help me optimize new snow tires

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camillus
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help me optimize new snow tires

Post by camillus » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:53 am

Hi all,

The family van was riding on nearly bald tires. I discovered this a few weeks ago during the first big snowstorm :oops: Anyways, I had read the recent thread about snow tires and got myself a set of 4 blizzaks - discarding the tread-less all seasons. My van is now very trustworthy in winter weather. DW is pleased.

I was wondering if you could help me think about how to optimize my current situation. At present, I have 4 snow tires on the only set of wheels (alloy) with the van. Come March or April, I need to buy some all season tires. There were frequent recommendations for steel rims for the snows on the other thread. Should I order tire inflation/deflation detector gizmos? Where should I get these? Can I purchase the steel rims with all season tires and have the shop switch things around?

Where do you have your snows and all-seasons swapped? Discount Tire was going to charge $60-70 for this (twice a year).

Thanks in advance!

quantAndHold
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Re: help me optimize new snow tires

Post by quantAndHold » Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:51 am

The tire inflation/deflation detector gizmos are called TPMS (tire pressure management system). You can get a perfectly serviceable DIY TPMS set on Amazon. It’s basically 4 valve caps and a display that plugs into a cigarette lighter adapter.

The rim question is outside my area of expertise.

Nebster
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Re: help me optimize new snow tires

Post by Nebster » Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:03 am

You can buy steel rims, AS tires, and swap them around, sure. You can also just remount the two different tires on your nicer rims. Some tire shops will swap them free every season, for life, if you buy from them.

You can also drive on the snows year-round, if you drive somewhat conservatively anyway and are lazy like me. They work fine, but of course, you have to replace them more often... but not remarkably more often, if my Blizzak experience over seven years is any indicator. The calculus depends on how much you drive per year, how valuable your time is, and how easy or hard storing an extra set of wheels is in your location.

deikel
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Re: help me optimize new snow tires

Post by deikel » Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:43 am

Just as some background:

People use steel rims in winter because steel is more durable than alloy eg if you hit a curb. That may happen more often in Winter since the curb might be buried in snow. The Alumn wheels are preferred in summer since they look better (and presumably no one cares in winter weather to appreciate your car) and they are lighter and maybe there is some fuel savings to be had.

TIPS is a convenient item that helps you run your tires in good pressure ranges, get some warning if the tire pressure is low and hence improve fuel economy and safety in a round about way

IMHO, TIPS are gizmos that are so not needed if you look at your car at least once a week anyway. If you have a simple pressure station at home you can check and fill on the weekends or whenever needed - cost less than 50 USD.

IMHO, the ideal combination is to use steel rims and drive Winter tires all year long. This avoids the remounting cost entirely, affords you to buy cheaper winter tires, gives you best performance in wet/slush/snow conditions and is entirely acceptable for summer driving (all season tires are complete rubbish). The only exception I would make is long distance vacation travel in summer in hot climate and I would pay for the occasional tire balancing (since it helps to prevent long term damage to the axle).
Everything you read in this post is my personal opinion. If you disagree with this disclaimer, please un-read the text immidiatly and destroy any copy or remembrance of it.

IMO
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Re: help me optimize new snow tires

Post by IMO » Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:50 am

I opt to utilize separate rims for winter tires. Have bought the steel ones, but also for a little more, have bought nice rims that don't look so utilitarian. Most recently for 17" rims, it was about $110 per rim at Discount, but they had a rebate recently if you had signed up for their credit card which dropped that down I think $20 per rim. Looks nicer on a new car.

I'm of the opinion that if you are keeping the same car for a number of years, you'll save the cost of constantly having 2 sets of tires removed and remounted. Aside from more weight, seems that storing tires alone vs. tires/rims takes about the same space. I'm also of the opinion that repeated mounts/dismounts could have some detrimental effects on the tires bead, but have nothing to back that thought. You can ask your tire shop to swap the winters on the steel rims (as you mention you desired), they may or may not charge you. You could negotiate potentially negotiate that fee when you go to buy your new all season tires in the spring (couldn't hurt to try).

Discount does not charge me to have the entire wheel rotated on/off.

