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Poll of the night! Winter tires or All Seasons?

Prin
November 3rd, 2005, 11:07 PM
I haven't made a poll of the night in a while and with Dog Mom getting snow already, and my tires not being able to handle a little bit of rain, I thought I'd ask about your tire preferences...

If you have a car or access to a car, what will you be driving on this winter? (or what would you prefer to be driving on?)

My car has pretty crap traction, so I need the ultimate tires to feel remotely safe till I can afford a 4 wheel drive Acura TSX... Ahh, dreams. So I'll definitely be getting new winter tires this year, the only question is studded or not. I can't go to Ontario if I get studs, but then how often do I go to Ontario? But then even if I don't go often, do I want to retain the option? :D

So what will you put on your car this winter?

shannonRN
November 3rd, 2005, 11:14 PM
Wow I have no idea what you are talking about, and where's the poll, anyway?

I feel so damn stereotypical when I say this, but hubby handles all the car stuff in that insufferably anal, meticulous sort of way that he has. It's really about logistics, more than anything. The mechanic place he uses gives him excellent rates on everything from oil changes and repairs to snow tires, so he has dealt with all that stuff since we moved here 4 years ago.

Anyhoo, YES to snow tires. How do you get anywhere in winter without them? I've never had studded tires though. Snows on the front of the front wheel drive, regular radials on the back. The truck has big knobby truck tires all the time.

Gee, I feel like a redneck :D

Prin
November 3rd, 2005, 11:17 PM
What don't you understand? I'd be happy to clarify (I rarely get to talk about cars anymore). I see a poll... You don't see a poll? :o

Puppyluv
November 3rd, 2005, 11:17 PM
I was so happy to see an option for me! (A big :thumbs up to being a slave to the STM) But when I drove in Calgary growing up, and the cars I will be driving over Christmas Break in Calgary will all have winter tires. My parents have always been adement about getting winter tires, so I've never driven anything else. Studs aren't allowed in the parks, so those were never an option.
We lived at the top of a hill, and I have distinct memories of watching other people (with their asr's) drive 1/2 way up, lose traction and slide back down, while I (with my winters) made it up the hill, no problem, laughing all the way. :clown:

shannonRN
November 3rd, 2005, 11:20 PM
Now there's a poll, but it wasn't there at first.
I just don't know about studs, don't really know if they're on my tires or not. But I don't think they are. But then, maybe they are studded :o

Maybe the reason he does all the car stuff isn't totally a matter of logistics :D

Prin
November 3rd, 2005, 11:21 PM
Studs are little pieces of metal like nails in your tires. If you have them, your tires sort of "click" on dry pavement...

Puppyluv
November 3rd, 2005, 11:29 PM
Since I'm pretty new to Quebec Laws, I'll just ask-are studs allowed here? I know in AB they were a big No-No in the parks, is it different here?

Prin
November 3rd, 2005, 11:31 PM
Yes they're allowed I think from Oct till May. I'm not sure about the October part but I'm sure they have to be off May 1st.

Go here (the english is a bit weird but you get the idea): MTQ (http://www.mtq.gouv.qc.ca/en/accueil/faq/pneus.asp)

shannonRN
November 3rd, 2005, 11:36 PM
AHa! We definitely do NOT put those on. Sounds like a torture device for the road.

We put the regular kind on and the car handles extremely well in the snow. In fact, I prefer the car in the winter to the 4 wheel drive truck and to the Explorer that I traded in to get the car. A good pair of tires saves many headaches in the winter. (Think I read that in a fortune cookie somewhere)

Prin
November 3rd, 2005, 11:36 PM
K, I read it better and the link looked like it was for commercial vehicles, but it's for all vehicles:
Studded tires are permitted from October 15 to May 1 on vehicles of less than 3000 kg.

