Winter tires.

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

  1. Calgary06

    Calgary06 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    165
    Location:
    Calgary
    I've run winter tires for a while now. I typically get at least 70-80000km out of them. Three seasons and a summer usually. Michelin x--ice (I think - 10 years ago...) I didn't really like. Two sets of Blizzaks were great although they wore a little unevenly, Hakkapeliitta RSi were fantastic - the wife got 6 years around town and they still had more (30%) left.. Currently we are running Hakkapeliitta 5 SUV studded and Gislaved Nord Frosts on our vehicles. Only a month on the Gislaved tires so far and they seem good. Time will tell. I can't recommend the Nokians enough. I'll definitely get more when these wear out.

    The difference between all-season, aka no-season tires vs winter tires is night and day.
    I'll never go back to regular tires.
    Hope that helps.
    Good luck searching.
    #21
  2. jackd

    jackd Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,092
    Location:
    North Cowichan
    I can honestly say that I have never heard of most of these brands - they sound European and I would be guessing they originate in Scandinavia - where they have conditions that are very close to our eastern winters. I will keep researching.
    #22
  3. Calgary06

    Calgary06 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    165
    Location:
    Calgary
    #23
  4. Sunday Rider

    Sunday Rider Adventurer Wanabe

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    875
    Location:
    North of T.Ho., Ontario
    Have had great luck with Kijij, I've only bought from individuals. Bought two set of tires for kids' cars. Rims and snows.

    It just takes a lot of time, but was way cheaper than buying new, if that's your market.

    Will go the US route for the wife's snow tires. The in-laws did that and saved a bundle.
    #24
  5. NovaTrophy

    NovaTrophy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    411
    Location:
    Nova Scotia
    I will recommend the Nokian Hakka's as well. Got the Rsi's 5 years and 60+ kms ago and finally am getting a new set in a few weeks (tread wearing and getting very noisy). I got mine at Davies Tire in Portsmouth New Hampshire while down that way on business back then and will be going back again for a shopping getaway with the family. Pretty much half the price as here and no tax. A great deal, and a nice town for a visit.
    #25
  6. jackd

    jackd Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,092
    Location:
    North Cowichan
    What kind of vehicles are you guys throwing these tires on?
    #26
  7. Calgary06

    Calgary06 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    165
    Location:
    Calgary
    The Blizzaks and the Hakka 5 were on Toyota Tacoma 4x4s, the Hakka RSi were on a Volvo V50 and the new XC60 came with the Gislaved tires. Friends had Nokian WR all seasons on their minivan but have changed to straight winter tires after they wore out. They were better than regular all seasons but not as good as true winter tires.

    The biggest difference I find with the winter tires is starting and stopping at intersections. The light goes green and away you go. I hardly use 4x4 in the truck unless it is really bad out. Better control on the highway and in deep snow as well.
    One problem ... you can stop but the idiot on bald summer tires behind you may not be able to. Last week I had someone slide right past me in the next lane and halfway through the intersection. I hadn't realized that it was even slippery out...always watch your 6 and leave plenty of space in front of you to get out of the way.

    We have both sets on extra rims and I mount on the car myself in about 30 minutes. Saves $100 twice a year and there is no waiting in line. Most places are booking 4 weeks out here in Calgary or you have to line up at Costco at 4am...
    #27
  8. Sunday Rider

    Sunday Rider Adventurer Wanabe

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    875
    Location:
    North of T.Ho., Ontario
    I had the Hakkas on the Honda Pilot, great tires, but were very noisy.

    Now on my '94 Grand Prix, I put the BF Goodrich Slalom snow tires, and they were great last winter (through both snowfalls we had last year :rofl). I was surprised how well they gripped with this front wheel drive beauty.

    Put them on steel or used rims, so you can just do it yourself. It also gives you a good opportunity to look at the brake pads and disks.

    Many years ago we put the Hakka WR, they were all seasons rated for snow. Very quiet tire, but wore out fast, and like the previous poster said, they didn't handle as good as snow tires in the 3rd season, so we put dedicated snows on.
    #28
  9. Rocer10

    Rocer10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    122
    Location:
    The Highlands
    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.
    #29
  10. Sunday Rider

    Sunday Rider Adventurer Wanabe

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    875
    Location:
    North of T.Ho., Ontario
    #30
  11. jackd

    jackd Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,092
    Location:
    North Cowichan
    That is a very good link and probably has all the info that I need to make my choice. I gave it a cursory look and I was pleased to see that it gave Goodyear Nordics a place near the bottom. After having had the crap scared out of me by their rubber on this vehicle, I went for Michelin and discovered a safer, high wearing driving experience - I will never use their products again. I've had good experience with Toyo's as well.

    Will someone clarify this: Is BF Goodrich a second tier brand owned by Michelin? There's a statement to that effect under their Winter Slalom listing. If that is the case, I might find myself springing for a set of Blizzaks or possibly Toyo Observes. Rocer10 - I think that you hit my driving conditions on the head with the 2 snowfall/high rainfall description. My return to the Island on Tuesday coincided with a rainfall warning and the forecast was right for once... The wipers were on high and there was lots of standing water on the highway - the Michelins came through with flying colours - I'd have hated to have seen what the Goodyears would have done.
    #31
  12. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,750
    Location:
    Hiding off Hwy 6, B.C.
    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
    #32
  13. Rocer10

    Rocer10 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    122
    Location:
    The Highlands
    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.
    #33
  14. jackd

    jackd Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,092
    Location:
    North Cowichan
    I read the reviews on Canadian Tire for the Michelin X-ice x12 and the person wasn't impressed with them versus the older version of the same item. This is one person's opinion though. I had a look at them yesterday and they have a less aggressive tread pattern than my all seasons - which makes me wonder why I am even investing in a winter tire in the first place.... I'll have a look at the Yokohama as well.

    It's these periodic snow dumps that happen on the coast that are what I am prepping for. You can get 6" of wet stuff in a very short time and the snow removal boys don't have their act together from what I can see. Watching snow plows roaring around with their blades down - with sparks flying - on nice bare Vancouver roads is a sight to see. The inverse is watching them roar past with their blades up in half a foot of crap has also been observed by me. To be polite, these drivers don't get much practice to hone their skills.

    As for the commuter side of things, I'm not a high mileage guy. The van has 52K on it and its a 2007. I'd rather ride my bike in the good season - except in Vancouver that is.
    #34
  15. David_Moen

    David_Moen Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,319
    Location:
    Salmon Arm, B.C. Canada Eh!
    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!
    #35
  16. CaribooBC

    CaribooBC life is an adventure

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    Oddometer:
    438
    Location:
    100 Mile House
    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.
    #36
  17. Sunday Rider

    Sunday Rider Adventurer Wanabe

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    875
    Location:
    North of T.Ho., Ontario
    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.
    #37
  18. jackd

    jackd Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,092
    Location:
    North Cowichan
    #38
  19. woofer2609

    woofer2609 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    852
    Location:
    Extreme Pacific SouthWest (of Canada)
    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.
    #39
  20. Commuter Boy

    Commuter Boy Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,962
    Location:
    Burnaby, BC
    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.
    #40