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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: frugalnacho on September 29, 2015, 11:59:43 AM

Title: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: frugalnacho on September 29, 2015, 11:59:43 AM
I'm about due to purchase new tires for my car.  I usually use all year tires, but have been reading about the benefits of using dedicated winter tires (I live in detroit).  So I have several questions for the collective mustache:

Where should I purchase new tires to get the best value?
Should I use dedicated winter tires, or stick to all year tires?
If I purchase 2 sets of tires (winter/summer), should I just purchase a new set of rims so I can swap them myself and not have to deal with taking the car in to have tires swapped and rebalanced twice a year?
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: Gone Fishing on September 29, 2015, 12:04:24 PM
How are your All-Season tires treating you now?  How far is your commute?  Can you work from home on particularly sloppy days?  Are chains or other "strap on" traction aids legal in your area?
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: Le Poisson on September 29, 2015, 12:11:18 PM
Working in road safety, I absolutely, totally, completely condone the choice to slap winter boots on your car.

And yes, you should buy a second set of rims. Go to a junkyard and you can probably find them for $25.00 each or so. At the wreckers ask if they will mount/balance your tires while you are there. They may do it cheaper than the garage selling the tires. Just to be helpful... try searching for your rims here: http://www.car-part.com/ - you'll see what yards have them and what their price is. Remember, pretty wheels are more money, and in the winter, it doesn't make much difference.

Many folks buy tires at tirerack.com, but I found I was able to get a better deal (as a Canadian) through https://www.pmctire.com/en/. YMMV.

In my case, I had the tires shipped to me, then picked up this tire change stand from Princess Auto: http://www.princessauto.com/en/detail/8-to-16-in-tire-changer/A-p2050002e  which is also available at Harbour Freight for about $30). Then I mounted my own tires, the tires on my wife's car, and our trailer tires (on two trailers). I balanced them using dynamic balancing beads (AKA BB-gun Ammo). You just pour 4-6 OZ of BB's into each tire before airing it up, remove the lead balancing weights, and the tire will balance itself when you drive.

In the off-season my tires are stored along the ceiling of our garage so they are always out of the way.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: Gondolin on September 29, 2015, 12:20:38 PM
Definitely get snow tires - the difference in heavy snow and ice conditions are like night and day.
Also definitely buy a second pair of rims. Without the rims most shops are going to charge $20-25 per wheel to swap the tires. That's $200 per year (2 swaps annually in fall and spring) so the rims will quickly pay for themselves.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: Koreth on September 29, 2015, 12:32:48 PM
The two major tire chains in my area, Discount Tire and Big-O tire, offer free rotation and balancing for the life of the tire for tires purchased there. Ask your local tire shops, they may offer similar deals. Tirerack.com and Coscto also can be good buys for tires.

IMO, having a dedicated set of quality winter tires  are totally worth it.  It will cost more at  first, but a good tire will allow you to have low rolling resistance (aids fuel mileage) without compromising traction at lower temps or in snow/rain/ice. Aditionally, it you keep the winter tires on a 2nd set of cheap steel rims, yes, you can change them yourself. However, if the shop will swap/rotate/balance the tires for free come each season change, take advantage of that.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: Roboturner on September 29, 2015, 02:32:04 PM
YES! snow tires are everything "all-weathers" really can't compare, I have 2 sets - crappy cheapo rims with my snow tires. Its one of the better car choices I've made.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: Mother Fussbudget on September 30, 2015, 11:56:19 AM
I bought my most recent tires on-sale from Wal-Mart on-line.  I picked them up at a store 45 miles away - my nearest store with a tire center.  I saved more than $100 on the tires, and it was $20 to mount and balance. 
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: nereo on September 30, 2015, 12:07:28 PM
(adding my voice to the chorus)

1) yes buy a set of snow tires for snowy detroit.  The difference in cold-weather performance is that good.  Over time it doesn't even cost you that much extra cash, since your summer tires will now last 30-50% longer (depending on how long you keep your winter tires on for each year).  What you loose is basically opportunity cost, or ~7% of ~$400... about $28/year over a couple of years. 

2) yes - buy a set of steel rims for your winter tires.  It saves you money 2x a year having the tires changed (often $40-50 at a tire shop each time).  Your ROI will be less than 2 years by changing your tires yourself. 

3) as prospector noted, I've had good luck with tirerack.com.  Any shop can mount them on your steel rims, and you'll be set for the next several years.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: Le Poisson on September 30, 2015, 12:33:56 PM
One thing that hasn't been noted yet... check with your insurer to see if they offer a discount if you buy winter tires. Up here many do.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: Papa bear on September 30, 2015, 12:41:08 PM
What about performance is improved with snow tires?  I don't have any first hand knowledge of using snow tires, but I don't think I've ever thought I needed them.  And I've driven in some nasty snowy conditions.  Like mountain passes in Colorado in a blizzard, lake effect snow Cleveland, shut down the highway snow in upstate New York and PA, snow emergency situations in Ohio.  All were driven with a minivan or midsize sedan with FWD and never had problems...

Am I missing out on something amazing that I don't know about yet? 


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Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: Le Poisson on September 30, 2015, 01:02:00 PM
What about performance is improved with snow tires?  I don't have any first hand knowledge of using snow tires, but I don't think I've ever thought I needed them.  And I've driven in some nasty snowy conditions.  Like mountain passes in Colorado in a blizzard, lake effect snow Cleveland, shut down the highway snow in upstate New York and PA, snow emergency situations in Ohio.  All were driven with a minivan or midsize sedan with FWD and never had problems...

Am I missing out on something amazing that I don't know about yet? 


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Yes you are.

The tires are made from different rubber compounds, with different traction patterns. There is a very notable difference in stopping distance and skid/slide behaviour with winter tires. Originally I thought this was a marketing tool to get car owners to run out and spend $600 - $800, but then I caved in and bought a set. The difference in cold weather is remarkable.

BUT... if you live in an area where it doesn't get below freezing for extended periods of time, I wouldn't bother. Anything much about 10C (50F??) will cause the tires to wear at an alarming rate.

Tire Rack did the following tests - there are others out there but I don't have time to dig right now:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlYEMH10Z4s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGfvyPtYR0Y
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: GuitarStv on September 30, 2015, 01:07:02 PM
Winter tires just work better in the winter.  They grip better on bare road, they stop faster on ice, they don't slip as much in snow.  It's a great idea to get a set of rims with the tires . . . that way it's just a 15 minute job to swap your tires in the fall and in the spring, no rebalancing, no damage to the tire by taking it off and putting it on the rim.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: Gone Fishing on September 30, 2015, 01:24:34 PM
MMM himself commented on snow tires a while back:

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2014/12/01/all-wheel-drive-does-not-make-you-safer/
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: Matt in Akron on September 30, 2015, 02:50:43 PM
Craigstlist is your friend here.  What is the exact year/make/model/wheel size of the vehicle you drive??  I might be able to help recommend some alternate sizes that will also work so you have better selection.  The nice thing about CL is that you can usually find used tire/wheel assemblies - so everything is already mounted/balanced and ready for you to install on the car yourself.

