Snow Tires? Worth it?

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jkushne1
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Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by jkushne1 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:14 pm

Random question for the group. I currently have 4 wheel drive Honda CRV with all season tires. However, we just moved to a cold weather location with longer winters and I have a longer commute now than before. My questions:

-Does anyone recommend snow tires, even if a 4 wheel drive care? I have a wife and a one year old son if that matters at all.

-If yes, what tires would you recommend? Where would you buy them (I’ve heard good things about Costco)?

-How long do your snow tires typically last (how many seasons)?

Thanks!

onourway
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by onourway » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:26 pm

100% worth it if your locale gets a reasonable amount of snow or cold weather. AWD gets you moving. It does not help you stop or steer.

If you can give us a general region you are in, that will help somewhat with the recommendation for a specific tire. In my opinion Nokian makes the best snow tires. Incredible traction, low noise, and long life. They cost a bit more up front though, but well worth it.

Tire life is dictated primarily by how much you drive, but also by conditions. Remember you'll only be driving each set for ~ half the year, so the overall cost is similar to driving one set of tires year round.
Last edited by onourway on Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Cloud
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by Cloud » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:26 pm

Yes, they are totally worth it. I recommend Bridgestone Blizzaks. Best snow tire hands down. Makes driving in snow and ice a breeze. You'll feel like driving on a summer day while all the folks around you are white knuckling it.

4 wheel drive doesn't mean diddly when it comes to safety and staying on the road. All cars have 4 wheel breaks and two wheel steering. You can't stop any faster or stay on the road any better with 4 wheel drive then 2. I've laughed so many times watching people with 4 wheel drive try to keep up with me in horribly bad road conditions while in my front wheel drive car.

Good snow tires may save your life. If you can afford them I woundn't spend another moment deciding.

As far as how long they last it really depends on your millage and type of driving. If taken off every spring I normally get at about 20K out of them. About 5 years (Winters) for me. I only run them for just over 4 months a year. Thanksgiving through early April. I've always purchased them online either through TireRack or Amazon then have a local shop mount and balance.

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TheGreyingDuke
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by TheGreyingDuke » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:33 pm

jkushne1 wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:14 pm
Random question for the group. I currently have 4 wheel drive Honda CRV with all season tires. However, we just moved to a cold weather location with longer winters and I have a longer commute now than before. My questions:

-Does anyone recommend snow tires, even if a 4 wheel drive care? I have a wife and a one year old son if that matters at all.

I have lived in snow country for 40 years, 4 wheel drive is of no help in braking and little help in steering. There are many videos to demonstrate this here is one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EC1E2eDt1JY

I'd rather have a front wheel vehicle with snows that a 4 wheel drive such as the one on your Honda with all-season. Your Honda is essentially a front wheel drive vehicle that engages the rear wheels once slipping is detected, a system inferior to that on Subarus, for example (and certain Audis).



-If yes, what tires would you recommend? Where would you buy them (I’ve heard good things about Costco)?
This changes over time, Nokian are the sine qua non, expensive and not widely available

-How long do your snow tires typically last (how many seasons)?
If you are going to keep your vehicle long enough to go through two sets of tires, the only additional cost is for an extra set of wheels, you could install them yourself or have a shop do it, it cost me $20. Oh, and you will also need TMPS, another $100 or so. Since they have a softer compound they do not last as long as summer tires, I usually get 3-4 winters out of mine.

Thanks!
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DTSC
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by DTSC » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:33 pm

It really depends on where you live and the roads you drive on.

I live in the Chicago suburbs but have never needed anything more than all weather tires in any of my front wheel drive cars, but obviously your conditions might be much more difficult.

FireSekr
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by FireSekr » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:38 pm

jkushne1 wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:14 pm
Random question for the group. I currently have 4 wheel drive Honda CRV with all NO season tires. However, we just moved to a cold weather location with longer winters and I have a longer commute now than before. My questions:

-Does anyone recommend snow tires, even if a 4 wheel drive care? I have a wife and a one year old son if that matters at all.

-If yes, what tires would you recommend? Where would you buy them (I’ve heard good things about Costco)?

