By on April 6, 2015
IMG_8744

(photo courtesy: svtrichie @ www.Hyundaiforums.com)

Jimmy writes:

I hope this new year finds you well. Back in 2007 I bought a new Hyundai Santa Fe. Nothing special, no ABS or four wheel drive. But it did have 20”s on it with low profile 12 inch wide tires. Later that year I had the chance to drive it in the snow. First time ever. Was not a good time. 

The only thing I know about snow is take it slow. And that’s what I did. Driving down to the end of my block I gently pressed the brake to slow down easy. No problem, I’m almost stopped and got ready to make a right hand turn. When some where under 10 MPH the rear end whipped around and I found myself sitting sideways in the middle of the street. It took me some time to unclinch my anal orifice from the drivers seat.

I thought driving in snow was closer to suicide but I had to pay the gas bill if I wanted to keep the heat on.

The next four stop signs were no problem. But on the fifth stop sigh I had to make a left turn. And just like the first stop sign, the back end slid around to the right. Having never driven in the snow, I didn’t know if this was normal or not. Either way it sucked. Took it too the dealer and had it checked out. No problem. But of course no snow then either.

I just got the car back from the dealer after it’s secound oil change. It was cold but not snowing. It was 9 a.m. no wind. The snow wasn’t melting. And the roads were in good repair. The snow itself was 12 inches deep and even across the road. I was the first one down the road.

Their is no problem breaking on any other surface. During a hard rain last week I tried to make it do something stupid. It always stopped streight and true. These were not snow tires. They were Mastercraft with less then 7 thousand miles on them.

In each case I don’t think I was going more then 7 MPH. Is that too fast ?

I don’t know if this should go on the board or not. I’ll let you decide. I had one of the tires on my Hyundai Santa Fe come apart from the tire case. I took it to the dealer who said, those arn’t Hyundai tires or rims we won’t fix it under warranty. Makes since, not factory tires, but installed by the dealer. So I went to where they did the install. They said if I didn’t buy it from them, their’s no warranty. Before hitting the dealer I looked up “MASTERFCRAFT TIRES” on the internet.

They had a recall for the tires I had. But still no warranty. I’m still pissed off. 1650.00 dollars for a new set of Goodyears. Mastercraft tires according to tirerack.com had a price of 225 each with 80 thousand mile warranty. My tires didn’t make it past 7 thousand miles. Also screwed up some body work. But it did remind me to put a lug wrench in car to fit my fancy rims. After auto club took 4 hours to come and change the tire. On the first hot day of the year.

I don’t blame the dealer. After all it was almost a year since I bought the car and the window sticker did not have anything on it about the rims and tires. But I do think the mastercraft dealer should have done something.

As a side note: I was originally going to buy a Honda Pick-up SUV thing. But I went on my favorite site, TTAC, and found out the little Honda gets crappy gas milage. I did take the Honda for a test drive, and I couldn’t get the sales man to tell me exactly how many miles to gallon it gets. Just like TTAC predicted.

Thanks for the vent.

Sajeev answers:

My luck with off-brand tires on daily driven machines is horrible.  After enduring several sets of shamefully bad Maxima (off brand Generals) and Mastercraft tires on vehicles that eventually became my hand-me-downs, I said never more…except for limited use vehicles like my imported Ford Sierra with impossible to find rubber sizes.

And when you combine off-brand all-season tires, aftermarket 20″ wheels and snowy/icy conditions? Oh my damn, son…

That’s a terrible combination. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with big aftermarket wheels, in theory.  But they weren’t designed with your car’s suspension in mind, and those “recalled” tires were probably sub-par from day one. My advice?

Simple: keep the Dubs for the summer, if you really like them.  You need a proper set of winter wheel and tires (factory 16-17″ sizes) so you can go much faster than 7-mph on city streets. You could go, like, 14mph instead. Awesome.

 

Send your queries to [email protected]com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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86 Comments on “Piston Slap: A Tale of Mastercrafted, Aftermarket Dubs...”


  • avatar
    HerrKaLeun

    2007 SUV and no vehcile stability control?

    Anyway, get smaller wheels and tires for winter. You know by now those low profile tires suck to drive, they are for looks (to distract from the fact it is a Hyundui with not even ABS). not only are they expensive, they also wear out faster. Low profile tires at half the life and twice the cost to ensure quadrupled tire cost. In addition they ruin your suspension since the tires don’t take any of the hits. Low profile tires also are prone to kill rims since there is less rubber to absorb curbs etc.

    After owning Mazdas, wheel size is a major purchase criterion for me. For low profile tires you need winter wheels.

    • 0 avatar
      anti121hero

      Hyundais were still using v belts up to like 06. Even dodge switched to serpentine belts around 1988.

