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moop
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[*] posted on 10-3-2011 at 07:19 PM Reply With Quote
Winter tires



Question guys,

I just got a new car and am somewhat of a noob when it comes to winter tires.

In short, I've got a heavy car and was told against getting steel wheels since I live in a pothole infested city. I have a set of 18's with summer tires. The question is, do I get winter tires AND rims? Or just tires? I always thought that it'd be easier if I had two sets of tires and rims for a quick switch every winter/summer, but apparently that's not the case?

I'm looking for simplicity and cheapness to swap the tires. Thanks in advance guys.
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[*] posted on 10-3-2011 at 08:25 PM Reply With Quote


get both
u need both
dun kill ur nice summer rims....
if ur gonna get steelies anyways that is...
its not that expensive...
this way you can preserve your summer tires/rims
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[*] posted on 10-3-2011 at 10:58 PM Reply With Quote


Hi, let me start by saying welcome to winter driving, you'll learn to like it.

Here's the trick to picking your winter set of steel rims and tires:

1. Call your car dealer and find out what's the smallest size wheel and tire combination your car was designed to use. (Larger wheels and tires are insanely expensive: my summer set is 18 inches, but winter is 16) Get a quote from them while you are at it.

2. In terms of snow/ice tires, I'd say the following ranking: Nokian Hakkapeliitta R > Michelin X Ice Xi2 > Bridgestone Blizzak WS 70. I have Nokian now and had Michelin X Ice before, have many friends with Blizzaks. Nokia is awesome and features low rolling resistance for saving gas, they are pricier but not by much compared to Michelin and Bridgestone and depending on where you get them. Goodyear Nordic is a good buy for the price, Continental Extremewintercontact is pretty good, and other brands are pretty much ok, just stay away from Goodyear other than the Nordics and Pirelli (Pirelli's quality control sucks so batches are very unstable and Goodyear is bleh). Blizzaks have the problem that they have 2 different compounds and tread design, after the "real" winter layer is gone, you are left with an all season tire.

3. If you live with potholes, BUY STEELIES! you can bend them back if they are bent when you hit a sidewalk (happens more than you think) or a pothole. If you use aluminium wheels, they will crack when you hit a pothole in the cold and you cannot repair that. Also, do everyone a favour and DO NOT put hubcaps on. Everyone I know has been hit at least once by someone's hubcap that fell off after hitting a bump or pothole. It's pure aesthetic and serves no purpose except helping you wheel components rust faster.

If you insist on using aluminium wheels, get them from a scrap yard if your car is popular enough and parts are easily available. Don't buy the cheap aftermarket stuff, they won't last. Steelies are cheap, my 16 inches were 60 CAD each after tax.

4. Use winter tires the moment temperature hits below 10 Celcius for a large portion of the day. That's the temperature where your all season and summer tires lose traction because they harden. Change back to summer tires the moment it gets above 10 C regularly so that you can use your winter tires longer.

Having 2 sets helps preserve your tires because taking off and putting tires on wheels causes stress to them.

My car is black so the steel wheels actually go well with the car. It's not the sexiest, but if you drive in Toronto and Montreal like I do, you'll be grateful for having the right combination of wheels and tires. Let me know what car and city you drive in, I might be able to help pick a set and tell you where to go get it. (I bought my tires in the US, so much cheaper)

Btw, if you are in the GTA vicinity, DON'T go out on first snow, people here don't know how to drive in changing weather; there's major accidents everywhere because people here don't change tires, keep on driving 40 kmh over speed limit like it's summer, don't keep more distance, and think that AWD or 4WD is enough...

All in all, you'll enjoy the drifting possibilities of powder snow :D

PS: Winter driving is more than wheels and tires, although most important, I change to the one piece wiper blades and use the winter Rain X washer fluid. Since you have a new car and if you want to keep it for long, invest in some WeatherTech or Husky Liners; it'll keep the slush and salt away from the inside of your car. (Bought them in the US, again, so much cheaper)
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[*] posted on 10-3-2011 at 11:28 PM Reply With Quote


Wow, wala3k pretty much summed it up perfectly...

Just a few tid bits to add to:

Why downsize from say 17" or 18" to a 15" (if ur car allows that) or a 16"... yes, one big reason is cheapness. The other reason is so there is more room in the wheel well. This is very important when you're stuck in snow, more room in wheel well means it takes longer for your far to finally get stuck..

I'm not sure if ur even considering this (I know a lot of ppl do this to save money, but it's a big NO NO). Do not buy 2 tires only, buy a whole set of 4. Some ppl buy just 2 to save money, at the same time it's also a VERY big discount on your handling. However, IF YOU decide to buy two, make sure they are situated on the 'power' wheels. You might slip, but if you have grip on the wheels that give you power, you CAN control your car much better.

