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Old 12-30-2012, 11:45 PM   #1
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ZX3 Snow tires ?

Ok so my focus is running firestone champion HR tires right now and here in ohio there is a good 4 inches of snow where i am right now. These tires are doing good but they are pretty sketchy in deep snow.So i was thinking about getting a set of winter tires for next season. First should i even bother getting a set of winter tires ( first time getting winter tires not sure if i even need them)and which ones should i get. I have narrowed it down to general altimax arctic or firestones winterforce ( because of price) could you guys give me some insight on which tire i should go with and if you have either one them how are they in snow with the Focus being such a light car.


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Old 12-30-2012, 11:54 PM   #2
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The Altimax Arctics are pretty fantastic on snow and ice. They do, however, suck pretty bad on dry pavement at high speeds (freeway speeds). I'm sure most aggressive snow tires will be similar, though.

But for getting through real heavy snow, they are quite wonderful.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:43 AM   #3
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I drive the highway to work everyday about 25miles at 70 mph ( when its dry) so are these tires not good for me should I go with the firestones?
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Old 12-31-2012, 01:01 AM   #4
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It's not that they're unsafe, or egregiously bad...there's just a lot of tread squirm, especially at higher speeds, so it'll feel like it wants to drift on you a bit.

I drive mostly highway miles and it's not a huge deal, but more of an annoyance. I'm considering high performance snows once these are worn, but I'm not sure I'll be happy with the trade off in deep snow performance. From what I understand high performance snow tires don't work nearly as well as more aggressive snow tires in such weather...although they're much more pleasant to drive on dry roads.

I'll put it like this: I'm none too pleased with the highway performance of these tires, however I'd probably do it again, especially if I can't find a high performance snow tire that still works well in deep snow and doesn't cost a fortune (and fits my 15" winter wheels). I drive mostly highway, but I'm on back roads enough that the aggressive tires are worth it.
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:05 AM   #5
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Michelin Pilot Alpin PA3s are great. They are slightly worse on ice than the Blizzaks but dry handling is much better and they are speed rated above the blizzaks. I love them for winter tires.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:39 AM   #6
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Michelin Pilot Alpin PA3s are great. They are slightly worse on ice than the Blizzaks but dry handling is much better and they are speed rated above the blizzaks. I love them for winter tires.

+2 on the Michelins. Probably the best all around winter specific tire. Ride quality is great too.
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:13 AM   #7
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Paul P how much are those pilots.... I guess I can spend more money on more expensive tires since Ill only be usin them 4 months out of the year they should last .a couple.of.seasons
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:26 PM   #8
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Winterforce's are OK

I got a screaming Craigslist deal on some -1 16" Focus mags, and another deal on some Firestone Winterforce studdable snows.

At first it felt like I was driving on 4 rubber stilts, so after a GOOD alignment (X-F1 suspension guy has a shop here in Seattle helped it a LOT) and playing with tire pressures (38F 34R after they get up to temp), and getting several heat cycles in them, they are as 'tight' as snow tires should be. I also replaced the struts/shocks, front sway bar links, and a set of rear sway bushings/links.

They ARE winter tires, but are great in our PNW rain, standing water, and show no signs of wear after 1500 miles mostly in the dry and rain (only one run part way up Hurricane Ridge, on compact ICE. No traction is no traction, but they did OK). From other reports, they do just fine in snow. Can't WAIT!

In the mean time, it's rather yummy. For snow tires.

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Old 01-05-2013, 08:09 AM   #9
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Paul P how much are those pilots.... I guess I can spend more money on more expensive tires since Ill only be usin them 4 months out of the year they should last .a couple.of.seasons
They are $116.00 each $464.00 for 4 on tire rack.com That is for a 195/60-R15 which I have mounted on 15" steel winter rims. I agree for the $$ and use only in winter 4 months they will last you quite a while. I'm on my second season with this set and after the first they were barely worn in.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:07 AM   #10
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I run General Altimax Arctics on my Subaru and Blizzak WS70s on my wife's Freestyle - both provide great grip on snow and ice but degrade the handling on dry pavement due to the softer rubber. That being said, the benefits well outweigh the costs - I'd go with the General's in a heart beat.

FWIW - I commute 32 miles a day, mostly interstate.
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