Author Topic: Do I Need All-Terrain Tires?  (Read 1509 times)

Gimesalot

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Do I Need All-Terrain Tires?
« on: December 27, 2017, 07:59:38 AM »
DH and I are going to be driving a serious distance next year.  In early March we will be driving from New Orleans to the west coast of Washington, where we will stay in a small town.  In late April, we will be leaving there and starting a road trip across Canada.  We are going to be driving our 2010 Mazda 3 hatchback with the touring package (if that makes a difference).  My husband has said that he believes that my "summer" tires will not suffice and that we need to buy all-terrain tires.  I am skeptical as we will be staying on completely paved roads, mostly highways and interstates (are they called interprovinces in Canada?), the entire time. 

I would appreciate your thoughts.  Thanks in advance.


Syonyk

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Re: Do I Need All-Terrain Tires?
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2017, 08:41:35 AM »
March is generally past the worst of the snow in a lot of areas, though you can find yourself rather stuck in a snowstorm on occasion.

How worn are the tires?  If they're towards the end of tread life, you might want to replace them.  But I wouldn't worry that much about all seasons for that sort of trip.  Just toss some chains in.

Gimesalot

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Re: Do I Need All-Terrain Tires?
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2017, 08:53:03 AM »
Thanks for your response.  My tires are fairly new, maybe have 10k miles on them, so I'll just get some chains. 

ETA: Do I need chains for just two tires or all 4?  (I've never lived where there was so much snow)
« Last Edit: December 27, 2017, 09:02:10 AM by Gimesalot »

Syonyk

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Re: Do I Need All-Terrain Tires?
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2017, 09:12:41 AM »
Check the regulations where you're driving, but usually you should be OK with just front wheel chains on a front wheel drive car.

Worth noting, if you are going through snow areas, make sure you have a few days worth of supplies in the car.  You should be able to live out of your car for about 2-3 days (it may not be fun, but you shouldn't freeze, starve, or die of dehydration) when going through snow belt regions in winter.

nexus

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Re: Do I Need All-Terrain Tires?
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2017, 02:54:57 PM »
Leaning towards unnecessary.

Buy some chains. Practice putting them on and taking them off a couple of times before your trip to make sure they fit and you know what you're doing. It isn't hard, but it still sucks to have to pull over when its cold/snowing and install them. (Drive slower with them on).

Tires last 50-65k miles on average, I believe (depending on driving conditions and how well you maintain/rotate/balance/align them). Blowing a ton of money for all terrain tires on a not-all-terrain car and one-terrain (paved) roads is silly when your trip is using up a small percentage of the lifespan of the tires (say 25%?).

+1 to having emergency supplies/rations

I daresay you'll be fine since you're doing the trip in the springtime, however I've not traversed Canada that time of year.

TheMCP

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Re: Do I Need All-Terrain Tires?
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2017, 04:34:04 PM »
All Terrain, or All Season?  I think you probably mean All Season, and if you think you will be driving in snow a lot and currently have summer only tires, that might be a bad idea.

Summer (performance) tires are sticky and made to be used in warm temps.  When it gets cold, the rubber gets very hard and they can be pretty worthless on snow and ice.

If it were me, I'd figure out what I had on there currently using the make / model of tire and look them up on tirerack.  If it says something like "Summer / Performance", I don't think I'd take them in the snow.

scottish

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Re: Do I Need All-Terrain Tires?
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2017, 01:23:40 PM »
  I am skeptical as we will be staying on completely paved roads, mostly highways and interstates (are they called interprovinces in Canada?), the entire time. 

It's usually just called the Trans-Canada highway.    And most of it isn't a divided highway, either.   :-)

I'd be happy driving across Canada in April on all-seasons, but not on summer tires.   Some provinces outright ban chains on personal vehicles, so exercise caution here.


2Birds1Stone

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Re: Do I Need All-Terrain Tires?
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2017, 01:32:07 PM »

Having worked in the Automotive field for the last 14yrs, I can honestly say I've not seen tires last longer than 35k miles, if that.  So 50-60k is crazy numbers to me.

Can you please provide the tire brand, model and size? All the information is on the sidewall.

We replaced the front two tires on my 2004 sentra @ 65k miles and the rears at 75k miles (whatever tires came on a stock Sentra in 2004)

Many newer all seasons are rated for 50-60k miles.

OP - For such a long trip, "all terrain tires" will actually make the drive more sketchy, noisey, and less fun.

Tires for mud, dirt, snow, etc usually have less traction on the road, and make a LOT of road noise compares to normal all seasons etc.

I would make sure you have tires that have more than 50% tread at the start of your trip, anything else is overkill.

JLee

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Re: Do I Need All-Terrain Tires?
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2017, 01:34:26 PM »
What is the expected weather for that part of Canada during that time of the year?

I would not want to drive anywhere winter-y on summer tires. That's just a recipe for disaster.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Do I Need All-Terrain Tires?
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2017, 01:37:39 PM »
Just wanted to echo Jlee's comment on Summer tires.

No summer tires, even in northern US in April you don't want to be on summers.

scottish

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Re: Do I Need All-Terrain Tires?
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2017, 08:12:58 PM »
What is the expected weather for that part of Canada during that time of the year?

Snow in the rockies for sure.   Probably nothing major.   Temperatures above -10 C.

Snow in northern Ontario, maybe.

Otherwise it should be pretty spring-like - assuming you're not heading up to the Yukon...