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Chicago area winter tires #4710351
03/29/18 08:23 AM
03/29/18 08:23 AM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 219
Illinois
tigrpal Offline OP
tigrpal  Offline OP
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 219
Illinois
I've been driving for over 40 years around here and never put on a set of winter tires and never had a problem managing with all seasons. I'm older now and losing my confidence. I'm thinking about winter tires for safer driving starting next winter. The communities I drive through are good at plowing and salting for rush hours but there is regularly snow and/or slush on the road. I worry mostly about my wife driving early in the morning before the plows get out or later in the evening when the plows are waiting for the roads to clear of traffic. Anyway, I have these questions for Chicago area drivers or anyone who wants to chime in:

1. Do many of you put on winter tires in the Chicago area or do you manage with all seasons like I've done?
2. Do you have a set of dedicated wheels for winter also or do you swap tires on the same wheels? Is it bad for tires to often mount and dismount?
3. When do you generally put your winter tires on and then take them off?
4. Do you mark your tires for rotation purposes? How?
5. Do you keep track of the miles you put on each set?

Re: Chicago area winter tires [Re: tigrpal] #4710371
03/29/18 08:41 AM
03/29/18 08:41 AM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,388
Chicago,IL,USA
pandus13 Offline
pandus13  Offline
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,388
Chicago,IL,USA
1. managed with all-season fine in the first year/brand new tires when there was enough "meat" to bite in snow. completely useless on ice!
1a. when not enough thread on all-season tires, well it became interesting......
2. winter tires on same wheels (all-seasons had enough thread 8/32, but had cracks at 3 years old, so didn't feel safe). my first winter set on the Yaris.
3. Around November
4., 5. I have not rotated tires on the last 3 cars I own. It allow me to replace tires in sets of 2 if needed (elantra). 2 cars (Yaris and Mazda5) replaced in sets of 4 because the wear was constant between front and back (mazda5 same thread depth, 3/32; Yaris 7/32 front, 8/32 back)


16 Golf SportWagen
13 Mazda5
08 Yaris
04 Elantra
95 accent
95 mystique
97 concorde
Re: Chicago area winter tires [Re: tigrpal] #4710373
03/29/18 08:44 AM
03/29/18 08:44 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 382
Slinger, Wisconsin
BrewCityR Online content
BrewCityR  Online Content
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 382
Slinger, Wisconsin
Chicago area was hit harder than us up here in southeastern Wisconsin this year.

We have had 2 mild precipitation winters in a row now...

I've had winter tires on various vehicles for the past 20 years and it really gains confidence even on light snow days.

To answer your numbered questions...

1. already answered... it's such a good investment in confidence, safety, peace of mind.
2. dedicated wheels make life so much easier. You (or a friend/relative) can swap out 4 wheels in about an hour.
3. It varies, but just keep an eye on ugly weather coming in October or November. My dad just removed his winter set last week. Hopefully we are in the clear! smile
4. I label my tires with a strip of painters tape and a Sharpie... "from LR, from RF, etc." then rotate accordingly.
5. I don't as most winter sets only accumulate 4-5k miles per season, but you can log it if you choose.

Just do some shopping on Tire Rack for brands and models. Bridgestone Blizzak is a premier brand tire that most everyone loves, but there are cheaper alternatives that are nearly as good. My Dad has General Arctic Altimax on his Mazda 6 which work great.

Last edited by BrewCityR; 03/29/18 08:46 AM.

2006 Infiniti M45 Sport (me) - Castrol Edge 0w40 - Fram FPS7317

2016 Mazda CX-5 AWD Grand Touring (wife) - Castrol Edge 0w20 - Premium Guard PG4612EX
Re: Chicago area winter tires [Re: tigrpal] #4710407
03/29/18 09:11 AM
03/29/18 09:11 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 10,570
ROCHESTER, NY
Char Baby Offline
Char Baby  Offline
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 10,570
ROCHESTER, NY
Now that I too have been driving for almost 50 years and even though vehicles are waaaay better in every way, I much prefer either winter tires or really good all season tire that are known for doing well in the snow & ice.

I remember driving RWD cars with regular bias ply tires or snow tires ONLY in the rear. Snow tires back then left a lot to be desires. And we still got stuck with those old style snow tire of the 1970's and RWD. Always getting out of the car to push or help others push their cars. Not anymore for me, I want security! It seemed to be expected back then.

Last edited by Char Baby; 03/29/18 09:24 AM.