      • 0 avatar
        TR4

        Not quite. My daughters’ ’95 and ’97 Dodge Neons used two manually tensioned belts: a multi-rib for the alternator and a vee for the power steering pump.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          I don’t see what’s so terrible about individual v belts with manual adjusters. For certain applications like a rough and tumble 4wd, I actually prefer it. More repairable, and having the accessories run by different belts kind of spreads the risk out. If my A/C compressor locks up and mangles a belt, I don’t automatically lose my alternator’s ability to run or the power steering. Lastly it’s easier to find a universal v belt than it is to find a generic serpentine belt. But yes for an every-day commuter and non-car guy, a Kevlar reinforced serpentine belt with an automatic tensioner is the way to go.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I don’t think it was required till MY11 or 12, so yes I’m not surprised.

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    I didn’t realize that Americans were also inflicted with Mastercraft tires. These are the Canadian Tire (aka “Crappy Tire”) house brand, basically the tire of shame for Canadians.
    I agree with the previous answer: get some original rims and tires. Your original tire size is printed on a sticker in the driver’s door jamb.

    • 0 avatar
      Gardiner Westbound

      Canadian Tire house brand tires are called MotoMaster. It’s house brand tools are called Mastercraft. House and off brand tire performance is usually unverifiable. They’re best avoided.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        You are correct. So the question is, are these Mastercraft tires made for Canadian Tire? One would assume that they’ve registered the trademark for all things automotive.

        Either way, they are obviously second-rate tires. This is compounded by the fact that they are the wrong size for the car.

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          I see that they are actually a sub-brand of Cooper (itself a second-tier brand).

          You have to wonder what people expect when they buy tires like that. Do they really think they will get a quality tire? Do tire salesmen still spin the old yarn about “it’s just as good as as a Michelin, they just stamp Mastercraft on it to save you money.”

          • 0 avatar
            eManual

            For some of us, Mastercraft are the easiest to get tires for older cars that use 195/75 R14’s etc.

            My 1st experience with 205/70 R15 eight years ago was not good, but since then they have been almost equal to BF Goodrich tires, which is my brand of choice. The rubber is “soft” enough to use on all-seasons for winter use, and the tread patterns resist hydroplaning while having good cleats for snow. Given the present wear, I expect over 40-60K miles on them, or about 5 years of use, which ever comes first.

      • 0 avatar
        boozysmurf

        Both MotoMaster tires, and mastercraft tools are actually excellent.

        I’ve had MotoMaster winters on three cars over the last twenty years (an ’80 Parissienne, a ’94 Grand Marquis, an ’03 RSX, and currently, an ’05 Forester) and they are truly excellent tires. The rumour I’d always heard was that they were made by goodyear lines, but I’ve also never been able to verify that.

        Mastercraft tools, same thing: the rumour has always been they’re made by someone else (I’ve heard Stanley, but again, no verification of that).

        Mastercraft tires, however, are cheap crap. I’ve seen nothing but poor reviews, and have actively warned people away from them. My feeling is, the one thing you absolutely never cheap out on is the rubber patches that attach you to the road. But, for most people’s uses, MotoMaster are excellent tires (especially their winters, which I adore on the Forester: that thing is unstoppable, with excellent handling, in up to 3′ of snow… that I’ve tested, myself).

  • avatar
    sproc

    Sajeev: Your restraint is amazing, and one of the reasons I really enjoy your posts. About halfway through, all I could picture is Gunnery Sergeant Hartman going full-tilt on this guy.

    • 0 avatar

      I remember my years in college driving a Lincoln with Mastercraft tires and doing my best just to keep the poor car from flying off the road with those horrible things.

      I think every Mastercraft on it eventually did tread separation a la Firestone tires on Ford Explorers.

      Gotta have sympathy in this world.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    As someone who has driven in the snow for over 40 years, I offer the following advice.
    Ditch the dubs. They are the dumbest thing for 95% of the cars/SUVs on the road.
    Put original sized wheels back on the car. They should not have an aspect ratio less than 65.
    Get a set of all season radials. I recommend General Altimax all seasons. I use these on my RWD 97 Crown Vic and have no issues driving in the snow. In fact, it is my car of choice in the snow, and it doesn’t have traction control.

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    I disagree. Get proper snow tires. Not all season radials, snow tires. They aren’t particularly expensive and they save your other tires.

    Why go to the expense of AWD and then stop short?

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    When I bought my Legacy the dealer crowed about how they put new tires on it. Of course, they are Sumitomos, which to me are crap tires and I let them know that. The problem is, I bought the car in 2009 and there is still plenty of tread left on them so I can’t justify buying new ones yet. This is also their fault since they are terrible in the winter. Way too hard and no grip at all in snow for supposed all seasons. So I switch them out and rotate every year. Once I can convince myself to do it, I’ll be switching to full summer tires (Super Sports most likely).

