Winter tires sticky thread for 2012-2013 winter season
--The basics :
Get snow tires appropriate to your climate and driving style. If you don't see much snow during the winter, and you like to drive/corner fast on cold dry roads then look into the H-rated or V-rated "high performance" winter tires like the Bridgestone Blizzak LM60, Dunlop Winter Sport 3D or Michelin PA3.
You may want to look into a more aggressive snow tire like the Blizzak WS-70, Michelin Xice Xi2, and Continental Extreme Winter Contact. if one or more of the following are true :
-Your geographical area gets heavy snows or lake effect snow
-You are often driving on packed snow and ice
-You are just willing to give up some dry grip and steering response for maximum safe winter traction
-These tires are for a newer driver or one who needs more confidence when driving in winter conditions.
Winter tires like these will offer the best in snow and ice traction, but will give up some dry road responsiveness over an H/V rated snow tires to get it.
Choosing between performance winter tires and and the more aggressive snow tires may be difficult and is mostly a personal preference choice for the trade off between snow traction versus dry road handling. If you're not sure which way to go, I would suggest leaning towards the tires with better snow and ice traction. Driving on dry roads is easy...it is when roads are covering with snow or ice that the situation gets more challenging.
--New/Updated this season and reminders from last season :
It was been an another uneventful pre-season this year with very few new models of winter tires being released. In some sizes , the Michelin XI3 is replacing the Michelin Xi2. The tread pattern appears to be very similar between the two so I would not expect more than a modest improvement in snow/ice traction from the previous model. The Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 will be phased in to replace the Pilot Alpin PA3 in a few sizes this season. For this year, due to a shortage of Dunlop Winter Sport 3D tires in the 225/40R18 Dunlop has substituted their new SP Winter Sport 4D that is now available in Europe. While it's a one-off size this winter season, we anticipate receiving more SP Winter Sport 4D sizes in the 2013-2014 winter season for next year. Available in 225/40R18 only for this winter season.
Like last year, we are also seeing some winter tire models being discontinued or simply not being produced this season. If we a more severe winter (unlike like last year) then we could lead to some early shortages in some sizes. Of particular concern is size 225/40R18 which is down to just a handful of options.
Here is some information from last years winter sticky :
The Bridgestone Blizzak WS-60 which was the 3rd generation of the original Blizzak tire for maximum winter traction has been replaced by the Bridgestone Blizzak WS-70. Compared to the old Blizzak WS-60, the new Blizzak WS-70 is a noticeable improvement in dry traction and steering response while maintaining its renowned ice and snow traction. They will still feel pretty soft/spongy in handling compared to higher performance H and V rated snows (especially at full tread depth!) but are definitely an improvement in road feel from the previous generation.
A couple of seasons ago, the new Blizzak LM60,replaced the old Blizzak LM25. In the past the older Blizzak LM25 and the popular Dunlop Winter Sport 3D tires were considered very equal to each other in snow traction and in dry road handling/cornering and were the tires of choice in this category. The redesigned LM60 is moves the balance closer to the snow traction side of the equation by using the more aggressive tread pattern of the WS60 but with a compound and construction of a high performance snow tire like the LM25/3D. The end result will be much improved snow and ice traction over the LM25/3D with only a small sacrifice in steering response and dry cornering. This tire will be an ideal choice for someone having trouble deciding between the high performance snow tires that sacrifice a lot of snow traction and the Q/R rated snow tires that trade off too much in handling and dry grip. I feel the LM60 ideally suits many drivers needs in this forum well for an ideal balance of snow/ice traction while still keeping acceptable dry handling and grip for the non-snowy days.
When looking at customer survey results (found here http://www.tirerack.com/tires/survey...&affiliate=AB2) , you may want to pay more attention to the tires snow traction and ice traction survey results rather than the overall ranking. After all, the primary reason you're buying winter tires is for their snow and ice traction.
--A final word of advice : Don't wait too long. Ordering early when most products are still available lets you choose what you want to buy rather than being forced to settle for what is left over. Best to be ready with products in hand before it snows so that you can put them on when you are ready rather than waiting for a shipment to arrive after the first snow. We should have most inventory available in early October. Tires and wheels purchased together are mounted and balanced at no charge to make changeover easy.
Please don't forget to refer to 'Gary/Bimmerfest' when you order online so that I can look over the order and get the forum credit for the sale.
Here is a direct link to the winter tires area (this will show you available winter wheels as well) :
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