail to consider is that the tire - specifically the contact patch of the tire, is the most important part of their vehicle. The best tires improve even the worst vehicle more than any other single component. After that I'd say it's good brakes, followed by good shocks. The importance of good brakes is obvious, but the other thing, aside from tires, that most people do not understand, is that shocks keep the contact patch in touch with the road, and the best shocks help make the tires that much more effective.

Obviously no one is saying that people who get snow two days a year "must have snow tires", but what these facetious 'carry extra tires in a trailer behind my car' people fail to understand is that in climates where there is regular snowfall throughout the winter, even in mountainous areas, there is a HUGE population of people who think snow tires add nothing to the equation because "all seasons work just fine".

It's a relative to the relevant conditions you drive in.

One last thing most people don't know is that just because there's "M+S" stamped on the side, doesn't mean you've got great traction in the snow. However, if you don't want dedicated snows, there is still an all season tire available that ALSO has the "snowflake" symbol - this is the 'approval' stamp that the tire meets higher snow traction criteria. The symbol means the tire meets the 'minimum requirements' for travel in snowy conditions according to the Canadian government, which requires that vehicles be equipped with 'snowflake'-rated tires in the winter in many parts of the country (otherwise you're 'illegal' in the winter). It's a higher criteria than 'M+S'.

Last I knew, Nokian was the only company making an 'all season' tire that meets this criteria.

This is the symbol:


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  #182  
Old 02-14-2011, 11:53 AM
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Re: Unsure about snow performance

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Originally Posted by Breitling65 View Post

+ 1,
That is what I am trying to expalin to all-season lovers here. So, finally I collected all lame arguments against of winter tires:
- They don't last long, I tried them on my VW before
- I am in Chicago and not much snow here funniest argument, check this shot below from last blizzard there
- I dont have garage to store tires
- It is hassle to change one set to another
[

Wait, why is it a lame excuse to not have storage space? Where do yu live? I live in a condo building in downtown Chicago, see that picture of lake shore drive? I live 10blocks from there and drove all over the city in 20 plus inches of snow in my WK2 without an issue. This car with the forteras simply doesn't need winter tires here. I put on and stored my infinti's. Blizzaks for years because it was necessary, fortunately for me now, the jeep is just fine without them. And just like when was driving that rear wheel drive vehicle, it's the driver and one the tires that makes the most difference in safety for you and my family, luckily for me i am and experiened winter driver and know how to be safe in all winter conditions.
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  #183  
Old 02-14-2011, 12:02 PM
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Re: Unsure about snow performance

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Originally Posted by 2011RitterGC View Post
So what do you run in summer?
Haven't had it in summer yet, but it's going to run the Fortera HLs. When those wear down, we'll look into other options (I'm hoping to find a decent light all terrain tire, but we'll see), but I'm not eager to run summer-only tires around here. Not that we tend to get a freak ice storm in July, but the Grand Cherokee isn't a Porsche; if the extra grip offered by summers is what saves my bacon, I need to calm the crap down.

Generally, I've been pretty pleased with the Forteras in any condition I've used them in, but I could tell in our recent sleet/snow storm that I was starting to explore their limits (three inches of sleet will do that to a tire). Personally, I choose to have the extra capability given by a dedicated winter wheelset. Swapping them out isn't all that troublesome. It's an hour in late November and another hour in mid-March (it takes longer to do the Grand Cherokee than the wife's Acura... have to jack each corner separately instead of an entire side at once).
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  #184  
Old 02-14-2011, 07:06 PM
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Re: Unsure about snow performance

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Originally Posted by Sarge View Post
Exactly. What most people fail to consider is that the tire - specifically the contact patch of the tire, is the most important part of their vehicle. The best tires improve even the worst vehicle more than any other single component.
Sarge - I almost agree, but I have to say that better tires are only the second best way to improve the vehicle's performance. The most dramatic improvements are brought about by improving...

























(wait for it ....)





















The nut behind the wheel.
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  #185  
Old 02-14-2011, 07:19 PM
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Re: Unsure about snow performance

All humor aside - it's really true. As a veteran of many driving schools, I can assure you that working on your own car control skills is not only a good use of your time, it's usually a lot of fun too!

There are various types of car control clinics - we're not just talking turning hot laps at a track here (although that's fun and very educational too.) As you learn more about the physics involved (and, by the way, that "contact patch" that Sarge mentioned is something you should know and understand the implications of), you will become a better driver and gain better instincts that will serve you well in all sorts of unanticipated situations.

For that matter, there will be fewer "unanticipated" situations, because part of driving skill improvement is improving your anticipation.

OK - If I sound like a commercial for your local drivers school, or car control clinic, I apologize. I'm just a guy who continues to learn every time he hits the track with an instructor or plays on a skidpad.

