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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As we all know, as has been mentioned here ..often... our cars come equipped standard with summer tires.

My Speed6 currently is under a 2 year lease, although I have started considering buying out the lease at lease-end because I enjoy the car so much and even though I drove a 6s for 3 years before this. But my buyout plan is not set in stone because the Speed3 keeps beckoning....

Anyhow, my orginal plan was to purchase some Blizzaks 215/45/18 to put on the OEM wheels for Winter 2006-2007 and Winter 2007-2008. My lease ends March 2008. I figured that by using the Blizzaks in Winter and the Potenzas in Spring/Summer/Fall, I could get away with just having to buy the Blizzaks and return the car with the original Potenzas.

Wrong! at 11,000 miles, the Potenzas don't look well at all. :irate: I don't even peel out , just chirped 'em occasionally because of AWD. They are still within legal tread... but they look they won't get much past another 5,000 or 6,000 miles. Yikes! So if I buy a set of Blizzaks, more than likly I will have to buy another set of All-Seasons tires or Summer tires anyway before the lease ends and I don't buy out. On a side note, these Potenzas are really starting to scare me on cold days. We have alread had a few days/nights in the low 30s and you can clearly feel the squirminess and rigidness of the tires, particularly if they haven't warmed up.

So now I am considering just forgoing the Blizzaks and going with some Ultra High Performance All-Seasons. We are projected to have a mild winter this year and here in Rhode Island although the weather sucks, it usually only snows 4-6 inches at a time and roads are usually cleared reasonably quickly and remain clear with lots of sand patches. We may get 1-2 "major" storms at with 8-12 inches, and I usually stay home and my job doesn't require me to report to work during Blizzard conditions.

Is it reasonable to say that snow tires like Blizzaks are more of a "luxury" for states like those in Southern New England and the lower Northeast, and more of a requirement for Maine/Vermont and other northern or mountaneous states? Does an an Ultra High Performance All Season tire like the Pirelli PZero M&S suffice for good performance snow conditions such as I described above, and will the All-Wheel-Drive perform prevent me from getting stuck with a tire like the Pirelli? Another drawback with Winter tires I've heard is that performance quickly & signficantly degrades to that of an All-Season because tread depth is one of the main advantages that Winter tires have over A/S tires.

The difference in price is significant. A set of 4 Blizzaks shipped to me from Tirerack would be $819.48. Plus I would probably need to buy another set of Summer or All-Seaons after winter to replace the crappy pre-maturely worn Potenzas. A set of 4 Pirelli PZeros shipped to me would be $539.48.

What are your thoughts on the Winter vs All_Season debate and in my situation what would you do when you consider balancing price vs. performance?
 

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Sounds like you've got your mind made up pretty well already. I think considering you're on just the 2 year lease (more importantly, just a 2 winter lease), that going with all-seasons is not a bad idea.

It'll save you a good amount of money, and though you'll give up some performance at either extreme, it's not the end of the world. Considering the vast majority of cars go all year with fwd and all seasons, I think you'll be OK with a nice all season, awd, and a good head on your shoulders
 

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The Pirelli PZero Nero wasn't tested under snow conditions as was stated in another thread. Unfortunately, the AWD platform will not prevent you from getting stuck with any tire you could possibly have. It's not like a 4X4 locking differential, which possibly also could not prevent you from getting stuck. What I suggest out of personal appeasement is to carry a pair of traction mats in your trunk during the winter, just in case. I personally don't think that Blizzaks are needed where the roads are plowed often, but it is personal preference.
 

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Why not get the Dunlop M3s? They are a high performance snow tire that also works great on dry pavement.

Where I live, snows aren't a luxury at all, they are a requirement.
 

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Based on your situation, I think you'll do just fine in all-seasons. I don't know exactly how long the Pirellis will last in terms of treadlife, but they'll be better on colder days than the summers. If you don't get a ton of snow where you are (unlike where I am :) ), then I think the all-seasons + AWD will do just fine when it does snow.

