Winter Tires

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by EyePrime, Oct 6, 2018.

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  1. Bridgestone Blizzaks

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  1. m8547

    m8547 Active Member

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    I decided to go without TPMS sensors, and I'll ignore the light. I probably should have gotten the sensors, but Toyota doesn't provide a way for drivers to program their own sensors, so it wasn't worth the hassle and cost. I did read a rumor that the Prime can store 8 TPMS sensor IDs, but I don't have a scan tool that works with it, so I can't confirm. There is something in one of the menus to reset TPMS, but it's not clear to me what that does. I've also heard rumors that you can buy sensors with the IDs cloned to match your existing sensors, but I have not found those yet.

    So far I'm getting noticeably lower electric range on Blizzaks than the stock Dunflops, but that's worth it for safety. Maybe 20-25 miles instead of 30 even when the weather is mild and the climate control is off. The heat also seems to use a ton of energy, and of course the battery has less energy in cold weather. I drove around in a parking lot after the first snow storm here. The car felt very controlled, and I was only able to get the rear to kick out once. Mostly it will just understeer. Traction control and VSC seem to do a good job.

    I expect the Blizzaks will wear pretty fast with all the EV torque. I think I'll have to rotate them once during the winter, in addition to rotation every time I change over for the season. I'll probably have them on for 6 months and 6000-8000 miles each year.

    An added bonus of having snow tires on a second set of wheels is that I can use one of the out of season wheels as a free full size spare if I want to bring it along on a long trip.

    I paid $570 for Blizzaks on steel wheels from Tire Rack. I'm very happy with Tire Rack. The steel wheels have the proper hub bore as I mentioned above, and they included the necessary lug nuts (only downside being they are open end, so the end of the stud might rust). They have the option to choose if you want TPMS sensors or not.
     
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  2. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    -Prime with 8 TPMS sensor ID seems to be available only on European model. I do not have Techstream to confirm this, but that's the information I gathered reading up on other threads.
    -The menus to reset TPMS is only for resetting registered PSI, not for TPMS IDs.
    -The sensors with the IDs cloned to match your existing sensors do exist, such as Autels MX sensors, but you will need to read your OEM sensor IDs and must program new programmable sensors to match them. In theory, you should be able to swap tires without reregistering ID's to ECU, but I have read some people are having issues with this set-up.
    -Noticeably lower electric range on Blizzaks may not be all due to tires. Seasonal temperature change may be the biggest reason for the drop. I have not changed my OEM tire to winter tires yet, but I am already seeing drop of EV range to below 30 miles. I was getting 35 miles during summer.
    -Just FYI, I paid $450 for Xice Xi3 on alloy wheels from Discount Tire Online. I compared side by side with TireRack for same set up, but Discount Tire Direct always came out less costly. The alloy wheel was less than steel wheel with discounts and rebates.

    I'm hoping I can keep my OEM tires little bit longer before switching to snows. Enjoy winter driving.
     
  3. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    Easy, simple, the world continues to turn. (y)

    Rotating wheels in the depth of winter is no fun. My 2 cents: one yearly rotation will accomplish the same thing.

    Put a drop of oil (say 3-in-1 oil, or whatever you have) on the tip of each stud, maybe spread it around a little with an old toothbrush, once or twice during winter.
     
  4. m8547

    m8547 Active Member

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    That's definitely part of it, but we've also had some warm days since I put the blizzaks on.
    I'm not seeing any deals like that. Did you go with a size different than OEM, or maybe get something on clearance?

    It is a bit too early to put on the winter tires, but it's kind of a pain to find time to do it, and I wanted to make sure they fit before the 30 day return period was up, just to be safe. Next year I might wait until late November depending on how long fall lasts.


    That's a good point actually. Once a year will be fine now that I think about it.

    I do like the idea of TPMS. I had it catch a puncture once while I still had enough air to drive to the tire place. I check my tire pressure regularly, but not before every time I drive. I just wish the implementation was more user-friendly.

    As I mentioned in a previous post, I sprayed Fluid Film over the exposed studs and axle nut. Oil would do the trick too, but I already had some Fluid Film.
     
  5. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    I think EV ranges on GOM (Guess-O-Meter) uses average of several days of your driving. Single warm day in between cold days may not be enough to bump up the number significantly. That said, in theory on warm day, actual EV range should be longer than the EV range of previous cold days. However, I am finding that not be the case. Even with exactly the same ambient temperature, single warm day during winter seems to have significantly shorter actual EV range than the same temperature day in warmer season. I have no idea why, though.

