Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax Arctic LT

Thursday, February 20, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

General Altimax Arctic LT Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.45
 
 

2011 Ram 1500 SLT 4wd
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Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: Saint Albans, VT
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
December 31, 2013

I was unhappy with the performance of my very expensive OEM all-season tires that came with the truck. When I was due for tires it so happened winter was around the corner. I decided to go with a dedicated winter tire and chose these based on reviews and price. After over 1000 miles I can say they are a great tire! I got my tires studded and they handle ice and deep snow very well. Being that I have a pickup with no weights in the bed, the tires still do slip on takeoff when the road surface is slick. However, they do bite in after and provide great traction. Amazing traction at highway speeds on treacherous roads too!

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax Arctic

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

General Altimax Arctic Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.11
 
 

1993 Volvo 2 Series Wagon
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Miles driven on tires: 3,000
Location: Sandusky, OH
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 3,000 Miles on Tires
January 04, 2014

I purchased these tires for my RWD Volvo wagon which already handled great in the snow to increase my winter driving confidence. I also based my purchase off the Tire Rack winter tire video summary and some YouTube videos. After driving our family Minivan in the winter, the difference between all season and snow tires in night and day for me. I would like to just quickly list the things I like about the tires:

Never stuck in deep snow.
Good acceleration.
Stable at highway speeds in snow.
Sidewall is appealing.
Studdable.

Now I did not stud these tires because we rarely deal with ice in Northern Ohio. Most roads are plowed before the snow gets packed down and/or turns to ice.
I never feel like I will get stuck parking in deep snow which is what I see most struggle with in the winter.
I can accelerate off from intersections at normal speeds like I would if the roads were dry which is a plus. No endless tire spin unless I lead foot it.
I also love the fact I can drive at highway speeds with snow cover because of the stability. I have good control and never feel like the car will spin out from under me.

I do have little issues with this tire that are expected if you don't have constant snow cover in your area. This tire is very soft in warmer weather and dry roads. Therefore the steering is mushy and the car seems to sway more on dry roads with hard turning input. The snow handling benefits far outweigh this little issue, but expect less steering response on dry roads.

BOTTOM LINE: Get this tire if you are looking for more confidence driving in the winter. You can still drive just as slow as you did with your all season tires, but you won't have to do so in fear!

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax Arctic

Friday, February 7, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

General Altimax Arctic Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.82
 
 

2012 Mitsubishi Lancer
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Miles driven on tires: 5,000
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 5,000 Miles on Tires
January 08, 2014

Purchased a set for my GT since the stock dunlops are a piece of crap during winter.
All I can say is WOW. We have been hit with a lot of snow since last month and all I can say is that I have TOTAL CONFIDENCE in these tires and made my driving a heck of a lot easier.

Dry Traction is good. Noise level is waay quiet compared to the stock dunlops which when traveling at high speeds sound like you are being chased by an ambulance.
Wet Traction is very good.
Freezing rain/ice traction is superb. My tires are not studded (which would help traction during these conditions) but it performed waay better than I expected.

Light snow traction is outstanding.
Deep snow traction is outstanding as well. I was very lazy on shoveling my driveway so it left a very deep chunk of snow which I had no problem getting in and out of. My other car has the continental dws which got stuck entering our driveway :)

Overall, I am very happy with these tires. Save your money and buy these instead of the blizzaks!

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax Arctic

Friday, February 7, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

General Altimax Arctic Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.88
 
 

1990 Volvo 780 Coupe
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Miles driven on tires: 400
Location: West Boylston, MA
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 400 Miles on Tires
December 27, 2013

If you are a fan of the Gislaved Nordfrost tire, but you either can't find them or they are too expensive, look no further. This IS the Nordfrost III tire as cast with the General Tire brand.

Anyone who knows about the Volvo 780 Bertoné knows it is a fair weather car. But with these tires (studded) I am fully confident again in winter driving. These replaced my Toyo snow tires which had horrible damp/moist road traction. More than one I had sever oversteer in cornering with VERY light throttle. With these Generals, the exact same corner with similar or even wetter conditions held up much better.

