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Thread: Snow Tires- how I love thee, let me count the ways.

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    xjoex's Avatar
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    Default Snow Tires- how I love thee, let me count the ways.

    My buddy extolled the virtues of snow tires, I never believed him. But this winter, with grad school at night and some other work stuff I have had to drive more often.

    So I bit the bullet and bought a set of Blizzaks and wheels.

    OH MY GAWD the difference is night and day. With the performance all seasons that came on this car I was all over the road in the slightest bit of snow.




    I am an unstoppable snow mobile now.

    believe the hype.

    -Jpe

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    Default Re: Snow Tires- how I love thee, let me count the ways.

    Blizzaks rock...I've been running them on my wife's Odyssey for the past 11 Winters and you wonder how you made it without them. They're very soft so I make sure and remove them when the weather breaks and we get about three Winters wear and tear...

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    tele is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: Snow Tires- how I love thee, let me count the ways.

    [QUOTE=rwsaunders;268528 They're very soft [/QUOTE]

    too soft for my liking. Nokians are outstanding and wear very very well for me, but this year I couldnt justify the price on a new set for a new car so I went with some General Alitmax and they have been almost as good for a lot less.

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    Default Re: Snow Tires- how I love thee, let me count the ways.

    I also have a Cooper with snow tires. They make all the difference in the world. My first set were Dunlop Wintersport M3 and I had those for 3 winters. This past winter I changed to Hankook iPike and absolutely love them. Quiet on the highway, but my car is a tank in the snow.

    This is a pretty typical morning scene here in New England this winter:

    Anthony Maietta
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    Default Re: Snow Tires- how I love thee, let me count the ways.

    My GTI is not quite undrivable without them, but with them it's like a different vehicle. In Europe they're required in many countries during the winter.

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    Default Re: Snow Tires- how I love thee, let me count the ways.

    I feel a lot safer on the bike since they made them mandatory in Québec.

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    Default Re: Snow Tires- how I love thee, let me count the ways.

    I recently put a new set of tires on my wife's Toyota Matrix and strongly considered some Nokians. In the end I just didn't want to have two sets of tires for one car.

    I went with the Continental Extreme Contact DWS (dry, wet, snow) tires. The difference is night and day from the worn radials that used to be on the car. I know they're not as good as Nokians, but they're still really good.

    Someday I'll man up and get dedicated snow tires.

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    wgp
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    Default Re: Snow Tires- how I love thee, let me count the ways.

    +1 on the Conty Extreme Contact DWS - just put a set on my Volvo S60R - I had Nokians on a dedicated winter wheelset and they are superb but very expensive! When they wore out, I (like Tele) couldn't justify the expense and decided to go with the Conty's based on recs on a Volvo R forum where I hang as well. Very very happy

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    veloduffer is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: Snow Tires- how I love thee, let me count the ways.

    After last year's winter (2009-2010), my wife's Sienna minivan had trouble getting out of the driveway. We had contemplated getting a new AWD family vehicle (Ford Flex was a strong consideration) but opted to try dedicated snow tires this year. Put on a set of Blizzaks (new WS-70 version) and haven't had any trouble. The salesman at one store wanted me to downsize the tire to a 16" from 17" wheel. I hesitated because the problem wasn't snow, where a narrower tire is preferable, but ice in which you want a wider patch of rubber. So, I saved having to get a new car and can keep the minivan, which is really quite useful (and paid for!).

    FWIW, on my Highlander, I've used Goodyear Fortera tires without any problems. They are All-Season tires, but like Nokian's All Season, they have the Mud & Snow designation. Both the Goodyear and Blizzaks are quiet on the highway.

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    Mabouya is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: Snow Tires- how I love thee, let me count the ways.

    I have some Blizzaks on my Integra. Without them I would have been walking home a few nights. And I wouldn't have been able to leave home because of the hill on my driveway.

    They also last a surprisingly long time. The last few years I've had them on at least part of Dec, and all of Jan, Feb and Mar, and I drive 35 miles each way to and from work.

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    rydesteel is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: Snow Tires- how I love thee, let me count the ways.

