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Hey all, as you may have heard from some of my previous postings, I'm verry dissapointed in the tires that came with my Focus. Since I got an SE with the sfe package it came with a set of continental Contitouring Contacts on 16 inch rims. (plain steel ones[bawling]) These tires have just been awful from the start, they ride harsh, vibrate constantly over anything except fresh pavement, and whenever it rains I'm lucky to get home without hitting a tree. The hydroplaning is just unbelievable on these guys. So with winter coming up I decided that they had to go; rain is bad enough I cant imagine these things on ice or snow. I'm getting a set of Michelin Primacy MXV4's put on tomorrow sometime.They're V-rated! Yes they're all seasons not winter, but I live in Delaware so snow isn't all too bad here. I've been planning this for a while, but in the last week the Contis began to bloat at the sidewalls and some even have little cave-in dents. At only 4000 miles this is completely unacceptable, oh well. I'll post pictures of the new ones tomorrow and I'd love to hear what other people are switching to if anything for the winter season. Also, if anyone has had similar experiences with the SFE-spec Contis.
 

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if it snows you definately need winter tires...

i dont know how many times i heard americans complain how their tires suck in the snow but they got all seasons or summer tires on... ri-di-culous...
 

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It hit 90 degrees here today, so I doubt I'll need to spend for special tires when my Focus does actually come in. I'll probably upgrade them when they start wearing out, could be soon, even in my Jeep I squeal my tires on an almost daily basis.
 

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if it snows you definately need winter tires...
That's hilarious. Summer tires wont work well with snow/ice, but decent all season tires are fine. You don't NEED winter tires. Slow down, leave a larger following distance, and then suddenly realize tire type doesn't matter.

I've never had winter tires, lived in New Hampshire for the majority of my life, and have never gotten into an accident in the winter.
 

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Ummm, I've been to NH, that's a load of hooey.
[nono]
In fact in the past decade, I'd say folks in the Northeast have been getting wallopped way more than we do up here in terms of snow/winter weather.

So you're sitting at a an intersection and you see this guy behind you trying to stop who has hit a patch of ice/packed down snow/slush just before and you try to get a move on before he rear-ends you. Would you rather have winter tires that will grip quicker and get you out earlier or sit on your "all-seasons" and listen to your car tires spin just before you get a friendly "boost" from behind?

We're not talking about winter tires from 30 years ago. The $600 investment is well worth it (and your "summer" tires will last longer so you don't really lose out because you'll end up replacing your tires later).
 

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I guess I can't say that in 10+ years of driving in New Hampshire winters, the situation you've put forth has ever happened to me or anyone I've known. It's optimistic at best that you'd be able to have the foresight to move out of the way. If you've driven on snow/ice, you know that you won't know it's too late to stop until it's WAAAAAY too late.

There are a million other ways to handle that situation that don't require you to have winter tires. If having winter tires makes you all warm inside, then absolutely buy them, but I really want to make it clear that you do not NEED them. If you know how to drive defensively, they are NOT required to be safe. If they were, then there would be laws to support that claim.

And if it's THAT bad out (it happens), then don't drive. Period. It's potentially your car/life on the line. Why would you leave that up to a set of tires in the first place?
 

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Hey all, as you may have heard from some of my previous postings, I'm verry dissapointed in the tires that came with my Focus. Since I got an SE with the sfe package it came with a set of continental Contitouring Contacts on 16 inch rims. (plain steel ones[bawling]) These tires have just been awful from the start, they ride harsh, vibrate constantly over anything except fresh pavement, and whenever it rains I'm lucky to get home without hitting a tree. The hydroplaning is just unbelievable on these guys. So with winter coming up I decided that they had to go; rain is bad enough I cant imagine these things on ice or snow. I'm getting a set of Michelin Primacy MXV4's put on tomorrow sometime.They're V-rated! Yes they're all seasons not winter, but I live in Delaware so snow isn't all too bad here. I've been planning this for a while, but in the last week the Contis began to bloat at the sidewalls and some even have little cave-in dents. At only 4000 miles this is completely unacceptable, oh well. I'll post pictures of the new ones tomorrow and I'd love to hear what other people are switching to if anything for the winter season. Also, if anyone has had similar experiences with the SFE-spec Contis.
What is your tyre pressure on the Conti's ?
I've been running Conti's for ages on previous cars and they have all been quiet tyres. Usually get about 50000 Km.
 

