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Hankook winter tires - bought 'em for $90 / updated


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14 replies to this topic

#1 outback_97

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Posted 30 November 2004 - 02:32 PM

Hi all, I found a set of Hankook Winter Radial tires for sale locally for $100... they're 195/60/15, which is the OEM size for my wife's TS wagon. Right now the wagon sports OEM WRX wheels / tires which are still doing pretty well and aren't as awful in the snow as I've seen some people say but I'm thinking about putting some dedicated winter rubber on her stock TS wheels (15's). Right now her original TS wheels have the stock RE-92's on them and I think that these tires would be an improvement in the winter. We're planning to drive to Billings, MT for Christmas, and we could get into some bad road conditions on the way.

Here's an excerpt from an email from the guy selling them:

"Still have them, I don't know exactly how many miles I drove them, 7 miles
to and from work for a winter. I sold the car they went to so I have no
need for them. We just moved here from Alaska and before I sold the car I
had the studs removed, (didn't know if they were legal or not). They are
really beefy treads, 90% tread. The exact model is Hankook Winter Radial
195/60/15."

Does having studs removed in any way compromise the tire, after having run them for a while with the studs? Still trying to figure out exactly what model they are, he just says winter radial. Any feedback would be appreciated, thanks in advance!

Steve

EDIT: I called Hankook and talked to a tech support rep. He said that removal of the studs doesn't compromise anything about the tire. So the main questions that remains, is this a good deal and is it better than just using the stock OEM 15's for winter?

#2 rweddy

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Posted 30 November 2004 - 03:07 PM

Hi all, I found a set of Hankook Winter Radial tires for sale locally for $100... they're 195/60/15, which is the OEM size for my wife's TS wagon. Right now the wagon sports OEM WRX wheels / tires which are still doing pretty well and aren't as awful in the snow as I've seen some people say but I'm thinking about putting some dedicated winter rubber on her stock TS wheels (15's). Right now her original TS wheels have the stock RE-92's on them and I think that these tires would be an improvement in the winter. We're planning to drive to Billings, MT for Christmas, and we could get into some bad road conditions on the way.

Here's an excerpt from an email from the guy selling them:

"Still have them, I don't know exactly how many miles I drove them, 7 miles
to and from work for a winter. I sold the car they went to so I have no
need for them. We just moved here from Alaska and before I sold the car I
had the studs removed, (didn't know if they were legal or not). They are
really beefy treads, 90% tread. The exact model is Hankook Winter Radial
195/60/15."

Does having studs removed in any way compromise the tire, after having run them for a while with the studs? Still trying to figure out exactly what model they are, he just says winter radial. Any feedback would be appreciated, thanks in advance!

Steve

The studs out are not and issue, the same as if you lost them by driving.

These are the tires

I have set on my wife’s Honda. Great tires, a little bit loud but great in the snow,ice,etc. Before we could not get the Honda up the driveway unless I was to completely shovel it, now no problem. These tires are also great on the road and have helped handling and braking also.

#3 outback_97

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Posted 30 November 2004 - 05:46 PM

Thanks, Richard!

When I put in the TS, it came up with this:
http://www.discountt...485&rd=15&ar=60

... which is similar to the W401 you linked to, but a little more $ and slightly different tread pattern. But OTOH the pattern on the one you found looks closer to the picture of the tread on the ones for sale. I'm sure they're pretty similar.

I think I might show up to see these with $80 in my pocket, see if the seller wants to get rid of them. The ad was placed a few weeks ago and they're from a car he doesn't own anymore, so maybe he's motivated. Then another $40 to get them mounted, I can probably sell my OEM TS tires to someone, and I have a set of winter tires on my Subie wheels for very little $$$. :cool:

Steve

Edit: Uploaded a photo of the tires

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#4 Crashton

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Posted 30 November 2004 - 06:31 PM

I don't see how you could possibly go wrong buying those. Heck the wheels they're on are worth $80. WARNING >Once you drive your Subie with 4 snow tires you'll never go back to all seasons again.;)

Chuck

#5 outback_97

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Posted 30 November 2004 - 06:54 PM

Chuck:

Sorry if I didn't 'splain it very well, but these tires aren't mounted... so I'd be paying around $40 ($9 per wheel or so) to a tire shop to pull off my stock TS rubber and put these on. Then I can sell the stock TS tires which have only a couple thousand miles on them, hopefully breaking even. :)

Subies are fun as it is in the snow with all seasons on, I'm looking forward to the snows. They'd also be pretty good in the gravel and dirt I reckon!

