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all-season VS dedicated winter tires review

Old 10-28-2007, 11:16 PM
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our moderator fsttyms1 (fast times Won)
has over 250,000 miles on his TL, and has gone thru MANY sets of tires.
You want good advice- he is the man in these parts

If you know how to read tire codes- good for you scoring the freshest ones!!
I get the cookies with the freshest date on them at the store too, some of us
are just that way.

Whatever makes YOU happy.

Support our azine vendors and your local stores when you can, or they wont be there in the future.
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Old 10-29-2007, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by 01tl4tl
our moderator fsttyms1 (fast times Won)
has over 250,000 miles on his TL, and has gone thru MANY sets of tires.
That doesn't make him a tire expert.
Originally Posted by 01tl4tl
If you know how to read tire codes- good for you scoring the freshest ones!!
A tire expert would, IMHO, be able to properly decipher the tire date code (really it's not all that difficult). Both moderators here failed to do that, although to Derrick's credit, he didn't manage to insult me or imply that I was anal.

I'll sum it up one more time. In a recent tire test by EVO magazine, a six-month-old tire took 14% longer to break in the wet than a fresh tire. That's a significant amount, and could mean the difference between an accident and a near miss. While it's true that performance of all tires age over time, you shouldn't start out with an already aged tire if you can avoid it. That's not being anal, that's using common sense and getting the most for your money.

I'll post a review of the WS60s when I drive them through our next blizzard. If they can make it all the way up the windy, steep mountain road to the ski house, they'll pass! :-)
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Old 10-31-2007, 09:51 PM
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14% of what??? Also did they heat cycle the older tire before trying the test? same car? repeated tests and averaged? Dont say i failed to decipher the date code, i was agreeing to the last part of his statement.
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Old 11-01-2007, 10:34 AM
  #124  
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Are you always this argumentative with your members or am I just special?

The 14% refers to the extra distance it took their test car to stop in the wet (i.e., wet braking). I thought I had made that clear when I said, "a six-month-old tire took 14% longer to stop in the wet than an identical tire with a 3-week old manufacture date."

EVO is an internationally distributed automobile enthusiast's magazine; each of their specific "tyre" tests is conducted several times by a professional driver on the same test car and the results are averaged. As for heat-cycling the six-month old and three-week old tires, I do not recall the article specifically mentioning that but I'm certain that the exact same methodology was utilized for both tests (however, I registered an account at their forum and I intend to ask their editor about your heat cycling issue).

I take back my statement about you failing to decipher the date code and will give you the benefit of the doubt on that issue. Instead, you merely neglected to correct the other moderator's failure to decipher the date code.

I note you never answered my question about whether the TireRack stores their tires in plastic bags, as the TireRack recommends to do, or where the tires were stored for the approximate six months before the TireRack had them. Don't bother going through the trouble though; I've made my point already. To the extent anyone would rather argue with me than concur with the simple proposition that there's nothing wrong with attempting to get the freshest tires possible, I have better things to do with my time.
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Old 11-01-2007, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by TLAwesome
Are you always this argumentative with your members or am I just special?

The 14% refers to the extra distance it took their test car to stop in the wet (i.e., wet braking). I thought I had made that clear when I said, "a six-month-old tire took 14% longer to stop in the wet than an identical tire with a 3-week old manufacture date."

EVO is an internationally distributed automobile enthusiast's magazine; each of their specific "tyre" tests is conducted several times by a professional driver on the same test car and the results are averaged. As for heat-cycling the six-month old and three-week old tires, I do not recall the article specifically mentioning that but I'm certain that the exact same methodology was utilized for both tests (however, I registered an account at their forum and I intend to ask their editor about your heat cycling issue).

I take back my statement about you failing to decipher the date code and will give you the benefit of the doubt on that issue. Instead, you merely neglected to correct the other moderator's failure to decipher the date code.

I note you never answered my question about whether the TireRack stores their tires in plastic bags, as the TireRack recommends to do, or where the tires were stored for the approximate six months before the TireRack had them. Don't bother going through the trouble though; I've made my point already. To the extent anyone would rather argue with me than concur with the simple proposition that there's nothing wrong with attempting to get the freshest tires possible, I have better things to do with my time.
Sometimes i am. Especially when someone comes in with under 10 posts like a know it all because the read a article in a magazine.

