Winter tires.

Discussion in 'Canada' started by jackd, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. Rocer10

    Rocer10 Been here awhile

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    jacd, seeing as your thread has drifted from where to buy to what to buy may I suggest that you check with your local library to see if they have a copy of Consumer Reports annual buying guide (warning: it's a U.S. publication so sometimes has makes/models of tires not available here). It's hard to recommend a specific tire make / model without knowing your specific driving conditions. My impression of the area you live in is that you 'might' get two snowfalls a winter and a much higher incidence of wet roads than in other areas, but that's my impression.

    For myself I switch between summer tires (typically all season) and full winter tires as I have both seasonal extremes. While I drive a Honda Ridgeline 4WD I still get myself into regular winter driving rhubarbs as I'm out on rural roads before the plows while highway winter driving is minimal. Summer time has a greater highway component. As a result of a scary near accident while hydroplaning with child on board I'll sacrifice a low score in the wear category for a summer tire in favour of a tire that has an above average score in the hydroplaning score. When it comes to winter I favour snow and ice traction scores over other scores such as noise - and yes there are winter tires that score low in snow / ice traction :eek1

    There never seems to be the perfect tire so compromises have to be made. FYI, the categories that are listed for tire ratings in CR include: Dry Braking / Wet Braking / Handling / Hydroplaning / Snow Traction / Ice Braking / Ride / Noise / Rolling resistance / Tread Life. While I don't use CR ratings as gospel they are a good reference source in helping to make an objective choice.
    #21
  2. Sunday Rider

    Sunday Rider Adventurer Wanabe

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    #22
  3. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    I cannot praise my local Kal Tire high enough. Always fixed my flats for free, even on tires I did not buy there. Felt guilty a couple times and went next door to drop some beers on their counter.

    Drove my minivan up/down all them big passes for 3 years on cheaper winter tires, Artic Claws??? were just fine for the first couple years, third year was getting scary. Not very good them when they are down to 50% thread.But still good as a summer tire altough I don't drive in the summer much.

    My sister had one of them Caravans back east, where there is actually a winter. Having driven that vehicle there in the winter, found out that they do need good winter tires. Maybe something to do with the vehicle design, my GM seems to have way better traction and handling on winter roads. Dunno....only good thing about that GM anyway. May be different when the suspension wears out, getting there at not much mileage.:eek1

    Back to my local Kal Tire, bought a set of Blizzaks from them last year.The price wasn't much more than "cheaper" brands such as "Artic Claw". Maybe overpaid a little but just last week free switchover, TPMS reset, and courtesy brake checks etc...etc. They even let me hang around and check the brakes with them. All good that, just replaced them brakes last year and they don't seem to rot as fast as the GM OEM parts.:lol3

    Was a little too wet and too busy to do my own switchover, off to Kal Tire where I found out that was free.I did not even know that, should have read the paperwork. Now why did I do it myself last spring, the old bones don't like doing that anymore.:wink:

    A couple years ago, woke up in Victoria with over 6" of snow on my van. Was all fine driving early, but once the traffic packed it in I couldn't go anywhere safely. Made it to work, parked the van for a month and bought Blizzaks not much later on.Very impressed by them.:clap
    #23
  4. Rocer10

    Rocer10 Been here awhile

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    jackd, just to further the point I was making (and thanks to Sunday Rider for the link to the APA reports) CR rated the Yokohama Geoland i/T G072 tire as better than average in both dry and wet road braking, much better than average in snow traction and average in ice braking. Compare that to the Michelin Latitude X-ice x12 tire rated at much better than average in snow traction and ice braking but worse than average in dry and wet braking. So in my case I would lean towards the Michelin but I suspect your application would be more the Yokohama as your are driving predominantly on wet as opposed to snow covered roads. Having said all that these two tires scored equally over all in the CR rating system as they had pros and cons in other categories which to me aren't as critical. For instance the Yoko's scored much worse than average while the Michel. scored much better than average in the rolling resistance category (I interpret that as taxing on mpg and premature wear) but I'm not a high mileage driver so those scores don't hold as much weight in my decision. You being a commuter may look at that differently.
    #24
  5. David_Moen