-How long do your snow tires typically last (how many seasons)?

Thanks!
You're driving a car with tires that suck 100% of the time. They're useless in the winter and mediocre anytime its above 40 degrees f.

When you have the right tools for the right job, you'll be safer and achieve better results. Get the snow tires. All wheel drive gets you moving faster and provides absolutely no improvement in braking so you're just setting yourself up for a bigger crash rather than improving safety by having AWD with NO season tires

Nokian Hakkapelitta are usually rated the best, but they're a bit challenging to find. The Michelin X-ice are also very good but last i checked were not quite the same level as the Nokian. They'll still be superior to a no-season tire.
Last edited by FireSekr on Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kerplunk
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by kerplunk » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:40 pm

+1 for winter tires. They could save your life.

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Bruce
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by Bruce » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:45 pm

If the superior traction and control provided by snow tires in bad driving conditions saves you one accident, they are well worth the extra expense. You and your family are simply safer in a car equipped for the conditions you are driving in.

All wheel Drive does not help you stop or turn when the roads are snow covered, only the tread on your tire in contact with the road can do that.

All season tires are good for all seasons that do not involve snow. Look for the mountain and snowflake symbol molded into the side awall to identify tires made for winter conditions.

Snow tires have rubber compounds formulated to stay flexible and give better traction and control in colder temps, as a result they wear faster in warm weather then an all season tire. How many seasons a winter tire lasts depends on how many miles they are driven, if you rotate them as needed, and if you change them out in warmer months.

Costco stocks Bridgestone blizzaks, which are a good winter tire.

Tire Rack sells several other good winter tire brands and has reviews posted on their website.

Nokian also makes a great winter tire.

You may also want to consider buying a separate set of rims to mount them on, if you have the storage. Tire Rack makes it easy to price a set of tires and rims on their website.
Last edited by Bruce on Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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ddj
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by ddj » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:46 pm

Yep, worth it. My dad gave me Nitto SN2 snow tires a few years ago. They're mounted on steel rims...not the handsomest...but i can take them on and off without too much effort. My front-wheel drive hatchback feels like it's driving on rails here in the upper midwest. We also drive a van with all-season Michelin Defenders, get high snow ratings by Consumer Reports. They do well in the snow.
Last edited by ddj on Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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onthecusp
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by onthecusp » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:47 pm

Modern snow tires don't just help in deep snow, they grip on ice better than all season/summer tires.
With AWD the improvement will be mostly in corner traction and stopping. There is no magic, if you are not used to snow, take it easy. AWD will get you going better than most cars but it won't help you stop better.

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David Jay
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by David Jay » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:47 pm

jkushne1 wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:14 pm
Random question for the group. I currently have 4 wheel drive Honda CRV with all season tires. However, we just moved to a cold weather location with longer winters and I have a longer commute now than before. My questions:

-Does anyone recommend snow tires, even if a 4 wheel drive care? I have a wife and a one year old son if that matters at all.

-If yes, what tires would you recommend? Where would you buy them (I’ve heard good things about Costco)?

-How long do your snow tires typically last (how many seasons)?

Thanks!
Tell us more about your locale - suburban, city, etc.

I have lived in the snow belt area of West Michigan for 40 years, but I drive main roads around the suburbs. We have the road equipment to get the roads plowed and salted. I have never purchased snow tires, always had all season tires with RWD and FWD vehicles (never 4WD).
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Alexa9
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by Alexa9 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:48 pm

Your CRV will be a winter beast with snow tires. Michelin X Ice are another one to consider. They are more durable than Blizzaks if you drive on the highway a lot (from what I've read) but not as good in deep snow. Unless you're in the mountains (you should use chains) you should be fine if you drive slowly and increase the distance between you and the car in front of you. It's the other drivers you have to worry about.

Yooper
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by Yooper » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:54 pm

Yes - particularly with a wife and more so with a child. In my younger days (no family), I wouldn't have. But I'm a little older, slightly wiser, and with family obligations MUCH more cautious. It was a no brainer for me. You still can't go Mad Max on snow and ice, but every little advantage you can get is worth it.

