Studless Snow Tires from Costco

saturn

#1

I am in Alaska. Costco has the most affordable option - but they no longer sell studded tires. Do the studless tires really work? Worth the money?
Do they perform as well as studs? I have an AWD - this is the first winter without 4X4. Thanks in advance!


#2

Which brand and model, exactly? Some winter tires do quite well, although I doubt quite as well as studded tires on glare ice.

Consumer reports recently tested winter tires, you may want to get their top recommended tires, the Michelin X-Ice Xi-3 and Xi-2, which tested ‘much better than average’ for ‘ice braking’ and were top ranked overall.

I know I liked my studded tires in Anchorage. What area are you in?


#3

Studded winter tires are very tough to beat for winter driving.

But it really depends on if you need them or not. Alaska obviously is one place that there may be a very viable need for them. If you want them…then find another place that carries them. Yes Costco does have good prices…but here in NH I can come very close and many times beat their prices. But you’ll have to shop around.


#4

How often do you have ice and how often do you have snow?


#5

The new winter tires are much better in snow and slush than the old style studded tires with their hard rubber compound. As mentioned, the only place where studs work better is on hard glare ice, and I’m sure you don’t have that in Alaska most of the time. An AWD with good winter tires will get you through nearly all winter weather. If you live in Anchorage I would be more worried about ground clearance. On my last trip down there I saw very few sports cars; most vehicles had good ground clearance. An AWD like the Honda CRV with Michelin X-Ice would be my choice.

Studs are illegal in many states and most Canadian provinces, since they chew up the pavement and don’t add all that much extra traction.


#6

While ‘black ice’ isn’t that common in Anchorage, we would go weeks with sub-freezing weather where the nightly frost would accumulate on the roads as a thin coating of ice. Sure liked my studded tires for that.


#7
There are a lot of factors when it comes to winter tires.

 The temperature, driving conditions etc.  Do you drive on ice, or snow?  Highway or city? 

 I would suggest that old tires are not likely to provide the traction of new tyres.  Are you driving 

 Studded tyres are not as popular as the were some years ago.

#8

Had studded snow tires for years. We have moved away to non studded tires with one of our cars for quieter trip taking. As long as they are legitimate snow tires and rated good or better on ice, it should be fine. As the studs wear, they become less effective. If you do a lot of highway travel on plowed roads, I would not hesitate to forgo the studs. As everyone has stated, they have improved in ice traction over years. General Altimax make inexpensive quality snow tires with good ice traction without the use of studs. There are others but these are very cost effective though.

For most driving, awd with snow tires will be superior to part time 4 wd with or without studs. Go for it !


#9

I have been running Hankook iPike studless snows on my RWD BMW 328i for seven Colorado winters. I have yet to get stuck in the worst snow storms.

Studded snow tires are old technology – studless tires are just as good in most conditions, ride quieter and handle better. The only reason to get studs is if you live back east and deal with ice storms. Winter driving in Colorado is like skiing, winter driving back east is like ice skating.

Tirerack tested both studded and studless tires on various cars in deep snow, packed snow and glare ice. Only on glare ice are studs marginally better. The are much worse for acceleration, cornering and braking on dry or wet surfaces.


#10

Twotone…these are great points and the main reason we moved away from studded snow tires on my wife’s car. Though we may have given up a little on the ice on the mile and a quarter daily trip to get off our private road, it was more important she had a safer handling car on the highway. Studs, IMO, detract from that. We kept the studs on the " get in and out at all cost" truck that we use less for winter travel on the highway. Her awd car is more efficient, that’s the car we travel in the winter with on trips. I feel safer without studs on the highway.

Having said all that, I still screw 80 studs per tire into the r4 industrial tires of my tractor and my neighbors still stud up the plow trucks. Nothing like steel poking into ice for grip at low speeds on hills. Everything is a compromise.


#11

Thanks everyone. I really appreciate the comments.

I am in Anchorage. We really do not have highways like the continental US. But we do like to go on weekend trips and that requires Alaskan Highway travel and there are some areas around town - mostly neighborhoods in the mountains - that have steep icy roads in the winter.

However, we do not live near steep icy roads… and work is 15 minutes away. I agree with texases and I think the roads are icy a lot in the early morning and late evening when the temps drop down… and that is the times when I am usually driving. Even so… I am leaning towards the studless…

Again, really appreciate your time and comments.

Best,
Vic