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    Thread: All weather tires in Chicago

    1. 09-09-2019 01:47 PM #1
      My daughter got an Alltrack and she lives in Chicago. She does mostly local driving on city streets including downtown areas. My first thought was to get her snow tires and wheels and change them out twice a year. Now I am wondering about just changing out the allseason tires that came with the car for allweather tires which have the snowflake and are winter rated. The best one, according to the reviews I have read, is the Michelin but it isn't currently being made in the Alltrack size. From what I can see, there is currently only one that fits the Alltrack: https://www.tirerack.com/tires/vredestein-tires.jsp As one can see, it gets good reviews.

      Grand Touring All-Season
      (340) |Reviews (307) Details & Pricing
      Size: 205/55R17
      Load Range: XL
      Serv. Desc: 95V
      UTQG: 400 A A

      So...I am wondering what you all think of that as an option.

      Thanks.

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      09-09-2019 03:26 PM #2
      I’m planning on giving All Weather tires a try myself. I will be going with Nokian WR G4 in the 195 65 15 91H size for my base model GSW S. All Weather tires are definitely a step up from all season tires in the Winter.

    4. Junior Member mrfiero's Avatar
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      09-10-2019 03:42 AM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by Phil37 View Post
      I’m planning on giving All Weather tires a try myself. I will be going with Nokian WR G4 in the 195 65 15 91H size for my base model GSW S. All Weather tires are definitely a step up from all season tires in the Winter.
      I have heard good things about the Toyo Celsius tire that is in that new class of tires. allweather with the winter rating snowflake
      My local toyo dealer also sells the nokians.

      I went with a separate set of winter tires/rims with blizzaks ws80 and couldn't be happier here in North Dakota.

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    6. Member Hoble's Avatar
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      09-10-2019 06:37 AM #4
      AWD does not make you stop any better... its all wheel DRIVE. Every car is all wheel stop so theres no advantage when the car in front of you mashes on the brakes. AWD gives you enough confidence to get you in trouble in the winter.

      The deciding factor is her driving habits. Does she drive in serious snow storms? Maybe to get to work or can she take the day off?

      If you are driving in anything over an inch of snow and in cold cold weather... Winter tires are 100% a better option. Better grip and better stopping. The Alltrack is a tank in winter with good snow tires.

      If you can stay home during bad storms and only go out when the roads are clear or only deal with a tiny bit of snow, you can probably pull off All Weather tires.

      Personally, I drive regardless of the weather conditions so i have a set of winters and a set of All Seasons (or 3 season tires, what ever you wanna call them)

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      09-10-2019 08:22 AM #5
      Too many people in snowy areas wrestle with the question of purchasing an extra set of wheels and tires for snow.

      But, if you run the economics of it, it's a really easy decision.

      A set of good snow tires and extra wheels for an Alltrack/4Motion should be about $750.

      Now, figure that they're used for about 4,000 miles per year and the service life is 24,000 miles. That's 6 years, or $125/year.

      Next, remember that the summer tires are not used for those 24,000 miles so their calendar life is extended by 3 years (Figuring 12,000 total miles per year less 4,000 miles annually for winter tires leaves 8,000 miles annually on the summer tires.) That extra 3 years is worth 50% of new tire cost, about $60/ tire or $240 you've saved or at least deferred.

      Finally, factor in the cost of insurance deductible. If the dedicated winter tires save you from 1 accident, you've saved a minimum of $500 on the insurance deductible.

      Result? Your $750 winter tire/wheel investment has returned $740 plus added piece of mind.

      Conclusion? Easy decision to purchase winter tires/wheels, especially if it's your daughter.

    8. 09-10-2019 08:46 AM #6
      cost is not the issue for me. It is more an issue of storage space and the trouble of having a new baby and needing to change the wheels/tires twice a year. Just wondering if the allweather (as opposed to all season) tires would work as well. What I have heard is that they are marginally worse at snow and ice but better at hard surfaces (asphalt and concrete) in the winter with a rubber compound that retains flexibility in the winter.

      Thanks. Anyone with experience?

