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Old 12-30-2012, 08:49 AM   #76
Howl
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Snow tires... LOL. Ive lived in Colorado almost my whole life and driven every Colorado winter since I turned 16 and have never... NEVER had a set of snow tires. I spent the last 4 years driving my 2wd ranger with the same all seasons that it came with from the factory. Ive had at least 3 2wd pickups while growing up and never needed dedicated snows. Ive also had various sports cars, SUV's, family cars and never needed snows on those either.

Now on my WRX, I picked up some Continental extremecontact all-season to replace the stock summers that come with the vehicle and I can honestly say it would be laughable to put snows on it unless I was headed way up into off beaten mountain territory and had to climb some gnarly 1/4 miles unplowed driveway. Decent all-seasons and common sense are all you really need, IMO.

Basically you just have to give yourself room, know your limits, understand how your vehicle reacts and use plain ass common sense.
This is a common attitude among many older people. Back in the 1960's and 70's everyone used snow tires, but they where not very advanced by today's standards. In the mid-70's companies developed and marketed all-season tires as being a replacement for both summer and winter tires and in many cases they were as good as both because they were a more advanced design. A lot of people who grew up in the 60's and 70's are stuck in this mindset.

In the 1990's some tire companies started to put the same research and development effort into winter tires and they have come up with a range of winter tires that far exceeds what any all-season tire could provide. They shorten stopping distances on snow and ice significantly. They provide better cornering abilities and they are a lot smoother and quieter than the old-style winter tires. Some jurisdiction (Quebec for example) have made winter tires mandatory because there is solid statistical proof that modern winter tires are that much better than all-seasons.
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:57 AM   #77
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Ok, after driving home from the Mass Tuning underground garage meet last night (who the heck brings an NSX out in a blazing snowstorm......?) I was able to remember some facts about snow. When I left Boston, it had turned to rain, and I was heading west on the turnpike, which is normally 3 lanes. For the first 10 miles, this quickly turned to snow with about an inch of slush in the lanes where tires had not splashed it away.

While on slush: Be ready for cars in the next lane to hit the slush and obliterate your vision. Also remember that as you veer slightly out of the traveled lane, slush will pull you into that direction. More slush, more pull.

Lanes disappear. As I got farther west, it became all snow. This is both good news and bad news. Good news because now, traction is relatively consistent with only the depth of the snow being the thing to watch for. Unlike slush, you can at least see this. The bad news is that the most heavily traveled lane becomes 1 or 2 lanes and they meander around. So if you pull into a far left or far right lane to be in unworn snow (with the advantage of consistent traction and predictable handling, the worn lane can (and did) merge over to where you are. So while I was able to go 40 on the snow, the other cars in their catepillar line going 25 merged right into my lane. Be aware. Be ready to merge in and then divert the other direction to get open snow.

Off ramps and secondary roads: I found that these were both well cleared, but were still slick from the few cars out melting the snow, creating ice. This is where you may want to stay off the worn line for both consistency and more traction. On smaller roads, the plowing job can be very inconsistent. We had great, clear roads and then as a town line came, 3 inches of snow since the last plow passed. In addition, you will get little mini snow banks from driveway plow trucks and from the town trucks clearing fast without full cleanup. If you run into roads with significant snow and tire worn ruts, think of your car as a snowmobile, where you turn and it does nothing and your only hope to really turn is to over turn and use the snow to push against the tire like a ski. When I got home, I also pulled out the snowmobile and went flying around on the abandoned roads and with only 8 inches of semi-fluffy snow, turning became a matter of letting the sled find the snow bank and using it to gain something to turn against. I was happy that my sled has a reverse mode.

Steep hills: This is where you may have no chance whatsoever. My driveway has been described here before. Short runup, then a huge oak tree that the driveway goes around and an immediate steep hill. The little CRX simply could not cut through the snow. After 3 or 4 tries, I decided to walk it. If you give it a try with something like this, you need to very quickly be in reverse mode to back down the hill. Hit the brakes much at all and your tires may lock (happened to me) and then, you're a sled, going wherever the contours take you. How bad is my driveway? My son's friend came over with is dad's explorer. He didn't make it. My explorer has a plow and brand new snows and got down/up fine.
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:07 AM   #78
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Low and slow, that is the tempo
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:10 PM   #79
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Snow tires... LOL. Ive lived in Colorado almost my whole life and driven every Colorado winter since I turned 16 and have never... NEVER had a set of snow tires. I spent the last 4 years driving my 2wd ranger with the same all seasons that it came with from the factory. Ive had at least 3 2wd pickups while growing up and never needed dedicated snows. Ive also had various sports cars, SUV's, family cars and never needed snows on those either.

