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Old 09-12-2018, 01:27 PM   #1
SirBrass
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Default Tire & wheel recommendations for the winter

Being new to NEPA and having only moved here at the end of 2nd Winter 2018 (mid March), I have no idea what to expect.

I've spent my entire post-college adult life (2007-2018) till March of this year in the Southwest, where Summer tires are the effective all-season tires.

So, with us looking at getting me into a 2019 WRX, it'll already come with good summer tires.

My question is: what should I do for winter? I want to take this car to the track for HPDE during the spring/summer/fall, and A/S tires aren't the best for those, and the car comes with good summer tires already.

I'm a complete n00b when it comes to equipping for winter weather. I can drive in snow (I've done it a few times, and knew how to stay safe, just couldn't drive fast ... at all, but that's okay), but equipping a performance car for cold weather and occasional snow, I have no clue on.

Assistance from veteran winter road warriors in the area, what weather should I expect to be driving in soon and what should my car be wearing for shoes?
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Old 09-12-2018, 02:16 PM   #2
vlad11591
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New Jersey/PA snow is the worst. Major highways are never paved/citys/streets. Expect it in random times throughout December-late February.

I got my car with summer tires thinking they were all seasons, (dealer didn't tell me ****) and drove the car in 3 ft of snow last year with summer tires. It was not fun at all, and pretty dangerous.

I would recommend getting winter tires going into November. You should really get them when temp goes under 40 degrees. I've looked at Blizzaks , but they seem to be pretty expensive. Looking at buying used on the forums.

Best advice is check tire rack for winter tires, read the reviews, and deliver to a shop you're comfortable with. I ran OEM rims last winter, and the salt didn't eat up the rims too bad. They still look pretty good. I would recco getting a set of cheap rims though to preserve OEM's. Or use OEM's if you're going a different set up for summer.
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Old 09-12-2018, 04:39 PM   #3
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There's some firestones nearby, and when I was in CA and AZ, I loved patronizing Discount Tire. DT had prices that were extremely competitive with Tire Rack, and their tires came with road hazard protection as part of the cost instead of as an additional charge like TR had.

Plus, if they didn't have it in stock then they could order it.

Should I look to run a narrower tire than what comes stock on the stock 18's?

For cost reasons, I'd like to run 17's. What dimensions on the 17" rims should I get, and what size tire? I'll need a taller sidewall to have the same overall diameter as the stock 18's.
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Old 09-12-2018, 04:46 PM   #4
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I recommend Michelin x-ice Xi3 but you can pay a little extra and get the Michelin Alpin Pa4 if you don't wanna sacrifice as much performance
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Old 09-12-2018, 04:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by standardtranny View Post
I recommend Michelin x-ice Xi3 but you can pay a little extra and get the Michelin Alpin Pa4 if you don't wanna sacrifice as much performance
Tire & rim sizes?
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Old 09-12-2018, 05:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by SirBrass View Post
Tire & rim sizes?
I'm using the OEM 18" wheels
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Old 09-12-2018, 08:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by standardtranny View Post
I'm using the OEM 18" wheels
So, you have aftermarket wheels for the summer, or you have someone just take the tires on and off the wheels each season?
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Old 09-13-2018, 10:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirBrass View Post
There's some firestones nearby, and when I was in CA and AZ, I loved patronizing Discount Tire. DT had prices that were extremely competitive with Tire Rack, and their tires came with road hazard protection as part of the cost instead of as an additional charge like TR had.

Plus, if they didn't have it in stock then they could order it.

Should I look to run a narrower tire than what comes stock on the stock 18's?

For cost reasons, I'd like to run 17's. What dimensions on the 17" rims should I get, and what size tire? I'll need a taller sidewall to have the same overall diameter as the stock 18's.
Research on Tire Rack for winter packages, you can even specify different diameter rims.
See what they show and then check local.
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Old 09-13-2018, 02:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie-III View Post
Research on Tire Rack for winter packages, you can even specify different diameter rims.
See what they show and then check local.
That's actually exactly what I've been doing. But what I didn't know was what kind of winter weather this area sees: lots of snow and some ice, or if it was more wet snow slush.

