PDA

View Full Version : Winter Tire buying guide


Gamite
10-18-2005, 02:30 AM
Well, looks like i'm going to be buying winter tires soon, so I'm gonna ask you guys what you guys use for winters and how much you got them for.

I currently have cheapies on my dad's 535.

Brand: Cooper Weathermasteres
Tire Size: 225 60 R 15
Price: $360 installed
Seasons used: 3 winters 2 summers (don't ask)
Location purchased: Tire World in Bramption

Comments: I doubt they're the best tires on the market, but they definately served their purpose. The tires still have significant tread on them, but they're losing their snow traction.

Hound
10-18-2005, 03:19 AM
Brand: Dunlop Sport SP M3 runflats (not sure about the M3 on there but the rest is right)
Tire Size: i forget what they are if i remember they are 235 45 R 17
Price: came with rims from BMW $5000 installed
Seasons used: 1 winter
Location purchased: Budds BMW oakville, they are the winter tire an rim pkg for the car.

Comments: they are great tire's and recommend them to anyone, they have great traction on the snow and ice and for the highway even when it's not snowy towards the end of the winter they are very smooth and are quiet up to about 180-190km/h. very nice tire and rim pkg from BMW. only stupid thing is that they are the runflat version of the tire. i didnt even know they made runflat winters till i got em lol. the rims are nice too, they are the stock 530i 17" non sport pkg rims, 5 spoke my fav.

Darkness95m3
10-18-2005, 08:47 AM
Michelin Blizak Winter & Snow 235 45 R 17 $2500
I always use them on my cars for winter. Never got stuck. Better traction then front wheel drive cars in the winter, comapred to our previous winter cars.

propr'one
10-18-2005, 12:04 PM
alright what if i want to spend like 500$, not 2500$.

what's best bang/buck

M3ti Compact
10-18-2005, 12:17 PM
Holy crap, all you guys are using 235's for winter tires! Narrower tires are better in snow than fat ones!

Gamite
10-18-2005, 12:19 PM
stock size (so far only 5er's replied)

Please help this list and post your winters.

///MAC
10-18-2005, 03:06 PM
EURO WINDS
500 installed for my audi, best winter tire ever...

Mystikal
10-18-2005, 03:39 PM
E30:
Brand: Nokian Hakkapellita NRW
Size 195/65/14 (on Fittipaldi alloys)
Price: $300 installed or something like that
Seasons Used: 5
Location Purchased: Wheels Direct

They're useless now, they still have tread but the wet traction is non-existent. Going with the new H-rated Nokians or T-rated Kumho KW17's for this winter. The first 4 winters they were amazing though, even in the dry. Great tires.

E46:
Brand: Pirelli 210 Snowsports & Eurowin something or other
Size 195/65/15 & 205/60/15 (on OEM steelies)
Price: $450 installed with the wheels
Seasons Used: 4
Location Purchased: Wheels Direct

We bought the 4 new wheels and tires in 01/02 when we got the car, but thanks to some drifting fun two of the rear Pirellis had worn down to the bars at the end of last winter. Due to a late decision to buy new ones, I couldn't get any Pirelli, Yokohama, Kumho, or anything else in time. I ended up trying these Eurowin things which are also H-rated and have almost the exact same tread pattern the Pirellis. They feel very similar, with slightly softer sidewalls. Overall though, the 210 Snowsports are the best winter tires I have ever experienced. Too bad they don't go down to 14" for my winter wheels.

jeffrie
10-19-2005, 08:26 PM
alright what if i want to spend like 500$, not 2500$.

what's best bang/buck

Yokahoma Ice Guard, cheap & great plus they don't break belt's like my old Blizzaks used to every year. 400 installed at a not so cheap gerage.

windwagen
10-19-2005, 10:19 PM
540-6
Hankook W400 - 235/45-17

By the time I decided to buy snows, there was little choice left. The price was right too- $600 installed. After 2 winters, there's still 50% left, and I really can't complain about the performance. Unbelievable difference compared to the all seasons, even in light snow. You can still outdrag front drivers with snows too, albeit only by a little. Changing lanes through slush at 130kph - no problem (at least with traction control on).

I recommend them.

Mystikal
10-19-2005, 11:08 PM
alright what if i want to spend like 500$, not 2500$.

what's best bang/buck

Kumho KW11/KW17.

dtthiaga
10-22-2005, 11:30 AM
I've been running snow tires for about 8 years now. Here's what I've used and my comments; take them for what they are. I won't go back to running all-seasons in the winter.

