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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Winter Tire Comparison (archive this?)

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12 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_edrach_*

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Posted 16 October 2002 - 06:49 AM

Season is starting soon. Found this on the newsgroup and it looks like it was posted at i-club also. However, seems to be a useful comparison. Perhaps this can be archived so the information isn't lost.

Recent posting from the i-club:

Okay, after checking my PM's, & the requests for info, I am reposting my last years review of winter tires I have had exp. with. Remember this is just my two cents worth. FWIW, this winter I am using studded Hankook W401's.

From personal experience (PE)and tire testing sessions (TS), this is what I have come up with:

Nokian Hakkapeliitta Q (TS,AWD) - 2001's best overall winter tire, proper tire compromises or snow & ice traction, braking, noise, & handling; expensive; hard to get (here).

Bridgestone Blizzak WS-15 (PE,FWD) - good for city, not deep snow; quiet; very stable & predictable tire on all surfaces; excellent braking; price is reasonable; winter tread wears quickly to reveal all-season.

Michelin Pilot Alpin (TS,AWD) - terrible deep snow tire; very good, but not great ice tire; squirmy on all surfaces; relatively expensive; last long.

Dunlop Winter Sport M2 (TS,AWD) - Good deep snow tire; decent on ice; stable ride; confident braking; wear above avg.; price competitive.

Dunlop Graspic HS-2 (PE,FWD) - great ride; stable/predicatable ice tire, not for deep snow; very good braking; price is good value.

Pirelli Winter 190P, now called 210P (TS,AWD) - Good, not great, ice & deep snow tire; noisy; hard ride; squirmy on cold dry; okay braking; decent value; wear quicker than expected.

Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice - (TS,AWD) Noisy; good in deep snow, okay on ice; decent braking; squirmy on all surfaces; nice ride; competitively priced.

Yokohama Guardex 600 (PE,FWD) Excellent on ice; good on deep snow; nice ride; stable & predictable on all surfaces; very good braking & handling; not squirmy at all; long wearing; reasonbale price.

Hankook WS401 (PE,AWD) - Good on ice, great in deep snow; li'l noisy; very stable; very good braking; squirmy on dry; great ride; studable; long wearing for a Q-rated; excellent price & value.

Hankook WS400 (PE,AWD) - Good on ice & snow; relatively quiet; very stable; good braking; squirmy; great ride; long wearing H-rated; excellent price & value.

Uniroyal M+S (if you can find it) (PE,AWD) awesome deep snow tire, poor ice tire; very noisy; predictable; stable; great breaking on snow, okay on ice; great price; choice of forest rangers and winter rally racers on a budget.

Motomaster (CDN Tire)Nordic Ice Trac (PE,FWD) - excellent price, great value, made by Bridgestone (so CDN Tire tells me); good for city, not deep know; quiet; very stable on all surfaces; excellent braking; limited sizes.

These are just my personal opinions on these tires.

Tire Testing Session: I was invited by a friend of mine who writes for several western newspapers to join him a a test of winter tires that was being sponsored by tire companies and the CAA. It was filmed by CBC to prove the benefits of seasonal specific tires, and shown as a 1/2 hour pseudo documentary/PSA aired on Sunday afternoons before & during key traveling holiday weekends. All TS tires were the same size (60series) on a Volvo

Personal Exp: My family is a big believer in Winter tires. You'd have to be where I live and the active lifestyle we all lead. There are 4 cars every year that are used during winter (6 in total). We all work in the city but live in an area where snow removal is dependent on mother nature. I like to play with my cars in the snow alot, so I'm always testing the limits of any tire I have on. Our family has been through 8 AWD cars (6 Subarus) so our
exp w/ AWD is reliable. The RWD cars do not see the snow at all. Most of my miles are put on during the winter. We ski alot so tires see all the miles they can handle, averaging 15K during winter alone.

I just thought I might quash any future questions that might get asked. Like I stated before, this is just my 2 cents on winter tires. I am in no way an expert but have decent experience w/ them.

