Go Play in the Snow

Friday, January 10, 2014 by Ben Rooney

This winter I put a new set of Michelin X-Ice Xi3 tires on before our first serious snow of the year. The Xi3 provides a nice balance of excellent ice and snow traction with reasonable road manners. Winter here in Indiana spans many months, however we can often experience long stretches without snow and ice.

Having a fresh set of winter / snow tires on my car takes nearly all the stress out of winter travel. As long as the snow isn't too deep for the car to get through, I trust myself to get through most conditions without an issue. I've been using snow tires on my cars for years, but it has been a while since I had to purchase a new set. And of course, the technology is always improving. This new set is a big upgrade over my previous set of winter tires.

X-Ice Xi3 tires feature Michelin's FleX-Ice silica-based winter tread compound that provides firmness at higher temperatures for wet and dry road stability, while it remains flexible at lower temperatures to enhance packed snow and ice traction. The compound is molded into a directional tread design that helps evacuate water and slush for improved hydroplaning resistance. Snow platform indicators are molded into the X-Ice Xi3's tread grooves to make the driver aware of when ice and snow traction will be reduced as the tire's tread reaches the point where the remaining tread depth becomes less effective in deep snow.

If you've been grinding it out to the bitter end on your old winter tires, a fresh set will be a refreshing change. And if you have not used winter tires before, they will give you a completely new perspective on winter driving. Have fun and drive safely!

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