For my old 97 BMW
Model: Michelin Arctic Alpine
Cost: Don't Remember (package deal)
Size: 205/55/16
Purchased: Dealer
Liked/Disliked: Loved them
Would Purchase Again?: Yes
Comments: These tires were amazing. They were quiet, offered sidewall stability and were good in the snow. I commute on the 401 and they worked well. They are pricey though. Great tire!!!!

For 2002 325i:
Model: Nordic Ice Trac
Cost: $245 (got them at dealer cost. 1/2 price each) Taxes in. Installed later.
Size: 205/55/16
Purchased: Canadian Tire
Liked/Disliked: Like Them
Would Purchase Again?: Yes
Using Tires This Winter: Yes
Comments: Even for the regular price, I really like them. At half off, I had nothing to loose and was pleasantly surprised. They are not as good as my Michelin Arctic Alpine's, but are still good. I only drove them the first year, and have stored the car since in the winter. The tires though were great in the deep snow and ice. On the 407, while cars were spinning into the ditch (3 in front of me), I was able to brake and continue going straight. They are quiet and offer fairly good sidewall strength for snow tires. Tread pattern is almost like the Michelin's. They are on sale right now! . With my recent reliability issues with my e46, I'm probably going to get a Lexus IS in the spring, so I'll be running the BMW with these tires this winter. Nordic Ice Trac (http://www.canadiantire.ca/assortments/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=84552444294 5139&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=1408474396669667&ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id=1408474396670271&bmUID=1129991101690&fromSearch=true)

For 2003 Honda Accord
Model: Nordic Ice Trac
Cost: $363.40 (On Sale Price) Taxes In. Install elsewhere.
Size: 205/65-15
Purchased: Canadian Tire
Liked/Disliked: Like Them
Would Purchase Again?: Yes
Using Tires This Winter: Yes
Comments: I liked the tires so much from the e46 BMW, that I bought them for the Accord as well a year later. For the price, they are pretty good. One word of caution, they seem to be better on the rear wheel drive car than the front wheel drive car. That could be the car itself, or the stability control. Never got stuck with them. No issues with the tires. Nordic Ice Trac (http://www.canadiantire.ca/assortments/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=84552444294 5139&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=1408474396669667&ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id=1408474396670271&bmUID=1129991101690&fromSearch=true)

For Winter Beaters [ 96 Grand Am ]
Model: Kumho KW11
Cost: $280.60 Taxes In. Installed. All 4.
Size: 195/65-15
Purchased: Cheap Thrills (Milton)
Liked/Disliked: Liked Somewhat
Would Purchase Again?: Yes
Using Tires This Winter: Got a 2001 Intrepid for the Winter. Will probably put the Kumho KW19 or the Nordic Ice Tracís again.
Comments: These were very cheap tires, but they were awesome for this car. I wouldn't put this model of tire on a BMW, but a front wheel drive cheap car, for sure! Last December, when we had tons of snow, where cars were getting stuck, I just kept plowing through the snow. Snow was flying off my headlights and hood, and the car would not get stuck. Even with the tires half buried in snow, the car was unstoppable. I even tried to get the car stuck, and still managed to get out. :) When it did snow, I would take the car out just to have some fun. Often, I would take back roads instead of regular streets because I wanted to stay away from other drivers; but I knew with caution, I had loads of traction.

2002 Oldsmobile
Model: Kumho KW11
Cost: Under $350 I think.
Size: 205/65-15
Purchased: Cheap Thrills (Milton)
Liked/Disliked: Liked Somewhat
Would Purchase Again?: Yes
Using Tires This Winter: No. Car is going away.
Comments: The same deal as above. These tires were so much better and safer than the factory Goodyear all seasons that came with the car.

I've used the same Kumho or similar tire on the following winter cars as well with good success over the past 4 years.
- 96 Accent
- 94 Honda Accord
- 89 Plymoth Accliam

spooner_dee
10-23-2005, 05:01 PM
Not sure if you have them in Canada, i dont know why you would'nt, but all my friends buy Glacier Grips as snow tires for their stock rims, Heavy duty snow tires that never give out. Im currently running Bf Goodrich Traction T/a all season tires, ive used them the last few winters on all my cars, the are amazing for all season tires and dont cost a bundle. There grip in dry conditions is superior, and when it rains or snows they dont fail me. for the traction T/a's i pay about 50ish per tire.

Gamite
10-24-2005, 11:50 AM
great write up dtthiaga

paul_animo
10-26-2005, 09:03 PM
Model: Toyo GO2 Plus
Purchased: Wheels Direct
Price: $500 installed
Comments: These tires are amazing, i used it for my beater('92 civic). Just always remember, you get what you pay for..