I did Blizzaks and am happy, but I'm still running them so I don't have anything to compare them to.

7 years baby (on once the temp drops in the 40's - off once it gets in the 40's, about 5 months a year) but very low mileage. Took them to the local tire shop and asked what they thought (rumor has it that age is as important as tire tread). They looked at them and said keep on truckin' for a few more years. They're stored inside when not in use, and on their own set of cheap steel rims. I didn't spring for TPMS on them (it's not required in Michigan), so every now and then the light will come on saying TMPS error, but that goes away at night when it's in the garage and resyncs with my summer tires.

wilked
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by wilked » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:57 pm

Absolute no brainer if you live in a very snowy/icy area.

You can find 4 with rims for about $500 if you search. Here's one example near me
https://boston.craigslist.org/bmw/wto/d ... 65555.html

WaffleCone
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by WaffleCone » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:59 pm

They're a major hassle. Storing 4 tires takes up a fair amount of space. Transporting 4 dirty tires to the shop only to be charged $15/tire to mount and balance adds up. Repeat a few months later. Or you could buy an extra set of rims, costly, and still you drive them to a shop or change each wheel yourself. No fun there. They will also wear faster than all-seasons especially if you don't have COLD weather months on end.

If you see pull offs for chain up on the way to work then they're a good idea. Lots of hills? Get them. If you live in the burbs with an easy but long commute, get good all-seasons and take it easy with your AWD.

I used to have a Crown Vic with Nokian Hakkas. Premium brand made in Finland which made a night and day difference in handling. BUT this was a rear-wheel drive sled that shouldn't have been on the road otherwise. Initial cost was slightly more than the Blizzaks and I got 3-4 seasons out of them. These days in an SUV, the AWD keeps me from getting stuck and the Michelin's keep me in control.

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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by wilked » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:04 pm

WaffleCone wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:59 pm
They're a major hassle. Storing 4 tires takes up a fair amount of space. Transporting 4 dirty tires to the shop only to be charged $15/tire to mount and balance adds up. Repeat a few months later. Or you could buy an extra set of rims, costly, and still you drive them to a shop or change each wheel yourself. No fun there. They will also wear faster than all-seasons especially if you don't have COLD weather months on end.

If you see pull offs for chain up on the way to work then they're a good idea. Lots of hills? Get them. If you live in the burbs with an easy but long commute, get good all-seasons and take it easy with your AWD.

I used to have a Crown Vic with Nokian Hakkas. Premium brand made in Finland which made a night and day difference in handling. BUT this was a rear-wheel drive sled that shouldn't have been on the road otherwise. Initial cost was slightly more than the Blizzaks and I got 3-4 seasons out of them. These days in an SUV, the AWD keeps me from getting stuck and the Michelin's keep me in control.
I mounted my 4 tires last weekend. 30 mins, start to finish, and I wasn't moving quickly.

As noted about cost should be about $500 w/ rims, and they will last you many years

as others have noted, they only need to save you from one accident to be well worth it. The data is fairly convincing I think if you research it. Burbs or wherever are fine but if you live in New England (or wherever) eventually you'll be driving in a storm or in black ice.

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vitaflo
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by vitaflo » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:07 pm

Snow tires on a 2wd car is better in the snow than all-seasons in 4wd. Yes it's worth it. One of my better purchases.

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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by Sandtrap » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:10 pm

jkushne1 wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:14 pm
Random question for the group. I currently have 4 wheel drive Honda CRV with all season tires. However, we just moved to a cold weather location with longer winters and I have a longer commute now than before. My questions:

-Does anyone recommend snow tires, even if a 4 wheel drive care? I have a wife and a one year old son if that matters at all.

-If yes, what tires would you recommend? Where would you buy them (I’ve heard good things about Costco)?

-How long do your snow tires typically last (how many seasons)?

Thanks!
What state did you move to?
Is all the driving on asphalt?
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Millennial
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by Millennial » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:20 pm

I was sold on snow tires when we got them for my wive's 2wd Mazda 3, and it was instantly better in the snow than my Subaru WRX. Embarrassingly better. I couldn't believe the difference.