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Almost 3 years ago, here, in Quebec, winter tires were not regulated by law. Since then, things changed.
I always had summer tires and winter tires though. And I assure you, whatever defensive driving technique you use, it is useless if not coupled with the proper tire for the right condition. So, my 2 cents : use a winter tire on winter and "all-seasons" tires/summer tires for the rest of the season if you are up here, in the "snowbelt" area.
 

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?? What do you drive a circular route everyday in the winter or do you just stay in your house when you see more than 3 inches of snow?

I consider myself a pretty good /defensive driver but I and most other drivers don't have the time to go through "a million other ways" to handle potential situations (and why don't you check out youtube to see some of the million other ways the rest of the population in your area without winter tires usually "handles" these situations - lots of them showing how even at slow speeds they can't even come to a stop until the car in front of them helps them to do so).

Yes having a tire that is made of rubber/silica that is more flexible below 40F than your "all seasons" will definitely make me feel more "warm and fuzzy" and will also take me less time to get the eff out of the way of the 70% of drivers who won't "drive to the conditions". Also, if the tech. exists and is affordable to help me live my life without being a shut-in at every little accumulation of snow, then I'll take it!

Oh and just because the laws don't exist in your country/province/state doesn't mean they don't elsewhere. You might also want to do some research online and read some of the reviews, watch some of the demonstrations at both low and normal speeds. That said, there are some newer tires that are actually "4-season" and actually meet the specs required to get the M&S symbol but those aren't the "all-seasons" you're referring to.

If you're too cheap to spend $600 on a brand new +$20K car and you live in the snow belt then so be it.

As the saying goes, ignorance is bliss.

I guess I can't say that in 10+ years of driving in New Hampshire winters, the situation you've put forth has ever happened to me or anyone I've known. It's optimistic at best that you'd be able to have the foresight to move out of the way. If you've driven on snow/ice, you know that you won't know it's too late to stop until it's WAAAAAY too late.

There are a million other ways to handle that situation that don't require you to have winter tires. If having winter tires makes you all warm inside, then absolutely buy them, but I really want to make it clear that you do not NEED them. If you know how to drive defensively, they are NOT required to be safe. If they were, then there would be laws to support that claim.

And if it's THAT bad out (it happens), then don't drive. Period. It's potentially your car/life on the line. Why would you leave that up to a set of tires in the first place?
 

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if it snows you definately need winter tires...

i dont know how many times i heard americans complain how their tires suck in the snow but they got all seasons or summer tires on... ri-di-culous...
naah! I live in an area with snow starting end of November, sticking for good by Christmas, and leaving finally by March 15 ir so.
I grew up on rear wheel drive cars with balding tires in the snow. [strongman] (back in the 1960's when snow was SNOW!)

I drove my Contour SVT with it's Summer only tires year round for 12 Winters and never had a single 'issue' with them in the snow.

(and as the others wrote: If it floats YOUR boat and makes you all happy inside to use winter special tires, great. Glad you like to do so. As for me it is not needed. i would NEVER buy Winter tires. maybe some in my area do so as they want to feel 'safe' or live out in the rural areas.

As for the topic of 'lowrollingresistance' tires, the info I have seen and read shows they generally suck for anything but warm dry driving. The ones that do decently in the rain, are way less low rolling resistance than the sucky' ones anyway.

Forr my own current tires. They are new, but i want to go with some that are better rated over at Tire Rack. i just am waffling between doing so, or just stick with what is on the car for at least a year. I have not had any actual issues except high speed cornering is no where near what it could be with way better tires. (though raising the front psi to 44psi helped a lot on turn in
 

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Elizabeth, I agree with you when you say "to each his own".
The fact that you will never buy winter tires means nothing to me, though. I don't sell winter tires. I just gave my opinion on the matter.