DavidM5
11-09-2005, 12:28 AM
Just picked up for the beast 4 Dunlop M3 in 235/45-17 for a fantastic deal $600 out the door!
Also have the same tire for my 99 Accord in 205/55-16 but paid $700 out the door from a different shop.
Both are new this season so haven't got them on the car as yet.

For my 05 Odyssey, I have Bridgestone Blizzacks (unfortunately that is the ONLY tire I can get in the stock size 235/65-16) and they are very decent.
I think I paid $900+ for them.

etam
11-18-2005, 03:54 PM
Holy crap, all you guys are using 235's for winter tires! Narrower tires are better in snow than fat ones!

agree.. go down a size if brake clearance is not a problem.. there is a reason for this car to run that narrow tire..

http://www.atodomotor.com/mundial/2005/suecia/solberg.jpg

crusher
11-18-2005, 10:18 PM
Holy crap, all you guys are using 235's for winter tires! Narrower tires are better in snow than fat ones!

Lol.. I have 225 and 245 on 17s on my M Coupe. :D

sonic07
11-25-2005, 10:49 PM
Mitch X-ICE $ 480 + Black Rims $ 240

Justin e36
11-26-2005, 12:06 AM
dtthiaga - great write-up... very informative.

SpeedFreek
11-30-2005, 11:32 PM
On my 530 I use P225,50R16 Bridgestone Blizzaks on old BMW OEM alloys. Got 'em on eBay from a dude in Toronto who works at BMW Toronto for $650 all-in, including shipping. Tires were used only one season with lotsa tread...

A good deal! That said, I try not to drive it unless it is dry on the roads...use the X5 for that!

SF

tigger
12-13-2005, 04:53 AM
Consider that 80% of winter driving is done in the DRY !!! Now thatís when your highest percentage of accidents will occur. Too soft is just stupid. The side walls roll and your car handles like your dads Cadillac. The cheaper the tires the softer the side wall. Lower speed rating = soft side wall. Higher speed = better dry driving. Like anything else in life the more you pay the better the product. Here are my choices through experience.

NOTE: Winter tires that meet the industry's severe snow service requirements are branded with the snowflake-on-the-mountain symbol.

NOTE. Many winter tires are Dual Compound. This means they are made of two different compounds. The first one. Very Soft with plenty of snow and ice traction but once you burn through the first 50% of the tire, you are left with a very hard all season compound. This means that most Dual Compound tires are Amazing in the first year but for the remaining 3 seasons of tread....you are stuck with a crappy all season radial tire that you once swore was the best tire ever. Tire companies do this for two main reasons. The first is to make it seem like the tires last for a good length of time. Second is that it helps keep the stability of the tires. If the tire is made totally of soft compound then it will not handle well stopping or turning. Also it will melt down in no time. Lets face it. Who the hell wants to pay for a tire that only last one season? So your research guys. It will pay off in the end.

Also keep in mind that Winter tires have a shelf life. They will lose their softness and become hockey puck hard by the 4th year of use. By the 6th year ( if they last that long ) you will see hairline cracking between the treads and they will make crazy road noise !!

1) Dunlop M3s Expensive, Best performance winter tire I'd ever driven. Sold out almost everywhere for a good reason.

Dry - 10/10 The BEST!! Hands down
Wet- 9/10 Very Good
Light Snow- 9/10 Very good
Deep snow- 9/10
Ice- 8/10
Noise- 9/10

2) Michelin Alpine Sport The King of Expensive. Great overall softer ride then the M3s

Dry- 9/10
Wet-9/10
Light Snow- 8/10
Deep snow- 8/10
Ice- 8/10
Noise- 9/10

3) Pirelli Winter 210s A fair price but still expensive.

Dry- 9/10
Wet-9/10
Light Snow- 8/10
Deep snow- 7/10
Ice- 7/10
Noise- 9/10

These dont like to be taken on and off rims! Do it more then twice and I will promise you a sidewall bubble !!

4) Toyo Observe G0-2 Plus Maybe a dual compound. Cant remember.....I'm getting old !

Dry- 7/10
Wet-8/10
Light Snow- 8/10
Deep snow- 8/10
Ice- 7/10
Noise- 7/10

5) Toyo Observe G0-2 Maybe a dual compound. Cant remember.....I'm getting old ! This has a soft side wall. Not a great handling tire.

Dry- 6/10
Wet-7/10
Light Snow- 8/10
Deep snow- 7/10
Ice- 7/10
Noise- 6/10

6) Nokian Hakkapilitas 2 Perfect for Extreme weather but weak in the dry.

Dry- 6/10
Wet-8/10
Light Snow- 9/10
Deep snow- 9/10
Ice- 8/10
Noise- 5/10

7) Michelin X-Ice Great in Extreme weather but weaker in the dry. Not as loud as the Nokian in the Dry. A great all around non-high performance tire. These like to Hydro Plane in slush.