If CL doesn't pan out, as others have suggested I would search local salvage yards for steel wheels or cheap alloy wheels.  I recently when through this exercise to source winter wheels for my Nissan Leaf - I found a set of 2005 Nissan Altima "steelies" at a local salvage yard for $25/ea.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: Papa bear on September 30, 2015, 09:19:05 PM
I watched those videos and damn does it look like it takes the sport and fun out of winter driving!  Looks safer for sure... But it would be much harder to scare the shit out of my wife by purposely spinning out in a parking lot =)


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Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: JLee on September 30, 2015, 09:20:45 PM
I watched those videos and damn does it look like it takes the sport and fun out of winter driving!  Looks safer for sure... But it would be much harder to scare the shit out of my wife by purposely spinning out in a parking lot =)


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Not at all - it lets you have far more control over where you are going (and where you are not).
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: dess1313 on September 30, 2015, 11:58:08 PM
I have an older car, i hit a scrap yard and got new rims for $25 a pop.  I can change em out within about 90 minutes and i don't even have a proper garage.  bought winter tires (michelin XIce) and they're fantastic!!!!!  I've avoided a couple accidents due to them. They paid for themselves right there.  great traction and good stopping/starting.  Its been worth it to me.  Also they and my other tires have lasted 2x as long due to the swaps.  Each are only getting about half the mileage.  i live in Winnipeg MB so we get a lot of snow and ice for a long time.

I watched those videos and damn does it look like it takes the sport and fun out of winter driving!  Looks safer for sure... But it would be much harder to scare the shit out of my wife by purposely spinning out in a parking lot =)
Not really, staying out of an accident that would have written my car off was much more preferable to me!
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: frugalnacho on October 01, 2015, 07:52:51 AM
Wow, overwhelming support for snow tires.  I'm sold.

The car is a 2010 Toyota Corolla LE.

Last winter (February?) I drove down to florida.  On the way home we got caught in a wicked bad rain/ice/snow storm that stretched from alabama to north of detroit.  It turned a 22 hour drive into a 30 hour drive and was nerve-racking.  I've never used, or thought I needed dedicated snow tires, but I wish I had them on that drive.  Once we made it back from that safely, and the snow thawed, I decided to not get new tires until I needed to drive on ice/snow again. The penny test indicates I need to replace my tires.

Seems like replacing my current tires with new summer tires, and buying a new set of steel rims and getting them mounted with new winter tires is what I need to do.  I should be able to get some kind of discount if I purchase it all from the same place at the same time.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: RWD on October 01, 2015, 09:18:45 AM
I also want to cast my vote for using dedicated winter tires. Running two sets of tires has the additional benefit of allowing you to run "summer" tires during the warmer months and ignore all-season tires entirely. Summer tires will perform better than all-seasons in both the dry and the wet when temperatures are higher than near-freezing.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: Le Poisson on October 01, 2015, 09:28:37 AM
One more video - in before the 4X4 fans try to tell us you don't need winter tires if you have 4X4 - this pretty much disproves that as well...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfuE00qdhLA
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: snogirl on October 01, 2015, 09:40:56 AM
another yes, winter tires + its own wheels.  Michelin Ice/X get the best ratings. 
I'm running bridgstone blizzaks I purchased hardly used off CL.
On my 4th season here in Vermont.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: GuitarStv on October 01, 2015, 09:52:51 AM
One point to note . . . even the shittiest/cheapest winter tires will outperform all seasons for stopping and cornering in the winter.  There's no need to spend a ton on them.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: dess1313 on October 01, 2015, 11:57:29 AM
I drive a 98 corolla and even on that i notice such a difference.  I drove through an intersection before dropping my car off for repairs once, and no problems on my snow tires.  perfect braking and stopping.  no spinning.  Got the rental car and almost skidded through the SAME intersection with the ABS brakes freaking out.  and i was being careful since i didn't know the car.  The last accident i almost hit the car in front of me and barely missed it.  Couldn't help the guy behind me hitting my bumper, but it went from an accident with front and back damage that may have written my car off due to its age, to just a cracked bumper that wasn't a big issue
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: nereo on October 01, 2015, 12:14:40 PM
I drive a 98 corolla and even on that i notice such a difference.  I drove through an intersection before dropping my car off for repairs once, and no problems on my snow tires.  perfect braking and stopping.  no spinning.  Got the rental car and almost skidded through the SAME intersection with the ABS brakes freaking out.  and i was being careful since i didn't know the car.  The last accident i almost hit the car in front of me and barely missed it.  Couldn't help the guy behind me hitting my bumper, but it went from an accident with front and back damage that may have written my car off due to its age, to just a cracked bumper that wasn't a big issue

Weird - here in Quebec all rentals are required to have snow-tires during teh colder months.  They even put a special "snow-tire charge" of a few dollars/day on your bill which I find outrageous since you don't pay a 'summer-tire' charge and winter tires aren't that much more than summer tires.

... but I relate to your story - our University has vehicles that can't be driven during the winter (they don't put snow tires on them) but occasionally we have to move them from one parking lot to another.  It's like night and day comparing similar cars with different tires.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: peeps_be_peeping on October 01, 2015, 12:25:43 PM
Yes, get winter tires. They absolutely improve traction and safety. Where I live everybody runs winter tires on their cars 6 months out of the year. Around here Nokian Hakkapeliitta and Bridgestone Blizzak are the most popular unstudded tires. I have had Altimax Arctic studded tires for 7 winters and they get me where I want to go all winter.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: Syonyk on October 02, 2015, 09:53:03 AM
Am I missing out on something amazing that I don't know about yet? 

Yes.  You've clearly never driven in a car with anyone with snow tires, or driven them yourself.

Find a friend with a Subaru and snow tires, and ask for a demo when it's really nasty out.  The braking, acceleration, and control that they'll have on sloppy, nasty, ice and snow, is a good percentage of dry pavement traction.  The things feel like literal magic.

=========

When I had snow tires, I just ordered them from Tire Rack with a set of stamped steel wheels.  No hubcabs.  I really liked the "gloss black steel and big snow tires" look on that car.  If you can find a cheap set of rims locally, go for it, but the Tire Rack steelies aren't that expensive, and you can swap over to the snow tires yourself.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: bobechs on October 03, 2015, 03:52:35 PM
I got Haakapellitta snow tires by calling Discount Tire online using the number published in their ebay listings.  They beat the price anywhere else -including the ebay listing itself- and had them delivered free (and tax free) to the local Discount Tire brick and mortar store, which is evidently a different operation.  They would have been equally happy to deliver to any other store or my house if I wanted to haul them around myself- which I didn't.  Local store mounted and balanced for their standard charge.

