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Old 08-09-2003, 10:14 PM   #1
d4d4d4d4
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Default Concerns about STI in snow.

I've seen some people concerned about the STI in the snow.

Any set of all season tires should do just fine in the snow. Some people were questioning where to find winter tires that would fit the rims. I just have one question for ya:

When's the last time you've ever seen a 4wd Subaru with winter tires?.......................................never !

My car has practically bald toyos and it drives through any amount of snow like a bat out of HELL!!

My car has only one locking diff. and it's never lost traction at all! Well, unless I try really hard to make it break. It would seem to me that 3 locking diffs would be WAAAAYYYY superior to mine. The only draw backs of the stock STI are:

- Ground clearance
- Stock road tires

Ground clearance can be overcome by getting a nice skid plate. Any depth of snow can be overcome by going FAST! The car will plane up and ride on the top several inches of snow if the speed is great enough. I once drove my car 20 miles through 1.5 ft of slushy snow. I started out at 10 mph and did nothing but plow snow. I then picked it up to 45 mph and lifted right out of it. It felt like I was on skiis!

I'm sure no US sti owner has been in snow yet, what about you UK folks? Any tips on getting around the white stuff for those of us with STIs? or those of us who will be getting an STI (I hope to get one by this winter)
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Old 08-09-2003, 10:37 PM   #2
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Snow tires are not for going, they are for stopping. No amount of trick diffs, or big brakes matter a whit when it comes to getting the car slowed down.

Dont be foolish, buy real tires if you live in a snow belt or ice belt.

Michael
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Old 08-09-2003, 10:51 PM   #3
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Do what I do.
Save the tire money and buy an Audi 4000 Quattro!

If you think that bald toyo tires are fine than
your "bat out of hell" is way different than mine.
I put snows on my RS but my STI will probably never see snow
not because I think that the salt will ruin the paint but because you need tall and skinny snow tires and that is impossible to put on the STI.
I try to use nothing larger than a 175-75-14
(on an RS you need legacy calipers in the front to use 14" wheels)

Oh and d4d4d4d4,
I hope you carry a towstrap!
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Old 08-09-2003, 11:44 PM   #4
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Default Re: Concerns about STI in snow.

Quote:
Originally posted by d4d4d4d4
...When's the last time you've ever seen a 4wd Subaru with winter tires?.......................................never !

My car has practically bald toyos and it drives through any amount of snow like a bat out of HELL!!
....
This is my third Suby and they all had...will have... snow tires.

If you are running "bald" Toyos and you get through any amount than I can confirm that you are talking out of your a$$...either that or you haven't seen any "real" snow in your life...at least not with your Subaru!

...to everyone else:
please disregard this post! If you have an STi do yourself and your car a favour and get a set of dedicated snow tires if you plan on driving it through the winter!...you will be sorry if you don't!
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Old 08-10-2003, 01:09 AM   #5
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[quotet]I'm sure no US sti owner has been in snow yet,[/quote]

Well there are some people in the US who have driven the STi in snow. I hear it does just fine with winter tires.

re: skid plates --- they can actually be a disadvantage in snow because they turn the car into a sled and it is difficult to stop....

Glenn
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Old 08-10-2003, 01:58 AM   #6
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Just fine, only? The WRX with all -seasons performs brilliantly in the snow. The Sti, I would think, could only be better!
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Old 08-10-2003, 02:58 AM   #7
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I live in Colorado and frequently drive the mountains in the winter and definitely feel that dedicated snow tires are over kill on a Subaru. I've owned 5 Scoobys and on all 5 all I ever ran was a good all season tire and got through the deep stuff fine. Even my WRX with the stock RE92's did pretty good in 12" of the white stuff. If you live in the far north where snow/ice stays on the road from October to March then maybe I can see dedicated snows on the car. For areas where snow falls and melts off quickly resulting in a lot of dry winter days I personally wouldn't want to run on a dedicated snow tire.

Punk
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Old 08-10-2003, 03:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by essogas
Just fine, only? The WRX with all -seasons performs brilliantly in the snow. The Sti, I would think, could only be better!
I was being coy. It hauls the mail.
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Old 08-10-2003, 04:07 AM   #9
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I would have to say that, YES snow tires are going to give you more traction, but on the other hand are not always the best decision for subarus. Like previously stated, snow tires on a Subaru are way over kill for getting around.