I was told that since our new car had TPMS installed that I was required to have this installed on the 2nd set (per Discount tire). The salesman did drop the cost on the devices somewhat, but you have to figure that into your cost. You don't need to add these if you don't have them now.

Tires "expire" in 6-10 yrs, and tire shops will always push at the 6 yr mark to replace tires (even with good tread). So pending your mileage, keep that in mind. I do not purchase the Discount tire replacement plan because my winter tires will typically outlive the plans limited time frame.

However, remember that when you put miles on your winter tires, you are not putting miles on your all season tires and vice versa. Snow tires are softer rubber and will not last as long as all season tires. Each type of tire will have a "cost per expected useful mileage" (I myself am very dubious of tire mileage claims) so theoretically you could figure out how much is saved when your reducing your mileage on your all season tires with your winter tires.
Last edited by IMO on Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

barreg
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Re: help me optimize new snow tires

Post by barreg » Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:52 am

We don't have a second set of rims and just pay Costco ~$48 to do a seasonal tire swap in the winter and spring

Yooper
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Re: help me optimize new snow tires

Post by Yooper » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:08 pm

For what it's worth, note that Blizzaks must be mounted correctly so they rotate in the correct direction. This is easy, there's a stylish arrow on the sidewall showing which way the rotation is supposed to be so you mount it on the correct side of the vehicle. It is easy, but I only mention this because on most tires (that I'm familiar with anyway) are unidirectional so when you rotate your tires it doesn't matter if you go front to back or diagonally. With Blizzaks you can only rotate driver front with driver rear, and passenger front with passenger rear.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: help me optimize new snow tires

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:09 pm

Let me propose door #3, which is what we do.

Run the snows all year round.

Why?

1 set of wheels/tires
No extra expense
No storing issues
If you drive low mileage, you won't run into unsafe tires somewhere between 8 and 10 years from the tires outgassing and getting hard.
They work fine in the summer. Vans are not competitors on the roadcourse to Porsche 911 GT-2 RS.
You will get as many miles out of them as you would a set of all seasons (partly because you have more tread to begin with)

When the tires do get low enough to need replacing (figure in 65k miles to be conservative), then replace them with another set of snow tires.

The down sides:

Winter tires ARE noisier. But you have kids. (I assume this because why else would you have a mini van). You're not going to hear tires over screaming kids and perhaps a screaming spouse.

Winter tires don't handle as well. I'll give you that. But mini vans handle like a garden tractor with a tire missing anyways, so who cares.

If you really want to extend the life of these tires and drive a good deal of miles, when these tires get to the "all season" tread, get some steel wheels with another set of winter tires. Then use the worn tires as "summer" winter tires. We do that now with our Subaru Crosstrek.
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Alexa9
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Re: help me optimize new snow tires

Post by Alexa9 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:20 pm

Save time and money and change them yourself if you want to be economical. You can wait until the first big storm in December and change them quickly if you get an unusual heat wave in February.

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ClevrChico
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Re: help me optimize new snow tires

Post by ClevrChico » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:23 pm

I found that China-made alloys aren't much more than steel rims, and they don't rust. If you plan on using the wheels for a while, alloys may be worth it.

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jimmyq
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Re: help me optimize new snow tires

Post by jimmyq » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:26 pm

I'd consider swapping tires on the existing rims in the Spring. Then in the Fall, you can decide if you want to purchase a set of steel rims and have the winter tires mounted on them. If it doesn't cost too much to swap on the existing rims, you can always fall back to that option.

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CardinalRule
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Re: help me optimize new snow tires

Post by CardinalRule » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:34 pm

Winter tires are soft and wear down quickly on warm, drive pavement. I wouldn't use them year-round, if economy is any kind of consideration at all.
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:09 pm
Let me propose door #3, which is what we do.

Run the snows all year round.

Why?

1 set of wheels/tires
No extra expense
No storing issues
If you drive low mileage, you won't run into unsafe tires somewhere between 8 and 10 years from the tires outgassing and getting hard.
They work fine in the summer. Vans are not competitors on the roadcourse to Porsche 911 GT-2 RS.
You will get as many miles out of them as you would a set of all seasons (partly because you have more tread to begin with)

When the tires do get low enough to need replacing (figure in 65k miles to be conservative), then replace them with another set of snow tires.

