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Old 10-08-2002, 08:09 PM   #1
nukeyfish
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Join Date: Jun 2001
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Question Do I need snow tires in Detroit??

Yes, this is going to be my first winter here in Detroit,MI. Do I need snow tires? If I do, I would like to know what kind you guys have. I am thinking about 15 inch with 195/65/15. Thanks for your help.
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Old 10-08-2002, 08:15 PM   #2
tokigiracing
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Yes, you will most definitely need snow tires, especially if you are still running on re92s. I have a set of all season Dunlop SP 5000 Sports 225/50 and love them, they handle great on the snow and pavement.
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Old 10-08-2002, 08:47 PM   #3
beethoven
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I depends on what you have on now. The RE92's will get you by. I'm also running the SP 5000's which make for mucho fun in the winter plus they aren't too bad during that other season....
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Old 10-08-2002, 09:09 PM   #4
Safir
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Yes, based upon my memory of your car you will need a second set of either snow tires or good all-season tires for the winter.

if price is an issue, hodges usually has a set of stock WRX take-offs with new RE-92's for abotu $400 that would get you through the winter, otherwise i would suggest hitting up discount tire or tire rack for a set of snow/ice tires and wheels
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Old 10-08-2002, 09:39 PM   #5
MrHorspwer
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What a bunch of sissies. We got like 6" of snow all last year. If my memory serves me correct, 3-4" was the largest single snowfall last year. I fired up the snow-blower twice... and one of those times was because I couldn't find the shovel. I drove around on my RE92's just fine all winter... including a half dozen(or more) trips up north. I'm gonna drive around again this winter on the same RE92's... with the same number of trips to the north. Everyone around here acts like we get alot of snow or somthing. Funny thing... my fiancee is from Gaylord where average snowfall is 175" per year. Both her mom and dad commute to work approx 30 miles every day in FWD vehicles. I inquired to them about snow tires and they answered my quesiton with a questions... "Why?". Just for the record, Detroit recieves an average 41" of snow per year... my fiancee laughs when I say we have a snowstorm that dumps anything less than 18". I just got my Tire Rack ad this afternoon... $500 to drive around with snow tires on perfectly dry pavement most of the winter. RE-92's should last you pretty well for 2 winters if you drive sanely. Get yourself a tread depth gauge and take a quick measurement. If your tires are less than 6/32's(as per Tire Racks guidelines... take that with a grain of salt IMO, they ARE in the business of selling tires), replace them for winter duty. When I bald mine down, I am definatly getting something else... probibly SP5000's or KDWS's.
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Old 10-09-2002, 12:11 AM   #6
JC
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RE92s are fine. Snow is not the problem, ice is. I run snow tires just for piece of mind. I certainly wouldn't run summer tires.

JC
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Old 10-09-2002, 12:11 AM   #7
hillman
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The reason you need snow tires in a place like Detroit, or Chicago, if you are going to drive in snow, is not the depth of the snow, or the average annual snowfall. It is the density of knuckleheads sliding around on bald "4 for $99 Pep Boys specials".

Places like Gaylord, or where I grew up in New York, may get far more snow, but they have drastically lower densities of /other drivers/ sliding at or into you.

It doesn't take much skill to limp around on "whatever" tires in even deep snow. It is very difficult to do anything but hang-on and hope when faced with an emergency manuever on those tires in snow. That isn't going to happen often out in the country, but in populated areas, it'll happen frequently.