    9. Member Hoble's Avatar
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      09-10-2019 09:00 AM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by steveinarizona View Post
      cost is not the issue for me. It is more an issue of storage space and the trouble of having a new baby and needing to change the wheels/tires twice a year. Just wondering if the allweather (as opposed to all season) tires would work as well. What I have heard is that they are marginally worse at snow and ice but better at hard surfaces (asphalt and concrete) in the winter with a rubber compound that retains flexibility in the winter.

      Thanks. Anyone with experience?
      Seems like you have made your mind up already... yes they stop better on dry hard surfaces compared to a winter tire. But they are worse in snowy conditions.

      "Recently 19 different tires (nine all-seasons, seven winters, and three all-weathers) were tested for braking distance on ice. In aggregate numbers, the all-weather tires stopped 20.7 per cent shorter than the all-season group.
      The dedicated winter tires as a group stopped 15.3 per cent shorter than the all-weather group.
      On wet and dry freezing pavement, the all-weather tire is more stable and stops surer than a winter tire. In heavy slush both tires work well.
      Are all-weather tires the answer for everyone in the winter? No. But for most urban drivers who deal mostly with roads that are plowed, yes they do work and work very well."


      This is the average snow accumulation in inches in Chicago per month
      December 8.5
      January 10.8
      February 9.1
      March 5.6

      Do what ever you want man. Everyone has pointed out vaild points in this thread for both sides of the discussion, you are really just looking for someone to validate your decision so you feel better about it.

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      09-10-2019 02:11 PM #8
      Unless the current tires are worn out and need replacing, I wouldn't bother with the "all weathers". I don't believe the difference between those and the "all seasons" is enough to justify a purchase.

      A set of dedicated snow tires seems like the only logical purchase if you were going to make one.

    11. 09-10-2019 03:24 PM #9
      Thanks everyone. And, Hoble, I have not made up my mind. For one thing, it is not my decision; it will be the decision of my kids. I am just funding the project and looking for feedback to give them.

    12. 09-10-2019 04:52 PM #10
      The first time they use their car with good winter tires in the snow and gets them from A to B with a child in the car w/o any drama, it will be a no-brainer. Some shops will also store your tires/wheels for you (for a fee). I've stopped counting the number of times good winter treads have saved the day...even saved a Christmas two years ago.

    13. 09-10-2019 09:35 PM #11
      My Dad went to a shop in the burbs (Deerfield) that swapped out his tires and kept the other set there until the next swap, so he didn't have to mess with them.

    14. Member dr_spock's Avatar
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      09-10-2019 11:08 PM #12
      Dedicated winter tires on a separate set of rims would be the better way to go. With that you can also swap them yourself and don't have to deal with the lineups at the tire shops during the change of seasons. Even taught my daughter to swap tires so I don't have to move 16 wheels around for 2 cars by myself.

    15. 09-11-2019 12:18 AM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by dr_spock View Post
      Dedicated winter tires on a separate set of rims would be the better way to go. With that you can also swap them yourself and don't have to deal with the lineups at the tire shops during the change of seasons. Even taught my daughter to swap tires so I don't have to move 16 wheels around for 2 cars by myself.
      I think that's the assumption we're operating from. Wheels/tires...but some people don't want to mess with it even just swapping set for set. It's free and close for me, so I let the local tire store do it and takes less time than what it would take me to do it...and I don't need to splurge for a torque wrench and mess up my back any more than it already is.

    16. 09-11-2019 04:08 PM #14
      correct. Either purchase winter tires and rims and swap them out twice a year or switch out the all season tire for the all weather tire.

      Thanks again.

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      09-11-2019 06:44 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by BillVT1 View Post
      Too many people in snowy areas wrestle with the question of purchasing an extra set of wheels and tires for snow.

      But, if you run the economics of it, it's a really easy decision.

      A set of good snow tires and extra wheels for an Alltrack/4Motion should be about $750.

      Now, figure that they're used for about 4,000 miles per year and the service life is 24,000 miles. That's 6 years, or $125/year.

