Pirelli Sottozero 3 + Age = Fail?

Messages
1,294
Location
Western Washington
Hi Everyone,

I've got a set of Pirelli Sottozero 3 performance winter tires I use on my 2018 WRX. They're about 3 years old now. In the past they were fantastic in snow, but this year they were abysmal. Does time or mild wear affect these tires more so than other winter tires?

For background, in Seattle we got several days of snow in 2019, and in driving up and down steep hills I experienced basically no wheelspin. They performed flawlessly.

This February we received a similar amount of snow. My driveway is flat, but my street is a moderate incline. I could get out of the driveway without problem, but I was horrified to find that going up hill all four wheels would just spin, with the car sliding sideways. I felt like I was on my summer tires, and had to dig down to bare pavement in order to get back into the driveway!

Does anyone have experience with these tires degrading significantly over time?

Thanks!
 
Messages
11,910
Location
USA
How many miles, and how much tread is left? :unsure:

When do you use the winter tires? As in, when do you put them on, and when do you out the summer tires back on?

Winter tires do lost their awesome snow performance after 5/32, and some winter tires even have a second set o wear bars that that point to tell you as such.
 
Messages
3,653
Location
Parts Unknown
Messages
5,944
Location
down in the park
Hi Everyone,

I've got a set of Pirelli Sottozero 3 performance winter tires I use on my 2018 WRX. They're about 3 years old now. In the past they were fantastic in snow, but this year they were abysmal. Does time or mild wear affect these tires more so than other winter tires?

For background, in Seattle we got several days of snow in 2019, and in driving up and down steep hills I experienced basically no wheelspin. They performed flawlessly.

This February we received a similar amount of snow. My driveway is flat, but my street is a moderate incline. I could get out of the driveway without problem, but I was horrified to find that going up hill all four wheels would just spin, with the car sliding sideways. I felt like I was on my summer tires, and had to dig down to bare pavement in order to get back into the driveway!

Does anyone have experience with these tires degrading significantly over time?

Thanks!

Did the snow fall on frozen roads, or did the first snowflakes melt and then the water froze to the surface? In the second case you're driving on ice but the snow over it looks just the same.
 
Messages
7,577
Location
North America
Did the snow fall on frozen roads, or did the first snowflakes melt and then the water froze to the surface? In the second case you're driving on ice but the snow over it looks just the same.
This. Although 3 years + wear can cause issues, the type of snow and what fell prior make a huge difference for any tire.

And so do any power mods you may have done.
 

Palut

Thread starter
Messages
1,294
Location
Western Washington
The tires have around 20,000 miles and 2020-2021 was their third winter. They are at 4/32 right now.

The snow was fresh and had just fallen overnight, it was as nice and powdery as western Washington snow can ever get.

I generally put winters on in early November and take them off in mid March.

I have no power mods. Even starting out gently in 2nd gear caused all four wheels to just spin.
 
Messages
724
Location
MA, USA
4/32 - use summer to kill them and get new winter tires for next season.
Or just buy new ones for next season.

They were probably worn too much to provide good performance.

Krzyś
 
Messages
3,653
Location
Parts Unknown
The tires have around 20,000 miles and 2020-2021 was their third winter. They are at 4/32 right now.

The snow was fresh and had just fallen overnight, it was as nice and powdery as western Washington snow can ever get.

I generally put winters on in early November and take them off in mid March.

I have no power mods. Even starting out gently in 2nd gear caused all four wheels to just spin.
they are worn, hence your poor traction, not really the tire's fault.

In many states, 3/16" (6/32") is the minimum safe tread depth for winter traction (even M+S only for some of those states)
 
Messages
11,910
Location
USA
The tires have around 20,000 miles and 2020-2021 was their third winter. They are at 4/32 right now.

The snow was fresh and had just fallen overnight, it was as nice and powdery as western Washington snow can ever get.

I generally put winters on in early November and take them off in mid March.

I have no power mods. Even starting out gently in 2nd gear caused all four wheels to just spin.

20k doesn't sound too bad :)
 
Messages
16,139
Location
NE,Ohio
sounds like you wore down past the sipes.. ie they are wore out no other issues.

Had the same issue with some old dunlop M3's the predecessor to the dunlop 3d winter tire.

great 2 years .. half way through 3rd year they were sliding all over. 5/32 tread depth.
 
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