I had these studded and to be honest with the windows open at slow speeds, it sounds like one is driving on a gravel road. But the satisfaction of mounting a crest with a RWD vehicle while others even with AWD are foundering makes me feel like I made the right choice.

I chose studded tires as part of my daily commute includes an area prone to black ice that does not get salted as it adjoins a watershed. The Toyos were "okay" with their "walnut embedded grit" but the studded tires are superior.

Best of all, in stopping these actually allow my older ABS system to function even in snow. Cornering performance is also much improved. It's all good that you can "go" in snow, but stopping and avoiding is just as important. Something many people tend to forget when deciding what tires to choose for snow. IMO, All-Season tires are *NOT* adequate replacements for snow tires.

Note to those interested in studding. They are noisy. If you are sensitive to road noise, or do not live in a salt restricted area with a lot of frozen run-off, you probably don't need to stud the tires. BUT, they do make a difference in emergency stopping.

Another note, if these are using the same tread compound as Nordfrost tires, you really need to stop using them if temperatures are averaging above 40-50° otherwise they can wear out faster than expected.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax Arctic

Friday, February 7, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

General Altimax Arctic Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.1
 
 

2003 Toyota Corolla LE
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Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: Concord, OH
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
December 17, 2013

Got a set of these for my corolla and had em studded. I absolutely LOVE driving in the snow with them !!!!! My wife thinks I am crazy !!!! I feel more confident driving with these tires than driving a all wheel drive vehicle. 65 mph on the freeway, no problem !!!! Start and stop on a dime even in ice!!!!! The noise from the studs takes awhile to get used to but it is worth the tradeoff. I will Never drive in the winter without them!!!!! Get them studded and have some FUN !!!!!

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Firestone Winterforce

Monday, February 3, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Firestone Winterforce Reviewer's Overall Rating: 5.67
 
 

2012 Ford Focus 5-Door
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Miles driven on tires: 1,000
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Driving Condition:

Average


Initial Review, 1,000 Miles on Tires
January 02, 2014

Decent snow performance. I'm not sure what to make of the people who seem to claim that they have little to no slippage in snow with the tire. Don't expect miracles. I did and I'm a little disappointed.

In deep snow, the tires are good enough to clear the snow out of the way. I don't fear getting stuck in 4 inches of snow like I did on all-seasons. I don't hesitate to park in the curb lane in 4+ inches of slushy snow. In lighter snow, it's very good. Good acceleration, braking, and cornering. Still some slippage but it's minimal. On packed snow or ice, the wheels slip a decent amount but it's predictable. Braking, especially, seems much better than all-seasons.

With these tires, the behavior--especially on packed snow--is very much more sensitive to driver inputs. Any braking or acceleration during any kind of cornering can cause the car to lose traction. I even experience lift-off oversteer on occasion (not used to that in a FWD car). It takes some getting used to trusting the tire to grip and braking when you might want to.

Tires are much quieter than I expected (not studded). They have a lot of flex when new--there's a noticeable delay between turning the wheel and turning.

Break-in period is FOR REAL! It snowed the day I had them installed and then multiple times in the first couple of weeks. The performance was worse than my bad all-seasons were for the first couple of snow storms. They slowly improved over the first 500-750 miles. At (a little over) 1000 miles on them, they don't seem to be improving any more.

Overall, they're better than all season tires, no doubt. This is my first set of winter tires. I'm glad I got them and they're a good price. I'll probably try out a different winter tire next time to see if other tires perform better.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Winter Carving

Monday, February 3, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Pirelli Winter Carving Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.36
 
 

2005 BMW X3 3.0I
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Miles driven on tires: 3,000
Location: Linden, VA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 3,000 Miles on Tires
December 27, 2013

These tire are studdded, always run studs. About my 10th set of snow tires. This is a review relative to other studded snow tires, not all seasons or summer performance. Traction on ice, snow and slush is absolute under extremes of grade and angle on mountain roads. Also the best on muddy lanes, logging roads and fields, really good in mud, thou the BMW x3 doesn't have the ground clearance for serious off roading. It is also the most comfortable tire. The trade off is tread flex, doesn't hold a tight corner when driven hard, have to drive dry tight turns like a normal person. Have had better dry cornering winter treads, but I like the superior bad condition traction of this tire more.

