Snow tires anyone?

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by HeatherC, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. HeatherC

    HeatherC <font color=blue>Alas...these people I live with t

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    Do you put snow tires on your car for the winter or just good all season ones?

    My car is a Kia Sedona minivan that we bought last March so this will be the first winter with it. Normally, I just use my regular all season tires but am wondering if I should invest in snow tires.

    We plan to spend time in NH skiing this winter and I wonder if the snow tires would make it safer and easier to get there in bad weather?

    Do you think they are worth it?
     
  2. Hikergirl

    Hikergirl DIS Veteran

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    I put snow tires on my car and ironically avoid driving in the snow at all costs LOL
    Dh takes my car out though because it's a beast in the snow according to him.
    I'm in NY so no stranger to large storms.
     
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  4. neverlandsky

    neverlandsky DIS Veteran

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    This year is our first full winter in true winter snow/ice territory. I bought studless winter tires for my car and put them on 3 weeks ago. DH bought & put studded winter tires on his truck when it became legal here because he travels through the mountain passes that require chains or traction tires. He didn't want to mess with chains. Driving in snow/ice on all season tires I will tell you it's worth it to invest in winter tires.
     
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  5. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    Depends. The biggest problem with dedicated snow tires is that they tend to be soft and squirmy. That's not an issue in cold temps where they'll be harder and you'll probably want to drive slower in snow. But it will be an issue when it's warmer and you're on dry road. I've certainly driven in snow conditions, and the next everything was perfect with the snow on the main road completely plowed and the roads dry. They also wear like crazy when driven on dry pavement.

    There are some alternatives. There are "performance" winter tires that may give up a bit in deep snow performance but are more stable/durable in warmer dry conditions.

    Nokian has what they call "all weather" tires that qualify for "severe service" but they consider suitable for use year round.

    https://www.nokiantires.com/tires/passenger-car/all-weather-tires/

    The other thing is considering maybe going a bit narrower. A wide contact patch is good in dry conditions, but when it's wet or snowy, higher "contact pressure" is better so that the tire will sink to the road.
     
  6. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    Where I've driven in the snow (California and Nevada) there's no legal difference between snow tires and all-season tires. As long as it's marked M+S on it with a required amount of tread depth, it qualifies as a "snow tread tire".

    http://www.dot.ca.gov/cttravel/chain-controls.html
    https://www.nevadadot.com/safety/safe-winter-driving/traction-and-chain-requirement-descriptions

    I think it's kind of odd that they don't expand their definition to make true snow tires a different category. I don't believe that a true snow tire would need chains except for conditions where they might as well just close the road, but that's the way the rules have been set up.
     
  7. tasha99

    tasha99 DIS Veteran

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    I used nokian hakepelita studded tires when I lived in Alaska. Now in Oregon, I just carry chains, and have only needed them once
     
  8. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    I actually carry chains in my car. I had them on a trip to Tahoe and haven't taken them out of my trunk since. I don't know about how it works in other states. Chains are very destructive to roads. I'll drive over Donner Pass where the concrete roads are rough because chains chewed through them. Where I've gone they're only supposed to be used when there are active chain controls, and they have to be removed at the end of chain controls. Areas where they're installed and removed can be very dangerous because of drivers losing control.

    Studded tires are legal anywhere in my state during certain months.
     
  9. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

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    One of my Uncles from Canada drove down one January. He got stopped at chain control, and all he had were some odd cable like chains that he used if he had to drive in mud, not snow. CalTrans said he could not proceed. My Uncle said "I have rear wheel drive, and 150 pounds of sand in the trunk, I don't need chains". They finally called over CHP who looked at the cable chains, looked at my 70+ year old Uncle, looked at the Saskatchewan license plates and said "he probably had more experience in driving in snow than you and I combined, let him through"
     
  10. Squirlz

    Squirlz DIS Veteran

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    They make all the difference in the world. I have a dedicated set of wheels and tires for the car we use in Winter. It's a FWD MINI Cooper and I drive circles around all the SUVs and Crossovers on All Seasons.
     
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  11. MamaLema

    MamaLema DIS Veteran

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    DH puts the snow tires on Nov 1 and takes them off April 1
     
  12. McKelly

    McKelly DIS Veteran

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    We put them on our kids' cars. They both drive to school each day in the winter. It took one accident and they got put on directly after. No accidents again OR they just are more careful!!!!
     