Like i said, what is the 14% of ??? What were the total distances and differences. 14% of 200 feet is a bigger difference than 14% of 140 feet. Since all of us dont have that article to read why dont you tell us all the info like i asked?? Was it a same day test? Same Car? Were teh "old" tires cycled before test?

I never said there was something wrong with trying to get the newest tire. Just that its overkill imho.
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Old 11-01-2007, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by fsttyms1
Sometimes i am.
Well that's extremely unprofessional of you, and as a moderator, you should strive to do better.

Originally Posted by fsttyms1
Especially when someone comes in with under 10 posts like a know it all because the read a article in a magazine.
I challenge you to find a single one of my posts in which I acted like a know-it-all, or exhibited any form of attitude, before you walked in on the scene with your inane, "your [sic] reading a little too much into the details" commentary. Perhaps you read into myprior posts attitude where none actually existed. If so, then once again, you exhibited an unprofessional trait for a forum moderator.

Originally Posted by fsttyms1
Like i said, what is the 14% of ??? What were the total distances and differences. 14% of 200 feet is a bigger difference than 14% of 140 feet. Since all of us dont have that article to read why dont you tell us all the info like i asked?? Was it a same day test? Same Car? Were teh "old" tires cycled before test?
I'll procude excerpts of the article in accordance with the fair use doctrine when I get a chance. The fact that not each and every one of your questions may be expressly answered does not render the test null. One can assume that an internationally distributed car magazine with a professional editorial staff would run the tests in a scientifically sound manner.

Originally Posted by fsttyms1
I never said there was something wrong with trying to get the newest tire. Just that its overkill imho.
You clearly implied anyone seeking to do so was anal. That was insulting to me, (in case you haven't realize that by now), and insulting your members, whether intentionally or not, is something a moderator should look to avoid.

At this point in time, I'd be impressed if you simply apologized to me so I could continue to post in the helpful and informative manner in which I started before you interrupted this thread with your unappreciated two cents.
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Old 11-01-2007, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by TLAwesome
Well that's extremely unprofessional of you, and as a moderator, you should strive to do better.


I challenge you to find a single one of my posts in which I acted like a know-it-all, or exhibited any form of attitude, before you walked in on the scene with your inane, "your [sic] reading a little too much into the details" commentary. Perhaps you read into myprior posts attitude where none actually existed. If so, then once again, you exhibited an unprofessional trait for a forum moderator.



At this point in time, I'd be impressed if you simply apologized to me so I could continue to post in the helpful and informative manner in which I started before you interrupted this thread with your unappreciated two cents.
Sorry to disappoint you. Im only being biased and throwing in questions from the other point of view.

every time you posted you you were taking the sole information from a single article and deeming it to be the final word acting like a know it all.

Not happening.
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Old 11-02-2007, 11:19 PM
  #128  
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Originally Posted by fsttyms1
Sorry
Your apology is accepted. Even moderators sometimes have hard days.

Here's the sidebar about the fresh vs. stale tires. It appears on page 126 of the November 2007 issue of EVO magazine:



The tests were clearly done with the same car, however, inasmuch as neither the sidebar itself or the remainder of the feature provided answers to all of your questions, I posted them (along with one of my own) on EVO's official forums.

I've done some extensive googling trying to find some more information on the performance difference between fresh and "stale" tires. While there are dozens of websites that recommend getting fresh tires, storing them in sealed bags, etc., this test conducted by EVO is the only one I can find which actually bothered to see what happens when the rubber degrades in a warehouse. It would certainly be interesting to see another publication do further testing into this matter.
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Old 11-08-2007, 06:23 PM
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Bought the Pilot PA3. First impression is notably very quiet in the wet compared to the Pirelli Snowsport 210 which tends to be noiser in the wet and "whoosh" when driven over painted sections of the roads. I'll wait till the rubber spikes on the tread surface have all worn out first before I'll go and really try out these new snow tires.
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Old 11-08-2007, 07:08 PM
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Waiting till the rubber spikes are worn out?? What are you, some kind of know-it-all? :P

Just out of morbid curiosity, what's the production date for your Michelins?

