Snow tires

Messages
405
Location
Michigan
I have the Altimax Artics on my winter wheels. I've put 22,000 miles on them in 4 winters and they still have 9 to 10 MM of tread left. They're reasonably quiet, and have better traction than the DWS they replaced.
 
Last edited:

supton

Thread starter
Messages
18,333
Location
NH
Originally Posted by madRiver
Odd on your tread life. Do you have the car alignment checked when tires are mounted by a decent shop? I have WR G3 SUV and had WR G2 SUV and would not recommend as dedicated winter tires. They are good and really incredible at slush and rain over any winter tire but not up to a dedicated winter tire on ice. I find tread life to be about 40-45k on my 07 Acura MDX. I run them year round. You listed some good choices and have your alignment checked. The tire shop I use locally charges $40 to check alignment during purchase and $80 if it needs it, they know what they are doing. Of three checks only needed one.
It has been a while; I don't think the alignment on wife's car has ever been checked. Tires wear well, and three vehicles have been doing the same tire lifespan. Probably too much toe in on the rear, but nothing I can do about that--for a while I had little toe on my car, and it wandered with every breeze. Just checked: on my car, the RT43's measure about 5/32's on outer shoulder on three tires, other one is 6. Middle is about 5-6 and inner shoulder is 7. That is after 20,000 miles & 8 months. I'll tire shop again, I haven't bought from a chain in a long time thus it's a special trip to get an alignment. I have the local garage balance, and usually mount the tires myself.
Originally Posted by JTK
Supton, how many miles do you figure were put on those Yokohamas in two winters? That sounds horrible. I've had Blizzaks and Firestone Winterforce snows last twice that with life to go. They only saw about 6-8K miles per season though.
I'd have to look tonight, I really don't know. That reminds me, I've never had winter tires that didn't wear badly. Nordman 2, Hakka, Iceguard, WRG1. Flat spot or feathering.
 
Messages
9,145
Location
Marshfield , MA
I recommend Town Fair Tire. Find a tire you like there. Go with them or seek a better deal. Camry likes the Arctics I bought there last yr. I make an appt to have them put on around 12/1/ and take 'em off come April. It makes tires painless. April may see a new set for the SE. I'm gonna go with a some sorta touring/rain tires. The Fridge will probably get a set of all seasons when the current set wears out. Up to a point, I search for deals. I'm slowly learning about the value of time too. The group here was giving Altimax positive reviews....
 
Messages
3,646
Location
Worst Case, Ontario
I have a set of Toyo Garit KX. They have pretty awesome dry and wet grip and are pretty good in the snow. They are a little loud and harsh but they their performance is worth it. I live in Toronto and I think wet grip is important here.
 

Pew

Messages
1,398
Location
Illinois
Originally Posted by krzyss
I would have said wet but good snow tires have enough void space that aquaplaning is not a problem. KrzyÅ›
I used to think the same thing with snow tires and wet performance, but it seems like wet performance is one of the biggest banes for any snow tire according to a lot of reviews....not that I'm going to corner any good with snow tires anyways.
 
Messages
3,645
Location
Parts Unknown
Originally Posted by krzyss
I would have said wet but good snow tires have enough void space that aquaplaning is not a problem. KrzyÅ›
It's not just about void space. The leading snow tires tend to have poor wet (braking) traction results, as part of the traction ratings, (EU label, as UTQG is not required on snow tires). Some winter tires do management an "A" rating in wet braking though.
 
Messages
12,750
Location
Colorado Springs
Originally Posted by Pew
Originally Posted by krzyss
I would have said wet but good snow tires have enough void space that aquaplaning is not a problem. KrzyÅ›
I used to think the same thing with snow tires and wet performance, but it seems like wet performance is one of the biggest banes for any snow tire according to a lot of reviews....not that I'm going to corner any good with snow tires anyways.
I had numerous snow tires and so far in wet by far the best were Michelin and worst, by far, Nokian. Nokian R2 on other hand have really good snow and ice characteristic and that is about it. In everything else others are better. You should think first in what conditions you drive most? Snow, slush, ice, dry, wet?
 

Pew

Messages
1,398
Location
Illinois
Originally Posted by edyvw
Originally Posted by Pew
Originally Posted by krzyss
I would have said wet but good snow tires have enough void space that aquaplaning is not a problem. KrzyÅ›
I used to think the same thing with snow tires and wet performance, but it seems like wet performance is one of the biggest banes for any snow tire according to a lot of reviews....not that I'm going to corner any good with snow tires anyways.
I had numerous snow tires and so far in wet by far the best were Michelin and worst, by far, Nokian. Nokian R2 on other hand have really good snow and ice characteristic and that is about it. In everything else others are better. You should think first in what conditions you drive most? Snow, slush, ice, dry, wet?
Yea, that's always my issue with snow tires and road trips. Either get good snow tires for the snow and shred them on dry pavement + miles when I get to Arizona or mediocre snow/AS tires and run the possibility of being "that guy" that crashes in the mountains of CO and UT when it snows. Can I please just get a hovercraft so I don't have to worry about snow?
 