    Since I bought my truck, I am starting to see why people like SUVs and trucks. With tiny sidewalls every pothole I hit in the Subaru sounds like the car is going to break in half. I dodge and weave everywhere I go. But in my Tacoma, I just sort of mindlessly cruise along oblivious to all but the deepest potholes. And what I give up in driving dynamics, I gain in confidence that I won’t have a massive blowout on the way home from work.

    • 0 avatar
      PartsUnknown

      I had to log in to reply to this post. I am in the same boat. Last year I bought a 2004 Audi A6 Quattro wagon, which had nearly new Sumitomo tires. I knew they were crap, but with under 3,000 miles on them, it was tough to justify switching them out. Until winter came. In dry conditions, they are unremarkable; reasonably quiet and grippy. But add any moisture – snow, rain, anything – and it’s like the car is on roller skates. They completely negate the inherent advantages of the Audi’s AWD system. I despise these tires and will be buying dedicated snows and summer tires tout suite.

  • avatar
    Quentin

    Why is someone with 12″ wide tires on 20″ diameter wheels on a 2007 Hyundai CUV worried about gas mileage on a Ridgeline?

    http://www.fuelly.com/car/honda/ridgeline -> bell curve centered around 18mpg

    http://www.fuelly.com/car/hyundai/santa_fe/2007 -> curve centered around 21mpg

    Those rollers probably caused a 10%~20% hit to your fuel economy which makes you worse than a stock Ridgeline. Basically, the fuel economy would be close to the same after the dubs have increased the weight of the wheel and ruined the rotational moment of inertia (your wheels and tires are acting a lot more like a flywheel now). With the weight distributed like that on the wheel/tire combo versus stock, the effect of your lack of ABS is likely amplified.

    Additionally, the cost of replacing those idiotic tires will likely cover the fuel economy difference.

    You’d have been way better off spending your Santa Fe money on one that was equipped with ABS and the stock rollers rather than no ABS and dubs.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      THANK YOU.

      They worried about MPG but dropped south of two large on rubber.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      “With the weight distributed like that on the wheel/tire combo versus stock, the effect of your lack of ABS is likely amplified.”

      What effect? That he can lock his wheels? He can lock his wheels easily because his ridiculous tires have no traction. If he had any driving skill at all, that would actually be preferable to ABS because at least he could build up some snow in front of the wheels to slow him down while sliding. The tread on those steamrollers certainly isn’t going to dig in and give him any grip.

  • avatar
    Trend-Shifter

    Last summer I bought a nice 2001 Chevrolet Blazer.
    It is only RWD with a locking rear differential. Just what I wanted!

    It had Goodyear Wrangler all terrain tires and they visually looked like they would be good in the snow.
    The first snow I backed it onto the street and put it in drive and both tires would easily spin with very little forward motion. As I approached my first stop the ABS would immediately engage. I could do low speed donuts on demand.
    It was absolutely terrible and unsafe in the snow

    So I found a set of used rims and bought a set of Blizzack snow tires.
    The Blazer transformed from a totally unsafe vehicle into a snow monster. In snow it now had immediate traction, no ABS with normal braking, and steering control without the backend wanting to meet the front end.
    I could motor on through the neighborhood in that last deep snow better than my neighbors 4WD pick-up with all seasons. They thought I had a 4WD!

    So yes, dedicated QUALITY snow tires is the answer, not necessarily AWD/4WD with all seasons.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Same with my P38 Range Rover. Came with reasonably new Yokohama Geolander tires. Which look like they would be perfectly fine in the snow. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! ZERO grip at all in the snow. Breath on the brake pedal and all you get is instant ABS cycling and 4700lbs of Range Rover not showing a whole lot of interest in stopping. A set of Hankook iPikes, and I can stand the truck on its nose before the ABS cycles at all.

      Anyone who thinks all-season tires are fine in the snow is a first class idiot, in my not really all that humble opinion. Yeah, you can “get by” with them, but that is really annoying to those in properly shod vehicles stuck behind you as you crawl along at 10mph.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        There are very few all-season tires I would run in the winter. The only one that comes to mind is the one I mentioned somewhere else in this article, the Conti ExtremeContact DWS.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          Those are on my very short list as well. Nokian also makes a couple very winter biased “all-seasons”. They still kind of suck compared to the real thing in snow (I’ve had a set of the Nokians), and they aren’t so great compared to a real summer tire in the summer. But if you are willing to go slow, they are borderline acceptable to me. Infinitely better than Chinese rim protectors that turn hard as glass at 5F.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        I had Geolanders on my Land Cruiser. I credit them with my desire to install a winch.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Same story with my 4Runner. the fat 265/70R16 Grabber HTS tires with “only” 3750 lb curb weight were pretty sketchy on the highway, I had to run it in 4Hi more that I liked, and stopping was much worse than I preferred. Ponied up for dedicated snow tire (Altimax Arctic in a narrower 245/75R16) and the truck was transformed. Stopping and turning, starting from a stop in 2wd, just night and day. I don’t bother with 4Hi unless I’m screwing around offroad, or it’s a very icy highway, in which case I reduce speed a good amount anyhow. Now, despite that, a bouncy SUV riding high up in the wind is still a less than ideal highway car in the winter, crosswinds and expansion joints are much more noticeable than in something like a sedan/wagon. But I can comfortably and safely make my yearly trek back to visit family in Central NY without worry, and reach trail heads off of snowed in fire roads with utter ease (I carry recovery gear and chains just in case anyways).

