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Unread 01-26-2013, 07:08 AM   #1
WingedScapula
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2009 MK Compass 
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 62
Winter Tires: Necessary? Best time to buy?

I've done a lot of driving in the snow, mostly with a FWD car that had regular all-season tires. Never had an issue. Yesterday was my first true commute through poor conditions with the Compass, and I was surprised when I slid a few times. These weren't major slides (and most of them happened when I had the 4x4 disengaged), but that's never a good feeling. My current tires are Hankook Optimo H727's - all season tires, and just a few months old.

Based on what I've read, the majority opinion seems to be that winter tires are more valuable than 4x4. I've never used winter tires before; would you guys agree that they make that much of a difference? I'm a fairly conservative driver, and I'd still drive conservatively even with winter tires.

I'm also pretty sensitive to gas prices and having to fill up more than is necessary. I've read mixed reports about how much winter tires affect fuel efficiency, with some arguing that they don't affect it at all (and that decreased MPGs are a result of other winter factors). Since winter tires are made to have better traction, it would make sense that there's a hit to mileage... Any observations here?

It was really mild last year, so this is my first "real" winter in this area. I'm not looking to purchase winter tires at the moment, as I want to feel it out and see if the weather (and the plowing...) is worse than what I'm used to. Assuming it's bad enough to warrant a set, when is the best time to buy? I'd imagine that it's similar to winter clothes, and there are steep discounts and deals some time around spring. Does anyone have any advice on that?

Thanks all

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Unread 01-26-2013, 07:46 AM   #2
cuemark8
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2007 MK Compass 
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Imler, PA
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I'm likely have more miles on a Jeep Compass than anyone else. 212,700mi and counting. I absolutely swear by snow tires. Amazing difference.
I live in PA where almost everyone seems to have 4x4. My jeep is only FWD. I used only winter tires so far. I have never had any issues.
I also had in the past a Mustang that I drove in thw winter. Once again, never any issues.
Snow tires are worth it for me. I commute alot. Upwards of 40k mi. per year. I look at it as pay now or pay later. You can only use one set of tires at one time. So the "normal" tires appear to last a long time because there not on the vehicle all year. Otherwise I'd be buying "normal" tires sooner. The only extra expense I have is buying another set of wheels. Which I bought used. You make that back by not having to go have tires remounted every season.
I do not own a 4x4 and will not buy one. Gas milesage is better in 4x2 of anything.
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Unread 01-26-2013, 11:05 AM   #3
FujativeOCR
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2011 MK Patriot 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Newfoundland, Center of the Universe
Posts: 878
I grew up in Spokane, Washington, where its mountains and snow all the time. I only ever had front wheel drive up there with studded snow tires. If they are legal where you live, I highly recommend them. I only drive 4 x 4 now because California demands you either have chains or 4 x 4 to go in their mountains with snow.

Having said that, I've slid in all vehicles before. Front, Rear, AWD, and 4wd. Cornering and braking simply takes a different driving style in snow. The only perk ive noticed with 4wd is getting going in deep snow from a stand still, and going uphill without needing momentum first.
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Unread 02-04-2013, 08:19 PM   #4
miketmx
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2008 MK Patriot 
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 257
I'm on the 5th winter season with my Michelin Xice-Xi2 tires and they have been a real improvement over the OEM SRA's that came on our Patriot. These are not very aggressive for deep snow but are pretty good on icy roads and get about the same mileage as All Season tires considering the winter blend of gasoline.
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Unread 02-05-2013, 03:19 PM   #5
NHPATRIOT
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2014 KL Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Exeter, NH
Posts: 363
I personally don't run winter tires despite having some really bad winter conditions here in New England( NH ). Never have seen the need for them in my 30 some years driving here.

I just run a quality all season tire and adjust my driving accordingly based on the conditions. I am more at risk from the other drivers out there with half bald tires, summer only tires, etc..., or who think because they have winter tires and/or or 4WD/AWD, that they can drive like it is sunny and dry than I am from my all season tires.

My Patriot is like a tank in the snow and ice with these new Firestone Destination LE2 tires. I didn't even have problems with the OEM Firestone Affinity tires under normal driving conditions in bad weather. I swapped them out because they couldn't cut it towing my duck boat during the bad weather. Going down hills with 1700lbs of boat behind my 3400 lbs Jeep was quite an adventure.

If snow tires make you more comfortable go for it. If you aren't legally required to run them( or moutain w/ snowflake tires )during winter months, or you have good quality all seasons or all terrains, and you can drive conservatively you shouldn't need them unless you really live in an extreme climate. Again, I have never needed them and can't be bothered with multiple sets of tire and/or rims. Tooo much $$$ and hassle.
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Unread 02-05-2013, 03:19 PM   #6
NHPATRIOT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miketmx View Post
I'm on the 5th winter season with my Michelin Xice-Xi2 tires and they have been a real improvement over the OEM SRA's that came on our Patriot. These are not very aggressive for deep snow but are pretty good on icy roads and get about the same mileage as All Season tires considering the winter blend of gasoline.
A pair of waxed skis would be an improvement over the OE SR-A's.
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