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Old 10-20-2014, 06:02 PM   #1
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Winter tire discussion for grown ups thread.

Looking to get some opinions and experiences with winter tires in the GRVD. There are lots of options, and our climate puts us in an interesting position. Its too cold for summers, it sucks driving on winters, and all seasons aren't getting us safely to whistler every weekend. Has anyone discovered a good compromise? I hate the feeling of driving on pillows full of diarrhea but it seems to be the only option if I plan on taking shred trips.
First hand experiences, suggestions, and discussions are all appreciated. Hell even fun snow pics.

(no, no one cares that you are such a good driver you can get up to whistler on Pilot sport cups and pass SUVs, looking for real world ideas.)
Looking at michelin xice xi3 or Good year ice grip WRT
Pic for the hell of it.
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Old 10-20-2014, 06:08 PM   #2
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Don't get Hankook Ipikes unless you're driving in actual snow.

I have them on my fall/winter Ho-Rolla beater, and they suck BBC in the rain/slush.

In the snow, they dig enough to get you going, and make sure you stop. But they're still extremely easy to get sliding during a snow-hoon. That being said, they're very composed in the snow, and I tried reaaaallly hard to spin out. I didn't.

For a bottom dollar snow tire... pretty good for a beater-spec car.
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Old 10-20-2014, 06:10 PM   #3
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I had good success with the Conti DWS all weather tire. Drove in the snow with them(although they are not a designated snow tire) without issues and they are a good all year tire. Good performance in the dry and also good in the rain. Probably the best all around tire for our climate IMO.

For the 4Runner, I'm pretty set on the BFG All Terrain KO2's. Great all terrain tire WITH the snow flake rating. I'll report in November once I've had a few weeks to drive on them.
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Old 10-20-2014, 06:13 PM   #4
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Former Michelin Xice 2 user here. Absolutely loved them. Sold the E30 with them but would buy the Michelins again if they were ever on sale.

Went on to Bridgestone Blizzaks (forgot the model but they were older from a previous generation) for the E36 M3. They were great, but not quite the same with the Michelins. The Michelins were good all-round, and very good in snow. The Blizzaks weren't that great in rain/slush but great in the snow.

I picked up a lightly used set of Blizzaks for the Corolla as well so I know what to expect out of them.
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Old 10-20-2014, 06:17 PM   #5
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I have a set of Pirelli Winter Sottozero Serie II. Drove them to bigwhite, whistler with no problems. They work really in the rain and they feel great. Downside are they are super expensive.
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Old 10-20-2014, 06:20 PM   #6
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I researched quite a bit on winter tires and decided that Vancouver's weather did not warrant a need for dedicated snow tires, so I'm thinking of going with performance winter tires like the Pirelli Sottozero series 3. Still get the handling performance while performing decently on snow and especially on wet and slushy environments. Wanted Michelin PA4's, not did not come in my size.
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Old 10-20-2014, 06:37 PM   #7
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Perhaps consider doing what i will be this winter; buy a good set of snowies on some super cheap rims, only bolt them on for whistler/cypress runs, or when snow is in the forecast. Changing a set of wheels takes what, 5 minutes per wheel? Then drive on vastly superior all seasons rest of the winter. Just my opinion.
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Old 10-20-2014, 06:38 PM   #8
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I thought about that as well. PSS are no good below about 10 degrees though, so I'll be on the winters more often than not. Honestly car doesn't/won't get driven much though.
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Old 10-20-2014, 07:34 PM   #9
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Ran Michelin xi2 on my FRS last winter. They were great when it was cold, good in rain and I had no issues for few days we had snow.
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Old 10-20-2014, 07:46 PM   #10
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Studded cheap ass "arctic claws". Amazing when in the shit. Horrible when dry/wet. Would not suggest. Wish I had my computer to post a great E36 snow pic.
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Old 10-20-2014, 07:48 PM   #11
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If you plan on going to Whistler in the M3, then don't cheap out because there may be times where non-snow flake tires will not be allowed past Furry Creek.
Same goes for the local mountains.

I have all-weather Nokian's on my QX4 and while they do their job in the snow, they aren't the best and if there is any underlying ice, then they suck ballz.
Being up on SFU, I've seen many many SFU students in all sorts of cars and all the all season tire guys always manage to get stuck going up the hill or slide down and play bumper cars. With your M3 being rwd, you definately don't want anything that isn't a true snow tire especially if you plan on taking the car to the ski hills.

I have the General Altimax Arctic but with studs on my wife's CRV and found them to be very good when we had snow up on SFU but they will definately run like you are on pillows.

