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Discussion Starter #1
Why would someone spend $800 on a set of winter tires in Canada?

What a waste of money! I mean, a tire is a tire, right? WRONG!

A 4 season tire does everything and nothing right. It has been designed to last longer and be quieter. Its compound is as hard as steel at 15 celsius. Imagine how hard it is at minus 15, where it is exactly as efficient as a banana peel.

The winter tire compound is a lot softer, composed of silicium and has a much more agressive thread. It has been designed to stay effective down to minus 40 celsius.

What does that mean? Well, in short, it often means the difference between a safe stop and an accident.

The winter tire has not been designed for the 99% of the city winter conditions, where the 4 season tire will probably not get you into trouble anyway. It has been designed for the remaining 1% of winter when you really need to go out and the roads are a mess.

If you don't feel that your life or that of your family is worth $800, please consider that I think that mine is and go for it. Of course, if you have the leisure of staying home when the roads are slippery, then this message obviously does not apply to you.
 

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In Canada and the northern states, you will be able to use snow tires 4 -5 months of the year. If you plan on keeping your vehicle 4-5 years you would probably have to purchase a set of replacement tires at some point. Using snow tires right away would mean your "summer tires" should last the full ownership period.
 

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Totally agree with the above posts. That's why I just purchased Hak SUV's for my MO. I bought my MO last December and got through last wihter with the Eagles, but there were times, here in Upstate New York, that I did not have the confidence, especially in stopping ability, that one has with dedicated snows. And, as in the last post, I probably now will not have to buy another set of tires.
 

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I've lived in the Yukon and elsewhere in northern Canada for my adult life, and have never owned a set of snow tires. Years ago I had trucks with narrow, big lug tires but they weren't actual winter tires.Never had a driving problem that would have been solved by having them either. In extremely slick, dangerous conditions - I try to avoid driving myself or my family. Even if my rig is in good condition and driven sensibly, there are too many yahoos out there to risk it sometimes.

I learned long ago with all wheel or four wheel drive vehicles - they don't stop any better. They also tend to get you waaaaay back in the bush before you get hopelessly stuck. Every year I see what is in the ditches around here and a large proportion are SUVs and pickups.

But to each his won, if you feel more comfy with them - go for it!
 

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bruno said:
I've lived in the Yukon and elsewhere in northern Canada for my adult life, and have never owned a set of snow tires. Years ago I had trucks with narrow, big lug tires but they weren't actual winter tires.Never had a driving problem that would have been solved by having them either. In extremely slick, dangerous conditions - I try to avoid driving myself or my family. Even if my rig is in good condition and driven sensibly, there are too many yahoos out there to risk it sometimes.

I learned long ago with all wheel or four wheel drive vehicles - they don't stop any better. They also tend to get you waaaaay back in the bush before you get hopelessly stuck. Every year I see what is in the ditches around here and a large proportion are SUVs and pickups.

But to each his won, if you feel more comfy with them - go for it!

Well said! Amen.
 

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I agree with Bruno that in bad weather it is the yahoo's with SUV's or 4wd pickups that you see off the road. Sensible driving does make the difference. And I agree that it is each to his or her own. However, I purchased snows for several reasons. Our area of Upstate New York is prone to lake effect snows where it can be sunny and beautiful in one place and a mile or two later snowing at 2-3 inches per hour or more. I travel a lot for business through this area, and with snow tires I know that at least I shall get through driving sensibly. I also know that not only will I be able to get through with my AWD, but more importantly I will be able to stop, and that is where the yahoos really get in trouble. AWD does give you going capablity, not stopping capability. Good snow, or should I say ice gripping tires, help a great deal in this situation, one that we get here all too often. Nothing like an ice storm. Sure, one must drive sanely and sensibly, but sometimes one must drive, and therefore good winter tires are a viable solution to those of us who have to drive in all types of conditions and will pay the extra for that margin of safety that winter tires bring. Just my two cents.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Try whatever test that you prefer. They have already all been conducted. Below minus 10 celsius, no 4 season or summer tire will be able to stop you or start you up as efficiently as a modern winter tire on snow or ice.

Braking is affected only by 2 variables. Traction and weight as long as the brakes are functioning perfectly well of course.

It is so true that some countries like Sweden and Finland are enforcing mandatory winter tires. The reason why they are is that some people still think that in such a northern country, they can still drive safely on 4-season tires.

The accident rate dropped dramatically in winter since this law was passed so I guess that the theory of the "I never was in an accident therefore there is no use for winter tires" is exactly as valid as the "I never caught a lung cancer although I smoke 3 packs a day" one.
 
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