The down sides:

Winter tires ARE noisier. But you have kids. (I assume this because why else would you have a mini van). You're not going to hear tires over screaming kids and perhaps a screaming spouse.

Winter tires don't handle as well. I'll give you that. But mini vans handle like a garden tractor with a tire missing anyways, so who cares.

If you really want to extend the life of these tires and drive a good deal of miles, when these tires get to the "all season" tread, get some steel wheels with another set of winter tires. Then use the worn tires as "summer" winter tires. We do that now with our Subaru Crosstrek.

TN_Boy
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Re: help me optimize new snow tires

Post by TN_Boy » Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:11 pm

deikel wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:43 am
Just as some background:

People use steel rims in winter because steel is more durable than alloy eg if you hit a curb. That may happen more often in Winter since the curb might be buried in snow. The Alumn wheels are preferred in summer since they look better (and presumably no one cares in winter weather to appreciate your car) and they are lighter and maybe there is some fuel savings to be had.

TIPS is a convenient item that helps you run your tires in good pressure ranges, get some warning if the tire pressure is low and hence improve fuel economy and safety in a round about way

IMHO, TIPS are gizmos that are so not needed if you look at your car at least once a week anyway. If you have a simple pressure station at home you can check and fill on the weekends or whenever needed - cost less than 50 USD.

IMHO, the ideal combination is to use steel rims and drive Winter tires all year long. This avoids the remounting cost entirely, affords you to buy cheaper winter tires, gives you best performance in wet/slush/snow conditions and is entirely acceptable for summer driving (all season tires are complete rubbish). The only exception I would make is long distance vacation travel in summer in hot climate and I would pay for the occasional tire balancing (since it helps to prevent long term damage to the axle).
So there are two recommendations in this thread to run winters tires all year round, and I sure don't get the logic. Winter tires wear faster, and except when it is well, winter, are inferior to all seasons and summer tires in about all ways. In much of the country, running winters all year would be darn silly.

Where I live, cost and storage space no object, I would run all-seasons from March to October, and winter tires the rest of the year, with rims for both sets of tires. But we don't get much snow where I live in the sunbelt, so I put up with good all-seasons. About once every two years, I wish I had bothered with winter tires.

I don't agree with the dismissal of all-season tires. They don't have the quite the same traction in warm weather as summer tires, and they are substantially less effective in snow and ice than winter tires. But if you live in many parts of this country, all-season tires are the obvious choice. Unlike summer tires, they will continue to give you decent traction in cold dry weather, they tend to wear better than summer tires, and unlike summer tires, can be "okay" in snow. A good set of all-seasons will work quite well across three of the four seasons almost anywhere in the country. In snowy areas, yeah, winter tires are a good idea.

In my mind, summer tires are the useless ones -- I doubt you can tell the traction difference between summer tires and performance all-seasons unless you are a very good driver doing laps on a race course.

I have found the TIPS useful when you pick up a screw while driving around. The sensor will tell you about the problem before you notice, especially on a back tire, and you are less likely to drive around on a deflating tire, and more likely to stop and address the problem before trashing the sidewall and rendering the tire unpatchable. Not essential, but handy at times.

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BolderBoy
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Re: help me optimize new snow tires

Post by BolderBoy » Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:25 pm

camillus wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:53 am
Where do you have your snows and all-seasons swapped? Discount Tire was going to charge $60-70 for this (twice a year).
Though not directly answering your question, where do you live and how many miles will you put on the vehicle per year?