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “I thought driving in snow was closer to suicide but I had to pay the gas bill if I wanted to keep the heat on.”

    I can’t decode this sentence.

    “Back in 2007 I bought a new Hyundai Santa Fe. Nothing special, no ABS or four wheel drive.”

    Just get a van if you’re gonna go for FWD CUV with horrible tires.

    ““MASTERFCRAFT TIRES” on the internet.”

    Google suggests, “Did you mean Mastercraft?”

    “I did take the Honda for a test drive, and I couldn’t get the sales man to tell me exactly how many miles to gallon it gets.”

    That’s because you asked him about the “Honda Pick-up SUV thingy” and he was confused.

    • 0 avatar
      TR4

      “I thought driving in snow was closer to suicide but I had to pay the gas bill if I wanted to keep the heat on.”

      I can’t decode this sentence.

      He had to drive somewhere to pay his house gas bill?

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Ahh, ok. It’s 2015, so I pay mine online from the convenience of my computer. I guess some people don’t have mail or a computer.

        1910 already.

        • 0 avatar
          izzy

          “MASTERFCRAFT TIRES” .. may be subliminally he was thinking Master F-ing Craft.
          On another topic, my 2007 Santa Fe Limited has both ESC and ABS. And the OEM tire size is 235-60-18, in case y’all are wondering.

      • 0 avatar
        sproc

        I took this to simply mean he had to get to work. Sub in “keep the lights on” or “put food on the table” and it makes sense.

        Even if he’d been driving a brand new Outback with a fresh set of Blizzaks, though, the idea of someone who’s never driven in the snow before going at it alone and unafraid because they were forced to get somewhere is terrifying.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    Keep seperate winter rubber and wheels if you can. on my wife’s MkT Ecoboost AWD, dropping down to 17s and winter tires makes a HUGE difference over the name brand All-Seasons on 20s. 15″ or 16″ steel wheels and Firestone WinterForce tires should only set you back $450-$600. If you can’t have two seperate wheel/tire combos, make sure you get an all season tire that is good in the snow. My best bet is usually the Conti ExtremeContact DWS.

    Where’s davefromcalgary? He’ll set you straight.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      I can vouch for the the Firestone’s, they were fantastic in the snow for me and a coworker of mine had a set on his Fusion and he raved about them as well.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        I have the Firestones on my C-Max in the winter. They are really good for the price. For most cars, I wouldn’t buy anything more expensive for winter.

    • 0 avatar
      sproc

      +1 Just finished a full DC winter on a new set of those Contis. While not as good as the dedicated winter tires I’ve run in the past, surprisingly capable in light snow. Pricey but excellent tires.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        I like them a lot too. My cousin lives Norfolk, VA, and he runs them on his GTI. While he doesn’t get a ton of snow down there, sometimes there is ice, and he drives up to Michigan for Christmas, Thanksgiving, and other times where there may be snow. My wife’s MkT also has them now for non-snow times of year. With the previous tire, Goodyear RS-As, I used to freak out when a few flakes would fall. Now, I don’t worry as much.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I would drive on winter tires year-round before I would drive on crap all-seasons in the winter (I do agree there are a very few expensive all-seasons that are OKish in winter), here in Maine. And in my opinion, you need proper winter tires MORE in places that don’t get as much snow, because they are far less equipped to deal with it when it does snow. 3″ up here is Tuesday, 3″ of snow in Atlanta is an emergency situation.

      And if those things on his Hyundai are actually 12″ WIDE – oh dear God!

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Yeah, 12″ wide Hyundai wheels seem like a disaster.

        My buddy in Atlanta has a BMW 135, and he runs UHP all seasons, but keeps chains with him in the winter. I don’t have much experience with chains, but he says they are a newer kind that he can get on his BMW in just a few minutes.

    • 0 avatar
      gzuckier

      This was the winter my decision to have a set of snows and a set of summer tires really paid off.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    If you can swing the cash flow,get wheels and tires that are the size that should be on your Nissan. Then sell the dubs on Craigslist to recover some of your money. Your SUV will ride and handle much better in the rain, snow, sleet, and most important, dry pavement.

    Back in days of yore, before traction control, ABS brakes, and amazing rubber compounds used in tires, (i.e., when I was a kid growing up in Illinois) cars managed just fine with a set of winter tires. Some cars, including rear wheel drive Volvos, which is what all Volvos were back then, did extremely well. Why? Narrow tires, relatively speaking.