I recommend getting Q-rated tires for winter. This is the originating technology behind winter tires. The development of siping came a year after. This is a very soft compound so they wear quickly on dry pavement, even if it is cold. To get the most winter mileage, avoid using them if it is not consistently cold, winter conditions. One day using a winter tire in 15 degree weather can wear as much as 1% of the total tread. It might not seem like much but it adds up quickly. Q-rated tires do NOT mean that they are soft riding tires, only that the tread compound is soft. Ride depends largely on the sidewall stiffness of a tire. Every manufacturer has its own view of what is better for winter. Some belive that a softer sidewall will allow the tire to adapt to the road surface while others belive that a stiffer sidewall is needed to break through road debris and snow to the surface of the road. Guess it depends on how you look at it. If you do lots of highway driving during winter, consider getting and H-rated winter tires. They wear better than the Q-rated but offer the same siping technology that is in all current winter tires. The tread compound is NOT the same as H-rated all-season tires so do not expect them do handle the same. They are similar in compound to Q-rated tires but offer a higher speed rating. The higher speed rating may be achieved through the construction of the tire or tread pattern.

If you plan on skiing or going to the mountains even once during winter, get a tire that is good in deep snow, look for lots of tread depth and larger block spacing. But, be prepared for poorer, more squirmy road manners & increased tire noise. Not all winter tires are good in deep snow. Most of the winter tire line-ups have been geared toward grip on ice since most ppl drive in urban areas where snow removal is common. Siping technology is
geared towards achieving grip on an inherently slippery surface. A tire that is great on ice & poor in snow will be worse off than having all-seaon tires during a snow storm. Of course, the only time you'll get stuck in a snow storm is when you ignore a severe weather warning, right?. Not worth the risk in my opinion. Since most winter tires benefit from siping (ice traction) technologies, you might as well get something that has a li'l of both worlds, ice & snow capabilities.
Some ppl might argue that you should always get the best winter tire possible, despite cost, afterall, how much does one value ones own life or family. While this may be true, an argumant can be made that a $60 winter tire with the same technology as a more expensive tire will NOT perform 3 times worse than a tire that costs 3x more. Everybody wants the best value.
Some believe that is buying the most expensive, most highly acclaimed product going. Some believe it means doing your homework.

Whatever winter tire you purchace in Canada, make sure it is certified by Transport Canada. Otherwise it is NOT a winter tire. The designation "M+S" on many all-season tires is believed to mean that it has mud & snow capabilities. The respective Government institutes in Canada, France, Germany, & the US do not recognise the "M+S" as having any meaning whatsoever. It is purely a marketting gimmick... that works.


"Jeff M." <jfmarcotte@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
> Hi, I recently bought a 2002 2.5 TS Sport Wagon. I'm living in Canada, and
> there's a lot of snow in winter. I'm wondering if the AWD will work more
> efficiently with high quality snow tires....than the cheaper ones like
> Snowtracker for exemple. And how about the wear resistance? I heard that
> Bridgestones Blizzaks are high quality but they wear a lot.
> What you guys are using in winter?
> I heard also about a brand named Nokian Hakkapeliitta Q. If someone know
> these tires, can you tell me if they perform well and if they wear
> or rapidly.
> Thanks in advance for your help!
> Jeff
> '02 2.5 TS Sport Wagon

#2 Guest_RickOregon_*

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Posted 16 October 2002 - 07:33 AM

Agree with Ed -- this is good information.

However, maybe I read through it too quickly, but I didn't see BF Goodrich Winter Slalom tires listed. We have a set of these we used on a Cherokee last year, and when it comes time to buy winter tires for our Subarus, I'm buying these. They have superb traction on snow and the price (at Costco) was very reasonable (I think around $60 each last year...). Did I miss these in the review? -Rick

#3 Guest_edrach_*

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Posted 16 October 2002 - 08:24 AM

Probably not Rick; remember that the writer is Canadian and those tires might not be available there.