    I had a set of the Conti DWS on the maxima, decent tire, soft sidewall, wears quick in my size and not that much better than the OEM for snow. I just replaced them with some Kumho's that are better in the snow, stiffer sidewall, time will tell about the dry pavement and wear. Next car will have a dedicated set of snows for sure.
    emptiness is till fullness comes

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    Default Re: Snow Tires- how I love thee, let me count the ways.

    Last night I installed my Blizzaks for the winter. Question for you car folks.....

    The GTI doesn't use nuts. It uses bolts. When I removed the bolts they were dry and creaky to remove. I use the L-shaped tool that the car came with, which is between 12" and 15" long. They all broke loose but there was some surface corrosion on them.

    So when I installed the winter wheels I dropped a couple drops of oil on the threads of the bolts. My buddy who knows more about cars told me this is a big no-no with cars, unlike bikes. He says it is possible to over torque the bolts on installation and warp the brake rotors. I don't doubt this but I'm just using the 12"-15" wrench, not an air driven power wrench. I'm not aware of any torque value on these bolts though I'm certain there must be one. If it were that important they'd provide that info and/or a torque wrench.

    Thoughts? Do I need to remove all 20 bolts and dry them off? Yes, I should really get a proper torque wrench for the job and maybe I will but it may be overkill too since I just do this by hand with no power tools.

    Car people speak up. BTW, I am hoping the installation of the Blizzaks means I can ride my bike all winter with little or no snow.

    If I were a NASCAR crew chief this job would have taken about 12.3 seconds, including fuel. But I'm not, so it took a couple hours with the hand jack and bringing the wheels up from the basement.

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    Bobqzz is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: Snow Tires- how I love thee, let me count the ways.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saab2000 View Post
    Last night I installed my Blizzaks for the winter. Question for you car folks.....

    The GTI doesn't use nuts. It uses bolts. When I removed the bolts they were dry and creaky to remove. I use the L-shaped tool that the car came with, which is between 12" and 15" long. They all broke loose but there was some surface corrosion on them.

    So when I installed the winter wheels I dropped a couple drops of oil on the threads of the bolts. My buddy who knows more about cars told me this is a big no-no with cars, unlike bikes. He says it is possible to over torque the bolts on installation and warp the brake rotors. I don't doubt this but I'm just using the 12"-15" wrench, not an air driven power wrench. I'm not aware of any torque value on these bolts though I'm certain there must be one. If it were that important they'd provide that info and/or a torque wrench.

    Thoughts? Do I need to remove all 20 bolts and dry them off? Yes, I should really get a proper torque wrench for the job and maybe I will but it may be overkill too since I just do this by hand with no power tools.

    Car people speak up. BTW, I am hoping the installation of the Blizzaks means I can ride my bike all winter with little or no snow.

    If I were a NASCAR crew chief this job would have taken about 12.3 seconds, including fuel. But I'm not, so it took a couple hours with the hand jack and bringing the wheels up from the basement.
    Your buddy is completely and utterly wrong. You did the right thing with the lube (never seize is even better). You may want to buy a torque wrench as those 14mm lugs (assuming this is a Mark IV or V GTI) go to 90 ft/lbs

  14. #14
    Saab2000's Avatar
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    Default Re: Snow Tires- how I love thee, let me count the ways.

    Thanks!

    It's a 2006. Not sure which mark that makes it but its got the 2.0 turbo.

  15. #15
    roseyscot is offline 2KClub
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    Default Re: Snow Tires- how I love thee, let me count the ways.

    Similar setup on my 1995 Audi. I've always used never seize and a torque wrench. They're not that expensive

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    Willie1 is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: Snow Tires- how I love thee, let me count the ways.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saab2000 View Post
    Last night I installed my Blizzaks for the winter. Question for you car folks.....

    The GTI doesn't use nuts. It uses bolts. When I removed the bolts they were dry and creaky to remove. I use the L-shaped tool that the car came with, which is between 12" and 15" long. They all broke loose but there was some surface corrosion on them.

