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Snow Tires vs Summer Tires

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#1
Hi All.

Those of you wanting snows. The company distributing a set for the Stinger in Canada is Durham Kia. The Tires are Ovations, a specialty brand for high performance snow tire sizes. They are on steel wheels. The full set is $800. Incredible deal if you need the skins.

In my case I was shocked when my GT Limited showed up with summer tires. I thought along with the rear seat heaters, the Canadian cars would come with UHP all seasons. But no. I was mad at my dealer that sold me some upgrades like gap insurance and yes the stupid paint protector, but didn't tell me about the need for snows.

Those of you driving on snowy highways to ski chalets or in the off hours when speed is needed, get snow tires. Those of you driving at 5 mph when it snows in city commuter traffic and on salted and ploughed superhighway, be aware of my take on snows below:

Lots of research, lots of conversations. Lots of recent snowfalls. I've decided I'm driving year round on the summer tires. The AWD combined with a 4000 lb car makes getting around easy. As in NO PROBLEM. Just make sure to drive slower and brake sooner, which you should be doing with snows anyway. My experience is city commuting and when it snows everybody goes 5mph. So I see no benefit in snows unless I can't make an adjustment for the conditions. I can make that adjustment and the added risk of moral hazard makes the point for snows moot.

I hear warnings about summer tires cracking in low temps etc, but frankly I don't believe them. I don't see anything in the manual or in the tire specs that say the operating temp is limited to above freezing temps. If that were the case there would be warnings all over the tires and in the manual.

So I'm saving $2000, taking it easy, and reminding myself that manufacturers and dealers and tire guys will try scare the devil out of you to buy their tires. You'll be risking your life!
 

Kazz

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#2
I've not taken the time to look, but if you'll do the homework on the summer tires, you'll likely see the manufacturer saying that those tires are "dangerous" at under 40 degrees Fahrenheit. At least that's been my experience with most summer tire compounds.
 
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#3
I've not taken the time to look, but if you'll do the homework on the summer tires, you'll likely see the manufacturer saying that those tires are "dangerous" at under 40 degrees Fahrenheit. At least that's been my experience with most summer tire compounds.
I have checked with Michelin on this and they warn that driving with these summer tires in freezing conditions can cause the tires to fail. I'm surprised that KIA is releasing the Stinger in Canada in the winter with these tires, especially if the cars aren't coming with a clear warning about this. Of course, this also applies to many regions in the U.S.

KIA claims that the tires have been modified to its specifications but doesn't state the specifics. It seems unlikely these changes would overcome the cold temperature issue. Such poor communication from KIA on such an important safety topic seems irresponsible to me.

BTW, according to Michelin, the traction capabilities of these tires degrade significantly under cold conditions which creates another safety issue, especially if KIA isn't providing customers with this information.
 

jamesc

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#4
I had summer tires on my rx-8 and never drove with them in the snow. They lost considerable amounts of traction when the temps dropped. The car, rear drive sports car, was unstoppable with snows.

The only experience I have with summer tires in the snow is on a 2004 ford focus svt. The car could not be moved in 3 to 4 inches of snow. All wheel drive might have made the car able to move, but I would not want to drive it.

I drive my current, front drive, car year round with all season tires. I always believed if I was going to drive on summer only tires in theSnow, I'd start by driving into a tree because that's where is end up eventually.

Sent from my LGMS330 using Tapatalk
 
OP
Steve O
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Thread Starter #5
Maybe Kia has had the compound altered. If there was a danger of the tires failing, there would be safety stickers all over them and the car and in the manual. The Michelin guy is probably speaking to racing in low temps. As that would be his fiduciary responsibility as the manufacturer. I'm a manufacturer, and there is no way I would allow, nor our product liability insurers, nor our product liability lawyers, one vehicle out the door with those tires if they would 'fail' in low temps.
Obviously, as I said, my winter driving is in stop and go highway. However, I learned to drive in the snow in a 1970 Monte Carlo with G-70 bias ply tires. Most of you would not understand just how hard a tire can get in the cold until.... Alter your habits to the conditions. I'll advise all the split second i run into problems. But none so far.
 
OP
Steve O
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Thread Starter #6
I just realized something. Definition and the meaning of terms is critical in manufacturing. For example, the definitions of 'fail' or even 'dangerous' need to be clear. This is a super sticky bubble gum tire in the summer. If its grip is reduced 50% or even 70% it could still be grippier than another tire that is all season losing 10% of it's grip. Likewise, 'dangerous' could mean that at 50% of it's grip you'll crash into a wall on the race track. So I'm taking a calculated risk and I expect at the end of the winter I'll have lost some time to being extra careful. But because I won't get stuck with the AWD, I'm giving it the Ol' College Try.
 

Stingin' Away

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#7
Be safe out there [MENTION=148]Steve O[/MENTION]
 
OP
Steve O
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Thread Starter #8
Will do.
 
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#10

English D

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#11
at least you get the 19 inch rims here in Indiana US they all came with all season crap tires on 18,s cheaper rim cheaper tire with no credit back to the sticker price
 
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#12
I live in an area with a lot of bad roads and potholes so I appreciate the fact I can get the 18s in place of the 19s. Plus the all-seasons will be better in the winter time than the summers. But it's a bummer you don't have a choice in it yourself...
 

