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  #1  
Old 11-11-2011, 04:56 PM
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Snow tires vs. M+S rated tires

So my kid has moved up to Flagstaff for college. His Subaru Outback (2000) needs tires. Flagstaff gets a hundred inches of snow or more in a season normally. They also have sometimes extended sunny periods where the roads clear out completely. It's AZ after all. He commutes down here where it only snows a couple of times a winter and doesn't stick. About half his downhill commute is interstate that can get pretty dicey sometimes. He's making noise about Michelin Ice snow tires but I've explained to him that that's going to require his buying another full set of tires and optimally wheels too unless he wants to wear out his snows driving them in the hot months.
Years ago I used to travel thru Flagstaff in the winter and one winter actually lived there for a few months and never had snow tires, only all seasons or M and S and don't remember any serious issues. I also wasn't 18 years old though and new how to drive on snow and ice. I'm leaning towards finding a good M and S tire that's maybe sort of leaning towards the snow/ice performance side. Any of you cold country folks have any recommendations or thoughts? In advance, please don't recommend any Bridgestones or Firestones, it's a long story but they are off my list forever.

Edit to add: his commute is only on weekends, about a hundred miles round trip. He lives on campus and actually doesn't drive much during the week.

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Old 11-11-2011, 05:39 PM
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The great advantage of snows over M+S is when it's cold. In my neck of the woods we talk about the cold until it's about 5F, but I think they start working around 10F. With a snow tire the compound remains soft at cold temps when a M+S will harden up and lose its effectiveness.
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Old 11-11-2011, 05:43 PM
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This might interest you.
Winter tyres tested in the wet video feature by autocar.co.uk - YouTube
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Old 11-11-2011, 05:44 PM
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It would be nice to get a set of snow tires and rims but he'd have to change them every time he has snow and when he doesn't. As noted, he will burn them out quickly if he drives it all year around. So he needs a place to store these wheel and tire combo. Personally, unless he is that willing and has that many miles to go, it is a waste of money.
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Old 11-11-2011, 05:46 PM
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What about all-terrain tires, which are available for light trucks and SUV's of all sizes? They can be used year-round. You want one that has the mountain/snowflake symbol imprinted on the sidewall.
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Old 11-11-2011, 05:52 PM
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Question: Who would pay for the tire and wheel combo? You'd need 4. So, tell him the pros and cons and ask him how he would like to pay for it.
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Old 11-11-2011, 06:07 PM
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The other choice is Nokian WR's. They are all season but they're made to work well in the snow and cold. I put 50k on mine.

http://www.nokiantires.com/tyre?id=11884&group=99&name=Nokian+WR
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Old 11-11-2011, 06:46 PM
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Yokohama IG20's are excellent and don't seem to wear down when driven in the dry....I have a set with about 14,000 miles on them and they don't have any visible treadwear yet, and thats on a heavy 300SD, not a 100lb subaru.
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Old 11-11-2011, 07:04 PM
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I use M and S on my mitsu montero which I plow snow with. IMHO with four wheel drive who needs snow tires? IN alaska maybe.
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Old 11-11-2011, 07:16 PM
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4 wheel drive doesn't help you stop.
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Old 11-11-2011, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjts1 View Post
4 wheel drive doesn't help you stop.
No kidding. Whoda thunk it but there are tons of idiots out there that think it does. Same as FWD. Idiots think that they can tear thru the snow like a snowmobile and stop on a dime too. Same with AWD.
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:02 PM
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I had a set of Dunlop Graspic tires that were great. Don't have to take them off when it's dry. Fairly quiet, not at all like grandpa's snow tires.
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Old 11-12-2011, 06:28 AM
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Michelin Cross Terrain SUV

I put these on a GL450 just prior to the snowmegedon that bashed the east cost a couple years back. I was quite inpressed with how well they pulled me through over a foot of snow, and stopped that 3ton tank as well
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Old 11-12-2011, 09:09 AM
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I have found Bridgestone Blizzaks to be the best but the OP doesn't want that.
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Old 11-12-2011, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aklim View Post
I have found Bridgestone Blizzaks to be the best but the OP doesn't want that.
They are. He could get some steel rims and mount them for the winter. It would be a 40 minute swapout in the spring.

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