Winter tires - recommendations and any tires with factory installed studs

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Old 12-16-10, 12:20 PM
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Winter tires - recommendations and any tires with factory installed studs

First winter with the 2007 4cyl Malibu that replaced our '98 6 cyl Malibu and I've discovered with the first light snow that it's not going to have the snow traction ability that the heavier '98 Malibu offered.
Would like to put studded winter snow tires but am having a problem finding tires with factory installed studs. For an additional $25 or $30 per tire, I can have studs installed but hoping someone might know where you can get winter tires with studs already installed...

Also looking for comments on winter tires without studs particularly the Bridgestone BLIZZAK WS60 or Uniroyal Tiger Paw Ice & Snow II, which has the option for studs but doesn't come installed with them.

Also thinking about getting a couple of 60#/80# bags of sand to put in the trunk of this car as it really is light on snow covered roads. I've always heard that helps with the traction but didn't know if there were any negative aspects to carrying that kind of extra weight (other than to fuel economy).
Thanks for your consideration,
greynold99
 
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Old 12-16-10, 12:26 PM
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Well...Blizzaks get good mentions in my car magazines...as do other quality snow tires. Bags of sand in the trunk of a front wheel drive car (this is, isn't it?) is counter productive, except as a traction aid when you get stuck.

If you get snows..get them on all 4 wheels. Having them mounted on steel wheels (if available) will be the cheapest. Check TireRack.

One problem with studs is many places only allow them for certain times of year, some not at all.
 
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Old 12-16-10, 02:43 PM
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Never seen studs come "from the factory".............back in the 70's I was in the tire room "studding tires for the winter season...............in August
 
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Old 12-16-10, 08:21 PM
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actually, i do ballast my cars. front or rear drive. i place my body weight worth, in sand and barbells, in the far opposite corner of the trunk or truck bed. i am not elaborating on obvious benefits and would have been totally dumm to keep doing this labor and time taking effort should it not be working.

you will be using studdies only for short period of time a year. there is very little financial sense to buy new ones, unless you are 100% positive you will be driving this car for long long number of years. then they pay for themselves.
there no sense to mount and dismount them every time. buy them mounted used or buy cheap steelies in your size and have them mounted and stowed somewhere.

otherwise, there's craigslist for used ones. best time to buy is mid summer, they are dirt cheap, esp for small car. you will easily buy set of 4 on wheels for maybe a hundred, maybe less. we bought set for son's eclipse about a year ago, 100 cash new ones. he had them on for 2 days. so far, it's a waste of time and money. i bought 2 mounted ones for my camry, $150 due to size required, had them on for 2 days, took them off. just drive my truck with 4x4 and regular tires.

old - and poor - men's tricks are to lower tire pressure to reasonable level, to increase foot print;highest footprint, surprise, come from almost bald tires; yes, make car heavier; use low gear for take offs; LEARN HOW TO DRIVE ON SNOW AND ICE. sipe tires.

as a side note, i lived, back in Ukraine, in a city located on 7 hills. STEEP hills. all cars were manual only; studdies or even winter tires were unknown luxury. temperatures averaged 25 Celsius below zero for solid 3 mths winter. we drove. front wheel automatic should drive safely in most winter situations, unless driver does something inappropriate.
 
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Old 12-17-10, 06:43 AM
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replies appreciated -- some new info

Thanks all for your replies - very informative. I've never had studded winter tires but wife has and won't feel comfortable driving this car without them...
As far as 'factory studded' goes, I've read that in a couple of places where the recommendation was made that you could get them - In fact, on the Sears website when I was looking at the Uniroyal Tiger Paw Snow & Ice II tire they show them as studded which I assumed they were sold that way.
Something interesting I've discovered when calling some of the tire shops, they won't install 2 winter tires - either all 4 or none. I understand the logic but don't feel it's any company's business how many winter tires I use. Aside from that, aren't 2 winter tires on the front of a front wheel drive car better than none as long as you know your vehicle and keep the limitations of winter driving in mind?
greynold99
 
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Old 12-17-10, 06:59 AM
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As to the 2 vs 4...
Everyone/everything I've seen or talked to says you need 4 to keep the handling characteristics equal. Otherwise the fronts may bite as you turn (for instance) but the rears don't and you skid out. Similar issue if there wasn't snow and you have clear road, the snows wouldn't have the same traction or braking as the rears.

I'm sure its also a liability issue for the sellers/installers.
 
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Old 12-17-10, 07:16 AM
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My wife and kids have had snow tires just on the front on several different vehicles with no noticeable ill effects but...... we don't get a lot of snow [usually] and the main reason for the snow tires was to assist them in driving up my long steep driveway.
 
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Old 12-17-10, 12:37 PM
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They can come studded by the manufacturer. I have unloaded a few of them of off tractor trailers.
 
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Old 12-22-10, 07:41 PM
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As far as 'factory studded' goes, I've read that in a couple of places where the recommendation was made that you could get them
Why are you so intrigued with factory studded tires? The manufacturing process doesn't install them. If the are studded by the manufacturer, they would be studded just like a tire dealer would do it, just completed before the dealer gets them. I loved studded tires many many years ago, but today I wouldn't want them.
 
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Old 12-24-10, 07:15 AM
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My wife had a 92 Prelude which was a pig in snow and ice. My buddy at the tire shop hooked me up with cheap steel wheels and Dunlop Graspics and turned it into a great winter car. On top of that, the tire store would put them on and off for me for free, calling it a rotation, and also stored the wheels which were not on the car for me. I usualy buy from tirerack.com but that kind of service is not available online.
 
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Old 12-24-10, 02:46 PM
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look around any major junk yards in your area. most likely, you will find a shop or two that handle used tires they get from junk yards.
1. it is very inexpensive place to buy tires
2. very inexpensive place to buy wheels
3. very inexpensive to mount/balance
4. yes, you can get studdies there either; though i will be bashed for suggesting "used", but who should give, for something that will be mounted and used only for a month or so?
5. and yes, usually Mexicans work there, and they don't tell you how many and what kind of tires you must have. you pay cash, they say "Si, senior".
 
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Old 12-24-10, 03:20 PM
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Sorry...though others may have had good luck, I would never buy used tires from a junkyard or from someone who got them from a junkyard. Wheels, yes, (well..maybe) but tires can have flaws not visible to the eye.

The risk just isn't worth the savings....
 
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Old 12-25-10, 05:31 AM
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I always thought those types of tire stores got their tires from other tires stores - where they replaced the customer's tires with new ones.

In my younger years I bought a lot of tires from junk yards and don't remember ever having any issues with them. I do prefer new tires - they don't wear out as fast
 
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Old 12-25-10, 08:11 AM
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it's "one has his own opinion" conversation. no need to be sorry, gunguy, it's a good all around safe remark. but we had so many tires/wheels from those places, for anywhere between 10 bucks regular up to 40 bucks for a studdy, and had statistically speaking almost no trouble, that for tires that will be used for a month or so - maybe - and will outlast the car ownership, as folks generally own a car only for few yrs, that it just does not make any financial sense to buy new studdies.
i am firm that studdies, if one just has no other choice, should be bought mid-summer, off craigslist, mounted on wheels, and stowed for winter. it's a hundred bucks average purchase. FOR ALL FOUR.

yes, they - used - do have tendency to last maybe 2 yrs. daah, if i paid 10 bucks for tire, 10 bucks for steely, 10 bucks for mounting and balancing - beat that with any new tire from a store. i can hassle with going to MiAmigos every other year. damn tires cheapest place around start at 60 for rubber only. things you buy for 40 on sale are most likely worse quality than ones you buy used for 20 from ElHombres.
 
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