Plus, if you live in an area that only sees snow several times a year, studed tires are the very last thing you want on pavement! That's of course if you don't like sparks flying from your tires. A good set of skinny deap tread tires will get you through any snow, period. Don't expect WRC-like snow traction, but do know that you'll keep going forward in the direction you want.

As far as braking goes, I would hope you were driving safe enough in the first place, that you wouln't need that extra 2-5% more grip. When I talk about driving through snow at high speeds, I'm asuming that not another car is in sight and you know the road well enough. On top of that, it helps to not ride in pretracked snow. Believe me, I drive my car into the mountains at least 30 times a year. I reserve the "Bat out of hell" stuff for when I get into high elevation logging roads where I can let it loose.

I now have close to bald tires and a container of never used chains that have been sitting in the trunk for 13 years! I will admit, the tires are looking a bit rough, I'll try out some different toyos I've been checking out. The Proxy T-1 looks choice.
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Old 08-10-2003, 05:24 AM   #10
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i just don't want the BBS rims to be all messed up
lol
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Old 08-10-2003, 11:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by d4d4d4d4
I Like previously stated, snow tires on a Subaru are way over kill for getting around.
They're not. As was opined above, snow tires (with or without studs) make a huge improvement in braking.

Most of the accidents I see here in the NW are due to SUV drivers that figure out they can accelerate hard in snow due to 4WD and then hit something because they can't stop.

Certainly an all season tire will let you "get around" but the extra grip from snow tires is way more than 2% above an all season tire.

Using a Hakka 1 or Q or a Blizzak WS or MZ series provides an bigger margin of safety.

A tire I'll be checking out is the new Blizzak LM22. It seems like a sportier version of the previous MZ series but not as soft and not as good grip on ice, a bit more like the Michelin Arctic Alpins.

http://www.bridgestonetire.com/dpp/g...sproductid=222

Glenn
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Old 08-10-2003, 12:04 PM   #12
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You will have to forgive me if I feel very strongly on this issue. This is because I had to abandon my car in deep snow when I was young and received frost bite injurious trying to find shelter.

All season tires are rated for mild to moderate snow . Here is an excerpt from tire rack. “ If you live at the edge of the snowbelt and infrequently get snow you may want to select an all-season tire.”
( http://www.tirerack.com/tires/knowtire.htm)

I know that in general you can “get by “ with all season tires in snow , However the comment “Winter tires are overkill” is a huge jump in logic and should be ignored by anyone from deep snow
country.

I have driven Subaru’s in snow for over ten years and they do exceptionally well. There is no reason why the STI should not do well. But be aware of the following. Around here the most common car to be found stuck along the sides of the roads are SUV’s and 4 wheel drive vehicles. This is because they tend to be over confident and drive to fast.
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Old 08-10-2003, 12:14 PM   #13
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d4d4d4d4 you are giving some seriously dangerously poor advice and opinions.

Here is an article that was in Car and Driver a few years back:









pay particular attention to this graph:



Note the top blue bar, and the first green bar, that is the same car, an Audi A6 Quattro on snows, and then on allseasons. The braking distance goes from 181feet to 245 feet. Let me help you out here with a little math, that is not a 2 or even 5% difference. In fact it is an 86% difference.

I guess 64 feet is a lot to me.

Michael
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Old 08-10-2003, 12:51 PM   #14
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Not meant to be a flame but all thats been needed to say has been said, i have only two words:

God Complex

My STi is not going to Tahoe (i live in SF area) unless i get a set of dedicated snows. I don't mind changing them out everytime i have to go, its totally for my own safety and the safety of others.
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Old 08-10-2003, 01:38 PM   #15
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I think a big thing people are missing is the type of snow you drive in. Here in CO our snow is pretty dry so it's pretty easy to drive through it. Like Punk said, all seasons do just fine here. They got me through our "Storm of the Century" here in March (6-7 feet in two days)

I'm not too experienced with the cement that falls outside the Rocky Mountain area, but I would imagine it's quite a bit different in the slushy junk the rest of you get. I'm not sure it would warrant dedicated snows though.

josh
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Old 08-10-2003, 02:11 PM   #16
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Thumbs up

The first issue is whether or not there are any "SNOW" tires that fit the size and profile needed for the STI brakes. Anyone have good sources?