Talked with some folks at work today about that (I work in Endicott, NY). They said the area gets random crap during the winter, but mostly the wet snow slushy kind with only 1 or 2 deep snows.

I have the Pirelli performance snows saved in TR on a 17" rim with base model dimensions (17x8 wheels, & 235/40R17 tires). I may decide on xIce's though.
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:19 PM   #10
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Frankly, my weather is yours.
I am also a skier, so snowfall......I am heading to the slopes!

My wife's Tib is FWD, she runs DWS with no issues here, but she works from home so can skip days.
Her old 99 Impreza L wagon, I had decent 9 month tires on "+1's" and Blizzacks on the OEM steelies 15" since she was driving the kidlets around.
She also knows how to drive.

I say a good UHP AS tire and AWD (if you understand limitations) are likely fine.
Extra margin, second set of snow tires on steelies, go narrow for grip, run when needed.

Sorta depends on......
Your REAL skill.
How important MUST you get somewhere when crappy out.
What is your confidence level?

As stated, I am a skier, so snow is a given.
I used to teach snow driving as a sideline decades ago.
When I have issues driving, frankly, most shouldn't be driving, leave it to the plows.
I drove a coworker from near Hartford, CT to NNJ into a blizzard. On a twisty hilly road, he asked about tires and AWD.
I stopped at the bottom of a hill, said, "hold on", launched uphill and went through the gears.
No traffic, slowed at the top since gravity would hurt me on the other side.

Over the decades and AWD, I have run Yokohama AVS U +4, Dunlop SP sport 5000 AS, Pirelli P0Nero M&S, Conti Extreme DWS.
Most tire changes were due to size discontinued or model dropped.

Most decisions were based on TireRack research as well as a few local drivers.

I gave my $1.00, still your decision.
Post here or PM.

Last edited by Charlie-III; 09-18-2018 at 01:04 PM. Reason: OEM steelies on wife's Impreza was 15", not 16", fix typo.
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Old 09-14-2018, 08:34 AM   #11
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I'd like a set of Max Performance or Extreme Performance summers for the 3 seasons, because I intend to take this car to the track for HPDE 2-3 times a year considering the plethora of tracks in the ares (Watkins Glen is only 1.5 hr drive from work).

The bridgestone all seasons on the CX5 I'm driving right now did OKAY when 2nd winter hit right as I moved up to the area. However, I had a major incident with them when we were driving this vehicle in December/January when we took it from VA to Indy when that winter storm blew through. We were going through Dayton when it hit, and on the interstate, I lost almost all confidence in my felt grip on the tires at speeds above 40, even though folks were going by me well above that.

Then when heading to church one Sunday in indy, I started to slow for a light which controlled access to the street from an off-ramp as well as the through-traffic I was part of. I began to slow to a stop about 100 ft ahead, as the road was unploughed, but had drive-tracks carved out, and the surface was salted. I was going about 20mph at the beginning of the braking.

Almost immediately ABS kicked on, and I could feel the car getting zero traction on all 4 wheels (CX5 is awd, btw). Wife and baby girl in the vehicle with me, btw. I slid straight into that intersection, and only luck, me staying calm, and last ditch use of the hand brake helped me stop. Stupid off-ramp traffic didn't even LOOK to see that when they got a green light, my CX-5 was busy sliding into their turn path. These cars seriously need much louder horns. They barely missed me, didn't even glance up at my honking, and never saw me despite missing me by inches.

This happened on good A/S tires.

I'm no skiier. Last time I went skiing was right after I'd turned 19. I'm almost 35 now. Blue square slopes almost killed me a few times. I knew better than to try black diamonds.

