Maine Prius Owners - SNOW TIRES?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by Julia2001, Dec 23, 2011.

  1. Julia2001

    Julia2001 Member

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    Good morning, friends.

    Well - the snow has finally begun to fall.

    The dealership where I purchased my 2007 Prius is offering to put General Arctic Max snow tires on for me.

    Prior to agreeing, I wanted to get the opinion of fellow Prius owners, especially those with experience driving in the snow.

    I'm a former Subaru Outback owner. This is my first Prius.

    I've read through the threads on snow tires and studded tires.

    Does anyone have specific thoughts regarding these General Arctic Max tires? While you're at it, do you here in Maine suggest studded or studless?

    Thanks so much, and Happy Holidays to all of you.

    Julia
     
  2. ngc4565

    ngc4565 Member

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    Not sure whether you care about this, but the Michelin X-Ice2 is the only winter tire I am aware of with Low Rolling Resistance. We just put a set on our 2010 Prius and the preliminary results show a penalty of only 2 MPG. We haven't had snow yet, but you can read many reviews from fellow Prius owners at Tire Rack - Your performance experts for tires and wheels .

    The following link is to reviews of this tire by Toyota owners:

    TireRack.com Tire Reviews
     
  3. homegameroom

    homegameroom New Member

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    Here's a test comparison, courtesy of Tire Rack, on General Altimax Arctic (I assume they're related to your dealers suggestion):

    Winter Testing at the Arctic Circle: Studdable Winter / Snow

    They fared well. I just bought a set of the Michelin X-Ice 2's for my Gen III. They're a little noisier than the all-seasons they replaced, but I'm sure they'll be MUCH better than the all-seasons they replaced.

    (I just put these on a few days ago, so I have no data to support the LRR... and my old tires were crappy anyway, so I probably will take a small hit)
     
  4. Julia2001

    Julia2001 Member

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    Thank you both for your very helpful responses.

    homegameroom, thanks so much for posting the link to the test results for the General Altimax Arctic. I called my dealership, and you are correct in assuming those are the tires.

    I very much appreciated reading the good test results, and will be having the tires mounted this afternoon. The link you provided helped me to understand what I am purchasing, and how the performance stacks up. Can't thank you enough for the assistance.

    Thanks again to both of you!

    Happy Holidays.

    Julia
     
  5. MERIDIAN

    MERIDIAN Junior Member

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    Sears has Fuel-Max Weatherhandlers, I put them on my '06 prius 2 years ago and they're great in the snow and rain and believe me we had plenty of snow last year in New York.
     
  6. cnschult

    cnschult Active Member

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    when i bought my winter tires i had read all the reviews so here's the rundown:
    Michelin X-Ice2: yes its LRR, but its expensive and doesn't perform well in snow and ice, it lasts forever so only buy them if you drive 60+ miles a day (commuter)
    General Altimax: a no brainer if you plan on studding the tires, only a few states allow it, Maine i'm sure is one of them, these are surprisingly cheap considering they're made in Deutcheland.
    Continental ExtremeWinterContact: best overall winter tire for the money, especially if you are buying a wheel&tire package from tirerack.com. TPMS is a ripoff so I didn't bother.
    Bridgestone Blizzak: the perennial classic, just make sure to buy the new ws-70, not ws-60
    winter tires to avoid: Yokohama IceGuard (outdated), Dunlops (hi-performance), Goodyears and Nokians (not worth the sticker shock).

    You need winter tires in a Prius as they stay soft and flexible in colder temps, I actually call winter tires coldTEMP tires, I call all season tires mildTEMP tires, and summer tires are hotTEMP tires. In addition there are thousands of tire retailers across the world but only a dozen or so factories that make winter tires, so with only a few factories they can afford a much better siping machine that puts many many more times the sipes than a siping machine from your local tire shop.

    even more important are the 2 weaknesses of the Prius: first, like most hybrids the reverse is electric and you don't have the power to rock the car out of trouble like you have been doing your whole life in a traditional car. second, the prius has only 5.5 or 5.6 inches of ground clearance, while this is on par with sedans its nowhere near enough.

