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Tires - it's been asked before

There’s all kind of talk on this all over the internet; but I’m going to ask it again in a slightly different way. I need snow tires on my Sonic. I’m liking the Nokian Hakkapeliitta tires, but a set of 4 of them is a little beyond what’s reasonable financially right now. So my choices are put two of these little beauties on the front end of my 2wd car and 2 Michelin X-Ice X13’s on the back, or get a set of 4 Michelin X-Ice for the car all the way around to keep the price reasonable.
To me the Nokian seem like a better tired and having them on the front end (FWD) seems like the best deal, and the Michelin’s are no slouches so I’d have a good tire on the back. Of course they’d all be the same size. Any thoughts on this logic?

I would go with all 4 the same, why take a chance on creating an imbalance. With front wheel drive you will have more than enough traction up front, what you have to worry about is losing the rear on curves or stopping.

I am really happy with the michelin defender m/s, not sure if available for your car, but the m/s means mud and snow. Yea Oldtimer is right about mismatching tires.

I just got some Firestones 225 65 17 and they go nicely in snow even though I have a minivan with wheelchair lift at the hatch and have to drag that with me. Don’t bother mixing brands because it’s just not necessary. That cost me 550 including studs which were 78 bucks. I got them at the car dealer and they had to order them. I’m one-stop shopping now.

I use the Michelin X-Ice 3’s and I live in the snow belt of New York State. They are awesome. Two days ago I drove home in a blizzard with zero visibility. Cars were sliding off the road all over the place. My car, on the Michelins stuck to the road the entire time with only one minor slide (under emergency braking). Even then I came to a controlled stop as the car in front of me spun, in slow motion, into the median. The X-Ice 3’s are also smooth and quiet on dry roads and still deliver great gas mileage. I do a ton of miles and this is my third season on this set and they still have lots of tread left. After trying MANY sets of snow tires I give my only five star rating to these tires.

For a great value in snow tires look at the General Altimax Arctic tires. They are inexpensive, highly rated, and I can attest that they are almost as good as the Michelins. They are slightly noisier on dry roads, have a slightly lower ride quality, and have a higher rolling resistance but they are much cheaper. If you are on a budget and NEED winter tires then this is what I would buy.

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Yes, bite the bullet and get 4 Michelin X-ICE tires. They are a good long term investment as they are the best wearing winter tires. I’ve had mine for the 10th winter now on my Toyota.

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Do NOT put winter tires just on the front unless you want to back in to a tree/car/kid when it snows. The rear of the car will not hold traction in the corner like the front will with winter tires in the front and regular tires in the back. It is not just about traction from a stop. Cornering and braking are also just as, if not more important.

That said, don’t put the best winter tires in the front and lessor ones in the back for the exact same reason. Go with Ice-X’s all 'round. They should be just fine.

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Having tires with a different coefficient of friction on different ends of the car is a formula for handling problems under extreme circumstances.

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Are you a professional race driver who has practiced recovering a car that’s gone into a spin? If not, then don’t set up a situation on your car where the front tires have more traction than the back tires.

IMHO this is by far the better option. You’re much better off with the traction between the front and rear balanced. Unequal traction results in spinning out.

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On a practical note, all four being the same makes it possible to have regular tire rotations.


Do you mean you started using Michelin X-Ice tires 10 years ago, and you’ve been buying new sets, as the old ones wore out?

Or are you saying you’re driving on 10 year old winter tires?

No, I bought the car new in 2007 and since it was winter I immediately bought a set of Michelin X-ICE tires and rims. They stay on till end of April and get put back on again in late November. The wear is slight so far and they should last me another 5 years or so.I don’t drive a lot, but even if you do drive a lot they should be good for 6 winters!

My wife’s 2012 Mazda 3 also has the same tires and she feels very confident with them.

Expect to get about twice the mileage out of these tires compared to other winter tires.

So let me try to understand this . . .

You bought your tires in 2007 and are still using them for winter driving

IMO, tire wear is not the only factor, when considering replacement

Get 4 matching tires. So if that means Michelins, that’ll be fine.

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The car is always stored inside, and here maximum summer temperatures seldom get into the high 90s. I only put 7000 miles per year on the car, so that’s about 4000 max on the winter tires. Ozone damage is not an issue here. The original summer tires are also still used!

So what other consideration would I have for getting rid of these tires before the read reaches its lower limit?

I replaced the tires on my camper when they started showing ozone caused cracks, long before the tread was anywhere near the danger zone.

A few years ago an expedition found a WW II truck in the North African desert, buried mostly in the sand. The tires were still inflated and showed no visible deterioration!

I don’t know if they are made in your size but I use General Ultimax tires. They wear very well and stick to the road.
Buy all four.


You say ozone damage is not an issue at your location

But it is here, along with heat and age

At work, I routinely replace tires younger than yours, because they are literally rotten, in spite of the fact they still have plenty of tread

There are currently a few vehicles that are getting new tires. Several years old, plenty of tread. Rotten to the core, hard as a rock, noisy, lousy handling, the works

There are lots of reason to remove tires from service: Wear, age, damage.

In this case, 10 years is about the limit for age - even for winter tires. The casings deteriorate over time, and the casing just doesn’t hold together forever. Better to replace the tire BEFORE it comes apart.

And I should mention that in hot places, the age limit is shorter. I recommend 6 years in places like Phoenix.

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Very slim odds of finding used tires in ur size on CL. Maybe if ur lucky u might even find a set with rims. My 1/2 worn blizzaks performed worse than my new all season tires in snow. I got new tires in November and put my winter wheels on in December and traction went down. Hmm, that bites. At least my alloy wheels are tucked away in garage. Getting 4+ yrs from snow tires is pushing it. New snow tires are great.