Piecing Together the Winter Tire Puzzle
We've partnered with the TDot Performance tires team for a closer look at winter tires, from compounds to treads, that 3PMSF symbol and more.
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Piston Slap: Faith in the Three Peak Mountain Snowflake?

Greg writes:

Good day Sajeev,

I recently signed a three-year lease on a Grand Cherokee Upland. The Upland is an appearance group that includes tow hooks, blacked-out trim and great big (20”) wheels wrapped in some fairly aggressive all-terrain tires (Goodyear Wrangler All Terrain Adventure). Boy, does FCA love “appearance groups.”

I live in the great white snow belt of Western New York where we get around 100 inches of snow per year. On my last two vehicles (Ram 1500 and Toyota 4Runner), I used winter tires for about 4 months of the year and was very happy with them.

I have the opportunity to purchase winter tires on steel wheels for this Jeep at a steep discount from a coworker. My question is, do I need them or should I rely on the A/T’s that are on the Jeep already? The stock tires are well-reviewed for winter use but I’ve heard horror story about low profile tires and big rims in the snow.

What’s your take?

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Piston Slap: A Winter Tire for All Seasons? (Part II)

TTAC Commentator Znueni writes:

Dear Sajeev,

We have a 2007 Honda CRV with nice Continental winter tires mounted, speed rating of H. We only put around 8k miles a year on it with short hops and maybe one long 800 mile trip in the summer. Living in a moderate climate (couple snows a year, summers max out high 80’s for a month or two) and using the car so little, we’re considering running winter tires year round.

Think doing so will ruin them quickly? Your sage opinion welcomed!

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Piston Slap: Get Your M+S, Be the All-Season Tire MD

Kai writes:

Hi Sajeev,

I could use a good, concise opinion regarding all-season tires. Researching this on the internet is more confusing than researching “chest pain” on WebMD, so you get to be the doctor on this. We’ve got a 2007 Honda CR-V, which my wife drives in 4-season weather about 1,000 miles/month. There are no major snow months here but there is a bit of rain and a couple good snowstorms a year. The CR-V is a great little car, light on the back end despite being 4WD and has 18-inch rims versus the OEM-fitted 17-inchers.

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Piston Slap: Focusing on Steelies, Unsprung Weight?

Mark writes:

Sajeev,

I just ordered a new Focus ST, pretty much the only way to get the zero-option set up I wanted. Can’t wait for it to arrive. The car’s not here yet, but the questions are. This time, a wheel & tire question for your consideration.

While we don’t get a massive amount of snow here in Southern Illinois, we do get some. I’ve learned the hard way that relatively wide, low profile summer tires and all-seasons are bad news in the winter. I’m ready to go the winter tire route, so I wanted to get your thoughts on wheel choices for winter tires in a minus-1 size.

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  • FreedMike On the one hand, it doesn't look good. On the other hand, not releasing the car into the hands of the general public until the obvious bugs are worked out is a good idea for a brand new company. Time will tell.
  • FreedMike I do take phone calls using Car Play if I'm not in traffic; it's a little bit of a distraction, but not much. I think it's certainly within an acceptable risk margin if you're not in heavy traffic. Back in the old days when I had a manual car and no Bluetooth, I never used the phone while driving at all.
  • FreedMike I guess some folks are just bound and determined to drive around with a grenade in their steering wheel.
  • FreedMike Bit dear, but these might have collector appeal, particularly one with 20,000 miles (assuming that's not a doctored figure) that hasn't had the full "whip" treatment.
  • Adam4562 I have Bluetooth in my car , the name comes up and I answer . It goes through the speaker. I’ll text on a stop sign or red light . If it’s really urgent hill pull over .