Now on my WRX, I picked up some Continental extremecontact all-season to replace the stock summers that come with the vehicle and I can honestly say it would be laughable to put snows on it unless I was headed way up into off beaten mountain territory and had to climb some gnarly 1/4 miles unplowed driveway. Decent all-seasons and common sense are all you really need, IMO.

Basically you just have to give yourself room, know your limits, understand how your vehicle reacts and use plain ass common sense.

That's because you live in Denver area the eastern slope gets hardly any snow, it's a super mild winter. Quite frankly, that's why I moved out here.

However, if you ever tried snow tires you would realize the huge improvement they are in inclement weather. Whether its needed or not, it's drastically safer having them in the winter.
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:26 PM   #80
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Yes, there really is no comparison between snow tires and all seasons that are sutiable for snow or even performance winters for that matter. Dedicated winter tires provide superior grip by a reasonable margin. The most gains come from ice grip where compound and siping yields big dividends.

Just because you haven't driven on real winter tires doesn't mean you couldn't gain from doing so. I too spent a lot of my earlier winters on all-seasons. I too didn't realize the benefit of true winter tires. Heck, back when I started driving there wasn't really winter tires to speak of. I live in an area that can't use studs, so the only options were all-seasons. Winter tires have really blown up in recent years and so has tire technology. Newer tires are lightyears above older tires and winter tires have grown as a genre quite significantly with its own performance levels gaining significantly.

As a rough comparison, winter tires give you the same benefit as dedicated summer tires when deviating from standard all-seasons. The gains are moderate for the surfaces they are designed for.
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:39 PM   #81
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yea no one is going to argue that you can't drive in snow with all seasons. Of course it is doable. But saying it is unneeded and laughable is like showing up to a race track with a set of $99 walmart special all seasons and telling everyone how you don't need high performance tires and you've never needed them, you just end up looking silly.....
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:46 PM   #82
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Snow tires are def better than all seasons. Aslong are your skilled in the snow u will be fine with all seasons. I traded my wheels with snows for wheels with all seasons a few weeks ago. All seasons are less sloppy feeling but not as good in the snow. I drove around all day in the snow yesterday and had a blast.
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Old 12-30-2012, 07:47 PM   #83
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Snow tires are def better than all seasons. Aslong are your skilled in the snow u will be fine with all seasons. I traded my wheels with snows for wheels with all seasons a few weeks ago. All seasons are less sloppy feeling but not as good in the snow. I drove around all day in the snow yesterday and had a blast.
How did you get through school?
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:30 PM   #84
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That's because you live in Denver area the eastern slope gets hardly any snow, it's a super mild winter. Quite frankly, that's why I moved out here.

However, if you ever tried snow tires you would realize the huge improvement they are in inclement weather. Whether its needed or not, it's drastically safer having them in the winter.
It has been mild this year so far, but we do get some awesome snow usually a few times a year. If I lived in Maine or one of the far north areas where snow actually stays on the road for more than 1-2 days I would consider a decent snow tire. But here there is no real need. The few major storms we get usually don't hang around long enough to necessitate needing a dedicated snow tire. I just think its ridiculous that people "need" snows and live in relatively moderate climates.
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:56 AM   #85
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How did you get through school?
I see nothing wrong with my post. Troll
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:59 AM   #86
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How did you get through school?
Alright grammar nazi calm down...
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:42 AM   #87
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The whole need for winter tire thing also depends on how much plowing your area does. When the "blizzard" hit Indianapolis last week, there was barely a plow to be seen for the better part of the day. It wasn't until the snow stopped and the damage was done that the plows came out in force. You'd be well served with snow tires if your area has a tendency to just leave roads unplowed. People who live in areas with adequate plowing during and after a snowstorm can probably get about fine on just all seasons. It all depends.
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:03 AM   #88
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The whole need for winter tire thing also depends on how much plowing your area does. When the "blizzard" hit Indianapolis last week, there was barely a plow to be seen for the better part of the day. It wasn't until the snow stopped and the damage was done that the plows came out in force. You'd be well served with snow tires if your area has a tendency to just leave roads unplowed. People who live in areas with adequate plowing during and after a snowstorm can probably get about fine on just all seasons. It all depends.
Good point. This is a map that shows vegetative zones in North America. It can be used as a proxy for cold temperatures and snowfall amounts. Anyone living in one of the blue, dark green or purple areas should probably be using winter tires, or stay home when it snows. The light brown areas are a maybe.

