Winter Tires vs. All Season Tires.....????
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This is a discussion on Winter Tires vs. All Season Tires.....???? within the Suspension & Wheels forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Hello - Posted a question a few weeks ago asking for some good winter tires for my '12 WRX. Got ...

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    Winter Tires vs. All Season Tires.....????

    Hello -
    Posted a question a few weeks ago asking for some good winter tires for my '12 WRX.
    Got some great advice from cmayba, ShiftingLanes, WRXDEV and Hurd.Jason1.
    High recommendations for the General Arctic.
    Here is my dilemma:
    Bought the car used with Dunlop SP Sport 01 tires. Not knowing this at the time of purchase, it is my understanding now that these are not so great.
    Not sure what tires came stock with the car.
    We don't get a lot of snowfall in Cincinnati, but I need good tires on the car IF it does.
    So, question:
    Do I keep the Dunlops on, get another set of wheels and tires for winter OR buy a good set of high-performance all-weather tires?

    Happy to answer any additional questions.
    And appreciate any and all advice.

    Merry Christmas!

    OB

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    Resident Jackass ShiftingLanes's Avatar
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    Winters. Always. It's not just about snow. Those Dunlops are summer tires and will not have the same amount of traction a winter tire would have in cold conditions, not just snowy conditions.

    You need another set of wheels and tires. Check local forums for a used set of 02-05 WRX 5x100 bolt pattern wheels. Usually can be had for cheap and throw the winter tires on that. It's a cheap and effective and safe way to get proper winter performance.
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    Moderator rage-wrx's Avatar
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    ^^^what he said
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    Gents -

    Thanks! Will start the search for some used wheels.

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    Moderator smorris's Avatar
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    On the other hand, it depends a *lot* on how you drive and how you intend to use the car. I have two sets of wheels; one has summer tires, and the other had the original all-seasons. When the stock tires wore out, I put on the best all-seasons I could find. I haven't put the summer wheels back on since. If you're racing about, have an area where you need performance summer tires, autocross, etc. Then you need two sets of tires. If you are like 98% of drivers, then good all-seasons will work fine.

    I'm west of Cleveland, and grew up west of Cloumbus. We get a bit more snow than you, but you get more ice storms. Unless you get studs, all-seasons and winters will be about the same on ice.

    So evaluate your driving and expectations before deciding.

    Steve
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    Master Baiter EJ257's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smorris
    On the other hand, it depends a *lot* on how you drive and how you intend to use the car. I have two sets of wheels; one has summer tires, and the other had the original all-seasons. When the stock tires wore out, I put on the best all-seasons I could find. I haven't put the summer wheels back on since. If you're racing about, have an area where you need performance summer tires, autocross, etc. Then you need two sets of tires. If you are like 98% of drivers, then good all-seasons will work fine.

    I'm west of Cleveland, and grew up west of Cloumbus. We get a bit more snow than you, but you get more ice storms. Unless you get studs, all-seasons and winters will be about the same on ice.

    So evaluate your driving and expectations before deciding.

    Steve
    Steve hit the nail on the head with this...

    I'm believe in having specific tools for the task at hand, which means dedicated summer/winter sets. Having an A/S tire will perform adequately in most any condition (shy of ice), if you don't push the tire beyond its capabilities. If you choose to go the dedicated sets route, I would urge you to consider performance snow tires (e.g., Dunlop Wintersports) over a tire like the Generals due to the snow you'd see there, which will perform better in dry cold conditions and pretty comparable in anything but heavy accumulation.
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    and the Funky Bunch Calvinball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJ257 View Post
    Steve hit the nail on the head with this...

    I'm believe in having specific tools for the task at hand, which means dedicated summer/winter sets. Having an A/S tire will perform adequately in most any condition (shy of ice), if you don't push the tire beyond its capabilities. If you choose to go the dedicated sets route, I would urge you to consider performance snow tires (e.g., Dunlop Wintersports) over a tire like the Generals due to the snow you'd see there, which will perform better in dry cold conditions and pretty comparable in anything but heavy accumulation.
    Pssh. Like you know what you're talking about.











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    Quote Originally Posted by smorris View Post
    On the other hand, it depends a *lot* on how you drive and how you intend to use the car. I have two sets of wheels; one has summer tires, and the other had the original all-seasons. When the stock tires wore out, I put on the best all-seasons I could find. I haven't put the summer wheels back on since. If you're racing about, have an area where you need performance summer tires, autocross, etc. Then you need two sets of tires. If you are like 98% of drivers, then good all-seasons will work fine.

    I'm west of Cleveland, and grew up west of Cloumbus. We get a bit more snow than you, but you get more ice storms. Unless you get studs, all-seasons and winters will be about the same on ice.

    So evaluate your driving and expectations before deciding.

    Steve
    Steve -

    THANKS! GREAT ADVICE!
    I drive fairly conservatively, BUT ..... When I punch it, or when I want to push through a turn, I want the car there!
    So, no autocross or overly aggressive driving. Just bits of "fun".
    Not free to spend $$$ at will, so I need to be smart with what I do.

    What kind of tires do you like?
    What mods have you done?

    Thanks bro! Really!

    OB

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    Moderator smorris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coach OB View Post
    What kind of tires do you like?
    What mods have you done?
    My tire knowledge is too dated to be of value. I bought Nokian WR tires in 2007, but I'm pretty sure they've been replaced. At the time, they were the *only* all-season tire available in the US with the snowflake severe winter rating. They were a touch mussy on 90˚ days, but by then, I was done with autocross, and just daily driving. Since then I've mostly driven the OBXT, which is on all-season, too.

    Mods are up/dowpipes, muffler, and suspension. Click on the link in my sig to see the WRX and the rest of the toys and their mods.

    Steve
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    MAINEiac 11blackSTi's Avatar
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    I have both a dedicated winter set and a dedicated summer set. Honestly I think it is worth the money. An all season might be able to get you through ok if you don't push the car, but it gives me comfort knowing the winters are there if I need them, and to me that is worth the extra money. If you get a ton of ice storms, you could always look into studded tires. I have blizzaks for the winter, which performed awesome for the first two seasons, and are now pretty good after that (still much better than a/s's or definitely summers). Next set I will be getting are nokians.

    Having driven a/s tires on my previous car (Impreza 2.5i) and now winters on my current car, I will never not have winter tires ever again.

    Also, in the summer, you will be much happier with a high performance summer than an a/s tire as well.

    This route takes a little more cash up front obviously, but in the long run it evens out as you are only running each set for a portion of the year.

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    Just another vote here for dedicated winter tires and dedicated summer tires. If you are trying to conserve cash, stock WRX tires are a fine set of summer tires to work with, so just invest in winter tires.

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    There is a massive difference in traction on snow and ice with a set of good dedicated winter tires vs dedicated summer tires. Can you get by with summer tires? Depends on where you live. Living in Minnesota, winter tires are a must.

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