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By First Snowfall it is Already Too Late

Chaos ensues at local tire shops when the snow belt states get their first flurries of the season. Like an animal instinct, the first sign of fluffy white flakes has people running to the garage, stuffing the family hauler with dusty winter rubber and racing off to the installation shop. Problem is, by then it’s already too late.

Winter tires should be installed well in advance of the first snowfall.

Read More: When Should You Put Your Winter Tires On? on AutoGuide.com
 

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I guess it depends where you live and whether a FWD car and how well roads are maintained when it snows. My brother inlaw lives in VT and swears he ahs to mount snow tires to get around. My brother lived in the same town and for years got by easily on FWD all season tires. Personally, unless you have to drive in deep snow and roads not well maintained snow tires are a waste of money, a hassle twice a year and just not needed in most of the US. Like brother in law, many people live in the past when they were really needed on RWD cars and before good all season tires. Psychologically some people also need them to venture out of the house.
 

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On my old RWD junkers I ran retreaded snows on the back all year round. They gave decent traction in dirt, mud and sand and I found myself off road, in a Firebird, a Vega and a 70's Plymouth Fury wagon more often than you'd imagine.

I remember the lines at the one major tire shop we had in our hometown the day of the first flurries. There'd be 20+ cars sitting in line waiting to get their snows mounted. My dad would be among them. :)
 

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Somehow, I'm having a tough time seeing a Trans Am or a Vega sporting M&S in the Summer. That just goes against my sense of understanding. LOL But they were great for drag racing in high school. Drop the pressures, light 'em up! Max traction.
 

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All season tires year round up here and we get feet of snow. If you have common sense and know how to drive, there is no reason for 'snow' tires. Now if I were running some of those ridiculous low profile pieces of garbage, I'd probably have to step up to something with a little more tread come winter.
 

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All season tires year round up here and we get feet of snow. If you have common sense and know how to drive, there is no reason for 'snow' tires. Now if I were running some of those ridiculous low profile pieces of garbage, I'd probably have to step up to something with a little more tread come winter.
I'm just south of you and I had to get snow tires for my Sonata since the crappy 'all weather' radial Hankooks that Hyundai provided were a hazard in the snow.
 

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Winnipegger here. Thought I'd chime in.

Winter tires aren't really about the tread pattern. They're more about the rubber compound. Summer or all season compounds turn into hard, slippery hockey pucks when it gets down to the seasonal average of -20 to -40C around here.

The all seasons I had on my Genesis 4.6 were fine in the snow above -7c. They were HORRIBLE on dry, clean pavement below -30.

Naturally most things are special order for my Genny, so my 235\55R17 winter tires are on back order. (previous old man owner put old man looking aftermarket rims on because he didn't like the larger stock ones...). It's -27C today and I'm dreading the drive home. We'll take my fiancee's '12 Elantra Limited w/Nav to dinner tonight instead of my luxury, Genesis...she's got good winter tires.
 

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i made the mistake of holding out once...never again.

i had old tires that were pretty much shot, but were still useable for dry and wet roads, the winter seemed to be coming on late that year. figured i'd save my brand new winter tires from needless shredding at high temps/dry roads.

the point i realized that was a mistake was the morning we had freezing rain...and then i promptly went into a ditch at 100km/h. i was fine, car was fine. i got very lucky. i even managed to get it out and head back home! called into work for coming in late, and then tossed my tires on.

the stupid thing was they were already sitting in my garage ready to go on wheels....dumb.
 

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Instead of consistently 40 degree temps, I'd be more apt in WI when temps ONLY reach high of 50 or slightly below consistently say sometime in early November, late October. 50 degrees on down does little to wear out the snow tires soft compount tread, but above say 55 degrees, it will. Usually around April 1st the snow tires come off or first or 2nd week in April. So, for me, at least 5 months of the year I have snow tires on. By doing this the last 2 full winters, I have kept my OEM Kumho's which suck in the winter still on the car for over 3 years and 48K miles with about guessing 12K of those 48K on snow tires. I should be able to unless a nail gets into them get 2 more summers on OEM tires lasting 5 years total and about 45-50K miles tops.
 
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