    I got OEM size 195/65/R15. Yeah, both tire and wheel price fluctuate quite bit from day to day. If you are not in hurry, you really should wait for the best deal. Discount Tire had manufacturers discounts as well as store credit card sign-up rebates when I purchased them last month. Also, they match and beat any competitors price. I had been watching Costco, TireRack, Simple Tire, Walmart, and Amazon along with local tire shops for winter tire deal past several months. Then I found out about Discount Tire Online, I calculated all the cost including mounting and balancing, installation kits, shipping etc, they were absolutely the lowest. In the end, I did find lower price of tire I wanted at other site, and asked Discount Tire to match it. They matched and beat it. Michellin Xice3 ended up $70/each plus $50 rebate for store card charge. That's $230 for four tires. The alloy wheel was MB Wheel Icon. It may have been clearance price. The sales price was $65 each with $50 instant discount making it $210 for a set, but had additional separate $50 rebate on store card purchase, making it $160 for 4 wheels which is less than any steel wheel I can find on-line. Add lug nuts and valves, it came to be grand total of $447. Mounting, balancing, and shipping are free. Just could not find any other store that would beat that price.
     
    #45 Salamander_King, Oct 22, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018
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  6. m8547

    m8547 Active Member

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    I don't base it off the guess-o-meter (which has been reading around 26 lately). I use the % charge indicator on the HV monitor. My work is almost exactly 15 miles away from my house, and slightly uphill on the way there. The drive is very consistent with minimal traffic. In the summer I can make it there with 50% charge remaining on a good day. If I have at least 45% left I can usually make it home if I don't use climate control. With the Blizzaks I'm usually getting there with 30-40% charge remaining which will get me about halfway home if I don't charge at work. Today was 53 degrees (although the battery was probably colder) and I made it with around 30% remaining. There was one cold humid day where i had to run the defroster the whole way, and I had about 20% remaining when I got to work (I think that was still on all season tires).
     
  7. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    I have been experimenting with external TPMS sensors for several month now. My plan is to use them on winter set of tires that do not have internal TPMS sensors. They are ~$50 for system at amazon. Most of them (or maybe all of them) are made in China with questionable quality and non-existing warranty service. I had the first set that quit responding after only a few weeks. I returned it. Second set was better but seems to have some transponder refresh issue. It is now on my older car. I now have third set, and seems to be working OK so far. I am not sure if they are durable enough to withstand New England winter. If they last a few winter, I would be quite happy.

    Sound like your commute is very similar to mine. My commute is 18.5 miles one way, and I can not charge at work. I also drive very consistent rout without any traffic to speak of. During warm season, I usually run out of EV range 2-5 miles before reaching home, but in winter I can barely make one way all by EV. Yesterday morning temp was 29F, I was out of EV 10 miles before reaching home. :cry: All of this with OEM tires. I did not put winter tires last year. I will see what effect Xice is going to have on my EV range. With Gen3, I had no mpg hit when I used Xice during winter.
     
  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    Yeah that how both our OEM and snow tires get rotated, just during the changeover. Admittedly we are low miles, actually extremely low miles the last few years. But even so: spring and fall snow tire swaps are one time you have to pull them off, so one perfect time to rotate. And then: does the tire care if it was eight 5K rotations, or four 10K rotations? Not a lot of difference I think.
     
  9. m8547

    m8547 Active Member

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    Right. For some reason I was thinking that since the EV torque will wear the front tires fast I should rotate more often than normal. But if I do once a year, there will just be slightly more wear difference by the time each rotation comes around, but it will even out by the next rotation. Not a big deal.

    Here's a PSA for any winter wheel users: If your winter lug nuts are a different size than summer, make sure you carry the tool to remove them in case you want to be able to change a flat. I'm pretty sure the stock lug nuts take a 19mm socket, and my winter ones take 21mm, (but I'll have to check). If that's true the wrench included with the car won't work on the winter lug nuts.
     
  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    Depends on the nut I guess. Both my OEM and snow tire lug nuts are the 21 mm size. I'm using a 13/16" socket, which is slightly snugger. It worked fine on both nut sets, but was just a little to tight on the locking nut adapter: I needed to file it down slightly.
     
  11. Skylis A

    Skylis A Senior Member

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    And with this latest winter storm and being required to travel in it, I can confirm that the Hakkapeliitta 9 studded does well on snow, and performance is acceptable on ice. Acceleration, braking, and turning all around on snow is great, and is almost downright fun to try! My confidence in accelerating or turning quickly on black ice, though, is not high, at least not yet. This is a little disappointing given the two-stud design on the tire with one stud designed, after the Gislaved Nordfrost, specifically to target braking and turning. (Then again, I've been known to get impatient with slowness during winter travel since I first decided to start using winter tires in the winter three years ago.)

    To contrast, the Hakkapeliitta R2 also does well in snow, again with great performance in acceleration and braking... but the story is different on ice. R2 performance on ice is NOT acceptable to me. Given all of the "cyro crystal" advertising garbage that Nokian puts into their R2 and R3 lineup, I had high expectations. Instead, the R2 slips way too easily even on very thin slivers of refreezing water and won't break.
     