I went that route because I was winter travelling from the southern plains and the local dealers were completely uninterested in selling snow tires except as a special extra expensive order.

The Hakkas are bar none the best snow tires out there. Look it up, you have the internet at your command.

The size I needed was  15x165 and four tires added up to just about $400 all included.  Good deal.  I checked.


Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: La Bibliotecaria Feroz on October 03, 2015, 04:05:41 PM
One point to note . . . even the shittiest/cheapest winter tires will outperform all seasons for stopping and cornering in the winter.  There's no need to spend a ton on them.

This is what I was told, so... I bought the shittiest cheapest winter tires. My car is old and I wasn't sure it would be worth a big investment. All four installed (did not bother with new rims b/c of age of car) for less than $350.

I also got mine at Discount Tire. They were far and away the cheapest price I could find.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: TheThirstyStag on October 03, 2015, 04:44:28 PM
I know I'm late to the party here, but yes absolutely do it!

I'm approaching my third season on Blizzaks and couldn't be more thrilled.  It really is amazing how much of a difference winter tires make when it drops below 40 degrees.  Even if there is no snow or ice on the road, the performance enhancement is amazing since they stay pliable at low temps.

All season tires are like sneakers - Not really good to wear in the snow, and in the summer they make your feet sweaty.  Get a pair of boots for the winter and flip flops for the summer :)
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: Valetta on October 03, 2015, 05:03:23 PM
Following. I live in MN and had never considered snow tires. I don't really know anyone that uses them. Going to follow some of the suggestions here and look at prices now. I'm sure DH could change them himself, he's great with car repairs.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: GuitarStv on October 04, 2015, 09:00:57 AM
Cool thing about swapping to snow tires is that it reduces wear on your regular tires (you're using them less) . . . So since everything lasts longer they don't end up being much more expensive to run in the end, but are much safer.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: JAYSLOL on October 04, 2015, 11:07:03 AM
Yes, get winter tires. They absolutely improve traction and safety. Where I live everybody runs winter tires on their cars 6 months out of the year. Around here Nokian Hakkapeliitta and Bridgestone Blizzak are the most popular unstudded tires. I have had Altimax Arctic studded tires for 7 winters and they get me where I want to go all winter.

Another vote for snow tires on rims, and as many people have mentioned, although they aren't cheap, the Nokian Hakkapelittas, Bridgestone Blizzaks, and Michelen X-Ice are some of the best options.  Unless you do a road trip to Alaska in January, these studless tires will do everything you need and more, and you won't need to mess around with chains either. 
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: frugalnacho on October 05, 2015, 08:16:06 AM
Ok so i've been doing some research and getting some prices.  It seems no place wants to install a full set of wheels without the tire pressure monitoring system (tpms) in place.  Apparently they cost about $60/each, and you have to program them into your car's computer.  So my options at this point, from worst to best:

1. Buy winter tires and have them mount them on my current wheels, and just pay to switch them every time.  This is a shitty option because it requires me to make an appointment to take my car in twice a year and I have to pay to swap the tires, and also pay to reregister the tpms to the car.  Every time.  Every single person I talked to recommended this option (because they want me to pay them now, then twice every year!), even after I explained my entire purpose was to save myself money in the long run and just swap tires myself.   Initial expense of about $900 (for 2 new sets of tires), and about $200/year to constantly switch them out.

2. Buy a new set of winter wheels, plus $240 worth of tpms.  I still have to pay the dealer or tire service center to reregister the tpms twice a year.  Unacceptable.  Initial cost of about $1350, and about $100-200 recurring cost every year.

3. Buy new set of winter wheels with tpms, and buy the tool to register them myself.   This has the advantage of never needing to go into a service center, but the disadvantage of purchasing a $150 tool upfront and learning how to register my tpms myself.  This option will cost me close to $1500 upfront, with no recurring cost. 

4. Buy new set of rims without tpms installed.  I don't know if this is an option purchasing from a brick and mortar store.  I didn't ask specifically, but many sources online indicate they can't legally install a tire without tpms on newer (2007+) models.  I don't know if that's applicable in my state or not.  It seems like I can order a set online without it though (although I didn't actually go through the order process, just put it in my cart to get a total price).  This option will still cost me about $1100, but I will have no recurring costs.  Of course I won't have a tpms with my winter tires on either.

5. Get new wheels with cloneable tpms.  This way no reprogramming of the car is needed.  You just clone the 4 IDs of the current tires, and reprogram the new wheels with the same sensor IDs, then when you swap sets your car can't tell the difference and reads the same set of sensor IDs.  This will probably cost around $1500 total, and I will have to pay the service center to clone the new tpms IDs for me, but then I should be all set from that point forward.


I think option #5 is the clear winner if possible.  I am hoping I can take the car in and have new tires put on in the next week, and get them to give me the current tpms IDs, then in the next month or so I can order my new wheels/winter tires online, and hopefully have whoever I order them from preprogram my cloned IDs before they ship them.  Then I could just slap those babies on as soon as they arrive and have a fully functional tpms.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: Kitsune on October 05, 2015, 08:24:09 AM
Yes, get winter tires. They absolutely improve traction and safety. Where I live everybody runs winter tires on their cars 6 months out of the year. Around here Nokian Hakkapeliitta and Bridgestone Blizzak are the most popular unstudded tires. I have had Altimax Arctic studded tires for 7 winters and they get me where I want to go all winter.

Another vote for snow tires on rims, and as many people have mentioned, although they aren't cheap, the Nokian Hakkapelittas, Bridgestone Blizzaks, and Michelen X-Ice are some of the best options.  Unless you do a road trip to Alaska in January, these studless tires will do everything you need and more, and you won't need to mess around with chains either.

Seconding a rec for the Blizzak tires if you're in a place that gets snow/ice regularly. They're pricy, but they last a long time and are MUCH better on roads.

I live in Quebec: it's actually not legal for a car registered in Quebec to be on the roads without winter tires from December to March, basically. It DOES make a difference. (Also, seriously: it's super-satisfying to go down to Maine during a snowstorm and cruise up a hill in a Honda Fit, right past the SUVs that are stuck spinning their wheels halfway up the hill...). In my experience (which may be determined by location and garage, so your milage may vary), rims are $$$ and don't lower the price of getting the tires switched out twice a year by that much... when I checked it out, it took 5+ years to break even. If you can do the work yourself and have the space to do it, obv get the tires on rims, though, because you cut the recurring expenses entirely. (I had an apartment with street parking and no space for car work, so... I paid. No other real option at the time.)