    AWD is not needed with modern traction (acceleration) and stability (yaw) control systems, range rovers and the new grand cherokee can lift higher during offroading or deep snow and lower for better highway aerodynamics. while I find this unnecessary in SUVs it is a must in passenger cars. The only car to ever offer this vital feature was the Audi allroad and since americans dont like traditional wagons Audi now only offers this in Europe, and when you've spent your whole life buying good valued quality japanese cars its hard to buy an overpriced unreliable expensive-to-repair european car.

    just some food for thought, my neighbor has Audi A4 with all wheel drive and all season tires, there's nothing more satisfying than driving past his stuck vehicle as he sits there like an idiot and spins his 4 tires, even with all 4 wheels spining it is unable to overcome the friction of the snow underneath his low slung car (I think he's only got 4 inches GC). I then drive by, wave and point to my watch to let him know I need to get to work and don't have time to help him out. I try to wait until I'm past him to start my snickering.
     
  7. hlunde

    hlunde Member

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    Continental has owned General for a number of years. And, somewhere along the way, Continental also bought Gislaved and then re-branded the Gislaved Nordfrost 3 as General Arctic Max. So you could look for Nordfrost 3 reviews --- assuming that the design hasn't changed too much over the years.
     
  8. MainePriusGirl

    MainePriusGirl New Member

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    I believe that General Arctic is one of the highest rated snow tires. And yes, I HIGHLY recommend them here in Maine. Have had my Prius since 2004, and couldn't have survived without them. Just got my new Dean WinterCats, non-studded. In the past, I have used studded Nokian Hakkapeliittas. Several local tire dealers advised me against the studs, so I went without this year for the first time. After totaling my Tacoma in the first snowfall of '04, I swear by snow tires.

    Where in Maine are you?
     
  9. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Hi Julia. It would be interesting if you could let us know how much of a hit you take on fuel economy with these tires, given that they're not low rolling resistance.
     
  10. terry2336

    terry2336 Junior Member

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    I'm also in Maine and this fall put a set of Yokahama Avid Touring S tires on my 2005 Prius. They drive much better than the original Goodyears. the handling is better and I get a couple more mpg than with the old ones. I've taken a few long drives in snow including one in several inches of unplowed snow. Works great and didn't cost much.
    Terry
     
  11. mainerinexile

    mainerinexile No longer in exile!

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    Personally, I think it is foolish to drive with anything less than studded snow tires in the snow belt. The Prius is a tank with studded tires, and I take it rather than the 4WD Tacoma unless the snow is deep.

    Relative to gas mileage on the Prius, I'm getting 52-54 mpg with blocked grill and studded snows (40/38 psi), about what I get in the summer with unblocked grill. Before I blocked the grill, was getting 45 mpg-ish with regular tires in cool weather.
     
  12. kornkob

    kornkob New Member

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    The 'snow belt'? Where is that?
     
  13. Ytsejamer1

    Ytsejamer1 Junior Member

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    I'm in NH and been driving on the Michelin Harmony tires for the last two winters. I'm shocked at how great they do, even in the snow and ice. They certainly aren't snow tires, but I have pretty tight control of the road in tougher conditions.
     
  14. tv4fish

    tv4fish Member

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    WELLL - I DO believe Minnesota is definitely in the snow belt :) --- BUT - we cannot use studded tires - so I went with "non-studded" Michelin Ice tires - so far, so good. (Of course we barely just had a "white Christmas" :))
     
  15. nctacoma

    nctacoma New Member

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    Is there a prius specific grill block or is this something you build yourself? Any links if it is a purchase-able item?
     
  16. danboy

    danboy Junior Member

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    Do a search and you will find plenty of pics. Go to Home Depot and get a four pack of .5" pipe insulation it will cost you $2.88 for four.
     
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