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I must be getting old thumbs down

Posted by rkj 
rkj
December 14, 2010 05:31PM
So, the other day my daughter asks me to shop for snow tires, ever since she totaled our 318ti she has been driving a Matrix. The tire size on that thing is 205x55x16 (I'm pretty sure that's the size) but anyway, I checked tire rack and found very few tires in that size for snow, in fact, (here comes the old part) I found nothing in a normal snow tire at all confused smiley I was looking for a big old gnarly mother for the roads up in Vermont. She lives on the way up a mountain, about 3/4 of the way up and she'll be there for three years.

I give Tire rack a call and the salesman sez, "if you want tires for snow you should really put them on all four corners", now I know that, basically. All my cars have had good soft radial tires for winter (although not your traditional snow tire) on all four wheels, I know the importance of having traction all around, even for FWD. So why did I feel like I was being told something new to me? I guess he caught me off guard and I was looking for those monster snows I just didn't realize for a moment, but it did make me feel like a dinosaur there for a sec grinning smiley

Bbrrrr, Rick
December 14, 2010 08:41PM
Maybe he was trying to sell you 4 tires when all your really needed was 2? smiling smiley)

alan
rkj
December 14, 2010 10:13PM
Quote
alanrw
Maybe he was trying to sell you 4 tires when all your really needed was 2? smiling smiley)

alan

I don't think so, there were really no other options/choice for that size tire. He also was concerned about traction on all four corners for a younger driver (I told him these were for my kid in school), so I think his thoughts/heart were in the right place.

No, it was me on another planet! smiling smiley
December 15, 2010 06:10AM
I know Tire Rack makes sure to tell people they need to match all 4 corners. Even if it's old news, I think that's a good plan. I had a friend who wanted to put snows on only the fronts of his FWD Acura. He found out (and Ove confirmed) that if you put only 2 snows on, they need to be on the back, even if the car is FWD. That way the car doesn't flip itself around under braking or turning. After my friend experienced some "unintended oversteer" turning into a parking lot, he ended up removing the snows until his other set of two arrived, and he was better off with matched no-seasons than with two snows.

I'm sure TR does have snows in that size. I believe that is the size that both of my cars (Mazda and E46, I mean) wear in the winter. Both cars have 205/50R17 summer tires, and I do a minus 1 for winter tires. I do not run Hakkas or anything extreme, b/c our winter is usually on cleared roads that may be a little snowy and/or icy, but we need the occasional snow capability for when we're out during a storm or are coming home before the plows make it out. So we have Dunlop Wintersport tires on both cars. I'd think that you could at least find the Blizzak WS-50 (or whatever the current model is.)

...

Ok, I just went to Tirerack, entered my car and size, and it popped up 17 different tires in that size. For your daughter's application, I'd probably go with these Blizzaks. It is available in your desired size, for $112/tire.



Cab
1990 325i(s)
2004 325XiT
December 15, 2010 09:57AM
Quote
Cab Treadway
For your daughter's application, I'd probably go with these Blizzaks. It is available in your desired size, for $112/tire.

The Blizzak WS-70 is an awesome tire! I had a set on my BMW for the last three seasons and loved 'em. They have a slightly more "open" tread pattern, i.e. more space between the tread blocks, compared to most other ice tires. That makes them better for deeper snow.

I used to have a set of Michelin X-Ice that were great on glare ice, but scary on deeper snow because the close-packed tread pattern tended to float up on the snow.

The Blizzak WS-70 is a good compromise. It has the super-soft rubber compound that stays flexible in extreme cold, and the many little siping cuts that make the tire grippy on ice. But it also has enough space between the tread blocks to clear snow. The tires, of course, feel a lot squirmier on dry pavement compared to summer tires, more so than the closely packed tread pattern of other ice tires, but that's the compromise for getting superior snow traction.

Stay away from the old-style big-lug hard tractor tires. Those are for off-road vehicles running in deep mud and rocks. Their hard-compound rubber, designed to withstand abuse over rocks, turns hard as a hockey puck in the cold and thus offers zero traction on ice!

I was all set to order a new set of Blizzaks again this year, only to be disappointed to discover they no longer make them in 14" size. Crap!

