Which winter tire?

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I think it really depends on the mles you will be putting on the winter tires you buy. I know pleny of people who leave their snows on year round here in Michigan and get 3-5 years out of them, but then again they all usually dive 4-6K miles a year total. I will be putting 100 miles a day on my tires, that is why I went with the better wearing Nokian WR. I just got them put on this weekend, I will post when the snow hits. I do know they were awesome in the rain we had this weekend. I will be rotating them every 5K and balancing every 10K, I hope they give me 50K. For the peace of mind they give me with my pregnant wife driving so much, the price was worth it. I have yet to find a negative review on their winter performance.
Originally posted by 4DSC:
Originally posted by Patman: I bought the Kumho KW17 snow tires for my wife's Honda last fall, and decided just to leave them on after winter was over. So they've gone through this entire summer too. The tread life is still excellent and these tires honestly feel just as good as all seasons in the dry. But they are much better in the rain! So it is a win/win situation for me to simply run them all year round on her car. And at this rate it looks like they won't need replacing for at least another two years.
Thanks for the review Pat, I've been contemplating the KW17 and debating whether I should go with that or the Nokian WR. According to the guys at TireTrends a tire like the KW17 would perform and wear very similarly to the WR, and it sounds like they're right. They're attractively cheaper too... Maybe write a little review over at www.tiretrends.com for this tire? Reviews for the KW17 are few and far between. [Cheers!] Decisions, decisions.....

I bought those Kumhos from the guys at Tiretrends actually! They've got awesome service!
I use only Blizzaks on my taxi fleet. I tried the Michelins, BFG's and even studded tires and nothing comes close to the Blizzaks, especially when things get really nastly like freezing rain. I usually get 2 seasons out of them or ~40k miles. Maybe that's because our winters are quite cold with little mild weather. They do seem to wear faster when the temps go up. After the second winter, there's still a good amount of tread left so I just leave them on into spring until they're bald.
Well, Went with the Winterforce and steel wheels and Tirerack got them to me in 2 days. Tread looks good and I'm sure they will do well in the driving cond we get into. I'll keep track of the miles and preformance and report back. Thanks for all comments. [HAIL 2 U!] Bill
4dsc: You might want to check Tirerack.com as far as how long you should use a winter tire, and also the manufacturer's specification as to how much of the tread is compounded to give you ice traction. As far as the snow traction, I believe Tirerack says you need 5-6 thirty seconds of an inch of tread.
Most Aggressive Traction,Top$,diminished Q rated handling however 1. Bridgestone Blizzak WS50 2. Goodyear UltraGrip Ice 3. Michelin Arctic Alpin Performace Winter ***1. DUNLOP SPORT M3 V-rated (the Europeans rave on them, unfortunately many Dunlop-Goodyear wearhouses are at low stock) 2. Bridgeston Blizzak LM22 (H rated) 3. Michelin Pilot Alpin (H rated) Look into the M3's they seem to be amazing minus some traction over the Blizzak WS50s.
I got a set of Dunlop M3 this winter because I do a lot of highway driving like yourself. I've been told that the tread on a H rated tire will last longer. I think you get a tradeoff with less snow traction in order to allow a H rated tire to perform better on dry roads but I figured that there are very few days with snow on the roads. I haven't had a chance to drive on snow with them yet, but they drive exactly like my all seasons on dry roads.
John, Thanks for reminding me, Performace Winter: 1. Dunlop Winter M3 Tie 1. Goodyear Eagle Ultra Grip GW3 This Goodyear is also well respected but North American stock again is low. I am sure TireRack.com has the two products hoarded [Smile] I also agree with you many people say this tire doubles for an excellent all season if you keep them on past winter season. You may sacrifice some severe snow traction versus the winter-biter Blizzaks but your fun and handling factor with the M3 and GW3 should compensate on dry road times.
With what I heard about the Blizzaks wearing out very quickly under dry conditions I think it is probably not the best tire in Bill's case. The Blizzak sounds like a great tire for someone who drives mainly short trips because it is supposedly great in ice and snow and it won't wear that quickly if the miles are not accumlated quickly. I can't say first hand how much worse a H-rated winter tire will be over a Q-rated tire, but I think you have to look at the driving conditions. From my research I found that H-rated tires sacrifice a little of the winter ability, but not to the extent that you will get stuck or will be sliding at every intersection like you will with an all season.
"Went with the Winterforce and steel wheels" By golly, poke me in the ribs and kick the dog..... the exact same route I took a couple weeks ago. Bought locally, though. Four used OEM steel wheels at the best price I could find and, while there, went ahead and bough the Winterforce tires. I spent three weeks researching as to the most cost-effective snow tire for my needs. While other tires offered better ice traction they seemed to me to be less able to handle thick snow due to the tread design. Then, there were the tires that appeared to be ready to tackle all types of snow: slushy stuff, dry light type, etc. but they appeared to have disregarded that dern' ice. The Winterforce has a fairly "aggressive" tread for digging into the white stuff yet there is plenty of siping to assist with the ice. Lots of good reviews for those Winterforce critters. After the snow flies and the streets get slick I hope to read various reviews from the crowd...... especially if these Winterforce fellows don't perform as expected. If they don't I'll have to try sumpthin' else.