I won't be putting on my WS60s until the end of the month at the earliest, so we'll have to wait a while for my report. I do not expect them to handle as well as the X-Ice in the dry, but they should be superior on the slippery white stuff.
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Old 11-08-2007, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by TLAwesome
Waiting till the rubber spikes are worn out?? What are you, some kind of know-it-all? :P
Stop being sacrastic

Originally Posted by TLAwesome
Just out of morbid curiosity, what's the production date for your Michelins?

I won't be putting on my WS60s until the end of the month at the earliest, so we'll have to wait a while for my report. I do not expect them to handle as well as the X-Ice in the dry, but they should be superior on the slippery white stuff.
New tires have rubber spikes covering the entire tread surface and the sidewall, to indicate that they are brand new. But these spikes prevent the tread face from coming into full contact of the road, and therefore much reduced adhesion. Haven't you noticed that brand new tires tend to be slippery and slide around a bit initially ? You just can't throw the car into corners with brand new tires right after leaving the tire shop, no matter how high performance or how sticky the tires are suppose to be.

But once the spikes are gone and the tread surface is smooth, then you have maximum adhesion and the fun begins.

The PA3's are brand new and in short supply in my region. So if I don't get them now and wait till people start buying snow tires, I may have to wait for the next shipment months away.
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Old 11-08-2007, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Edward'TLS
Bought the Pilot PA3. First impression is notably very quiet in the wet
Wow thats a first. Every set of Mich snow tires ive owned have been VERY noisy in the wet. Good to know. The original alpins were damn near unbearable in the wet the high pitch humming was so loud
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Old 11-09-2007, 01:26 AM
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Hey fasttimes, I don't think we're going to get an answer from the EVO editors any time soon, so we'll just have to take the sidebar I copied for what its worth.

Anyway, aside from the GSD3s, what do you suggest as a summer tire for my '99TL. And since I'm keeping the 16" wheels, what size do you suggest? I want something better than my g-Force Sports (215/55ZR16).
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Old 11-09-2007, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by TLAwesome
Hey fasttimes, I don't think we're going to get an answer from the EVO editors any time soon, so we'll just have to take the sidebar I copied for what its worth.

Anyway, aside from the GSD3s, what do you suggest as a summer tire for my '99TL. And since I'm keeping the 16" wheels, what size do you suggest? I want something better than my g-Force Sports (215/55ZR16).
I ran the GSD3 on the stock 16" wheel (225/55 and 225/50) The toyoT1-R. Pilot sx mxx3(though it wont last nearly as long as the other 2 listed) I dont know why the gsd3 doesnt have a higher rating at tire rack. It was rated the best hp tire, and most mags love that tire.
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Old 11-09-2007, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by fsttyms1
Wow thats a first. Every set of Mich snow tires ive owned have been VERY noisy in the wet. Good to know. The original alpins were damn near unbearable in the wet the high pitch humming was so loud
You know, I'm surprised too. But over the years, I've used Continental, Michelin (2 models), and Pirelli (2 models) snow tires, and find that newer models almost always give a better noise emission figure than the older models.

I once thought that my just-been-replaced Pirelli W210 was good already, because at least it didn't "whine" and "whoosh" in the dry. But now 5 years later, the PA3 becomes even better and is quiet even in the wet. No more "whoosh'ing" noise when driven over painted sections of roads, and no more "whining" noise when accelerating in the wet.

I guess the tread pattern makes a big difference in noise generation. Open tread block design tends to be noise but is excellent for mud and snow traction, whereas tightly packed tread block design (PA3) is quieter and perform better in the dry but is medicore in mud and snow traction.
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Old 11-09-2007, 05:19 PM
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Ed,

Don't be too quick to think that the PA3 won't destroy the W210s in the wet and snow. Compound and internal structure have just as much to do with traction as tread design, and the PA3 is years ahead of the W210s, literally.

Have you noticed the move away from directional patterns and now towards asymmetrical for the better high-performance tires? Goodyear, Michelin, Pirelli & Dunlop's highest performing tires are all now asymmetrical designs.

Fasttimes,

Call me anal, but I just can't see myself getting those GSD3s when Goodyear now has the new F1 Asymmetrical. I just wished already they'd make it in an appropriate 16" size.