I'll leave you with one more thought - 93% of the drivers in the US think they (personally) are above average drivers (above the median). The math says there's a lot of delusional people out there.
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  #186  
Old 02-14-2011, 08:17 PM
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Re: Unsure about snow performance

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Originally Posted by netcoolery View Post
blah blah blah...93% of the drivers in the US think they (personally) are above average drivers (above the median). The math says there's a lot of delusional people out there.
And the other 7% know they're better than the other 93%.
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  #187  
Old 02-14-2011, 11:16 PM
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Re: Unsure about snow performance

Just drove home from a client in a mini-blizzard... Roads snow covered and temps crashed from 44F to 28F so things freezing up fast. Put the system in "Snow" mode, and despite the Michelin Latitude Tour all-seasons, felt very good on curvy 2-lane roads. Compared to our WJ with Blizzaks, I was impressed, given the lack of a true snow tire. ABS never kicked in, which surprised me.
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  #188  
Old 02-15-2011, 06:45 AM
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Re: Unsure about snow performance

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Originally Posted by netcoolery View Post
I'll leave you with one more thought - 93% of the drivers in the US think they (personally) are above average drivers (above the median). The math says there's a lot of delusional people out there.

Exactly, People in Europe and Canada are stupid and that is why they are driving on winters. We are better drivers here, we will drive on cheapo all-seasons stock tires and E85 in tank as another post suggested
In my opinion it should be low allowing police to write ticket for anyone without winter tires north of IL, PA, NJ etc while winter. I heard in Canada they do have something like this already.
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  #189  
Old 02-15-2011, 11:14 AM
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Re: Unsure about snow performance

Interesting article, sort of contradicts the C&D one a bit...make me lean more towards a summer/winter combo, mostly due to the wet road performance.

http://www.insideline.com/features/t...vs-summer.html

-Ryan
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  #190  
Old 02-15-2011, 11:24 AM
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Re: Unsure about snow performance

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Originally Posted by rybocf View Post
Interesting article, sort of contradicts the C&D one a bit...make me lean more towards a summer/winter combo, mostly due to the wet road performance.

http://www.insideline.com/features/t...vs-summer.html

-Ryan
One thing I noticed is that C&D only compares "All Season", not "All Terrain" tires in their test. I wonder why they didn't compare all season, summer, all terrain and winter.

A more fair comparison would involve 4wd vehicles with all terrain vs. all season vs. winter. (since that's what we're all discussing here, not 2wd vehicles) We'd see results that weren't so dramatically different. (of course if you drive summer tires in the snow, you're an accident waiting to happen)
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  #191  
Old 02-15-2011, 11:54 AM
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Re: Unsure about snow performance

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Originally Posted by the1jake View Post
One thing I noticed is that C&D only compares "All Season", not "All Terrain" tires in their test. I wonder why they didn't compare all season, summer, all terrain and winter.

A more fair comparison would involve 4wd vehicles with all terrain vs. all season vs. winter. (since that's what we're all discussing here, not 2wd vehicles) We'd see results that weren't so dramatically different. (of course if you drive summer tires in the snow, you're an accident waiting to happen)
Tire Rack has some comparisons (not exhaustive, though) of AWD vehicles wearing all seasons vs. winters (I tried to find a link, but couldn't find one to the specific test; it may even be a video on Youtube). The short version is that both get going reasonably well, but the winter tire equipped vehicle is able to do so more quickly. Due to the variation in the exact tire models, I don't know that a blanket recommendation can be laid down for all season vs. all terrain vs. winter only. Some all seasons and all terrains will do almost as well as some winters. Some winters will blow the doors off anything in the muck. Some all seasons and all terrains can be useless on ice. There's too many variables; just because a quality tire from a big brand works well doesn't mean the el cheapo Chinese no names will be worth anything.

Once it comes time to turn or stop, the AWD system is no longer helping you- that extra weight is now a liability thanks to the First Law of Motion. Those extra few hundred pounds of drivetrain gear want to keep on going straight at a given speed. If the traction available to the tires is reduced, braking and handling are similarly reduced.

I chuckle when I end up behind some idiot in an Escalade with 22" rims and summer tires. The driver thinks that the AWD system means driving in snow and ice is easy. The completely unsuitable tires combined with the large and heavy vehicle means that it's going to be darn near impossible to go anywhere with that vehicle wearing those tires in those conditions.
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  #192  
Old 02-15-2011, 12:51 PM
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Re: Unsure about snow performance

According to this thread, it can also be concluded that all seasons and all terrain tires are dangerous to drive in the summer months on roads since dedicated summer tires give a great deal more stopping and handling grip.
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