  13. FlightlessDuck

    FlightlessDuck Y kant Donald fly?

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    We have an AWD Chevy Equinox in Eastern PA. We use all-season tires.
     
  14. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    There are some odd devices out there. I remember when Spikes-Spider supposedly didn't qualify in California, but apparently they're specifically mentioned by Caltrans now as an unconventional device that's acceptable. They have a variety of different devices, but one specifically only went on the edge and didn't look anything like a chain. Michelin had this weird one called an Easy Grip. Looked like a nylon net with little studs.

    [​IMG]

    There's one called the AutoSock. It literally looks like a tire condom.

    But as for Canadians, yeah I get that they probably know something about driving in the snow. However, I heard in Quebec they legally have a requirement for snow tires during winter months, unless you're a visitor.
     
  15. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    I know having AWD reduces the chances of getting stuck, but aren't there things that AWD doesn't really address? Things like steering and stopping? I say that as someone who found out the hard way that taking a turn too fast in the snow is not a good thing when I started sliding out.
     
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  16. Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson DIS Veteran

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    My sister-in-law does and switches out her tires. She has a Cadillac (forget what model) but other than her no one else I personally know switches out their tires. The last couple of years we've had nearly no snow anyways and ice issues not as common as when I was growing up.

    I think you'd have to consider where you live and the average snowfall. We "average" probably around 18inches per year but the last few years only 3-5inches but several years before we had 30 something inches and then sometime before that 40 something inches. For me personally it's too unpredictable here for me to want to invest in them but another area with more consistent snowfall and weather conditions it may be more beneficial.

    I bet you if you contacted the ski area(s) you plan on being in they would be able to give you some good advice on snow tires or studded tires or chains, etc.
     
  17. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    One issue with all-season tires is how long you want to keep them? All tires in the snow need a certain amount of tread depth in order to work well. But you'd want all-seasons to go down to the wear bars for driving in dry or moderately wet conditions.

    With dedicated snow tires, you can just replace those when the tread depth gets too low. I suppose it might be possible to replace all-seasons once they get down to that level (5/32" in my state) but then there's still more tread left if it didn't need to be for winter driving.

    I haven't specifically tried snow tires yet, but I'm curious how people rotate them. I know they tend to wear down quickly, and with dry roads even faster. I'm pretty sure a typically 7500 mile rotation probably isn't going to work. I read here that a typical winter tire will last about 12,000 to 15,000 miles until they wear down to the end of the "snow platform".

    https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=116#howlong
     
  18. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    I tried looking up what the laws/rules are in New Hampshire. Apparently nothing specifically addresses the use of snow tires or chains. Your thinking of asking what others do makes a lot of sense in the absence of any official thing to do.

    http://www.landlinemag.com/chainlaws/

    It's kind of weird too that Hawaii has a tire chain law. For driving here:

    [​IMG]
     
  19. neverlandsky

    neverlandsky DIS Veteran

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    My mistake I should of been more clear which tires I have. I have the Bridgestone Blizzack studless winter tires. The tires are specific to our climate that is practically winter temp wise 9 months out of the year. It’s funny because we did a flip climate wise. Move from 9 months of summer temps aka NV to 9 months of winter temps.
     
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  20. Disneylover99

    Disneylover99 DIS Veteran

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    I put my snow tires on last week.
     
  21. Klayfish

    Klayfish DIS Veteran

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    Yes, this 100%. If you live in a truly snowy climate, get a set of dedicated snow tires and rims. Put them on in November and take them off in March (or whenever is appropriate). Sorry, bcla, it's really not a big deal to drive on them in dry and moderate temperatures. No, you don't want to use them during the summer, but if it's a dry 45 degree day, they're absolutely fine.

    Good snow tires + FWD is far superior to any AWD vehicle on all season tires. Of course good snow tires + AWD is even better and will allow you to do some ridiculous things if you wanted...but it's more than 99.9% of people really need...not matter what advertising campaigns on TV want you to believe (Subaru for one). Get snow tires and you'll be dandy, OP. We've had Sedona's for 11 years and they are awesome in the snow on regular all seasons, snow tires will make them amazing.
     
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