Winter driving in Eastern Washington.
In Western Washington, unless you go skiing, you probably don't own snow tires. My daughter lives in Lynnwood. She doesn't own snow tires. When you get snow in Western Washington, people go crazy. If it snows in Western Washington, it's always that heavy, wet stuff that is so slippery you are always sliding around and running into stuff. When it snows in Western Washington, I like to watch local TV news for the coverage because it's hilarious watching people slide down hills because they don't know how to drive in the snow.
I live in Eastern Washington, where it really does. snow in the wintertime. On top of that. I get up very early in the morning and I'm traveling on the road by 4:00 AM. A lot of times the Snowplows aren't even out yet. That's why I prefer all-wheel drive and snow tires. Now I know some people say, hey I'm driving an all-wheel drive or a four-wheel drive. I just leave the all-weather tires on. I'm good all year long. Well, in my opinion, not so much.
So my question is, what are the best snow tires to get for your vehicle? As always, we went to the fountain of all knowledge that is true and trustworthy, the Internet.
Here's what I found.
ACCORDING TO CARANDDRIVER.COM
“All Terrain tires are fine for most vehicles driving in light inclement weather—but you shouldn't trust them in heavy snow or ice, no matter what you drive. Winter tires use specialized rubber compounds and tread designs engineered to maximize tire bite and traction in freezing temperatures and on slick surfaces. In snowy and icy driving conditions, a dependable set of winter tires can mean the difference between arriving safely and being stranded for hours in a freezing car.”
What are the best winter tires to buy? We've used plenty of different brands and styles, and we have our thoughts. For an even deeper dive into winter tires, we turned to our friends at Tire Rack for recommendations.”
BEST MICHELIN FOR SUVS
Michelin X-Ice Snow SUV
BEST HAKKEPELIITA FOR CARS
Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5
BEST BUDGET WINTER TIRE
Continental VikingContact 7
BEST MICHELIN FOR LIGHT TRUCKS
Michelin X-Ice Snow
Now caranddriver.com does have a couple of recommendations that I'm Completely behind. Back when I was a kid, my dad, (a very smart guy) Taught me to take snow tires and have them mounted on separate wheels. This extends the life of the snow tire. Something else to keep in mind is that the rubber compound used in snow tires will where best in cold weather. Warm or hot weather those snow tires wear out fast.
look for the industry-standard three-peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF) symbol on the sidewall, indicating they meet severe snow service requirements.
There is always a variety of opinions on everything, so I thought I'd get a couple of other ideas from different websites.
ACCORDING TO MOTOR1.COM
“The best winter tire in 2023 is the Michelin X-Ice Snow. The X-Ice Snow handled better on ice and wet roads than any other winter tire we tested, making it a great choice to tackle inclement weather.
The Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5 is one of the most comfortable and best-handling winter tires on dry roads that we tested. Additionally, it has some of the best snow and ice handling on the market.
If you want a winter tire designed for performance on both wet and dry roads, the Continental Viking Contact 7 has some of the best water evacuation in the industry.”
OK, now you're saying I don't drive a car, I don't drive an SUV, I drive a truck, what do I need?
ACCORDING TO OUTDOORLIFE.COM
“The Best Snow Tires for Trucks of 2023
Best Overall: Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac
Best Budget: Falken Wildpeak A/T3W.
Best for Deep Snow: Interco Super Swamper IROK
Best for Ice: Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2.
Best for Towing: Nitto Exo Grappler.
Best for All Year: BFG All-Terrain T/A KO2”
Should I get studs, or no studs?
For me personally, I have not used studded snow tires in years. An excellent “speed rated” snow tire for me is the way to go. if i'm shopping for a snow tire the first question I ask is “what is the Washington state patrol using for snow tires? if I can afford it that's what I get.
According to autotrader.com
“So, for the worst weather conditions, there are studded tires. Studded tires were once common in northern states. As both tire technology and the state of American roads has improved, they have grown less necessary.
There are still circumstances where studded tires may make driving much safer. Studded tires are not legal everywhere, and traditional studless winter tires are often a better choice (see our Snow Tires Guide for details).
In some circumstances, studded tires can confer a safety advantage. But they have limited applications and can offer less traction than studless tires in common driving conditions.”
So here are the things to remember.
All weather and all terrain tires are not snow tires.
Get the best snow tire you can afford.
If possible, have them mounted on their own wheels.
Don't put them on too early and don't leave them on too late.
And keep an eye on tire pressure. The colder it gets, the lower the pressure.
Now if you will excuse me, I have to get on the phone and make an appointment to get my tires changed.