The second issue is whether or not you drive in snow EVERY day or just once in a while. If you live in the far north and wish to "RALLY" your car around every day, then by all means get some studed or snow dedicated tires. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that driving too fast will result in the need for better braking, especially where the ground is permanently frozen. If you're like me and drive your car more often on pavement than snow, then you should look into getting a set of chunky treaded tires w/out studs. I had snow tires on my Saab 900s for several years and found that they only helped in certain snow conditions where it was icy like a hockey rink. That's when you need the studs. Even then they don't allow enough studs to give you that much more grip. Even after the studs wore down, the tires still worked just as well. I think driving in snow has more to do with how SOFT and chunky your tires are, apposed to having studs or not. BTW SAABs are the best 2wd open diff vehicle ever made for snow!

The third issue is {Vehicle weight/tire surface area}. My car is somewhat heavy by Subaru standards and has skinny tires 185. I've found that I get the best all around wintertime performance by keeping a pump and air gauge in my trunk (yes my wagon does have a trunk I made myself). Stiff for the streets, soft for the snow. That's how 99.9999999% of the Subaru owners do it out here. Just about every Outback I see has the stock tires in the snow and I've never seen one stuck in a ditch! I have seen plenty of SUVs ditched though. BTW If you didn't notice, I live in Subaru ski central. Just about 1 out of 3 cars is a Subie and never have I seen anyone willing to bear the burden of studs on pavement. I've driven with my freind up to Whistler/Blackcomb (ski resort) in his heavily MODed RS. Suspension and tire sizing is almost identical to the Sti. He drove up there every weekend and never once lost control, even when pushing it on icy parkinglots. If his RS can do that on allseasons, then I would think the STI could do even better with any all season tire.

Remember that Subarus are not SUVs! Just because they have AWD doesn't mean they are subject to the same factors as a large SUV. SUVs often have oversized tires where as Subarus have much smaller tires to weight ratio. Here in Washington, people commute and travel through our 6(?) mountain passes every day. The state has done testing on different vehicles to rate which ones perform best on non-snow tires and chains. When the snow starts dumping in the passes, the Highway patrol closes the roads to all vehicles without studed snow tires or chains. Only AWD Subarus are allowed to pass with stock tires even when the patrol requires EVERY other vehicle (including 4x4's with big nobby tires) to stop and apply chains!!

I'm not trying to give any foolish advise here, just trying to show the options available to Subie owners. As stated before, a studed tire that sees 80-90% pavement is just as foolish as getting summer slicks for 90-100% snow driving. My car is by no means a screamer compared to other subies, but it does get me around rather efficiently in the white stuff with all season radials. I could improve my car's snow ablitity slightly by getting studs, but that doesn't outwiegh how crappy they are for road use!

FLAME SHIELD-------->ON
I should've put this on earlier! hehe
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Old 08-10-2003, 02:37 PM   #17
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Josh- Interesting. I don't think I've ever driven my car through any powder. The snow we get out here is usually heavy/slushy or plain bulletproof ICE. The thick sluchy stuff is a breeze to get through with regular tires as long as you don't get too deep and lift all 4 wheels off the ground. I've had the most slipping occur in ICY ski resort parking lots (if you've ever been to Crystal mtn, you know what I mean), even then not really in any dangerous amounts, just when I step on the gas or brakes too hard. As far as hitting untracked freshie snow on logging roads, it doesn't matter what tire you have at all. In deep heavy snow, your tires act like skiis and rely on the sidewall rather than the bottom tread to make you turn. I amazed at how well driving in fresh snow works!! Too much fun! We've tried skiiing behind the Subie with a rope before, but gave up because the car exhaust doesn't make for a very fun time.

The reason I drive on so many logging roads is because we use my Subie as a chair lift. There are many areas here in WA that get snow on a good year, so we go up the mountain and find an open hill with a road leading up it. By far much more fun than paying $40 each for lift tickets and on top of that we hit fresh tracks all day long.
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Old 08-10-2003, 02:47 PM   #18
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[quote]Originally posted by d4d4d4d4
[b]The first issue is whether or not there are any "SNOW" tires that fit the size and profile needed for the STI brakes. Anyone have good sources?

