Shopping for Winter Tires

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Wurm, Oct 7, 2003.

  1. Wurm

    Wurm Guest

    Hi all,

    Im poking around for winter tires for my '98 SL2, mainly cause after last
    winter I relized that no matter how good my all season tires are this car
    doesnt weigh enough to not slip so damn much (when compared to my old
    Oldsmobile Cutlass Cierra which was fine in canadian winters with dead all
    season tires!). So, does anyone out there have any suggestions? or any
    review sites which give snow reviews from people that actually drive in
    serious long lasting winters (i.e. montreal winter, not florida winter!).
    Also, stock, my tire size is 185/65/15, and I see lots of people selling
    slightly used winter tires with the same size except that they are 14 inch
    instead of 15, is that acceptable for my car?.

    TIA!

    Wurm
     
    Wurm, Oct 7, 2003
    #1
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  2. Wurm

    Napalm Heart Guest

    Tirerack www.tirerack.com has a good explanation of winter tire
    sizing.

    Ken
     
    Napalm Heart, Oct 7, 2003
    #2
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  3. Wurm

    Wurm Guest

    Ahh, was just there today, and is actually the site i used to find my
    Dunlop's, but I didnt see anything specifically geared towards winter
    tires..... then again, i didnt look very hard ;)

    ill check thru it again

    thanx
     
    Wurm, Oct 7, 2003
    #3
  4. Wurm

    Wurm Guest

    boy im dumb.... just saw the link for winter tires

    heh heh heh
     
    Wurm, Oct 7, 2003
    #4
  5. Wurm

    TC Guest

    Try the www.apa.com website. They are big on Bridgestone Blizzaks. I use
    Blizzaks on my SW2 and they are great on Winnipeg's snow and occasional
    ice. You can interchange the 14" and 15" Saturn wheels. The bolt holes
    and spacing are the same. Your speedomteter will be out a little bit.
    ABS, if you have, will be unaffected.
     
    TC, Oct 7, 2003
    #5
  6. Wurm

    Lane Guest

    Tire Rack has a large section of user opinions on the tires, and they're
    pretty useful. People actually say the conditions they use the tires in.

    I've had Bridgestone Blizzak's for several years now. In Wisconsin winters,
    they've been great. And they are wearing very well. A much longer opinion
    of them is in the 94 modifications section on my website.

    Lane [ l a n e @ p a i r . c o m ]
     
    Lane, Oct 7, 2003
    #6
  7. Wurm

    Kelly Guest

    Wal-Mart sells good cheap winter tires, I know a guy driving his for 3 years
    (and during the summer), but cheap comes at a price, high-school kids
    servicing your car - your call.
     
    Kelly, Oct 8, 2003
    #7
  8. Wurm

    Frank Guest



    I was hesitant to change my tire size from OEM 175/70R14 (and it's the
    only tire size listed on my door-sticker) to something like 185/65R14
    (only 0.7% difference in size
    http://www.miata.net/garage/tirecalc.html) so I bought two sets of
    Michelin Artic Alpin in 175/70R14 so far. My first set of Michelin
    lasted 32,704km in winter, then I used it for a while in summer (not
    enough thread for winter).

    Now that I looked into up-sizing and realize there is not much to it,
    I will change the tire size to open up options. If I had to buy this
    year, I would look at a Bridgestone Blizzak or a Nokian Hakkapeliitta.

    I installed the Blizzak on my wife's Focus wagon and was impressed
    with the handling in deap snow and stopping ability on ice or packed
    snow compared to the Michelin (on different cars off course but
    still). One note though, the Blizzak is even more sensitive to
    temperature than other winter tires, including the Michelin Artic
    Alpin so install late and remove early.

    Never tried the Nokian myself but heard lots of good things about it
    and want to try it.

    One note about changing tire size, you need to adjust the tire
    pressure to optimize the contact patch for your application
    (conservative vs agressive driving style). I have yet to find a good
    website that explain how to do so. Guys I know that up-size their
    tires do a trial and error thing. If you go to a 175/70R14, the OEM
    tire pressure at 30psi front, 26psi rear.