A/S will work fine in VA where I grew up. But here, no thanks. I need something that can help keep me on the road if I do my part when it's slushy and icy, not squirm around on dry roads or wet roads in the cold, and do okay if I have to begin my drive by pushing through a few inches of unploughed snow for a few miles before hitting pavement which will most likely have had drive lines carved out if not already ploughed.
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Old 09-17-2018, 10:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirBrass View Post
So, you have aftermarket wheels for the summer, or you have someone just take the tires on and off the wheels each season?
Yes I have RPF1's with Michelin PS4's for the warm months
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Old 09-18-2018, 01:14 PM   #13
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SirBrass, I posted my comments before on what I had my wife on as well as myself.
Best bet is ALWAYS 2 sets of mounted and balanced wheels/tire. Swap just before first snow, swap later on in spring.

Since your weather is about mine, I still say Conti Extreme Contact DWS-06 (new version) could cover you year round.
Maybe do them, and a 2nd set of rims for track days with track oriented tires.
Perfect world, 3 whole sets of rims/tires.
DD 9 month
DD 3 month
Track day.

Who has the room or money?

Fast, cheap, reliable, pick 2.
Enough space and money, have the "tool" for the mission.
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Old 09-18-2018, 03:07 PM   #14
vlad11591
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QQ

should you typically be running smaller size tires in the winter?
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Old 09-18-2018, 03:34 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie-III View Post
SirBrass, I posted my comments before on what I had my wife on as well as myself.
Best bet is ALWAYS 2 sets of mounted and balanced wheels/tire. Swap just before first snow, swap later on in spring.

Since your weather is about mine, I still say Conti Extreme Contact DWS-06 (new version) could cover you year round.
Maybe do them, and a 2nd set of rims for track days with track oriented tires.
Perfect world, 3 whole sets of rims/tires.
DD 9 month
DD 3 month
Track day.

Who has the room or money?

Fast, cheap, reliable, pick 2.
Enough space and money, have the "tool" for the mission.
Fair enough. Wife wants snow tires for the Outback as well, and A/S for the other 3 seasons. She's insisting on snow tires, too. We talked about it recently and she was adamant to not have A/S's on the outback when the snow hit. I'm thinking x-ice xi3's would probably be the best bang for the buck there. Especially with treadwear warranty and cost is almost the same as Blizzaks.

So, we'll be having to buy 3 sets of tires soon (the winters that the outback came with are almost worn out, since we live on a dirt and gravel road, and b/c a bridge is still closed and not being worked on a month after the recent flooding, we have to drive about 2.5 miles on dirt and gravel to get to paved road, instead of driving only 1/4 mile): winters for the outback, winters or A/S for the WRX (which will swap with the Outback as vehicle which resides in the garage), and then A/S's for the Outback in the Spring.

Set of track-oriented wheels and tires are going to be going against the "mods" budget, unfortunately (I hate having to be the CFO for the family, so when we got married I gleefully turned that over to my wife. I accepted then that I'd never be able to hide an expensive purchase from her, though. I'll still make jokes to the contrary, however ), and I also want to get that stock tune off asap.

Last edited by SirBrass; 09-18-2018 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 09-18-2018, 04:11 PM   #16
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Default 2016 wrx tire selection

I live in Tucson,az. Any recommendations on what tires I should have on my 2016 WRX. W/ stock suspension and rims?
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Old 09-18-2018, 04:45 PM   #17
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I live in Tucson,az. Any recommendations on what tires I should have on my 2016 WRX. W/ stock suspension and rims?
Ask in the appropriate subforum.

However, as a former long-time Phoenix resident, you will be just fine running Max performance summer tires all year round.

With stock wheels and suspension, go with OEM tire dimensions and run Michelin Pilot Sport 4's. There's other options, but PS4s are the successor to the Pilot Super Sports, which were the top notch daily driver summer tire. Absolutely phenomenal grip and great tread life as well.
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Old 09-30-2018, 11:08 PM   #18
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I wouldn't spend a dime on Blizzak's, again ... One set was enough wasted money..

Luckily, I had a long track record before, during, and after, the Blizzak's..
with...

General Altimax Arctic's... (I haven't tried a set of the new, 12's)

Save the money and the effort and enjoy the confidence, of driving on General Arctic's!
I'll gladly give more info, experiences, and pictures.. If wanted...