Nokian makes a Hakkapeliita 2 in 225/45/17. If you really need dedicated snows.
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Old 08-10-2003, 04:22 PM   #19
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Well I live in North East Pennsylvania,My whole family me included use snow tires.I learned the difference between snow tires and all seasons by putting Nokian Hakkapallittas on my 1986 5000cs turbo Quattro (Audi).On hills in the mountains when someone stops dead on a hill in front of you and you have to stop and then start from a dead stop on the hill and pass the car that is stuck or spinning his tires in front of you,snow tires make a world of diifference.With snow tires it stays straight and does not spin plus you can pass that car in front of you faster.I would rather spend the money on snow tires and feel more secure.I travel 90 miles 1 way to work through the poconos and on interstate 80 into Jersy and when I am coming home late at night in the dark snow coming down in white out conditions I want all the traction I can get.Also the nokians run really good on dry pavement.Also alot of rear drive BMW use them around here and they do all right.After paying 29000 for an sti and 750 for insuranse,I will pay for snow tires too.Some insurance will not pay out if you do not have snow tires on during a storm and you get in an accident.Be smart get the snow tires if you drive in snow any kind of snow,Its just another required exspenses is the way I look at it!! Matt (just my opinion and advice the manual says so too)
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Old 08-10-2003, 05:20 PM   #20
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The car mag. article was a good one and is factual on the stopping distances and handling in deep snow. So, if you experience driving in snow on a regular basis, or live in an area where it's the last place that sees a snow plow then by all means get snow tires.
Alot depends on how long it takes the roads to be cleared. I've never had snow tires on any car since the late 1960's. All season tires seem to be the better investment and will not wear hard as snow tires do on tarmac. One factor is actually; how much FUN do you plan on having driving in the snow? Some folks cannot wait until the snow falls so they can go out and have a ball skidding in the white stuff. To those folks, I'd say, get the snow tires. The other type of driver usually wants to just drive through the stuff w/o any difficulties, taking it easy, and arriving at the destination a little later than usual.
When I have to drive in the snow there is a minimum amount of folks on the road. I've never really had much of a problem even on street tires (oem), but when I did get stuck a shovel works wonders to free-up the car.
The type of tire always seems to come down to personal prefference.
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Old 08-10-2003, 05:30 PM   #21
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My experience with snow tires on a Subaru came courtesy of my now-departed '98 Legacy GT wagon. Chicago was getting slammed, and my "all-season" Pirelli P7000s were not cutting it. I called around until I found a tire joint with Blizzaks in stock, and drove the car over.

Coming out of the parking lot, my first thought was "the salt trucks have been busy," because starting, turning and stopping were absolutely drama-free. The car just did what you told it to. It wasn't a question of needing to control excess speed, as much as it was that extra margin of safety that can be the difference between your deductible taking a hit, or a smooth, sure stop.

As I drove home, watching the other cars (including some Subarus...Evanston is quite the Scooby hotbed) slide around, and knowing how secure and sure-footed my car was, made me convinced that I will never go through another winter without snows on my Subaru. I put snows on my WRX wagon, and it was a fabulous car.

No matter how careful you are, no matter how much distance you leave, there will be someone who has been trying to get traction for a few minutes and now that they have it, aren't about to stop for you, the person who brakes too late for the intersection and slides on through, etc, etc.

The braking and turning aspects of snow tire performance are exceptional. And snows don't wear that particularly hard, unless you drive like a fiend in the dry. My Blizzaks got four seasons out of them (running from Dec. to mid-April), before finally showing significant wear. This year, I'll try some of the speed-rated Blizzaks.

IMHO, if you live where it snows, get snow tires. They're cheaper than your deductible, should you need them and not have them.

Kevin
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Old 08-10-2003, 09:11 PM   #22
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Having driven in snow every winter for over 20 years, I find it surprising some of the things being said about winter tires.

Given same tires, an AWD vehicle can't stop any faster than a 2WD vehicle. It also can't turn any safer in coasting / no throttle maneuver. The stopping distance for a dedicated winter tire are 25% shorter than your typical all-season, and 50% shorter for a studded tire. Likewise, speeds at which turns can be made without loosing grip are higher.

Everyone pretty much accepts that the "all season M+S" tire rating didn't mean much anyways. North America has always been behind when it came to winter tire ratings. Now there is a more recent rating for severe snow, which has the "Mountain / Snowflake" symbol on it.

When roads are restricted due to snow on Alberta and BC highways, they are looking to see if you have the severe snow tire rating, not if you have a Subaru or not.