      Next, remember that the summer tires are not used for those 24,000 miles so their calendar life is extended by 3 years (Figuring 12,000 total miles per year less 4,000 miles annually for winter tires leaves 8,000 miles annually on the summer tires.) That extra 3 years is worth 50% of new tire cost, about $60/ tire or $240 you've saved or at least deferred.

      Finally, factor in the cost of insurance deductible. If the dedicated winter tires save you from 1 accident, you've saved a minimum of $500 on the insurance deductible.

      Result? Your $750 winter tire/wheel investment has returned $740 plus added piece of mind.

      Conclusion? Easy decision to purchase winter tires/wheels, especially if it's your daughter.
      Except that 6 year old tires from the date of manufacture are a safety issue, and IMHO 4 year old snow tires are worse in snow than all-seasons, based on 30+ years of running snow tires on multiple vehicles.
      The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge - Stephen Hawking

    18. 09-12-2019 08:02 AM #16
      If you live in Chicago metro there is no need for dedicated snows, you'll be fine with the all season tires that come with the vehicle. If you live in an Urban area where the streets are plowed regularly then a few inches of snow will not be a problem for all seasons. Now, if you're making mountain runs in deep snow or driving uphill in 4-6 inches of snow, icy snow, etc. then get a set of dedicated snows.

    19. Junior Member WVWGBO169HW's Avatar
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      09-12-2019 08:01 PM #17
      I have run Nokian R2SUV full winter and am now on Nokian WRG3. I used to have mounted and dedicated winter tires, but the Nokian All Weather (not all season) are a great solution (they invented snow tires in the 30's and pioneered All Weathers).
      The Nokian R2's are better than the Blizzaks, Michelin Pilot Alpin and Michelin X-Ice in snow/ice. The Nokian WRG3 are approximately equivalent, but without the spongy (and no braking from Blizzaks) on dry pavement.
      The Pilot Alpin and Nokian WRG3 are actually fun to drive.
      As far as winter roads in Chicago, it depends on the power of your Alderman, as to whether your local streets will be plowed in a day or a month. Love ChiTown politics.
      I am now WRG3 year round. That's my recommendation.

    20. 09-12-2019 08:08 PM #18
      We have had winter specific tires on vehicles from 4x4 big pickups to the VW rabbits. Have use Michelin X-ice, Blizzaks, Winterforce studded and Nokian Hakka's, both studded and unstudded.
      Would not go through a winter without the Nokians.
      Last winter the big 4x4 truck ran Nokian Rotiiva's and they worked but not as well as winter specific tires. Wife's Ford Escape - Nokian Hakka's non-studded. A great ride. Good traction and road feel, snow and ice as well as base clear pavement. North Dakota - 25 miles from the Canadian border.

      On the VW pickup I have put on the WR G4's all around. So far, mud and rain and gravel and across farm fields, packed as well as plowed - they do work well. Not yet freezing so can't say how they work in ice and snow but from prior experience I'm expecting them to do well. Not as good as studded Nordman or Hakka's but well - already they are better than the All Seasons in our crap conditions on mixed pavement and gravel roads.

      All it takes to pay for the winter specific tires is being able to brake or swerve out of the way of an idiot who misjudges stopping ability on ice or snow - usually the first few storms.

      We have a second set of wheels for each vehicle. Yard sale, Bisman or Craigs List. Most expensive was factory set for the big Ford - at $100. Least, factory set for the Ford Escape for $50 - not counting the free wheels from an old farmer who was collecting wrecks to sell to the recyclers.

      Would not go a winter without tires made to do the job. As I wrote - avoiding that one idiot makes all the difference. A Chicago lake effect snowstorm and knowing one can maneuver if driving sensibly makes staying out of pileups a lot easier. She's your daughter. Knowing how slick packed snow of 1/2 inch is - basically glare ice - give here the best you can get and take one set of worry out of life.