Anyway, was your favorite of the three you just mentioned the Goodyear?
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Old 11-09-2007, 05:25 PM
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Now you've mentioned it, I didn't even aware of this trend. Indeed the tire makers seem to have moved from directional to asymetrical tread block designs. Better for the tire shops too, because they no longer have to specifically order the left side or the right side of a directional tire.
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Old 11-09-2007, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by TLAwesome
Ed,

Don't be too quick to think that the PA3 won't destroy the W210s in the wet and snow. Compound and internal structure have just as much to do with traction as tread design, and the PA3 is years ahead of the W210s, literally.

Have you noticed the move away from directional patterns and now towards asymmetrical for the better high-performance tires? Goodyear, Michelin, Pirelli & Dunlop's highest performing tires are all now asymmetrical designs.

Fasttimes,

Call me anal, but I just can't see myself getting those GSD3s when Goodyear now has the new F1 Asymmetrical. I just wished already they'd make it in an appropriate 16" size.

Anyway, was your favorite of the three you just mentioned the Goodyear?
I still think the GSD3 will be a better tire in the wet. and thats where it really shines. I have never driven a tire with as much grip in the wet. weather it be a mist or torrential down pour. they are unflappable.

And to your last question yes. Ive owned most of the UHP tires out there and the GSD3 has been my favorite by far. Not to mention it lasted on average 12k more miles than the others ive used.
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Old 11-13-2007, 12:36 PM
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hey guys, what winter tires are you all currently using? Im looking to get some by the weekend and cant seem to decide. I live in toronto, so our weather is all over the place usually, one day blizzard, next day dry roads. Most of you have said that the Dunlop Wintersport M3 tires and Blizzak WS50 are pretty good, so im looking into those for now...how are the road noises, ride and traction during dry conditions and wet for these tires...as well should i be worried about getting 'v' rated tires?

thanks for the help!
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Old 11-14-2007, 01:02 PM
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Go to tirerack and compare them. I found the M3s to be better in the dry and wet than most regular allseasons. They were a very quiet tire and as for the V rating, Not unless you plan on driving over 130 MPH for sustained periods of time
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Old 11-14-2007, 01:26 PM
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The question about getting a V-speed rated tire can only be answered by you. If you want to maximize your dry handling at the expense of ultimate bad-weather grip, then yes, you would want to consider a tire such as the Michelin Pilot Alpin PA3, just like Edward did. If your goal is to get maximum snow + ice traction, than a better bet would be a more dedicated winter tire like the Blizzak WS60 (R-rated). As is usually the case with tires, everything is a trade-off.

Snow tires generally speaking tend to be noisier, but it really depends on what you're comparing it to. There are plenty of noisy summer tires (BF-Goodrich KDW2 comes to mind). Ride comfort will probably be BETTER than a dedicated summer tire.

Here's some suggestions, going from maximum snow traction (worse dry) (I'll call this category 1) to better dry handling (worse snow) (Category 3)

Category 1
Blizzak WS60 (highest traction snow+ice traction, dry handling will suffer)

Category 2
Michelin X-Ice (very high snow+ice traction, handles like a decent, non-performance all-season tire)

Category 3 (performance-oriented, less snow traction - these will handle better than most all-season "touring" tires and all standard "all season" tires)
Michelin Primacy Alpin PA3 (excellent wet & dry (2007 ADAC top-performer))
Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D (excellent wet & snow (2007 ADAC top-performer))
Goodyear Eagle GW3 (2006 ADAC test winner)

Category 4 (most performance, less snow traction - these will approach summer-tire handling yet still provide adequate snow traction)
Michelin Pilot Alpin PA3
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Old 11-14-2007, 01:44 PM
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Correction: the Eagle GW3 was Consumer Report's winner for 2006, not ADAC. I can't remember everything
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Old 11-14-2007, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by fsttyms1
Go to tirerack and compare them. I found the M3s to be better in the dry and wet than most regular allseasons. They were a very quiet tire and as for the V rating, Not unless you plan on driving over 130 MPH for sustained periods of time
In general, V-rated tires have a more rigid construction and stiffer sidewalls than H-rated tires, in order to withstand the heat and stress operating at over 130mph. An additional benefit for rigid construction and stiffer sidewalls is that the V-rated tires are more responsive and can take corners with a higher speed than the equivalent H-rated tires at all driving speeds. However, the ride also becomes rougher as a result.

