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Wednesday, October 9. 2019
Some basic details.
What do our readers (in more nothern climes) do?
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:39 | Comments (29) | Trackbacks (0)
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My daily driver is a 2017 Grand Sport Corvette, which came from the factory with summer only tires. Not the thing for Pa. winters, so I mounted a set of Pirelli Sotto Zero mud and snow rated winter tires. I rarely drive in snow, but do drive my car year round. The Pirellis give great cold weather performance and a much quieter ride than the stock tires. In the summer I have the OEM tires remounted, which are a more hard core performance, almost street legal track tire. Great road car, wife loves taking trips to out of the way places that can only be reached by twisty country roads.
That's quite a daily driver! Saw a number of them at the Corvette parade again this year. Big fun, lots or roars. The new mid-engine models on display too, but none in parade.
And to think my wife tries to tell me our 4-door all-wheel drive Stinger isn't a practical daily driver! Ha! No need for winter tires on that car, btw.
How do you like the Stinger. I have been looking at the G70, which is supposed to be basically a Stinger under the sheet metal. We need a 4 wheel drive car for the Pa. snow. GS stays home when the white stuff gets deep.
Live in Ontario; have never had snow tires on any of my vehicles since they introduced all season tires and especially FWD. Have never had a problem; cars, SUVs. Pickup trucks are problematic no matter what.
Insurance offers a discount for them but it's small considering the price of 4 tires, rims and changeovers.
I've owned all wheel drive cars since 2000 and always put snow tires on in winter. I live on Boston's northshore and drive throughout New England for business and pleasure. I suspect most of the time snows are overkill, but the last thing I want is to be headed home from a trip to Stamford CT, or somewhere equally far, and get caught in a snow storm, and be unable to get home or somewhere safe.
For the last 10 years or so I've used Blizzaks. Love em and they last. Are a bit noisy on clear pavement (humming) but turning up the radio a little louder fixes that problem. ;-)
Ditto on the Blizzaks. I live in the Black Hills, and do dog rescues, even in winter, between Rapid and Cheyenne, and other spots, over in WY. My “dog car” is a Honda Pilot. Not only do the Blizzaks perform well in snow/slush, but they are “grippy” on cold, slick pavement. Coldest I’ve driven in is —14°F on a rescue. Only drawback is having to change tires twice a year; Blizzaks wear quickly above about 45°F. Contemplating Nokians (all-weather) for my Acura TSX when my Bridgestones wear out. I also put Blizzaks on my wife’s Odyssey. (Tire Rack is the way to go, and no, I have no stock in that company.)
New Hampshire: No question, really. We use both snows and sandbags for extra weight (and possibly breaking open for putting down traction). One bag in the car, two for the pickup. I had studded tires for two winters and those were great, but you do get tired of the sound pretty quickly. Even in January the roads are clear most of the time.
4WD is great if you have the need, and some here do, because of steep or long driveways, or hilly areas. Not everyone does need it however, and it does encourage the young people to feel invulnerable and take too many risks.
I have a RAM 1500 4X4 and have ATs on my truck. I do go off-road quite often (do some farm work now and again or am cutting trees for firewood). The ATs work great in the winter be it on snow, slush, and ice. It particularly helps getting up my 23% grade driveway.
I do throw two or three 50lb tubes of sand into the bed to help with traction on the rear wheels as well as having sand on hand to help with traction on ice when the need rises.
The missus has a Honda Civic and we've been using Nokian Hakkapalittas snow tires on it for the past 7 winters and have never been disappointed.
If I lived a bit farther north I would get snow tires, but being between Manchester and Portsmouth, I find the road crews have everything clear within reasonable times for commuting or anything we might need after a good snow. It also helps that I can usually work from home in a pinch.
I live in Arizona, drive a lot off-road, and have aggressive mud tires on my rig 365 days per year! When I go up to the top of our local 10,000 foot mountain in winter, the mud tires do just fine in the snow!
Easy - Nokian Hakkapellita studded snows. The best, bar none. Why f*ck around? I live in Maine.
I live in Ontario, drive a Toyota 4runner that has all the time 4WD. I switch to snow tires mid November. It 100% makes a difference in stopping distance performance. I do driving in and out of the City, once you get North enough winter tires are essential.
Way back when I had a driving instructor he taught me to get out right after the first big snowfall for some testing, I make a point of going out to an empty parking lot and testing skids and spins to get a feel for the car under unusual circumstances. Kids enjoy that ride every time.
When that idiot slides through an intersection, you want your wits about you and you want your skills sharp.