Just be sure to put the tires on as late as possible and take them off as early as possible : they're a different rubber compound than all-season tires, and, as others have pointed out, they wear out like CRAZY in warmer weather.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: nereo on October 05, 2015, 08:27:12 AM
option #6).  Find a place that will mount the tires on a new (to you) set of steel rims.  DON'T have them put the tires on the car (which may trigger local regulations which require TPMS sensors if your car is a newer model).  Have them write it up as a "trailer wheel" or similar if that's what it takes (trailers don't require TPMS sensors AFAIK, and can use the same tires as passenger vehicles).  Once the tires are on the new rims, change the tires yourself with a simple torque wrench. 

...also... i've seen winter tires mounted on their own rims with their own TPMS sensors.  They can be changed by you each season.  If the TMPS sensor doesn't "talk" to the car, all you get is a dash-light which you can safely ignore (I was under the impression that once calibrated a re-calibration was never necessary).  Cars didn't have TPMS sesnors for decades and we all did ok.  Check tire pressure occasionally.  Done.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: Matt in Akron on October 05, 2015, 08:30:40 AM
Wow, overwhelming support for snow tires.  I'm sold....The car is a 2010 Toyota Corolla LE... I should be able to get some kind of discount if I purchase it all from the same place at the same time.

Try your local Toyota Dealer, believe it or not.  Right now most Toyota Dealers are running a "Buy 3 tires, get the 4th for $1" promotion on tires - plus allowing you to take advantage of any mail in rebates from tire manufacturers.  Pretty great time to buy tires.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: frugalnacho on October 05, 2015, 08:41:59 AM
option #6).  Find a place that will mount the tires on a new (to you) set of steel rims.  DON'T have them put the tires on the car (which may trigger local regulations which require TPMS sensors if your car is a newer model).  Have them write it up as a "trailer wheel" or similar if that's what it takes (trailers don't require TPMS sensors AFAIK, and can use the same tires as passenger vehicles).  Once the tires are on the new rims, change the tires yourself with a simple torque wrench. 

...also... i've seen winter tires mounted on their own rims with their own TPMS sensors.  They can be changed by you each season.  If the TMPS sensor doesn't "talk" to the car, all you get is a dash-light which you can safely ignore (I was under the impression that once calibrated a re-calibration was never necessary).  Cars didn't have TPMS sesnors for decades and we all did ok.  Check tire pressure occasionally.  Done.

The car's computer has memory slots for 5 ID codes (4 tires + 1 spare).  You have to clone the ID you have for it to recognize it as the same sensor.  If you don't clone them (ie you have 9 total unique tpms IDs) then you need a tool to go into the car's computer and replace the sensor IDs.  Then you need to redo it again when you swap back to the orignal set, and so on and so forth every time you swap sets.   Or you need to pay someone to do it every time.

Yes you can install a wheel without registering the tpms, or without a tpms at all (option #4), and you will just have a dash light flash when you start the car, and remain solid while the car is running.  I could deal with the light being on for 3-4 months I suppose, but it would be mildly annoying.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: nereo on October 05, 2015, 08:44:10 AM

Yes you can install a wheel without registering the tpms, or without a tpms at all (option #4), and you will just have a dash light flash when you start the car, and remain solid while the car is running.  I could deal with the light being on for 3-4 months I suppose, but it would be mildly annoying.

may I suggest the Click&Clack solution of black electrical tape? (http://www.cartalk.com/content/check-engine-light-out-sight-out-mind)
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: Clean Shaven on October 05, 2015, 09:01:24 AM
I use a second set of wheels for winter tires - factory wheels that I bought on craigslist. Had them mounted at Walmart, without any TPMS sensors, for about $60. I get a TPMS warning light on the dash all winter, but no big deal. Swap the wheels over myself.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: GuitarStv on October 05, 2015, 10:15:20 AM
option #6).  Find a place that will mount the tires on a new (to you) set of steel rims.  DON'T have them put the tires on the car (which may trigger local regulations which require TPMS sensors if your car is a newer model).  Once the tires are on the new rims, change the tires yourself with a simple torque wrench. 

This is the best option.  (You don't actually need a torque wrench though, you can change the tires with the tool and jack already in your car for putting on your spare tire.)

TPMS sensors are stupid.  If you just bother to check your tire pressure every month or so, they're utterly unnecessary.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: frugalnacho on October 05, 2015, 11:02:25 AM
option #6).  Find a place that will mount the tires on a new (to you) set of steel rims.  DON'T have them put the tires on the car (which may trigger local regulations which require TPMS sensors if your car is a newer model).  Once the tires are on the new rims, change the tires yourself with a simple torque wrench. 

This is the best option.  (You don't actually need a torque wrench though, you can change the tires with the tool and jack already in your car for putting on your spare tire.)

TPMS sensors are stupid.  If you just bother to check your tire pressure every month or so, they're utterly unnecessary.

I agree, it's just a matter of being annoyed by the warning light all winter every winter.  If it was only up to me I would put up with it, but it will probably annoy my wife too.  So is it worth listening to her complain about being annoyed by the light all winter?
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: Syonyk on October 05, 2015, 11:14:52 AM
This is the best option.  (You don't actually need a torque wrench though, you can change the tires with the tool and jack already in your car for putting on your spare tire.)

Have you ever tried to change four tires with the utter rubbish that passes for a jack these days?  More likely than not, you'll twist the handle off as you try to get the lug nuts free, and the jack might survive for one tire, but... doing four with it?  No.

A four way tire iron and hydraulic jack are well, well worth the money if you do your own tire changes.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: GuitarStv on October 05, 2015, 11:23:37 AM
This is the best option.  (You don't actually need a torque wrench though, you can change the tires with the tool and jack already in your car for putting on your spare tire.)

Have you ever tried to change four tires with the utter rubbish that passes for a jack these days?  More likely than not, you'll twist the handle off as you try to get the lug nuts free, and the jack might survive for one tire, but... doing four with it?  No.

A four way tire iron and hydraulic jack are well, well worth the money if you do your own tire changes.

I've been using the OEM jack and tire iron that came with our 2005 Corolla to change the tires for ten years now.  No problems, and they work great.  It would probably be slightly easier with higher priced tools, but we're just talking about a 20 - 30 minute procedure twice a year to swap tires.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: frugalnacho on October 05, 2015, 11:28:41 AM
This is the best option.  (You don't actually need a torque wrench though, you can change the tires with the tool and jack already in your car for putting on your spare tire.)

Have you ever tried to change four tires with the utter rubbish that passes for a jack these days?  More likely than not, you'll twist the handle off as you try to get the lug nuts free, and the jack might survive for one tire, but... doing four with it?  No.

A four way tire iron and hydraulic jack are well, well worth the money if you do your own tire changes.