The people saying "you shouldn't be driving so fast that you need snow tires" are missing the point. The point is road conditions and traffic are unpredictable, especially in the mountains, where all it takes is a oncoming car to swerve into your lane, or a deer or elk to bound across the road, to cause a severe accident or worse. You can never predict what other drivers or wildlife are going to do.

Same could be said for insurance. You're all driving with insurance (I hope) and nobody says "Well you shouldn't be driving in a manner that requires you to have insurance". That's exactly what snow tires are, insurance. Overkill? I'd rather have overkill on the car than someone needlessly killed because they weren't willing to buy snow tire "insurance".

Nobody is saying buying insurance or snow tires is license to drive like an idiot. But just because you drive safe doesn't mean you don't need insurance.

Not wanting to have to change tires for winter is understandable. For myself, I keep a second set of wheels already mounted with winter tires which makes it more convenient. And I always keep a set of tire chains in the car.

But for people who insist on not changing tires for winter, there are high milage "4 season" tires that have the M+S and severe snow Mountain / Snowflake ratings as well, like the Nokian WR.


Transport Canada

Winter Tires

Accident Investigator here in Calgary

Also check out the other links on that page.
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Old 08-10-2003, 11:36 PM   #23
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Just picked up my STi Saturday, living in Wisconsin, without a doubt will be putting snows on come late Nov/early December. Dealer rec was Blizzaks w/inexpensive rims. Small price to pay for extra measure of grip. Hope those other morons out there don't crack me up though, will probably take my F150 out most of time. Really looking forward to feel my STi in some power slides though!

75 miles down, 925 to go!
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Old 08-10-2003, 11:42 PM   #24
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Default Re: Concerns about STI in snow.

Quote:
Originally posted by d4d4d4d4
I've seen some people concerned about the STI in the snow.

Any set of all season tires should do just fine in the snow. Some people were questioning where to find winter tires that would fit the rims. I just have one question for ya:

When's the last time you've ever seen a 4wd Subaru with winter tires?.......................................never !

My car has practically bald toyos and it drives through any amount of snow like a bat out of HELL!!

My car has only one locking diff. and it's never lost traction at all! Well, unless I try really hard to make it break. It would seem to me that 3 locking diffs would be WAAAAYYYY superior to mine. The only draw backs of the stock STI are:

- Ground clearance
- Stock road tires

Ground clearance can be overcome by getting a nice skid plate. Any depth of snow can be overcome by going FAST! The car will plane up and ride on the top several inches of snow if the speed is great enough. I once drove my car 20 miles through 1.5 ft of slushy snow. I started out at 10 mph and did nothing but plow snow. I then picked it up to 45 mph and lifted right out of it. It felt like I was on skiis!

I'm sure no US sti owner has been in snow yet, what about you UK folks? Any tips on getting around the white stuff for those of us with STIs? or those of us who will be getting an STI (I hope to get one by this winter)

Since you live in Seattle and don't really know what snow is, unless you travel to the mountains- which still isn't like driving on frozen roads from Nov-April; I can see why you've never seen a subaru with snow tires. There's not point for anyone in the northwest to even get winter tires. Any tire will work fine when going to the moutains on the well plowed/sanded roads.

I have has two years experience in the bad winter conditions that North Dakota offers. I drove on Blizzaks last winter. They are simply amazing. At first I didn't think they were good, but after I switched back to my summer tires in April and it snowed once agian, I then saw how much blizzaks helped.

I find it funny how all these ***** people in the Northwest (portland/seattle) get studded tires. I just don't understand it. It snows maybe once every 5 years and when it does we get like 1 inch. It rarley gets below freezing, yet I still see stupid asses running studs. And I know they don't go up into the mountains.

Enough ranting. Blizzaks = money well invested~!

Last edited by Mach; 08-10-2003 at 11:47 PM.
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Old 08-11-2003, 12:16 AM   #25
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After doing much research I decided to go with winter tires instead of all-seasons (Dunlop Winter Sport M2s on bronze Rota SDRs). I will be moving to Northwest PA for a period of 9 months starting in October, and I think that it's the best choice for an area that receives a decent amount of snow/ice.

Although I've driven in snow quite a few times, I'm from the Los Angeles/Southern California area where there isn't much around... The winter tires are just added insurance for someone like me who hasn't been through a whole season of snow.

Plus, I'll have a set of 18x8" British Black Prodrive GC-010s with 235/40/18 S-03s waiting for me when I get back.

-Mike-
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