    How did you like the Dunlops? SP Sport A2?

    Let us know what you choose.

    Frank
    97 SL1
    101,000 miles
    Ottawa
     
    Frank, Oct 9, 2003
    #8
  9. Wurm

    Wurm Guest

    Hi,

    Thanks for the feedback, prolly gonna hit a few stores this weekend and
    compare prices and see what I can learn through that. As for my Dunlops,
    yup, they're the SP Sport A2s, and I love em. Stick to the road very well,
    let me take turns at fairly high speeds without complaining or squealing,
    fairly quiet and ride well at high speeds (170 km/h). The only complaint is
    that they are utterly useless in the winter, then again that could be due to
    the weight of the car as opposed to the tires.... but I didnt feel too safe
    last year

    Wurm
     
    Wurm, Oct 10, 2003
    #9
  10. Wurm

    BANDIT2941 Guest

    Hi,
    The SPs were OK but I wore 'em out in a hurry.

    I have Pirellis now which stick the same as the Dunlops, but will last 3 times
    longer.
     
    BANDIT2941, Oct 10, 2003
    #10
  11. Wurm

    Wurm Guest

    Ah, interesting. Ive put about 30k KM on my Dunlops so far (ok, I have 2
    that have about 3k on em, replaced from a recent accident but anyway) and
    they still stick well and havent started squealing at all, even before the
    accident when they were all the same age. Here's a question tho, how long
    should I expect them to last, I mean, apart from doing the quarter test
    every couple of weeks, what is the average lifespan of a "good" set of tires
    taking into account that I'm fairly hard on my car.

    Also, which Pirelli's are you using now specifically?, im always interested
    in this stuff for future replacements :)

    Wurm
     
    Wurm, Oct 10, 2003
    #11
  12. Wurm

    BANDIT2941 Guest

    Ah, interesting. Ive put about 30k KM on my Dunlops so far (ok, I have 2
    I only got like 26k out of them and they were BALD........

    If they don't squeal - that means you're not driving it hard enough :)
    I'm using the Pirelli P400......

    I have about the same mileage as the Dunlops when they were shot and I still
    have 3/4 life left in 'em :)
     
    BANDIT2941, Oct 11, 2003
    #12
  13. Wurm

    Joe Schmuck Guest

    I happened into this thread a bit late, but thought I'd give
    it a whirl...

    How serious of winter driving are we talking? Here in coastal
    Alaska we live in the black ice center of the universe. And
    when it snows, we measure it in feet instead of inches...ah,
    enuff hot air!

    Last winter, I put some plain old studded General 195/65R15's
    on all four wheels of our '96 SW2. We were still sliding around
    as the car is so light, so I put 150 lbs of sand bags in the
    back and the floor of the back seat. That set 'er down pretty
    good and kept it on the road. We lived in Juneau, Alaska last
    winter, and believe it or not there are four lane hiways there.

    One big difference between 14" and 15" wheels is that you can't
    put chains or cable chains on the 15" wheels because there is not
    enough clearance. This is sometimes an issue out west when
    crossing mountain passes (Rockies, Cascades).

    My $.02.

    Stephen
     
    Joe Schmuck, Oct 11, 2003
    #13
  14. Wurm

    Wurm Guest

    hahahahahah, as much as I wished it were, a stock Saturn is not a sports car
    ;-), but I figure if I can take a good sharp on-ramp at 90(kmh) without
    squealing or skidding, im happy.
    holy crap, if they are comparable driving quality ill definetly look into
    those for my next tires
     
    Wurm, Oct 14, 2003
    #14
  15. Wurm

    BANDIT2941 Guest

    Also, which Pirelli's are you using now specifically?, im always
    I was pretty shocked myself :)

    They're definitly lasting a long time. No more getting new tires every year
    like I used to. :)
     
    BANDIT2941, Oct 15, 2003
    #15
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