When I answered the OP, I based my response on my experience of winters in Montreal, which is a city pretty much like San Francisco (steep slopes and lots of stops and go on them) where your Contour (and even your actual Focus) with summer tires in winter time would only skid to the base of the slope, whatever technique you'd use to go up the slope or to stop on the slope. And by the way, here, those who have propulsion cars, use to carry cement sacks on their trank if they decide to drive them on winter. Usually they have a second car for winter time (4WD mostly). But again, this is my experience in my town.

The OP should choose what seems to him to be the best for his driving conditions.
 

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When I started looking at buying a new Focus, I asked the dealer about the SFE package. He said that after you replace the tires with different tires, you lose some of the better fuel mileage advantage. He then told me that he never hopes that he has to sell one......As for getting winter tires, if you can afford them, they are great, after all, with all the people who don't know how to drive in winter, it pays to have all the "armour" you need.
 

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Ummm, I've been to NH, that's a load of hooey.
[nono]
In fact in the past decade, I'd say folks in the Northeast have been getting wallopped way more than we do up here in terms of snow/winter weather.

So you're sitting at a an intersection and you see this guy behind you trying to stop who has hit a patch of ice/packed down snow/slush just before and you try to get a move on before he rear-ends you. Would you rather have winter tires that will grip quicker and get you out earlier or sit on your "all-seasons" and listen to your car tires spin just before you get a friendly "boost" from behind?

We're not talking about winter tires from 30 years ago. The $600 investment is well worth it (and your "summer" tires will last longer so you don't really lose out because you'll end up replacing your tires later).
Agreed! I grew up driving on all-seasons in NH, but once I bought a set of (performance) winter tires, I realized what a huge difference it makes in terms of traction, stability, etc. Far more valuable than traction control, ESP, etc. Plus, as NorthernFocalPoint said, it will reduce wear on your summer set. Your winter tires will likely be a higher profile, too, and on steel rims (possibly), so there will be less chance of rim damage over our great frozen roads.

Winter tires are well-worth the money to me...I won't go back.
 

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if it snows you definately need winter tires...

i dont know how many times i heard americans complain how their tires suck in the snow but they got all seasons or summer tires on... ri-di-culous...
lol

Depending on how much snow you get an all-season tire can be fine. Of course a dedicated winter tire is going to be better in snow, especially in very cold temperatures.

BTW all seasons come in many styles, some better for dry and not so great on snow and some like Conti Extreme Contact DWS are better on snow and not as great on dry.

Living in Michigan I normally go with all seasons on my Focus and on the 7-8 really bad snows days a year I drive the Saabaru 92X Areo (Subaru WRX) which is AWD. Even that car which is a great winter car I run Conti Extreme Contact DWS not winter tires.
 

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My '12 SE hatchback is a regular one.
I'm not familiar if the sfe pkg has the low res. tires.
My SE 215-55-16 on steels Conti's work nicely for me.
I'm very happy with them, as they are the "best" OEM tire that I've driven with. ride, quite decent traction ( I am picky )
I have summer & winter tires on my fancy cars..

I am getting a set (4) of SNOWS for winter of course...

IMO -- ALL SEASON = summer, fall, spring
WINTER = Winter, snow, ice
 

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One point to offset the 'idea' one is 'saving' one's Summer tires by using Snow Tires in Winter: the Snow tire cost just as much, wear out faster, and also the added cost of the snow tire wheels, and switching between unless one does it one's self.

Then the fact that snow tires are most of the time riding on dry pavement, and get serious use only a few days out of the season.
Particularly living in a big city, I might possibly say i would 'like' snow tires maybe once a Winter. possibley twice. (and that was when I was working and had to drive no matter what. NOW, with being retired.. LOL who cares if it snows!!)
So the majority of the Winter, The snow tires are being wasted driving on dry pavement.
(like 1960's when studs were first allowed. Everyone got them but folks spent 99% of the time running on dry concrete, wearing out the freeways in record time, until they had to be BANNED.)

And this information is not to dispute that snow tires in many situations are a great thing. i'm just pointing out reason for some of us to not use snow tires.
 

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Edit: not even worth stirring the pot.
 

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I use snows every winter. Mostly Blizzaks, but the last set was whatever brand from the local tire store; they worked out pretty good too. Just ordered a set of General snow tires.............I'm sure they'll be fine. Gotta do something about those awful Continental all seasons the Focus comes with though!
 
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