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Best Snow tires?

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Main Forum' started by nhsailmaker, Sep 19, 2009.

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  1. nhsailmaker

    nhsailmaker New Member

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    What specific brand and make is the best snow tire ? Do I need studs ? Do I need a different rim or tire size? What kind of hit on mileage?

    I am located in ski country of NH and commute 90 miles a day - mostly on interstate but need to get UP snow and ice covered driveways
  2. BAllanJ

    BAllanJ Active Member

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    I'm hoping that Blizzaks are the best, since that's what I bought last month. They're on rims in my storage locker waiting for winter. Studs are great if they're legal where you are or are likely to drive to in the winter. They aren't legal here, so I have no 1st hand knowledge.
  3. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    I use Nokian WR year round. They work very well here. No rims to buy, no changing of wheels. A little noisier than summer tires, but they also work very will in standing water at high speed, so I'm glad I had them this summer (hit heavy downpour on highway with 1-2 inch deep water in traffic). I put on stock size (185) on 15" wheels.
    1 person likes this.
  4. Macomb

    Macomb New Member

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    In the Fall of 2008, I purchased a set of Nokian Hakkapeliitta R dedicated snow tires. I found the best deal from Tires By Web . com. They sent them right to my door and I had my local Toyota dealer mount them on stock alloy rims with tire pressure sensors. They are rated as Ultralow Rolling Resistance tires and THAT they are! My mileage actually increased when I switched to them in November. I took them off in late March. I'm located in upstate New York where we get over 100 inches of snow each season on average. They performed extremely well--a world of difference over the stock Integrities. I have a 2006 Prius and the first two seasons, the Integrity tires performed progressively worse as the tread wore down quickly. By the last snowstorm in Spring, 2008 I was slipping and sliding and almost afraid to pull out and merge into traffic because of loss of traction. Those trepidations are gone with the Hakkapeliitta R's. Great traction, good fuel economy, ability to proceed with confidence on snowy/icy roads and reasonable braking traction on slick roads. They were mid-priced compared to the field of snow tires I was considering and have a very good mileage tread life. Since I'm seasonal with their use, I estimate that they may last me until 2014, 5 or 6. By that point, I'll be in something new and technologically more advanced. I hope this helps.
  5. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    Well, some Prius owners will claim that their car will charge up icy driveways drifted over with 2 ft of snow, on bald summer tires. Some of us have had Prius cars with Traction Control so sensitive the car refuses to budge in 2 inches of snow.

    YMMV

    After trying a variety of studless winter tires on my 2004 Prius (Dunlop Graspic DS-2, and Yokohama Ice Guard 10) I got sick and tired of the lack of glare ice traction, and went back to a studded tire

    I got the Goodyear Nordic from Canadian Tire. This is actually the same as the Goodyear Ultra Grip 500 sold in the EU

    Goodyear Eur-Winter Tire-UltraGrip 500

    If you click on "Profile" a Flash movie loads that explains the tire construction and testing results. These tires had a hum at 50-65 km/h on dry roads, especially cement roads. On snow and ice they were silent, so who cares.

    It was fun waiting for the light to turn green with icy roads. The guy next to me in a 4x4, his jaw would drop when my Prius shot ahead, with him still sitting there spinning away

    The Goodyear Nordic/Ultra Grip 500 is a highly directional tire. During Spring melt, with standing water hiding dangerous ice beneath, no problems whatsoever. Cars following me would spin out, I had secure traction

    I had my winter tires mounted on multi-fit steel wheels that I got from Canadian Tire. If they pour salt on the roads in winter, you want a steel wheel, no sense ruining the nice aluminum wheels

    Note: if you do decide to run aftermarket steel wheels for winter, you MUST get the correct "acorn" style lugnut for the wheels. Do not use the Toyota lugnut which is meant for their aluminum wheels, as it will dangerously loosen up

    The proper lugnut is easy enough to find. They are M12-1.5 x 21mm thread. The NAPA part number is 10#641-2042, you can usually get them for $1 each

    I finally had enough of dealing with studless winter tires on my FJ Cruiser too. For that vehicle, I had Toyo Open Country G-02 Plus, and on ice my Prius with studded tires had a distinct traction advantage

    [​IMG]

    I tried to order factory studded Nokian Hakkapeliitta 5 Sport Utility tires for my FJ last winter, but the Quebec winter tire law caught me by surprise, and they had no tires in stock

    This year I ordered the tires in July, even then I didn't get them until mid Sept.

    [​IMG]

    Nokian winter tires are popular where you live. Have you considered the factory studded Nokian Hakkapeliitta 5?

    Nokian Hakkapeliitta 5
  6. 06prius

    06prius New Member

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    I am in the same boat as far as picking out snow tires. I have had Blizzaks on previous cars and they worked ok. I have heard good things about the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 5s also but do not have any first hand knowledge. I have never even thought about using studs either and after reading some of the stories on this site, I am not sure if i should. All I know is that the roads around here can have snow on them for awhile before it is plowed in the morning.

    What I have found is that just getting plain steel wheels to mount them is not the easiest thing since the large on-line retailers do not list that as a option. They only have alloy wheels.
  7. BAllanJ

    BAllanJ Active Member

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    If you're ordering tires on line... make very sure that you're allowed studs in your area. I presume that your local tire folks would know. They aren't allowed here (yet...I hope that changes about the time my Blizzaks wear out) so I go studless (except for me, in the car of course) And jayman... I thought it was too cold in Winterpeg for salt to work on the roads :)
  8. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    I was surprised that NH is like Saskatchewan, in that there are NO restrictions for studded tire use.

    Snow Tires | When To Put on Snow Tires in New England

    Though you'd look silly cruising around on a warm summer day with studded tires.

