Snow (winter) tires.

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universitylad
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Snow (winter) tires.

Postby universitylad » Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:48 am

Do any of you switch to snow tires for the winter for your cars? A co-worker was discussing the benefits for his Camry recently.

When do you switch them out? And where do you store the tires? Are there services that keep your off season tires?

pjbogart
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Re: Snow (winter) tires.

Postby pjbogart » Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:27 am

Snow tires are highly beneficial even if you have an AWD vehicle. You'll notice the difference immediately. I recommend buying a set of four inexpensive steel rims to avoid the expense of having your tires remounted twice per year. My parents have a lot of extra storage space in their garages, so I switch out my tires on the holidays. Snow tires go on when I visit for Thanksgiving, all-seasons go on when I visit for Easter.

universitylad
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Re: Snow (winter) tires.

Postby universitylad » Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:33 am

So you just change them out yourself?

jman111
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Re: Snow (winter) tires.

Postby jman111 » Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:14 pm

It's quite easy if you have them mounted on a second set of rims. It's just like putting on a spare when you get a flat tire. Well, actually four spares.

Cadfael
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Re: Snow (winter) tires.

Postby Cadfael » Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:34 pm

Most insurance companies in Ontario are giving a five percent discount for running snow tires.

Which amounts to about eighty bucks Canadian per car so it's not much of a deal but if you're gonna use 'em anyway it's nice. I've heard some service stations offer wheel and tire storage.

david cohen
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Re: Snow (winter) tires.

Postby david cohen » Sun Nov 25, 2018 2:18 pm

Goodyear on E. Wash by the Capitol charged me a whopping $26 to swap out my summer tires for winter tires (already mounted on wheels) last week....well worth the effort in this climate!

universitylad
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Re: Snow (winter) tires.

Postby universitylad » Sun Nov 25, 2018 2:35 pm

@david_cohen That seems like a reasonable charge, I think. Though if you buy the tires from a place, I wonder if that would be considered a free rotation? Where do you store your tires?

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Re: Snow (winter) tires.

Postby Bwis53 » Sun Nov 25, 2018 2:54 pm

jman111 wrote:It's quite easy if you have them mounted on a second set of rims. It's just like putting on a spare when you get a flat tire. Well, actually four spares.
Way, way, back in the day, my sophomore drivers ed class had two parts: learning about how a car works and the on the road part. I still remember our teacher saying, when you get the tire off, put all the parts in the hubcap, so you don't lose them!

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Re: Snow (winter) tires.

Postby david cohen » Sun Nov 25, 2018 6:42 pm

universitylad wrote:@david_cohen That seems like a reasonable charge, I think. Though if you buy the tires from a place, I wonder if that would be considered a free rotation? Where do you store your tires?


I keep my extra set of tires in my garage. I think Costco charges about the same for a winter/summer swap out. The best part of having two sets is that each set lasts twice as long:)

Madsci
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Re: Snow (winter) tires.

Postby Madsci » Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:50 pm

I have found having a garage, after being without one for 35 years, is so fine. Not only do you have a place to store your snow tires but a dry flat off-the road place to change the tires.

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Re: Snow (winter) tires.

Postby ttt3 » Sun Nov 25, 2018 10:11 pm

For years, I used to switch out my rims/tires during the winter to a dedicated snow set, and the snow tires really are awesome in the snow. That said, they have downsides as well, including wearing rather quickly on dry roads, extra noise, and extra expense/hassle having to switch them out every winter.

I have now come to the conclusion that a dedicated set of winter tires are overkill for average Madison area drivers, and a better route is just to buy better all-season tires in the first place that have a good snow rating.

When you're shopping for (non-winter i.e. all season / year-round) new tires for your car, do not simply go to farm n' fleet or the tire shop and get "whatever they've got in stock and is black and round and holds air". Tires are very important on a vehicle and are not a decision to be made without some research (i.e. decision should be based on data and not based on "what they happen to have in stock that day" and "what the salesmen behind the tire counter gets kickbacks to sell". )

Go on tire rack (tirerack.com) or discount tire (tires.com) websites, punch in your car's make/model, and look at the (many) reviews of tires that fit your car. Each tire will have numerical rating for various categories (dry traction, wet traction, snow traction, treadwear, etc). Look for a good all-around tire with good reviews; pay close attention to the "snow traction" metric/rating for each tire. Even better are reviews from someone who's actually driven that same all-season tire in the snow. You will be surprised to find that some "all season" tires, even when brand new, actually handle quite horribly in the snow just because they're not made for it. Others handle almost as good as true winter-only tires.

Once you've found a good all season tire with good winter traction, call up tire shops in the area and tell them the exact tire make/model (i.e. "Michelin blah in size xxx/yy/zz") you want based on the tire rack reviews and your vehicle's size. Do not let them sell you on something "similar" that they might have in stock. I recommend discount tire on junction road; they can get most any tires delivered to their shop in a couple of days (no extra cost to you) and put them on for you (and will actually appreciate that you did some research instead of making them explain it to you).

If the tire shop you call says "those tires you want will be special order and subject to a $xx.yy extra charge", hang up, and call someone else. The tire shop should also match the tire rack / discount tire price. You can also get recommended installation shops from these websites.

Following the above I've found I have not needed snow tires in Madison, so long as the tires have decent tread left.


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