(From here (but I suggest not downloading it because even with high speed it took a while..): MTQ Winter Driving pamphlet (http://www.mtq.gouv.qc.ca/en/publications/securite/conduire_2005.pdf)

Joey.E.CockersMommy
November 4th, 2005, 07:26 AM
We usually put winter tires on the Xtterra and use it for winter driving. But I want to get winter tires for our van too as I have to drive the highway everyday and I am really scarred I may drive into the lake. :eek:
Can anyone reccommend some good ones that dont cost a fortune.
Last year I got stuck in the parking lot at school, how embarrasing people just drove around me. Thankyou :mad:

Prin
November 4th, 2005, 08:19 AM
My mom's man (mechanic in Ottawa) swears by Blizzaks. On ice, he says they're the best. I used to drive in deep snow a lot (to get to the hill) but now that I'm old and arthritic and I can't go to the hill anymore, it's not sensible for me to buy tires that are just for snow... Ice tires are better for the city. The bf had Blizzaks on his car last year, and where my car fishtailed, his didn't...

SunGurl372
November 4th, 2005, 08:40 AM
In fact, I prefer the car in the winter to the 4 wheel drive truck and to the Explorer that I traded in to get the car.

Funny you should say that, Shannon. I live in Florida now, so I don't have to deal with snow and ice issues down here! But I did live in Seattle for several years, and without fail, the vehicles you would usually see in the ditches were the big trucks and SUVs with four wheel drive. And the cars would just breeze past them! :rolleyes:

Beaglemom
November 4th, 2005, 09:20 AM
I know that winter tires are the best for snow and icy conditions, but I never put them on my car. I normally have all seasons. My old car had brand new all season tires that were really bad in the winter. Nobody but me would dare drive my car as it was a white knuckled experience. I got used to it and just drove a lot more carefully. The tires that I have now on my new car are much better all around tires. Maybe one day I will invest in a good set of winter tires. But then that leaves the problem of storage!

jessi76
November 4th, 2005, 09:59 AM
My mom's man (mechanic in Ottawa) swears by Blizzaks.

I'll second that recommendation. Blizzaks are great. I put those on the front of my car, and all seasons on the back.

Jazz&Cricket
November 4th, 2005, 10:01 AM
Unfortunately, I'm stuck using my winter tires...I REALLY WANTS STUDDED TIRES, but the idiots in Ontario have them banned...so until I can get studded tires, I'll be using my Bridgestones :)

oh...and I have my winter tires on their own rims so it's an easy change (winters all the way round btw)

Beaglemom
November 4th, 2005, 10:09 AM
Blizzaks are great. I put those on the front of my car, and all seasons on the back.
When putting winter tires on your car you should always put a complete set, not just two on the driving wheels. This will provide much better traction and handling.

Rick C
November 4th, 2005, 10:12 AM
All seasons . . . . I've never used winter tires and I have a Durango which sticks like glue to the road (although its a big curling rock if you slam on the brakes on sheer ice!!).

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

SnowDancer
November 4th, 2005, 10:24 AM
Beaglemom is absolutely right about putting 4 snow tires on instead of 2. We currently have been driving with the all season tires that our car came with, but this year might consider winter tires as it will be fourth winter. Definitely not studded - and I do not expect - or hope - that they will ever be approved for our roads. Enough problems with roads as it is. Blizz are good.

jessi76
November 4th, 2005, 11:12 AM
When putting winter tires on your car you should always put a complete set, not just two on the driving wheels. This will provide much better traction and handling.

yes, 4 tires is always better, but we can't all afford such luxuries. 2 is at least better than none.

Prin
November 4th, 2005, 12:02 PM
Actually, some say two is worse than none. The traction becomes different in the front and the back which can cause you to spin out MORE easily than if you had the same tires all around.

Here's a test for it: http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/wint_only4.jsp

I'm trying to find the video where they tested all seasons, winters and studded winters on a course... They had to avoid hitting a large cardboard cutout thing and the studs did it easily, the winters narrowly missed it, and the all seasons plowed straight through it... I can't find it though... :(

Schwinn
November 4th, 2005, 01:54 PM
Rear wheel drive-2 are okay. Front wheel drive-4 are mandatory. As a matter of fact, most places it is actually illegal for a shop to install just front snow tires. Either just on the back, or all four. What happens is that you get too much traction on the front, and the back end suddenly starts to let loose (remember "crack the whip" as a kid? Same thing). Two snows on the front would actually be more dangerous, as it would increase the likelihood of a spin.

