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  • Snow Tires?

    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!

  • #2
    We have a regular toyota corolla so can't comment on wether you need them for 4wd. But we loved our snow tires, worked well even when going up the mountain to the ski resorts, taking trips to Jackson Hole, etc. We accidentally forgot to take them off (that's how much we loved them!) And they lasted 2 full years. We just replaced with all season tires and haven't had much chance to test them as it's been a remarkably warm winter thus far but the guy at the tire shop said they should be good for winter.

    You could just keep your current tires and see how they drive in the snow, and then replace if needed.

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    • #3
      Snow tires are MUCH better in snow than all season radials, including on all wheel drive vehicles.

      Here in Canada, where we've been known to have the occasional snowfall  , most people use snow tires in the winter. Our insurance policy is discounted if snow tires are used. Most people get two sets of rims for each vehicle: one nicer set for the warmer seasons, and a plain set of steel rims on which the snow tires are permanently mounted. Much cheaper in spring and fall to have rims swapped than to have tires remounted.

      Not all snow tires are created equally. Read the reviews before you buy. My wife's Sienna van has snow tires that are quiet, good in snow, and don't slip on wet pavement. my winter tires sound noisy, and are fine on snow, but slip on wet pavement, but I'm too cheap to replace them until they wear out.

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      • #4
        If you get  a lot of snow I highly recommend you get snow tires, even if you have 4WD. Modern snow tires have rubber compounds that perform better in cold temperatures and have tread patterns/siping that significantly enhance grip and are superior to all-season tires for this purpose.

        4WD will certainly help with traction but not with lateral grip (turning) and stopping  - that's where dedicated snow tires make a big difference. I'd rather have rear wheel drive with snow tires than 4WD and all-seasons.

        Get a set of all 4 tires mounted on inexpensive rims for winter driving then swap back to your all-seasons in the spring.

        The TireRack website will show you options for both the tires and matching rims for your car, and they will ship you the snow tires already mounted and balanced on rims. Bridgestone Blizzaks and Michelin X-Ice are great.

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        • #5
          Not sure of the year and trim level, but something like this will work:

           

          https://www.tirerack.com/cart/HoldingArea.jsp?ask=no

           

           

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          • #6
            There is no question in my mind - you need snow tires in a snowy cold-weather climate. I have four wheel drive and it would be hazardous to try to get up my driveway during some of the winter without snow tires. For me, I want steel studs too.
            My Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFF...MwBiAAKd5N8qPg

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            • #7
              Agree with the above, except I prefer studless.  All seasons are fine for the occasional snowfall, but where we live the roads are usually coated with snow all winter.  All of our vehicles are AWD/4WD and all have snow tires.  I've heard that AWD gets you going but snow tires get you stopped.  Further, we live in an area with hills and I really notice the difference.  Finally, there are times when chains are required unless you have AWD with snow tires.  If you've ever had to screw around with chains in the middle of a storm ... this is worth the price of admission.  Bottom line, if you live in a place with significant snow, it's a good hedge.

              Thinking back, I guess I'm on my third set of Blizzaks on my 12 year old car.  Don't forget that you'll have less wear on your summers.  I also figured out that if you buy one set (either snows or summers) from a shop, they'll likely swap them off at no charge at oil changes.  (And get the other set wicked cheap at Costco.)

               

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              • #8
                Dedicated snow tire best if perma-snow conditions.

                If you you want a compromise for not too bad winters, consider Nokian Wrg3. It’s as close as you get to a snow tire that is all year driveable.

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                • #9
                  Nokia Hakkapeliitta are the best snow tires out there and yes, highly recommended. I have a truck with 35" tires and a good lift and all kinds of off-road goodies such as diff lockers and such. Without snow tires it will not stop worth a ************************.

