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SNOW TIRES (pretty white stuff)
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Alex
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2002 11:31 am    Post subject: Re:SNOW TIRES (pretty white stuff) Reply with quote

I would say go for snow tires (if budget allows). They are definitely worth it (safety wise). However you still need to keep in mind that you will not be driving on the same surface in the winter. I tend to drive the van in winter as if I had lousy all-seasons (slow down, especially when turning). But having snow tires really helps in emergency situations. I've driven our MPV with the stock Dunlops (16") during the first winter and then the next year I switched to Michelins AA's. Neither of two winters I got stuck in snow but I must say having snow tires does make driving much easier...

I bought a set of Michelins in 215/65-15 and steel wheels at Costco for about CDN$900 (including taxes and installation). I didn't want to buy just tires because tires in 16" are more expensive than 15", but most of all I didn't want to ruin my alloys by mounting/unmounting tires every season plus it would require extra balacing, etc. Now I'm going to switch tires myself without fearing that a shop skrews up something (like balancing)...
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dixonL2
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2002 11:48 am    Post subject: Re:SNOW TIRES (pretty white stuff) Reply with quote

I'd give a much more emphatic "yes, get snows", but you can tell that from my post. It's a night-and-day difference on snow, and only a minor difference in the dry/wet. On snow, compared to snow tires, all-seasons are more like controlling the direction of a hockey puck. (OK, perhaps more like talking in Timberlands vs. walking in dress shoes).

You'll get a lot of "I saw..." and "last winter we did..." stories, but bear with one quickie: Last year, on the hill in front of my house, I was able to climb it in my FRONT drive VW Passat on AA's, and my neighbor in his 4WD Blazer (in 4wd) on new all-seasons couldn't get up it. Same snow, same hill. If it were braking for someone who pulled out infront of me, I'd much rather be on snows...

For cost: one avoided accident can cost you much more in deductible than the <$600 the snow tire/wheel package will run you from www.tirerack.com . (FWIW, Tirerack loves Blizzaks; go with whatever YOUR recommendation is - I think they have incentives from Bridgestone... but they're a great shop, don't get me wrong)

OK that's all for stories from me.... YMMV, etc.

2002 MPVes silver "GTI", Mazda hitch, fogs
2003 Mazdaspeed Protege, black mica "ping" on msprotege.com
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Dan
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2002 12:22 pm    Post subject: Re:SNOW TIRES (pretty white stuff) Reply with quote

dixonL2 wrote:

For cost: one avoided accident can cost you much more in deductible than the <$600 the snow tire/wheel package will run you from www.tirerack.com .


Exactly the sales presentation I gave dw on why it would be a good idea to get snows. But going back to the question of "is it necessary?" I'd say 'no'. But you are more limited w/o snows than with. I am planning to get snows for the upcoming winter even though it has been years since I have had them. Just the extra peace of mind and security.

[b:a970de293f]Dan[/b:a970de293f]
2001 Rainforest Green LX (164,795 miles)--Minnie (The vacationator)
2006 Honda Civic EX with NAVI and 5sp MT (102,338 miles, new block at 89K) (Dan's daily driver)--Blue Car
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subearu
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2002 12:30 pm    Post subject: Re:SNOW TIRES (pretty white stuff) Reply with quote

FWIW, http://www.tirerack.com has a tire/wheel package for ~$550 for 16's and AA's.

I think I'll hold off getting snows for our ES this winter. Our Outback is great in the snow, but I know it would be even better with snows on it. However, snows on the Subie may impact the fun factor of all fours throwing snow in a turn. Weehaw! Wink

-Brian

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2002 1:47 pm    Post subject: Re:SNOW TIRES (pretty white stuff) Reply with quote

Dan wrote:

I was thinking of either the Hakks, or the Mich. A.A.s. Would be nice to see an independent comparison of them. Java, do they still allow studded tires up your way?


Yes, 'Eco Studs' thought, instead of the old non-eco-friendly ones. They wear out fast now... like 2-3yrs and your studs are gone. I'll not drive in the winter w/o studs.

I'll have to search for an inde-comparo on the tires...
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Dan
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2002 9:49 am    Post subject: Re:SNOW TIRES (pretty white stuff) Reply with quote

It kind of amazes me that studded tires got banned, but they still allow tracked National Guard vehicles down Main Street for parades. Thankfully they stopped that after they repaved the street. Those things (tracked vehicles) ripped up the pavement like you wouldn't believe.
[b:a970de293f]Dan[/b:a970de293f]
2001 Rainforest Green LX (164,795 miles)--Minnie (The vacationator)
2006 Honda Civic EX with NAVI and 5sp MT (102,338 miles, new block at 89K) (Dan's daily driver)--Blue Car
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Gundam
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2002 1:24 pm    Post subject: Re:SNOW TIRES (pretty white stuff) Reply with quote

Hi, Dan,
Thanks for your info.
A friend of mine has a winter tires for sale now, those were already used for 2 winters, just wondering before I change and try it on my 02 MPV, can I look at the information on tire and found the right offset ?

2002 MPV ES-w/GFX white
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Dan
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2002 1:41 pm    Post subject: Re:SNOW TIRES (pretty white stuff) Reply with quote

Gundam--I'm not sure where you could find info on the offset being OK. But I believe that is more of a function of the wheel than the tire. So if the tire fits the MPV rim (and the MPV specs) I think it should be OK. One of you guys who lives/breaths tires and wheels correct me if I'm wrong. Also, it is my understanding that snow tires tend to wear out faster than regular tires. If these tires have gone through two winters already, make sure they aren't closer to the end of their lives than you might otherwise expect.

Note that all I have read regarding snow tires states you should have four snow tires, even on a FWD car. The winter tire FAQ on tirerack.com explains some of it and they have also done testing on the topic.

