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Old 02-12-2008, 07:11 AM
 
72 posts, read 295,743 times
Reputation: 28

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Having just moved here from California, I am confused as to what kind of tires we need for our Honda Civic and Ford Escape (both are front wheel drive). Three of relatives who have lived here forever all do different things for their front wheel drive cars: 4 all-weather tires, 4 snow tires and just two all-weather tires on the front.

Now I am more confused. I get that the snow tires will have to be changed each season, but I hate buying all-weather tires when I have perfectly good tires on my cars already.

Thanks!
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Old 02-12-2008, 07:20 AM
 
673 posts, read 1,876,044 times
Reputation: 374
This all depends on the level of security you are looking for. Generally, around Pittsburgh you will get by just fine with 4 all-season tires. Snow tires are pretty unnecessary unless you are the adventurous type and want to head to the mountains to ski during a snowstorm. As for having only two all-season tires up front, this would work, but you may find the rear of the car to be a bit squirrely when navigating sharp corners and turns. The one way you could get away with not getting rid of your current tires is to get some snows and swap them out each season.
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Old 02-12-2008, 07:31 AM
 
94 posts, read 316,825 times
Reputation: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by missytoe View Post
Having just moved here from California, I am confused as to what kind of tires we need for our Honda Civic and Ford Escape (both are front wheel drive). Three of relatives who have lived here forever all do different things for their front wheel drive cars: 4 all-weather tires, 4 snow tires and just two all-weather tires on the front.

Now I am more confused. I get that the snow tires will have to be changed each season, but I hate buying all-weather tires when I have perfectly good tires on my cars already.

Thanks!
Even though I agree you can get by with all season considering the small amount of snow Pittsburgh gets, if in doubt, just get snow tires. I planned on doing so this year and just had a hard time thinking about paying the extra money when you don't need them most of the time.

One thing to consider is, most car manufacturers are offering their cars these days with 17" or 18" wheels, and the theory is, the bigger the wheel/tire, the worse it is in the snow. I had a VW Golf that had 16" tires/wheels that were all season and had great luck with those, but not as good with the original 18" wheels/tires that came standard on my 07 GTI, and not much better than the 17" I have on now. The big thing with snow tires is that they stop much better in conditions like today.
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
22,533 posts, read 24,129,655 times
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I've lived in Ohio and PA my whole life, and I've never had snow tires. For the amount of snow we get, all-season tires are fine.
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:02 AM
 
Location: Western PA
3,585 posts, read 4,930,062 times
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I've never bought snow tires. I just have four all-season tires and get by just fine. For the amount of snow we get, it's not worth it to get snow tires.
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Old 11-21-2009, 01:36 PM
 
7 posts, read 22,254 times
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Pittsburgh gets plenty enough snow. Last December and January it snowed nearly every day. We just don't get it measured in feet. We had a couple of days below zero, and a few where it never got much above 20. The roads are at least wet most of the winter. All season tires harden up in very cold temps. It's like driving on a set of wooden wagon wheels. You might get by on the all seasons, but it's usually white knuckling it. We also have steep hills to contend with.

If you want to feel secure, especially if you're inexperienced driving in snow, invest in a set of 4 quality winter tires on a set of steel wheels. They should last at least two or three winters depending on how much driving you do. You just swap them out each season with your all seasons. It's well worth the investment.

Welcome to da Burgh!
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Old 11-21-2009, 01:45 PM
 
43,012 posts, read 92,268,009 times
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I think snow tires are a waste of money. I'm not the type of person to stay home when the roads are bad. I've never had a problem getting around.
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Old 11-21-2009, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
9,918 posts, read 20,541,347 times
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I had snow tires for a while, and still have the extra rims they were on. (Still have the tires too, but they are too worn to use.) But this was only because I had decided to get some summer-only tires when the OEs wore down. The traction was certainly better with the snows, but unless your all-seasons are near the end of their usable life, they should be fine.
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Old 11-21-2009, 08:24 PM
 
43,012 posts, read 92,268,009 times
Reputation: 30387
Quote:
Originally Posted by missytoe View Post
....but I hate buying all-weather tires when I have perfectly good tires on my cars already.
I have a solution. Buy the all-weather tires for winter. Keep the summer tires and switch them back when winter is over. Then just leave the all weather tires on your car once the summer tires have finally worn out. That way it won't be a waste of money because you'll still get full use out of your perfectly good summer tires. And it will ease you into becoming a year round all-weather tire person. If you buy snow tires, you're always going to feel like you have 'perfectly good tires' that you don't want to replace.
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Old 11-21-2009, 09:07 PM
 
Location: Westmoreland County, PA
133 posts, read 350,936 times
Reputation: 36
Even when I lived in Massachusetts (waayyyyy more snow up there than here), I never had snow tires. I had front wheel drive cars up until the Mustang I have now. Still no snow tires.
The key is learning how to drive in bad conditions. Snow tires aren't going to keep you from going off the road if you slam your brakes on in a panic or make any other sudden moves. Also, if you drive too conservatively, you can have too little power to keep you going. Once you stop, it can be harder to get moving again than if you'd just maintained a reasonable speed.
Best thing you can do no matter what tires you put on is to go out in an empty parking lot with a couple of inches of snow and play around. See how much it really takes to get the car to slide. If you do it where you have room, then you'll know what you might expect on the road.
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