    So when I installed the winter wheels I dropped a couple drops of oil on the threads of the bolts. My buddy who knows more about cars told me this is a big no-no with cars, unlike bikes. He says it is possible to over torque the bolts on installation and warp the brake rotors. I don't doubt this but I'm just using the 12"-15" wrench, not an air driven power wrench. I'm not aware of any torque value on these bolts though I'm certain there must be one. If it were that important they'd provide that info and/or a torque wrench.

    Thoughts? Do I need to remove all 20 bolts and dry them off? Yes, I should really get a proper torque wrench for the job and maybe I will but it may be overkill too since I just do this by hand with no power tools.

    Car people speak up. BTW, I am hoping the installation of the Blizzaks means I can ride my bike all winter with little or no snow.

    If I were a NASCAR crew chief this job would have taken about 12.3 seconds, including fuel. But I'm not, so it took a couple hours with the hand jack and bringing the wheels up from the basement.
    I installed mine a few days ago. I use a small smear of grease on the bolts, and always use a torque wrench to get the recommended 90. Re-torque 100km later. I have been doing my own swaps for quite a few years and I get it done in about 30-45min. I have a floor jack, impact wrench and torque wrench. We have a 5 month winter here. When using a steel winter wheel, I also put a very thin smear of grease on the inner circle of the wheel where it mates to the rotor. It makes removal in the spring easier where they usually rust together.

  17. #17
    Willie1 is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: Snow Tires- how I love thee, let me count the ways.

    Re: torque wrenches: they are necessary on modern cars. Aluminum wheels can't tolerate being over-torqued, and the rotors are thinner than the ones used in the 70's and 80's. Many cannot be reground and are disposable because they are so thin. Considering you can buy a home mechanic quality torque wrench for about $100.00, less than the price of a nice tubular tire, keeping your wheels safely on your car is a no brainer. Tighten in a criss cross pattern, in increments. I can do this by feel, but used to increase torque by 5 ftlbs each cycle from 75-90 to keep it even. Always re-torque after 80-100km as the wheels/bolts set, much like the spokes on a new wheel build. I have a wire wheel on a bench grinder and clean the bolts, use a small smear of grease on the threads (not enough to risk flying on to the braking surface) and a small smear of grease where the rim centers on the rotor. It prevents corrosion/seizing from the salt we use excessively here. If the bolts aren't clean and lubed, the torque reading is inaccurate.

  18. #18
    Willie1 is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: Snow Tires- how I love thee, let me count the ways.

    Quote Originally Posted by caleb View Post
    I recently put a new set of tires on my wife's Toyota Matrix and strongly considered some Nokians. In the end I just didn't want to have two sets of tires for one car.

    I went with the Continental Extreme Contact DWS (dry, wet, snow) tires. The difference is night and day from the worn radials that used to be on the car. I know they're not as good as Nokians, but they're still really good.

    Someday I'll man up and get dedicated snow tires.
    I have the continental extremes on my Passat and they are the best all season tires I have used in winter. They pale significantly to a pure winter tire. I have used Kumho (very good on ice, not as good in deep snow) Cooper (great in snow, not as good on ice), Michelin (pretty good overall) Blizzacs (pretty good overall) and currently my wife and I have Gislaved tires, the best mix for our area. They have a slight bias to ice over snow, but we only have 1km of country road to get to the major hi-way system which is almost always cleared.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Snow Tires- how I love thee, let me count the ways.

    way back when, when i first got my driver's license, and i drove a big ass V8 american car, i took my fathers advice and put studded snow tires on, in the rear only, with all-seasons up front.

    a lot has changed since then. i now refer to all-seasons as "no-seasons". i run dedicated summer tires in the summer and winter tires in the winter on my daily driver. makes great sense and dependable traction. currently on yokohama s-drive summer tires, as has been my tradition for the last many many years, will swap to snow tires on thanksgiving weekend. currently using pirelli sotozero performance winter tires. i've been very impressed with them so far.

  20. #20
    prcrstn8 is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: Snow Tires- how I love thee, let me count the ways.

    Whatever happened to Gislaveds?
    I loved those tires, but I haven't owned a car since the last century.

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