If you can change them yourself (I know, not for everyone), there really isn't a cost to getting snow tires. You can get a set of snow tires on steel rims, for about the cost of a new set of all-seasons if you downsize an inch (if your car comes with 17" wheels/tires, get 16" snows on steel rims. The outer diameter can remain the same, and this makes the tires cheaper for some reason. It also gives you more protection from potholes). Ya, you need to change wheels twice a year but now your all-seasons (used for spring/summer/fall) last longer. If you keep cars a long time, the cost/mile doesn't end up much more than if you just bought more sets of all seasons.

I noticed a poster above mentioned that he hasn't needed snows yet, and I am sure that's true. I haven't needed airbags yet either, I still prefer them to be installed.

radiowave
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by radiowave » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:23 pm

jkushne1 wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:14 pm
Random question for the group. I currently have 4 wheel drive Honda CRV with all season tires. However, we just moved to a cold weather location with longer winters and I have a longer commute now than before. My questions:

-Does anyone recommend snow tires, even if a 4 wheel drive care? I have a wife and a one year old son if that matters at all.

-If yes, what tires would you recommend? Where would you buy them (I’ve heard good things about Costco)?

-How long do your snow tires typically last (how many seasons)?

Thanks!
I've had Firestone Winterforce snow on 15 in wheels on my 2004 CR-V AWD. Love them in moderate to deep snow. On ice they are on par with all season tires. I'll be replacing the CR-V next week or two with probably a new Honda Pilot and will likely get a set of Blizzaks on steel rims and then swap them early December through March or so.
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GreatLaker
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by GreatLaker » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:33 pm

I recently purchased Nokian WRG3 All Weather tires. All weather tires are like winter tires that can be driven all year. I have an AWD sedan and they are much better than all-seasons but not quite as good as dedicated winter tires. Several other tire companies also make them, including Toyo Celsius. They get great reviews and are a good option if you really don't want to do tire switches 2x/yr. Here is a link to several Boglehead threads discussing winter and all weather tires, and a Consumer Reports article.
https://www.google.ca/search?sitesearch ... org&q=WRG3
https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/new ... /index.htm

If I had a daily commute, especially in a rural area I would get dedicated winter tires, but since I am retired and can usually avoid driving in really bad weather the WRG3s are a good choice.

WaffleCone
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by WaffleCone » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:36 pm

wilked wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:04 pm
WaffleCone wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:59 pm
They're a major hassle.
...
I mounted my 4 tires last weekend. 30 mins, start to finish, and I wasn't moving quickly.

As noted about cost should be about $500 w/ rims, and they will last you many years

as others have noted, they only need to save you from one accident to be well worth it. The data is fairly convincing I think if you research it. Burbs or wherever are fine but if you live in New England (or wherever) eventually you'll be driving in a storm or in black ice.
I assume you mean switching sets not mounting 4 tires, but in either case most people aren't going to be doing this in 30 minutes flat. You probably have a garage jack and an impact wrench to remove the lugs. That's fine. I'd hazard a guess your typical CRV driver doesn't have the tools or interest to do this 2x/year. I'd also caution anyone from buying a used set of tires unless they know what to look for. Old rubber can be VERY dangerous even if it has a lot of tread left.

Location is important, agreed. I'm not saying they're a bad idea, just want to point out the obvious-- OP should know what he's getting in to with needing to switch them out 2x/year. DIY is not for everyone.

As far safety goes... yes, they are better. BUT most important is your driving and other people around you. More than likely if you're out of control with all-seasons your problem is your driving and not the tires. Snow tires are still rubber on ice.

multiham
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by multiham » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:37 pm

They are worth every penny you pay for them. If they help you stop just a few feet shorter in an emergency, you will be happy you bought them. I went on Tire Rack and purchased winter tires (Michelin X-Ice) and rims. Go on the Tire Rack website and watch some of the videos. Tire Rack included the balance in the price. Had them shipped directly to my local Toyota dealer (Have a relationship with them based on having owned a few Toyotas in the past) who put them on for $20. First time I did this, they asked me if I wanted them to store my summer tires. I was almost hesitant to ask how much for storage. I couldn't believe it when they told me it was free. So my local Toyota dealer charges me $40 a year ($20 to put on snow tires, $20 to put back on summer tires) and stores my tires for free. All of this on a VW which they do not do any maintenance on. That's the way to build loyalty.