(I don't drive many miles/yr so keep snow tires on year-round; you see where I live)
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tibbitts
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Re: help me optimize new snow tires

Post by tibbitts » Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:46 pm

Wow you're getting some odd advice that's all over the map. In fact everything depends on your driving habits/requirements and related issues like how long you're going to keep this van. Unless you have and are willing to spend lots of money. As in many cases lots of money answers all questions and solves all problems.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: help me optimize new snow tires

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:01 pm

CardinalRule wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:34 pm
Winter tires are soft and wear down quickly on warm, drive pavement. I wouldn't use them year-round, if economy is any kind of consideration at all.
I think I addressed this by saying that winter tires start with more tread.....and that I've done this and will say that they'll conservatively last 65k miles. My own experience is that on our cars, they last 75k miles. I will agree that they wear down faster, but if you start with 50% more tread, they can wear 30% faster and be equal. The last car that I owned with all season tires went 71k miles. So let's call that equal to winters. Sounds good to me.
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iceport
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Re: help me optimize new snow tires

Post by iceport » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:01 pm

camillus wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:53 am
Can I purchase the steel rims with all season tires and have the shop switch things around?
I'm not sure. It's too late now, but I think the "optimum" course would have been to purchase the full set of snow tires already mounted on steel rims directly from a retailer like Tire Rack. I've purchased snows this way from them, and the package deals were unbelievably economical. Often, it seemed as though the rims were practically free, compared to brick and mortar retail prices for the snows alone. They come already balanced. This way, the snows are already mounted on the cheaper, "throw-away" steel rims, and the summer tires can stay on the "good" rims.

Now that you have the snows, I'd price out a set of steel rims separately and packaged with the summer tires you decide upon. It might be cheaper as a package, though the mounting and balancing of the summer tires on steel rims would be work done unnecessarily.

As far as swapping them out, I've always done that myself, once I learned to use dedicated steel winter rims. Any decent independent garage should be able to swap them out cheaply. You should not need to get them re-balanced, so it's a trivial job for a garage with a lift. Mounting and balancing is more time-consuming, and it's always possible (though unlikely) for something to go wrong with the mounting process.
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260chrisb
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Re: help me optimize new snow tires

Post by 260chrisb » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:20 pm

I've gone two ways; dedicated wheels and snow tires and just snow tires that I have remounted each winter. Wal-Mart does it for $10.00 a wheel, sells snow tries, offers a tire protection option, and of course sells all season tires. I put them on 12-1 and take them off 4-1, generally run them for three seasons (35-40,000 miles), and then use them for as all season after the third winter until the next winter and start all over again. Tire Rack offers some pretty good wheel and tire packages. The other option is to buy an identical set to what is on your van at a salvage yard so you have the same look year round and simply have to mount wheels each season and not always tires. My experience is that after about 35,000 miles snow tires are just good all season tires.

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BolderBoy
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Re: help me optimize new snow tires

Post by BolderBoy » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:49 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:01 pm
CardinalRule wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:34 pm
Winter tires are soft and wear down quickly on warm, drive pavement. I wouldn't use them year-round, if economy is any kind of consideration at all.
I think I addressed this by saying that winter tires start with more tread.....and that I've done this and will say that they'll conservatively last 65k miles. My own experience is that on our cars, they last 75k miles. I will agree that they wear down faster, but if you start with 50% more tread, they can wear 30% faster and be equal. The last car that I owned with all season tires went 71k miles. So let's call that equal to winters. Sounds good to me.
Decades ago a federal law was passed requiring tire makers to better equalize the tire life between their snow tires and their non-snow tires. Prior to that snow tires were easily shot after one season.
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect

2comma
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Re: help me optimize new snow tires

Post by 2comma » Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:36 pm

As someone with no skin in this game if I decided on snow tires I'd just get the steel rims just to help avoid the inevitable scratchs/marks you'll see on your good rims from all of the re-balancing and mounting/unmounting. The other thing I'd do is make sure they torque the lug nuts per spec. Nothing like needing to change a tire and finding out you can't get the lug nuts off and it can damage the rim on some cars.
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tibbitts
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Re: help me optimize new snow tires

Post by tibbitts » Sun Dec 31, 2017 4:57 pm

I thinks it's important to note that this is a case of going from something everyone agrees is horrible (bald tires of any kind) to doing something that's kind of extreme (snow tires vs. all-seasons.) 90% of the benefit would have come with just replacing the original tires with good all-season tires.