    21. 09-12-2019 08:38 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by joeCR1976 View Post
      If you live in Chicago metro there is no need for dedicated snows, you'll be fine with the all season tires that come with the vehicle. If you live in an Urban area where the streets are plowed regularly then a few inches of snow will not be a problem for all seasons. Now, if you're making mountain runs in deep snow or driving uphill in 4-6 inches of snow, icy snow, etc. then get a set of dedicated snows.
      This is so wrong.
      I live in the city proper and have been stuck behind so many people not on dedicated winters. It’s not just powder, but frozen ruts, piles of shoveled ice and snow, alleys never shoveled and tracked, 100 year blizzards every season. With my blizzaks and now nokian happas I have never had to worry about getting stuck or not stopping when I need. Winter tires are love for yourself and your family.

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      09-12-2019 10:09 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by steveinarizona View Post
      Thanks everyone. And, Hoble, I have not made up my mind. For one thing, it is not my decision; it will be the decision of my kids. I am just funding the project and looking for feedback to give them.
      Been in your shoes, only with a Tiguan.

      Since you can afford the upfront cost, if you can store them (or strike a deal with a dealer to do so) why not?

      They only need to save your a$$ once. What cost is peace of mind when you're 1500 miles away?

      My 2 cents

    23. 09-13-2019 03:10 PM #21
      I lived in Chicago for 8 years, NYC for 6, and Boston for 5 years. I've owned a FWD vehicle with all season tires in all of the aforementioned cities and I've never gotten stuck - even when buried in a side street parking spot. Snow tires are great and yes if you want to buy a set, and rims, and swap them in every winter season then go ahead and do so. But, given my experience, in large cities were snow is removed well and regularly I really don't think there's a need for dedicated snows.

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      09-13-2019 07:27 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by Hoble View Post

      If you can stay home during bad storms and only go out when the roads are clear or only deal with a tiny bit of snow, you can probably pull off All Weather tires.
      I disagree. I had Nokian WR G3 on my last Passat, which was lowered and FWD. Driven through many blizzards and it's limiting factors were steep hills and lack of ground clearance. Steep hills, where I lived, even with Nokian Hakka RSI, I couldn't get up a 15 percent plus gradient without chains. Going down is even scarier.

      Now with a 4motion car, since my Nitto SN2 are worn, I'm getting WR g4 SUV on the Tiguan for this winter season for the Mammoth mountain trips.

      Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk
      Quote Originally Posted by Jezza
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    25. Member Hoble's Avatar
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      09-13-2019 07:50 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by BsickPassat View Post
      I disagree. I had Nokian WR G3 on my last Passat, which was lowered and FWD. Driven through many blizzards and it's limiting factors were steep hills and lack of ground clearance. Steep hills, where I lived, even with Nokian Hakka RSI, I couldn't get up a 15 percent plus gradient without chains. Going down is even scarier.

      Now with a 4motion car, since my Nitto SN2 are worn, I'm getting WR g4 SUV on the Tiguan for this winter season for the Mammoth mountain trips.

      Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk
      So with my 01 and 04 golf tdi's, 01 being lowered and rocking cheap ass winter tires, I didnt have that kind of problem... I frequently plowed snow with the front of that thing... up hill as well. The 04 I lifted and put expensive studded winter tires and it was a beast in the snow... drove over a mountain in a foot and a half of snow... sketchy ass drive but the car had little to no issues.

      A lot of people keep going on in this thread about "well I can drive and not get stuck with this non winter tire"... I've drive an AWD lowered subaru with worn summer tires in a snow storm just to drift around. Itwas slippy as ****... which was the point.

      Getting going isnt the issue with non winter tires... its stopping. Winter tires accel at stopping in snow and on ice (depending on the type). As someone else said above, it will only take avoiding idiot to make it worth it.

      That said, if you are really aware of what's under you, you may be fine but your risk is still higher.

      Do what you want... just make sure you have insurance because you'll need it.

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      09-13-2019 10:40 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by Hoble View Post
      So with my 01 and 04 golf tdi's, 01 being lowered and rocking cheap ass winter tires, I didnt have that kind of problem... I frequently plowed snow with the front of that thing... up hill as well. The 04 I lifted and put expensive studded winter tires and it was a beast in the snow... drove over a mountain in a foot and a half of snow... sketchy ass drive but the car had little to no issues.

