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My stock Firestones are crap in snow (and not good in rain...) What's your thoughts on new tires? My main concern is stock ones are so wide that even new "good" tires may not be that great in the snow. Other option is narrower rims and blizzaks for winter driving. Obviously the rims would add 4-500 more minimum.
 

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I am having the same issue here. The Firestones are more of a All Weather performance tire and this car really needs snow tires in the Winter. I don't feel like spending 1k to $1500 but my advice is Get a rim and tire package moving down to 17" rims and tires for the winter. Tire Rack has some good options
 

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If i lived where it snows a lot, id get on ebay and get a set of spare wheels, or the cheapest you can find then buy a true snow tire..
 

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Snows are hard to beat if you live in an area where you get a lot of snow. If it's a car your gonna keep for years then snows mounted on wheels aren't a bad choice. Some tires shops also offer free mounting/balance and storage of summer/winter tires when you buy the tires at their shop - might be worth a few phone calls.
 

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Honestly, I've lived in snowy regions (PA mainly) my entire life and have never owned a set of winter tires. Always made due with all-season tires, even with RWD cars - only had one snow-related accident - when I went down a VERY steep hill that was snow covered in my 1995 Grand Prix (stupid decision on my part!). For the most part, unless you have to travel at off-peak hours, the roads are taken care of enough that all-seasons are usually fine. In my opinion, that is!

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Honestly, I've lived in snowy regions (PA mainly) my entire life and have never owned a set of winter tires. Always made due with all-season tires, even with RWD cars - only had one snow-related accident - when I went down a VERY steep hill that was snow covered in my 1995 Grand Prix (stupid decision on my part!). For the most part, unless you have to travel at off-peak hours, the roads are taken care of enough that all-seasons are usually fine. In my opinion, that is!

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I'm in Connecticut and same here. I never used Winter tires but they would be nice. When you grow up where you have snow you learn how to drive in bad weather. I bought my 2015 Impala in February with heavy snow down and I made it out alive, lol.
 

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Not to outdo anyone who lives where there's snow, but we likely get much more snow than most. Last year, right now, we had a 40 incher over 2 days. 2-3 foot storms are routine and rarely do we make the news (that's OK too). Snow in October or May is not unusual. The world just keeps chugging here. School gets cancelled these days, but work goes on. We topped out about 320 inches in the mid 90s as I remember. I've driven in this kind of snow since the mid 60s. We also have lots of cold and ice. In short, it cant be much worse.

I tried out 4 Blizzaks in 1993 on a FWD Mercury Sable which had all season tires. The difference was NIGHT and DAY. Absolutely no comparison. There are 3 things you have to do in snow: Go, steer, and stop. From a saving your life standpoint the go part is the least important of these 3. Not steering or stopping can easily get you hurt or killed in the wintertime in snow and ice country. The good news is that with a dedicated snow, you get to go really well too :)

Since then, I've bought many sets of winter tires. I've tried a couple different brands, but for snow and ice Blizzaks are the best I've used. I have them on our Honda Ridgeline since 33K miles in 2012. (it came with Michelin mud/snow LTXs which were marginal for a couple of years when new) I didn't put them on the Impala because we're both long retired and, starting last winter, head to the SW for the rest of the winter right after Christmas. If we need to get somewhere in snow, we take the 4WD Blizzak RL. I did have a wheel/tire package for our 10 Lacrosse which I was going to keep for the Impala, but they got included in the car sale 2 years ago. I've done it both ways: just tires, like the Honda and flop them out twice a year or the whole package that I flop out in my garage. I had the 19 touring wheel on the Lacrosse and a 17" rim/tire for the winters for it. Tire Rack told me the 17" package would fit our 20" Impala with different lug nuts. It's typically better to go smaller (less $) and narrower than stock. The overall OD and wheel offset is all that matters. TR knows these things well! My 27 year history with them has been excellent.

IMO, the questions to ask would be: Do you have to drive the car on snowy days to work / other. Do you have another vehicle with snows on for such times? Even when your roads are plowed, do you still have snow covered icy roads like us? (we don't see pavement in neighborhoods here from late fall to spring). Snow packed icy roads (slush / freezing rain can be counted too) are where the steering and stopping come. A dedicated snow tire runs circles around any all season tire out there....and could save your life...when someone else does something dumb. Our 10 Lacrosse with new Blizzaks outdid the 4WD Honda with the LTXs for steering and most certainly for stopping. I could go around a big sweeper snow packed road( no houses..can see all the way around it ;) in our sub considerably faster with the FWD Lacrosse and Blizzaks than the RL ...using the TC/SC as the determining factor. Once I put the Blizzaks on the RL, it's like a tank in the snow. IMO, if you meet any of the conditions I listed above...and try some dedicated snows...you'll feel compromised in the future without them.
 