As for type of tires, it depends where you drive. If you're mostly highway, than traditional snows aren't much good vs all-seasons. You may get an advantage due to the softer compound used (which is why you should never use them in warm weather), but you will also lose some advantage due to the bigger lugs on pure snow tires. On the other hand, tires like Blizzaks are excellent for areas that get a lot of ice. So while Blizzaks may be excellent tires in Central Ontario, they probably won't due Rick much good in the backwoods of Alberta where he takes all those pretty pictures from. :p You have to determine the majority of conditions that you'll be driving in. If you live in Windsor, you could probably get away with all-seasons as they have little snow, and when they do get snow or ice, the declare an emergency and lock thier doors until thaw. If you live in the Muskokas, you'll probably want snows, because you'll probably spend a lot of time driving through a foot of unplowed road.

The Civic never needed snows. It handled great. The new car, though, has 17 inch performance tires, so we'll be going to a parking lot the first big snow to "learn" how it drives (okay, my wife will be learning, I'll just be driving like an idiot :D ). I recommend that to anyone with a new car, just so there are no surprises when the snow does hit. She's from Thunder-Bay where the majority of people with front wheel drive get by with All Season's, and she's never had a car with performance tires, so I'm trying to convince her we may need to look at snows this year with the big wheels.

Oh, and four wheel only means you'll get in the ditch faster. It's great for getting through the deep stuff, but the problem is these people in thier fancy SUVs who only drive up and down the highway think that that little button with the "4X" on it means they can still drive like it's July. Four wheel drive is an awesome tool if you know how to drive it, but if you don't, it's actually pretty dangerous. It's like the arguement of front wheel vs. rear wheel drive. If you have the skills, rear wheel is safer than front wheel in the snow. For the majority of people, however, they have no interest or need to learn anything beyond basic driving (not a slam, most people would rather just drive than learn how to "power slide" in an emergency situation. And by emergency, I mean a foot of snow on some back road where there are no cars around to watch you drive like a jack-ass :D ). It's like anti-lock brakes. Anyone with above average driving skills would prefer to not have them. Now, ALL wheel drive is different. That usually does give you better handling.

Beaglemom
November 4th, 2005, 02:14 PM
Rear wheel drive-2 are okay. Front wheel drive-4 are mandatory. As a matter of fact, most places it is actually illegal for a shop to install just front snow tires. Either just on the back, or all four. What happens is that you get too much traction on the front, and the back end suddenly starts to let loose (remember "crack the whip" as a kid? Same thing). Two snows on the front would actually be more dangerous, as it would increase the likelihood of a spin.
Sorry Schwinn but I'm going to disagree. Ever expert that I know will say that you must have 4 snow tires. Putting them only in the rear of a rear wheel drive will increase your traction to your drive wheels, but you will lose the steering capabilities that the snow tires would give you. Putting them only in the front of a front wheel drive will cause the back end to let loose as you stated.

Rick C
November 4th, 2005, 02:15 PM
Oh, and four wheel only means you'll get in the ditch faster. It's great for getting through the deep stuff, but the problem is these people in thier fancy SUVs who only drive up and down the highway think that that little button with the "4X" on it means they can still drive like it's July. Four wheel drive is an awesome tool if you know how to drive it, but if you don't, it's actually pretty dangerous.

Any vehicle is dangerous in slippery conditions if you don't know how to drive it.

By and large though, all things being equal, a person driving a four wheel drive is safer on a slippery winter road than a person with only front wheel or rear-wheel drive.

That's just common sense.

The caveat being, as you noted, whether they're an idiot or not. But that's true of any vehicle.

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

Schwinn
November 4th, 2005, 03:52 PM
Sorry Schwinn but I'm going to disagree. Ever expert that I know will say that you must have 4 snow tires. Putting them only in the rear of a rear wheel drive will increase your traction to your drive wheels, but you will lose the steering capabilities that the snow tires would give you. Putting them only in the front of a front wheel drive will cause the back end to let loose as you stated.

