Ideas for tires on 03 Cavailer

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8,711
Location
Nothern USA
If he has the LS model with the 205-55-16's, it limits the choices. I have Kelly Springfield Navigator Golds on my 02. They are smoother and quieter that the original Goodyears. I think they have as good or better wet traction. Handling isn't bad either. I think they are a good tire for about $80 installed. I don't have that good of a selection locally and didn't find Tire Rack had that many reports on tires on my size.
 
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8,711
Location
Nothern USA
I don't think Denver gets that much snow, and like most urban areas, between traffic and salt, it quickly turns to ice or slush where all seasons work as well as anything without studs.
 
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My son is moving to the Denver area..he needs a good all season tire to handle the weather out there..I need ideas from y'all that know...thanks
In Denver, he needs winter tires, not all-season tires. I'll "third" the recommendation for the Nokian WR. Come spring, he'll want summer tires, not all-season tires. There is a good reason why all-season tires are banned in most of the civilized world.
 
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1,979
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Dallas, TX
I spent 17 years in Wyoming driving everything from FWD compacts to full-size RWD pickups...all he'll need is a good set of all-seasons, rather than saddling him with two sets of tires to be responsible for. Denver is notorious for its heavy springtime snowfall when weather systems coming over the mountains become trapped and hang there for days. He won't want to be caught off guard with summer tires on the car, with no opportunity to switch them out before the roads become a joke. If he just keeps in mind that a car basically becomes crippled by slick roads, and slows down, he'll be fine. No winter tire is going to help a FWD compact car when the snow gets bumper-deep, nor will they make any difference when the snow becomes packed into ice. There's no substitute for giving yourself ample time to get where you're going, and realizing that even if you're able to accelerate, braking and steering can be an entirely different story. One of my last trips to Denver ended me up in one of the worst winter storms I'd ever been in, and plow as they may the snow can fall faster than they can plow...it was no fun in my Sundance, but with my all-season Bridgestones I did as well as anyone else on the road...and considerably better than the people who didn't slow down on 25 and were being pulled out of the ditches.
 
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I spent 17 years in Wyoming driving everything from FWD compacts to full-size RWD pickups...all he'll need is a good set of all-seasons, rather than saddling him with two sets of tires to be responsible for. Denver is notorious for its heavy springtime snowfall when weather systems coming over the mountains become trapped and hang there for days. He won't want to be caught off guard with summer tires on the car, with no opportunity to switch them out before the roads become a joke. If he just keeps in mind that a car basically becomes crippled by slick roads, and slows down, he'll be fine. No winter tire is going to help a FWD compact car when the snow gets bumper-deep, nor will they make any difference when the snow becomes packed into ice. There's no substitute for giving yourself ample time to get where you're going, and realizing that even if you're able to accelerate, braking and steering can be an entirely different story. One of my last trips to Denver ended me up in one of the worst winter storms I'd ever been in, and plow as they may the snow can fall faster than they can plow...it was no fun in my Sundance, but with my all-season Bridgestones I did as well as anyone else on the road...and considerably better than the people who didn't slow down on 25 and were being pulled out of the ditches.
The "go" in the snow is less of a concern than the "stop" in the wet. Like people with their first 4-wheel or all-wheel-drive vehicle who have traction to go and forget that the 4-wheel-drive does not do a thing for braking on a slick surface. Every aspect of every tire is a compromise, and the price that is paid in the compromise that allows snow to stick to the tread of an all-season tire is that when the road is wet, water sticks to the tread. The film of water on the tread significantly lengthens braking distances when the pavement is wet. That may be less of a problem in the wide open spaces of Wyoming than it is on the urban freeways of Denver. Chances are that in Denver he will be driving many more hours on wet surfaces after the snow has been plowed or melted than he will be driving during the actual snowfall. As you point out, sensible people drop their speed drastically when the snow is falling or loose on the ground, but the speeds creep back up when the road appears clear but wet, and the spacing between cars on urban freeways is not as much in the control of the driver as it is on rural roads. When the snow is loose on the ground, a winter tire is better for traction and (because winter tires generally have soft tread compounds designed to stay flexible in freezing conditions) better for braking than a hard-compound all-season tire. When the roads are wet, a summer tire with a tread compound that sheds water brakes better than an all-season tire that retains water.
 
Messages
1,979
Location
Dallas, TX
Are you even making a point of which tire he should be during a given season, or are you suggesting he should change his tires every day depending on what the roads have in store? Summer tires MAY be better in the wet, but later that night when the wet turns to ice and slush, or more snow falls, he won't want to be riding on summer tires. December through April in Denver sees more snow and ice on the roads than water, so a summer tire during that period is begging for a bad wreck. I'd be interested to know how you're envisioning Wyoming to be..this wide-open spaces comment is interesting...and true about the highways in-between cities, but most people (ranchers aside) live and work in a city and endure the same stop-and-go situations as people do in any other state.
 
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Are you even making a point of which tire he should be during a given season, or are you suggesting he should change his tires every day depending on what the roads have in store?
I was referring to seasonal changes, of course.
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Summer tires MAY be better in the wet,
Summer tires ARE better (than all-season tires) in the wet; there is sufficient real-world data to establish that fact that no serious debate is possible.
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but later that night when the wet turns to ice and slush, or more snow falls, he won't want to be riding on summer tires.
Summer tires are actually better in the slush than all-season tires are, but we can agree that winter tires are the better choice, and that there are very few nonstudded tires of any description that are anything but worthless on ice. All-season tires definitely have an edge over summer tires in light snow, but, again, winter tires are superior in those conditions.
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December through April in Denver sees more snow and ice on the roads than water, so a summer tire during that period is begging for a bad wreck. I'd be interested to know how you're envisioning Wyoming to be..this wide-open spaces comment is interesting...and true about the highways in-between cities, but most people (ranchers aside) live and work in a city and endure the same stop-and-go situations as people do in any other state.
I have lived in the West all of my life, have passed through Wyoming many times, but spent little time in Wyoming. (My father -- before I was born -- worked for a few years in Ethete, Wyoming, which is so remote even you probably have not been there.) The Wyoming I have experienced has a lot more space than people (and vehicles).
 
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