Last thing, as a side note. HIT THE CAR WASHES OFTEN. This sounds totally weird and off, but once the snow settles, and all the salt and gunk start getting stuck to your car, they WILL erode your paint and your car's underbody etc... In some extreme cases, I've seen cars with their bottom half of the car full of holes cuz the salt ate through the paint and the metal.
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[*] posted on 10-4-2011 at 01:24 AM Reply With Quote


thanks a lot for the info guys. wala3k, you were particularly useful because i actually do live in montreal. while i'm not new to winter driving this is my first car and the first time i'm taking care of absolutely everything. i have a 2011 ralliart (if that's at all relevant) i'm also planning to drive down to the states and pick up some tires i'll order off tirerack, which is the cheapest option i'm seeing right now.

the one question i have is: since my car is heavy, i've been told by other heavy car drivers that steelies can get really warped when i hit potholes, which is why i was looking at rims. in your experience did your steelies get warped?

and FMD, how often is often for car washes. do i just opt for the regular wash or do i get them to do the undercarriage wash? my car is stuck being outside for a few months 'till i move and get a garage for it. also when i get into said garage, do i spray the underside of my car with water to get the salt off say, every other night? or do i leave it alone?

thanks again guys.
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[*] posted on 10-4-2011 at 01:56 PM Reply With Quote


My car is an almost 3400 pounds midsize sedan (about the same weight as your car) and comes factory with steelies unless you buy a sport package or some kind of upgrades. I have yet to see any warping on my steelies. Mind you, minivans come standard with steelies too and those are heavy beasts.

What I do is right before winter, I give a full wash, detail and wax treatment to my car, takes about half a day if you go manually. Nice layer of good quality wax for protection and this has been very good for my cars until now.

For car wash, I don't think there's a specific frequency but based on the weather. If you know the city just salted the roads, there's been quite a lot of salt everywhere and you are driving a lot, go get a quick rinse somewhere. At least once every 2 weeks is the minimal according to my car manual but it is up to your good judgement.

The Esso on Decarie is my favourite because it does the undercarriage :D and this is where most of your metallic components are actually exposed to the salt from the road. I just get a normal rinse for the whole car and maybe a wax included one sometime in mid winter to make it through the last 2 months or so.

For your garage, if it is a very dry place, then it'll be fine but if there's a lot of moisture, it could accelerate the rusting.

It very important to look for chipped paint (rocks) and cover that asap even if it doesn't look good.

Go get some mudflaps, your wheel arches and other drivers will thank you for it :) And the best investment I made was my set of Husky Liners, I am in love with them; after last winter, there were layers upon layers of salt in them and my carpets were spotless. All my friends are now investing in WeatherTech or Husky Liners for their cars because of me lol.
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[*] posted on 10-4-2011 at 04:51 PM Reply With Quote


Whereas Im not anywhere as detailed as wala3k (very good advice indeed), my short answer would simply be:

1) Whenever u see a bit of gunk (salt or dirt related etc)
2) Roughly every 2 weeks

I usually do a full wash myself, unless I want undercarriage, then I go to the gas stations to do those.

But for my personal wash, I always dry my car, that way u won't have to worry about moist accelerating the rusting.
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[*] posted on 10-4-2011 at 06:36 PM Reply With Quote


My friend got stuck behind highway maintenance salting the roads on the 401 for 2 hours last winter when he drove from Montreal to Toronto. Although he was on the road for only 6 hrs, he had half an inch crust of salt on his car...had to wash it right away lol
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[*] posted on 10-4-2011 at 06:37 PM Reply With Quote


If ur buying steel rims, u can also take a look at tire shops that offer service packages such as free lifetime swapping between ur summer/winter tires, free balancing, alignments, flat repairs etc.
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[*] posted on 10-4-2011 at 07:30 PM Reply With Quote


if ur car is a new car chances are there is a tire pressure monitoring system. if its the type where its the valve on your wheel then your tire pressure light will pop up for the duration in which you have your factory wheels off. unless you buy another set of sensors and have them programmed to your vehicle. keeping in mind not all wheels were made for your type of sensor. or if it uses the speed sensor then your tire light wont come on. another thing if you go to those random joe blow or costco type places for your winter tire and wheels make sure they are reputable. seen enough cases where costco or what ever tire shop fuck up installations and customers end up coming back to dealers and paying again to get their shit fixed. shit from breaking wheel studs. over tightening wheel locks thus having to break them off, and enough cases of not balancing the wheels.
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[*] posted on 10-4-2011 at 10:05 PM Reply With Quote


thanks a lot for the advice everybody.

and especially to wala3k for his intense detail. btw, i got weathertechs for free off the dealer, and i'm a huge fan of them already. haha.
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