TN_Boy
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Re: help me optimize new snow tires

Post by TN_Boy » Sun Dec 31, 2017 4:57 pm

tibbitts wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:46 pm
Wow you're getting some odd advice that's all over the map. In fact everything depends on your driving habits/requirements and related issues like how long you're going to keep this van. Unless you have and are willing to spend lots of money. As in many cases lots of money answers all questions and solves all problems.
Yeah, the advice to run winter tires all year long .... that's unusual, and contradicts the tire companies recommendations, Tirerack recommendations and so forth. Winter tires do not perform as well as summer or all seasons in heat (worse cornering, stopping, etc). And they wear a lot faster in those conditions; which matters because the winter tires don't do their snow and ice thing well when they get worn. Blizzak's FAQ on Tirerack states their "enhanced" snow performance is probably gone after 12 to 15k miles. Here is a quote from the Blizzak FAQ:

As with any purpose-built winter / snow tire, Blizzak tires should only be used during the winter season to maximize their life span. Drivers should switch to their all-season or summer tires during the other seasons.

Drivers shouldn't run Blizzaks (or any other winter / snow tire) too early before or too late after the winter's core of late November to early April. This approximate four-month period represents the ideal time for winter tire use in many parts of the United States.


I wouldn't run winter tires all year round if I lived in Montana. I'd sure put some on for the winter though. If you google something like "use winter tires all year round" you won't find much support for the idea.

wrongfunds
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Re: help me optimize new snow tires

Post by wrongfunds » Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:19 pm

I have driven my car exclusively on winter tires well over 12 years. Once the OEM tires wore on on my 2000 Maxima, I put the snow tires and I kept on replacing them with the snow tires as they worn down. I live in New England. I will not advice this approach if you live in Arizona or New Mexico!

Jack gave all the reason why you could run them all year round. Yes, if the money and storage is no object, then do swap twice a year but otherwise just drive them. Give it a try. If you find you need more "performance" in the summer, get a new tire set then.

whomever
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Re: help me optimize new snow tires

Post by whomever » Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:46 pm

Winter tires are soft and wear down quickly on warm, drive pavement. I wouldn't use them year-round, if economy is any kind of consideration at all.
+1

Not all winter tires are the same, but Blizzaks in particular caution that only the outer layer of the tread is the sooper-sticky-on-ice rubber. You can see the difference when it wears off. At that point you have a decent set of summer tires, but they aren't winter tires anymore.



(To answer the OP: we buy a spare set of rims. Sometimes I go all out and spray paint them silver with a can :-). I don't get TPMS sensors for the winter tires (our cars aren't friendly about recognizing more than 4 tires). I swap them on myself right before the first storm, and off when the coast is clear in spring. When the winter tires are 2/3 worn or so (or when the magic rubber is gone for Blizzaks) I just leave them on and wear them out over the summer.)

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Re: help me optimize new snow tires

Post by Wakefield1 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:02 pm

TN_Boy wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 4:57 pm
tibbitts wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:46 pm
Wow you're getting some odd advice that's all over the map. In fact everything depends on your driving habits/requirements and related issues like how long you're going to keep this van. Unless you have and are willing to spend lots of money. As in many cases lots of money answers all questions and solves all problems.
Yeah, the advice to run winter tires all year long .... that's unusual, and contradicts the tire companies recommendations, Tirerack recommendations and so forth. Winter tires do not perform as well as summer or all seasons in heat (worse cornering, stopping, etc). And they wear a lot faster in those conditions; which matters because the winter tires don't do their snow and ice thing well when they get worn. Blizzak's FAQ on Tirerack states their "enhanced" snow performance is probably gone after 12 to 15k miles. Here is a quote from the Blizzak FAQ:

As with any purpose-built winter / snow tire, Blizzak tires should only be used during the winter season to maximize their life span. Drivers should switch to their all-season or summer tires during the other seasons.

Drivers shouldn't run Blizzaks (or any other winter / snow tire) too early before or too late after the winter's core of late November to early April. This approximate four-month period represents the ideal time for winter tire use in many parts of the United States.