  12. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Day 2 on brand new Michelin Xice Xi3 on my PRIME. Just in time for the first real snow accumulation in my area today. I had Xi3 on my previous Gen3, and liked it. It is not as good as studded tires on ice, but without snow on road surface, it is far more comfortable than studded winters which I use to have on my older cars. With Gen3, I did not notice any reduction in mpg compared to OEM Ecopia. However, on PRIME, so far driving ~180 miles on it with ~40 miles on snow today, I am getting only 49 mpg which is substantially lower than ~60 mpg I was getting from OEM Dunlop I just took off. This time I did put them on aftermarket alloy wheels, whereas on Gen3 I was using OEM wheels. Would wheels have effect on mileage? I don't know but will see how they hold up for the rest of winter.

    IMG_20181116_070708.jpg
     
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  13. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    It's a small sample so far. That said, I would think the X-Ice wouldn't be doing their job if they didn't impose a small mpg penalty. But they do roll easy, have "green-x" logo. I would say your mpg drop is largely due to the snow, is good for those conditions.

    Here on the west coast, I've had our snow tires on for a couple of weeks now. I think it's supposed to get up to 11C today. Hopeless cargo cult lol.
     
  14. Barry Smythe

    Barry Smythe Junior Member

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    I have recently had Michelin X-Ice Xi3 tires put on our Prime. What amazed me was the almost complete lack of road noise. Up until today there has not been much snow and ice to judge their grip, but if these tires are designed to grip as they say, they are the best I have had.

    I also have a 2007 Prius with Blizzak snow tires and they make more road noise. Mind you it could be that the Prime has better sound insulation than the Gen 2.
     
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  15. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Yeah, too small of sample so far. I hope the mpg of Xi3 on PRIME will get better as the winter continues. JFYI, here is the numbers I got on Gen3 Prius with Xi3 on compared to OEM Ecopia for the same months of year (Nov to Apr). Prior to buying Xi3, I did not have snow tires on Gen3 for the first two years of my ownership. Tires were swapped onto the same OEM wheels, so only variable are the newness of the car (OEM tires on for first two winters and Xi3 on the third winter) and weather difference in those three years of winters.

    With Xice winter LRR tires
    period: Nov - Apr
    mpg: 44.7971
    miles driven: 3825 miles
    fuel used: 85.385 gal

    With Ecopia all season LRR tires
    period: Nov - Apr
    mpg: 45.35155
    miles driven: 5684 miles
    fuel used: 125.332 gal


    I totally agree with you on how comfortable Xi3 is. Being an average driver, I don't have large samples of winter tires to compare, and only winter tires I have had previously were on Civic and they were studded snows. Compared to studded tires, X-ice is not as grippy on icy roads, however on fresh snow and wet slush, I think X-ice is better than studded tires I had. Our roads are heavily salted, and most of snow are gone within 24 hours of accumulation, so ride comfort of winter tires on normal road surface is very important for us.
     
    #55 Salamander_King, Nov 16, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
  16. PT Guy

    PT Guy Active Member

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    Driving in snow will reduce the gas mileage of any tire. The tire is continually rolling up on the snow to compress it.

    Lubing the lug studs can be a problem. The torque spec for tightening the lug nuts is based on clean dry threads. Torque is a twisting force, and the spec includes the resistance of the friction of the threads and the nut face as well as the clamping force of the wheel to the hub. If the friction is reduced with lube but the twisting force stays the same the stud could be permanently stretched or broken. I've heard guesses to reduce the torque 20% on lubed studs, but I haven't seen actual data on that.
     
  17. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    I'm cognizant of that, and trying to balance against rusting out the stud tips, with the open-end lug nuts I've got. I put the nuts on, torque them, and then put the smallest drop of 3-in-1 oil on the tip, spread it around with a toothbrush. I'd think a slight amount wicks in to the first or second thread, hopefully not too far. Halfway through winter it's mostly gone, I'll reapply. But yeah, lubing the threads will increase the tension in the bolt, with a given amount of torque.

    I've looked for compatible acorn style nuts, so far in vain. They're available, but all the offerings I've seen so far are around 1.5" tall (38~40 mm), I guess to be one-size-fits-all. They would look odd I think, stick out too far.

    IMG_9613.JPG
     
  18. burnout8488

    burnout8488 Member

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    Toyota stock lugs are 21mm, for what it's worth. Good tip though, I've gotten caught with the wrong tool in the past due to aftermarket wheels.
     
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  19. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    13/16" socket size is roughly 21 mm, works too, usually: very slightly snugger.
     
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  20. D B

    D B Junior Member

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    One wonders why there isn't a way to normalize the torque tightening of lug bolts. Some say that the threads should be dry (how dry?) but not corroded (how corroded?). Why not settle on a well lubricated thread, both on the bolt and the nut ... something that focuses on what really matters, that is, the tension on the stud, and the pressure generated on the wheel?
     
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