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Old 11-04-2011, 01:26 PM   #1
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Snow Tires Yes or No

To preface my question, I have lived here in Wisconsin for the past fifteen winters, prior to which I have never driven in snow and have never put snow tires on any previous car.

I have just purchased my 2012 Focus and was pondering the benefit of getting snow tires. The questions are: For day to day commuting (45miles), do I need them and if I did would I see a benefit and, please dont laugh, do I need all four tires or just on the front. Thanks in advance for any input.

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Old 11-04-2011, 01:33 PM   #2
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I'm going all-seasons (Baltimore). Had to swap off the summer tires that came with my Ti + sport pkg.
I'd imagine that your highways are probably kept pretty clear up in Wisconsin. I don't know how urban/rural a setting you live and park in though (or where you work for that matter).
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Old 11-04-2011, 01:37 PM   #3
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In PA we just had that freak Snow storm in October and the Focus handled it like a champ.
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Old 11-04-2011, 01:40 PM   #4
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I say "Yes" and "All four tires."

$900 (assuming you buy separate rims, TPMS, and a quality tire) is a small investment for a new car. Plus, they’ll last you a couple of winters – which will extend the life of your current tires! I just bought my set 2 days ago.

My last car was an SUV with 4x4 (all-season tires); I rarely had problems getting going / out of the snow because of it, being that my car was so heavy I didn’t encounter many problems with braking, handling, hydroplaning, etc. While the two front tires will help you move, handling will be hurt without rear tires (think tokyo drift) – in addition, all cars have 4x4 braking, which is why you really need winter tires.

After spinning 360 degrees in my parents' ZX5 in all-season tires while turning at 7 mph, I figured I should buy some winter tires.
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Old 11-04-2011, 01:50 PM   #5
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I am a huge believer in winter tires....I even put them on my subarus (awd). Not only do they provide better traction in snow...they stop so much better in cold temps because of the rubber compound. If my winter tires keep me from one minor fender bender they have paid for themselves (they cost less than my insurance deductible), and if they keep me from a more serious incident...they'll be a wise $800 investment.
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Old 11-04-2011, 01:50 PM   #6
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Winter tires are definitely worth it. Just don't run them til July like I see people around here do.
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Old 11-04-2011, 02:09 PM   #7
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snow tires are the best investment i've made to my daily driver hands down. i feel so much more safe when commuting too and from work. i work pretty early in the morning, sometimes before the plows hit the street so they are a must for me.
get all 4, i can see just two up front being bad news.
not only is the grip better in the snow, but they also have a better compound for the colder weather.
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Old 11-04-2011, 03:47 PM   #8
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Winter tires are a must for anyone that lives in a cold climate, not just a snowy one. They have been shown to be more effective when the temps drop below 45 then all-seasons. Even the cheapest winter tires would be better then running all-season through the winter.

If you do a lot of highway driving though I would strongly suggest getting performance snow tires, they handle higher speeds better and keep the car more stable by have firmer sidewalls. I went all out with mine and put the Michelin Pilot Alpin PA3's on my car with 17" Momo Winter 2 rims. You can go a much cheaper route you could get Michelin Primacy Alpin PA3's or the Dunlop Winter Sport 3D's. Both come in 215/55R16 size and you could find a set of steelies that will work.

I also recommend Discount Tire Direct as they have free shipping opposed to Tire Rack which requires your first born.
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Old 11-04-2011, 06:36 PM   #9
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I look forward to snow when I have my Blizzacks on. I say totally worth every penny. What's just as good with having two sets of wheels/tires is less wear-n-tear on the summer rollers.
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Old 11-04-2011, 06:45 PM   #10
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Depends on WHERE you drive. IF your driving is entirely on freeways and city streets, then no, you do not need Winter tires.
IF you have a unpaved drivway, or a two lane road which is in the country you travel on regularly.. then yes get snow tires.

I live in the big city. I NEVER buy snow tires. They are a total waste of time and money for me. I am 62 years old and have driven in snow every Winter since i was 15 years old.
Snow tires are for SNOW, not for plowed streets.
Around me, snow tires might be needed a few times all Winter, and THAT only if you have roads that do not get plowed often.

I would never pay for snow tires in S.E. Wisconsin.
Up North it may certainly be a different matter.

Funny how a LOT of folks who post here are big on snow tires.. I guess they can rant and rave all they want about the benefits..
I would not bother to use them if I got them FREE!!!!!!!!!

(As i have mentioned previously.. my last car i had 12 Winters, and all 12 Winters I left the 'Summer Only' ultrahigh performance tires on all year round. I NEVER had a single problem with using them in Winter. And yeah they had poor traction when the snow is just right, no problem in my mind. They still stop just as good.)

And a good task to perform every time first snow: Go find a BIG empty parking lot, go crazy driving around in circles, skid, brake hard, spin out, Have a BALL. This gets you back to remembering what it is like in snow fast.
And then adding in remembering not to drive too close and you are set.
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