 

Pirelli Makes Some of the Best Winter Tires for 2013

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 by Gary Stanley

Pirelli doesn't just make performance tires like the P Zero line, they also produce world class winter / snow tires for a range of vehicles from small cars and high performance sports cars to large SUVs, trucks and crossover vehicles. So, whether you need affordable studded snow tires for your Honda Civic, performance snow tires for your BMW 3 Series or tires for the family's SUV for ski trips, Pirelli has you covered!

 Pirelli Winter Carving
Pirelli Winter Carving
 Pirelli Scorpion Winter
Pirelli Scorpion Winter
 Pirelli Winter SottoZero 3
Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3


The Pirelli Winter Carving is a Studdable Winter / Snow tire made in a variety of sizes for those looking for a traditional studdable snow tire. With or without studs, the Winter Carving represents a great value in a traditional studdable winter tire. Note, that while studded tires are not the quietest tires, they do offer great snow and ice traction. To learn more about about using studded tires, read "Studded Tires for Winter Driving."

Pirelli's Scorpion Winter is an outstanding choice for crossovers, trucks and SUVs. It features an Ecoimpact icon branded on the sidewall to highlight the tire's contribution to the environment with regards to energy efficiency, clean air and low noise. The tire is designed to deliver low temperature wintertime driving performance by combining predictable handling on dry and wet roads with traction in snow and on ice.

Drivers looking for a high performance winter tire that will provide some winter traction for better dry road grip and steering response should consider the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3. The tire was developed with the philosophy that winter tires must perform in a variety of unpredictable weather conditions.

All three tires feature aggressive, directional tread patterns for great water and snow/slush evacuation. Looking for winter aftermarket alloy wheels or steel wheels to mount your winter tires on? Check out "Steel Wheels Available at Tire Rack" for some great options.

Best Winter Tires 2013

Friday, December 13, 2013 by Colin .

As we enter into the winter months, it's important to have tires that will give you the best traction possible. The following tires should be considered by drivers who experience harsh winter weather and travel on snow- and ice-covered roads.  

Bridgestone

The Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 is still one of the best winter / snow tires on the market. It rates highly in ice traction against other leading winter tires and also provides excellent snow traction. Bridgestone also offers a similar tire marketed toward trucks, sport utility vehicles and crossovers, named the Blizzak DM-V1.

Blizzak DM-V1 tires use Bridgestone's Multicell Z compound featuring microscopic bubbles and tubes to absorb the thin film of water that forms as tires run over packed snow and ice, while micro bite particles contribute to the edge effect that improves grip on packed snow and icy surfaces. It also incorporates advanced 3D Wash Board Z Sipe technology that increases both block stiffness for handling in the dry and increases the biting edge effect on frozen surfaces.

Michelin

Michelin's leading winter tire is the X-Ice Xi3. This Studless Ice & Snow tire was developed for the drivers of coupes, sedans, family vans and small crossover vehicles that are looking for ice and snow traction along with predictable handling in cold, dry and wet wintry conditions. It also meets Michelin's Green X standard for low rolling resistance and confirms the tire's contribution to reducing vehicle fuel consumption and emissions of CO2 gases. The X-Ice Xi3 is designed to take on ice and snow while providing lasting winter performance.


Bridgestone Blizzak WS70

Michelin X-Ice Xi3

Dunlop Winter Maxx


Dunlop

Dunlop is offering a new tire this year with the release of the Winter Maxx. We tested the tire on ice and it performed well. After comparing the tire against the Blizzak WS70, Continental ExtremeWinterContact and Michelin X-Ice Xi3, we determined the tire matched with the best tires on ice. 