    Think of those dubs you’ve got as you would a snowshoe.

  • avatar
    Carrera

    Sorry to hear about your problems in the snow. The Honda pick-up you are mentioning can only be bought used now because they’ve stopped making. 2014 was the last year. I have one and it is awesome in the snow… plowed, un-plowed, doesn’t matter. I’ve been driving one for the past 5 years in Tim Cain’s neck of the woods in Canada. I have good all seasons on it and I haven’t got it stuck yet. I have to be at work at 0500 and often times I am first on the road before the plow guy. Ridgelines are awesome in the snow but your average mpg will be 17. That’s a hefty price to pay.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    The Fuzion tires on my Thunderbird were horrible in the snow…so don’t buy those.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Sajeev,

    There’s nothing “off-brand” about Generals these days. Owned by Continental, they make some truly excellent, yet affordable tires. I liked the Grabber HTS tires that came on my 4Runner so much that I bought a set of Altimax Arctic snow tires for the 4Runner’s winter shoes, also very happy with how they grip in all conditions and how smooth and reasonably quiet they are for snow tires. Three weeks ago when it came time to put new tires on my GF’s 2012 Camry SE with 17 inch alloys and the 15 inch steelies on my 2012 Civic, it was General again, Altimax RT43 this time for both cars. The link to Continental is very real, the ones that we put on the Camry were actually manufactured in France. Very highly reviewed as a well balanced all season on tirerack. I’ve been very impressed with the RT43 in the wet, my test is the tight roundabouts by my house. My OEM Firestone Affinity “Fuel fighters” lost the front end quickly and suddenly if the pavement was damp on these roundabouts, at 18 mph or less. These Generals stick at 23 mph, and give a good indication of progressing into understeer. The same applies for dry pavement, the Generals stick a lot better. The Altimaxes do not have a “LRR” designation so they don’t have as long of a runout and coasting is a bit less effective than the OEM Firestones, but the loss of 1 mpg or so on average has been more than made up for by the increase in wet and dry grip. Road noise is no worse than before, although just a bit more of the road is filtered into the cabin as small bumps and vibrations, both on the Civic and Camry. Lastly, these tires are said to do rather well in the snow (for all seasons that is). They have a lot of siping, that makes me hopeful for the winter. All of this at a very wallet friendly price. Hate to sound like a shill, but General has more or less won me over at this point. Are they as nice as Michelins? No, but they’re 95% of the tire at 60% of the cost.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Nothing like a set of nasty oversized cast alloy wheels to ruin the ride, worsen fuel economy and dynamics, and shorten the lifespan of suspension components on a vehicle. Engineers worked on the suspension of that car, and designed wheels at the factory that make everything work together. Gaudy Chinese 20 inch rims throw all of that out the window. Find some nice factory Hyundai wheels on craigslist, mount some decent all season tires on them (not something called “Wanli”), and call it a day.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    For the amount you spent on the replacement 20″ tires you could have bought some take off factory wheels and quality snow tires. You should have blamed the dealer because he is the one that put low quality tires and wheels on it, charged you way more than you could have bought them for and then kept the factory wheels and tires to sell or got a trade in from the tire dealer that they purchase the crappy tires from.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I wouldn’t ever buy a vehicle that had, or had ever been equipped with, this sort of aftermarket wheel. They are hell on the suspension components, and also indicate that the owner doesn’t know or care about keeping a car in good shape.

    Agreed that the right thing to do after you experienced your tire failure would have been to buy a set of take-off factory 18s and tires to go on them. The wheels and tires together would have been less than the 20″ tires you bought.

  • avatar
    daver277

    Hyundai/Kia hybrids use a rubber belt to run their e-motor/generator.
    Unbelievably crappy setup.

    • 0 avatar
      Pastor Glenn

      Daver, yes the Hyundai (and Kia) hybrid has a serpentine belt running a motor-generator, but it is essentially the “starter motor” for the engine – not to run the car. That motor-generator is in the place where the torque-converter would be in the automatic six-speed transaxle.

      What’s old is new again; the Dodge Brothers cars in the 1920’s used a motor-generator on a big belt for starting and general electrical use of the car, and were 12 volt – some 30 years ahead of the rest of Detroit products. Alas, Chrysler bought Dodge Brothers and cheapened the cars.

  • avatar
    cdotson

    While the proper tires for weather conditions is important it should also be stressed that from your description of the vehicle’s driving you aren’t driving in the snow properly. When you describe the rear of the vehicle swinging sideways at stops you always correlate it with preparing to make a turn.

    You are clearly turning the wheel in the direction of your intended turn before coming to a full stop. Most people do this and it is wrong and unsafe. Especially in the snow you should come to a full stop with the wheels pointed straight and only begin to turn when pulling away from the stop. This is a good practice even in non-snowy weather as your vehicle will travel more predictably should some idiot rear-end you while you are stopped.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Dubs on a Hyundai….DUBS on a Hyundai….thats all I have to say to that.