If I were in your position, I'd get the all-seasons, and would rather sacrifice some traction for all-year durability.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The Pirelli PZero Nero wasn't tested under snow conditions as was stated in another thread. Unfortunately, the AWD platform will not prevent you from getting stuck with any tire you could possibly have. It's not like a 4X4 locking differential, which possibly also could not prevent you from getting stuck. What I suggest out of personal appeasement is to carry a pair of traction mats in your trunk during the winter, just in case. I personally don't think that Blizzaks are needed where the roads are plowed often, but it is personal preference.
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Your post rekindles my curiosity for the AWD performance in snow. As we all know, our car has three AWD modes... Normal, Sport, and Snow. We can't select which mode is in place because a computer automatically detects the required mode.

The MS6 does have a rear limited slip differential , but not a front differential. So does this mean that in snow conditions, perhaps lets say moving up a slight incline, only one front tire will get power and both rears will be powered? Usually enough to get up the incline with a good tire correct?
 

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I couldn't see the system completely cutting power to one wheel under those circumstances. I could see it shifting some of the power from a single front wheel to the others if one of the wheels is running over an ice patch or something akin to that.

Although we do have AWD, there is always a possiblity of getting stuck in snow, even with snow tires. I highly do recommend the traction mats if you are worried about that happening. They are inexpensive and a much quicker remedy than calling a tow.
 

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there is no "system" to cut power to a wheel with a mechanical open differential. the power simply goes to the wheel with the least resistance. that was his point, that the LSD would apportion torque/power properly, but that the open front would result in unequal distribution. If anything, the traction control might brake the one front wheel that does have traction if it is spinning that much faster than the others
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
there is no "system" to cut power to a wheel with a mechanical open differential. the power simply goes to the wheel with the least resistance. that was his point, that the LSD would apportion torque/power properly, but that the open front would result in unequal distribution. If anything, the traction control might brake the one front wheel that does have traction if it is spinning that much faster than the others
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Exactly. Although it sounds rather awkward to picture it being done. I'm wondering if the car would be able to stably proceed forward with only one front wheel with power and 2 rear wheels.
 

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A friend who is a wholesale tire dealer that handles both Pirelli PZeros & a Mastercraft all season recommended the Mastercraft Avenger HP for winter driving here in Tennessee. I've been running them about 6 weeks, as I caught a nail that ruined one of the Bridgestones. So far, they have been great. My price was $75 per tire, but I did get a deal. The are H-rated, but I think I can keep it under 130! Mastercraft and Pirelli were the only all-seasons I could find for exact replacement size.
I'll pick up a new Bridgestone & those will go back on in the spring.
 

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A friend who is a wholesale tire dealer that handles both Pirelli PZeros & a Mastercraft all season recommended the Mastercraft Avenger HP for winter driving here in Tennessee. I've been running them about 6 weeks, as I caught a nail that ruined one of the Bridgestones. So far, they have been great. My price was $75 per tire, but I did get a deal. The are H-rated, but I think I can keep it under 130! Mastercraft and Pirelli were the only all-seasons I could find for exact replacement size.
I'll pick up a new Bridgestone & those will go back on in the spring.
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Not only are the tires H-Rated, the load index is only 89 and the Potenzas are 93. The Pirellis are closer to the Potenzas in speed rating and also have a load index of 93. You now have more car than tire. It is always better (safer) to have more tire than car. Your friend saved you a few bucks, but just downrated your car. Be safe out there.
 

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If you are not driving like a nut job you will be fine on aall seasons.. I have them and drive conservatively no burnouts or launches to really speak of. NO excessively high speeds and craziness other than an occasional run in here and there. I too went without snows and summers and went for all seasons. MY tire guy recommended Continental Extremecontact and I am pleased with them. Had to go with a different siz but there is no speedo difference to speak of, they ride well and preform well as they can. Overall I am satisfied!
 

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Truly high-performance all-seasons (like Toyo Proxes4's) absolutely suck in the snow. On the other hand, all-seasons that are good in the snow generally suck on dry pavement. I'm sure you realize this, but make sure consider what you want compromised least and be aware of the consequences.

You might want to have your alignment checked if your tires wore that fast. Otherwise, that wear is evidence that the load rating of the factory tires isn't nearly high enough. It's a shame, because there aren't any alternative 18" sizes that will still fit on a 7" wide wheel.