The Winter Maxx's Digital Rolling Simulation technology helps optimize tread pattern stiffness to enhance footprint pressure distribution for improved grip. Snow platform indicators are molded into the Winter Maxx tread grooves to inform the driver when beneficial ice and snow traction will be reduced as the tread wears away. Winter Maxx tires also are designed to increase confidence in cool and cold driving conditions as they enhance traction in slush, snow and on ice.

General

The AltiMAX Arctic has been around for many years and is still one of our popular sellers. We have tested the tire studded and unstudded and it delivers excellent wintertime traction in the snow and on ice. For its price, it's a great value for many drivers.

To view all winter options available for your car, shop by vehicle.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax Arctic

Friday, December 6, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

General Altimax Arctic Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.2
 
 

2005 Pontiac Vibe
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Miles driven on tires: 500
Location: Sturbridge, MA
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 500 Miles on Tires
November 16, 2013

I ordered these tires on line knowing that the tires were studdable , but came already studded and they are extremely loud without any snow cover on the ground. I am not happy with the fact that I have to live with the noise or have the studs taken out

 

Comparing the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70, LM-32 and LM-60

Thursday, November 7, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

When shopping for winter / snow tires, it's important to know whether you need a Studless Ice & Snow tire like the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 or a Performance Winter / Snow tire like the Blizzak LM-32 or Blizzak LM-60. Tires in each performance category are designed to function differently in the winter and it's best to know the difference between the two before you decide which tire to purchase.

 Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
 Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32
Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32
 Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60
Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60


Studless Ice & Snow tires, like the Blizzak WS70, are designed for the driver who wants to maximize snow and ice traction without the inconvenience of using studs. These tires were developed to meet challenging winter driving conditions around the world by delivering studded-like snow and ice traction without employing studs. They also feature pliable tread compounds molded into purposeful tread designs that trade some handling in dry and wet conditions to deliver excellent winter traction.

The Performance Winter / Snow category features the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32 and LM-60. Tires in this category are designed for drivers who want enhanced dry road handling from their winter / snow tires and are willing to trade some snow and ice traction to get it. Performance snow tires were originally developed for winter driving on European highways where high-speed driving on clear roads must be combined with traction on snow-covered roads. The LM-32 is offered in both a standard and run-flat (RFT) version.

The Bridgestone Blizzak line of winter / snow tires is a name synonymous with the best snow and ice traction. To learn more about the Blizzak tires, read "Bridgestone Blizzak FAQs."

Best Winter / Snow Tires for a BMW 335i

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 by Colin .

Just like any vehicle, a BMW 335i will really benefit from running winter tires during the colder months. Even if you own the all-wheel drive model, a winter tire will help you steer and stop with confidence in snow and on ice. The most popular winter tires we offer to BMW customers come from Bridgestone, Michelin and Dunlop. Offerings in this category for the 335i are divided into two performance categories.


Performance Winter / Snow

Tires in this category will keep a lot of the handling you enjoy from your 335i but still provide very good winter traction. The main disadvantage to performance winter tires is that they won't have the same level of ice and snow traction as Studless Ice & Winter tires. If you live in an area that doesn't see large amounts of snow and ice or where the roads are normally plowed, this may be the best category for you.  

Studless Ice & Snow

Studless Ice & Snow tires are designed for drivers who want to maximize snow and ice traction without using winter tire studs (if you're interested in studded tires, check out tires in the Studdable Winter / Snow category). These tires will maximize your snow and ice traction by trading in some handling in dry and wet conditions. Some models exhibit this more than others, but none of them offer the precise steering response and cornering stability as a Performance Winter / Snow tire.

Purchasing a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package will give you the convenience of switching your tires on your own and ability to downsize your wheels and tires. Downsizing often reduces your overall cost and opens up more options in winter tires. Also, narrower tires will give you better winter traction than a wider option, so if you have a staggered wider rear set-up, switching to a square narrower set-up will help.  

For more help selecting the proper winter tire, read "Size Selection of Winter / Snow Tires."