    Factory tires n wheels will help your snow driving, but the back end sliding out is normal for front heavy vehicles, especially taller FWD vehicles.

    Learn to brake and let off before turning, it’ll keep your vehicle even rather than throwing its back end around.

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    “1650.00 dollars for a new set of Goodyears”

    Yeah, do what Sajeev said. Only don’t keep the [email protected]#% dubs for summer.

    Sell them to some sucker who thinks they’re a good idea, and go back to factory wheels.

    And get some modern chains for your winter driving needs, unless you want to save some of the pile of cash you’ll save not buying thin 20″ wheels to get Mountain-And-Snowflake-Icon tires.

    That’ll help some.

  • avatar
    iMatt

    Something tells me to take this post with a giant grain of salt….

    I’d be interested to know what part of the U.S this poster is from. Never driven in snow but all of a sudden there’s 12 whole inches of snow on the road?

    Giving him the benefit of the doubt however, I would argue in terms of all weather handling capability, the first point against him is the large FWD “SUV”.

    All other points regarding tire size are also obviously true.

    As an aside, when I negotiated a price for our 13′ Fit, I convinced the sales manager to include a set of winter tires at no extra cost – not an easy feat at a Honda dealership.

    Anwyays, I never thought to actually ask what brand of tires they’d put forth as part of the deal. Anyone heard of Jimyu? They are utter trash, lasted barely 30 000 km and I’m convinced handled worse in the snow than the stock Dunlop all seasons.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      “Jimyu,” some kind of lowest bidder chinese fodder I’m sure, just like the “Wanli” I mentioned earlier. I seem to recall some sort of drama when Obama banned/restricted the import of cheap Chinese tires into the US some time ago.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Jimyu, Sunny, Geostar, Triangle, Wanli, Fullway, Double Happiness. All terrible.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        I think I had a pair of Sunny tires on my Skylark. They were the only 195/60R14 tires the tire shop had…

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          I’ve shifted exclusively to ordering tires online and having them shipped to my door, and then I take them to my preferred shop for mounting. As of late that’s been the local Toyota dealer, they’re the only ones that can get the balance right on finicky 4Runner OEM alloy wheels, and only charge $48 to mount and balance 4 tires! Shopping online, I can get the exact brand/model of tire, for a very good price. I’ve had repeated poor balance jobs at Discount Tire, even on plain jane steel Civic wheels until I paid for the ‘road force’ balancing. Jeez!

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “I’ve shifted exclusively to ordering tires online and having them shipped to my door, ”

            Interesting, since I did that for a while. A left-over habit from when I was stationed overseas with the US military.

            And I used to mount and balance the tires I ordered online myself at the Auto Hobby Shop on one of the military installations in my area.

            Just by chance I found out one day that I could get the same tires I ordered through Discount Tire or Martin tire, sometimes even cheaper than what I paid for them at Tire Rack, et al.

            I didn’t have to pay for shipping. I didn’t have to mount and balance them myself. Seemed like a better deal to me. Tried it, and have bought tires that way ever since. I guess it depends on the quality of service.

            I’ve never had a bad balancing job at either Discount Tire or Martin Tire. And I have had a bunch done at both of them. IOW, I had good experiences and no problems.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Might just be the local branch then, they initially couldn’t get my 4Runner’s balance right after 3 attempts so at least I got a refund, but that is sort of an exceptional case, those are known to need a specific adapter to center them on the balancing machine. I dug up an old TSB from 1996 and the oldest tech at the Toyota dealer with like 30+ years experience recognized it and found the right adapter gathering dust somewhere in the shop. He got the balance perfect. This is Butler Toyota in Indianapolis BTW.

            Now with the Civic I thought “how can you possibly screw up the balance on a tiny 15 inch steel wheel off a new car,” so I took it into that same Discount Tire and yet I had a vibration at 70mph when I got the car back. And that cost $74 for that initial mounting/balancing. So I went back and paid $50 for the ‘road force’ balancing, they remounted 2 of the tires, and rebalanced 2 others, and everything is finally how it should be. So I spent $124 on that, and only $48 to get it right the first time at the dealer. I wish I could take my Honda to the Toyota shop!

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            gtemnykh, in my area, the biggest tire retailer is the local Wal-Mart Supercenter. They install a lot of tires, every day.

            I don’t know if this is systemic but the people who do the auto service (oil change) and install tires there are not ASE service technicians.

            I know a few who work in Wal-Mart’s service bays in my area and they are just auto hobbyists, who learned their skill at the school of hard knocks, or in the military.

            So I was not surprised when I heard complaints from people who had their cars serviced there. Some people I knew even asked me to check out their car after they had it serviced at Wal-Mart.