Four is ideal, but the law (in Ontario, anyway) is that a tire shop may put on only 2 tires, but only on the rear wheels (though there ae some that will do it on the front because they don't know, or care.) The difference between only 2 on front vs rear wheel drive is on rear wheel drive, you may experience understeer if you only have two on. You do get some compensation by being able to stop a little quicker, but ultimately, it's up to you to realize you aren't going to turn as well. If your traction difference is REALLY large between front and back, you can actually run into an issue where your rear wheels push your front wheels, and you don't turn at all. However, going straight down the road, snow tires on the rear only will not likely (thought anything is obviously possible) cause any issues. However, with front wheel drive, the back end will quite easily go squirrelly on you. The other difference is it is possible to compensate for understeer in a rear wheel, while a front wheel drive in a spin is very, very difficult to recover from. But again, yes, ideally you would want four tires.

As for 4 wheel vs 2 wheel drive, all things being equal, I think it would be a tough argument either way, to be honest. On ice, I don't think one is substantially safer or more dangerous than the other. But "all things being equal" is the catch--most of the people who drive these brand new pretty SUVs think that "4X4" means they can drive thier regular speed on an icy highway. And my personal experience has been that when a 4X4 goes towards the ditch, it tends to go a lot faster. It's like my limited-slip differential in my truck. It doesn't seem to go out on me as often as my old truck without it, but when it does, it seems to go out a LOT faster. I found that when I was driving a 4X, when it started sliding after losing traction, the same thing--it slid out a lot faster.

Of course, I'm talking about every day driving down the highway. Driving off-road, in gravel, deep snow, etc. is a whole different discussion.

Prin
November 4th, 2005, 04:49 PM
4x4 gives you FAR more traction at lower speeds, but at higher speeds when the surface is unstable (like snow or gravel), it drives like a rear wheel drive car, which most people are not comfortable driving (some people love rear wheel drives though).

That said, I would LOVE to have my old 4x4 Toyota Camry. That car is the best car for winter driving. It had a differential lock so you literally could never get stuck. I miss that car soooo much. We had to get rid of it because there were no mechanics in Montreal who understood it, so getting it fixed always cost a fortune... Sigh...

maddoxies
November 4th, 2005, 06:37 PM
Snow tires are a RELIGION in Quebec. Snows vs All Seasons really depends on the temperatures you will be experiencing. All Seasons were ok in Toronto, but with the cold here in Montreal, it is snows for us.

As for studs, with our roads, they are in such bad shape that studs can't do any more damage. I have seen graves smaller than some of the potholes on my way to work.

Vivre la difference :thumbs up

Prin
November 4th, 2005, 06:40 PM
I have seen graves smaller than some of the potholes on my way to work. That's hilarious! :D But ya, it's true...

Anybody have studs? I read that they have the worst traction on dry pavement because less rubber hits the road and I'm wondering how bad they are.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
November 4th, 2005, 08:02 PM
We called Kal-tire about snow tires today we are 41st on the list. :eek:

shannonRN
November 4th, 2005, 11:47 PM
This really has been a fascinating read. Now, who will give me their phone number so you can explain to my husband why I don't want snows put only on the front of the car? :rolleyes:

Prin
November 5th, 2005, 12:39 AM
You can't just make him read that link?

shannonRN
November 5th, 2005, 01:11 AM
Was only kidding!!! Actually I'll probably link this thread and that article you posted and email the whole deal to him at work. I'm still scared that he'll read that idea about using a generator for the christmas lights though...

Joey.E.CockersMommy
November 5th, 2005, 07:36 AM
Actually my old car a geo storm only had snow tires on the front. I was dog sledding in the middle of nowwhere.Driving home in the dark I went over a bridge on a non pave road and nearly went over the edge into a freezing river. I had no cell phone at the time and no one was around. It took me four hours to get the car off the bridge, I ended up packing snow, clothes, my backpack and everything under the car for leverage and gunned it and got of the bridge.

So now I will only have four snow tires.

Byrd
November 5th, 2005, 09:03 AM
I change my rims and tires over with the seasons. I have 16" rims with low profile tires for May to Oct, and the standard "they came with the car" 15" rims with winter tires for the winter. My low prollies can't handle temps under 12 C so they were changed two weeks ago.

The Summer "Sunny":

http://img460.imageshack.us/img460/760/imgp21945fx.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

The Winter "Sunny":

http://img460.imageshack.us/img460/4073/imgp20089zu.jpg (http://imageshack.us)


(And no, it's not a Sunfire, it's a Saturn! Get that mistake too many times for my liking.)