I'd highly recommend a sport winter tire. The sidewalls are stiffer so they will handle better in the dry and being a full snow tire, you should not be hassled at the check points.
Also, go down a size to 16's and run a narrower tire. Don't run 285/35/18's in the snow.
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Old 10-20-2014, 07:50 PM   #12
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I've also had the Pirelli Sottozero's and really liked them. They were good for bombing through the snow up on SFU, and still a reasonable tire for whipping around town. I've since switched to Yokohama W.Drive just to try something else and they aren't as fun in town, and I haven't had a chance to dig into serious snow. They are an old tire now anyways, so even though I don't really have a lot of reason to dislike them, I'm sure that there are a lot of better options around.
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Old 10-20-2014, 07:56 PM   #13
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If you plan on going to Whistler in the M3, then don't cheap out because there may be times where non-snow flake tires will not be allowed past Furry Creek.
Same goes for the local mountains.
Cheap out and M3 don't go in the same sentence for me. I'm not concerned about cost (to an obvious extent) as these will probably last me 4 years. I plan on not stuffing my car into a ditch. I ride at least 25 days a year other than the garbage season that was last year so I intend to keep my car, and me safe. Its easy enough for tires to get the snowflake that IMO have no business being on the sea to sky in a snowstorm. I'm looking for the best tire I can get for what I'm going to use it for.
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Old 10-20-2014, 08:03 PM   #14
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general arctic altimax.

gf drove through the summer with hers and they barely wore. so impressed I through them onto my car.

xice are better on ice, but these tires are great value, and monsters in deep snow.

plus they dont wear even 1/5 compared to blizzaks that ive had.
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Old 10-20-2014, 08:06 PM   #15
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westopher, just like you did with your summers (Michelin PSS), just go get some Michelin Pilot Alpins and call it a day. I used to run some A/S Kumhos on my E60 M5 and I could barely get anywhere in a light snow in Van. Then I bit the bullet and bought some Michelin Pilot Alpins and wholly smokes, they transformed my M5 in the snow. I literally could go anywhere. I drop my son off at Cypress ski school in my M5 and did not slide anywhere. I think RWD cars get a bad rap for winter driving. As long as you have a lsd and a good set of snows, rwd is fine.

Why cheap out and save $400 on a cheap set of snows?

I luv the Alpins so much, I just bought another set for my M3!
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Old 10-20-2014, 08:14 PM   #16
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I had an earlier version of this design on my last work van, ran them year-round, they were great summer and winter: Nokian WRG3 - The best all weather tires for northern conditions / Nokian Tires

Sure it was no performance vehicle, but it was an MP-V, so not a truck, either.
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Old 10-20-2014, 08:21 PM   #17
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XICE 1/2/3 are the only ones I run and there the best I have used.
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Old 10-20-2014, 08:36 PM   #18
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General Altimax Arctic. They're very well rated universally. In fact, was no.1 I believe on TireRack review beating out the expensive Michelin X-Ice series before.

I tried them a few years ago on one of our family cars. We haven't look back since.

This year, I'm trying out the brand new Yokohama IG52C series. They just came onto the market last winter and are supposedly designed for Canadian winters, hence the C. From the looks of things, they're more of a performance ice/slush tire like the X-Ice series.
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Old 10-20-2014, 08:36 PM   #19
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I have some eagle f1's on my focus. Got the car new in December so didn't bother getting snow tires. They were brand new but totally useless in the snow and slush. Even in below zero dry days I could tell the poor traction. So this year I bough some 16" snows and am about to get some steelies or wtv to run them. Worth it. Snow tires aren't only used for snow.
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Old 10-20-2014, 08:53 PM   #20
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i'd recommend the Good Year Ultra Grip WRT. I've had it for two winters now, never any complaints with it in the rain, slush, snow, ice. I go up Whistler, Cypress, and Baker no problem.

My winter setup this year, cant wait to hit to slopes!

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Old 10-20-2014, 08:55 PM   #21
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westopher, just like you did with your summers (Michelin PSS), just go get some Michelin Pilot Alpins and call it a day. I used to run some A/S Kumhos on my E60 M5 and I could barely get anywhere in a light snow in Van. Then I bit the bullet and bought some Michelin Pilot Alpins and wholly smokes, they transformed my M5 in the snow. I literally could go anywhere. I drop my son off at Cypress ski school in my M5 and did not slide anywhere. I think RWD cars get a bad rap for winter driving. As long as you have a lsd and a good set of snows, rwd is fine.

Why cheap out and save $400 on a cheap set of snows?

I luv the Alpins so much, I just bought another set for my M3!
+1 on the Pilot Alpins, I got a set and they are fairly good (and quiet) in dry weather, good in the rain and seem to have decent traction in icy weather we typically have.
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Old 10-20-2014, 09:08 PM   #22
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i ran dunlop winter sport m3's on my E46 m3 and it has never left me stranded
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Old 10-20-2014, 09:34 PM   #23
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ran michelin xi3's last year and had no problems (no skidding, no sliding) in the snow last year even though there was barely any
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Old 10-20-2014, 09:39 PM   #24
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An m3 running winter tires and a roof rack...that's impressive. I love your dedication.

Back when I drove my tsx everywhere. I had a roofrack, blizzaks and a full car load and i never had a problem going to any mountain.
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Old 10-20-2014, 09:52 PM   #25
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I'm jumping onto the General Altimax Arctic wagon. Have been using these since the start of the 2010 winter, and I have nothing but good things to say. Tread life is superb, and they trek through snow like it's dry out.
Be weary if you're looking for specific sizes, or 'low profile' sizes; like many other reputable snow tires, they often don't exist.
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