Author Topic: Snow Tires  (Read 7479 times)

AgileTurtle

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Snow Tires
« on: October 28, 2014, 07:10:36 AM »
What do you guys do for snow tires or not do. I have a small car and its tires are going to give me problems this winter.
I was thinking about buying used snow tires allready mounted, but am afraid of them being too warn out. Other option is buy new snow tires and have them mounted on current rims, store current tires, and reverse the process in the spring.

What does everyone do in the winter?

wtjbatman

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Re: Snow Tires
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2014, 07:22:38 AM »
Other option is buy new snow tires and have them mounted on current rims, store current tires, and reverse the process in the spring.

Bingo. Wal-Mart TLE does the tire mounting for pretty freakin cheap, like $20-50. Worth it.

Gone Fishing

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Re: Snow Tires
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2014, 07:32:53 AM »
Where are you located and what type of car do you have?  How much driving do you really expect to have to do when it is snowing vs a day or two later when the roads are plowed out?  Most smaller front wheel drive cars do okay in the snow if they have decent all weather tires on them.  Snow tires are a bit better, sure, but I would have a hard time justifying them unless I had some serious need to be cruising around in severe conditions.     

GuitarStv

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Re: Snow Tires
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2014, 07:45:02 AM »
I get my winter tires mounted on cheap steel rims.  Then it's just a matter of taking the 30 minutes to swap them out in the fall and spring, no other costs.  Taking tires on and off the same rims is expensive, time consuming, and hard on the tires.

Winter tires aren't really for snow, they're for cold (when the average temperature is below 7 degrees C or 44 F).  They grip the road better in cold temperatures.  They stop better when it's wet and cold.  They stop better on icy surfaces.  And the occasional time that you need to drive through the snow, they do much better there as well.

AgileTurtle

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Re: Snow Tires
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2014, 08:09:38 AM »
Where are you located and what type of car do you have?  How much driving do you really expect to have to do when it is snowing vs a day or two later when the roads are plowed out?  Most smaller front wheel drive cars do okay in the snow if they have decent all weather tires on them.  Snow tires are a bit better, sure, but I would have a hard time justifying them unless I had some serious need to be cruising around in severe conditions.   

Like another poster said, not really for the snow but for cold temps.  I live in Michigan and drive everyday to work. Last winter taught me that snow tires are far superior in the winter.

Gone Fishing

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Re: Snow Tires
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2014, 08:15:34 AM »
Where are you located and what type of car do you have?  How much driving do you really expect to have to do when it is snowing vs a day or two later when the roads are plowed out?  Most smaller front wheel drive cars do okay in the snow if they have decent all weather tires on them.  Snow tires are a bit better, sure, but I would have a hard time justifying them unless I had some serious need to be cruising around in severe conditions.   

Like another poster said, not really for the snow but for cold temps.  I live in Michigan and drive everyday to work. Last winter taught me that snow tires are far superior in the winter.

So Michigan certainly qualifies.  We get goofballs down south who think they need snow tires for the 2-3 times a winter it snows.  The really bad ones leave them on year round.  I have a co-worker I have been harping on for a year+ to get his off...

Le Barbu

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Re: Snow Tires
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2014, 08:42:35 AM »
option #1 : used one already mounted on stell rims is the cheapest option. just make sure the rim pettern fit on your car, look for obvious damages or uneaven wear and mesure the treadwear (should be at least 11/32") FYI, new winter tires are about 15/32" deep. Get a cheap caliper (1$) , it's usefull for ALL you tires.

option #2 : new tires on second set off steel rim. DIY change twice a year for free, 30-45 minutes.

If you live in a state where winter is serious, don't go thru winter without snow tires !

orbix

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Re: Snow Tires
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2014, 08:44:04 AM »
I get my winter tires mounted on cheap steel rims.  Then it's just a matter of taking the 30 minutes to swap them out in the fall and spring, no other costs.

This is a great way to do it- either steelies or whatever the bone-stock alloys are for your car (some cars don't actually have a steel option). Probably the cheapest option there is to look on Craigslist (or an equivalent) for a used set (probably with some worn-out tires on it), then just get new snows put on those rims. It's pretty common around here to see 4-wheel sets of the 'base model' rims for a lot of cars go for $100-200. Over the life of a set each of summer and winter tires, you'll probably make up for that cost by not having to pay someone else to re-mount tires twice a year.

