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East Coasters and snow tires... - Page 2

post #31 of 47
I usually switch over around 15 November, but I'm late this year. So's winter.
It's not about avoiding getting stuck; it's about having more control over your car and being able to stop sooner and turn harder.
post #32 of 47
Put my Michelin Alpin PA2's 215/45-17 two weeks ago. They handle better then my Dunlop FM901 summer only's. My Nokian only buddy was impressed when we drove my 300hp Subaru GT to Stowe last Dec. in a snow storm with changing road conditions.

We just bought Nokian RSI's for my son's 325hp Eagle Talon AWD from the Tire Factory 205/40-16 for $124 ea shipped. We drive alot and HP is our friend.

On the other side of the coin. We drove my 1992 Civic to VT every winter weekend from 1995-March 98 without snow tires. Never had serious problem and never went off the road.

You need to know your limits.
post #33 of 47
I usually swap tires by mid-Novenber also. We're driving a new car with all season tires, I will probably swap over to snows before ESA -- I just feel more comfortable with snow tires on the car.
post #34 of 47
Be sure to check the wear rating before you buy and balance that against the traction comments.

I have only had one set of "dedicated" snow tires on my old Saab 900. It needed new tires in late fall and I put 4 Pirelli hydrophylic on. Bad move; it was a season devoid of natural snow and by spring they were "slicks", totally shot. No hard driving and probably only something like 5,000 miles out of them.
post #35 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
Be sure to check the wear rating before you buy and balance that against the traction comments.

I have only had one set of "dedicated" snow tires on my old Saab 900. It needed new tires in late fall and I put 4 Pirelli hydrophylic on. Bad move; it was a season devoid of natural snow and by spring they were "slicks", totally shot. No hard driving and probably only something like 5,000 miles out of them.
This is part of my concern, I will put 12K on my car by March...if I am lucky.
post #36 of 47
My Michelin Pilot Alpines have about 12,000 miles on them from last winter. They still have lots of tread left.

People need to realize these new high performance snow tires are made for cold weather, if you leave them on in warm weather they will wear out fast.
post #37 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2-turn View Post
I bought a used Audi Quattro with practically brand new Proxes4 tires and got caught in a surprise October snow, they were the worst tires on snow I've ever had.

sweet, just what i needed to hear.



poop
post #38 of 47
I think the type and size of your all-season tires makes a big difference as to whether or not you can survive without snows. My TL has 17" 45 series tires on a 235mm wide footprint. Even with FWD, this was a horrible setup for driving in Syracuse (north of the Thruway, baby!). Last winter, I reverted to driving my 1990 Volvo 740 (RWD, 270,000 miles) on Uniroyal all seasons, but because they were bicycle wheels/tires, they did fine - much better than the FWD Acura. The Volvo bit the big one this summer, so I had to do something for the Acura. I bought the alternate setup (16", 215/55 series) Winterforce tires and the steel wheels from TireRack.com for the TL. This setup got rave reviews on TireRack's forum...interesting because these are the cheapest snow tires they sell. No snow yet this winter, but that changes this weekend. We'll see if they live up to the hype.

BTW, I changed the weekend before Thanksgiving.
post #39 of 47
Thread Starter 
Tire SIZE is very inportant. The taller and narrower the better. I dropped from a 215/50/17 standard tire on my car to a 205/55/16
post #40 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
Tire SIZE is very inportant. The taller and narrower the better. I dropped from a 215/50/17 standard tire on my car to a 205/55/16
Absolutely, I go from 235/50-17 to 215/60-16
post #41 of 47
Snow tires, I used the friggen air conditioner driving after work today (sweating in NYS)
post #42 of 47
I have the Michelin x-ice have used them for 2 winters. They actually have superior noise and handling characteristics compared to the stock tires that came on my car. I usually put them on around late November and remove them in early April. I have put approximately 25,000 miles on them so far an they still have plenty of life left.
post #43 of 47
I switch 'em up Turkey Day weekend. Although as warm as it's been out east this year, it has been a bit embarrasin' to have the snows on the car that early

After finding my Audi AWD slipping and sliding after 2 seasons on stock all seasons, I switched to running high perf summer tires and Dunlop Winter Sport M3's in the winter ... and haven't looked back. The Sport M3's handle nearly as well as the stock Conti's on dry pavement, but give MUCH better traction in snow.