Last edited:
Messages
12,750
Location
Colorado Springs
Originally Posted by Pew
Originally Posted by edyvw
Originally Posted by Pew
Originally Posted by krzyss
I would have said wet but good snow tires have enough void space that aquaplaning is not a problem. KrzyÅ›
I used to think the same thing with snow tires and wet performance, but it seems like wet performance is one of the biggest banes for any snow tire according to a lot of reviews....not that I'm going to corner any good with snow tires anyways.
I had numerous snow tires and so far in wet by far the best were Michelin and worst, by far, Nokian. Nokian R2 on other hand have really good snow and ice characteristic and that is about it. In everything else others are better. You should think first in what conditions you drive most? Snow, slush, ice, dry, wet?
Yea, that's always my issue with snow tires and road trips. Either get good snow tires for the snow and shred them on dry pavement + miles when I get to Arizona or mediocre snow/AS tires and run the possibility of being "that guy" that crashes in the mountains of CO and UT when it snows. Can I please just get a hovercraft so I don't have to worry about snow?
One is much safer with good snow tires, whichever brand they are, Continental, Nokian, Michelin etc. All those tires emphasize braking in snow and ice, and difference is not that big. Where difference might be is going forward. Nokian will be better in deep snow and slush then Michelin, but Michelin will get you forward too very confidently as well as Bridgestone Blzizak, or Continental etc. I drive a lot in CO mountains, back roads or I-70, and people who crash are people on all seasons or just plain bad tires. Do not forget, going forward is optional, stopping is not.
 
Last edited:
Messages
1,119
Location
Minneapolis
Just bought two sets of WS80 Blizzaks for my BMW and the other half's Focus. Because I have a TireRack distributor nearby I saved $80 for not shipping them plus $140 in rebates. Plus I can keep my old sets of WS80s on a few more weeks.
 
Messages
3,977
Location
Somewhere in the US
Originally Posted by Smokescreen
I emailed the tire and rubber association (who certifies the mountain snowflake tires) and they have a minimum spec for obtaining the symbol. There are some tires that exceed the minimum standard more than others, but they will never release the information as there are sure to be some low cost tires that beat out higher dollar ones. …….
Ah ….. Mmmmmmm …….. That's not how this works. First, the governing body is the US Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) - formerly the RMA (Rubber Manufacturers Association). They asked the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) to develop the testing procedure. Neither the ASTM nor the USTMA conduct the tests. Those can be performed by anyone, but if a tire manufacturer wants to display the mountain/snowflake symbol, they are supposed to be able to prove the tire passed. The test and the symbol were developed because the Canadian government wanted a way to tell what was a winter tire and what wasn't. The USTMA set the performance level relatively low because they didn't know how tires were going to perform and didn't want to exclude any winter tires from passing. As a result, many All Terrain tires can pass the test as do some aggressive All Season tires. The previous way this was done (the M+S designation), was based on a written geometric description - no testing involved - and left a lot to be desired. Please note: The M+S designation came into being before winter tire testing was much of a thing, so people weren't comfortable mandating an actual test. There has been work done to have a higher performance level designation, but the problem is that tires optimized for ice and tires optimized for snow are different. So there needed to be an agreement on what to do about that - and it just hasn't happened. And they haven't even begun to address studded tires. Oh, and one little tidbit. In some places, the mountain/snowflake symbol is frowned upon. Probably a "Not Invented Here" kind of thing. So many tires that don't have the symbol COULD pass the test, but are not so identified.
 
Messages
4,932
Location
Lakeville, MN
And that's how you end up with All Terrain tires that carry the mountain snowflake symbol - like the Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar tires that came on my F150. They pass the minimum standards to get the symbol. They are not however in the same league as true winter snow and ice tires - they can't be as the tread isn't optimized for cold weather operation and carry a mileage warranty over 50,000 miles too... And you can simply feel it in the rubber - it is much harder than the snow tires I put on the rest of the year...
 
Messages
12,750
Location
Colorado Springs
Originally Posted by MNgopher
And that's how you end up with All Terrain tires that carry the mountain snowflake symbol - like the Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar tires that came on my F150. They pass the minimum standards to get the symbol. They are not however in the same league as true winter snow and ice tires - they can't be as the tread isn't optimized for cold weather operation and carry a mileage warranty over 50,000 miles too... And you can simply feel it in the rubber - it is much harder than the snow tires I put on the rest of the year...
A/T will make car move forward, but stopping and handling is different world.
 
Messages
1,156
Location
USA
The new Cooper Discoverer True North is something to check out. I'm already driving on snow and ice on them and they seem very confident so far. Easily just as good as the Blizzak WS80s I had previously. Surprisingly quiet on dry pavement too.
 
Messages
742
Location
Wisconsin
I've done direct comparisons with Blizzacks and the lower cost Firestone Winter tires. Next I will just stick to Blizzacks, the Firestone tires were a few steps behind with traction. The Firestone tires ‘seemed' like they may wear longer.
 

supton

Thread starter
Messages
18,333
Location
NH
Originally Posted by JTK
Supton, how many miles do you figure were put on those Yokohamas in two winters? That sounds horrible. I've had Blizzaks and Firestone Winterforce snows last twice that with life to go. They only saw about 6-8K miles per season though.
Finally remembered to look. When I got the tires they measured 8/32 inside and 9/32 outside--what that means I'm not sure, sometimes I don't make sense. Probably inner shoulder and outer shoulder. When they came off 6,011 miles later my notes say 6/32 inner and 8 outer on the front tires, 8/32 inner and 9/32 outer on the rear. Which really doesn't make sense to me, faster wear on the inside. Mind you, all seasons wear perfectly fine on this car. Tires went back on, good tires rotated up front I'm guessing, because after 4,249 miles my notes indicate... 6/32 front and 5/32 rear. Yep, I'm real consistent on my note taking. Not sure what they have right now, they are in storage, and they aren't going back on. I can't complain, I think I had $300 in that set of tires, and that included rims. A lot less miles than I thought over those two winters. Maybe the wife drives less than I think.
 
Top