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                  • #10
                    I've lived in a cold weather location for the last 3 years and drive a Civic.  First two years I didn't get snow tires and was okay, but last year it was colder and snowier so I took the plunge.  This year I've held off as it has barely snowed and none is in the forecast up until Xmas.  I'll probably give in as soon as a significant snow appears likely.  With the way this winter is turning out, it might be cheaper for me to just take Uber or the bus to work on those days, but I'm planning on driving to Aspen next month anyway, which means going above 8500 feet.  I did that for the first and last time on all season tires two years ago.

                    Costco, Sam's Club, and Discount Tire are the first places I look for tires.  As others have said, read reviews.  I'd also look for gift card rebates.  I usually compare online at about 5 places.
                    I sometimes have trouble reading private messages on the forum. I can also be contacted at [email protected]

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                    • #11




                      Agree with the above, except I prefer studless.  All seasons are fine for the occasional snowfall, but where we live the roads are usually coated with snow all winter.  All of our vehicles are AWD/4WD and all have snow tires.  I’ve heard that AWD gets you going but snow tires get you stopped.  Further, we live in an area with hills and I really notice the difference.  Finally, there are times when chains are required unless you have AWD with snow tires.  If you’ve ever had to screw around with chains in the middle of a storm … this is worth the price of admission.  Bottom line, if you live in a place with significant snow, it’s a good hedge.

                      Thinking back, I guess I’m on my third set of Blizzaks on my 12 year old car.  Don’t forget that you’ll have less wear on your summers.  I also figured out that if you buy one set (either snows or summers) from a shop, they’ll likely swap them off at no charge at oil changes.  (And get the other set wicked cheap at Costco.)

                       
                      Click to expand...


                      Steep driveway. Studs obviate the need for chains, ymmv.
                      My Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFF...MwBiAAKd5N8qPg

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                      • #12
                        Studs destroy the roads and don't last as long as soft compond snowtires. I am not a fan. When it cones to snow, having lived in the mountains with heavy snow I prefer snowtires, the ground clearance and then 4wd. I prefer all of them. Our roads turn into sheets of ice in the winter and stopping without snow tires is a risky proposition.

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                        • #13
                          Definitely get the snow tires.  I bought mine on TireRack and they were delivered right to the local tire store where I have them installed.  You can buy a separate set of rims just for snow tires if you want, but I didn't bother.  Useful life is all dependent on how many miles you drive, just like your current tires.

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                          • #14
                            If there's snow and ice, you probably want snow tires.

                            Yeah, I would probably trust Costco to hook you up, provided they stock winters.

                            Essentially in the icy cold weather, your all-season tires turn into rocks, and no longer create much friction.

                            But I'm from Louisiana so I wouldn't know much about dat.

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                            • #15
                              If you live where the winters are cold/severe with ice and snow, snow tires are far more important than 4WD/AWD. 4WD and AWD just help you go--they don't do anything for helping you stop (which is the bigger issue in snow/ice). You're better off in a RWD car with snow tires than AWD/4WD with all-season tires. (Of note, if you have a pickup like I did, make sure to put some weight over the drive wheels--they sell tubesand at Home Depot and other hardware stores fore this)

                              Snow tires are built to give you better traction on ice and snow, as well as ice-cold pavement. They're built out of a softer rubber, so they don't turn to rocks in freezing weather like all-season tires will. Of course, this is why they wear faster and it's not good to keep them on in summer (you also won't get as good of traction in summer because you don't need the aggressive treads).

                              I purchased snow tires through tirerack.com. The first thing we did when we bought my wife a new Forester in WI in November was buy some real snow tires (real = actual snow tires, not all-season tires).

                              Do not buy studs--those are illegal in most areas. I'm not aware of any major metro area that allows them. Tires that take studs are fine (mine did)--you just don't want to put the studs on.

                              If you plant to live in the area long-term, but a second set of wheels and just keep a set of dedicated snow tires on them, then in March/April/whenever winter ends, have your summer tires put on and store the snow tires/wheels until late Fall.

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