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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, winter has arrived in northern New England, and that means tire changeover time. Time to replace those summer-only or all season tires with dedicated winter skins. I picked up the 3 series a few months ago and have been impressed with the grip of the stock Continental tires on dry roads. As good as their grip is in warm, dry weather, they are terrible once the snow hits the ground. Even with AWD, a light snow fall made for white-knuckle driving. I live up a steep dirt road, followed by a long, winding driveway that is also on an incline. I didn't anticipate the early snowfalls and got caught a couple of times before my snow tires were installed. Not fun. The car just struggled and barely made it up the hill after about an inch of snow. The descent was just as bad, having to keep the car in 1st gear and under 5 mph to maintain control.

I ordered a set of Bridgestone Blizzak WS-80 tires mounted to 16in steel wheels. Moving from the stock 17 in wheel allows for more sidewall to deal with frost heaves and pot holes that populate the roads in late winter. The steel wheels are also more forgiving than alloys when encountering said pot holes and are cheaper to replace, if they are damaged. I had the wheels mounted two days ago in the middle of a storm that left us with a foot of snow. What a world of difference! The amount of bite and traction that these tires provide is amazing. It stops much better on snow, driving up my road and driveway is now child's play, and negotiating a turn is no longer a white-knuckle experience. An added benefit is that they are actually quieter than the stock Continental run flats that were on the car. Happy Winter!


The Ultimate Winter Machine!


I kind of like the look of the black steelies.


Acadia bonus shot!
 

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Good to know! I just changed over my tires two days ago. Same thing...Blizzaks on 16" steelies, replacing low profile 18". Despite the snow, I haven't had the opportunity to test them yet as my Doctor still won't let me drive (because of my accident 9/3/14).
 

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Glad to hear the 80s are working well for you, impala. Aren't you up in The Granite State now?

I've had a few different type snows over the years, and the REVO1 Bridgestones were by far the best. Second were a set of Dunlop SP60 all seasons which would go anywhere their first season.
Second winter the magic was gone. :(

Wow, rockyspaw, you still bashed up? Krikey, that was some beating you took. Hope you're progressing on schedule at least.
 
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Black steelies are definitely a look. Looks neat on your car.

If I end up getting Blizzaks on my next car, I'm thinking about getting them with a nickel, titanium, or bronze finish wheel, just to try it out. I figure, why not try it out for 3 months?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Good to know! I just changed over my tires two days ago. Same thing...Blizzaks on 16" steelies, replacing low profile 18". Despite the snow, I haven't had the opportunity to test them yet as my Doctor still won't let me drive (because of my accident 9/3/14).
I hope the doctor gives you clearance soon to test out those Blizzaks. Get well soon! :drive:

Glad to hear the 80s are working well for you, impala. Aren't you up in The Granite State now?

I've had a few different type snows over the years, and the REVO1 Bridgestones were by far the best. Second were a set of Dunlop SP60 all seasons which would go anywhere their first season.
Second winter the magic was gone. :(

Wow, rockyspaw, you still bashed up? Krikey, that was some beating you took. Hope you're progressing on schedule at least.
Yes, up in the Granite State now. My concern is how quickly the performance degrades year after year. I know that with some tires I reviewed, people said they were great the first year, then after that the performance quickly degraded even though there was plenty of tread left.

I had GoodYears on steelies on a G8 for 2 winters and NOW those tires are riding on a friends Cruze going into season 4 (G8 sold) and say the $1200 was worth it
the BEST I have ever experienced are nokian hakkapeliitta on a CIVIC going up and down the Rocky mountain including the "smasher" from hi-way through hell
http://www.nokiantires.com/tires/passenger-car/winter-tires/
I had the original studded Nokia Hakkas on my Impala. They were used when I got them, but yes, a very good tire.
 

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Blizzaks are totally awesome. Stock Yoko Geolandars were pretty good, General Grabb AT/2's were great, but Blizzaks made the Forester even more unstoppable. Very, very hard to get the rear to slide out. It's point and shoot.
 

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I had Blizzaks on my Supra a while back and I could go anywhere I please in the snow. Loved them.
 

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I'm running Michelin X-ice second gen on my G8 GT. I'm on my 4th season and they still have plenty of tread left. These tires are excellent. With traction enabled it's very hard to break the rear end loose.
 

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Totally agree with impala02 on the WS-80's. I ordered a 17" set mounted on inexpensive (cough, cough) aluminum wheels for my wife's '14 AWD Terrain from Tire Rack. Steel wheels weren't available. We had our first real test this week with around 14" of snow in Rochester, and these were awesome. Starting, turning, and stopping traction is top notch. I recommend them to anyone wanting dedicated winter tires.
Mike
 

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I recommend snow tires of any make to anyone who lives in a winter climate. There performance is starting, stopping, and turning is superior to any all season. The question is why don't more people use snow tires?
 

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I'm thinking about a set of these for my Outback this year. I'm unable to decide between getting separate wheels for it or mounting and balancing new tires every year.

How is the wear and tear? Is it still a good winter tire for the second and third seasons of use?
 

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If able, should go for separate rims. Winter tires are usually not as wide as your normal summer / all season tires.
 

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Need new winter tires for the next season. My current goodyears are already 3 seasons old and the wet performance isn't that good anymore. Unluckily, I can use only one size (16"/195) on my Corsa and that's, how could it be otherwise, the most popular size for winter tires in Germany (thank you for nothing, all you Mercedes E-class cab drivers out there).

:frankie:
;)
 

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I would highly recommend snow tires...and mounted on separate rims. I did do a little driving on mine last winter, but by the time I started back to work in April, most of the snow was gone. What a difference with performance and handling! One day I had 14" of snow in my driveway and made it all the way to the garage (~200') with no problems.
 

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I would highly recommend snow tires...and mounted on separate rims. I did do a little driving on mine last winter, but by the time I started back to work in April, most of the snow was gone. What a difference with performance and handling! One day I had 14" of snow in my driveway and made it all the way to the garage (~200') with no problems.
So do I. Even without snow, I would never drive with summer tires at low temperatures, especially not at speeds above 100mph.
 
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