AWD doesn't mean squat if your tires got no grip!
post #44 of 47
Thread Starter 
What is everyone running for tire pressures?
post #45 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldEasternSkier View Post
I switched to running high perf summer tires and Dunlop Winter Sport M3's in the winter ... and haven't looked back. The Sport M3's handle nearly as well as the stock Conti's on dry pavement, but give MUCH better traction in snow.
I'll concur about the Dunlop Winter Sport M3's! I've always had sporty cars with high performance tires, so snow tires are a must here in Northern CT (even though we don't get a huge amount of snow). I put these Dunlop's on my E36 BMW M3, 2001 BMW 740iL and now my 2005 BMW 545i - all RWD with pretty fat OEM tire sizes. I have the Sport Package on my 545i which means even fatter 18" wheels, so I went down one size to 225/50-17" on separate wheels (from Tire Rack, of course) - looks decent too.

These Dunlop M3's are an excellent tire for a sporty car in the Northeast - they handle really well in the dry, not noisy or soft/mushy at all, and do great in the snow/ice. Highly recommended!
post #46 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier219 View Post
In general, you need to look at the percentage of dry versus winter road surfaces you will be on. In my case, it's about 90% highway driving followed by 10% winter/mountain driving when I go on ski trips. For that mix, all-season tires are the appropriate choice. If I got to something closer to 50/50 (ie, lived in the mountains), I would go with winter tires.
For that mix I'd choose ice tires.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skier219 View Post
Many people choose winter tires because they will be doing "some" winter driving. But that means you may likely have the wrong tires the rest of the time. And believe me, winter tires do not come without downsides. Generally, speed rating goes down, noise goes up, emergency handling and braking on dry pavement is compromised, and the tires will wear faster.
Modern ice tires have less of those downsides than snow tires. My winter tires are rated up to 240km/h, are quiet, and brake and handle quite nicely. Their grip on dry pavement is superior to that of most all seasons due to softer rubber, which will grip better at low temps. As long as the tire is used at low temps, it won't wear much faster than an all season.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skier219 View Post
The very best winter tires minimize dry-road compromises to an acceptable level. But they also cost big bucks.
Well, M3's are sweet, but cost a lot. I have Hankook W300, which are sweet, and don't cost a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skier219 View Post
For people who do not do enough driving on snow or ice to justify winter tires but still plan to encounter winter weather, make sure you have good all season tires that are in good shape -- if they have marginal tread in any way, they will definitely suck in slippery weather, and you may as well be on slicks.
Very true. Count on the first winter with all-seasons being OK, the second winter being marginal, and after that, yikes.

Overall though, the question is whether you want to get by, or do you want getting there to be half the fun. Max Capacity will no doubt back me up that a Subaru (I have an LGT too, but not 300hp yet) with winter tires is too much fun in snow.

As for tire width, again it depends on the surface you're dealing with. For deep snow, and maybe slush, narrower tires will cut through it better (although I think you really have to go very narrow to get much benefit, have a look at rally cars on snow to see some narrow tires!), but for ice a wider tire is better.

And finally to answer the original question... Most tire manufacturers say that below 7C (45F) the pavement is cold enough to warrant winters. Around here (Ottawa, ON) I usually switch during the 3rd week of November, which is coincidentally when the average daily temp drops below 0C, so you could always find out when that happens in your region and do it then. Of course, if you have them on winter rims, you can do it the night before you're gonna need them...

Andy
post #47 of 47
Ok, Ok, Ok. You were right guys. I went to Jay yesterday for some post final exam turns. Holy Crap those proxes 4's SUCK in snow. I nearly went off the road on multiple occations. Granted im rusty on driving in snow, but damn. They scared me to high heaven. IT was a religious experience trying to turn into jay. Started to turn, then went sideways, then backwards, all while working the steering and gas. Im getting snows next week when go home.

The only reason i made it home is because someone up there still likes me.
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