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Ged
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by Ged » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:40 pm

They are well worth it if you are going to drive more than a few times a year on snow covered roads. I used to live in a fairly rural place which got a lot of snow. They often made the difference between my getting home and not.
Last edited by Ged on Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

IMO
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by IMO » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:40 pm

Before posting personal view, thought I'd see if there was actually any data available.
Below is a link to an older 2002 study titled "An Overview of Studded and Studless Tire Traction and Safety."

Having commuted regularly in an area at 7000 ft where road salts were not utilized with periods of significant snowfall and overnight refreezing conditions, the switch from standard all season tires to studded snow tires was personally an extremely significant improvement. Most notably when then the temperature was around freezing/dropping below freezing with the type of icing that occurs from packed persistent snow/ice covered roads. Braking was where I would note the most apparent improvement (going to empty parking lots under various snow & ice conditions allows one to test out the tires).

I read through the older study below, and what I mentioned seemed above to be the aspect that studded tires provided the most benefit.

So the question, "are they worth it?" I'd say is very specific to the type of weather conditions one typically encounters in their daily commute or other driving situations. I'd read the study through if you really want the nuts/bolts of the data. I should add, I was surprised by some of the findings.

Edit: I've had front wheel drive sedan's with/without studs and a 4 wheel drive truck both with studs and without in mud/snow rated tires.

https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/research/repor ... /551.1.pdf

https://www.google.com/search?source=hp ... PLkBGMOQVo

goldendad
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by goldendad » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:57 pm

Have lived in Denver for 30 years. Never put a snow tire on any of our cars. Didn't even have 4 wheel drive for the first 8 years - had front wheel drive and a '72 VW Bug (engine over the rear wheels). Good tires, front wheel or All/4 wheel drive will do you fine. Even the VW was very good in the snow. One of the best in the snow was a Plymouth Voyager - a lot clearance and front wheel drive. Currently have a 2013 Honda CRV and a 2004 FWD Toyota Highlander. Both were bought new and are very good in the snow.

wilked
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by wilked » Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:11 pm

WaffleCone wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:36 pm
wilked wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:04 pm
WaffleCone wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:59 pm
They're a major hassle.
...
I mounted my 4 tires last weekend. 30 mins, start to finish, and I wasn't moving quickly.

As noted about cost should be about $500 w/ rims, and they will last you many years

as others have noted, they only need to save you from one accident to be well worth it. The data is fairly convincing I think if you research it. Burbs or wherever are fine but if you live in New England (or wherever) eventually you'll be driving in a storm or in black ice.
I assume you mean switching sets not mounting 4 tires, but in either case most people aren't going to be doing this in 30 minutes flat. You probably have a garage jack and an impact wrench to remove the lugs. That's fine. I'd hazard a guess your typical CRV driver doesn't have the tools or interest to do this 2x/year. I'd also caution anyone from buying a used set of tires unless they know what to look for. Old rubber can be VERY dangerous even if it has a lot of tread left.

Location is important, agreed. I'm not saying they're a bad idea, just want to point out the obvious-- OP should know what he's getting in to with needing to switch them out 2x/year. DIY is not for everyone.

As far safety goes... yes, they are better. BUT most important is your driving and other people around you. More than likely if you're out of control with all-seasons your problem is your driving and not the tires. Snow tires are still rubber on ice.
Floor jack, lug wrench, and torque wrench

I couldn’t imagine most people taking longer than 30 minutes, there’s not much to it. Even doubling it to an hour, it’s a fairly leisurely activity... easier than washing your car I would say :-)

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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by Epsilon Delta » Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:21 pm

wilked wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:11 pm

Floor jack, lug wrench, and torque wrench
You also need either anti-seize or a six foot breaker bar.