I installed my new Winterforces(not studded) on my Volvo 245 last week. I had been using Firestone Winterfires for the past 5yrs and they always served me well. No snow yet, but they have a "squishier" feel on dry roads compared to the old Winterfires. But judging by the more aggressive/deeper tread, they should handle the snow much better. On another note, I'm installing the Kumho KW11 Izens on my Wife's VW Golf tonight. This will be our 2nd winter season on these tires. Last year, they were nothing short of phenomonal. They handle just as well as all-seasons on dry roads and offer excellent control in the white stuff. Actually, the Kumhos were my 1st choice for the Volvo but I had to settle for the Winterforces because of availability(Tire Rack).
Reply 4DSC. Sorry, I can't substantiate which winter tires lose their ice traction when half the tread is gone. The last CU article on winter tires seems to be the definitive source of factual information so you might want to look that up. But as you said once half the tread is gone the tire is going to be much less effective in snow so the question is mostly irrelevant. If someone wants to economize they will probably stick with their all-seasons.
I have a set of Yokohama K2 snow tires for the front of my Escort ZX2. I run 'em Dec-March and they are awesome in the snow. Yes, a little "rubbery" in the dry but when there's a heavy snow I'm out and about when the only other vehicles around are 4x4s. It's amazing how easily I can do a broken u-turn in 6" of snow. I had a set of Blizzacks on a the front of a '97 Pontiac Sunfire - they were great too, quite similar to the Yoks.
I just got some Cooper Discoverer M+S winter tires for my 2 wheel drive Silverado. They were excellent in a test run after our first snow. The tire size is P-255-70R-16. Price was $100.00 per tire out the door (mounting, balancing, valve stems etc.) [Happy]
Just had our first significant snow over Thanksgiving. Drove up to the folks for the holidays right in the thick of it and had a chance to check out the new Nokian WR All-Weather passenger tires. All I can say is wow!! My wife drove them back from school, about 45 miles and then I hopped in and drove north about 45 miles on back country roads. You just wouldn't believe that these tires are considered all seasons with a tread life of 40-50K. Since we put so many miles on our tires with the long commutes this was the obvious choice instead of dedicated snows. If they wear as well as the dealer claims this will be the new tire for all my wifes vehicles. She said she felt extremely comfortable driving on the roads which were anything but good.
Specifically for a winter tire that is a "real" snow tire but also does well on dry and wet pavement, I really like the Michelin Artic Alpin. They are not cheap but if you get them through Tire Rack or similar not too bad. Consumer Reports rated this tire best on wet and dry pavement of the ones they tested. If you have not checked out CR on car stuff lately you will have a pleasant surprise - their new automotive editor is a real car guy and offers some good info/advice. I do remember before he came on board they treated the car as just an appliance and their advice, while practical, was useless to the enthusiast...
http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/winter/research.htm The issues surrounding studded tire performance and safety are complex. From the standpoint of traction alone, studded tires, when new, often provide some benefit over other tire types on ice-covered roads when the temperature is near freezing. However, the advent of the new studless tires has diminished the marginal benefit, and recent studies suggest that the infrequent, narrow range of conditions necessary for benefit from studded tires may not outweigh their detrimental effect on traction in dry or wet conditions on certain pavement types. In addition, a host of primary and secondary safety factors are related to studded tire use, many of which are very difficult to quantify, including facets of driver behavior and safety perception. This study was conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration by Robert R. Scheibe in October 2002. http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/winter/studtire/Studded_Tire_Report_Final_Nov_2002.pdf http://www2.vti.se/nordic/3-03mapp/sunflower.html The survey of tyre use in Östergötland county, southern Sweden, shows that the proportion of studded tyres increased from ca 75 per cent before the introduction of the Law to ca 80 per cent after its introduction. The proportion of winter tyres without studs increased from ca 15 to ca 20 per cent. The use of summer tyres was cut by half during the 1990s even before the requirement concerning winter tyres came into force, i.e. people expected the requirement and adjusted accordingly. The term ‘winter tyres’ in the Winter Tyre Law refers to winter tyres both with and without studs. In the summer of 1999 the Swedish Government promulgated a Decree according to which cars, light lorries and buses, of a total weight not exceeding 3.5 tonnes, shall during the period 1 December–31 March, when travelling on a road, be fitted with winter tyres or similar equipment when winter road conditions prevail. http://www.tieh.fi/winter.htm In Finland the use of studded tires began in the early 1960's. Finland has been and still is the leading country in the use of studded tires. In wintertime 95 % of passenger cars have studded tires.
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