AKStinger

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#13
I just brought my GT2 home to anchorage AK. It came with the 19" wheels and pilot sport tires. The roads are icy and covered in compacted snow, thankfully the temps are very cold at the moment. This made it easy to get home with virtually no slippage. Warmer temps and water on ice are the conditions I dread the most, and the reason I'm ordering a set of 18" rims and studded tires for the winter. This will be my daily driver and I encounter a lot of adverse road conditions. The offset we see advertised is +40, but my tire guy said when they took the 19s off they discovered it to be +34 actually. I ordered a set of 18" rims with the proper offset, and a set of 225/50r18 weather master WSC tires, complete with studs. It's going to be about ten days before the rims come in so the Stinger will sit neglected for a little longer. I will update to this thread as soon as I am able!
 

KiaFan

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#14
I just brought my GT2 home to anchorage AK. It came with the 19" wheels and pilot sport tires. The roads are icy and covered in compacted snow, thankfully the temps are very cold at the moment. This made it easy to get home with virtually no slippage. Warmer temps and water on ice are the conditions I dread the most, and the reason I'm ordering a set of 18" rims and studded tires for the winter. This will be my daily driver and I encounter a lot of adverse road conditions. The offset we see advertised is +40, but my tire guy said when they took the 19s off they discovered it to be +34 actually. I ordered a set of 18" rims with the proper offset, and a set of 225/50r18 weather master WSC tires, complete with studs. It's going to be about ten days before the rims come in so the Stinger will sit neglected for a little longer. I will update to this thread as soon as I am able!
Congrats [MENTION=437]AKStinger[/MENTION], let us know what winter tires you decided to go with https://www.kiastinger.org/forum/threads/315-Kia-Stinger-Winter-Tire-Thread-Lets-hear-what-you-think
 
OP
Steve O
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Thread Starter #15
Hi all. I'm in Toronto. Same climate as Chicago, Detroit, Boston, Pittsburgh. I've been driving on the summer set for 8 weeks now. Temps to 5 deg F for a couple weeks of the cold blast, about 5 snowfalls of 3" or more, roads poorly cleared by Ontario's bankrupt snow clearing contractor, going up hills on fresh wet stuff.... NO PROBLEM. Mind you, I slow down and drive like others around me. Not faster. Not slower. No cracks in the tires. I'm concluding the whole can't drive on summer tires is (in capitals) BS. Don't let the marketers scare you into getting a set of winter tires until you know you need them. I don't. Those of you in Alaska, if it's 3" or 4" on the ground and you have to go, you'll need snows. If it's 3" or 4" on the ground where I am, I wait for the snow plough.
 

AKStinger

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#16
I agree with everything you just stated, and found that the summer tires did quite well on hard frozen ground. However, there are times and conditions around my neck of the woods that warrant dedicated winter tires. If I have a foot or more of snow, I'm driving my dodge pickup for clearance purposes. If there's a few inches on the ground I really don't worry too much regardless of the tire on the car, just take it easy, lots of following distance, stop slowly, etc.
Mostly l need studs for my local roads (meaning the back roads I take from the main highway to my house, which is on a very steep hill) and the glaze ice conditions that are a constant from November through March. Many is the day when I can't even walk to the car in my driveway without falling on my butt. Coming down my hills to approach the main road can be a thrilling (or terrifying) experience, especially when it's 20 below one day and the ground is frozen hard, then 45 and raining the next. Studs come in handy then...
Anyway, I neglected to mention the tires I purchased were Cooper Weather master WSC 225/50r18 on all four corners.
 
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#17
I did a web chat with Michelin support about their summer tires, and this is verbatim what what they told me about use in low temperatures...

As the temperature of the compound nears freezing, the grip level of the tire begins to degrade. Michelin does not recommend using UHP Sport Summer tires when tire temperatures drop below 40?F (5?C) or on snow and ice.

At tire temperatures below 20?F (-7?C) Michelin UHP Sport Summer tires may develop surface cracks in the upper sidewall and tread area if flexed.
As a side note, these Pilot Sport 4S tires appear to be a brand new rubber compound. There are a number of recent reviews, although most only seem to mention track performance. Road & Track liked them at lower temps, but didn't give much detail.


This guy does a cold weather review in his GT350, and he was impressed (although it's not exactly scientific)...

 
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#18
I hear warnings about summer tires cracking in low temps etc, but frankly I don't believe them. I don't see anything in the manual or in the tire specs that say the operating temp is limited to above freezing temps. If that were the case there would be warnings all over the tires and in the manual.
I've had summer performance tires on my G8 GT for 10 years - several brands - Pirelli, Michelin, Potenza. Never had a problem, but winters here are seldom below teens.
 
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#19
I did a web chat with Michelin support about their summer tires, and this is verbatim what what they told me about use in low temperatures...



As a side note, these Pilot Sport 4S tires appear to be a brand new rubber compound. There are a number of recent reviews, although most only seem to mention track performance. Road & Track liked them at lower temps, but didn't give much detail.


This guy does a cold weather review in his GT350, and he was impressed (although it's not exactly scientific)...

Even though the KIA site has been promoting the Michelin tires as Pilot Sport 4S, in fact the cars (at least here in Califorinia) have the Pilot Sport 4 on them.
 
OP
Steve O
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Thread Starter #20
Hi All. It's spring and the winter is in the past. I had no trouble navigating in snow up hills around corners, and even into the relatively steep driveway. I did have to take it easy with braking distance. But I saved $2000 and the car looked great with the stock wheels all winter long. No cracks in the rubber. Bottom line. If you live in the city, drive carefully in the snow and blow off all that snow tire fear mongering.
 

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