For $539.48, I really think you're better off getting a second set of wheels and tires. 17" tires are cheaper. Falken Ziex's are $340 for four, shipped. They're so-so in the snow but good everywhere else. You can sell the wheels when your lease is up and be out less than the $199.48 difference.

235/45/17 tires would be a good match (high load rating, stock diameter) but will be tricky to fit without fender rolling.
 

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I really think you're better off getting a second set of wheels and tires. 17" tires are cheaper. Falken Ziex's are $340 for four, shipped. They're so-so in the snow but good everywhere else. You can sell the wheels when your lease is up and be out less than the $199.48 difference.
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I'm in about the same boat as the thread starter, except I decided to find some used OEM 17" wheels.

I just got my set of 17" stock wheels delivered today. They have tires on them which will need to be replaced. 2 of them are OEM michelin tires which I hear are CRAP (and balded anyways). and the other 2 look pretty good. They are Yoko all season 215/50-17.

I don't know if I want to just find 2 more all seasons, or 4 new tires (to keep the daimeters the same for the awd), and I don't know if I want all seasons or blizzak type winters.

I also don;t know if I want to stay with the 215/50-17 or upsize to anything with a slightly larger daimeter to correct the speedo error.

I've loved blizzaks in the past WHEN IT SNOWED. When there was clear and (ugh) dry roads, I could literally see the rubber flying off :(. I don't care what anyone says, dedicated winter tires will reduce your dry road holding ability and increase your panic stopping distances. One time I got in an accident, and the other insurance company tried to say I was speeding based on my skid marks. But once they found out I had the blizzak tires, they had to re calculate the speed, and it showed then I was going much slower. Plus I shaved off about 25% of the tread in that one panic stop.

So I may just get all season's with good winter characeristics. Don't really know yet....I'm pretty sure we can safely run anything with a 91 or higher load rating.
 

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The Pirellis did quite well for me in some extreme snow (Id seriously doubt you will encounter more difficult conditions than I drove in with these tires) If you are not happy with them, you can always buy another set for summer. But they were suprisingly competent in the snow and I thought they were very respectable on the dry road as well.
 

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I use a set of Nokian WR tires for the winter to keep my mazda6s on the road and in control (as much as possible)... and during the dry/rainy season, i just convert back to the stock michelins until they go bald. Getting as much use out of them as i can!
 

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Posted elsewhere-went to 225/45/18 LM25s and have found dry road traction to be very respectable. I've driven these tires with other cars (Honda Prelude) and tread wear was respectable (certainly better than the stockers, which were down to 2/32 after 8.5k miles). Mine is a 2 year lease and I was able to get the Blizzaks for just over $700, unfortunately installation was nearly $100!!!! I also picked up some RX8 wheels for the summer, so I'll be able to take advantage of really decent prices on 225/45/18 summer tires instead of the outrageous $200 stocker...
 

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If you are not driving like a nut job you will be fine on aall seasons.. I have them and drive conservatively no burnouts or launches to really speak of. NO excessively high speeds and craziness other than an occasional run in here and there. I too went without snows and summers and went for all seasons. MY tire guy recommended Continental Extremecontact and I am pleased with them. Had to go with a different siz but there is no speedo difference to speak of, they ride well and preform well as they can. Overall I am satisfied!
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I just drove with the OEM tires in some ice or actually slush. The car felt much more sure footed than my 2005 f-150 4-wheel drive truck. C'mon people this is an all wheel drive car that should be fine on all-seasons in snow everywhere short of alaska and the artic... This should not be our main concern with all the driveline issues. :swearin:
 

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I recently purchased Hankook Icebear W300's, they are a performance winter tire:

Hankook Icebear W300

Size i got was 225/40R-18V. Price i paid was $220 a tire (Canadian).

This difference between them and the summer tires is night and day...I actually stop on ice when and where i want to, where before i would slide a considerable amout. I live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada where theres usually snow on the ground for 5 months of the year so going to the winter tire instead of an all-season is a no brainer....the tires are worth every penny. Driving on dry roads is a pleasure....almost identicle to my summer tires.
 
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