Dry- 7/10
Wet-8/10
Light Snow- 9/10
Deep snow- 9/10
Ice- 9/10
Noise- 7/10

8) Blizzak WS-50 Dual compound I think... Great for the first season but soft on the handling. Better suited to lighter cars.

Dry- 6/10
Wet-8/10
Light Snow- 9/10
Deep snow- 8/10
Ice- 9/10
Noise- 7/10

9) Nokia Gislaved NORDFROST 3 A great tire for the price. Volvo OEM recommended winter tire. A soft ride. Great for family cars. Last pretty long. Best Bang for the buck ! Make sure the lips on your rims are cleaned well before these tires are mounted. They will leak otherwise !!!!

Dry- 7/10
Wet-8/10
Light Snow- 9/10
Deep snow- 8/10
Ice- 7/10
Noise- 8/10

10) Viking Snow Tech From the price point this is just as good as the Nokia tires. A great economical winter tire. I know alot of people that are happy with this tire. Consumers Report gave this tire 2nd place. It wouldn't be my second place tire but who the hell am I anyways? Besides...I'm not on a budget.

Dry- 7/10
Wet-7/10
Light Snow- 7/10
Deep snow- 7/10
Ice- 7/10
Noise- 7/10

11) ContiWinterContact TS790 dual compound I think.... A pretty average winter tire.

Dry- 8/10
Wet-7/10
Light Snow- 7/10
Deep snow- 6/10
Ice- 6/10
Noise- 8/10


12) Kuhmo KW19 A very average winter tire. Sure why not buy it. Its economical and a hell of alot better then no winter tires at all. Once again...very average.

Dry- 7/10
Wet-6/10
Light Snow- 7/10
Deep snow- 6/10
Ice- 6/10
Noise- 8/10

13) Hankook W300 Ice Bear A very Average nothing special. Good pricing.

Dry- 7/10
Wet-6/10
Light Snow- 7/10
Deep snow- 6/10
Ice- 6/10
Noise- 7/10

14) Goodyear Utra Grip Ice, its a dual compound tire which means its usable ice traction is only about 50% of the actual tread. I dont know about you....but I like to get a winter tire when I pay for one and not 50% of a winter tire. So my answer is no Goodyear

Dry- 8/10
Wet-8/10
Light Snow- 8/10
Deep snow- 8/10
Ice- 9/10
Noise- 7/10

15)Nokian RSI is a great non-studable tire. A very quiet tire that rides like an all-season tire.

Dry- 9/10
Wet-8/10
Light Snow- 8/10
Deep snow- 7/10
Ice- 8/10
Noise- 9/10

16) Pirelli Winter Carving This is my Favorite overall tire choice. So far I only have about 3000 klm on them but so far I've been super impressed. These ride like an OEM all-season tire. Not as sporty as the Dunlop M3s but better in all other conditions.

Dry- 9/10
Wet-9/10
Light Snow- 9/10
Deep snow- 8.5/10
Ice- 9/10
Noise- 9/10



Hope this helps guys.

FINAL THOUGHTS !!!

Keep in mind snow tires will not work for IDIOT DRIVERS! Snow tires can provide up to 40% more traction then All Season tires but are not perfect.

Think about this......at 100 klm/hour if you could stop 40% faster thatís about 2 car lengths. How many times will you just stop in time on your all season tires this winter? Lets just say winters make sense and are way cheaper then an insurance claim that you will pay for in the many years to come. Also think about how you can help to save lives. The question isÖ.can you afford not to have winter tires this season?

Drive Safe all !!!



PLEASE NOTE THIS IS ONLY MY OPINION THROUGH EXPERIENCED OWNERSHIP. Please forgive any mis-spellings. For goodness sake its almost 4 am !!

Mystikal
12-13-2005, 09:20 AM
Holy crap, great post. I wouldn't debate any of your ratings, they seem exactly in line with reputable comparisons I've seen.

May I ask, how did you get to test all of them?

Aaron325iT
12-14-2005, 04:44 PM
Great post tigger.

Any idea if the Mich X-Ice is dual compound?

Just paid $989 for my set for my X3, and i'll be a bit pissed if the "good" compound lasts only 1 season.

I agree with your assessment of the Mich X-Ice, it's been great in the Ottawa snow and ice so far, especially with AWD. A bit squishy in the dry, like you said, and feels "floaty" above 120km/h, but great overall.

Mystikal
12-14-2005, 05:13 PM
The X-Ice is single compound.

Axxe
12-20-2005, 05:04 PM
I loath my rear Blizzaks now. Soft compound was absolutely awesome, but now it's just "meh."