Do Studdable Winter / Snow Tires Come Studded?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

"When I purchase a set of Studdable Winter / Snow tires, will they arrive studded or unstudded?" All studdable winter tires we sell can be sent with or without studs installed. It's important to note that only new tires that have never been driven on can be studded. Tires already driven on cannot be studded nor re-studded.

Studdable Winter / Snow tires without studs are still effective winter tires and many drivers choose not to stud them. If you desire a higher level of traction due to challenging conditions, studs can be added to any tires in this performance category for a $15 charge. 

When placing your order online, simply check the box to add studs when prompted in the checkout.  Because studdable tires are manufactured with different tread depths, studs are manufactured in different lengths that must be matched to the depth of the holes molded in the tire. We will select the correct gauge of stud for your specific tire and ship them out with the studs pressed in.

A Studdable Winter / Snow tire's tread is often lubricated to facilitate stud installation, therefore a special tool is inserted into the molded hole, spreading the tread rubber, and inserting the stud towards the bottom of the hole and retracting. With the stud inserted, the tread rubber compresses around the stud's flat head and cylindrical housing to hold it in place. Because it takes some time for the lubricant to evaporate and the tread rubber to securely compress around the stud, new studded tires require a break-in period.

Some states prohibit studded winter tires completely or restrict them to seasonal use. Check with local law enforcement officials to confirm restrictions in your area.

To learn more about using studded tires in the colder months, read "Studded Tires for Winter Driving."

Best Winter / Snow Tires for 2013-2014

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 by Colin .

Now's the time to purchase your winter / snow tires! Winter tires are offered in three performance categories: Performance Winter / Snow, Studless Ice & Snow and Studdable Winter / Snow.

Performance Winter / Snow tires are for drivers who want enhanced dry road handling and are willing to trade some snow and ice traction to get it. Studless Ice & Snow tires are designed for those who want to maximize snow and ice traction without the inconvenience of using winter tire studs. Studdable Winter / Snow tires provide basic snow traction and/or the additional security by adding optional winter tire studs to enhance traction on ice.

Bridgestone

The Blizzak WS70 and DM-V1 are ranked highly in the Studless Ice & Snow category and continue to score well in our customer feedback. We've been the largest single source of Blizzak studless winter / snow tires in the United States since their introduction in 1993 and have always been impressed with their traction on ice and in snow.   

Dunlop

Dunlop is replacing their very popular Performance Winter / Snow SP Winter Sport 3D with the SP Winter Sport 4D. The tires were developed for sports cars, coupes and sedans that come from the factory equipped with low profile tires mounted on large diameter alloy wheels. They provide dry, wet and snow-covered road competence by delivering traction throughout winter's cold temperatures. Also, when you purchase a set of four SP Winter Sport 3D or 4D winter tires before the end of the year, you can receive a $60 mail-in rebate. View special offer details here.

Michelin

In the Studless Ice & Snow category, take a look at Michelin's X-Ice Xi3, and if you own a light truck or SUV, consider their Latitude X-Ice Xi2. Both tires provide good ice and snow traction, along with predictable handling in cold, dry and wintry conditions. The X-Ice Xi2 meets Michelin's Green X standard for low rolling resistance that contributes to reducing vehicle fuel consumption and emissions from CO2 gases.

View all the brands of winter / snow tires we carry and find the one that's right for your vehicle.

Best Studded Winter/Snow Tires

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 by Steve Huffman

It's that time of year again. Time to get ready for the inevitable snow and ice that awaits drivers in Canada and parts of the United States. Tire Rack has several winter / snow tire options for just about any vehicle. Some drivers, however, prefer a studded tire. These tires do particularly well in rural and mountainous areas, as well as places that see their fair share of packed snow and ice. Studs can provide better bite on ice. If you're looking for one of the better studded winter tires, consider the following options.

Our most popular Studdable Winter / Snow tire is the Firestone Winterforce. This tire has been around for several seasons and has a proven track record. It has a very aggressive and deep directional tread design that helps it plow through the elements.

General's AltiMAX Arctic is another great option worth looking at. This tire does so well on its own that many drivers decide to drive on them without using studs. It can accommodate the use of optional metal studs and is designed to offer high levels of traction at low temperatures.