I wouldn't run winter tires all year round if I lived in Montana. I'd sure put some on for the winter though. If you google something like "use winter tires all year round" you won't find much support for the idea.
This^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
I believe there are big differences between various all season tires and "M&S all season tires" not to mention "summer tires"
Traditional "snow tires" vs. the newer "Winter Tires"?
The ideal solution if cost is no object and you must get out in bad weather is a set of winter tires mounted on their own rims that are swapped out for other tires on the original rims for non-winter duty
Good winter tires that are not worn out actually produce detectable traction on ice! (although not a whole lot) other tires might actually turn the car into a skateboard :oops:

CurlyDave
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Re: help me optimize new snow tires

Post by CurlyDave » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:24 am

For steel wheels, a wrecking yard will be happy to sell you good ones for about $25. I wire brushed mine and then painted with primer and them flat black. Snow tires mount permanently on these.

Alloy ones get the all-season tires. Only have to store 3, since the spare was on a steel wheel and can be a snow tire in the summer and an alloy in winter.

deikel
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Re: help me optimize new snow tires

Post by deikel » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:39 am

TN_Boy wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:11 pm

So there are two recommendations in this thread to run winters tires all year round, and I sure don't get the logic. Winter tires wear faster, and except when it is well, winter, are inferior to all seasons and summer tires in about all ways. In much of the country, running winters all year would be darn silly.
I don't think so. I live in the Northeast and we have (on average) about 4 months of snow on the ground. Having said that, Winter tires are not great for snow and ice (!), they are great in rain/slush/mix. Let me repeat this for the fun of it, the advantage of winter profile vs summer is the fact that the winter tires push the slush out and keep better traction in the slush....in true snow pack, you need them studded anyway.

My thinking for recommending winter tires year round is simple: On my car snow tires can be had for about 75-90 USD per tire. That's about the cost for one additional rim and it is the cost for one set of mounting tires.

So switching summer to winter tires would cost me the equivalent of one new tire, twice a year....at that price, switching tires makes no financial sense at all (with the caveat that switching tires usually is also a good time to balance tires).

I could purchase extra rims for summer vs winter and mount myself, but this would be the upfront cost of one set of rims and a set of summers (which equals more than two ADDITIONAL sets of winters since summer tires seem to be more expensive than winters and the rims are about the same price new than a winter tire (as per tire rack last time I checked).

Tires also get bad over time due to the rubber becoming brittle - this is true regardless of use. Add to it that I have 4 months of winter and the EXTRA wear of winter tires in true summer months (I have about 4 of those) is not all that much (in my observation) - for me, its a no brainer to stick with winters on steel rims all year round.

YMMV
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TN_Boy
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Re: help me optimize new snow tires

Post by TN_Boy » Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:05 pm

deikel wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:39 am
TN_Boy wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:11 pm

So there are two recommendations in this thread to run winters tires all year round, and I sure don't get the logic. Winter tires wear faster, and except when it is well, winter, are inferior to all seasons and summer tires in about all ways. In much of the country, running winters all year would be darn silly.
I don't think so. I live in the Northeast and we have (on average) about 4 months of snow on the ground. Having said that, Winter tires are not great for snow and ice (!), they are great in rain/slush/mix. Let me repeat this for the fun of it, the advantage of winter profile vs summer is the fact that the winter tires push the slush out and keep better traction in the slush....in true snow pack, you need them studded anyway.

My thinking for recommending winter tires year round is simple: On my car snow tires can be had for about 75-90 USD per tire. That's about the cost for one additional rim and it is the cost for one set of mounting tires.

So switching summer to winter tires would cost me the equivalent of one new tire, twice a year....at that price, switching tires makes no financial sense at all (with the caveat that switching tires usually is also a good time to balance tires).

I could purchase extra rims for summer vs winter and mount myself, but this would be the upfront cost of one set of rims and a set of summers (which equals more than two ADDITIONAL sets of winters since summer tires seem to be more expensive than winters and the rims are about the same price new than a winter tire (as per tire rack last time I checked).

Tires also get bad over time due to the rubber becoming brittle - this is true regardless of use. Add to it that I have 4 months of winter and the EXTRA wear of winter tires in true summer months (I have about 4 of those) is not all that much (in my observation) - for me, its a no brainer to stick with winters on steel rims all year round.