I rotate my own tires so it won't be an issue.  Rotating is like changing four tires.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: Syonyk on October 05, 2015, 11:31:22 AM
I'm impressed an OEM jack and tire iron works for that long.  I've watched them fail the first time they were used, many times, which is why I carry the tire iron.  For that matter, my tire iron is slightly bent from fighting some lug nuts.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: Jack on October 05, 2015, 11:47:43 AM
Screw winter tires; just drive extreme-performance summer ones all year 'round! : D

(<-- note the location. YMMV.) ; )

(Actually, that makes me wonder if I could benefit from winter tires, even this far south...?)

Ok so i've been doing some research and getting some prices.  It seems no place wants to install a full set of wheels without the tire pressure monitoring system (tpms) in place.  Apparently they cost about $60/each, and you have to program them into your car's computer.  So my options at this point, from worst to best:

[five bad options]

Option #6: sell the car, buy one old enough not to use a damn TPMS in the first place. Seriously, new cars sound like they're a total pain in the ass (for a lot of reasons, not just TPMS)!

You can change the tires with the tool and jack already in your car for putting on your spare tire.

... if you're a masochist. Otherwise, you go to Harbor Freight and get yourself a cheap-yet-decent floor jack and a breaker bar.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: eil on October 05, 2015, 12:48:19 PM
Okay, so I'm a few days late but I live in SE Michigan too (I'm in Ann Arbor). And I can't for the life of me fathom why you would need dedicated snow tires here.

If you lived north of Flint or Saginaw where it typically gets colder and freezes more often, maybe. If you lived west of Lansing where lake-effect snow is practically a weekly occurrence, maybe. If you lived in a rural area where snow plows are a novelty, then sure. If you have the kind of job where you can't work from home or take the day off due to a snow day (i.e. you work for a utility or public safety), then sure.

But the Detroit suburbs get very little in the way of inclement weather compared to anywhere else in the state. And when we do get hit, the road crews usually do a decent job of getting the main roads cleaned up within 12 hours. When you have to go out, just drive carefully and watch for morons who don't.

I drive a Mazda Protege and my wife drives a Mazda 5, both with all-season tires. They are just fine in moderate ice and snow. ABS helps a lot. If we ever think the roads are questionable, we don't drive, period. Driving is already incredibly dangerous in clear weather, why compound the risk? Even if you have the great expensive super-sticky tires when the snow, rain, and death are pouring from the sky, the other guy careening into you probably doesn't.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: frugalnacho on October 05, 2015, 01:05:48 PM
Okay, so I'm a few days late but I live in SE Michigan too (I'm in Ann Arbor). And I can't for the life of me fathom why you would need dedicated snow tires here.

If you lived north of Flint or Saginaw where it typically gets colder and freezes more often, maybe. If you lived west of Lansing where lake-effect snow is practically a weekly occurrence, maybe. If you lived in a rural area where snow plows are a novelty, then sure. If you have the kind of job where you can't work from home or take the day off due to a snow day (i.e. you work for a utility or public safety), then sure.

But the Detroit suburbs get very little in the way of inclement weather compared to anywhere else in the state. And when we do get hit, the road crews usually do a decent job of getting the main roads cleaned up within 12 hours. When you have to go out, just drive carefully and watch for morons who don't.

I drive a Mazda Protege and my wife drives a Mazda 5, both with all-season tires. They are just fine in moderate ice and snow. ABS helps a lot. If we ever think the roads are questionable, we don't drive, period. Driving is already incredibly dangerous in clear weather, why compound the risk? Even if you have the great expensive super-sticky tires when the snow, rain, and death are pouring from the sky, the other guy careening into you probably doesn't.
.

Because we get a solid 4 months of cold weather, ice, and snow?  The winters are absolutely terrible here. I've never had winter tires before, but I do notice significantly reduced traction during the winter months, especially during snow storms.  If I can get dedicated winter tires that will significantly improve my traction and safety during those several months, and not really cost me any extra money over the life of the car (because winter tire usage takes place of summer tires, and I plan to wear both sets out completely eventually), then why wouldn't I get dedicated tires?
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: Le Poisson on October 05, 2015, 01:17:49 PM
Okay, so I'm a few days late but I live in SE Michigan too (I'm in Ann Arbor). And I can't for the life of me fathom why you would need dedicated snow tires here.

If you lived north of Flint or Saginaw where it typically gets colder and freezes more often, maybe. If you lived west of Lansing where lake-effect snow is practically a weekly occurrence, maybe. If you lived in a rural area where snow plows are a novelty, then sure. If you have the kind of job where you can't work from home or take the day off due to a snow day (i.e. you work for a utility or public safety), then sure.

But the Detroit suburbs get very little in the way of inclement weather compared to anywhere else in the state. And when we do get hit, the road crews usually do a decent job of getting the main roads cleaned up within 12 hours. When you have to go out, just drive carefully and watch for morons who don't.

I drive a Mazda Protege and my wife drives a Mazda 5, both with all-season tires. They are just fine in moderate ice and snow. ABS helps a lot. If we ever think the roads are questionable, we don't drive, period. Driving is already incredibly dangerous in clear weather, why compound the risk? Even if you have the great expensive super-sticky tires when the snow, rain, and death are pouring from the sky, the other guy careening into you probably doesn't.
.

Because we get a solid 4 months of cold weather, ice, and snow?  The winters are absolutely terrible here. I've never had winter tires before, but I do notice significantly reduced traction during the winter months, especially during snow storms.  If I can get dedicated winter tires that will significantly improve my traction and safety during those several months, and not really cost me any extra money over the life of the car (because winter tire usage takes place of summer tires, and I plan to wear both sets out completely eventually), then why wouldn't I get dedicated tires?

Because when Eil is careening into you he will be laughing about all the money he saved on tires and blaming you for his collision on no-season radials. Makes you look like a fool, right! Right?
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: GuitarStv on October 05, 2015, 01:39:02 PM
Winter tires aren't just for snow.  They work better all the time in the cold.  It's like wearing a seatbelt.  I've only really been in one accident where I needed to have it on . . . but I'm sure glad that I had it on that time my mom rolled the car down the side of a hill.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: PFHC on October 05, 2015, 02:08:35 PM
My two cents: get snow tires. Much safer. Get them online used or new. Shop around. Buy black steel trailer rims that fit your car online for $25 or less (new or used). Screw the pressure sensor. Swap and rotate your tires yourself with the OEM jack and tire iron. Should be able to get it all for around $300-400.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: eil on October 05, 2015, 02:38:45 PM
Because we get a solid 4 months of cold weather, ice, and snow?  The winters are absolutely terrible here.

If you read further than the first paragraph, I explained my reasoning. The weather here can get cold and icy (and even then, mostly just in January and February) but it's usually not that bad. Not compared to the rest of the state, particularly up north. When it is bad, you just stay home.