#4 Guest_Mike W_*

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Posted 16 October 2002 - 07:54 PM

I've had studded Winter Slaloms and was fairly impressed with their performance and value. They were ok on dry and wet pavement, did good in two feet of soft snow, and hooked up reasonably well on ice. One thing worth pointing out. I feel that they would have performed much better in snow and ice if I had purchased tires at least one size narrower than the stock size. The stock sized tires I used seemed like they had too much floatation and didn't cut through the slush and glop to get to hard ice or snow below. I don't know what manufacturers recommend these days, but I like a narrower tire for winter.

#5 Guest_Mykeys Toy_*

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Posted 16 October 2002 - 08:01 PM

I bought some cheaps from PEP Boys last year.. I went to the mountain gathering and had no problems.. They dont get great traction on dry pavement but if you dont hammer the throttle its fine..As for tread wear at this rate I could go another year or two on them and I never took them off for the summer.. I think I spent $150 or so on 4 of them.. For any other penny pinchers out there. BTW my car is my daily driver if that tells ya anything..


#6 Guest_NV Zeno_*

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Posted 16 October 2002 - 08:58 PM

I've had good luck with Power King snows in the 185 70-13 size. Got them 2 years/ 20K ago, and still look almost new. I also leave them on all year, but then again, that car is used very little in the summer.

Got them at Ken's Tire Center for around $175 and change.

Performance has been very satisfactory.

#7 Guest_aloyaleman_*

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Posted 17 October 2002 - 04:04 PM

Last year i bought some cooper waethermasters for my lowered (with groundefects) nissan sentra. i was able to drive up hill in 3-4 inches of snow (i kinda packed the snow down and drove on that) (i did not have limited slip at the time). my intercooler got packed with snow but i got through the winter without much damage (airdam needed patched and repainted). i did get stuck a couple of times but that was because of height issues and dirt mounds (at edges of parking lots :) ) not snow

i still have the coopers (one pair is practically studless) but i will run them again this year on my soobaru

they cost me 40$ at sears a peice w/ studs for 175/70/13

#8 Guest_RickOregon_*

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Posted 17 October 2002 - 06:51 PM

Guess I should add (see my post above) that these tires had no studs, and when I buy some for the Subarus, they'll be studless, too. Didn't need any studs! Tread is soft and traction was sure, even in relatively deep snow and on ice. Amazing tires. From what everyone has posted, it looks like there are many good options for this come Winter. That's great. Later, Rick

#9 Guest_HillbillyLes_*

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Posted 19 October 2002 - 05:08 PM

Zeno NV...I didn't realize the Power Kings were that widely avail. I have them in 185/80X13 on my "Ozzified" 86 d/r wagon and am more than impressed. I had them also on my 91 4X4 Justy, first and liked them on it, too.

A "lug" snow tire that I keep on year round and drive the wagon daily. They wear great, too, and inexpensive as far as the type of tire goes.......now, if they only came in 195 or 205/80X13.


#10 Guest_scopetone_*

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Posted 20 October 2002 - 07:31 AM

"Toyo's "aren't mentioned, suppose to be the number 01 tire in "customer satisfaction". Haven't use the new models but I've heard they put "walnut shells" into the rubber compound. They're on the net (I'm not nuts), my best experience is the Nokian.

#11 Guest_subyguy_*

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Posted 29 October 2002 - 11:14 PM

walnut's huh well you wernt dreaming this is acualy an old tirck ive also seen some old tires that were made with weat for tred you would drive a bit and the wheet would brake out and leave all these nice little edges to bite with. there supose to be very good, the wallnut ones. dont know anything about the weat ones sept seeing them when i was 15 or so.

#12 Guest_scopetone_*

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Posted 30 October 2002 - 05:20 PM

Makes sense, being a Subaru driver (wolf pack) I like to get out on the winter roads before the Sanders get out (like a summers day). So have the grit on the tire incase it ain't on the road yet. Let the meandering 2wd sheep follow each others butts behind the "Blue light unExpress"...

#13 Slats


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Posted 15 February 2005 - 10:21 PM

Thanks for this info... I realize we are now looking at Spring but I have to buy snow tires for TWO cars and this little article from an unbaised source is excellent... Thanks from the great white North.

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