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Because of some spirited driving, my stock Michelin Pilot tires are nearly bald. With winter coming up, I need to do something. I looked at tirerack.com (usually pretty good pricing), and they want $199 apiece for factory replacement (V speed rating) tires. I could cheat a little bit and buy the H speed rated tires for only $159 apiece. Truthfully folks, short of pushing it off a very tall cliff, do you honestly think a stock Mazda 6 could actually exceed 130 MPH? Even if it could, would you actually drive that fast on public roads? Anyone who claims they would is either lying or retarded.

But anyway, I wanted to look at the viability of buying a set of dedicated snow tires and wheels, and then in the spring buy a set of better summer tires.

The stock Michelins, besides being expensive, are a compromise. They are very average on snow. They are very average on dry pavement. Why not buy a dedicated set of snow tires (a good model snow tire for the stock 17" rim can be had for as little as $110 or $120 apiece).

I am 90% there with my decision. Wanted to see what experience anyone has had.

Thanks all, have a good weekend.


"Isn't that the worst thing you can do to a person; to have no expectations of them whatsoever?"
-Dennis Miller
 

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The Pilots are worthless, no matter what the weather. That's why I'm trying to wear mine out ASAP! :)

Since Syracuse is world-famous for the s-word, I knew the Pilots weren't going to cut it during the winter. So I purchased 4 16" steelies with Michelin Pilot Alpin PA2 winter tires from Tirerack. The combo (two years ago) ran me about $650. By far, the best purchase I ever made for the 6. The Michelins, unlike the OEM tires, pulls me through 6" of snow like a tank. I've driven on a packed-snow-covered highway with NO traction problems, even passing SUVs with their "high and mighty" 4WD. Plus, the PA2s are H-speed rated, and are considered Performance Winter tires by Tirerack, meaning they give up a slight amount of ultimate snow traction for better performance on dry pavement. Unlike other snow tires, they don't feel rubbery or squirrely on dry pavement at 75 MPH, but still have excellent traction through snow and slush-covered roads.

My recommendation: Get a dedicated set of 16" wheels (steelies or something inexpensive) and 205-60R16 snow tires. That's the OEM size for the 16" wheels, and having a dedicated wheel set means less wear-and-tear on yout rims from changing tires twice per year. Yes, you'll pay extra for the wheels, but 16" tires are sometimes 2/3rds the price of 17" tires, and if you get charged $20 per wheel to swap out the tires twice per year, you'd pay off a set of steelies in two years, and have more to show for it. Plus, if you have a floorjack and jackstands, you can even swap the winter wheels/tires out yourself, instead of making an appointment with the local tire shop two days AFTER the first blizzard hits. :)

Next spring, get a GOOD set of 17"rubber. Trust me, just about everything else out there is better than the craptastic Pilots.
 
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