AgileTurtle

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Re: Snow Tires
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2014, 08:48:24 AM »
I get my winter tires mounted on cheap steel rims.  Then it's just a matter of taking the 30 minutes to swap them out in the fall and spring, no other costs.

This is a great way to do it- either steelies or whatever the bone-stock alloys are for your car (some cars don't actually have a steel option). Probably the cheapest option there is to look on Craigslist (or an equivalent) for a used set (probably with some worn-out tires on it), then just get new snows put on those rims. It's pretty common around here to see 4-wheel sets of the 'base model' rims for a lot of cars go for $100-200. Over the life of a set each of summer and winter tires, you'll probably make up for that cost by not having to pay someone else to re-mount tires twice a year.

This is what I am thinking about doing. I figure over the life of a car buying a second set of rims has to be cheaper than lots of tire remounting.

BlueMR2

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Re: Snow Tires
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2014, 10:21:36 AM »
Cheap steelies.  Swap as needed.  If you keep your eyes open you can find people selling stock steelies dirt cheap when they "upgrade" to alloy wheels.

schimt

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Re: Snow Tires
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2014, 11:44:26 AM »
I would definitely recommend looking for a set of steelies with snow tires on them already if you have a place to store them in the off season.

Used tires will last you a while if you are swapping them on and off.

Also, in your search for a set or if you decide to buy new, if the car is front wheel drive, you really only need 2 wheels and tires. Other then looking funny if the car doesn't have steel wheels and hub caps in the front, most of the traction needed (accelerating, braking and turning) is done with the front wheels. And if you already survived a winter with regular tires, front only snow tires will for sure to the trick!

Also, added benefit, the 2 tires tread wear will not last as long because you can't rotate them front to back (the snow tires i had were directional so you couldn't do the star pattern or just side to side) so they will need to be replaced eventually, but since they sit so long in the other season, the rubber will most likely dry rot before the tread is gone anyways. The soft flexible properties of snow tires is what really allows them to have good grip and keep snow from getting stuck in the tread. So you can get a second set of front snow tires some years down the road, when all 4 would have experienced dry rot at the same time.


edit:Agreed with the comments below, sorry for poor advice and not really thinking about it in a commuting sense, highways and on/off ramps with hard turns at any speed or swerving is not a good receipt with limited traction in the back.

« Last Edit: October 30, 2014, 10:33:21 AM by schimt »

GuitarStv

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Re: Snow Tires
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2014, 12:51:30 PM »
I disagree with only replacing two tires on a front wheel drive car.  It makes your rear brakes more likely to lock up while the front brakes don't . . . which means uneven handling and much more likelihood of spinning out.

Make sure you have real winter tires too . . . the ones with a little mountain and snowflake on them.  There are 'mud + snow' tires sold that do not have this marking, and thus do not meet the needed specs.

RWD

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Re: Snow Tires
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2014, 03:27:49 PM »
I would definitely recommend looking for a set of steelies with snow tires on them already if you have a place to store them in the off season.

Used tires will last you a while if you are swapping them on and off.

Also, in your search for a set or if you decide to buy new, if the car is front wheel drive, you really only need 2 wheels and tires. Other then looking funny if the car doesn't have steel wheels and hub caps in the front, most of the traction needed (accelerating, braking and turning) is done with the front wheels. And if you already survived a winter with regular tires, front only snow tires will for sure to the trick!

Also, added benefit, the 2 tires tread wear will not last as long because you can't rotate them front to back (the snow tires i had were directional so you couldn't do the star pattern or just side to side) so they will need to be replaced eventually, but since they sit so long in the other season, the rubber will most likely dry rot before the tread is gone anyways. The soft flexible properties of snow tires is what really allows them to have good grip and keep snow from getting stuck in the tread. So you can get a second set of front snow tires some years down the road, when all 4 would have experienced dry rot at the same time.

I'm with GuitarStv, this is a recipe for loss of car control. The first time you encounter a corner in the snow you will likely find your front and rear ends trading places.