Hi Charlie!!!
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Old 10-03-2018, 02:33 PM   #19
Charlie-III
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canez17 View Post
I live in Tucson,az. Any recommendations on what tires I should have on my 2016 WRX. W/ stock suspension and rims?
Sorta depends, staying nearby, next quoted post is likely fine.
Go skiing or similar, maybe 2 sets of mounted tires.
Otherwise, yes, maybe decent all season or add M&S to the rating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SirBrass View Post
Ask in the appropriate subforum.

However, as a former long-time Phoenix resident, you will be just fine running Max performance summer tires all year round.

With stock wheels and suspension, go with OEM tire dimensions and run Michelin Pilot Sport 4's. There's other options, but PS4s are the successor to the Pilot Super Sports, which were the top notch daily driver summer tire. Absolutely phenomenal grip and great tread life as well.
Again, depends on total mission statement. If he stays in the area, your suggestion may be great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winnerone23 View Post
I wouldn't spend a dime on Blizzak's, again ... One set was enough wasted money..

Luckily, I had a long track record before, during, and after, the Blizzak's..
with...

General Altimax Arctic's... (I haven't tried a set of the new, 12's)

Save the money and the effort and enjoy the confidence, of driving on General Arctic's!
I'll gladly give more info, experiences, and pictures.. If wanted...

Hi Charlie!!!
What was wrong with Blizzaks?
We ran them on my wife's 99 Impreza L for 3 months/year.

Not slamming, just asking.

Oh, yes, hi Troy!
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Old 10-03-2018, 02:47 PM   #20
SirBrass
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I've been reading up on TR and with Blizzaks they seem to be at a serious disadvantage to all other competitors on anything other than ice. On cold wet or dry surfaces they're definitely not as good at braking, and even on ice or snow they're the top performer but not by a long shot. And they cost so much more.

The xIce xi3's, though, are pretty well priced and an all-round good performer, and you get the michelin treadwear warranty with them too.

Haven't looked much at the altimax tires yet though.

The pirelli winter performance tires are the ones I'm eyeing for the WRX. My only dilema are whether I go with 17x8 wheels and base model tire size, or go with 17x7.5's and go with the 215/50R17s. For winter weather, I know extra sidewall is good, but is narrower tread helpful too?
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Old 10-03-2018, 03:17 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie-III View Post
What was wrong with Blizzaks?
We ran them on my wife's 99 Impreza L for 3 months/year.

Not slamming, just asking.

Oh, yes, hi Troy!
For the money.. They just aren't worth it.
Not that they didn't do a, ok, job..
The tread wear, Sucks and they didn't inspire much confidence. Not to me, anyways.

The General's are cheaper and keep my 400whp planted to the road.

225/55r17 worked for me..
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Old 10-03-2018, 03:26 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Winnerone23 View Post
For the money.. They just aren't worth it.
Not that they didn't do a, ok, job..
The tread wear, Sucks and they didn't inspire much confidence. Not to me, anyways.

The General's are cheaper and keep my 400whp planted to the road.

225/55r17 worked for me..
You need studs for them though, don't you?
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Old 10-03-2018, 03:33 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirBrass View Post
You need studs for them though, don't you?
They are, studable... I've never ran a set with studs. Many, many, sets...

They are good to go..

I ran my last set, for over 20k miles.. sold them with the STI V7's and they still life left
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Old 10-03-2018, 04:33 PM   #24
SirBrass
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winnerone23 View Post
They are, studable... I've never ran a set with studs. Many, many, sets...

They are good to go..

I ran my last set, for over 20k miles.. sold them with the STI V7's and they still life left
This was winter-only, right?
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Old 10-03-2018, 07:30 PM   #25
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This was winter-only, right?
Not exactly... Lol.. that was, bought them used, (from the rich) in State College.
Ran them winter(325whp)/summer(400whp)/winter(400), then sold the wheels with the tires on them.

My old man, runs them year round, on his SF..
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