Steve

#6 99obw

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Posted 30 November 2004 - 09:18 PM

I don't see how you could possibly go wrong buying those. Heck the wheels they're on are worth $80. WARNING >Once you drive your Subie with 4 snow tires you'll never go back to all seasons again.;)

Chuck


I think that's a very true statement. I can't remember ever talking to someone that had used a good snow tire that said "Yea, they were ok, but nothing special, so I went back to all-seasons". Everyone I talk to is a snow tire user for life once they have driven on them.

Nothing compares to studs on ice, too bad they were removed, though most people can't stand the noise. I love studded snows.

If the rubber compound is anything like blizzaks you may want to consider removing them during long warm periods or they won't last long.

I think that is a fantastic deal, I would go for it. If you are paying $40 for mount, balance, and valve stems that's a great deal, cheapest I have found locally is $53 at walmart. These tires should be a huge improvement over almost any all-season tire in the snow.

#7 outback_97

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Posted 30 November 2004 - 09:57 PM

This helped motivate me to seek out snow tires... the photo was taken in central Utah last Sunday morning before we finished our drive back from Phoenix. We made it 500 miles on Saturday but ran into a nasty storm... <30 mph on the Interstate and then we couldn't see anymore, finally gave up and had to pull in to a hotel for the night, and we got the very last room. By the time the storm was over this area had over 12" of snow.

What was interesting was that it wasn't the tires that were the problem this time, it was visibility. But I figure more control for not much money = a good thing. I don't worry about myself driving in these conditions as much as I do other drivers, and being able to avoid them. I grew up driving RWD vehicles in MN, so I fear other drivers more than winter roads themselves.

Steve

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#8 99obw

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Posted 30 November 2004 - 10:48 PM

Unfortunately I am quite familiar with that kind of heavy snow fall. It's very common here until Lake Erie freezes over. Other regions adjacent to the great lakes aren't as lucky, as their lakes are too deep to freeze over, so the lake effect snow machine runs all winter long. I can remember when I worked in Elma NY, parking the car at 8:00 AM and having over a foot of snow on the car at lunch time. That was the day I was stopped behind a semi because they had closed the road, I looked in my rear view only to see a huge box truck sliding toward me at 45° from the direction it should have been pointed. :eek: It certainly is the other drivers that are the scary part of winter driving, especially when equipped with a proper vehicle with proper tires.

#9 charlierh2

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Posted 30 November 2004 - 11:34 PM

i dont know what kind of car these came off of but your gonna need to make sure that the circumference is within the 1/4 inch spec or your gonna need to get them shaved. just a thought

#10 outback_97

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Posted 01 December 2004 - 10:26 AM

charlierh2:

Yeah, I'm going to make sure that all the tires are within 1/4" of each other. They should be if they have the low mileage he says they do.

Probably going to get them tonight!

Steve

#11 outback_97

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Posted 03 December 2004 - 12:08 AM

The good news: I got the tires for $90, they do indeed have a lot of tread left (these are some meaty treads!) and they appear to be in good shape. Then, when I got home, I found a tire changeover coupon for $18.95! It doesn't even say "per axle", so I'm pretty sure that's for all four. We'll see if that's right. By the way, they are Hankook 919's. But...


The not as good news... when I got home I learned how to decipher the DOT date code stamped on the tires, and they are 8 years old. This was after I purchased them, so now I'm wondering if my quest for safer winter tires has gotten me tires that are getting too old to be safe. I can't seem to find any answer on how old is too old, but I've found a few horror stores about tread separation on tires that looked pretty new but were more than 10 years old. Any thoughts?