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Agreed - obviously your particular climate and your particular needs come into play here. I am in no way saying that winter tires aren't better than all-season or that winter tires are never needed.

However, those type of circumstances are actually pretty rare (climates that bad and/or the need to get to work no matter what).

The majority of winter climates have snow amounts that are usually cleaned up rather quickly and for the rare times when it's so bad that the road crews can't clean up the roads in a timely manner, most people either take the day off of work or you work remotely, if possible (obviously, an industry-specific option). In my case, I just don't need winter tires even though I live in an area where snow is common in the winter - and I think that's the case for the vast majority of the people.

I just think that the need for separate snow tires is actually pretty limited - and mainly only needed in extreme winter climates or for jobs that require you to be on-site no matter what - regardless of road conditions.

But I completely agree that in relatively rare circumstances, the need for dedicated winter tires is absolutely needed.

By the way, where do you live (sorry if I missed it in your previous post!)?

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I usually go with a good all season...buuuut-- these tires are so frigging wide, they just plow---and slip. I don't want to waste 800 bucks on good tires to get marginally better results
 

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We live in the center of the of the UP of Michigan...close to Marquette...on the bottom of Lake Superior. It's snowing now.

We are considered rural..even though Marquette has all of 23K people or so. We have about 10K population here, including the township we live in. That being said, there are lots of brick and mortar operations around here. Very few people don't go to work...no matter the weather. Im an electrician by trade and worked construction. I was an electrical Project Manager for one of the biggest electrical firms in the country for a good chunk of my time. I can count the number of times on one hand I didn't make it to work over a 35 year period. Looking back, I probably should have stayed home a little more. ...When you're younger, you're a little more of the opinion that you can do, or go, anywhere. I don't think that mentality has changed much. When we were younger, we went out played in storms with 4WDs...probably not too smart, but we did.

With reduced funding everywhere the last many years, even the big plows can't keep up once in a while. They used to say (in the 60s/70s) we had enough enough equipment to move an inch an hour from all the main roads...not so much anymore.

This is our town...the county road commission is based here...about 3 miles from our house.

Road commission compares plow seasons - Upper Peninsula ABC 10

I do agree that, for many, the need for a dedicated tire may be marginal, but at what cost safety? It's kind of a no brainer here in my experience. For steering and stopping on icy roads, there is no substitute for winter tires...even if the plows have cleaned the road off.
 

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I guess I'm rather fortunate to be in the computer field. Now, if there is more than an inch of snow, I typically just work from home! I can do everything from home that I can do in the office. So I guess my outlook may be a little "skewed". :)

In fact, I actually work from home more than I go into the office anymore - even without snow! :) But I do realize that most folks don't have that option.

All depends on your location and your specific needs/wants, I suppose.

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I work from home exclusively except for when I travel for business, but I will always want to retain the ability to get out and about regardless of conditions. It really does depend on the OP's climate. I live in Central NY - lake effect snow capital of the world. Average annual snowfall is 120+ inches - you can see over a foot/day during the peak season. Shoman90 was right on the money - snow vs. allseason is night and day - a no contest. If you offered me a AWD Subaru with All-seasons or an old RWD car with no ABS/Trac-control but it had snow tires I would take the old beast with snows and do circles around the "better" vehicle for the snow driving. The difference is really that dramatic. Only the OP can decide if his particular conditions and life situation dictate the need for snow tires - but if you see snow on your pavement on a regular basis for more than a few weeks out of the year, I think snows are the smart choice!

And Shoman90 - I still love to get out and play in the snow. I had a set of snows on my '06 R/T Charger that I sold this summer - nothing was more fun than that car in the snow. Why go in a straight line when you can get your drift on!
 

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See, I *despise* having to go out in the winter if I don't have to. You'll *never* see me out in the winter driving around for "fun"! :) Maybe when I was younger, but nowadays, if it's nasty out - I stay inside!