"Retired"
-----------------------------------

'80 Firebird FORMULA V8/4bbl-purchased "NEW"
'15 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV
'15 Honda Civic LX
Re: Chicago area winter tires [Re: Char Baby] #4710446
03/29/18 09:41 AM
03/29/18 09:41 AM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 219
Illinois
tigrpal Offline OP
tigrpal  Offline OP
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 219
Illinois
Originally Posted By: Char Baby

I remember driving RWD cars with regular bias ply tires or snow tires ONLY in the rear. Snow tires back then left a lot to be desires. And we still got stuck with those old style snow tire of the 1970's and RWD. Always getting out of the car to push or help others push their cars. Not anymore for me, I want security! It seemed to be expected back then.


I have the same memories of pushing people out of snow as a kid even before I could drive. We enjoyed helping and felt good about. Of course there were a lot more kids in the neighborhoods back then and together we could easily push those big heavy cars out of the snow.

I can't do that anymore.

Re: Chicago area winter tires [Re: tigrpal] #4710478
03/29/18 10:17 AM
03/29/18 10:17 AM
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,950
Chicago, IL
EdwardC Offline
EdwardC  Offline
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,950
Chicago, IL
I live in the city and have snow tires. I've lived here for many years before that and had no issue with regular all seasons, but I do feel more confident with them. Similarly, my wife works odd hours occasionally, so the roads may not be cleaned yet when she's out.

1) Yes
2) Spare wheels. I watch Craigslist for OEM takeoffs, never paid more than $200 for a set of 4 16" alloys. If you have a somewhat common car, odds are good that manufacture has used the same bolt pattern, offset and hub bore for many vehicles. An additional benefit of a second set of wheels is that you can down size (say 18" or 17" down to 16") and get better ride over our winter pot holes while protecting your larger wheels. 16" tires are usually less expensive than the low profile tires as well. I wouldn't worry about mounting and dismounting, for me, it was more for convenience, so I can swap the tires whenever I want, and I don't have to pay someone to dismount, mount, balance. TPMS sensors can add a wrinkle to that, but not a big deal either way.
3) Typically Thanksgiving, and approximately Easter for switch overs.
4) I number each wheel with a small sticker 1-4, then every switch over, I do the standard rotation. I don't rotate the tires any other time of the year.
5) Yes. I keep track in the same spreadsheet I use to track the tire locations. I don't really use the mileage data for much though, my tires are likely to age out before they wear out.


With some of the new "All Weather" tires (the all seasons with the mountain snowflake rating), I've considered switching to those when it's time to replace tires. I still think there's value in having a second set of tires though. I would guess that even if the compound was great for ice, a worn All-Weather tire would still be no good in snow. No replacement for deep tread in some cases. From memory, there are the Nokian WRG3 and Toyo Celsius, but I recall Goodyear and others make them as well.


Edit: Also FYI, I have Firestone Winterforce on my Honda Element and new General Altimax Arctic 12 on the Nissan LEAF. Both are low to mid range snow tires, but they're more than adequate.

Re: Chicago area winter tires [Re: tigrpal] #4710488
03/29/18 10:25 AM
03/29/18 10:25 AM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 12,651
The Motor City
Kestas Offline
Kestas  Offline
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 12,651
The Motor City
I have a dedicated winter car with winter tires for the past 4 years, so I don't have the changeover issue. I can't remember the last time I went slipping and sliding as in decades' past.

I would seriously consider all-season tires. I have no experience, but looking at the treads I see lots of sipes which should be a tremendous help on winter roads. But I doubt they have the soft compound that winter tires have.

Re: Chicago area winter tires [Re: tigrpal] #4710514
03/29/18 11:11 AM
03/29/18 11:11 AM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 8,341
Cincinnati, OH, USA
bullwinkle Offline
bullwinkle  Offline
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 8,341
Cincinnati, OH, USA
Don't get anything studded-they're ILLEGAL in Illinois! I had my MGM up in Rockford a few weeks back, my Goodyear Tripletreds actually did OK in the 2-3 inch snowfall they had when I was up there.


06 Ram 3500 CTD 4X4(FG Venturi), 93 GMC C3500 6.2, 89 F-450 7.3, 98 XJ 4.0(XG8A), 05 xB(XG3600), 18 Transit 3.7, 03 Merc Grand Marquis 4.6 2V(XG2)
Re: Chicago area winter tires [Re: tigrpal] #4710523
03/29/18 11:20 AM
03/29/18 11:20 AM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,693
Idaho
SubLGT Offline
SubLGT  Offline
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,693
Idaho
Originally Posted By: tigrpal
...there is regularly snow and/or slush on the road...