Tirerack.com also has some product testing/comparisons, including some for winter tires. If you are considering a particular brand of tire, click here to see if they have tested what you are considering against other brands.

For example, here is an evaluation of Bridgestone Blizzaks, Michelin Arctic Alpins, and Dunlop Graspic snow tires.

Note that I do not work for Tirerack, have an investment in them, nor have I have I ever purchased tires from them. I'm just telling what I have found.

[b:a970de293f]Dan[/b:a970de293f]
2001 Rainforest Green LX (164,795 miles)--Minnie (The vacationator)
2006 Honda Civic EX with NAVI and 5sp MT (102,338 miles, new block at 89K) (Dan's daily driver)--Blue Car
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dixonL2
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2002 9:35 am    Post subject: Re:SNOW TIRES (pretty white stuff) Reply with quote

Great links, Dan, makes it easy.

My family and I have purchased several sets of tires and a few wheels from TireRack and found them reputable, quick, and relatively easy to do business with. Some of their reps can be "short" on the phone if you're asking questions and not buying (which I suppose is understandable), but their webpage takes cars of most questions anyway, and if you're at the point of making a purchase decision they're pretty good.

I, too, have no investment in nor am in any way (aside from as a consumer) connected with Tirerack.

FWIW either they or C&D did a test that compared a front-drive vs. awd car (Audi A4 if memory serves) on snows vs. all seasons. Cutting to the chase, from best to worst here's the finishing order:
awd on snowsbest, followed by
fwd on snows markedly better than
awd all seasons somewhat better than
fwd all seasons

2002 MPVes silver "GTI", Mazda hitch, fogs
2003 Mazdaspeed Protege, black mica "ping" on msprotege.com
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javadoc
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2002 9:30 pm    Post subject: Re:SNOW TIRES (pretty white stuff) Reply with quote

Well, I'm not coming up with a recent Hakka-vs-others comparison test for y'all. I guess they're not mainstream enough to warrant a test. I'd love for TireRack to carry them, but they do carry Michelin AAs for a great price, which would be my second choice. Pity they don't offer it as a studde tire.. or did I miss that?
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dixonL2
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2002 11:50 am    Post subject: Re:SNOW TIRES (pretty white stuff) Reply with quote

nope - no place to put the studs (too many sipes...)
2002 MPVes silver "GTI", Mazda hitch, fogs
2003 Mazdaspeed Protege, black mica "ping" on msprotege.com
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Ned Rothstein
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2002 8:49 pm    Post subject: Re:SNOW TIRES (pretty white stuff) Reply with quote

Just a few misc. notes here, based on my own past experience. My previous vehicle was a 93 VW Eurovan weekender. I had a second set of wheels with Nokian NRW tires for the winter (my summer set was Nokian NRH2), and I highly reccomend them for traction and longevity. I got them through my local tire dealer (Direct Tire here in MA), but if you can't find a local retailer, I believe that they will sell them directly to you- try their site at www.nokiantyres.com
The tricky part of EV ownership was always tires. The stock size is 205-65/R15 but you need a weight rating of at least 94 and a reinforced sidewall (the thing weighs 4200 lbs). The only winter tires available are the Nokian and Vredestein, another European brand. Think about what winters are like in Scandinavia, and you will get a sense of how good these tires really are!

Someone also asked about offset. You will generally find the offset as part of the numbers cast into your wheels, since the offset is a function of the wheel design, not the tire size.

For now, I'm going to try one winter with the all-seasons, but if it starts to look like a really snowy and slushy Boston winter, you can be sure there will be another set of NRW tires in my driveway ASAP.

NED ROTHSTEIN
2001 LX Emerald Mica
2005 Cannondale R900
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Dan
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2002 9:53 am    Post subject: Re:SNOW TIRES (pretty white stuff) Reply with quote

In the Consumer Report test from November, 1999, the only tires that could take studs were the Firestone Winterfires. The Michelin AA, Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice, Bridgestone Blizzak, Pirelli Winter Ice Assimetrico, Dunlop Graspic, Yokohama Guardex, and Cooper Weathermaster all were unable to accept studs.

Scott--Do you have any idea what a good 'discount' price (if such a thing even exists) would be for the Hakkas? Or is any purchaser just going to pay through the nose for hard to get premium tires? Since places like Tire Rack don't carry them, my guess is that I would have to go to a local tire dealer and order a set (I don't imagine they would be in stock in my size??) and I am sure there would not likely be deals forthcoming in that scenario.

[b:a970de293f]Dan[/b:a970de293f]
2001 Rainforest Green LX (164,795 miles)--Minnie (The vacationator)
2006 Honda Civic EX with NAVI and 5sp MT (102,338 miles, new block at 89K) (Dan's daily driver)--Blue Car
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javadoc
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2002 11:55 am    Post subject: Re:SNOW TIRES (pretty white stuff) Reply with quote

Dan,

There are about 20 dealers listed for Wisconsin (that's your '20, right?) if you click on this link. You may call some of them and see what they have for deals. I usually pay about $100 each, but a major tire dealer here now carries the Nokian brand, and I imagine their prices will be much more reasonable.
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Dan
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2002 12:27 pm    Post subject: Re:SNOW TIRES (pretty white stuff) Reply with quote

Thanks, Scott. Yes--that's my 20. I had seen that list, and I think I would not use most of those names and the word 'discount' in the same sentence. But if I make a few phone calls I might be surprised. If nothing else, the AAs sound like an acceptable way to go.
[b:a970de293f]Dan[/b:a970de293f]
2001 Rainforest Green LX (164,795 miles)--Minnie (The vacationator)
2006 Honda Civic EX with NAVI and 5sp MT (102,338 miles, new block at 89K) (Dan's daily driver)--Blue Car
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