Quote
I've never had winter tires before, but I do notice significantly reduced traction during the winter months, especially during snow storms. 

The only reason to drive through a snow storm is if someone will literally die if you don't. Because you stand a decent chance of dying yourself on the way, snow tires or not.

Quote
If I can get dedicated winter tires that will significantly improve my traction and safety during those several months, and not really cost me any extra money over the life of the car (because winter tire usage takes place of summer tires, and I plan to wear both sets out completely eventually), then why wouldn't I get dedicated tires?

Because it will cost you extra. The rims are extra, the cost of installation, the cost of delivery. Snow tires are more expensive than regular tires. And they wear quicker, especially on clear roads which is 90% of the winter season around here.

I'm not trying to bust your chops or offend you in any way. Do whatever you like. But you asked for opinions and this one is mine. I figured on a forum known for not holding back the face punches, it would be welcome, even if not entirely agreed with. Apparently I was mistaken.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: eil on October 05, 2015, 02:40:50 PM
Because when Eil is careening into you he will be laughing about all the money he saved on tires and blaming you for his collision on no-season radials. Makes you look like a fool, right! Right?

You missed the part where I said I don't drive in shitty weather. Does anybody read the things that I type into this internet thing beyond the parts they think they don't agree with?
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: Papa bear on October 05, 2015, 02:51:05 PM
Man give the guy a break.   I had to question the snow tire thing too in my posts above. I've never thought of needing them ever and I love driving in the winter and snow.

I won't get snow tires (not that they aren't incredible per the comments and the videos I saw) but I have little to no room to store tires and rims, and 1000-1500 is a lot of cash if you don't have problems driving already. 

If I had the room to store them, then I'd consider purchasing.  Until then, I'm going to enjoy doing doughnuts in parking lots.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: frugalnacho on October 05, 2015, 02:53:31 PM
Because we get a solid 4 months of cold weather, ice, and snow?  The winters are absolutely terrible here.

If you read further than the first paragraph, I explained my reasoning. The weather here can get cold and icy (and even then, mostly just in January and February) but it's usually not that bad. Not compared to the rest of the state, particularly up north. When it is bad, you just stay home.

Quote
I've never had winter tires before, but I do notice significantly reduced traction during the winter months, especially during snow storms. 

The only reason to drive through a snow storm is if someone will literally die if you don't. Because you stand a decent chance of dying yourself on the way, snow tires or not.

Quote
If I can get dedicated winter tires that will significantly improve my traction and safety during those several months, and not really cost me any extra money over the life of the car (because winter tire usage takes place of summer tires, and I plan to wear both sets out completely eventually), then why wouldn't I get dedicated tires?

Because it will cost you extra. The rims are extra, the cost of installation, the cost of delivery. Snow tires are more expensive than regular tires. And they wear quicker, especially on clear roads which is 90% of the winter season around here.

I'm not trying to bust your chops or offend you in any way. Do whatever you like. But you asked for opinions and this one is mine. I figured on a forum known for not holding back the face punches, it would be welcome, even if not entirely agreed with. Apparently I was mistaken.

Eh, it's not just january and february though.  It's not a freak occurrence when we get snow, it's more like a totally predictable 4 months of sub freezing and icy conditions.  Just "staying home" isn't really an option just because it's snowing (ie winter time).  I still have to report to work all winter.  I also still have to go get groceries all winter long.  We also occasionally do stuff with our lives that require us to use a car, and just "staying home" for 4 straight months doesn't seem like an acceptable solution to me.

Snow tires don't appear to be any more expensive than regular tires.  It's expensive because I have to purchase a complete 2nd set.  But I will eventually use them anyway, so that (and even the cost of mounting and balancing) is a wash imo.  The extra rims (and maybe tpms) are an added expense, which is why I wanted to get everyone's opinion to see if it was worth the extra cost to get dedicated winter tires.   

I was also under the impression that winter tires would do fantastic driving up a snowy hill, but will also give superior performance all winter long even when the road surface is actually dry (which btw I would NOT say is 90% of the winter here). Once the weather gets back above 40*F I will switch back to the all season tires.  I rotate my tires myself so I figure it's not actually any added work, I will just rotate my tires when I put them back on after swapping them.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: Syonyk on October 05, 2015, 03:27:49 PM
If I had the room to store them, then I'd consider purchasing.  Until then, I'm going to enjoy doing doughnuts in parking lots.

Do you need a coffee table?

Get some plywood cut to shape, toss a sheet over the tires, and you've got a coffee table.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: nereo on October 05, 2015, 03:34:52 PM


I was also under the impression that winter tires would do fantastic driving up a snowy hill, but will also give superior performance all winter long even when the road surface is actually dry (which btw I would NOT say is 90% of the winter here). Once the weather gets back above 40*F I will switch back to the all season tires.  I rotate my tires myself so I figure it's not actually any added work, I will just rotate my tires when I put them back on after swapping them.

exactly - because of the softer rubber compound, snow tires give greater traction whenever the temperature is below ~7C/45F.  At below freezing temperatures all-season tires really suffer because their rubber gets too hard.  It takes longer to stop, and it's harder to make a tight turn, even in dry conditions.  The colder it gets, the worse all-season or summer tires do.  If you're driving and it's -10C/14F out, winter tires make a big difference, even if there's no snow on the road.

you'll spend some on an extra set of rims (~$100) but as stated the cost of tires is a wash because your non-winter tires will last that much longer. 
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/culture/commuting/why-you-still-need-winter-tires-on-dry-pavement/article4180768/ (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/culture/commuting/why-you-still-need-winter-tires-on-dry-pavement/article4180768/)
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: brainfart on October 05, 2015, 03:41:11 PM
This sounds like winter tires are some kind of novelty in your corner of the world (the US)?

Where I live (middle of Europe) you definitely need winter tires. If you don't have them and you end up obstructing traffic, e.g. by not being able to drive uphill, or if you even have a collision without winter tires you will be fined, or worse.

Last time I was in the US apparently nobody there had winter tires. Granted, that was in Texas, but it was kind of fun to watch for someone who grew up in the mountains with lots of snow. Two inches resulted in accidents everywhere and chaos on the streets.

Driving in winter conditions without winter tires is suicidal, period.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: Syonyk on October 05, 2015, 05:05:47 PM
This sounds like winter tires are some kind of novelty in your corner of the world (the US)?

Winter tires, son?  Why, my SUV's got Four Wheel Drive, and winter's a season, so these "all season tires" ought to be just fine!  Spend more money on winter tires?  What are you, some kind of socialist? :p

(so says... oh, most of the people driving SUVs that rolled when they went off the road in the snow in Iowa)
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: TheThirstyStag on October 05, 2015, 05:40:29 PM
2 things:

1) The term "snow tires" isn't used in the industry much anymore.  "Winter tires" is more accurate for the reasons already cited in this thread (superior performance in colder weather, regardless of precipitation).   You don't just need them for snow and ice.  It's simply the proper type of rubber to use in sub-freezing temperatures.  Traction aside, they're far quieter and more comfortable than frozen-solid all season tires.