New for the 2013 winter season is the Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter. Here is another deep, aggressive and directional treaded tire capable of taking on the winter elements. Designed for coupes, sedans, minivans, crossovers, SUVs and light-duty pickup trucks, the tire allows for alternating rows of optional metals studs that can be added in the shoulder and intermediate tread blocks to increase traction on hard-packed snow and icy roads.

Finally, Pirelli's Winter Carving can be studded to give you the additional traction you're looking for. While designed to accept tire studs, it can also be used without studs if desired. Winter Carving radials are designed to perform in wet and dry conditions, as well as enhance overall traction in snow and on ice.

Firestone Winterforce
Firestone
Winterforce
General Altimax Arctic
General AltiMAX
Arctic
Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter
Goodyear Ultra Grip
Winter
Pirelli Winter Carving Edge
Pirelli Winter
Carving


Always be sure to install Studdable Winter / Snow tires in sets of four.

Best All-Terrain Tires for Winter

Thursday, October 17, 2013 by Steve Huffman

Do you own a pickup truck or large SUV and need an aggressive tire? Or possibly you're getting ready for hunting season or snow plowing and need new tires. If you're looking for an aggressive tire that can also go off-road while still performing on the streets, then look at options in the On-/Off-Road All-Terrain category. Some options are branded with the severe winter mountain/snowflake symbol and can even be studded to provide added traction.

New for 2013 is the Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar. Just one look at this tire and you can see how well it will churn through the snow. It's heavily siped which will certainly help with the grip on ice. The sidewall rubber compound features Goodyear’s Durawall Technology to protect the polyester cord body by resisting cuts, punctures, scuffing and abrasion.

Another great option is the General Grabber AT 2. This tire consistently rates well by our customers and is very aggressive. It has tremendously deep tread depth and can plow through deep snow. The tread blocks feature multiple traction edges and sipes, and are molded to accept optional metallic studs to increase wintry weather traction.

Finally, the BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO is worth a look. This tire has been around for quite some time, but more importantly, it's a solid performer and does very well in the snow. Its aggressive tread design easily goes through deep snow and will keep you trucking along to your destination.

Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar
Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar
General Grabber AT 2
General Grabber
AT 2
BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO
BFGoodrich All-Terrain
T/A KO


Shop by vehicle to see all tires available for your application.

Which Winter Performance Category Is Right for You?

Thursday, October 10, 2013 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Are you in the blue? Then it's time to find the winter / snow tire that works best for your vehicle. In order to purchase the correct snow tire, you should decide which performance category works best for your driving style and the winter weather you experience. There are three winter performance categories: Studless Ice & Snow, Studdable Winter / Snow and Performance Winter / Snow.

Studless Ice & Snow

Tires from this category give you optimum ice and packed snow grip, but are less responsive on dry roads. The tires trade a little handling for excellent ice and snow traction. On dry roads, your vehicle will not respond as crisply or quickly to steering inputs. Studless Ice & Snow tires are available in higher profile sizes and include the following:

If you go with a Studless Ice & Snow tire, you should consider going with a narrower tire as it cuts through deeper snow better. This is especially true for a lighter car like the MINI Cooper.

Studdable Winter / Snow

Studdable Winter / Snow tires can be run studded or unstudded. When studded, they'll give good ice and packed snow grip, but will be less responsive on dry roads. When unstudded, they'll perform well in moderate and deep snow. It's important to note that the use of studded tires may be prohibited or restricted in your area, be sure to check with local authorities to confirm legality. If you're looking for the traditional security of winter tire studs for enhanced traction on ice, consider the following Studdable Winter / Snow options:

The AltiMAX Arctic is slightly better on ice and packed snow and quieter than the the Winterforce. Winterforce tires will provide more effectiveness in deeper snow.