TireRack even has an article on this:
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/testDisplay.jsp?ttid=34

Other related articles:
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=52 (Where to install new pair of tires)
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=136 (Mixing tires)

m8547

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Re: Snow Tires
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2014, 08:05:09 PM »
Getting a second set of rims is nice, unless your car comes with government mandated TPMS, which was phased in starting in 2005 and became mandatory for new 2008 vehicles as far as I can tell.

-TMPS sensors add cost in addition to the second set of rims. Factory sensors can cost hundreds for a set, but ebay has cheaper ones.
-Some cars (Toyota) can only learn one set of sensors, so the car needs to be reprogrammed by the dealer for $$$ if you swap them.
-Some tire shops (like Discount Tire) will not defeat the TPMS system if it's installed, so they won't let you run wheels without it.

FarmerPete

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Re: Snow Tires
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2014, 07:16:53 AM »
I've thought about getting snow tires for my 2010 Fusion.  Unfortunately, when I've gotten prices at Discount Tire, it's in the $800-1000 range to swap them in.  I'd much rather go the second set of rims approach, but now you're talking an additional $200-500.  My all-weathers work decent enough.  I'd hate to spend $1500 on something that I don't need.

RWD

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Re: Snow Tires
« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2014, 08:50:59 AM »
I've thought about getting snow tires for my 2010 Fusion.  Unfortunately, when I've gotten prices at Discount Tire, it's in the $800-1000 range to swap them in.  I'd much rather go the second set of rims approach, but now you're talking an additional $200-500.  My all-weathers work decent enough.  I'd hate to spend $1500 on something that I don't need.

I found winter tires for a 2010 Fusion S on TireRack for $218 after mail-in rebate (plus shipping). After shipping and installation I'd think you'd be around $300-350 for the full set. Most of the winter tires for the Fusion on TireRack seem to be going for $300-400 for a set before shipping. Sounds like Discount Tire is trying to rip you off.
Link
EDIT: looks like these are on closeout and there is not a full set available. Here's the next cheapest at $304/set + shipping/installation: Link

If you aren't going to drive in cold weather very often then snow tires are probably not worth it. There is a significant improvement in cold weather performance though:
http://www.tirerack.com/videos/index.jsp?video=23
« Last Edit: October 29, 2014, 08:53:15 AM by RWD »

BlueMR2

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Re: Snow Tires
« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2014, 09:42:48 AM »
-Some tire shops (like Discount Tire) will not defeat the TPMS system if it's installed, so they won't let you run wheels without it.

That's why the second set of wheels is nice.  You take them to the tire shop loose, have the tires mounted on the rims, then you do the swapping at your leisure.  Tire shop is never involved in enough to even know if you have TPMS.  As long as you don't mind the glowing warning light and can remember to check tire pressure at least once a month (and walk around the car to look for obviously low tires before driving each time).  I'm used to the warm glow of warning lights in my cars, so it's not a big deal (1 car has the airbag light on, the other has airbag & abs on all the time, and an intermittent check engine light for a random multi cylinder misfire that I only get if the engine isn't warmed up yet and I'm stuck in traffic going less than 20mph).

Le Barbu

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Re: Snow Tires
« Reply #17 on: October 29, 2014, 10:14:45 AM »
My all-weathers work decent enough.  I'd hate to spend $1500 on something that I don't need.

That's probably what the guy who wrecked the car I actualy own tought on january 2011. Fortunatly, I bought this car rebuilt for 50% of tag price whit only 1 year off the dealership an 30,000 miles.

If you own a "Car for Smart People" a complete (tires+rims) and descent (25%wear) set of 4 could be found for less than 400$ on Craiglist.  Doesn't worth a crash to me...

Sure, all-weathers work decent enough if you live south of New-York or Seatle

GuitarStv

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Re: Snow Tires
« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2014, 10:26:41 AM »
Jesus, 1500$ on winter tires???  Are they made of Gold?  400 - 500$ brand new is pretty typical pricing.

gimp

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Re: Snow Tires
« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2014, 11:23:03 AM »
A lot of good advice here.

- Don't cheap out on this and buy used.
- But also don't spend $1500. That's insane. $1500 gets you excellent performance tires for fast cars.
- Don't cheap out and drive all-weather unless snow is only a small issue for you. Real snow tires for real snow.
- Don't cheap out and do half snow half not.
- Get a set of snow tires, store the summer tires.