If you don't mind becoming just a passenger at that point, by all means skimp on winter tires.
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Old 10-09-2002, 08:59 AM   #8
Hawk296
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Up until last winter I drove RWD cars on summer tires. THe RX-7 was a bloody pain but never got me stuck. The supra got me stuck a few times because the tires were bald, it still was a challange after new tires but i got around. So technically, no you dont need them. However, I now have an AWD impreza and I run the stock 14s with dunlop Graspics in the winter. I go to school in traverse city where we do get quite a bit more snow. Ive never felt so safe. There have been a few evergency situations that I survived with no harm that would have been unavoidable without traction. I chose the Graspics because they were an excellent deep snow tire. you might want something thats better in ice though. Ide say if you have the extra money, definatly do it. For my 14" wheels, my snow tires were $50 a tire.
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Old 10-09-2002, 09:56 AM   #9
Safir
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I never got STUCK with my P-zero's fr the couple snows i had them... but i had some damn close calls... even AWD cant help if your tires wont hold onto the surface you're on, and while we don't get a whole lot of snow in the detroit area, parking lots, and sometiems streets, tend to ice over. I've found myself spinning all four tires sliding sideways trying to move on my P-zeros.. and scraped the hell out of the lip of one of my P1's the otehr time i tried to drive like that in bad winter weather. A good all-season tire is good, but a dedicated snow tire is best.

you'll want a second set of wheels anyways, so you dont get your volks all yucky in the salt and **** so you may as well get snow tires on them. then you can use them for rallying as well
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Old 10-09-2002, 11:13 AM   #10
LyveWRX
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Default No way I'd spend the money

After living in the UP, (houghton), for several years; I will say that hakka's or blizakks are the way to go if you really want great snow and ice performance

However really in detroit I think that they are just overkill and your money would be better spent on good quality all-season tires.

Really the roads I drive on every day, fort, jefferson, I75, I 94, I96, etc... really had little snow on them last winter and this winter I expect that there will be just the 2-5 times when I would consider the snow tires an advantage

When I had blizzaks on my Jetta, I found that the dry/wet performance was lacking due to the number of sipes, they feel really squishy... I would think that for the # of days where the roads are rather dry and the fact that most detroiters drive like :monkey: anyway, the wet and dry performace will have a much higher statistical adavantage of saving your car....


nick
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Old 10-09-2002, 11:23 AM   #11
Safir
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'eh the snow tire "squish" just takes a little getting used to, ask FreeBMW, he and I had it down to a science last winter

All valid points, all i'm saying is that if you're going to have a second set of wheels/tyred for the winter, they may as well be winter tires, for the 3-5 days you REALLY need them. When I went up to boyne i REALLY appreciated them getting there (2-3 feet of snow a couple days before apparently...) and even got to have some extra fun because i had the extra traction. I maintain that a good all-season tire is good enough, but if youre buying a second set of tires anyways you may as well get a dedicated winter tire.
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Old 10-09-2002, 03:49 PM   #12
LyveWRX
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Default Can see your point...

yea you may be right, definately an exciting advantage if you happen to have some time to play in the snow....

or (hint) If you plan on going to Sno*Drift, or even driving in Son of Snow drift in jan. (end hint)

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Old 10-09-2002, 04:57 PM   #13
Dan00Hawk
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Lightbulb Siping tires

Well, I'm trying a slightly different route. I've got my stock RE92's sitting on the stock wheels in the garage while I'm running my summer tires/wheels. So I took all 4 RE92's over to the local Discount Tires and got them siped for $10 each. I checked out the machine they use, and it just goes around the tire leaving small cuts about every 1/4 inch, but leaves the outtermost treadblocks intact. You can hardly even see the slits on the tires, but they are there, and go all the way down to about the 4/32nd level.

I saw no reason to get rid of the perfectly good RE92's for dedicated snow tires when I could get this done for a good value.

I did a brief search on "tire siping" on google, and came up with some interesting independent tests that made me think it would be a good idea.

They probably won't be as effective as a dedicated ice/snow tire like a Blizzak, but they will be better than a typical all season tire now. And for $40, I think it's a good investment.

We can do some of our own independent brake testing this winter for comparison purposes, and see which tires give the best stopping distances on the same weighted comparison vehicles. Frozen lake anyone?
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Old 10-09-2002, 10:04 PM   #14
SlideWRX
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If you're running on Summer tires, definitely get some additional tires. I'm just going back to the RE-92's for winter.

For five years I survived in houghton (350" of snow the worst year) with a POS escort with generic all season tires.

Detroit has just enough snow to be annoying, not enough to be fun. It is usually slush by mid-day.

