2 snows or four?

victory_tea2085October 23, 2005

My wife has a 2005 Focus and recently talked to a salesman about snow tires. He advised she put snows all the way around, instead of just the 2 in the front. What do the members of this forum think about this? Is he just trying to sell another set of snows or will it really make a difference?

Paul F B

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AFAIK, he's correct. You're not supposed to mix tire types (Summer/Snow) on a vehicle...


    Bookmark   October 24, 2005 at 7:54AM
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Four. I put two on my front-wheel-drive car one year to try and save a few bucks and managed to spin the car a couple of times that winter. Two snows in the front will leave the naturally-lighter rear end with little grip and it will come around, sometimes when you least expect it.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2005 at 10:00AM
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from what i gather, i would be best to leave 4 brand new m+s tires as is and not go to the added expense of purchasing two rims and snow tires...

here in the north, common practice is to purchase a set of winter tires, mount them on designated rims and use them only during the snow covered months...

wondering what others think...


    Bookmark   October 24, 2005 at 10:08AM
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I'm not much of a fan of "all-season" tires (the demands on them are so broad they're really not much good at anything), but I'll agree that four all-season tires will be more predictable and, in their own way, safer than putting on just two snow tires.

The best thing to do, though, is to buy four snow tires, mount them on their own rims (steel is fine and will look better after a while than alloy wheels), and switch every winter and spring. This also has the added benefits of letting you use true "summer" tires for the best performance (if that kind of thing matters to you) and extends the life of your tires because you're not using some of them for several months at a time.

FWIW, my snows are on by around Halloween and they come off sometime before Memorial Day. Around here, ice is a possibility at any time in between.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2005 at 11:19AM
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Four. Tire stores in my area won't even install two snow tires on a front wheel drive car anymore.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2005 at 1:50PM
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Way back in the good(?) old days, circa 1960s, when most cars were rear wheel driven, it was a common practice to put snow tires only on the rear wheels. However, in my experience, this sometimes affected handling. I've had cars that would develop "road wander" at highway speeds. These would not track a constant line and required continous steernig wheel correction to keep it in a lane. This was very tiresome on a trip of any length. I attributed this behavor to differences in sidewall and tread stiffenss in the side direction. Therefore, for best handling, use the same type of tire both front and rear.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2005 at 5:19AM
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Even if the consensus is snow/ice tires all around, there are places where it snows only several times per year.

What worked well for me was installing chains on the summer tires for those infrequent events.
The car at that time was a 60s Saab 93 - thus equipped this baby would go anywhere !

Here in SE PA, IMO, snow tires are a waste of time and money, UNLESS a man must drive to a necessary destination..

    Bookmark   October 29, 2005 at 4:19PM
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