Here in Alaska we run with studless winter tires year-round. I favor Blizzaks, but the Michelin X-Ice are on par. With tire pressuring monitoring systems, the cost of a seasonal tire change-over can get pretty expensive. I just rotate the winter tires and keep on running them.
From Colorado. My wife has studded snows on all four wheels of her Camry. Mounted on an extra set of wheels so changeover is easy...and free at the Discount Tire shop I have been using for longer than I can count.
Far upper Midwest - long, snowy winters
Put the hopeless cars in storage.
Audi Quattro best AWD bar none. Tires are secondary. Goodyear all-season tires work very well.
Lexus AWD with Assurant All-season does great in all but the worst, “shouldn’t be driving in this” conditions.
Used studded tires for a few years - hated sounding like the Rockettes when the roads were clear. Weren’t that great anyway.
I live in Oregon high desert, it snows, it freezes and in general has poor winter driving conditions. Additionally I go over the pass regularly. But I also drive to California and Arizona so I must keep tires that are legal there. So I do choose winter tires (not snow tires) for year round because they are legal to use in the passes without tire chains and legal in Arizona and Southern California. It's a compromise all around but 4WD does help.
Move South. I lived in MI until I went into the service. Snow Tires and Tire Chains are overrated.
I live in Eastern Ontario, and most everyone I know has two wheelsets for their vehicle, alloys with all seasons and steelies with snow tires. My S550 4Matic is on Michelin X-Ice tires and the Range Rover is on Nokian Hakkapelitta tires in the winter. Nokian makes the best winter tire for deep (6" plus) snow, the Michelins work best in light snow and on icy roads. I have had good experiences with Toyo Observe tires too.
PS In Quebec it is the law to have winter tires fitted.
Until recently I drove 30k+ miles annually mostly in rural Appalachians where winters could be unpredictable and roads subject to snow, ice, slush, and bad drifting.
I had several different cars over the years, front-, rear-, and all wheel-drive, tried everything from snow tires on the drive wheels only, to four snows of various brands. Everybody said to try Blizzaks, had several sets. They wore down fast on clear roads and squirmed a lot.
Finally found the ideal solution, studless ice-and-snow tires from Nokian. Hakkapelliita R2 and later R3 versions are excellent in snow, better on ice than any other tire I tried, and they run smooth and quiet on clear roads. A good Audi on Hakkapeliitas is able to handle most bad winter messes, but a good front wheel drive car with stick shift is just about as secure.
The real trick is to use minus-one sizing, put the taller, narrower snow tires on a set of wheels one inch smaller diameter than the regular tires and wheels. Car manufacturers usually specify which sizes you use, the narrower tire handles the worst snow and slush much better than the kind of fat, low-profile tires most vehicles are delivered with these days.
I've seen some sport versions of car models that have brake assemblies too large to take the smaller wheels which would be acceptable on other trim levels of the same car, so it is good to triple check and seek advice before making the investment.
I live in the mountains above Reno, at 7000 feet. From Nov to
May 1st, I use studded snow tires.
I settled the controversy for myself by moving to Orlando.
I'm in the Kootenay Rockies and snows and AWD/4WD are useful but not vital. Modern all seasons are pretty good.
But I see way too many balding snow tires which are more or less useless.
Quebec: You need to have winter tires from Dec 1st to March 15th. I have 2 sets of wheels and it's pretty quick to change. The garages are very happy for a few months...
Driving range, Cape Cod to Northern N.H. Blizzaks on the rwd F150 with weight in the back do the job. Kia with awd and all season radials works just fine. Brother in law in NH uses a 4x4 F250 and chains, but has to plow a 800' driveway that is almost entirely uphill. Sister drives a Subaru awd with Nokians, a little tank.
I replaced an all-wheel-drive car shod with all-season tires with a newer front-wheel-drive version of the same model that was otherwise nearly identical.
I found on some frequently icy Quebec hills that getting going from stop at green-light became problematic with only FWD. These spots had never been a problem with the AWD car.
So I bought high-end snow tires, and was blown away by how much better my traction was in ice and snow. FWD with good snow tires was better than the same car with AWD and all-seasons.
I think more importantly, stopping and turning are better too.
When I lived in Vermont, I put Nokian Hakkapeliitta's, with studs, on my vehicles, trucks and cars. Pricey, but good for ice and snow.
Up here in North Pole, Alaska, during the winter I ran on studded tires for many many years. 5 or 6 years back I switched to Blizzaks and find I have an excellent grip on the road at +30 degrees or -50. Studs were good but I'm far happier (and more relaxed) driving on Blizzaks.