As for snow tires, V-rated ones will never be as good in the snow and ice as the lower-speed-rated ones, because the tread compound and multi-cell (Bridgestone) construction which work best in snow and ice will not meet the V speed rating. So V-rated snow tires emphasize more on dry performance than on snow/ice traction. If you want maximum traction on snow/ice, stay away from V-rated snow tires.
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Old 11-17-2007, 11:12 AM
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I am going into my 4th winter with M3's. I put on a lot of miles in the winter running around the upper midwest, which includes much snow, slush and then could be weeks of dry, high speed interstate driving. The M3's are great for both dry and nasty - they are better than my Avid 4's in every respect and were better than OEM Michiens for handling - just a small amount louder. I realize they are a dated design now, but I will be very cautious when it comes time to replace them.
The problem with the non performance winter tires are that they are very squishy on the dry roads - I run snow tires on my other family vehicles that are not performance type tires - I could not imagine them on my TL, no way. My M3's perform extremely well in inclement weather - I literally blow by 4x4 trucks and SUVs in the winter weather. I would definitly advise you purchase a performance type winter tire for your TL, as for which, read through Tirerack ratings. It will be difficult for me to buy something other than M3's, but I do see they have a new "3D" model now.
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Old 11-27-2007, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by hockeynut
I am going into my 4th winter with M3's. I put on a lot of miles in the winter running around the upper midwest, which includes much snow, slush and then could be weeks of dry, high speed interstate driving. The M3's are great for both dry and nasty - they are better than my Avid 4's in every respect and were better than OEM Michiens for handling - just a small amount louder. I realize they are a dated design now, but I will be very cautious when it comes time to replace them.
The problem with the non performance winter tires are that they are very squishy on the dry roads - I run snow tires on my other family vehicles that are not performance type tires - I could not imagine them on my TL, no way. My M3's perform extremely well in inclement weather - I literally blow by 4x4 trucks and SUVs in the winter weather. I would definitly advise you purchase a performance type winter tire for your TL, as for which, read through Tirerack ratings. It will be difficult for me to buy something other than M3's, but I do see they have a new "3D" model now.
100%....

Oh and i just picked up a set of the new 3D's Ill let you know how they are in comparison to my M3s. (as soon as we get snow to be able to compare to)
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Old 11-27-2007, 02:14 PM
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fsttyms1, what tire size of the 3D did you get ? How quiet are they ?
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Old 11-27-2007, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Edward'TLS
fsttyms1, what tire size of the 3D did you get ? How quiet are they ?
I went with the 215/55/16. I havent driven on the HWY yet but in town they are every bit as quiet as the M3s were and they were better than stock tires
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Old 11-27-2007, 05:51 PM
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man here in northern alberta winter is 7 months long and it snows all the time and there is ice on the road all the time and I am going with some random ass goodyear all weathers stock size tires and they are working just fine if you knwo how to drive the car.
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Old 11-27-2007, 06:53 PM
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Sometimes "just fine" is not enough for the hard core guys like us. We are all here to push the limits. If you know how to drive the car, and if you have the best equipment (i.e. kick-ass snow tires), then you can make fun out of an otherwise long and dull winter season.
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Old 11-27-2007, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by myron
man here in northern alberta winter is 7 months long and it snows all the time and there is ice on the road all the time and I am going with some random ass goodyear all weathers stock size tires and they are working just fine if you knwo how to drive the car.
Of course they will work, but a snow tire will be a much safer and better tire regardless if you know how to drive or not. I know how to drive in the snow and ice and a dedicated snow tire makes all the difference in the world. I do it more for safety than anything.
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Old 11-27-2007, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Edward'TLS
Sometimes "just fine" is not enough for the hard core guys like us. We are all here to push the limits. If you know how to drive the car, and if you have the best equipment (i.e. kick-ass snow tires), then you can make fun out of an otherwise long and dull winter season.
Not to mention drive circles around the "just fine" all season tires.
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Old 11-28-2007, 12:41 AM
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I guess but thats just if I drive lots. I drive 15km to work every day and to the gym and back so I dont need some expencive ass tires. and mind you that the shit is way more expencive in canada. 4 all season goodyear tires with a deal that if you buy 3 you get 1 for free still comes out to 840dollars. now think about that. Spending more money or be a little more carefull. in my opinion, spend a little less money and use the remaining money to fix the seat warmer.
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Old 11-28-2007, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by myron
man here in northern alberta winter is 7 months long and it snows all the time and there is ice on the road all the time and I am going with some random ass goodyear all weathers stock size tires and they are working just fine if you knwo how to drive the car.
I get this all the time from people "you buy snow tires? 4 of them!? but I have all season tires"