Performance Winter / Snow

These tires will exhibit the above dry road deficiencies to a much lesser degree. If your vehicle came with summer performance tires, the Performance Winter / Snow tires will be more comparable in steering response, acceleration, grip, braking and cornering grip. They will give up some ice and packed snow grip. Tires in this category will wear slightly better compared to Studless Ice & Snow tires, especially during the early and late winter days when temperatures are a little warmer. All winter / snow tires will have more tread noise and this will vary from tire to tire. Performance Winter / Snow tires do tend to be quieter than the other performance categories.

Available in lower profile sizes, the following Performance Winter / Snow tires are great options:

Is a Studless Ice & Snow, Studdable Winter / Snow or a Performance Winter / Snow tire right for your vehicle? It depends on your car, where you live, how you drive on dry roads and how you want to balance the above compromises. For example, my brother lives in Marion, Indiana, which is about an hour northeast of Indianapolis. He got the Bridgestone Blizzak WS60 Studless Ice & Snow tire in 235/40R18 on Sport Edition A7 wheels for his 2008 BMW M3. He chose this tire because central Indiana is more apt to get ice storms and there's the potential for heavier snow that wouldn't be quickly cleared from the country roads between his offices. He's willing to drive slower on dry roads.

Compare my brother's driving situation with another driver from Louisville with the same car but a heavier foot, he would be better served with the Performance Winter / Snow Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D tires in 235/40R18 front and 255/40R18 rear. Louisville's milder weather allows him to emphasize dry road performance, but still have emergency snow capability.

Let it snow.

 

Get the Most Life Out of Your Studdable Winter / Snow Tires

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 by Neal O'Neal

Studdable Winter / Snow tires are used by many who experience harsher than average winters in far north climates or higher altitudes. Introduced in the 1960s, studs help enhance winter traction on ice-covered roads. They chip the icy surface through vehicle weight and centrifugal forces while driving. Studs consist of two primary parts. A tungsten carbide pin is the element that protrudes beyond the tire tread and contacts the pavement surface. The outside part of the stud is a cylindrical metal jacket or body that is held in the tire tread rubber by a flange at the base.

This type of winter / snow tire requires a bit more maintenance and break-in compared to others. As studded tires are driven, the studs are designed to wear at a rate similar to the tread rubber. Below are some helpful tips in getting the most life out of these tires.

  • Slow driving, typically no faster than 31 mph without hard acceleration, aggressive cornering and hard braking is recommended for approximately the first 60 miles. This allows the studs to seat properly.
  • Do not exceed 62 mph for the next 250 miles. This allows the lubricant used to install the studs time to evaporate and the rubber to conform to the stud. If driven too fast, even after a break-in period, you risk ejecting the stud from the tire.
  • Rotate at the beginning of every winter season or every 4,000 miles, whichever comes first. The rolling direction of the tire should not be changed. This means rotating the tires front to rear on the same side.

For more information on Studdable Winter / Snow tires, read "Studded Tires for Winter Driving."

New Studded Snow Tires? Make Sure to Break Them In Properly.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013 by Ben Rooney

Pirelli Winter Carving Edge Studdable Winter TireAll tires should be broken in with easy driving for the first few hundred miles, however studded winter / snow tires require special care during the break-in period. Proper break-in will ensure that all of your studs stay in the tires and they stay at the proper depth.

When a tire is studded, the studs are pushed into holes much smaller than the diameter of the barrel of the stud. This requires a fair bit of force and a lubricating solution to facilitate the installation. They are inserted so that the barrel of the stud is flush with the surface of the tire and only the small pin is protruding. The force of the installation stretches the rubber slightly and the lubricating solution does not evaporate immediately. This means that the studs may be prone to moving in or out to an improper depth or even coming completely out of the tire.

It's important to drive at speeds of 30 mph or lower for the first 60 miles after installation.This will allow the rubber to grip the studs tightly and the lubricating solution to evaporate.

Whatever winter / snow tires you choose (studded or studless), a few hundred miles of relatively easy driving is recommended to allow the mold release compounds to wear off and the various internal components to begin working harmoniously. The especially gentle break-in for studded tires counts towards this normal break-in period.

For more information on what to do after installing your new snow tires, read "Breaking In New Winter Tires."