Prin
November 5th, 2005, 10:35 AM
LOL It's goes from a suped up Saturn in the summer to an old lady Saturn in the winter... :D I never understood why people put hub caps on in the winter. Do you want people to think these aren't just winter tires? :p They fall off all the time anyway... The bf does it too, and I just don't get it. All black means "they're winters only and I have some super crazy mags for the summer.."

Byrd
November 5th, 2005, 01:55 PM
LOL Nope still suped... you haven't seen under the hood! It's a five speed with SPF air intake, K&N cone filter, sway bar, etc. Also leather interior, etc. Definitely not an old lady car! :crazy:

Ironically, my all blacks (gunmetal, actually) are my summers and my chrome are my winters. LOL

Prin
November 5th, 2005, 11:59 PM
Reer... :D Yeah, I'm just watching my car slowly die... My bf loves my car and wants to fix it up, but I just don't think it's worth it... I'd rather buy a new one pre-equipped with all the fixin's... That's why I'm waiting for my Acura TSX.

(BTW next week I might be waiting for a different car... :rolleyes: I'm mad that they changed the styling of the Lexus IS, but by the time I get out of school, and work a few years I might be able to afford the IS from 2005... :fingerscr )

Byrd
November 6th, 2005, 08:28 AM
Yeah, true, that's how I feel about the Mazda RX-8! I looooove them so much, but it's a $42,000 car! Wait a few years, get one that's a lease turn in and swipe it for $20,000. :p

maddoxies
November 6th, 2005, 11:01 AM
WOW Joey, 41st on the list. In Montreal you could sell that place in line for SERIOUS $$$$$ !!!! Snow tires are a religion here. Such a shock for a former Torontonian when I first moved here, until my first winter. We had snow from Thanksgiving until way after Easter. And I lived in a basement apt. those first two years. My view from the living room window was a snowbank for 5 months!!!! Can you say "light deprivation"?

It is a 2 year wait at my garage to have them store your off-season tires. You have to wait literally for someone to move away or die before you move up the list. Oh the joys of Canadian winters :ca:

Prin
November 7th, 2005, 01:03 PM
Anybody have anything to say about Michelin X-Ice tires? Consumer Reports rates them up there with the Blizzaks but I'd like personal opinions if anybody has tried them yet.:)

AliSam
November 7th, 2005, 01:19 PM
LOL It's goes from a suped up Saturn in the summer to an old lady Saturn in the winter... :D I never understood why people put hub caps on in the winter. Do you want people to think these aren't just winter tires? :p They fall off all the time anyway... The bf does it too, and I just don't get it. All black means "they're winters only and I have some super crazy mags for the summer.."

Thats funny. My Honda's hubcaps are in the shelf in the garage. They haven't been on the car since we bought summer rims 3 years ago.

It currently has all seasons on it but I think I am going to put winter tires on it this year though. That thing has no traction in really severe weather. It slides all over the road. My hubby can handle it, I cannot.

Prin
November 7th, 2005, 02:14 PM
LOL I think the late 90's civics would be as bad as my car (1.6EL '97) for traction. It's horrible. I have had to change my tires so much in the short time I've had it. I just don't think it's worth the risk and the stress to be sliding around...

maddoxies
November 7th, 2005, 06:59 PM
I am trying to find snow tires or skiis for Heidi Ho Ho's cart. (I have seen the new style of carts from K9-Karts. Heidi has started saving her allowance. They are AWESOME!!)

Joey.E.CockersMommy
November 7th, 2005, 10:29 PM
Going to get some put on tommorow. $69 a tire for my 95 Nissan Quest Mini Van. Peace of mind is good though. :)

Prin
November 7th, 2005, 11:34 PM
$69 is pretty good.. I'm looking at at least $90/tire for mine...

AliSam
November 8th, 2005, 07:35 AM
Wow, I wish I could get snow tires for $69.00. We just bought all seasons for our Mazda Tribute (snowy weather back-up vehicle) and they were over $100 each. We were quoted over $500 last year for snows for the Honda (which included installation and balancing).

Joey.E.CockersMommy
November 8th, 2005, 10:47 AM
:D and thats for all four tires too..................ha ha just kidding. :p

Prin
November 8th, 2005, 10:50 AM
LOL at $69 for 4 tires, I'd start to get concerned...:D