Any man who puts nuts on dry would letterspace blackletter.

lazydavid
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by lazydavid » Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:36 am

WaffleCone wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:59 pm
They're a major hassle. Storing 4 tires takes up a fair amount of space. Transporting 4 dirty tires to the shop only to be charged $15/tire to mount and balance adds up. Repeat a few months later. Or you could buy an extra set of rims, costly, and still you drive them to a shop or change each wheel yourself. No fun there. They will also wear faster than all-seasons especially if you don't have COLD weather months on end.
Storage can indeed be a problem, though there are racks that can hang them from otherwise-unused space in the garage. My dad built his own out of 2x4s, lag bolts and angle iron, but commercial ones are available for around $120.

To transport them easily without getting filthy, I bought a set of Tire Totes. These completely cover the wheel/tire, and add a convenient carry handle.

A second set of rims is the way to go, for sure. But you shouldn't be paying $15/wheel in either case. Costco charges $20 for an eight-wheel swap, or $40 for a four-wheel (where tires have to be re-mounted). In my case, I kept the factory wheels for my snow tires, and bought a larger and fantastic-looking set for my summer tires. Win-win. But the cheap steelie route is absolutely an option as well.

snowox
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by snowox » Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:00 am

Absolutely! there worth it. A little hassle for being much safer kinda worth it imo

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just frank
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by just frank » Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:01 am

My wife has a backroad commute here in the (tropical) Pennsylvania. Not much snow, but plenty of ice in both white and black forms.

Some days she sees a few AWD SUVs sitting in the ditch along the way. Some people get overconfident with AWD and all-seasons.

I put snows on her FWD commuter..previously a LEAF, now a Bolt, and she has never had as much as a skid.

Factor in reduced tire wear on the other tires, and snows cost almost nothing.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:34 am

just frank wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:01 am
I put snows on her FWD commuter..previously a LEAF, now a Bolt, and she has never had as much as a skid.
I think EV, with their instantaneous torque adjustments and regenerative braking, are inherently safer in snow.

I put winter tires on kid’s Volvo XC60 AWD, wife’s Range Rover (not a bad snow car even without winter tires), and my Tesla Model X. The winter tires on the Tesla make it the most confident car in snow I’ve ever driven.

I wasn’t a believer in winter tires until a thread here last year. 100% convert now.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

Viking65
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by Viking65 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:49 am

Asked and answered. If you think you might need winter tires, you probably do. The collective wisdom here is correct. It is no time to be second guessing yourself when you hit the brake and...nothing happens...because your all season tires found nothing to grip. The helpless sinking feeling in pit in your stomach is not easily forgotten.
The difference between winter and all-season tires in stopping, general handling, and evasive maneuvering (i.e. avoiding the others with all season tires) is remarkable. A CRV with the electronic traction control and good winter tires will be a very good winter ride.
Personally, I'm running on Continental ContiWinterContact from mid-October to the end of April, and I am extremely pleased with them.

The Wizard
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by The Wizard » Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:07 am

Epsilon Delta wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:21 pm

...Any man who puts nuts on dry would letterspace blackletter.
Can you translate this into English please?
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CyclingDuo
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by CyclingDuo » Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:08 am

jkushne1 wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:14 pm
Random question for the group. I currently have 4 wheel drive Honda CRV with all season tires. However, we just moved to a cold weather location with longer winters and I have a longer commute now than before. My questions:

-Does anyone recommend snow tires, even if a 4 wheel drive care? I have a wife and a one year old son if that matters at all.

-If yes, what tires would you recommend? Where would you buy them (I’ve heard good things about Costco)?

-How long do your snow tires typically last (how many seasons)?
We use the Firestone WinterForce tires on our Honda Elements - and have for several seasons. The Element is similar in handling to the CRV with the AWD on roads in Iowa/Minnesota/Nebraska/Missouri/South Dakota. They perform best with temperatures below 40 degrees due to the softer rubber compound, and we have found them to be amazing on ice. Compared to the all-season tires we run in the warmer months, the handling and performance in snow and ice with the WinterForce tires is night and day. Best money we've spent to make sure we can get around in rural and urban areas during the December - March time frame. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them at all for your CRV (less expensive than the Bridgestone Blizzaks.

