Snow Tire Suggestions for the 2010 Please

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by antoine, Jun 21, 2009.

  1. antoine

    antoine New Member

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    Just took delivery of a version II Prius and am already thinking about
    the need for four wheels and four snow tires for this winter. We live in
    Maine, so I feel snow tires are a necessity. Would welcome your
    opinions on tires for snow/ice conditions and what snow tires you would
    recommend. Any suggestions for nice, but not high cost wheels would
    also be appreciated.

    Would you shop at tirerack.com for wheels and snow tires? Any other
    discount online tire outlets recommended?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. wyolancer

    wyolancer Junior Member

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    Check out the "Prius in the snow" thread. I live in northern Wyoming and my winter setup is:

    15"x6" mb mesh x wheels from DiscountTireDirect.com

    Blizzak ws60 same size as stock tires which I bought locally to get the twice a year free wheel mount. I use the Firestone store.

    Pictures are available on my album.
     
  3. OZ132

    OZ132 Member

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    Why do you have to put snow tires on all 4 wheels? On the old rear-wheel drive cars, we only put them on the rear (drive) wheels>
     
  4. wvgasguy

    wvgasguy New Member

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    I think there are several of reasons and someone will hop in with more techincal review I'm sure. One, for those of us who grew up on the "old" rwd cars, especially with bias belted tires, we were quite comfortable with a car that fish-tailed, either intentionally because of power takeoffs or because it was slick. People are not that way anymore and most cars with electronic traction control protects us. Putting a soft deep tread rubber on just the back would cause a front drive car that is already guilty of understeer to be made significantly more so. The car will just handle differently if the rear tires don't hold as well as the front.

    With that said, I have driven a fwd car with just 2 snow tires. It's sorta like DisneyWorld tellin pregnant women not to go on the African Safari (it's supposed to be too rough). My Daughter in law laughed after taking that (she was pregnant) as the "trail" was not as rough as many of the side roads in West Virginia. Mgfr's will warn you because the unsuspecting person that hops into a car and takes off will sue them the first time the rear end slides off a curve when they are going too fast because they were not warned.
     
  5. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Don't know if Maine allows studs ... but if they do, go down to your local big 'o' and let them set you up. That's from a quarter century years of service Disney grunt btw, who no longer slides around on Montana Ice, due to good traction ...

    :p
     
  6. wyolancer

    wyolancer Junior Member

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    I think the easiest way to think about is that your feedback of the road is through the steering wheel. That tells you what the front end is gonna do and can lead you into situation where you are going too fast for the rear end to hang in there because they won't have the same traction.
     
  7. RodJo

    RodJo Member

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    I guess you didn't care about the front (brake) wheels?

    I want all four wheels to brake as efficiently as they can--whether front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive. If I only have 2 snow tires, then I may only have two sets of brakes trying to stop the car on a slick surface, and failure to stop in time can be fatal. So IMO snow tires should always go on all four wheels.

    I have liked Blizzaks in the past, but there may be better brands out there now. I have always used tirerack.com and had the tires pre-mounted on steel wheels.
     
  8. Bica2go

    Bica2go New Member

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    I guess I read this question differently than others. In the old days, with a rear wheel drive car we were told we only needed a pair of snow tires in the back. When we graduated to front wheel drive cars, we were told to only put them on the front. In both cases, the snow tires were on the drive wheels. I thought the OP was asking if he needed 2 for the drive wheels (front on the Prius) or if he should get snows on all 4 wheels.

    In a light 2WD car, I'd put snows on all 4 wheels. I've had front wheel drive cars that were great in the snow (nice and heavy 80's Saab). I didn't get snows tires when I had a Subaru or on my Audi and was very comfortable driving in snow for years. However, my sister in Maine put 4 snows on her Subaru when she lived on top of a hill out in the boonies. She needed all the traction she could get. I'm planning on 4 snows for my in-coming Prius.

    I don't think there's any 'right' answer to 2 or 4 tires but if you get only 2, they go on the drive wheels.
     
  9. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    -My- recommendation is to put good all season tires which are true winter tires on all four stock rims and don't bother buying new wheels or change tires/wheels twice a year. The tires are a little more expensive because they are -good- tires, but you save that money in not having to buy wheels and not having to change wheels/tires twice a year.

    I use Nokian WR tires on Pearl, in the stock 15" size. They work just fine all year, thank you. You can't drive the Prius when the snow is deeper than about 6" anyway, as you will soon be high centered or will be plowing the streets.

    You get four tires because you want to be able to go so you have them on the front wheels. In case of trouble (sliding situation) if the rear doesn't have good traction you will find yourself swapping ends. Not good, as then you can't steer out of trouble as you can't see what you're going to hit!
    In the "old days" we were simply and truthfully stupid!
     
  10. DavePDX

    DavePDX Junior Member

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    I was under the impression that mismatched tires would confuse the ABS system. Any engineers out there knowledgeable of this subject?

    Proper use of ABS brakes is a whole other topic though.

    I just checked manual online at toyotaiguide.com and found a pdf file titled "Prius 2010: Using other driving systems and on page 248 it says:

    "The ABS and Enhanced VSC will not function correctly if different tires are fitted on the vehicle."
     
  11. Steve Cebu

    Steve Cebu New Member

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    I've used a lot of snow tires over the years living in snow country. Lots of Subaru's around here year round and lot's of Prius' as well.
    Maines law Title 29-A, §1919: Studded tires
    allows you the use of studded tires Nov - May 1st

    Studded tires are generally cheap and give superior grip on snow and ice. This comes at a cost in increased fuel economy. The Prius has aggressive traction control so if it snows heaviliy in your area and lots of ice, studs work.
    I've also used Nokian WRG2's and those are amazing snowflake rated all season tires good for 50,000 miles. Problem is how agressive is teh traction control in your area on unplowed roads and ice?
    For my Civic Sithey were great the Prius I don't know.
    Nokian also makes the RSi which used to be the Hakka Q. These are full blown studless snow tires.
    RSi's aren't very good in stopping in the rain but grip fiercely on snow and ice.
    Nokian Tyres North America
    Try these, you won't want any other snow tire afterwards. :D
     
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