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Old 09-25-2015, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Fairbanks, AK
1 posts, read 3,665 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello,

I've got a front-wheel drive car and I am shopping around for good winter tires.
Most places so far have the Blizzak WDAD, which I am told is stud-less.
I heard that Nokian Hakka... are the best tires out there.

So 2 questions - is there a huge difference between Blizzak and Nokian? Should I get studs or no studs?
Thanks in advance.

F.
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:02 PM
 
Location: Back and Beyond
2,992 posts, read 3,347,151 times
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This is my second winter up here. I had studs the first winter but they were worn out so just bought new tires yesterday (just in time for the snow fairbanks got today).

I asked almost everyone I ran into what they preferred studs or blizzaks. If I asked 50 people, I got 75 different answers. Some people prefer the blizzaks and some people prefer the studs. Studs seem to do better stopping on sheet ice or if your in the hills, blizzaks seem to do better in other situations.

Aleyska tire (where I got mine installed) no longer sells the blizzaks and talked me into trying out the toyo Gsi-5. It has a lot of "spider web" siping all over it and walnut shells in the silica enhanced rubber compound to aid in traction. It also has the extremely soft rubber compound like the blizzaks and is supposed to last longer as well.

With that said, I am very impressed with them after tooling around fairbanks in the snow today. Several people were spinning and sliding at intersections and I had zero traction problems. I also liked my studded tires I ran last year and had zero traction problems although they seemed a little squirly on the days the roads were good.
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Old 09-26-2015, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
12 posts, read 22,462 times
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Thank you!
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Old 09-26-2015, 03:41 PM
 
4,421 posts, read 2,817,391 times
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Nokians are awesome! (though I don't live in AK). I had to switch to Firestone Winterforce studded tires a few years back when the Hakka was no longer available in my size and I've regretted it. I'm probably going to go up a wheel size to get them back. You'd think studs are studs, but there are definitely differences.

I only found the Hakkas squirrely on dry roads if I had too much air in them. I ran them around 30psi. (small FWD car)
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Old 09-27-2015, 03:47 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
17,471 posts, read 31,200,796 times
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Stud-less tires such as the Blizzak and others are very good in the interior. The problem with steel-studded tires is that the studs wear out fast, specially on the smaller 13" or so tires. Stud-less tires wear out, but the anti-skid substance added to the treads remains until the rubber wears out. Where steel studs do best is on solid ice, and stud-less tires are second. But the latter do quite well regardless.

Blizzak tires are the number one seller in Fairbanks. I had a set of Blizzak installed on my wife's Rav4, and this will be their 4th season. The tires look almost new, but she does not drive very much (probably around 4,000 miles during the winter). I will wait another week before replacing the set of all-season tires/wheels on the Rav4 with the Blizzak set, and will do the same with the FWD car I drive to work. I have bought Blizzak tires when the company discounts are offered, and saved around $200.00 per set.

Alyaska Tire is my favorite tire shop in Fairbanks. They reset the TPMS sensors free of charge, while the dealers charge $100.00.
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Old 09-27-2015, 10:48 PM
 
Location: Fairbanks
373 posts, read 595,118 times
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37 winters. I had a few studded tires don't see any need for them and you have to take them off in the summer. I just get good all season tires. What is more important is to not drive like your hair is on fire!
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Old 09-27-2015, 11:17 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
17,471 posts, read 31,200,796 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitgreb View Post
37 winters. I had a few studded tires don't see any need for them and you have to take them off in the summer. I just get good all season tires. What is more important is to not drive like your hair is on fire!
A little over 37 years: there are a few times during the winter where rain (sleet, or frozen rain) turns to solid ice on the Richardson, Parks (near Healy), Farmers Loop, Chena Hot Springs Road, the Steese, and the Elliott. Some other times, around January and February, we get Chinook winds that bring warm air and rain to the interior. This rain immediately turn to ice when it hits the sub-zero asphalt. Then the winds stop, and the solid ice stays on the roads for weeks at a time. Right now all-season tires work fine because there is not a solid layer of ice on the roads, just rain and patchy ice very early in the morning when around 20-30 degrees.

Where stud-less tires such as Blizzak and others (plus steel-studded tires) are useful, is when the roads are covered with a sheet of ice, or when the snow on the roads is packed (turned to ice) by traffic.
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Old 09-29-2015, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Interior Alaska
2,207 posts, read 2,196,489 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayinAK View Post

Alyaska Tire is my favorite tire shop in Fairbanks. They reset the TPMS sensors free of charge, while the dealers charge $100.00.
Not so... mine are $80/tire! If I relied on a dummy light to tell me when my tires were low I'd be in trouble because there's no way in hell I'm paying for that!

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Old 09-29-2015, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Interior Alaska
2,207 posts, read 2,196,489 times
Reputation: 1981
Quote:
Originally Posted by mitgreb View Post
37 winters. I had a few studded tires don't see any need for them and you have to take them off in the summer. I just get good all season tires. What is more important is to not drive like your hair is on fire!
My cousin talked me in to getting Blizzaks on my Chevy, but I had BF Goodrich All Terrain TA/KO's year round on my Tacoma. Next time I buy tires for the Chevy it will be a set of TA/KOs and I won't buy Blizzaks again. They're nice, but they're not THAT nice. Know what I mean??
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Old 09-29-2015, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
17,471 posts, read 31,200,796 times
Reputation: 13610
Quote:
Originally Posted by riceme View Post
Not so... mine are $80/tire! If I relied on a dummy light to tell me when my tires were low I'd be in trouble because there's no way in hell I'm paying for that!

What kind of car is that? The local dealers charge $100.00 for an hour of labor. But it only takes 5 minutes to scan the TPMS sensors in five tires, and then connect the scanner to the TPMS computer and enter the data. If it's only one sensor, they still charge you for an hour. That's why I have it done at Alyaska (free of charge).

All the sensor does is to give you a warning relating to the tire pressure in one of more tires, or even a problem with the sensor itself. A lot of drivers just ignore the light, and check the tire pressure in all the tires once a month. When the light comes on all I do is to check the tire pressure, and add air to the affected tire (s).
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