A Quick Postnote

Remember how I bought dedicated snow tires for the Town Cow last October? …Yea — totally worth it.

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  1. mdharrell Avatar

    At least my winter tires are snow-colored: black where driven upon, elsewhere white.
    <img src="http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5249/5206582903_3b59dc0159.jpg&quot; width="400">

    1. dead_elvis Avatar

      Damn, you have a good-lookin' driveway!

  2. Thrashy Avatar
  3. engineerd Avatar

    I put Blizzaks on the Mustang this winter. Totally worth it. The P-Zeros are great in the summer, and are supposedly all-season, but they were a bit scary last winter. I'm totally sold on winter tires and will be putting a set on every car I own from now until eternity…or until I can find a job somewhere warmer.

    1. JayP Avatar

      I have PZeroNeros on my Mustang too… just looking at it funny in the DAMP would send it into a spin.

  4. SSurfer321 Avatar

    I'm debating on whether or not to purchase winter tires for the wife's Subaru and my truck.
    Lexington, KY (where we are relocating to from Toledo, OH) supposedly gets minimal snowfall every year and has an average winter temp of 35. Typically peek driving time hours the temperature is above 35 so all seasons should still be pliable. On the other hand, due to the climate hovering around the freezing mark, ice storms are more frequent than snow.
    Please reply with your opinion and reasoning.
    Thank you Hoons in advance for your input.

    1. Deartháir Avatar

      Yes. Seriously, just yes. I can't think of any reason not to buy a set of winter tires. Get some cheap steely rims, have them mounted in your garage. Running on a set of winters, and a set of summers, means that you'll have better traction in both seasons, and the tires will not wear out as quickly. So whereas you might have to, what, replace a set of all-seasons every two years or something, I can usually get at least 5 years out of a set of winters and summers.
      The most common argument I've heard for all-seasons is something to the effect of "it's good enough". If "good enough" was all you were looking for in a car, you wouldn't be hanging out on Hooniverse. So you won't have to buy a set of steelie wheels, which means you'll likely save, what, $200 to $400. If I offered you any other option that would save you a couple hundred bucks over the life of your car, and only moderately increase your chances of dying in a horrible accident, while offering no discernible driving benefit whatsoever, and dramatically decreasing performance under some conditions, would you take it?

    2. OA5599 Avatar

      Take the money you would spend on ONE set of snow tires, spend it on extra gas for the U-haul, and end up someplace like Atlanta or Birmingham instead of Lexington. No more snow tires needed.

      1. FЯeeMan Avatar


    3. facelvega Avatar

      Toledo or places colder, sure snows of course, only laziness would justify all seasons. But Lexington? The really dire need for snows is when there is thick mush and/or ice on the roads and when sometimes the temperature is far below freezing. I think Lexington is in the climate band where a good set of performance all-seasons actually makes sense. That said, I'm up north in NYC and am running snows now, and for these months I really wish I had AWD– not for driving, just for getting in and out of street parking when every space is in the middle of a snowbank for four or five days after a storm.

    4. jjd241 Avatar

      Here in Washington, studded tires are a popular option. They are quite effective on black ice. They do tend to chew up the roads, but seems to be worth the effort. When I was young and irresponsible, I got a ticket once for driving with studs after the spring deadline for removal. I just got new all seasons for my T-Bird daily driver since my skins were shot. Couldn't afford a set of winters this year. I do have my Blazer if we get any accumulation. My brother owns a salvage yard and came up with a set of truck tires that were so new they still had the little nubbins still on them. Some hooner wrecked his rig a week after getting new tires. Bad for him, good for me!

    5. Mr_Biggles Avatar

      There's a really good write-up on BMW blog about some of the technical ins and outs. Alright alright, you all know where I read it first but at least I didn't link directly there.
      And snow tires all the way. It really is a night and day difference. Safety issues aside, I actually kind of enjoy winter driving for the hoonability it allows. Heavy snow is like a horsepower/handling equalizer and a good set of snows means I can take any number of cars at the green light that cost 5 times what my Focus did.

    6. Mike M Northerner Avatar
      Mike M Northerner

      I have to laugh. The forcast today in Louisville is for 1-3 inches of snow, maybe, and there are county-wide school closures at 7:00am. For snow that might or might not come,…. for 3 inches!!! I am also abandoning Ohio,Cleveland, for Kentucky, Louisville and have been here for the ice. We who have enjoyed real winters and can drive anywhere on bald all-seasons' will find Kentucky ice a little more of a challenge. They don't have the road clearing equipment that Northerners have. They wait for the sun to melt the ice. The ice will be the only reason to buy dedicated snow tires, and well woth it,…… until I corner the market on salt and bring the rust belt to KY.Ha Ha Ha.

  5. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    I'm crap at tyres. The Kumho Ecsta Sports I bought for the Audi, and which I have been raving about for ages, just came last in an EVO group test.
    When it snows here winter tyres are pointless. The country shuts down so completely you may as well spend your money on some new DVDs to watch while you stay in bed instead.

    1. Thrashy Avatar

      I very nearly poked fun at some of my British friends over the recent closure of Heathrow over an inch and a half of snow, but then though better of it… and was very glad I did when more or less the same thing happened to the whole East Coast a few days afterwards.

      1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

        You're probably aware of the hilarious problem we had several years back with snow on the railways. Snow was getting into locomotive traction motors and burning them out, BR called it "The wrong kind of snow", as it was much drier and more powdery than we usually get.
        As if snow wasn't problem enough already, we have to have sub-categories to worry about.

