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View Poll Results: Do you use winter tires?
Yes 20 30.30%
No 37 56.06%
We don't get snow here 9 13.64%
Voters: 66. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-31-2014, 08:10 AM
 
Location: At my house in my state
638 posts, read 711,682 times
Reputation: 666

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I'm not familiar with driving in the snow and am wondering if all season tires are okay for Midwestern type weather ex. Chicago/Cleveland
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Old 12-31-2014, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee
3,451 posts, read 3,395,034 times
Reputation: 2895
When I was a little kid in the 70s, my Dad and his friends would switch out the tires on the cars for winter; since then, which is a long time ago at this point, no one really does it anymore (though I always hear about "having to" do this and "put on chains" and so forth from Southerners on C-D).

So - everyone uses all-season tires, and has for decades. Not sure who voted "yes" above...do they live in the Yukon?
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Old 12-31-2014, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
21,318 posts, read 21,877,253 times
Reputation: 33476
not needed, while having never driven on snow, I've researched this for a good 10 or 15 minutes on-line and most all of those advocating their use seem to have some kind of agenda, if you know what I mean.
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Old 12-31-2014, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Pure Michigan!
4,345 posts, read 7,420,095 times
Reputation: 6778
I've lived in the Upper Midwest/Great Lakes region for my entire life and driven in this climate for over thirty years. Neither I, nor anyone I know, has ever swapped out their tires in the winter for "winter tires". As Cheese Plate pointed out, it was more common in the past, before today's higher quality, steel belted, all purpose radial tires were created, but these days, all you really need is a good set of all purpose tires to see you through all four seasons.

Another thing to consider: because snow in the winter is the norm here, the state, road commission, or whoever, is almost always very proactive about snow removal. If, for example, 4-6" of snow is predicted for tomorrow, then they already have a fleet of salt and plow trucks ready and waiting for when it starts, and will likely have applied brine to the interstates as well. They work around the clock, so by the time your average Joe gets up and heads out to work in the morning, all of the main surface streets will have been hit at least once by a plow truck, and likely more frequently than that as the snow falls, and it really isn't all that big of a deal.

I can remember when I was a kid back in the '70s people would talk about snow tires and chains, but I haven't heard of any such thing in recent years except for on an occasional TV commercial for a tire company, but of course, you take those with a large grain of salt. We haven't even had any measurable snow yet this winter, and none in the immediate forecast.

I can't even remember the last time I slid off the road or had a mishap because of winter weather with my all purpose, year round tires.
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Old 12-31-2014, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee
3,451 posts, read 3,395,034 times
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Right, I think that stopped being a "thing" about 40 years ago.
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Old 12-31-2014, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
1,376 posts, read 1,193,619 times
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I've lived in Minnesota my entire life and have been driving for 15+ years. Never once have I used winter tires.
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Old 12-31-2014, 11:00 AM
 
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
2,540 posts, read 3,268,413 times
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I live in Toronto, and have been here most of my life.

ALL of the city owned trucks, Police cars, fire trucks, EMS trucks, and the vast majority of the privately owned limos and taxis......have snow tires on them. So do about 70 percent of the people that I know.

WHY? All season tires are made of a hard rubber compound, to get longer wear and extended mileage. At about 35 F, the all season tires begin to get TOO hard , to have proper traction on snow or ice. At F temps that are below freezing, the all season tires are dangerous on snow or ice roads. A second point, the tire tread patterns on all season tires are OK for rain, but not for shedding snow out of the treads, so the all season tires get clogged up.

In the Province of Quebec, from November to April, ALL vehicles registered there MUST have winter tires, by law.

Winter tires are used in sets of FOUR, so the tires are all of the same tread pattern and rubber compound.

Scientific testing, by independent groups, like Transport Canada, have proven, time and time again, that winter tires on all four corners of the vehicle, will stop faster and shorter on ice or snow, than any all season tires, of any make or price range. They also have much better directional stability, and steering control, that all season tires.

here is a link to the Transport Canada ( a Government of Canada testing institute ) comparison of winter tires, vs all season tires, on the SAME vehicle, with the SAME driver, on the SAME road surface. There are six video segments, of about 3 minutes each. The videos have two cars side by side, one with all seasons the other with winter tires. They compare rear wheel cars, four wheel drive cars, pick up trucks with rear wheel, drive , and pickup trucks with 4 wheel drive. The testing has straight head stop from 30 mph, a slalom at 45 mph, and a swerve at 60 mph. In all cases, the winter tires were clearly better, in al tests, than the all season tires. Take the time to watch the testing, yourself, and then come back and give your opinion here. I do not sell tires. I do have a 50 year ( I am 68 years old now ) accident free driving record.

Winter Tire Videos

Jim B. In Toronto.
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Old 12-31-2014, 12:01 PM
 
11,172 posts, read 22,366,973 times
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Yeah, lived in the upper Midwest my whole life.....I don't remember anyone ever changing tires just because of the seasons. Just make sure you have the normal "all season tires", which are standard most everywhere.

I think maybe they still change tires for trucks way up in the rockies or something? Or chains? I know chains are illegal in most places outside of rough mountain terrain.
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Old 12-31-2014, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
21,318 posts, read 21,877,253 times
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winter tires are used primarily in Canada and the far northern reaches of New England, presumably their snow is different than Midwest and Rocky Mtn snow.
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Old 12-31-2014, 12:53 PM
 
9,701 posts, read 7,244,373 times
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I grew up in the Upper Midwest, and never, ever heard of someone using winter tires.

And I have been in Toronto during winter, and did not notice any winter tire use. I don't know what that previous commenter was claiming, because winter tires are very obvious and loud. There is no way 70% of Toronto residents could be using these tires (and why would they? Toronto doesn't get different winter weather than the American Upper Midwest).

I also went to college in Upstate NY, and there was zero winter tire use.

I think winter tires were common 40-50 years ago, before there were all-weather tires. Nowadays they aren't used, I don't think, except in a few isolated geographies and for certain types of public vehicles (like buses or ambulances).
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