: Snow Tires
11-15-07, 06:44 PM
I live in N.E. Ohio where we get a lot of snow, I drive a 07 STS V8, with limited slip differential and traction control, BUT, the car is just to powerful for snow driving, so I'm considering snow tires. Any pro's/con's out there?
I had an 04 CTS with the sport suspension, 17" wheels, and limited slip. I bought a set of Michelin Pilot Alpin winter tires mounted on a set of 16" Enkei wheels. I chose 16" wheels (stock size for the CTS) for additional sidewall height. The wheels also had 5 fairly thin spokes for easy cleaning. As long as the snow was lower than the chin spoiler, I had no problems on paved and unpaved snowy roads in Michigan.
11-15-07, 08:50 PM
I second the Michelin Pilot Alpin for winter driving. It's worth it. I went 1 season with these snow tires and 1 season without on a 2005 STS V8 RWD with the limited slip differential. Money well spent.
11-15-07, 11:06 PM
I have an AWD V8 with WS-50 Blizzaks and I can't imagine anything that would improve the winter performance. I've been driving on ice and packed snow for six weeks now and it's magnificent. Many people complain about traction control but this design is well thought out with no surprises. When you take off it just goes without hesitation.
11-16-07, 08:53 AM
I had Blizzaks on my 05 and they made a dramatic improvement. You will probably have to go with one size all the way around. I like the performance of the rwd, but in Michigan awd is difficult to beat.
A funny aside...
My son was packing his car to move to Ft Lauderdale and start a new job next Monday. I called to ask if he was taking his winter tires & wheels that are stored in my basement. You can guess at his answer. Maybe the stock wheels from an 04 Impala SS will fit one of my other vehicles.
11-16-07, 02:35 PM
One thing I found this month, when searching for snow tires, is that the STS has unusual wheel sizing (235R50/17) which severely limits the number of tire makes you have to choose from. Michelin Alpine, Toyo, and Continental were about my only choices in this area.
11-16-07, 02:40 PM
i also need to get me a good set of snow tires real soon, because the stock all season tires dont seem like they will last suffice this year. and if i cant get any within the next 2 weeks my car is gonna be parked up all winter long. i feel i should of gone with the AWD version. Toronto looks like its gonna get hit hard this winter. what the best brand and sixe to choose for my stock 17 wheels.
11-16-07, 05:54 PM
Well it looks like Bridgestone LM-22's for me, they have both sizes available for the staggered tire setup (235/50/18 & 255/45/18). Check out www.highperformancetire.com.
11-17-07, 07:58 AM
I'm a fan of Nokian Tires - and particularly of the WR All-Weather tire: http://www.nokiantires.com/en/tire_wr.aspx.
There's an interesting and independent snow tire review site with a confusing interface: http://www.snowtire.info/forum/portal.php and here's what they say about the WR: "This tire is fitted on an AWD Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 driven by Sean Caron.
First impressions: Very VERY gripping in snow covered roads. Very predictable in slush and tarmacsnow-
tarmac transitions. A little bit of a skid slide on pure ice although ice patches have been far between
so I am reserving judgment yet.
Further Notes: The skid-slide is definitely apparent. Although in a snow covered environment the tires
are very calm and predictable, in a glare ice situation the tires just don't have as good a grip as I would
expect. Part of this may be that the tires are still 'breaking in' as I have noticed an improvement in ice
grip as the tires wear, but so far the tires are respectable in ice conditions and really shine in slush and
pure snow covered roads.
Dry handling is equivalent to an all-season tire. Medium tire roll with good feedback. Finding the limit
of the tire is sketchy endeavor at best. Then again, it's a winter tire, not an autocross tire. Very comfortable
in both city driving and freeway driving."
The full review: http://www.snowtire.info/TireReviews/2004%20Review.pdf.
"Since the introduction of the Severe Winter Service2 rating, winter tires have vastly improved. These
six snow tires show that very well.
If someone gave me any of these tires, I would gladly accept them. This is echoed by our tire testers
who are reluctant to give-up, or even trade, the tires they have for another set.
If I had to pick tires for my own cars and did not have to worry about the cost, I would probably go
with a set of studded Nokian Hakka-2's and a set of Nokian WR's, mostly because I have had so much
experience with Nokian over the years, and Nokian has always had a good tire.
When factoring cost into the equation, I would lean more toward the Green Diamond Inari and Kuhmo
The Blizzaks and the Observe are also great tires, and well worth looking at. While they did not do
quite as well on dry and wet pavement, they outclassed the unstudded/studable snow tires when it
came to ice traction. If you decide you are not going to run studs, but still want good ice traction and
the expense of dry and wet traction, then you should consider these."
The WR seems designed to perfectly suit the winter conditions I encounter up here in Ottawa - that is, I can put them on in late October and take them off in early April and they will perform very well on the dry roads that we have for 80% of that period. For the remaining 20% of the time, they are simply exceptional - particularly on those side roads that don't get plowed so quickly...
Both of our vehicles ride on WRs in the winter and we've been buying nothing but Nokian for the winter for 15 years - they're pricey and have been hard to find but they're out there. You might have to fiddle around with sizing though because I don't believe they have equivalents to any of the STS OEM sizes other than 235/50/18. Still, I'm sure that a size could be found that would fit.
I am still seriously considering dumping our second car and picking up an STS and am therefore very interested in the snow tire issue.
11-17-07, 11:57 AM
I've only had my blizzak's LM-22's on for a little over a week and we have yet to have any mesureable snow so I can't give any feedback yet, but I will keep you all informed.
11-18-07, 09:02 AM
I just had winter tires installed
at Old Mill in Toronto.
Although the stock size is 235 50R 17 my new tires. Michelin X-Ice in
215 50R 17 should be better for snow travel being narrower.
I was reassured by their tire expert that my reasoning based on research
11-21-07, 11:05 AM
I put on 4 Blizzak M-22's on my 05 RWD V8 and the ride is far superior to the stock pos tires that came on the car. I haven't been in the snow yet, but the wet weather traction is fantastic. The stock tires would spin in the wet easily, and I almost spun out of control once in the rain on a turn at about 50 MPH. I'm satisfied with the M-22's, and I'll report back with a summary after it snows.