NEVER put only two snow tires on a car! Always four.
December 15, 2010 10:24AM
Check out the "Studless Ice and Snow" category in the winter Tire Survey Results at TireRack.com: http://www.tirerack.com/tires/surveyresults/surveydisplay.jsp?type=W&VT=C

Note how the new Michelin X-Ice Xi2 outscores the other tires based on its superior ratings in Wet Traction, Cornering Stability, Dry Traction, Steering Response, Ride Comfort, Noise Comfort, and Treadwear. All of those things are important to the people who rated these tires and apparently only use them in the wet, or dry.

Now look at the ratings for the Blizzak. Thw WS-60 was the predecessor to the WS-70. The WS-70 is even better. Even the WS-60 ranked far superior in all the categories that are important to winter driving, Light Snow Traction, Deep Snow Traction, Ice Traction.

If I want superior wet or dry traction and handling, I put on my summer tires. But for winter I choose Blizzaks and accept the compromised handling for the days when it's just dry or wet out.

Sadly they don't make Blizzaks in 14" anymore, so I'm giving the Continental ExtremeWinterContact tires a try this year.
rkj
December 15, 2010 12:19PM
Quote
Cab Treadway
I know Tire Rack makes sure to tell people they need to match all 4 corners. Even if it's old news, I think that's a good plan. I had a friend who wanted to put snows on only the fronts of his FWD Acura. He found out (and Ove confirmed) that if you put only 2 snows on, they need to be on the back, even if the car is FWD. That way the car doesn't flip itself around under braking or turning. After my friend experienced some "unintended oversteer" turning into a parking lot, he ended up removing the snows until his other set of two arrived, and he was better off with matched no-seasons than with two snows.

I'm sure TR does have snows in that size. I believe that is the size that both of my cars (Mazda and E46, I mean) wear in the winter. Both cars have 205/50R17 summer tires, and I do a minus 1 for winter tires. I do not run Hakkas or anything extreme, b/c our winter is usually on cleared roads that may be a little snowy and/or icy, but we need the occasional snow capability for when we're out during a storm or are coming home before the plows make it out. So we have Dunlop Wintersport tires on both cars. I'd think that you could at least find the Blizzak WS-50 (or whatever the current model is.)

...

Ok, I just went to Tirerack, entered my car and size, and it popped up 17 different tires in that size. For your daughter's application, I'd probably go with these Blizzaks. It is available in your desired size, for $112/tire.


Thanks Cab, I was heading for the Blizzaks too, first thing. I used to run them on my car for the winter but they are out of stock till later in January. Zephyr's size is205x55x16 and she's coming home on the 23rd (next week) and we have to have them by then.

I'll look again and see what's happening in her size but I think the X-ice might be the best choice at this point...

Cheers, Rick
rkj
December 15, 2010 01:18PM
Quote
Ferdinand
Check out the "Studless Ice and Snow" category in the winter Tire Survey Results at TireRack.com: http://www.tirerack.com/tires/surveyresults/surveydisplay.jsp?type=W&VT=C

Note how the new Michelin X-Ice Xi2 outscores the other tires based on its superior ratings in Wet Traction, Cornering Stability, Dry Traction, Steering Response, Ride Comfort, Noise Comfort, and Treadwear. All of those things are important to the people who rated these tires and apparently only use them in the wet, or dry.

Now look at the ratings for the Blizzak. Thw WS-60 was the predecessor to the WS-70. The WS-70 is even better. Even the WS-60 ranked far superior in all the categories that are important to winter driving, Light Snow Traction, Deep Snow Traction, Ice Traction.

If I want superior wet or dry traction and handling, I put on my summer tires. But for winter I choose Blizzaks and accept the compromised handling for the days when it's just dry or wet out.

Sadly they don't make Blizzaks in 14" anymore, so I'm giving the Continental ExtremeWinterContact tires a try this year.

Thanks Ferdy, I just checked again with tire rack and they Do have the Blizzak's in stock for Z's rig. That's a great tire for the winter but she should change back for the summer. So, I 'm thinking maybe getting rims with the snows is a good idea, I'll have to see what everybody can afford these days... Rick
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