Help! What are some pitfalls to buying winter tires? What mistakes do I need to avoid?

AmandaYVR
Help! What are some pitfalls to buying winter tires? What mistakes do I need to avoid?
I'm buying winter tires for the first time. I'm out of my depth here. Why is this so complicated!!
The more I research, the deeper I go, the more decisions there are to be made and pitfalls I see. Whatever decisions I make here, I will be stuck with them for a decade. This is a big investment not only in cost but the shop I'll be attached to for swaps for many years. And apparently where (what temp) they are stored matters to longevity.

About the only thing I know right now for sure is what size I currently have:
255/50R19 Wheels: 18x8.5"
Everything else is still up in the air.


Here's What I Do Know:
  • I live in Canada but the winters are mild here where I am (I've still never seen an igloo or polar bear!)
  • I have an AWD SUV. It's high-performance but older so I'm looking for a nice mid-range quality, not the cheapest or best. I don't care how the trims look. The current OEM tires are poor and I don't want another bad set. I'd rather be over-prepared than under.
  • My car has run-flat all-seasons right now (Dueler 400 HL 107H 255/50-19.) They're in ok condition, the tread is fine, but they are known to have "terrible traction in any type of winter weather, from a trace of snow to freezing rain and ice. There is little in the way of grip." (I nearly slid into a house two winters ago.) They will need to be stored unless I can replace these with a 3-Peaked all-season.
  • I'm not worried about mileage. They'll only be on for ~ 3 months of the year.
I Don't Know!:
  • I think M+S should be sufficient (?), but they must be 3-Peaked.
  • Brands? I read Blizzaks are phenomenal. https://www.4tires.ca/tires/bridgestone-ws80-winter
  • Will they need sensors? That could be an extra $75ish/ea.
  • I think I will use the same rims if possible. (Tons of salt is not a big issue on the roads here.) But that's dependent on whether I need new wheels or not. I have no idea.

For my SUV
For my SUV
Help! What are some pitfalls to buying winter tires? What mistakes do I need to avoid?
Help! What are some pitfalls to buying winter tires? What mistakes do I need to avoid?
Help! What are some pitfalls to buying winter tires? What mistakes do I need to avoid?
Updates:
1 mo
Getting my snow tires installed tomorrow. Yay!
Thank you, everyone. I appreciate it.

Bring it on, snow!
https://i.imgur.com/2DVebBa.jpg
Help! What are some pitfalls to buying winter tires? What mistakes do I need to avoid?
5
1
Add Opinion