    I tried studless winter tires for awhile in my Prius. Went back to "real" studded snow tires, and am very glad I did. Ditto the FJ, studless tires are hardly any better than all season on glare ice.



    That's weird. Did you check with local tire dealers? I had a very easy time locally getting steel wheels for both my Prius and my FJ. In both cases they are "multi fit" wheels, but appear to work just fine



    The New England states allow studs. See the link above. Even Ontario finally saw the light and allowed studs, at least for NW Ontario.



    Correct, the coldest part of winter deice salt won't work at all. An icy intersection can stay icy for a LONG time. They dump sand, but on a windy day the wind blows it away

    On mild days, the salt will cause melting and that nice brine mixture ends up on the nice aluminum rims. I know a guy in Winnipeg with a similar 2007 FJ as mine, but he leaves his factory aluminum rims on year round.

    The rims have filoform corrosion so bad they look like they are 30 years old.

    Actually, the worst corrosion happens with Spring melt: you have salt and water on the roads at the same time. Might as well drive on a beach and collect seawater on your vehicle
  9. carlover78

    carlover78 New Member

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    I have been riding on the Michelin x-ice Xi2 and they have worked out quite well for me! They cut through ice and snow very well and seem to be very long lasting also.

    Here's an article that provides details on some of the best snow tires (blog.tirevan.com/2011/11/18/best-snow-tires-or-top-winter-tires)
  10. ngc4565

    ngc4565 Member

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    We just got our first real test of the Michelin X-Ice2 courtesy of a four inch snowfall overnight. The Prius was easily able to make it up some hills that our Honda Civic has real difficulty with using standard touring tires. We've also noted no more than a 2 MPG penalty from using these winter tires. Highly recommended.
  11. Rick3401

    Rick3401 New Member

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    I am very impressed with the Michelin X-ice Xi2.
  12. Hal W

    Hal W New Member

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    When I purchase snow tires for my Prius they will be Nokian WR and they will be used all season. Hal
  13. shortguy014

    shortguy014 New Member

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    Falken ZIEX ZE-512
  14. captnslur

    captnslur Junior Member

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    Regarding studded snow tires....do a little research and one will find that studded tires work better only about 2% of the time - the other 98% of the time you stop less well, turn less well and accelerate less well and they slowly ruin the road way.

    Minnesota out lawed them years ago because of that. Drive in Oregon or Washington state in the summer after a rain storm and the ruined roadways are evident.

    Best trick is to just slow down a bit. The Michelins I find are excellent, second only to the Blizzaks.

    My 2 cents.
  15. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Please try to apply your opinion to the needs of the person asking the question rather than just cheer leading for the brand/model of tire you own. Chances are very good the one you listed is not the best choice.
  16. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    Comparing the studless snow tires I ran on both my Prius and my FJ to the studded replacements, I noted NO downside that wouldn't already be present in a snow tire.

    Eg: squirmy dry weather handling, noise, etc

    As far as "ruining" the roads, there are plenty of ruined and grooved roads in NW Ontario due to cheap road construction and overloaded pulp trucks

    The Swedes mandated new stud designs a long time ago. Since they have a mandatory winter tire law, it made sense for them to mandate a new stud design

    The factory-studded Nokian winter tires on my FJ are a good example of that. Each stud has a special cushion under it, which not only enhances traction on ice, it all but eliminates dry road wear

    Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7 SUV

    FAQ

    Some will claim that studded tires contribute to PM increases in winter. The Swedish road research institute, VTI, researched this and determined that salt and sand, left to dry on roads, was responsible for the increase in PM. They also determined that once the roads were dry, street sweeping trucks should be sent to pick up the excess

    VTI - Dust formation propensity of road pavements

    Road wear is all but eliminated with the use of special factory-engineered studs

    VTI - NanoWear

    Again, I have tried both highly rated - and very expensive - studless winter tires, and highly rated studded winter tires, on the '04 Prius and the '07 FJ

    The studs don't even damage the coated floor of my heated garage. The difference in snow and especially ice traction, is immediately evident

    Since I use directional winter tires, the slush and wet traction is also superior

    I would never use any winter tire in warm and hot conditions. The tire will wear out very rapidly

    As far as the studs causing road damage, even Ontario allows studded tires again. For the NW region, and the tires must use the Scandinavian design
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  17. Optimus

    Optimus Member

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    I've run several types of snow tires including Dunlop Graspic 2, Bridgestone Blizzak WS60 and WS70, and Firestone Winterforce. My favorites thus far have been the Blizzaks and the Winterforce. Both provide very good traction in our Minnesota winters (albeit this winter has been almost non existent). The Dunlops were so-so at best.

    We are not allowed to use studded tires here in MN, so I cannot comment on studded tires.

    In the summer time I run LRR's, and they are actually decent in the snow too, but nothing compares to a good snow tire as far as I'm concerned. Snow tires have come a long way in the last 20 years and no longer resemble mini mud tires. We've never had any of the major traction control issues others have described with the Prius on this forum. If anything, my Sequoia's traction control is the one that is ultra sensitive, as it will activate daily even in the summer time.

    I prefer having 2 sets of tires/wheels, as my summer wheels are "fancy" and would be ruined by road salt pretty fast. That, and swapping tires/wheels twice a year gives me an opportunity to check the brakes etc....
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  18. ataylorracing

    ataylorracing ataylorracing

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    Nothing beats studded snows on glare ice...nothing!

    I use Firetone Winterforce on my Neon and Prius.
    Firestone Winterforce
  19. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Unfortunately studs are banned in many locations.

    Tom
  20. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    That's true, I am banned in many locations
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