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The Tire Rack's Tire & Wheel Forum
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Old 09-20-2013, 10:50 AM   #1
Rudy@Tirerack's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: rudy@tirerack.com
Posts: 6,613
My Ride: 1-800-428-8355 X4664
Winter tires sticky thread for 2013-2014 winter season

--The basics :

Get snow tires appropriate to your climate and driving style. If you don't see much snow during the winter, and you like to drive/corner fast on cold dry roads then look into the H-rated or V-rated "high performance" winter tires like the Bridgestone Blizzak LM32, Dunlop Winter Sport 4D or the Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4.

If your area gets heavier snow or you just really want some extra confidence when conditions are at their worst, then look into a more aggressive snow tire called studless ice and snow tires. Among the best of this type are the Blizzak WS-70, Michelin XI3 , and Continental Extreme Winter Contact. Winter tires like these will offer the best in snow and ice traction, but will give up some dry road responsiveness over the more performance - oriented H/V rated snow tires to get that additional winter traction.

You may want to lean towards one of the more aggressive snow tires like those listed above if one or more of the following are true :

-Your geographical area gets heavy snowfall and/or lake effect snow

-You are often driving on packed snow and ice

-You are just willing to give up some dry grip and steering response for maximum safe winter traction

-These tires are for a newer driver or for a driver who needs much more confidence when driving in winter conditions.

Choosing between these two categories may be difficult and is mostly a personal preference choice for the trade off between snow traction versus dry road handling. However it is important to keep in mind what your worst conditions will be as that is the time when you'll need the traction the most! Driving on a dry road is pretty easy, it is when the weather gets rough that things get more challenging.

--New/Updated this season and reminders from last season :

In most sizes , the Michelin XI3 is replacing the Michelin XI2. The tread pattern is very similar between the two. There are a bit more independent tread blocks so I would expect a modest improvement in snow/ice traction from the previous model with a slight step down in dry road handling. Initial feedback from last season has been very good on this tire. The Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 has replaced the Pilot Alpin PA3. For this year, the Dunlop Winter Sport 4D replaces the Winter Sport 3D in the three most popular winter tires sizes of 225/40R18, 225/45R17 and 205/55R16.

Also new this season is Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32. A couple seasons ago the Blizzak LM60 replaced the old Blizzak LM25. While the LM60 did indeed have better ice and snow traction than the old LM25, many drivers of higher performance vehicles did miss the better handling and faster steering response that the LM25 provided. Those drivers now have an excellent choice with the new Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32. The Blizzak LM-32 moves that balance back towards the handling and dry grip side, putting it back in competition with the newest generation of high performance winter tires like the Dunlop Winter Sport 4D and Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4.

When looking at customer survey results (found here http://www.tirerack.com/tires/survey...&affiliate=BN4) , you may want to pay more attention to the tires snow traction and ice traction survey results rather than the overall ranking. After all, the primary reason you're buying winter tires is for their snow and ice traction.

--A final word of advice : Don't wait too long. Ordering early when most products are still available lets you choose what you want to buy rather than being forced to settle for what is left over. Best to be ready with products in hand before it snows so that you can put them on when you are ready rather than waiting for a shipment to arrive after the first snow. We should have most inventory available in early October. Tires and wheels purchased together are mounted and balanced at no charge to make changeover easy.

Please don't forget to refer to 'Gary/E46Fanatics' when you order online so that I can look over the order and get the forum credit for the sale.

Here is a direct link to the winter tires area (this will show you available winter wheels as well) :

Winter http://www.tirerack.com/a.jsp?a=BN4&...nter/index.jsp
Refer to 'Rudy/E46Fanatics' as your previous contact when you order online. Credit E46Fanatics.com by clicking here.

Last edited by Rudy@Tirerack; 10-02-2013 at 09:10 AM. Reason: Auto-save 1380723036
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