Snow tire life

Messages
18,187
Location
NH
Can snow tires be used out to the ~7 year recommended tire life? Or does the rubber dry out / crack / age faster? I try to keep miles low on my truck, so maybe 5k/winter for miles. Seems like I might be able to get several winters out of a set of snow tires. Assuming that sitting in the shed and covered up won't bake the life out of them. I find it hard to believe that I could get six years out of a set of tires, something will come up and fix that I'm sure. But I'm curious.
 
Messages
36,521
Location
ME
I've gotten nearly a decade. I'm a punk, though, and wait till the bitter end to stick them on. I'll even switch back to summers for a Thanksgiving or Xmas road trip if the weather looks good. These are of course on their own rims-- IDK how many mount/ unmount cycles are good for the beads.
 

supton

Thread starter
Messages
18,187
Location
NH
Found a set of rims, so on/off should be no prob. Well, other than the manpower to put on/off. That's gotta be a solid hour of effort right there!
 
Messages
1,410
Location
Western Canada
I ran a set of Nokian RSi winter tires for 5 winters... and they still worked very well even when down to about 4/32 tread depth... however... I put a new set of Toyo GSI-5s winters on my other car, and when I compared the tread hardness between the two... BIG DIFFERENCE...! The 6 year old Nokians were very firm compared to the noticeably soft Toyo's... Like I said, the Nokians still worked good, but they were BRILLIANT when new...the hardening rubber probably a factor.
 
Messages
1,460
Location
NY
I bought a set of 4 snows and wheels off CL over the summer. According to the date code they were produced in 2008, still sitting at ~7/32nds. I don't see any dry rot or cracking yet. Pacemaker Snowtrakker S/T2s. Still tormenting myself with whether or not I should run them since they would be going on my parents car.
 
Messages
9,797
Location
Ontario, Canada
I've found 6-7 years to be about the limit of snow tires to remain useable for winter. The tread hardens and cracks a bit, but those tires were stored in an open shed as well so they had lots of airflow and atleast ambient temperatures all summer. If you can bag them and keep them in a cool basement then I think they'll perform a bit better at the end though. I'm storing my new IG52c's for the focus in the basement bagged, so hopefully they will be soft to the end of useable tread depth.
 
Messages
210
Location
WI
I got 3 winters out of my last set. Unfortunately the 3rd winter had abnormally low amounts of snowfall and since it is my daily driver the super soft snow & ice portion of the tread wore away leaving only the more conventional "all-season" tread compound behind (approximately 1/2 worn the compound changes). When we finally did get some snow (in February of the 3rd winter?) I noticed the poor snow & ice traction so I decided to at least get my miles out of that set and run them through the summer. They were amazing the first two snowy winters though... My little Saturn ION was able to drive through miles of snow that was level to the top of my front bumper and punch through drifts that were higher than the hood.
 
Messages
1,451
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
I ran some Bridgestone Blizzak WS-50 tires for 10 winters on my last car. They were to the point where most of the top 55% of the super soft/spongy tread was gone, with just a little of it showing. They still worked far better than all seasons.
 
Messages
1,227
Location
Columbus Nebraska
Personally, I am curious about the approximate miles you can get out of the snow tires before they are no longer any better than any all season. We usually put as many or even more miles in the winter than summer.
 
Messages
14,828
Location
Central NY
Originally Posted By: old1
Personally, I am curious about the approximate miles you can get out of the snow tires before they are no longer any better than any all season. We usually put as many or even more miles in the winter than summer.
Depends on the individual tire, really. Blizzaks have a certain range before the multicell compound and softer rubber wears down.
 

supton

Thread starter
Messages
18,187
Location
NH
I got either 30k or 40k out of my Hakka snows, and Nordman also. Flat spots and poor tread wear, so about 30k upper limit. At least on my Jetta. For my heavy truck I doubt much more than 20k on those Blazzaks I'd wager. If I drive it sparingly that might be four seasons. Two tops if I drive it daily.
 
Messages
2,060
Location
America's Dairyland
Originally Posted By: old1
Personally, I am curious about the approximate miles you can get out of the snow tires before they are no longer any better than any all season. We usually put as many or even more miles in the winter than summer.
Michelin puts a 40k mile warranty on their snows. I got 5 years out of original Latitude X-Ice and after about 30k they still were above the winter wear bars of 6/32". Last year I put the Latitude X-Ice 2 on and after 5500 winter miles they still had the "texture" on the tread. If you've seen them in person or a good picture of new tires you know what I mean. Winter tires over 6/32" will be better than all-season,.
 
Messages
16,002
Location
NE,Ohio
I bag mine in those really thick trash bags that are marketed as "contractor clean up bags" and have mini steel girders sticking out of the bag( crackmeup) in the picture 3Mil or so thickness then I tape it closed.. really helps keep em fresh. Stored in basement which is usually 60-72F These are the cheap version http://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-42-gal-Clean-up-Bags-32-Count-HK42WC032B-M/100063659 http://www.samsclub.com/sams/proforce-contractor-clean-up-bags-42-gal-32-ct/prod740515.ip my 3 winter blizzacks were still fresh and sticky for the 4th winter when I sold them with 10/32 tread left. I also wait until the last min, and take them off early ... running all seasons vs summers allows this with ease usually. Although the first year I usually put them on mid November so they can break in before the bad stuff.
 
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Messages
16,002
Location
NE,Ohio
I think you would be fine for even 3-4 years storing in a bag in a shed.. but they may harden prematurely vs a basement. you could build a wall mount, or get some thick cardboard and stack them up..(I use double-triple corrugated) Maybe make some room in the basement.. you only need a 3'x 3' area.
 
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emg

Messages
613
Location
Canada
Originally Posted By: geeman789
I ran a set of Nokian RSi winter tires for 5 winters... and they still worked very well even when down to about 4/32 tread depth... however...
Yeah, this'll be the fifth year for the Hakka Rs on our Civic; they're still around 6/32 on the tread wear indicators and work OK, but they're not as good as they were when new, probably solely because of the age. I'll think about replacing them next winter after I've paid off the Hakka 8s on the new Forester smile.
 

cp3

Messages
2,645
Location
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Bought two sets of Hankook W409s in the fall of 2009. Sold my G5 and the winters last summer. The wife's set for the G6 went back on for the sixth winter last weekend. Two of these tires ran an entire year and have 63000KM (~40000 miles) on them. The W409 has two sets of wear bars, one at the normal depth and one are deeper and I am assuming indicate sufficient depth for winter use. I change by temperature, wait till the forecast high is consistently below 7C before they go on and then low above 7C before they come off.
 
Messages
40,838
Location
Great Lakes
My Altimax Arctics are on its 5th year. Only 5k miles on them so far, and the tread looks almost new, but my butt dyno tells me they're not as effective in snow as they used to be. No doubt the soft winter rubber hardens with age.
 
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