            One of the complaints after a new-tire install I looked at was “shaking steering wheel”. I did a stationary tire-round test and found the tire out of round.

            Another time, I found a new tire that had a “flat spot” that was causing a thumping sound.

            So for my money, I don’t buy tires at Wal-Mart. I think they sell seconds.

            I have nothing against Wal-Mart, I live my life in Wal-Mart fashion.

            But for me, Discount Tire and Martin Tire have delivered the goods consistently and without drama; even when I special-ordered four new Yokohama OEM tires for my $1 Camry. ($300 installed, out the door. Almost $100 more at Wal-Mart for some other brand like ratty Goodyear)

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Lol Double Happiness – is that a real tire?

  • avatar
    TheyBeRollin

    1) Sell the stupid wheels and crap tires.
    2) Buy OEM wheels (or at least OEM-sized) wheels for the car.
    3) Buy decent tires. Since you apparently live somewhere with a variety of seasons but rarely see rain, All-Seasons should do. Since it’s an FWD SUV made in Korea, it’ll have crappy handling anyhow.
    4) Drive really carefully in the snow. If you can’t handle this, get a set of steel wheels that are an OEM size for the car and a set of decent name-brand snow tires OR a bus pass.
    5) …
    6) Profit.

  • avatar
    azmtbkr81

    I’m kind of a tire geek and this is the first time I’ve heard anything bad about Mastercraft. They are made by the same parent company, in the same factory, as many Cooper tires. Although they are positioned as a value tire they are good quality. They are certainly better than the super cheap Chinese tires that are typically sold by shady tire shops in a Craigslist combo package with those terrible over-sized rims.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      ” this is the first time I’ve heard anything bad about Mastercraft.” Me too!

      I have put Mastercraft tires on all the old cars and trucks I sold to illegal aliens over the years and I have NEVER had a problem, complaint or dissatisfaction myself, or from anyone I sold the cars to.

      But I want to add that I also have had good ownership experiences with Chinese-made Hankook tires. Dirt cheap!

      Before the tire wars.

  • avatar
    gzuckier

    Hello there, sir or madam. I see you’re looking at tires. I would be glad to sell you these fine Mastercraft tires, or if you prefer something else, I have these very nice Craftmasters. Over here, we have our line of MisterCruft, which are a bit more economical. Or, if you’re looking for something sporty, we offer the fine MakesCrapFaster series. I also have a lesser known brand just in, Mastcrafter; they’re highly regarded in Maine and Nova Scotia, along with their sister brand, Moosecrusher. Between you and me, however, I’d advise you to stay away from those Crashmashers; they’re not very good.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    Really no ABS? My Tuscon is a 2007 with zero options and it has abs and stability control.

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      Stability control was federally mandated for all new cars sometime shortly after 2000, after it was demonstrated to clearly be able to save a lot of lives. ABS, on the other hand, remained an option, for example, on Panthers, at least as late as 1997. My 97 Grand Marquis was bought without ABS by the original owner. And ABS CAN reduce braking distance compared to panic full lockup skidding style braking, but can be disastrous in slush, snow or ice.

      Having learned to fan the brakes even in panic stops, I am better off without ABS, and am glad my GM came without it.

      And as to tire brands, my 88 Thunderbird Supercoupe came with Goodyear Eagle’s in a size that no one else made, and cost a fortune to replace. My mechanic, one of the best I have ever had, and a drag racer as well, recommended Sumitomo’s, and they had twice the traction, and lasted several times as long as the Eagles, under heavy usage (read midlife crisis car, fun to hoon in). However, Sumitomos did not seem to get very good reviews on tirerack.com recently, compared to others, in a size for my 97 Grand Marquis.

      And I had never been a fan of Firestones, but being retired and having to watch costs, I decided to give the Affinitys a try after seeing reviews. And they have been rock solid in performance…hard cornering, even in the rain, plus hard stops in new slush on slight downhills. Couldn’t get tires to slide doing that as a hard stop from 25 mph. Just grabbed the asphalt under the slush and stopped on a dime. I was surprised but very happy. Likewise, couldn’t break away the front tires in a snowy parking lot under any circumstances…got a nice mild oversteer with the Bridgestone Insignia SE’s that were on the rear, and the Firestones on the front. But I was amazed at how much grip the Firestones have. They are rated as 70000 mile tires, and if they get anywhere near that, I will be very happy, having paid just over a hundred bucks a piece, all fees included. When the Bridgestone tread goes away, I plan to add two more of the Firestone Affinitys.

      The moral of the story seems to be that tire brands vary in quality over time, and perhaps also depending on the application. I saw someone else post that they had not liked Firestones, but that they were good on his large sedan also. He speculated that the tire might work best on larger heavier cars. Certainly did on my two ton RWD body on frame V8.

      And yes, I have seen Sunnys and Double Happiness, but have no plans to road test them.