      A lot of people keep going on in this thread about "well I can drive and not get stuck with this non winter tire"... I've drive an AWD lowered subaru with worn summer tires in a snow storm just to drift around. Itwas slippy as ****... which was the point.

      Getting going isnt the issue with non winter tires... its stopping. Winter tires accel at stopping in snow and on ice (depending on the type). As someone else said above, it will only take avoiding idiot to make it worth it.

      That said, if you are really aware of what's under you, you may be fine but your risk is still higher.

      Do what you want... just make sure you have insurance because you'll need it.

      Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
      I also had a modded mk4 golf TDI (with the Shine suspension) with cheap winter tires (Firestone winterforce), the mk4 didn't have the problems climbing hills like the B6 Passat. That thing got me everywhere, including the steepest hills in Killington. The best tires I had were Green Diamond remolds, with chunks of silicon carbide in the tread.

      A buddy of mine had a STI when it came out in 04, during a storm he tried gassing it up, and got nowhere, then later that night, I drove my car to a party... The next Monday, he ordered wheels and blizzaks.

      I have been high-centered in deep snow (over a foot) in the Passat, and the all-weathers, with a lot of rocking (easier to do in a manual) got me out.

      When the road is cold and dry, a lot of "Nordic" winter tires have mushy handling, which isn't that confidence inspiring. This is where Central European aka performance winter and all-weather Excel.

      Sounds like you never used a performance winter or all-weather tire to support your claim about not being able to handle more than an inch of snow.

      Yes, I have used cheap Korean performance winter tires before: hankook icebear W300 and nexen winguard sport and plenty of blizzards.

      Hated the squirmy tread of the General Altimax Arctic in the cold dry

      One problem of being able to stop quicker is, the person behind you may be using all-seasons, and will rear-end you.

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      Last edited by BsickPassat; 09-13-2019 at 10:54 PM.
      Quote Originally Posted by Jezza
      Power and Speed solves many things
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    27. Member Hoble's Avatar
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      09-13-2019 11:28 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by BsickPassat View Post
      I also had a modded mk4 golf TDI (with the Shine suspension) with cheap winter tires (Firestone winterforce), the mk4 didn't have the problems climbing hills like the B6 Passat. That thing got me everywhere, including the steepest hills in Killington. The best tires I had were Green Diamond remolds, with chunks of silicon carbide in the tread.

      A buddy of mine had a STI when it came out in 04, during a storm he tried gassing it up, and got nowhere, then later that night, I drove my car to a party... The next Monday, he ordered wheels and blizzaks.

      I have been high-centered in deep snow (over a foot) in the Passat, and the all-weathers, with a lot of rocking (easier to do in a manual) got me out.

      When the road is cold and dry, a lot of "Nordic" winter tires have mushy handling, which isn't that confidence inspiring. This is where Central European aka performance winter and all-weather Excel.

      Sounds like you never used a performance winter or all-weather tire to support your claim about not being able to handle more than an inch of snow.

      Yes, I have used cheap Korean performance winter tires before: hankook icebear W300 and nexen winguard sport and plenty of blizzards.

      Hated the squirmy tread of the General Altimax Arctic in the cold dry

      One problem of being able to stop quicker is, the person behind you may be using all-seasons, and will rear-end you.

      Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk
      I havent used all weather tires in the winter. I dont mind the squishyness in the dry (no it's not overly confidence inspiring but I'm not pushing the car the same way as I would in the summer so I dont mind it) however I'm also looking for snow performance first and foremost. I drive to work regardless of the weather. I'm in a position where im the first there and last to leave.

      I have driven in 6 inches of fresh snow with new all season tires with the alltrack in late march with a late snowstorm that caught me by surprise after I swapped out the winters because it was getting warm for a long period. It drove fine, with the AWD it had no problems pulling away, barely spun if at all.... stopping was drastically effected however. I had to be super careful.

      At least with getting rear ended, it's not your fault and your insurance doesnt go up.

      Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk

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