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 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.
Thank you, everyone. I appreciate it.
Bring it on, snow!
Most Helpful Opinions
Canada requires a higher rating on traction for their winter tires than the US.
Since you are not going to run them year round. You could go with a more aggressive tread design. I don’t know if Canada has an age limit on their tires. But the tires are dated. So saying that they will be around for decades. Might not be allowed.
Swapping the tires on the same rims could get costly. With mounting and balancing, twice a year. Maybe look into an extra set of rims?
Snow tires will not handle as well as summer tires. No tires unless studded or with chains on. Do well on ice. Up to the driver to make adjustments for ice!
Wide tires like yours want to ride up on the snow, which usually isn’t good. Also when driving into heavy slush. They will be harder to control at speed.
Find a reputable tire dealer and ask his opinion on a certain brand and or tread pattern.
Also check for tire rebates.
Sorry I couldn’t be any more help.
Everything @Surely said is spot on. I'd also recommend a separate set of rims too. One thing I'd add, if you decide to do separate set of rims, is based on what @Surely said regarding your size tires being wide for snow traction. In my opinion, i'd ask if you could go a size down on the rim for the snow tire.
Blizzaks are awesome fyi. Good luck and be safe.
Surely, thank you those were really great tips.
I think I've chosen (am aiming for) Bridgestone BLIZZAK DM-V2
Size, still not 100% sure. 255/50R19 ?
So Friendlybro, you are suggesting I go down from a 19" rim diameter to an 18"? (If that's even possible on my car. I'm not sure.)
And what does that mean for the other numbers?
I still don't fully understand all the numbers.
@Friendlybro79 I would be hesitant about changing sizes. Since I don't know how her car would handle the change with all of the computers that are on the cars now a days and the size of the brake rotors.
@Surely I totally understand what you're saying with newer cars it can be tricky. It can be done safely most of the times unless the rim fan clear the brakes. For ex the tirerack. com website will calculate it for you and tell you if you can do it. Just search by vehicle etc. It's called minus one sizing if I'm remembering correctly.
@AmandaYVR The numbers are the measurements of the tire in millimeters, aspect ratio of sidewall and rim size. The letter to the right is a speed rating meaning how fast a tire can handle safely in mph.
This web link explains well. This company can also tell you if you can minus one size. Sometimes it's better for traction in snow.
"The second pair of numbers (225/45R17) is the tire's aspect ratio or profile. This percentage represents the ratio of the sidewall's section height to the tire's section width. The section height can be calculated by multiplying the section width by the aspect ratio percentage. The answer will be the height of one sidewall."
Yeah so my car was sold with the Premium Package. Which is 19" wheels.
But if I select Basic Model (on tirerack, but I think other sites too) then it gives me the 18" wheel option.
So what does that mean? Either are possibilities, or my car will not actually accommodate the 18" (because, say, the brake rotors won't fit right)?
We've decided we like the look of big tires (cause it's an SUV, especially, and low-profile is not really appropriate for this type of vehicle). It might feel a bit [odd?] to go down in size. But I'm trying to focus on just snow/ice performance here. Aesthetics should not be important. It's only for about three months of the year.