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Old 12-31-2012, 11:55 AM   #89
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I didn't buy "snow" tires, I bought "winter" tires. I don't care if there's snow or not, or if you've been driving 24/7 for the last 50 years. The tires are made different for a reason. If you're not interested in the decreased stopping distance and better handling in the cold/snow, then stick with all seasons. But, I would never recommend it.

IMO, I'm never okay with the phrase "good enough" when it comes to tires on the car I've wanted for a decade. We'll all seen that soccer mom take a corner wayyyy too fast in her surburban in the snow. Am I confident with my ability to drive properly with all-seasons? yes. But, I'd like to do anything I can to avoid other drivers.



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Old 12-31-2012, 11:57 AM   #90
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You don't want to under inflate your tires for the snow. You want to sink down through the snow, onto the pavement.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:02 PM   #91
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If I lived in Maine or one of the far north areas where snow actually stays on the road for more than 1-2 days I would consider a decent snow tire. But here there is no real need. The few major storms we get usually don't hang around long enough to necessitate needing a dedicated snow tire. I just think its ridiculous that people "need" snows and live in relatively moderate climates.
BINGO. Outfit your car for the conditions it's going to be driven in most of the time. For many of us in the US, winter is mild and snow on the roads is minor and only lasts 4 to 8 hours before being removed. On day it might snow 4 inches and be 16 degrees and two days later it's 45 and sunny. For me, snow tires makes absolutely no sense when Kansas City gets around 16 to 22 inches of snow. Yes, I know that snow tires are better in the snow. I also know that a set of high performance all seasons will handle and brake better on dry roads and in 35+ degree temps which are more common in the winter around here than snow packed roads and sub 30 degree temps.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:16 PM   #92
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When the "blizzard" hit Indianapolis last week, there was barely a plow to be seen for the better part of the day. It wasn't until the snow stopped and the damage was done that the plows came out in force.
Which raises the question, why go out in a blizzard if you don't have to? I'd venture to guess 80% of the people on the road during inclement weather really don't need to be out there in the first place.

People are just dumb. If you know inclement weather is approaching, adjust your travel plans accordingly. It's 2012 which means we have the technology to forecast weather in advance quite effectively. If a blizzard is coming, you usually have 2 to 4 days notice. Get your shopping done, see if you can work from home, suspend travel plans for that day, etc. I swear some people just have something to prove driving in crappy weather. The smart ones plan in advance and avoid driving in it entirely.

If I know a snow storm is coming and I MUST be a work, I stay at work late and let all the jerkys clog up the roads and play bumper cars in the afternoon. I let the snow crews do their job and I'm the only one on the road in the evening. I'm more than comfortable with my capabilities driving in the snow. It's the other people I worry about. If a storm hits in the morning, I've planned ahead and will be working from home in the morning, possibly all day.
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:17 PM   #93
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Personally, I think snow tires should be mandatory when any snow or ice is on the roadways, why should everyone else's life be put at risk? Or better yet, why would anyone put their own life at risk by not having them on their car in that weather? Its sort of like hiking up a mountain in the winter without a basic survival kit, or any cold weather gear.
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:27 PM   #94
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Which raises the question, why go out in a blizzard if you don't have to? I'd venture to guess 80% of the people on the road during inclement weather really don't need to be out there in the first place.

People are just dumb. If you know inclement weather is approaching, adjust your travel plans accordingly. It's 2012 which means we have the technology to forecast weather in advance quite effectively. If a blizzard is coming, you usually have 2 to 4 days notice. Get your shopping done, see if you can work from home, suspend travel plans for that day, etc. I swear some people just have something to prove driving in crappy weather. The smart ones plan in advance and avoid driving in it entirely.

If I know a snow storm is coming and I MUST be a work, I stay at work late and let all the jerkys clog up the roads and play bumper cars in the afternoon. I let the snow crews do their job and I'm the only one on the road in the evening. I'm more than comfortable with my capabilities driving in the snow. It's the other people I worry about. If a storm hits in the morning, I've planned ahead and will be working from home in the morning, possibly all day.
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:01 PM   #95
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There are many different tips and tricks to help driving in the snow...tire grip, AWD, experience, throttle, LFB, traction control, and so many more. Had some great all seasons that were nearing the end of their life and got stuck many times. So AWD doesn't matter if your tires don't have grip.

