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Vancouver winter weather and the need for snow tires

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Morristhecat, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. Morristhecat

    Morristhecat Member

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    As many know, we don't usually get much winter snow in Vancouver. When we do, it can be crazy since we don't have as many snow plows as the rest of the country. But that is for about 1-2 weeks of the year. The rest of the winter is just cold and rainy. So I've been thinking of not getting snow tires this year and just using the factory all seasons. It would be nice to not have to spend another $2500ish on new a set of winter tires/rims/sensors this year if I can. Does anyone have experience on driving in snow or cold rain on the factory all seasons in the winter?
     
  2. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Might be okay if you do indeed have the 19" all seasons. I'm not sure I'd want to drive through a blizzard on them, though.

    The 21" tires are NOT all season.
     
  3. Paul Carter

    Paul Carter Active Member

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    Snow shouldn't be your selling factor. Winter tires perform better at 7 degrees Celsius and below. This means from end of October to mid-April it make sense to have winter tires in the Lower Mainland.

    For the past 5 years I've been doing this only because I also go up to Cypress for skiing and they would turn me around when it was stormy up there if I didn't have them on. What I did notice was way better stopping distances and less slickness in our cold and wet weather. For your safely I would strongly recommend them!

    I'm actually going in tomorrow to have this done for the season.

    P.S. IMHO, you don't really have to get another set of rims, I just change them over twice a year. Takes a little longer and slightly more cost, but find putting them into and out of the car twice a year isn't much of a bother.
     
  4. dayhu99

    dayhu99 Member

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    I can't really advise but I have driving all winter and summer long on snow tires Perhaps not the wisest thing to do but I never have got around to buying 19' all season tires One day soon I will put up my 21' tires for sale or swap


     
  5. Paul Carter

    Paul Carter Active Member

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    I think this is more dangerous than all seasons in winter. Heat and under inflated tires could cause a blow out; and that my friend is a scary experience!
     
  6. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    When I lived in Vancouver, I always either had two sets of wheels and tires or used severe service all-seasons (example: Nokian WR-g2). I don't believe there are any severe service all-seasons in the Model S sizes at this time so that choice is out. I've had some scary experiences with less-than-severe-service all-seasons in Vancouver. Based on last winter's reports, I wouldn't trust the factory all-seasons unless you never drive during the snow days and also never go to Whistler, Seymour, or Cypress Bowl.
     
  7. Morristhecat

    Morristhecat Member

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    Thanks for the input guys. I decided to bite and will get some snow tires and rims. I would like the option to head up to the slopes. Shopped around and am going with the Michelin Xice3's for a few reasons; low rolling resistance, it scores well in braking in wet conditions (ie Vancouver), and in quiet road noise. I also got the rial lagano wheels and TPMS's. Not from tire rack though, found a cheaper source in Richmond.
     
  8. HTK

    HTK Member

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  9. billlanger

    billlanger Member

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    The Michelin Primacy tires that come with the S 85, 19 inch, have a AA traction rating, the highest rating. They also have low rolling resistance and low tread wear.. Michelin markets them as a 360 degree tire, good for all. The list price at USD 360 each goes along with the great all around performance. The Primacies may well do better on ice and snow than an average "snow" tire. My experience with them in ice and snow is that I am satisfied with their stopping, cornering and traction capability. In addition, when conditions get extreme, slowing by an extra 5 mph gives an extra margin of safety. It's up to individual preference, but I don't feel I need snow tires as long as the Primacies continue to perform. Studded tires would perform better, but are not legal in Minnesota
     
  10. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    "Traction grades are an indication of a tire's ability to stop on wet pavement. A higher graded tire should allow a car to stop on wet roads in a shorter distance than a tire with a lower grade. Traction is graded from highest to lowest as "AA", "A", "B", and "C"." See the government site for information on the UTQG grading system.

    Note that the "AA" rating has nothing to do with snow or ice traction. Primacies are fine tires but no way are they equivalent to real studless snow tires.
     
  11. visagrunt

    visagrunt Member

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    Remember, they are winter tires, not snow tires. As soon as temperatures start to drop below 7 C, you need to be thinking about winter tires. All seasons and summer tires become more rigid at these temperatures, and thus they lose contact with the road surface, significantly degrading their stopping ability. Winter tires, on the other hand, are considerably softer, but must be removed once overnight temperatures rise above 7 C, or they will suffer significant excess wear.

    Given that we just went through a week of overnight lows below -5, the need for winter tires is amply demonstrated.
     
  12. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    One of the main differences between summer and all-season tires is that the all-seasons remain flexible in cold temperatures. Some are just as flexible as snow tires (although it might not seem so by feeling them because the tread isn't as deep).
     
  13. visagrunt

    visagrunt Member

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    The problem with those is that they will face similar excess wear issues when temperatures start to climb.

    Keeping one set of tires is, in my view, a false economy. By changing tires twice a year, you get several benefits: 1) you double the effective life of your tires because they are only on the road for (roughly) half a year; 2) you ensure rotation, and you have issues of balancing and alignment regularly examined; 3) you have tires designed for the range of temperatures that you will encounter, rather than a "next-best" option that is going to either compromise winter safety or summer wear.
     
  14. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    When I lived in Vancouver, I always ran snow tires in the winter, and all seasons in the summer (well once in a while I would run DOT approved racing tires in the summer). All seasons don't have a particular wear problem--good ones anyway--because the temperatures in Vancouver never get particularly hot (even though everyone there complains about the heat when the temperatures are over 25). And when it rains, all seasons are better then summer tires--sometimes significantly better depending upon which tires are being compared.
     

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