Ready or Not Winter 2017 is Coming

Last winter definitely started out slowly, but eventually January came round and winter got serious. Are you living in the snowbelt and wondering how bad the winter of 2017 is going to be? Nobody really knows, but we do know it's coming.

Do you need to run winter / snow tires? If you're in a region that normally averages over a foot of snow, you should strongly consider installing winter tires. Dedicated snow tires will enhance an all-wheel drive vehicle's winter capability, make an intrinsically "bad-in-snow" car better and improve safety in that family sedan, SUV or minivan.

All-wheel drive, ABS (Anti-Lock Brakes) and traction control help, but no car maker can manufacture traction. All-wheel drive will help get you going, however you'll need proper snow grip to stop and turn. Since innate snow prowess and overall performance will vary by vehicle, select a tire from the performance category that works best for your vehicle, your driving temperament and local weather. The three major performance categories are: Studless Ice & Snow, Studdable Winter / Snow and Performance Winter / Snow.

Studless Ice & Snow tires give you optimum ice and packed snow grip, but are less responsive on dry roads. Theses tires trade a little clear road handling precision for their high level of snow and ice traction.

Studless Ice & Snow tires tend to be available in higher profile sizes and include the following:

Passenger Light Truck/SUV
BF Goodrich Winter Slalom KSI Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1
Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2
Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 Bridgestone Blizzak W965
Continental WinterContact SI Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice WRT SUV
Dunlop Winter Maxx Michelin LTX Winter
Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice WRT Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2
Michelin X-Ice Xi3 Yokahma Geolandar I/T G072
Pirelli Ice Zero FR Yokohama iceGUARD iG51v
Yokohama iceGUARD iG20  
Yokohama iceGUARD iG52c  


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, but there are exceptions to the rule as discussed in detail here.

Studdable Winter / Snow tires can run studded or unstudded. When studded, they provide good ice and packed snow grip but are less responsive on dry roads. When unstudded, these tires perform well in moderate and deep snow, yet do not match the ice traction of tires in the Studless Ice & Snow category. It's important to note that the use of studded tires may be prohibited or restricted in your area, so be sure to check with local authorities to confirm legality.

Looking for the traditional security of winter tire studs for enhanced traction on ice? Consider the following Studdable Winter / Snow options:

Passenger Light Truck/SUV
General AltiMAX Arctic Firestone Winterforce LT
Goodyear Utra Grip Winter Firestone Winterforce UV
Firestone Winterforce General Grabber Arctic
  General Grabber Arctic LT

Performance Winter / Snow tires exhibit 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 give up some ice and packed snow grip to achieve it. Tires in this category wear slightly better compared to Studless Ice & Snow tires, especially during the early and late winter days when temperatures are a little warmer.

Available in lower profile sizes, the following Performance Winter / Snow tires are worth a look:

Passenger Light Truck/SUV
Bridgestone Blizzak LM-25 RFT Pirelli Scorpion Ice & Snow
Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32 Pirelli Scorpion Ice & Snow Run Flat
Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60 RFT Pirelli Scorpion Winter
Bridgestone Blizzak LM001 Pirelli Scorpion Winter Run Flat
Dunlop Winter Sport 3D  
Dunlop Winter Sport 4D  
Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4  
Pirelli Winter Snowcontrol Serie 3 (W190)  
Pirelli Winter Sottozero (W210/240)  
Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3  
Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 Run Flat  
Pirelli Winter Sottozero Serie II (W210/240/270)  
Pirelli Winter Sottozero Serie II Run Flat (W210/240/270)  

Create a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package now and you'll be ready for whatever Mother Nature throws your way.

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