A local mechanic talked me into trying 4 snows several years ago for my TDI Jetta as I put a lot of miles on in the winter running kids all over for hockey (well, used to anyways). I could not believe the difference they make. I buy a set for all the family cars now - I look at it as cheap insurance and peace of mind while driving in the elements. Figure I originally spent about $420 or so for my 4 M3's, I'm going on my 4th winter with them - how much is that per year?? And I put on more miles than the average person in winter, so you could definitely get more than 4 winters out of them. How much is your deductable if you do soemthing to the car? Increase in rates? Well worth the money IMO. Obviously if you don't have the money than you can get by with all season, but to me they're worth more than what I pay for what they deliver.
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Old 11-28-2007, 03:21 PM
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well the thing is I dont plan on keeping this car for more then 1.5 to 2 years, and I just got the car in september and I needed new tires. now spending 1000+ on winter tires and then that much again in the spring on normal tires is a bad investment in my opinion, so I just decided all season is good enough. so what ever happens happens, fuck it.
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by hockeynut
I get this all the time from people "you buy snow tires? 4 of them!? but I have all season tires"

A local mechanic talked me into trying 4 snows several years ago for my TDI Jetta as I put a lot of miles on in the winter running kids all over for hockey (well, used to anyways). I could not believe the difference they make. I buy a set for all the family cars now - I look at it as cheap insurance and peace of mind while driving in the elements. Figure I originally spent about $420 or so for my 4 M3's, I'm going on my 4th winter with them - how much is that per year?? And I put on more miles than the average person in winter, so you could definitely get more than 4 winters out of them. How much is your deductable if you do soemthing to the car? Increase in rates? Well worth the money IMO. Obviously if you don't have the money than you can get by with all season, but to me they're worth more than what I pay for what they deliver.
Couldn't agree more.
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Old 12-01-2007, 10:42 AM
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I would say 'all-season' is OK but there is better. I mean, as long as people don't drive like idiots, you could make due to 'all-season' tires. And true winter tires as 'insurance' ... absolutely 100% agree with that comment.

https://acurazine.com/forums/showthr...=378108&page=2
I would consider the purchase of winter tires only fitting for people who need to drive in adverse conditions in the winter (ie live in a snow belt area, affected by 'Noreasters, etc). Winter tires are like purchasing supplemental insurance ... you don't necessarily need it ... but it gives people peace of mind. You only need it in an emergency ... but who can foretell when they will be put into a hazardous situation?
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Old 12-02-2007, 01:06 PM
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Bridgestone Blizzak WS60 Preview by TLAwesome

The past two days have given me the opportunity to preview Bridgestone's latest winter technological marvel, the all-new Blizzak WS60 dedicated snow tire. This preview will discuss my initial handling thoughts comparing the WS60s to my old snow tire, the still fine Michelin X-Ice and my summer tire, the BF-Goodrich g-Force Sport. The test vehicle is my '99 Acura 3.2 TL. The winter tires are mounted on the OE 16" wheel (offset 55), and are OE 205/60R16. The summer tires were on aftermarket 16x7" wheels with a +42 offset and are 215/55ZR16.

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THE TIRE
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The Blizzak WS60 incorporates several improvements over Bridgestone's earlier generation WS50s and REVO Blizzaks, most notably is more efficient usage of the tread/void ratio (there's more tread on the road, but water evacuation is supposedly at least as good or superior due to tread design) and the microscopic "tubes" that provide most Blizzaks' ability to whisk away water from the surface of ice are 50% larger than in the prior-gen tires, giving better traction in the most dangerous condition- wet ice.