YMMV
I've never lived north of Jersey. But I have driven in snow and ice. My argument is that the people that make the winter tires recommend not running them all year round :-). And it is more of a time tradeoff than money tradeoff to run two sets of tires. With two sets of tires, the non-winter tires obviously last longer because they are not being used during the winter months. And with one set of tires the winter tires are going to wear fast in the summer. I also see that the snow tire makers note that they lose good snow capability long before they lose "all season" capability.

The last car I bought came with summer tires. Since I won't go with summer tires in the winter, even in the south, I switched between the summer tires and all-seasons highly rated for snow (no, they are not nearly as capable as winter tires, but it snows once or twice a year where I live, and days in the 70s are not that uncommon in the winter). It was painless doing the full remounting twice a year -- I didn't bother to buy another set of rims. And usually the remount time was around when I would need to get them rotated anyway, so I didn't even waste a trip.

As I mentioned earlier, summer tires are the ones I find useless in most of the US. They perform poorly when it is cold (below 40), often don't wear very well, and tend to be expensive. So I wouldn't ever use the scenario you mention -- set of summers, set of winters. I'd run all seasons (oriented towards tread life or handling, your preference) and winters if I lived up north. And I don't think the incremental cost would be that much. It IS annoying to have to store the extra set of tires/rims.

As an aside, I noted references to people getting 70k out of their tires. I never get that kind of tread life, but I buy tires biased towards handling, especially wet handling with okay treadwear being good enough. I also replace them well before they are worn out (I've driven on wet roads with worn tires, that kind of penny pinching is not my idea of being smart with money).

So, I hear you, but remain unconvinced that winter tires all year round are a good idea pretty much anywhere in the US, or even a money saving idea (assuming you like good wet traction on your tires all year round). If the people that made the tires agreed with you, I might be more inclined to change my mind.

edge
Posts: 3328
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 7:44 pm
Location: Great Falls VA

Re: help me optimize new snow tires

Post by edge » Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:17 pm

I can get 4-5 seasons (20-30k miles) out of blizzaks if I drive carefully in the winter. The winters where we live now have snow from October through April. I would never ever drive the blizzaks in the warmer months. They are goopy in warm weather to the point of being unsafe and get horrible gas mileage.

I use ultra high performance all seasons for 7-8 months and then switch them on the same rim with winter tires. Go to a good tire shop that swaps the tire without touching the wheel and guaranteed no damage to the rim.

AWD plus snow tires means I can start and stop very effectively in poor conditions.

wrongfunds
Posts: 1823
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:55 pm

Re: help me optimize new snow tires

Post by wrongfunds » Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:29 am

"ultra high performance" on the minivan

capsaicinguy
Posts: 69
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:00 am

Re: help me optimize new snow tires

Post by capsaicinguy » Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:47 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:01 pm
CardinalRule wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:34 pm
Winter tires are soft and wear down quickly on warm, drive pavement. I wouldn't use them year-round, if economy is any kind of consideration at all.
I think I addressed this by saying that winter tires start with more tread.....and that I've done this and will say that they'll conservatively last 65k miles. My own experience is that on our cars, they last 75k miles. I will agree that they wear down faster, but if you start with 50% more tread, they can wear 30% faster and be equal. The last car that I owned with all season tires went 71k miles. So let's call that equal to winters. Sounds good to me.
Comparing the same size tire between blizzak ws80's and my assurance triple treads, they both have 11-12/32nds of tread depth. Snows don't come with extra tread, they come frequently dual compound, the first half of the tread is the "good stuff" and wears fast. Once you hit the secondary tread compound half way through it is more like an all-season. This is how they get them to wear longer, but once the good compound is gone the handling/stability goes down dramatically. If you want to burn up a set of snow tires in a hurry, run them in the summer. I've driven a car running snow tires in the summer in 90* weather and it felt like the car was driving on a set of marshmallows. Use the right tool for the right job. There is a reason snow tires don't come with a tread warranty, you should expect to get maybe 20-30k miles before they need to get replaced. If you split that up you can get a few seasons out of them.

Best course of action here is to buy a set of steel wheels and have the snow tires mounted on them, and put whatever summer/all season tire you want on the original alloys.

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