Steve

#12 Ranger83

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Posted 03 December 2004 - 11:19 AM

I can't re member ever talking to someone that had used a good snow tire that said "Yea, they were ok, but nothing special, so I went back to all-seasons". Everyone I talk to is a snow tire user for life once they have driven on them.

Here's one. Most dedicated snows slide too much on dry pavement and don't seem to stick very well in rain, either.

I'm on my second set of M&S rated all seasons (now Michelin Hydro Edge) and would not buy dedicated snows for an AWD Subaru unless I lived in an area that has snow all the time.

If you're going to keep the car a long time having two sets of wheels and tires might not cost too much in the long run. It's not a budget issue for me, it's all-around performance.
Cheap tires are cheap for a reason.

#13 outback_97

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Posted 03 December 2004 - 12:11 PM

Good point, Ranger. It's questionable whether the driving we do here warrants snow tires, this is more of a special circumstance where we're driving to Montana for Christmas and I felt that the possibility of running into snow on the way might warrant the purchase.

What I'm faced with now is the concern that they're too old. The only number I've found from anything resembling an authority is a "shelf life" for tires of six years in storage. Does that mean that eight year old tires are dangerous? I don't know.

Steve

#14 99obw

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Posted 03 December 2004 - 12:35 PM

Here's one. Most dedicated snows slide too much on dry pavement and don't seem to stick very well in rain, either.

I'm on my second set of M&S rated all seasons (now Michelin Hydro Edge) and would not buy dedicated snows for an AWD Subaru unless I lived in an area that has snow all the time.

If you're going to keep the car a long time having two sets of wheels and tires might not cost too much in the long run. It's not a budget issue for me, it's all-around performance.
Cheap tires are cheap for a reason.

Thanks for the comments. I agree that snow tires compromise several other factors for snow and ice perfomance. What I really hate are the soft sidewalls and the mushy handling. I drive very cautiously so it isn't an issue for me. Most people I have talked to about this are from my local area, and yes, we got lot's of snow and ice November through April. My biggest concern is ice. In my experience unless a tire has a winter compound and is adequately siped(like a blizzak), or has studs, they are virtually useless on ice, regardless of tread pattern. Case in point, guy at work used to be the typical all-season user, "I never have any trouble with my tires, always work fine, don't know why anyone needs snow tires, what a waste of money". Wouldn't you know it he spun out and put his car in the ditch a couple of weeks later, then went out and bought four new snow tires. Now he is a die-hard snow tire user.

Part of my drive into work this morning was pretty icy, studded snows on my XJ performed flawlessly. My wife saw several accidents on the way to work this morning, blizzaks performed flawlessy on the outback. My experience has shown, at least for my region's winter conditions and terrain, tires are about 10 times more beneficial than AWD or 4WD.

Regarding cheap tires, I have to disagree. The yokohama summer tires we are using on the outback now have great traction and have worn as well or better than the two sets of michelins we have run, at half the price.

'97, my understanding is that the primary concern with older tires is UV exposure, that's why you see the low-use RVs and such with tire covers. My guess is you should be fine. You might take them on a local drive when the temp is high to do a bit of a "burn in". Maybe you could give tirerack a call and talk to one of their techs, they are pretty knowledgable. You could probably get your money back easily if you decide to sell them.

#15 rweddy

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Posted 03 December 2004 - 01:11 PM

I agree with 99obw.

Once you have a set of snow tires you will never go back. AWD helps you get moving for sure but snow tires improve handling, braking, etc.
I also find some “cheap” tires are great. I got a set of these tires from discount tire, this is a store only brand made for them by Goodyear.
Tires
I was able to talk them down to $65 a tire and they have been great in all conditions, wet, snow, dry, etc.
But after seeing the amazing improvements of my wife’s Honda with dedicated studded snow tires, I am also going to get an extra set of wheels & snow tires for my car in the very near future. They have made such an amazing difference in her front wheel drive I cannot wait to see AWD and Snow tires.




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