2) The TPMS thing is a mess in the US and is a poor use of government mandate of standard automotive features.  Just another expensive system that is very DIY-unfriendly.    I haven't tried this myself since I fortunately have 2 pre-TPMS cars, but I've heard of people taking them out and placing them in a home-made PVC canister that seals up and has a pressure valve.  The idea is that you put pressure in the canister and keep it in your glove box, so a TPMS system that reads by proximity (and not wheel by wheel) will register as them being ok.  This would allow you to use one set of sensors with whatever wheels you want. 

Again, I haven't verified this, but I've heard of it being done. 

What a bloody shambles, these TPMS systems. 



Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: music lover on October 05, 2015, 05:48:27 PM
I live in a severe winter climate. 90% of people here use winter tires. The other 10% are idiots who cause lengthy traffic jams because it takes them 20 seconds to find enough traction to clear an intersection after the light changes.

Winter tires are far better than no-season tires in a cold climate. Any one who says differently is an uneducated fool.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: frugalnacho on October 05, 2015, 11:11:28 PM
you'll spend some on an extra set of rims (~$100) but as stated the cost of tires is a wash because your non-winter tires will last that much longer.

I can't find a set of rims cheaper than $260 including shipping.  I've been checking craigslist but I haven't seen anything.  Bell tire wants $228 for a set of 4 rims, but I don't know if that price is still good if I only purchase the rims and get my tires and mounting done somewhere else.  Costco seems to be the cheapest for tires, but they don't sell rims.  I am thinking I can acquire a set of rims, and then have costco mount and balance new tires for me, and that may be my cheapest option.  I still have a few places to call though.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: Syonyk on October 05, 2015, 11:56:31 PM
Even stamped steel from Tire Rack?
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: Le Poisson on October 06, 2015, 05:16:42 AM
you'll spend some on an extra set of rims (~$100) but as stated the cost of tires is a wash because your non-winter tires will last that much longer.

I can't find a set of rims cheaper than $260 including shipping.  I've been checking craigslist but I haven't seen anything.  Bell tire wants $228 for a set of 4 rims, but I don't know if that price is still good if I only purchase the rims and get my tires and mounting done somewhere else.  Costco seems to be the cheapest for tires, but they don't sell rims.  I am thinking I can acquire a set of rims, and then have costco mount and balance new tires for me, and that may be my cheapest option.  I still have a few places to call though.

I posted this link above, but give it a try... http://www.car-part.com/ - even if you get rusty old steelies, you can hit them with a spraybomb of tremclad to black them up. That link will take you to wrecking yard listings of the specific part you are looking for. Many will ship to you.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: PFHC on October 06, 2015, 06:04:44 AM
you'll spend some on an extra set of rims (~$100) but as stated the cost of tires is a wash because your non-winter tires will last that much longer.

I can't find a set of rims cheaper than $260 including shipping.  I've been checking craigslist but I haven't seen anything.  Bell tire wants $228 for a set of 4 rims, but I don't know if that price is still good if I only purchase the rims and get my tires and mounting done somewhere else.  Costco seems to be the cheapest for tires, but they don't sell rims.  I am thinking I can acquire a set of rims, and then have costco mount and balance new tires for me, and that may be my cheapest option.  I still have a few places to call though.
Google trailer rims. I got mine for $25 a piece on tire warehouse, got the tires there too, had them mount and balance them as well. With delivery I  paid close to $600.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: Jack on October 06, 2015, 12:16:46 PM
Google trailer rims. I got mine for $25 a piece on tire warehouse, got the tires there too, had them mount and balance them as well. With delivery I  paid close to $600.

Did you check to make sure they have a high enough weight and speed rating to be used on a car?
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: dess1313 on October 06, 2015, 12:31:30 PM
you'll spend some on an extra set of rims (~$100) but as stated the cost of tires is a wash because your non-winter tires will last that much longer.

I can't find a set of rims cheaper than $260 including shipping.  I've been checking craigslist but I haven't seen anything.  Bell tire wants $228 for a set of 4 rims, but I don't know if that price is still good if I only purchase the rims and get my tires and mounting done somewhere else.  Costco seems to be the cheapest for tires, but they don't sell rims.  I am thinking I can acquire a set of rims, and then have costco mount and balance new tires for me, and that may be my cheapest option.  I still have a few places to call though.

Check your local parts/scraps yard.  I have an older car so lots of good used rims are available cheap.  just make sure they're not too rusty or bent and you're good.  Just depends on your car and age of it.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: Clean Shaven on October 06, 2015, 12:32:53 PM
I can't find a set of rims cheaper than $260 including shipping.  I've been checking craigslist but I haven't seen anything.

Be patient, keep watching craigslist.  Also look at searchtempest, which lets you search multiple craigslist sites.  $100 to $150 for a set of 4 used take-off wheels seems pretty common -- and because you're going to mount winter tires on them and abuse them in salt/slush, then scraped/scratched wheels are cheap and a good choice for this use.

Also google the wheel specs for your exact car, and see what other vehicles use the same exact size wheel.  I mean the exact specs -- not just diameter, width, and bolt pattern, but also backspacing and offset.  (If you aren't familiar with these terms, google.)

Finally, if there is an optional size wheel for your car, which uses cheaper size tires, consider it.  For example, if your car came with 17" wheels, but 16" wheels also fit (i.e. if your car came with an "upgraded" larger size wheel), you may find that winter tires in a 16" size are less expensive.  If this is an option for you, be sure that your car didn't have some other option that prevents using a smaller wheel (e.g. larger brake rotors).  Again, google and whatever internet forum for your particular car will have all the info you need.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: nereo on October 06, 2015, 03:26:13 PM
I can't find a set of rims cheaper than $260 including shipping.  I've been checking craigslist but I haven't seen anything.

Be patient, keep watching craigslist.  Also look at searchtempest, which lets you search multiple craigslist sites.
Thank you for this!!  I travel a lot so I'm constantly checking craigslist in four or five different markets.  I kept thinking "wouldn't it be great if Craigslist allows you to search multiple areas simultaniously?"

Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: turketron on October 06, 2015, 04:42:36 PM
I've considered this myself, as I had a second set of rims with dedicated winter tires on my last car before it got totaled and really liked them. In fact, the rims for that car are still up in the rafters of my parents' garage, so this is a good reminder that I should put those up on Craigslist (Anyone want rims for a '97 VW Golf?)!