Tom
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Old 10-10-2002, 12:51 AM   #15
RSarte
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RE-92s suck!! if you have them and don't wanna spend money, that's your call, but once, on lite snow, I tried to stop slowly 20ft away from a stop sign and I kept sliding! Dry and wet, they are ok, but i'm glad I don't have them anymore.
I just got 215/45/17 Sumitomo HTR+'s mounted on the P1s and they are nice! Can't wait for rain or snow to see how good they are. Tirerack rated them well and are soo much cheaper than the Bridgestone RE-950s I was thinking about getting. They are compareably rated almost the same, with the HTR+'s having a slight edge on snow traction than the RE-950s. But for the price...HTR+'s all the way.
One set of tires I personally, do recommend are Dunlop SP5000s! I drove my friend's Protege 5 in the worst snowstorm last year (6"+ of snow and strong winds that made it hard to see 10ft infront of you) coming from chicago, and those tires were freakin awesome. Just for fun, I even tried to make them slip at a rest area we stopped at, and they were holding on. I even told my friends that if I was driving my RS with the RE-92s, we would have been f*cked and I probably would have had a nervous breakdown.

**BTW..anyone want to buy a set of used Kumho 712s (215/45/17) for next summer? cheap!** PM me if you are interested...

Last edited by RSarte; 10-10-2002 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 10-10-2002, 07:11 AM   #16
Safir
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wait a minute... you think the RE92's suck in the snow so you bought HTR+'s? and in 215?

soon to be FS: 2001 RS with light front end damage "AWD sucks, i cant even drive in the snow"
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Old 10-10-2002, 11:15 AM   #17
RSarte
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HTR+ are all-season, but I guess you didn't know that. You are probably thinking regular HTRs and yes RE-92s does suck. If you have a problem with me saying that..
Don't worry, I'll be careful with my car, if that concerns you.
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Old 10-10-2002, 11:20 AM   #18
Safir
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HTR+ is a high performance all season... all i'm saying is dont expect them to be much if any better in snow than re92's especially with a wider section width.
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Old 10-10-2002, 12:16 PM   #19
RSarte
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I got you. but with my experience...this was from a 10mph or less creep up to a stop sign and when I hit the brakes...the freaking RE-92s had no grip!! This was with less than 1 inch of snow and I slid for about 5-10ft pass the sign! Luckily no one was coming in from any direction. Also, this was when the tires still had at least 80-90% thread left.
I'm just throwing this out as a warning. No one has to believe me, but I ain't buying them again.
As far as the HTR+'s are concern, the 215's are what fits the P1s so I have no choice , if only they made 215 sized Dunlop SP5000s I would have been the happiest camper around.

BTW, Safir thanks for the info on the CF hood.
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Old 10-10-2002, 01:54 PM   #20
nukeyfish
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Thanks for your opinions. I still cannot decide what to get. Here are some choices.

a) Get cheap 15 inch steel or legacy alloy + all season tires used $300

b) Get Speedline 15inch rally wheels + good brand new snow tires(or good all season tires)
$1200

c) Get 16inch WRX wheels + mount RE92 I have in storage.
$300?

I'd like to go with plan B, but still thinking why I pay $200 for one rim for 15inch while I can get 17inch OZ SL for $250....
Tough decision....
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Old 10-10-2002, 02:12 PM   #21
Safir
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it comes down to how much $$ you're willing to put forth, whether you plan on hitting up any off-road events this summer, and how important to you that your car look pretty over the winter
I still maintain that you should get a set of snow tires whatever you do, they'll do you good in the winter and also do well in any mud/gravel driving you do.
If you dont' plan on seeing any dirt/mud a good set of all-season tires will do you the best on dry pavement, which is most of waht you will see over the winter, and will wear the longest.

what about a cheap set of technomags or rotas? they can be had for usually less than $400/4 in 15 or 16" sizing and can get the "rally" or "tuner" look depending what you want to go for.

Hondaslayer or Imprezme will have to verify, but i don't think hodges has any WRX take-offs on hand anymore if you wanted to go that route... They can probabbly be had elsewhere though.
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