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Winter Tires

 
Old 01-30-2019, 03:59 PM
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Winter Tires

As owner of a '16 Sport Hybrid Adv, I've been very pleased with how well this car has held up over the past three years. I'm on my 3rd winter now in Chicago with the original OEM Michelin Primacys. The past day has been especially brutal, but the RLX has been soldiering on without a hiccup. This morning in particular is exceptional, but after a good 10-minute warm-up, the engine, transmission, and brakes don't even seem to be impacted in any negative way. What a well engineered machine!

I am more convinced now a this point of ownership that snow tires should be a must for snow belt cities for this car. I've never believed in changing the tread before, but despite the eSH-AWD, my car has been fish-tailing like a seal in killer whale's mouth. It's generally predictable and even a little fun, but I don't feel like I'm really benefitting from an AWD vehicle in any freezing or generally slick conditions. Granted, no car is perfect for such conditions, and I always modify my driving behavior to accommodate 90 degree turns, but I've found little benefit of the negative torque provided by the electric motors on the rear wheels let alone the additional weight over the rear axel.

I questions a few things: is the traditional SH-AWD superior for such conditions rather than relying on all of the computers attempting to predict and dictate power distribution? Concerning winter tires, would down-sizing to 18-inch rims (perhaps from an older '14 PAWS model) be better equipped to contend with snowy conditions as opposed to keeping the 19-inch rims with snow tires? The difference in prices for snow tires between 18- and 19-inch sizes is practically double for some brands which almost justifies the purchase of different rims...

I'll likely continue with the OEMs for one more year, but I'm developing the itch to replace even these sooner to some Pilot Sport A/S 3+ by summer/fall... I'd be curious to hear what others are doing for these winter months as well as the warm ones...
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Old 01-30-2019, 04:20 PM
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My snow tires are 18 inch. The primary reason for buying 18 inch was to give the rims a bit more protection from bumpy, icy, rutted roads in the winter and huge pot holes in the spring.

Purchasing rims to go with your winter tires also spares your summer set from the salt, sand and abuse of winter roads while making switch-overs much easier.

Just my two cents.
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:06 PM
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As a resident of the Northern suburbs of Chicago, I did think of buying a set of winter tires for my '17 SH-AWD. However, the car was fish-tailing even in light rain in July/August.

Hence, decided to replace the OEMs with a set of Pilot Sport A/S 3+. Got them replaced this morning at the dealer in Libertyville. Tonight's ice storm in the Chicago area should be a good time to test for any fish-tailings.
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:23 PM
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^^ Ice and snow are two completely different animals, but the new snow tires may help some.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by jbarua View Post
As a resident of the Northern suburbs of Chicago, I did think of buying a set of winter tires for my '17 SH-AWD. However, the car was fish-tailing even in light rain in July/August.

Hence, decided to replace the OEMs with a set of Pilot Sport A/S 3+. Got them replaced this morning at the dealer in Libertyville. Tonight's ice storm in the Chicago area should be a good time to test for any fish-tailings.
I've been considering these exact tires myself. How do they compare since replacing the OEM Primacys? Since we're probably only a few miles apart, how are the Pilots handling the icy roads? Any difference in road noise at higher speeds? How's the ride quality over rougher roads? Thanks for the input...
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by jbarua View Post
As a resident of the Northern suburbs of Chicago, I did think of buying a set of winter tires for my '17 SH-AWD. However, the car was fish-tailing even in light rain in July/August.

Hence, decided to replace the OEMs with a set of Pilot Sport A/S 3+. Got them replaced this morning at the dealer in Libertyville. Tonight's ice storm in the Chicago area should be a good time to test for any fish-tailings.
Originally Posted by Bellanova View Post
I've been considering these exact tires myself. How do they compare since replacing the OEM Primacys? Since we're probably only a few miles apart, how are the Pilots handling the icy roads? Any difference in road noise at higher speeds? How's the ride quality over rougher roads? Thanks for the input...
I see we have a few SH-AWD in Chicago area! Pretty cool
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:07 PM
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My experience over the last 2 years (changing over to Pilots at 10,000mi), is you will see a night and day difference in rain, and a lesser difference in ice and snow. The problem is with the design of the back drive wheels that will not let the wheels coast (freewheel) through a corner.
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Bellanova View Post
I've been considering these exact tires myself. How do they compare since replacing the OEM Primacys? Since we're probably only a few miles apart, how are the Pilots handling the icy roads? Any difference in road noise at higher speeds? How's the ride quality over rougher roads? Thanks for the input...
Following are my observations - after having driven the car for the last 3 days with the new Michelin AS/3s -
- Road Noise - Yes - the "quiet" of the RLX at low speed is pretty much gone. But, the noise level at higher speeds in the highway wasn't that bad though.
- 0-to-30 - Sluggish. Don't have the instant-response feel of the RLX anymore. Highway Merging at 40+ MPH wasn't an issue as the car generated enough power.

Overall highway driving almost feels the same as with the OEMs. It's at lower speed wherein it feels like driving an entirely different car.

Didn't get ice or snow in the last 3 days to test them in all conditions.
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Old 02-09-2019, 12:00 PM
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If cost, storage and the switchover hassle are manageable for you, then having a set of dedicated snow tires is the way to go. A good set of snow tires will SIGNIFICANTLY out perform even the best all season tire on snow and especially on ice. Of course, your local climate will dictate how often you have to drive in snowy or icy conditions and make the decision to buy snow tires pretty obvious. Bottom line, if the temperature is below 45 F, it is safer to be on snow/winter tires even if there is no snow or ice.

Just my two cents.
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Old 02-12-2019, 07:55 PM
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Thanks for all of the input. The Pilots definitely sound like the superior tire. I too have noticed significant slipping in the summer rains -- not just the snow and ice we've been inundated with as of late. I wondering whether Michelin, from whom I almost exclusively buy tires, will release the Primacy Tour A/S with sizes for the RLX. I recently installed these as replacements for my wife's TSX wagon and have been pleasantly surprised. Frankly, her car feels safer and better planted in the nasty stuff than my RLX. The tire was just released this past year, and it's basically a modification of the OEM Primacy MXM4 from the RLX... We'll have to see what comes this year because I'm not going through another winter with the OEM Primacys. As for winter tires -- I'm still on the fence as to whether to incur the additional cost and hassle of changing and storage. One a dry and clear winter day, I'm sure I'd find winter tread patterns annoying...
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