Floridian needs advice for tires and snow



I’m a Floridian moving up to the mountains of WV. It’s going to be the first winter I’ve driven and, come to think of it, lived through. I’m looking for new tires at Walmart and wondered if anyone had any advice for me. I’ve got a 91 Honda Accord LX. Thank you!!


[b]If you’re going to be driving in snow, you want tires with a mud and snow tread design.

The DOT dictates what constitutes a mud and snow tire. And tire manufacturers must ahere to those specifications. Whereas, an all-season tire tread design isn’t specified by the DOT. Instead, the tire manufacturers a free to decide themselves what a good all-season tire tread design should be. And some are lousy in snow.



Suggest you do some research in Consumer Reports. I believe Nov 05 and Nov 96 issues tested snow tires and all season tires. CR rates tires by wet, dry and snow performance. That is why I use their info as a guide.

My last purchase was Michelin X-Radials, available at wholesale clubs. There are others that would do just as well.


Mud/snow tires are not intended for year 'round driving. Those who use them keep two sets, storing their all-season set in the garage during the winter months and vice versa.

Even when I lived up north I never went that route, using all-season tires the year 'round. The snowplows did an effective job on all major thoroughfares.

I suggest you wait until after your move to decide if you want one set of tires or two. Check your location and ask the neighbors about the snowplow schedules. If you need tires right now, quality all-season tires are the way to go.


I’m not sure where you are living in the “mountains of WV.” The first thing you need to do is decide if you need an extra set of snow tires for the winter (I doubt you will unless you are traveling away from major roads). For most people, a good set of all season tires is adequate, Take a look at the snow traction ratings for various tire on tirerack.com.


The amount of snow that area gets you’ll be fine with any good all season tire.


If you can afford a set of winter tires, which should only be on the car in the winter months, they will make your life much easier.

Winter tires really DO improve traction in winter driving conditions, but they won’t turn your car into a 4WD vehicle, and careful driving is still necessary.

The biggest factor in winter driving is knowing how. You should get someone to instruct you in the proper techniques, and find a large, empty parking lot in which to practice before you attempt to drive in traffic when there’s snow on the roads.


My best advice to you is to skip walmart and try and find a Nokian dealer. There is a one size fits all situation tire that is incredible IMHO but pricey (top tier like Michelin/Bridgestone/Goodyear).

The tire is called the Nokian WR which is the only year round all-season tire sold in the United States that is also rated for Severe Winter Duty(eg snow tire). Its incredible in the wet, has a decent tread life (50k miles), handles ok and approaches a winter tire in winter conditions.


btw for a 91 Accord your looking at spending $400 tops for four tires on Nokian WR. I have owned four sets on two Honda Civics with roughly same size wheels.


Not exactly sure where you are going in WV that you feel you need winter tyres but you REALLY need instructions in how to drive in the snow. Mcparadise is correct in telling you to find someone to teach you and use an empty lot to practise in.

Driving in snow is very dangerous and if as you say you are going to an area where they get alot of it; instruction is as important at the tyres on your car!!!


Remember that someone coming from Florida will likely not have winter driving skills, making the need for real winter tyres more important.


[b]I don’t know where you people get the idea that you can’t run snow tires in the summer!

Remember, the tread has a MUD and snow designation. Which means they’re great for traction in mud also, no matter what the season. I run my M/S tires all year round.



Of course you can run them in the summer, but if they are decent snow tires they will use a very soft compound and will wear out very quickly. Basically, they will be useless for the next winter if you put any significant summer miles on them. Also, M&S tires are pretty horrid in anything except mud and snow; they are noise and handle terribly in dry conditions. I don’t remember the last time I drove a street car through mud, I doubt the OP is planning on taking his honda off road. I do keep M&S tires on a winter beater, an old POS jeep, but I wouldn’t put up them on a real car in the summer.


Go to tirerack.com and check out their proces. I’d put snow tires on all four tires, since you’ll (eventually) have to stop the car and don’t want the grip only on the drive wheels (front). This is dangerous even more dangerous for a rookie to snowy roads. I like Blizzak, but choose what ever you like . . . snow tires. Remember to take it easy for the first few weeks, snow/sleet/ice driving requires patience and slow accidents are cheaper than fast accidents. Good luck! Rocketman


We are talking about WV, not alaska. Most folks in CO don’t bother with snow tires on FWD cars like this. If there is too much snow to get around with all-season tires, the road is most likely going to be blocked by someone else anyway. Unless you live in a fairly remote area and REALY need to be someplace every single day it’s unlikely you need snow tires.

If you decide you need them, have a set of four mounted an separate wheels so you don’t have to mount/unmount them twice a year. I also have found Bllizzaks to work well in the snow, but they will wear out quickly on dry roads and they are pretty noisy (also, they are fairly expensive).


Check out all-season radials at tirerack.com. You can find many of the tires advertised there at a local store. You’ll be fine with passenger all-season tires or standard touring all-season tires. Higher performance tires are not neccessary on your Accord.


The only winter rated tire you can run in the summer>>



I liked Snow King tires when I had them. Get four. Your car has the wrong profile tire for snow and mountains, but people still drive them. Also, don’t move there.


As usual, someone asks a tire question and they get bad information.

All season tires are designated by the letters “M” and “S” branded on the sidewall somewhere. It has many different forms: M+S, M&S, M/S, etc. You get the idea.

This means they are “Mud and Snow rated”. The rating is strictly a visual thing, and the rating comes from the RMA (Rubber Manufacturers Association), but it is recognized by the DOT.

Winter tires are designed by enhance snow traction and operation in cold temperatures. The rubber compounds are softer at lower temperatures than rubber compounds designed for summer usage. You could call them snow tires, but that wording seems to imply that these tires are strictly designed for snow traction and if you don’t get snow, you don’t need them - not true.

BTW operating winter tires in the summer is foolish. Since the rubber compounds are softer, the tread wears more quickly and when it gets hot, it loses grip - which you won’t find out about until it is too late.

True winter tires will have a snowflake symbol on the sidewall - another RMA rating - but this one is based on a test. Just be aware that the snowflake symbol hasn’t been adopted across the board and there are many winter tires out there that don’t have the symbol yet. If there is a question, ask the manufacturer.

Your best bet is to ask folks you live in the area you are moving to. Some places in WV do a good job of snow removal - and some don’t. And some parts of WV don’t get that cold. So the winter tire / all season tire thing could go either way.

Just be aware that driving in winter - especially on snow and ice - requires some retraining of your driving skills. I suggest the first snow fall, you find an empty parking lot and spend some time getting used to the feeling of driving in slippery conditions and how to recover a vehicle when it starts to lose control.


Modern snow tyres use rubber compounds that really don’t do well in the summer. They are a real step up for snow from the snow tyres of years ago.