If you rarely encounter ice in Chicago, then an "all weather" tire (such as Nokian WR G4, etc) or a "performance winter" tire (such as Michelin Alpin, etc) will work well on snow, slush, and wet roads. If you desire better ice traction, then look at "ice & snow" tires, like the Blizzak WS80, Nokian R3, Michelin XIce Xi3, etc.

Re: Chicago area winter tires [Re: tigrpal] #4710601
03/29/18 12:43 PM
03/29/18 12:43 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,830
Wisconsin
wallyuwl Offline
wallyuwl  Offline
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,830
Wisconsin
Does Chicago even have a winter anymore?

Re: Chicago area winter tires [Re: tigrpal] #4710616
03/29/18 01:19 PM
03/29/18 01:19 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 5,951
Illinois
SHOZ Offline
SHOZ  Offline
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 5,951
Illinois
I live 100 miles south of Chicago and have used winter tires for the last 15 years. Currently Michelin X-i3s. I live in a rural area. They wear good enough you could use them year around


2008 Hyundai Accent 1.6L 5 sp manual hatchback
2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe Track 2L Turbo 6sp manual
Re: Chicago area winter tires [Re: wallyuwl] #4710619
03/29/18 01:22 PM
03/29/18 01:22 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,388
Chicago,IL,USA
pandus13 Offline
pandus13  Offline
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,388
Chicago,IL,USA
Originally Posted By: wallyuwl
Does Chicago even have a winter anymore?

You mean if we saw white stuff on the ground or how long it took to melt the plowed pile?

P.S. on 294 half the plate numbers I see are WI numbers....


16 Golf SportWagen
13 Mazda5
08 Yaris
04 Elantra
95 accent
95 mystique
97 concorde
Re: Chicago area winter tires [Re: tigrpal] #4710648
03/29/18 02:10 PM
03/29/18 02:10 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 10,979
OH
SatinSilver Offline
SatinSilver  Offline
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 10,979
OH
There's a newer type of tire that's slotted between an all-season and a winter tire called an all weather tire. The advantage being you can keep it mounted all year long. There's a few of them out there now and Goodyear just came out with their version. Called the Goodyear Assurance Weather Ready. I'll post a picture below. Check out tirerack, discounttire, discounttiredirect.com, etc...

Plus there's the Nokian WRG3, Toyo Celsius, Vredestein



Re: Chicago area winter tires [Re: tigrpal] #4710671
03/29/18 02:39 PM
03/29/18 02:39 PM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 2,996
Chicago, IL
Brybo86 Offline
Brybo86  Offline
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 2,996
Chicago, IL
10 years in Chicago, all seasons only with no issues.

Only time I couldn't get out was Superbowl Sunday like 5 years ago when we got 2 ft in about 10 hrs.... that was more a ground clearance issue than tire issue.


08 Honda Accord EX-L 2.4L M1 EP 0w20 145k
01 Kymco People 50
95 Lexus LS400 M1 AFE 0w30 193k
95 Yamaha Jog
Re: Chicago area winter tires [Re: tigrpal] #4710685
03/29/18 02:58 PM
03/29/18 02:58 PM
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 36,638
Great Lakes
Quattro Pete Offline
Quattro Pete  Offline
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 36,638
Great Lakes
Originally Posted By: tigrpal
1. Do many of you put on winter tires in the Chicago area or do you manage with all seasons like I've done?

When I used to live there, I had winter tires for all our vehicles. Depending on which A/S tires you have specifically, you can get by on some of them, but driving on dedicated winter tires is just so much better.

Quote:
2. Do you have a set of dedicated wheels for winter also or do you swap tires on the same wheels? Is it bad for tires to often mount and dismount?

Dedicated wheels and tires for winter. This way I can swap them out in my own garage the night before the first snow storm.

Quote:
3. When do you generally put your winter tires on and then take them off?

Typically around Thanksgiving, sometimes later - see answer to previous question. They come off some time in March, sometimes April if don't have time to swap them sooner.


Quote:
4. Do you mark your tires for rotation purposes? How?
Yes. I normally put little stickers on them to mark which corner they were on last.

Quote:
5. Do you keep track of the miles you put on each set?
Yes, but in my experience age is more critical than miles. I have a set of 8 year old winter Altimax Arctics that still have majority of their tread left, but they don't perform as well anymore, most likely due to soft winter rubber compounds hardening over time.


'02 530i (Edge 0W-40)
'15 Q5 3.0T (Edge 5W-40)
'18 Charger SRT (PUP 0W-40 SRT)
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