Here's a closeup of the tread design:



The directional tread has a wide, center circumferential groove and two narrower circumferential grooves in between the center and the outer shoulder, which provides for good, straight-line water evacuation. There's also wide, curved, directional grooves to further push water out to the sides of the tire. Hydroplane resistance and overall wet traction should be on par with the Michelin X-Ice. Note my boot-prints, and bonus points to anyone who can guess what brand of tire my boot prints represent:



Finally, the Blizzak sports a stylish sidewall, sure to pleases those of you who are into appearances:



--------------------------
THE COMPARISON
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Tracking & Stability: The Micehlin X-Ice is a squirrely tire. It never wanted to go straight. This gave the X-Ice good steering response but the tire never felt firmly planted in straight-line cruising. The g-Force sports, on the other hand, felt unbelievable planted yet also had instant steering response. Unlike either tire, the new WS60s feel well planted, at the expense of slow turning response. Compared with my summer tires, it feels as if I'm giving an order to turn and waiting for my first officer to repeat the command before the car actually turns. However, I prefer the WS60's superior stability over the X-Ice's jumpy nature.

Cornering: N/A. I have not pushed the tire, as it is still brand new. You'll have to wait for a more formal review.

Snow traction: There was enough snow today to make the roads around my house slippery with a nice, solid white coating. The snow traction was immediately superior to the X-Ice, which itself was a great winter tire. Keep in mind I still haven't pushed the tire anywhere near its limits, but I could tell right away these tires responded to more throttle than the X-Ice's could without slipping.

Wet traction: They seemed just as capable as the Michelin X-Ice. That is to say, you're not going to want to push this tire in the wet. Wet traction isn't as good as a dedicated summer tire, even my dry-optimized g-Force sports.

Noise & Comfort: The tire rocks on noise. It's quieter than both the X-Ice and the g-Force Sport. However, bumps in the road were just slightly less harsh than with my summer tires. I really don't recall how my X-Ice handled road irregularities, but I imagine it was as good if not better than the WS60s. But the WS60s definitely win in the noise department.

Breaking: Well, you knew there had to be a tradeoff somewhere. The g-Force Sport may well be the closest thing to a racing slick in dry-breaking performance. Compared to the g-Force, it seems like the WS60s take all-day long to break in the dry. I don't recall the X-Ice being so inferior in breaking, so I have to assume that the dry breaking is a weakness in the WS60. Still, you get this tire to be able to break in the snow, where it seems to me to be better than the X-Ice.

Conclusion: The WS60 is now my top choice for non-performance oriented snow tire, beating out the prior champ, the Michelin X-Ice.
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Old 12-03-2007, 11:27 AM
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fsttyms1 - now that we've had a good dose of winter, what are your impressions of the Dunlop Wintersport M3D vs. the M3?
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Old 12-03-2007, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by hockeynut
fsttyms1 - now that we've had a good dose of winter, what are your impressions of the Dunlop Wintersport M3D vs. the M3?
I like it even better. Ill try to write up a better review later but i believe it to have better deep snow traction while retaining all the performance. I was able to take off almost as fast as my expedition that has AWD. I could out brake just about every thing (and i dont have ABS or TCS)
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Old 12-03-2007, 07:06 PM
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Finally, first snow storm of the season came with 5-15cm accumulation over the past weekend. This was nothing compared to what the prairies and the East coast received, but enough for the West coasters to cause complete chaos.

In the snow, the Pilot Alpin PA3 performed even better than the old Pirelli SnowSport W210. Snow traction was amasingly good. In comparison, I also drove my wife's A6 3.2 Quattro equipped with Pirelli PZero M+S all season tires. The Stability control on the A6 was kicking in all the times during accelerating and braking, whereas the VSA on the TL-S rarely came on. The tail end of the A6 was sliding all over the place while taking corners, whereas the TL-S was sure-footed throughout the corners unless I pushed it too far.

It is fair to say that the snow-tired (PA3) FWD TL-S can run circles around the all-season-tired (PZero M+S) AWD A6 in the snow. Another good thing about the PA3 is that this snow tire is quiet even in the wet, something that is unheard of before.

In the dry, the Pilot PA3 behaves more like a high-performance summer tire (rather than a high-performance all-season tire) in the dry, and haven't even squealed once during hard cornerings.

Tire technology advances. Simply amazing. Even though not quite at the same level of the best snow traction tires, the Pilot PA3 is a capable snow tire which also doubles as a high-performance summer tire in the dry.
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