    David_Moen Long timer

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    We put a set of the Yokohama Geolander I/T GO72s on my wife's 02 Pathfinder last year, just had them re-mounted for this winter, they are very nice. She has run Blizzaks in the past the Yoko's run quieter, handle better on dry and wet roads, and in my estimation are better in the snow too. We made a run over the Coq. late last January that was probably the worst ever in terms of road conditions, it seemed like there were more cars in the ditches than on the road, we were glad to have the Yoko's on that day!
    #25
  6. CaribooBC

    CaribooBC life is an adventure

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    I would never buy Nokian products again. I have spent almost $2K on summer and winter Nokians, when my winter Rsi's started to delaminate at 50% tread life, they did nothing for me except say, you need to buy new tires these ones are no good. The summers I bought wore out in less than 50K kms on our 2006 Malibu. All in all I am very dissatisfied with Nokian, my dealer told me there was nothing he could do as Nokian would not cover the delamination problem. BTW it was two of the four that delaminated.
    #26
  7. Sunday Rider

    Sunday Rider Adventurer Wanabe

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    Just thought of one more thing, but maybe you already are aware, make sure the date code on the tire wall is current. I think anything older than a year means it has been sitting around the shelf/warehouse.
    #27
  8. woofer2609

    woofer2609 Less flow, more Gnar

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    I've had luck with Craigslist in Vancouver, maybe not for everyone, but for me it has been pretty good, just saw these on there:
    http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/rch/pts/3353849955.html
    Whatever you do, stay away from Dunlop RV-XT tires. I bought some new, and I do not know how they got the severe snowflake symbol, but I almost didn't make it out of Nelson last year when it snowed. They are the worst of both worlds; they wear fast like a snow tire, and grip like a racing slick:rofl (except it's not that funny when you are sliding backwards down a hill towards Baker street!)
    I agree the technology sure has changed with rubber compounds.
    #28
  9. Commuter Boy

    Commuter Boy Long timer

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    Check Crappy Tire, they're getting more and more competitive with US pricing. I just bought a set of Pirelli winter tires for the Golf and they were within $10 of US.

    Costco also does well on price. 1010 tires in Vancouver (used to be Volco) is also pretty good on a lot of tires.

    This time of year you can also find rebates on a set of four from most places.

    For rims, just go to a junkyard and get proper sized and centered rims to fit your vehicle, used to be $100 for 4 at Ralphs a few years ago. No worries about fitment that way.

    Winter tires usually are either biased towards performance on ice, or in snow. Your best bet (if you can handle the extra noise) is a snow biased tire with studs for ice. Or just pick one or the other. They're all miles ahead in cold tempertures than all seasons anyway......

    Stick with the name brands, you usually get what you pay for. Michelins, Bridgestones, Nokian, Continental, Yokohama, Toyo, etc.
    #29
  10. jasonmt

    jasonmt Been here awhile

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    SHMBO got a new BMW X-drive (AWD) last year and this is what we went with (Studded General Altimax Arctic in 205/55-16 instead of the 225/45-17 that the OE sized summer's were). By the time everything was said and done the package was ~$400 cheaper to my door from the Tire Rack than local pricing.

    Some of the testing I have read showed studs improve ice traction by ~25-35% (compared to the same tires without studs), but can give up ~5% traction on dry and wet roads. I am much more concerned about getting the most amount of traction in icy conditions compared to a minor degradation in traction during dry or merely wet conditions so I am a studded tyre kind of guy.

    BC and especially the lower mainland seems to be much more strict in regards to studded tyres than Alberta though.


    [​IMG]

    I noticed the screw when I took the picture as well :baldy
    #30
  11. Commuter Boy

    Commuter Boy Long timer

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    Winter Carvings for the Golf. A step up from the General Altimax's I had, which are a knockoff of a previous gen Gisvald (sp?) tire.

    I had the prior gen Michelins Arctic Alpins as well, and have a set of the Toyos on the Mazda3 now, which work pretty well.

    Every new generation of tires seems to be a step up from the previous one, it never ceases to amaze me. If I found a better deal on them I would have tried the Continentals, I was really happy with their summer tires.
    #31