Our local tire shop stores our tires (no charge) for us, and changes them out every season making ownership of the snow tires a piece of cake.

Tire companies usually only make a limited run of snow tires each season due to supply/demand issues - so you may have to purchase what you can get based on availability. WinerForce and Blizzaks are local favorites here in the upper Midwest.
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The Wizard
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by The Wizard » Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:16 am

I suppose I could put winter tires on my Mustang, but I never have.
Instead, I take my 4wd pickup when conditions are bad. It has stock all-terrain (not all-season) tires which are mud+snow rated.

I suppose if I was doing some sort of competitive winter road racing, I could put on better tires, but I'm not.

Additionally, when the road is snow covered, I like to check my mirror for noone behind me and then slam on my brakes to see what sort of stopping traction I have. You need to drive within reduced limits in winter at times...
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by Cycle » Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:08 am

All season are... All season. If this car is for driving on plowed roads, all season is all you need. Snow tires may give people the illusion they have better traction on ice which could cause one to go faster than the conditions allow.

I work in a group of engineers and this topic is discussed often, and the consensus is that snow tires are not worth the time or money.

Do the environment a favor and don't buy things that aren't necessary.
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by onourway » Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:16 am

Epsilon Delta wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:21 pm
You also need either anti-seize or a six foot breaker bar.

Any man who puts nuts on dry would letterspace blackletter.
Anti-seize/grease should not be used. Torque values are calculated dry.

https://blog.tirerack.com/blog/yokohama ... ly-torqued

onourway
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by onourway » Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:17 am

Cycle wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:08 am
All season are... All season. If this car is for driving on plowed roads, all season is all you need. Snow tires may give people the illusion they have better traction on ice which could cause one to go faster than the conditions allow.

I work in a group of engineers and this topic is discussed often, and the consensus is that snow tires are not worth the time or money.

Do the environment a favor and don't buy things that aren't necessary.
Snow tires *do* have better traction on snow and ice. That's a fact. Nothing to dispute.

Kind of scary that a group of engineers could come to any other conclusion.

AWD without snow tires is what lends a false sense of security when it gets you moving with little drama, yet then provides no assistance in stopping.
Last edited by onourway on Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

mouses
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by mouses » Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:18 am

WaffleCone wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:59 pm
They're a major hassle. Storing 4 tires takes up a fair amount of space. Transporting 4 dirty tires to the shop only to be charged $15/tire to mount and balance adds up. Repeat a few months later. Or you could buy an extra set of rims, costly, and still you drive them to a shop or change each wheel yourself. No fun there. They will also wear faster than all-seasons especially if you don't have COLD weather months on end.
Some years ago I said the heck with that and leave the snow tires on all year. I feel vaguely guilty, but I am not sure why it is a bad thing to do that, if it is?

Certainly in the snow, snow tires are 10000% better than regular tires, in my experience.

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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:19 am

Would you drive around on totally bald tires? But you have 4x4, so why not? Oh, because you'll slide and skid and fail to stop, I get it. So owning a 4 wheel drive vehicle doesn't make one invincible?


For the record, I only buy snow tires. They work fine in the summer. The alternate (summer tires in the winter) doesn't work at all.
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onourway
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by onourway » Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:21 am

mouses wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:18 am
Some years ago I said the heck with that and leave the snow tires on all year. I feel vaguely guilty, but I am not sure why it is a bad thing to do that, if it is?

Certainly in the snow, snow tires are 10000% better than regular tires, in my experience.
Most snow tires are designed with rubber that performs best below 40F. Above that the tire compound is out of its optimal zone and is overly squishy which dulls handling and wears out faster than normal. There are tires, like the Nokian WR series, that are designed as all-season winter tires that can be driven year round. In this case the spectrum of optimal conditions is tilted towards winter weather. (Contrast that with say, the Michelin Pilot Sport AS3 which is also an all season, but tilted towards summer/performance handling, with only marginal winter capability).

