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Anyone North Thinking Of Winter Tires Yet?

I always thought radial snowtires was another money-grab,, but EVERYONE around  says  there IS a significant difference from "all season" for northern climates.

As safety for EVERYONE should be forefront in our minds, please check-out this Canadian video on <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/marketplace/get_a_grip/"> tires. </a>

The video is about 20 min. long, click "watch video", then right-click(Zoom) to full screen.

This certainly made me think!


  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    When I lived in Buffalo, NY...

    When I lived in Buffalo, NY, I used to use studded snow tires in winter. Actually, I had two extra wheels with those mounted on them that I kept in the trunk along with the cross wrench you needed to undo the wheel nuts in freezing weather. I used the normal tires most of the time, but when the snow was bad I put on the studded snow tires.

    But now I live near the coast in New Jersey, and in the almost 50 years I have been here, I would have liked studded snow tires only a couple of times. But those are illegal now.

    Having learned how to drive in the snow in Buffalo, I have found I did not need snow tires here. If I lived in Buffalo or Syracuse N.Y., though, I think I would get snow tires. It depends on where you live.
  • EricAune
    EricAune Member Posts: 432
    Softer Rubber Compound

    Tires marketed toward winter use have a softer/stickier rubber compound that does not harden like a standard tire in low temps.  I use them religiously on my Subaru Wrx, but I keep the AT tires on the four wheel drive trucks.  These tires perform very well here in Minnesota where we can see temps. hover around zero or lower for weeks...maybe months......think its supposed to freeze tonight.....j/k.

    "If you don't like change, your going to like irrelevance even less"
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,144
    siped tires

    is another option. Some tire brands are siped at the factory now. We siped tires for riding motorcycles on the ice of Lake Erie where I grew up.

    I also ran siped tires on my 4wd truck in NW Montana where black ice was common and little to no salt or cinders spread on the roads.

    Some say siping allow the tires to run cooler and last longer also. It's an option worth looking into if studs are banned in your area.

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Paul Fredricks_3
    Paul Fredricks_3 Member Posts: 1,557

    What's a siped tire?
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    What's a siped tire.

  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    What's a siped tire.

  • Empire_2
    Empire_2 Member Posts: 2,343

    Yea I am in BUFFALO, and yep I am thinking of the winter.  Actually it's been mild for the most part with a few snow temper tantrums, but the general rule is drive slow, dont stop, if you hit something and you cant see it in your rear view,...Don't stop!!!:-)  If you do get stuck, generally you will find 10 people pushing you out without even asking.....

    Mike T.
  • Well, siped or not,,,,

    I purchased my "snow grippies" seems to me it is a matter of safety, and I don`t need a lawyer breathing down my neck if a "designed tire" is altered.  
  • KevinCorr
    KevinCorr Member Posts: 106
    for sure

    I would not think of not having snow tires.

    My wife has the Nokian tires reviewed in that link.

    My car has Goodyear Ultra Ice

    My sister has Blizak.

    All good.
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    Were you there in 1977?


    My parents were there then. The irony of that was that they owned an apartment in Menton, France (on the Mediterranean, right next to Italy) and were there the week before. They got back just in time to get snowed in. Think of it: they could stay for free on the RIviera and they came to Buffalo to sit in their house for a week with the snow over the ground floor of the house so they could not even open the doors.

    Here is one way to deal with that, though I do not know if Buffalo had any of these.

  • Empire_2
    Empire_2 Member Posts: 2,343
    edited August 2009

    I was there during 1977, I was 13 years old.  we were jumping off our second story roof onto the huge show drift.  It was a lot of fun, but it took 3 days to shovel out the driveway.  I can still feel the pain in my back:-)

    MIke T.
  • Tim_41
    Tim_41 Member Posts: 153

    I concur with Kevincorr:  Nokians and Blizzaks.  I've used both when I use to drive rally cars and the grip was very good.  There were no studs allowed. I have the nokians on the work van and blizzaks on the subaru.  If you get snow/ice tires, get all four: not just 2 (for front wheel drive or rear wheel drive). 
  • I use winter tires

    The difference in safety is dramatic.  Also, you have to work really hard to get stuck.  Last winter, I was working out in the boondocks beyond the boondocks....high winds and drifting.   I had to back out of a long drive with a 2002 Ford Van with no limited slip and a notorious reputation for poor traction....and managed to drive off the snow filled driveway into 18 inches of snow.  The Blizzaks just bite right in and I just started moving along again slowly and drove another 100 feet or more and got back into the ruts.  It was interesting to look at my ruts after I got out, the drive tire never spun.....the snow just sheared against the snow below.   The grip on ice is also dramatic so those wonderful black ice and snow packed roads are much, much safer.

    Also, don't be fooled by the useless M+S (mud and snow) rating on tires.  Some of the most useless tires in snow I've had were M+S rated.  Even the cheap winter tires like the Firestone Winterfires or Winterforce (tirerack) and others are dramatically better in the winter than All seasons. 

    Blizzaks on the Van ( the only light truck tires I could find in an E rating)

    Generals (Continental made in Germany) on the VW....really good deal

    Used Winterfires, Yokohamas in the past too.

    The Steam Whisperer (Formerly Boilerpro)

    Chicago's Steam Heating Expert

    Noisy Radiators are a Cry for Help
  • Hey boilerpro,,

    Good to see you posting again!,,, how are things in your "neck of the woods"?

    As for snowtires, I got a set (4) of these for my E250,, crappy in snow with all seasons, but with these everything points to a dramatic difference. 
This discussion has been closed.