A great set of All seasons are useful if you can't afford a second set of winters but even cheap winter tires will perform better in winter than some of the best all seasons. Studded winter tires are better on ice but not as good on snow/slush as non-studded winters so it depends where you live and what conditions you have. A cheap set of winter wheels and tires will cost less than your collision deductible.

Drive slower, engine brake is better than ABS no matter what anyone says. Once you hit the brakes and the ABS kicks in, you've already lost traction. Learn to heal and toe to downshift if you have to slow down quickly. Give yourself room from the car in front and keep an eye on the car behind you as they can slam into you easily.

I have experience not only driving in the snow but in competition drifting. One thing you learn is that when your back end starts to drift, the Gas is your friend. Stepping on the gas can pull you out of a slide quickly and away from the direction you are sliding too. But this requires traction. Not going to work with crappy tires or if the traction control is on. If you hit the gas and lose throttle then it doesn't matter. The brakes can make it worse and if you don't believe me then try it. Next time the back end slides out hit the brakes and you will more than likely continue sliding.

I've learned not to be an a-hole while driving. I know I've thought I was invincible in my AWD subie and then slid into a curb. It's cheaper to drive safer than replace rims or pay deductible after an accident and feel like an ass. If you wan to fool around just do it safely.

I have an '04 wagon with winter tires that I'm using while my '13 hatch that ive ha for teo weeks and driven a few times sits in the driveway until I get winter tires for it.
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:53 PM   #96
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Just wanted to say thanks to all the clowns in all seasons or summer tires......you all made our insurance rates sky high. PS I could a crap now that I don't have my STi, but thanks!!! LOL
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:22 PM   #97
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BINGO. Outfit your car for the conditions it's going to be driven in most of the time.
And that's the issue right there. Instead of being prepared for the worst conditions, people prepare for the best conditions and wonder why they go in the ditch when it's nasty weather. Saying that is the reason why kids think they can run summers 24/7 in mild winters, not even realizing summer tires are not designed for even moderately cold temps (45 degrees for my summers). After using snow tires in the winter, I will always run snows if I ever have a chance of driving in it. I prepare for the worst conditions and hope for the best.

Of course, for my job I'm not allowed excuses. When it's time to work, I have to be there. Since its at least a 4.5 hour drive to work over mountain passes I try to be prepared as possible for the drive. That's not including trips to NoDak and MN during the winter months. Of course, I've had tons of experience driving in snow. Quite frankly, I really enjoy it at this point. It's a challenge. It's fun.
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:17 PM   #98
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And that's the issue right there. Instead of being prepared for the worst conditions, people prepare for the best conditions and wonder why they go in the ditch when it's nasty weather. Saying that is the reason why kids think they can run summers 24/7 in mild winters, not even realizing summer tires are not designed for even moderately cold temps (45 degrees for my summers). After using snow tires in the winter, I will always run snows if I ever have a chance of driving in it. I prepare for the worst conditions and hope for the best.

Of course, for my job I'm not allowed excuses. When it's time to work, I have to be there. Since its at least a 4.5 hour drive to work over mountain passes I try to be prepared as possible for the drive. That's not including trips to NoDak and MN during the winter months. Of course, I've had tons of experience driving in snow. Quite frankly, I really enjoy it at this point. It's a challenge. It's fun.
Same argument could be made in that snow tires have worse handling and braking in temps above 40. I'll take my chances here in Kansas City where snow is usually removed from the roads within a few hours and rarely does the snow total more than 2 to 4 inches and this might happen 5 to 10 times annually. For here, snow tires are pointless. If I lived in a snowy climate, I'd have snow tires.
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:32 PM   #99
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Valid point. I guess I'm more worried about bad weather than beautiful sunny days.
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Old 01-01-2013, 06:12 PM   #100
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Same argument could be made in that snow tires have worse handling and braking in temps above 40. I'll take my chances here in Kansas City where snow is usually removed from the roads within a few hours and rarely does the snow total more than 2 to 4 inches and this might happen 5 to 10 times annually. For here, snow tires are pointless. If I lived in a snowy climate, I'd have snow tires.
In theory you should be buying tires that suit the worst conditions you are likely to drive in. Winter tires on dry pavement are probably about 95% as good as all-seasons, but all-seasons on snow are probably only about 50% as good as winter tires.
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