Are snow tyres really worth it ?

Nabster

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Here's a pair of Firestone tires to compare as well, Firehawk Indy 500's ("Performance All-Season") on the top and Winterforce (Winter Performance, Mountain/Snowflake branded) on the bottom. I have the Indy 500's on my Mustang and the Winterforces on the Grand Prix right now.




Perhaps you can see why the winter tires offer better traction in the snow there?
 

GRtak

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You live in an area where winter hits fairly hard and proper winter tires are not just a good idea, but damn near impossible to live without.
 

Nabster

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You live in an area where winter hits fairly hard and proper winter tires are not just a good idea, but damn near impossible to live without.
Eh... that depends on your driving competency. If you realize the way to drive int snow isn't full throttle and wait for movement to happen you can manage. First year I had my Grand Prix I left the summer performance tires on overwinter. It was ok, but there was obviously a number of times I could have done with more suitable tires (and a winch if I'm honest). This year with those Winterforce tires though, not had a lick of trouble and I've plowed through snow my supervisors' FJ Cruiser got stuck in- 8 inches of snow in our parking lot. :lol:
 

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Those module videos of winter/all season tire performance are ridiculously bad..
 

Twerp128

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You live in an area where winter hits fairly hard and proper winter tires are not just a good idea, but damn near impossible to live without.
My dad was a salesman covering all of Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, and Indiana. He bought his first set of winter tires for that job and has had them every winter since. You just have to drive them, for me it's worth the confidence they give you, and $150 for some steelies and a couple of hours to change them is a small price to pay, especially when you consider the time and money that could be potentially lost to an accident or even being stuck.

Plus it's instant gratification when your driving home from work on sheet ice, and every one else (even 4x4's) is stuck or can't get moving in the first place.
 
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Labcoatguy

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Just to recap, yes they are worth it. I was topping them off today at a gas station and an Evo X pulled in with what were obviously summer-tread tires. Dude was sliding all over the place.
 
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It takes me about 45 minutes, or 30 if I try to be fast.
Now I use a torque wrench, which is probably a bit slower than using one of those 4-way wrenches.
 
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Twerp128

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Lolwut?!? a couple of hours to change a set of wheels?
That's counting installation and removal, but mostly because I can't drink a beer and work a torque wrench at the same time.
 

thevictor390

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Today, my mother's front wheel drive Lincoln Zephyr failed fantastically to get up the hill in our driveway. So we went shopping in my car, which went up without breaking traction. It was pretty funny driving around and seeing nothing but SUVs and pickups. And strangely, one other RX-8....

Reason why this is relevant: Zephyr has all-seasons, I have snow tires.
 
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ja404

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It really depends on the car. My MkII golf would take me anywhere i needed to go in the snow with whatever economy tires happened to be on the car at the time.

I tried using summer tires during winter on my GSX one time, but spinning all four tires on the highway in the snow was not really as fun as it sounds.

My Audi had no issues running all seasons all year round.

My wife's Mazda3 was absolutely terrible in the snow with the stock tires to the point that it became dangerous for her to drive in the snow, so we had to spring for a winter set.
 

BerserkerCatSplat

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Eh... that depends on your driving competency. If you realize the way to drive int snow isn't full throttle and wait for movement to happen you can manage.
Partially true. However, no amount of "driving competency" is going to let you stop as quickly with all-seasons in an emergency situation, especially in icy conditions.
 

narf

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However, no amount of "driving competency" is going to let you stop as quickly with all-seasons in an emergency situation, especially in icy conditions.
This.

For going somewhere faster competence will help, but most people just don't accept going slowly and easily... no matter how competently you slam on the brakes when there's an obstacle, without traction you could be Juan Michael Hamilton and still slide into the obstacle, getting killed to death.
 

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Partially true. However, no amount of "driving competency" is going to let you stop as quickly with all-seasons in an emergency situation, especially in icy conditions.
I don't dispute your point at all, but part of driving competency is knowing what's too fast for the conditions and leaving enough room to stop should the need arrive. I wouldn't call it competent driving to drive too quickly or so close to another car that you can't stop if need be. An idiot with a sword is less dangerous than a professional with a butter knife- know what your abilities are and don't exceed them. :lol:
 

GRtak

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@NARF: Who the hell is Juan Michael Hamilton?:p

My dad was a salesman covering all of Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, and Indiana. He bought his first set of winter tires for that job and has had them every winter since. You just have to drive them, for me it's worth the confidence they give you, and $150 for some steelies and a couple of hours to change them is a small price to pay, especially when you consider the time and money that could be potentially lost to an accident or even being stuck.

Plus it's instant gratification when your driving home from work on sheet ice, and every one else (even 4x4's) is stuck or can't get moving in the first place.
Like I said, if I lived 50 miles farther north I would have snow tires. If I lived in the UP I would have snow tires on a 4WD vehicle with tire chains in the back and winches(front and rear) on it.
 

MacDubois

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For me it's as simple as this.

The only part of your car that actually touches the road (ideally) is the tires. The tires are the only thing that directly control whether you turn, go or stop (airbrakes and jato assist rockets excepted). So if you are driving around in 3000lb chunks of metal at 50-60 miles an hour, when the road is filled with other high speed death machines that you have no control over; don't you want as much control over your own car as possible?

My snows have saved me countless times and I got them cheap. $40 for the snows and wheels, used. And even a full season later I can get up hills that my fiance's brand new focus with brand new all seasons cannot.

Yes they're worth it.
 

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I don't dispute your point at all, but part of driving competency is knowing what's too fast for the conditions and leaving enough room to stop should the need arrive. I wouldn't call it competent driving to drive too quickly or so close to another car that you can't stop if need be. An idiot with a sword is less dangerous than a professional with a butter knife- know what your abilities are and don't exceed them. :lol:
Well.......

An idiot with a car on snow is far more dangerous than someone who knows that they're doing. Sure, you can control your actions but let's say you're approaching an intersection and you're going at a reasonable speed for the conditions. However, the retard in the turning lane doesn't notice you because they're busy texting OMGLOLWTFBBQ!!!1@11! to their boy friend. So they pull out to make the turn at the last second and now matter what you're screwed.

Then again, this is all hypothetical. You could still be screwed with snow tires. personally, I have season tires and I don't have any slippage issues. 99% of it is knowing how to drive correctly. Hell, my last DD had high performance summer tires and I drove it through two winters without any accidents. It was a PITA, but it was accident free.
 

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Well.......

An idiot with a car on snow is far more dangerous than someone who knows that they're doing. Sure, you can control your actions but let's say you're approaching an intersection and you're going at a reasonable speed for the conditions. However, the retard in the turning lane doesn't notice you because they're busy texting OMGLOLWTFBBQ!!!1@11! to their boy friend. So they pull out to make the turn at the last second and now matter what you're screwed.

Then again, this is all hypothetical. You could still be screwed with snow tires. personally, I have season tires and I don't have any slippage issues. 99% of it is knowing how to drive correctly. Hell, my last DD had high performance summer tires and I drove it through two winters without any accidents. It was a PITA, but it was accident free.
Well, if you're going to be hypothetical, if you're in that situation where you're cut off, will you stop shorter with winter tires, or all-seasons, thus giving you a much higher chance of avoiding the accident or at least lessening the damage?
 
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