        1. Thrashy Avatar

          I recall (vaguely, so forgive me if the humor falls flat) a quip about the Brits and weather that went something like this:
          In the spring you can't travel in England because the rain has flooded all the roads and the railroad ballast has been washed away.
          In the summer, you can't travel in England because the scorching heat is melting the pavement, and the rails have all warped out of alignment in the sun.
          In the fall, you can't travel in England because there are wet leaves slicking up the roadways and fouling the works on the trains.
          In the winter, you can't travel in England because there's ice on the roads, and all the rail lines are snowpacked.

          1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

            Sounds pretty much spot on. In fact that may well be this years Government transport manifesto!

  6. P161911 Avatar

    Here in Georgia we got what amounted to a blizzard for us 4-6" of snow, now the freezing rain goes on top of it..,oh joy.
    I had prepared the old 2WD F-150 for winter duty on Saturday: full tank of gas, 100lbs. of sand + some concrete blocks and whatever heavy crap I could find to chunk in the bed, covered the windows with a tarp, had a spare tank of gas, only half bald sort of mud and snow tires from the used tire store. Late this morning I had to venture out to pick up a prescription for the wife. I dress in a slightly warmer outfit than I would wear snow skiing or snowmobiling, I'm prepared to walk home if it is too rough or end up in the ditch. I get the prescription at the drug store and leave the truck running so the windows don't ice over. I deiced that I need some things at the grocery store (dog's been sick too, ran out of carpet cleaner) across the street too. Cut the truck off and go inside. Come back out, it won't start, won't jump, and jammed too tight in the slippery parking lot to push off. I even get desperate and crawl under the truck with live jumper cables to hit the starter directly. The starter is DEAD. I end up coming home on a tow truck. Not because I was some idiot that put it in a ditch, but because of a stupid starter! For what it is worth, I didn't have any problems driving in the snow. About 25% of the people out and about were on ATVs.

  7. Alff Avatar

    Any recommendations out there for winter friendly 45-series tires? The Potenzas on the Subie are NOT cutting it.

    1. engineerd Avatar

      Blizzaks are great and you can usually get them on sale in the spring…if you can wait that long. Those are the only ones I've had any experience with.

    2. facelvega Avatar

      I've noticed the potenza problem on my girlfriend's subaru as well. Why would Subaru pick such slippery tires as stock for all wheel drive cars in the deep north? The mind boggles. This corporate decision could potentially leave the entire state of Vermont helpless. (Last time I was in the Barnes and Noble in Burlington, I happened to sit at the window with a cup of coffee. Eight of the maybe twenty cars I could see in front of the place were Outbacks. Two were foresters.)

  8. Tim Odell Avatar
    Tim Odell

    Highs this week right around 70, lows in the mid 40s.
    Just sayin'…
    Although, oddly enough, what constitutes enough snow to raise hell in the rest of the country still baffles me. In the sierras, anything less than 1 foot isn't really considered much snow, more of a nice dusting. Up around 2-3 feet and we're talking. This "4 inches over night…as much as 2 feet this week" that it takes to shut things down on the east coast…bah!
    However, I will cede that the California Highway Patrol/CalTrans, who both work very very hard, are likely the reason for the prevalence of "mandatory AWD" in recent years. You see, the second a couple of flecks of snow hit the ground, the immediately require 2wd vehicles to don chains. Over the holidays we were cruising along on a clear Interstate 80, pitying the fools clonking along on what were basically wet roads in their chains.
    So, uh, as a Californian, sorry about that.

  9. omg_grip Avatar

    having driven my grand marquis in a modest 3-4 inches of snow on some crappy all season touring tires (tons of tread depth, surprisingly little traction), and getting stuck twice in my own neighborhood….I am inclined to agree that on certain cars dedicated winter tires can make a huge difference. Ive never bought them though, and probably wont. Theres like 3 days a year we would ever need them, the rest of the time theres snow on the ground the roads are so quick to get cleared and salted it really is just a wet road 90% of the winter.
    Besides our new mazda mpv winter/weekend beater has decent ground clearance, 4wd, and 4 brand new michelin ltx m/s tires so things should be just fine if we get that snow they are talking about today.

  10. Jim Brennan Avatar
    Jim Brennan

    Ahhhh, winter in New England. The forecast for tonight (Jan 11) is for a Noreaster that will dump over a foot of snow, and certain areas could have the possibility of 2 feet, with plenty of drifts because of the 30 – 50 MPH wind gusts that are also expected. The Envoy has Mud & Snow tires, while the Villager has All Season. I'm planning on using the Villager.
    We have OK snow clearing equipment in Connecticut, but it seems that New York and Massachusetts are better at it because when I reach their borders, all lanes are opened.
    I hope there isn't much traffic tomorrow.

  11. Abe Avatar

    For purely winter driving in my FWD compacts I've had very good luck with Green Diamond Tires http://www.greendiamondtire.com/ . Yes they are recaps, yes they absolutely rule on the ice.

  12. ErikT Avatar

    Growing up in upstate NY swapping steelies w/snows onto the cars was usually a pre-thanksgiving ritual (or the night before the first forecasted storm). When my sister moved to south-eastern MA (just off Cape Cod) she went to Sears to buy snow tires for her corolla and got laughed out of the tire store…the same thing happened to a few of her co-workers who weren't from that area as well. Now they're looking at getting their 2nd or third major storm of the year…
    In the mid-atlantic you don't see many cars with snow tires. I had them on my E30 (w/LSD) and I did much better than pretty much everyone else in the snow.