Which Yokhamas do you have? AVID Touring S? AVID TRZ? AVID Ascend? AVID Envigor? Geolander? They make a lot of tires. They are all decent tires - In fact I LOVE my set of Ascends... I run those in the summer. In the winter, winter is the way to go.This is going to be my first winter with an AWD car, do I need winter tires or should I be good with the ones I have. I think they're just regular Yokohama tires on there now.
Thanks for the input. I found a set of four for as much as $750 and as little as just under $400. If I do go ahead with some snow tires I'll have to go the cheaper route for sure. I don't have 7 hundy to drop on tires right now.A lot of people have a problem... they think "Pfft. I have AWD/4WD, I don't need snow tires...". This is why you see so many SUVs with all seasons tires upside down in ditches along the side of the highway during snowstorms, while a FWD vehicle with four snow tires flies by them, with no problem at all.
AWD helps you go... that's it. On ice and snow it does nothing to improve handling/steering or most importantly: braking. That, comes down to the tires. I work in sales for a local chain of tire stores. Every day this time of year I have customers who are shocked that we still sell winter tires. And I get asked "Wow, does anyone still use winter tires?". Yes, they do -- I do. I currently have 4 Vanderbilt/Cooper Arctic Claws installed on my Outback. Good aggressive blocky snow tread. They work well.
Do I "need" snow tires? Probably not. But I like having that extra layer of protection. I slid off the road in my old 1995 Pontiac Grand Prix coupe a couple winters ago. There was about 2 inches of snow on the road, I was on my way to work. I had about half worn all seasons on the car at the time. I made it up one side of a hill in my neighborhood no problem... coming down the other side, however, was more of a problem. I had no braking traction at all. Pedal went to the floor, the ABS kicked in and started pumping the pedal like crazy, and my "LOW TRAC" light was on the dashboard. I slid all the way down the hill and through a fence into someone's front yard. Fortunately there was little damage to the car (bent fender and a lot of broken body cladding), and the home owner didn't care about the fence because the township owned it (it was just a little chain link fence). But from then on I decided I'm going to use winter tires in the winter, no matter what kind of car I have. It just so happened that by the next winter I picked up a Subaru Outback.
If you are going to go with just all seasons... go with the Nokian WR-G2. Or at the very least a set of Goodyear Assurance Triple-Tred All Seasons if you want the best traction. If you want to forget the forecast and never have to worry about where you have to go in whatever kind of weather... pick up a good set of dedicated winter tires.
It's not the go, it's the stop that's most important with snow tires in my opinion. $750 for a set with winter tires with wheels is well worth it. Yes, they have lower mileage life than summer tires, about 1/2 if you buy the x-ice 2 vs defender and about the same price. Cost per mile extra is then just about 1c/mile. Not an insignificant cost, but $350 every 80,000 miles (1/2 with winter tires on) is worth the extra safety in my opinion.
I was going to go that route, but I decided against it, at least for now. The shop I got my tires at will do the swaps for free for the life of the snow tires if you buy from them, so I couldn't justify the extra cost of a second set of wheels. They were a little higher in price than tires+wheels from Tire Rack, but including the time/cost of changing wheels spring and fall; having working, calibrated TPMS without having to buy a second set of sensors; plus supporting a local shop was worth it to me. I'm told removing/remounting the tires on one set of wheels won't hurt them enough to make a difference. Owner of the shop only has one set of wheels on their personal OB using snow tires.If you do get winter tires, I suggest getting them mounted on wheels. Tire rack mounts and balances a package set for free, making it a very good deal. That costs about $50-70 each swap, plus the first time. The wheels pay for themselves after 2 years, you can resell them when you're done AND you don't have to wait 4 hours at the tire shop to swap them on that first day of snow fall
Hooray for the first part. That alone is worth at least $120 per year - dismount, mount and balance.The shop I got my tires at will do the swaps for free for the life of the snow tires if you buy from them,
I'm told removing/remounting the tires on one set of wheels won't hurt them enough to make a difference.