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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:24 am

Cycle wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:08 am
All season are... All season. If this car is for driving on plowed roads, all season is all you need. Snow tires may give people the illusion they have better traction on ice which could cause one to go faster than the conditions allow.
I work in a group of engineers and this topic is discussed often, and the consensus is that snow tires are not worth the time or money.
Do the environment a favor and don't buy things that aren't necessary.
I call my tires winter tires rather than snow tires, because while the roads are often plowed, I find that the tire compound in “all season” tires gets as hard as plastic when the temperature goes below 30degrees or so. They just don’t stop well.

Curious minds want to know: if the conclusion is clear, why are the engineers still discussing this often?

Do the environment a favor and don’t collide with things that require replacement :D
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

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fizxman
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by fizxman » Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:32 am

I got these last year for my 2013 Subaru Outback and I had no issues while driving in the snowing Adirondacks or Pennsylvania.

https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.js ... terSection

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hand
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by hand » Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:54 am

Cycle wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:08 am
I work in a group of engineers and this topic is discussed often, and the consensus is that snow tires are not worth the time or money.
Not to pile on, but this tickled my funny bone - since when do engineers care about consensus?
I always idealized engineering as the ultimate fact based profession.

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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by 260chrisb » Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:01 am

Yep, always. I drive about 45K a year, have a dedicated wheel and snow tire set up and put them on 12-1 and take them off 4-1. Snow tires are made with different compounds than all season tires. I find them good for three seasons as snows (about 25-30K) and after the third season leave them on as they seem to have become good all season tires for another 25K or so. You will be amazed at the difference. I've had good luck with Continental winter contacts as well as Dunlops for the money.

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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by lthenderson » Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:13 am

We had a AWD CR-V and now an AWD RAV4 and live in an area that gets quite a bit of snow for three months of the year. I also have a set of Blizzack snow tires for another vehicle. The snow tires make a significant difference in drivability during snow and ice events. However, I can't think of a single time in the last ten years where I wish I had put them on our AWD vehicles. There are several reasons I don't. They are fairly expensive and don't last very long. It takes time and storage space to house them in the summer months. The biggest reason is that I just don't drive in conditions where they are needed to get around safely. The only reason I have the snow tires is for a front wheel drive only car and with them on, it still doesn't handle as well as the AWD RAV4 or CR-V.

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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:14 am

It is a pain to swap tires. TPMS with two sets of wheels are a pain. If you have tires dismounted and mounted each fall and spring, that will be very hard on your rims and will cost ~$100 for mounting and balancing.

Consider a tire like the Toyo Celsius. It is a year round tire with combined features of an all season and a winter tire.

I personally tried Blizzaks for 2 years. Storing, swapping, TPMS, I sold them. There are maybe 4-5 days in a winter where there is a stretch where it is un-drive-able. On those occasions, we just stay home. Even in the winter in a harsh climate, the roads are often clear making snow tires overkill for many days during the winter.
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Andyrunner
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by Andyrunner » Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:25 am

Yes. I almost got t-boned this morning. I swerved out of the way to avoid the car skidding through the stop sign. If I didn't have snow tires that swerve would of ended up in a power line.

Costs me 40-60 bucks to mount and dismount each spring/fall.

forevernaive
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Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Post by forevernaive » Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:33 am

Justifying the purchase depends very much on where you drive and the conditions, but if it is snowy and icy regularly I'd say

Studded Snows > Snow Tires > Good A/S Tires with deep tread > AWD/4WD > Tires with less tread > Bald Tires

In other words, avoiding bald tires (or just tires with low tread) is you biggest risk point. In my experience in snow country you want at least 4/32" or more tread. The legal limit is half that, but I used to regularly replace my all-season tires well before that. See https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech ... techid=163

Recently I've switched to snow tires (mounted on spare rims that I got a great deal on via Craigslist) because I bought a mountain cabin with roads that are regularly snowy and icy. I use them a little less than 6 months a year, and I expect the additional expense to be partially offset by the fact I will run my summer tires a lot longer until the tread is mostly gone (summer and fall are very dry here). I can easily change them myself, but my local independent tire shop will do it for me for free since I buy my tires from them.

How long tires last depends mostly on how many miles and the surfaces you drive on them. You will likely replace the snows more regularly than the summer tires to keep adequate snow tread depth.

In my view, the added safety factor is significant for the driving conditions I deal with.

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