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I work from home exclusively except for when I travel for business, but I will always want to retain the ability to get out and about regardless of conditions. It really does depend on the OP's climate. I live in Central NY - lake effect snow capital of the world. Average annual snowfall is 120+ inches - you can see over a foot/day during the peak season. Shoman90 was right on the money - snow vs. allseason is night and day - a no contest. If you offered me a AWD Subaru with All-seasons or an old RWD car with no ABS/Trac-control but it had snow tires I would take the old beast with snows and do circles around the "better" vehicle for the snow driving. The difference is really that dramatic. Only the OP can decide if his particular conditions and life situation dictate the need for snow tires - but if you see snow on your pavement on a regular basis for more than a few weeks out of the year, I think snows are the smart choice!

And Shoman90 - I still love to get out and play in the snow. I had a set of snows on my '06 R/T Charger that I sold this summer - nothing was more fun than that car in the snow. Why go in a straight line when you can get your drift on!
We're on the same page, but we have you beat for lake effect :beer: We average around 203 inches the last 30 years. 1.5 hours NW of here in the Keweenaw peninsula...390 is the record up there. I think they saw over 300 inches in 2014.

You also cite the other example I forgot: AWD with all season tires. That combination is almost more dangerous than 2WD. The AWD lends a very false sense of security because it's able to you going, but is a piece of s_it for steering and stopping. I tried that combo for about a month after buying an AWD vehicle in 2008. I had snows on it the 2nd month of winter. One of the biggest issues with that combo is that the front end is pulling and the back pushing. When taking a corner on slippery roads, the SC is engaged almost immediately. I found it almost useless. A set of snows let it perform as it should.

I've done a little racing over the last 16 years (MOPAR-- 680 HP Viper :) In 2002, I took a high speed 3 day Corvette driving school at Spring Mountain. I was 50 then. It was owned by Rupert Bragg Smith then (he built the track) I believe it's a Ron Fellows school now. Anyway, part of the course was skid pad stuff where they can corner weight/unweight a car hydraulically ...kinda simulating driving on solid ice if they want too. There were 7 of us in the class. Most of them warm weather boys. Due to my 'environmental ice/snow training".... I smoked them all for being able to correct the weighted car the best.

I guess I shouldn't say I never go out in the snow, but I do heed the road commission people now when they would prefer you stay off the main roads unless necessary. Once in a while I find it necessary to venture forth. When I do, I typically shut off the TC/SC in the RL and have some fun :eek:k3:
 

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get an old jeep for snow days. ive had one for years. my driveway is very steep and i refuse to let any car at the bottom overnight (or until i can salt) so when i get home i know the jeep will make it up. its even gotten up 7 fresh inches of snow with the m/s ltx. fantastic tire!

plus why risk a 40K car in the snow and ice? if its forecast for the day i take the jeep and also let that take the salt on the highway. when it all clears up in a few days. back to the chevy. i run my impalas into the 300K range so preserving them is paramount

also as a side note. AWD cars are useless to get up my hill as 2 people have tried with just 1 inch of snow and failed . you need true 4wd :)

all that being said i have new conti dws on so if i do run into snow ill let you know how they do
 

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get an old jeep for snow days. ive had one for years. my driveway is very steep and i refuse to let any car at the bottom overnight (or until i can salt) so when i get home i know the jeep will make it up. its even gotten up 7 fresh inches of snow with the m/s ltx. fantastic tire!

plus why risk a 40K car in the snow and ice? if its forecast for the day i take the jeep and also let that take the salt on the highway. when it all clears up in a few days. back to the chevy. i run my impalas into the 300K range so preserving them is paramount

also as a side note. AWD cars are useless to get up my hill as 2 people have tried with just 1 inch of snow and failed . you need true 4wd :)

all that being said i have new conti dws on so if i do run into snow ill let you know how they do
I've had many Big 3 4x4s over my works years. 4WD with the same tire as an AWD will do about the same thing....especially the old 4WD which only had 2 tires pulling on diagonal corners. Quadra Trac is one of the better systems, but many AWD cars today can apply power in a similar fashion.

AWD works just fine for 99% of snow running for most all people....even here. I especially like my Honda RL which is FWD and pulls in the back on slippage. I've had it for 65K miles and feel it to be much more sure footed than any 4x4 set up I had over maybe 500K miles going to work. IMO, tires and clearance are bigger factors than the drive system.

I don't nearly share your appreciation of the Michelin M/S LTX tire. I considered it a marginal performer when new and no performer at all at about 7/32nds. They did wear fairly well and I used them for summer tires the last few years. I've got the 4 of them on a rack in the garage right now with about 3-5 32nds on them. Need a set :)
 
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