However, I don't think I'm planning on doing this for my current car. I walk to work in the winter, so even though it's really cold/snowy here I only drive my car about once a week in winter, if that. Furthermore, most of the trips I do make in the winter are to run errands or something, so if it was really icy or snowy I can usually just not make the trip. I've had regular all-season tires on it for the past 3-4 winters and it's been fine for the small amount of driving I end up doing in the winter.

Regardless, this thread is a wealth of information that I'll definitely keep in mind for my next car, so thanks everyone for the great info!
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: PFHC on October 06, 2015, 10:17:03 PM
Google trailer rims. I got mine for $25 a piece on tire warehouse, got the tires there too, had them mount and balance them as well. With delivery I  paid close to $600.

Did you check to make sure they have a high enough weight and speed rating to be used on a car?
They're made of 3/16" steel. Been using trailer rims for three winters on this car, three on a previous car and two on a 2WD Tacoma years ago. No issues.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: TheThirstyStag on October 07, 2015, 06:06:41 PM
I can't find a set of rims cheaper than $260 including shipping.  I've been checking craigslist but I haven't seen anything.

Be patient, keep watching craigslist.  Also look at searchtempest, which lets you search multiple craigslist sites.  $100 to $150 for a set of 4 used take-off wheels seems pretty common -- and because you're going to mount winter tires on them and abuse them in salt/slush, then scraped/scratched wheels are cheap and a good choice for this use.

Also google the wheel specs for your exact car, and see what other vehicles use the same exact size wheel.  I mean the exact specs -- not just diameter, width, and bolt pattern, but also backspacing and offset.  (If you aren't familiar with these terms, google.)

Finally, if there is an optional size wheel for your car, which uses cheaper size tires, consider it.  For example, if your car came with 17" wheels, but 16" wheels also fit (i.e. if your car came with an "upgraded" larger size wheel), you may find that winter tires in a 16" size are less expensive.  If this is an option for you, be sure that your car didn't have some other option that prevents using a smaller wheel (e.g. larger brake rotors).  Again, google and whatever internet forum for your particular car will have all the info you need.

Great information here.

Let me add: Regarding the optional wheel size, make sure the tire you use has the same overall diameter as the stock rims/tire combo.  Otherwise your speedometer will be off, and ultimately your odometer.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: nereo on October 08, 2015, 09:23:27 AM
Great information here.

Let me add: Regarding the optional wheel size, make sure the tire you use has the same overall diameter as the stock rims/tire combo.  Otherwise your speedometer will be off, and ultimately your odometer.
It never occurred to me that tire size would effect an odometer reading, but in terms of simple geometry it makes sense (the perimeter of a circle increases at a rate of pi relative to the diameter).
That said - how "off" can this make the odometer? I'm looking at used cars now and suddenly I'm concerned that the odometer reading might be substantialy lower than the actual miles driven if the owner switched from, say, 15" tires to 17" tires (does it work that way??)
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: Syonyk on October 08, 2015, 09:28:14 AM
It's not the wheel size that matters, it's the rolling distance at the outside of the tire.

And it can be off by a lot. :)  It's usually fine, though.  Typical errors are on the order of 2-5%.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: TheThirstyStag on October 08, 2015, 10:18:20 AM
Here is a good resource to compute how far off your speedometer will read with a different tire size:

http://tire-size-conversion.com/speedometer-calibration/
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: Clean Shaven on October 08, 2015, 10:34:57 AM
It never occurred to me that tire size would effect an odometer reading, but in terms of simple geometry it makes sense (the perimeter of a circle increases at a rate of pi relative to the diameter).
That said - how "off" can this make the odometer? I'm looking at used cars now and suddenly I'm concerned that the odometer reading might be substantialy lower than the actual miles driven if the owner switched from, say, 15" tires to 17" tires (does it work that way??)

It may not make any difference -- it's generally possible to increase the wheel size while keeping the outside tire diameter the same (or so close as to be insignificant).  This means changing the height of the tire sidewall, which can have an effect on ride and handling -- shorter sidewalls mean there is less tire to flex, so a shorter sidewall ("low profile" tire) will generally ride a little rougher and handle a little sharper than a taller sidewall.

I'm giving lots of generalizations here, under the assumption that the reader is unfamiliar with these concepts.

Tire Rack gives a good explanation and illustration of this:
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=25
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: Le Poisson on October 08, 2015, 11:12:35 AM
...Of course if you have a GPS to use for speed, the error diminishes. A GPS tells you what happened in the past though (it can't be instantaneous) so you still have some error, but if you read your speed off a GPS rather than the oddometer, you have a pretty good idea of how fast you are going - and since we all stay well within the speed limit in order to minimize fuel consumption, a milisecond of error should be OK - right?
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: Jack on October 08, 2015, 11:46:51 AM
It never occurred to me that tire size would effect an odometer reading, but in terms of simple geometry it makes sense (the perimeter of a circle increases at a rate of pi relative to the diameter).
That said - how "off" can this make the odometer? I'm looking at used cars now and suddenly I'm concerned that the odometer reading might be substantialy lower than the actual miles driven if the owner switched from, say, 15" tires to 17" tires (does it work that way??)

It's not the wheel size that matters, it's the rolling distance at the outside of the tire.

And it can be off by a lot. :)  It's usually fine, though.  Typical errors are on the order of 2-5%.

In terms of worrying about the odometer reading on a used car, about the only time it would matter is if you were buying a ridiculously-unmustachian modified 4x4 with gigantic Super Swamper tires (think "street-legal monster truck").
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: brainfart on October 08, 2015, 12:07:18 PM
I don't know what it is like in the US, but I seriously doubt you can change the tire size to whatever you like without running into serious (insurance) issues, unless you have the combination inspected and certified in some way, or the manufacturer allows that specific wheel size.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: RetiredAt63 on October 08, 2015, 12:19:07 PM
Just my 2 cents - Nereo and others are right, it is temperature and rubber compounds and tread pattern.  I have seen a 4x4 Subaru slip and slide on slush at about freezing, with all-seasons.  They just do not have the grip.

I do prefer all-seasons for my summer tire, because they will take the colder spring/fall temperatures with no problems.  Once we are into November I watch the 14 day forecast, and try to get my winter tires on before we will see much snow.  Same in spring, I look ahead to see when I can switch back.

Steel rims for winter are great, it means just switching tires,and the actual tires last longer.
Title: Re: Should I buy 2nd set of rims for car?
Post by: Syonyk on October 08, 2015, 06:30:42 PM
I don't know what it is like in the US, but I seriously doubt you can change the tire size to whatever you like without running into serious (insurance) issues, unless you have the combination inspected and certified in some way, or the manufacturer allows that specific wheel size.

In the US, you can pretty much do whatever you want.

This, for instance, is totally legit most places.

(https://i1018.photobucket.com/albums/af309/jmaster71/P181913411.jpg)