      • 0 avatar
        A strolling player

        Shortly after 2000? No indeed.

        The stability control mandate went into effect for the 2012 model year. Because stability control essentially requires ABS sensors and the ability for the computer to control the brakes, this effectively also mandates ABS (which does more or less the same thing as stability control – applies the brakes a certain way using a computer based on sensor information – but in a less sophisticated way – only when braking, and only uniformly to all wheels). On the other hand, traction control, which cuts engine power, is not required by law.

        My girlfriend’s 2007 Taurus has neither stability nor traction control, nor ABS. Kind of sad for a large car of that vintage, but them’s the breaks (and the brakes).

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Your girlfriend does not have a 2007 Taurus, because there was no such thing.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Yeah there was. Fleet only IIRC, the last of the DN101.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I thought the fleet only year was in 05 – that has always been the number stuck in my head. Can’t believe they made that outdated piece of crap until 2007.

            My mistake!

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            I’m glad they did. Excellent trouble-free and cheap as dirt cars for people who just need wheels without having to stuff themselves into a buzzy econobox.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            In my experience, once they get over 80k miles, they’ve kinda got suspension, steering, interior trim, and leaks issues.

            I agree the engines were reliable, and they were relatively cheap to run, as long as you’re okay with a few things being broken.

            (As a side note, I think that car has the biggest turning circle of any car that size, ever.)

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Meh. The Taurus had a 39.7 ft turning circle. The Acura TL had basically the same turning circle at the time. I think the same vintage Maxima had an over 40 foot turning circle.

            The worst offender now is the Focus ST. 39.3 ft!!!! Part of that is there is a built in steering limiter on the Focus ST and Focus titanium with handling pkg to avoid rubbing.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I have never driven an 07 Maxima, just several of that model Taurus. I always remember being surprised, and thinking “Why can’t I turn harder than this?!”

            *Parking maneuver fail.*

            So the Focus ST has the same issue as the SL Black and that sporty Renault Clio with the body work.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Try driving a Focus hatchback that has basically a 40′ turning circle.

            My C-Max isn’t much better at 38.4′.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I feel good about my turning circle now, it’s 36.1′ per Edmunds.

            By the way:

            07 Maxima 40′
            97 Maxima/I30 34.8′
            93 Audi 90 34.1′
            00 A8 40.2′
            01 GS430 37.1′

            Such huge differences. My GS felt easier to park than my current M – it must be due to visibility. Never had trouble parking the A8 either.

          • 0 avatar
            A strolling player

            Danio is right, 2007 was the fleet-only year. Her dad bought it used from a dealer that had a bunch of them with ~20000 miles, I guess dumped from whatever “fleet” they were in. Being a fleet-only model, as far as I know, there weren’t any options, just two trim levels: SE and SEL. Hers is an SE, real basic… cloth seats, bench front (with the clever flip-down center that becomes a sort of console), cassette deck, and the aforementioned lack of ABS… Not quite sure what the SEL had, but I think it was a 5-seater, probably with a CD player, auto headlamps, ABS, keyless entry, maybe leather. They all had the Vulcan V6, which seems to be a boat anchor but also seems like it’ll never die.

  • avatar

    Low profile and snow, they do not go together well. When I switched from my 72 Charger to the 84 Shelby Charger with low profile tires I had to readjust my winter driving skills. The first corner I took on a snow packed street resulted in a slide toward the curb instead of navigating the corner. I was traveling the speed I was used to in the 72 – and would have been successful in that vehicle. The next experience was getting stuck in around 5 to 7 inches of snow which the 72 would have driven through without issue. After talking with a few folks and thinking things through it came down to the tires – Goodyear by the way. The larger the tire surface the less bite in snow – or so it seemed to me. My experience could be unique (I haven’t read the other responses yet), but after driving around 750,000 miles in my life it works for me. Also, I had fairly inexpensive tires on the 72 so, in my mind, it was not a brand issue. Never had “snow” tires on either vehicle.

  • avatar
    x-hdtestrider

    Sorry I could not log on. I should have added that I live in Lake Havasu, Arizona. So, snow …not much. But this New Year it started to snow again the day before and kept snowing for two days.
    This whole thing started when I went out to get into my 1999 Jeep
    Wrangler. And I though my new computer controlled cool ride might be safer.
    I did dig out the window sticker. Electronic stability control.
    Traction control. And Anti-lock breaking. Not sure if Anti-lock always means ABS or not.
    So, I’m thinking. Snow ? I’ll stay home and drink coffee.

    Thanks,
    Sajeev

  • avatar
    x-hdtestrider

    In case anyone was interested. Switching from Mastercraft to Goodyears made it a great ride. Smooth , quiet good handling.
    Just not in the snow.
    And the weirdest thing. I got more compliments on this car, then I did my custom show winning Vans. But to be honest. All the compliments were from people over the age of 65. But what would you expect in Havasu.

    thanks


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