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Old 12-29-2012, 12:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
KRN
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Snow Tires

I have a 2002 MDX. This year I decided to put studded snow tires on it, to make it the ultimate vehicle for mountain driving and skiing. I went to a local auto wrecker and found a set of four OEM wheels from another '02 MDX for $50 a piece, then went to Les Schwab for a set of four Wintercat snow tires.
The result is a car that travels through the snow and ice easily and securely, but the tires make a lot road of noise.
It will be easy to swap the studded snow tires off at the end of the season, since I have them mounted on a second set of wheels.

Has anyone found snow tires that are quiet?
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My Blizzacks are not to bad. Studded tires are going to be loud. Just turn the radio up as you are only going to run them 90 to 120 days. When you put the regular tires back on it is like getting a new sports car for the first week.

I would rather live with the noise, enjoy the skiing and not have to worry about the drive home.
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have Blizzaks on my MDX and they are not very loud. I've use Nokians in the past on other vehicles that were not loud either.
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I love the Blizzaks, but the Nokian WGR2's is an excellent tire. I have them on my 03, they are quiet,smooth and excellent in snow and ice. I have drove through snow and ice with them, with no problems.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I've been running Blizzaks forever on my Audi and am currently on Michelin X-Ice for the Acura and the difference between the summer tires and these winter tires is marginally more noise. You notice a slight increase but neither are really ear-piercing.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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In addition to the noise issue, tests have shown that studdable tires with studs installed don't give you as much traction in most winter conditions as today's best studless ice and snow tires. So you would be better off getting some good studless ice and snow tires, like the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1, and getting rid of the studded tires.

As I wrote in the big winter tire discussion:

Quote:
Originally Posted by nsxtasy View Post
In winter conditions, the difference between all-season tires and winter tires is HUGE. What many people don't realize is that they're not just for snow and ice; winter tires grip much better in frigid temperatures, even when the roads are dry, thanks to their ability to remain soft and pliable at those temperatures. All-season tires are designed as a compromise - okay in warmer temperatures (not as grippy as summer tires, but okay), and okay in cold temperatures (not as grippy as winter tires, but okay). Winter tires do better at the specific conditions for which they were designed.

Note that there are three types of winter tires. Using the Tire Rack terminology: "studless ice and snow" winter tires, "performance" winter tires, and "studdable" winter tires. The "studless ice and snow" winter tires give the best grip on ice and snow, but their handling when temperatures aren't so cold can be only so-so and less responsive. The "performance" winter tires offer better handing on warmer days than the studless variety, but aren't quite as grippy on ice and snow. "Studdable" winter tires really aren't a good choice, because tests have shown that in most winter conditions, today's modern "studless" winter tires give better traction than the studdable tires with studs installed. (Ref 1) (Ref 2) The use of studded tires is also illegal in many of the states and provinces with some of the worst winter weather.

Whether you need winter tires, and which type you choose, may depend on the conditions you face. If you live in an area with mild winters, or if you have another vehicle you would use when winter strikes, all-seasons might be sufficient for your needs and you might not need winter tires at all. If you do a lot of long-distance interstate driving, the performance winter tire might be a good choice. If your winter driving is mostly on local streets that aren't always kept clear, the studless ice and snow tires might be best. If you have no alternative but to drive even in the worst winter weather - maybe you're an emergency responder, or maybe you just HAVE to drive to work - and you absolutely must get where you're going no matter what, then the studless ice and snow tires are probably a good choice. And if you live in a cold climate with a fair amount of snow and/or ice as well as frigid temperatures, again, the studless might be best.

If you want to use winter tires, it's worth it to get an extra set of wheels, so you only have to get the tires mounted and balanced on the wheels one time. If you don't already have an extra set of wheels, you can find a used set of stock wheels for as little as $200, on eBay or at car-parts.com as well as in the Classifieds forum here.

I've considered winter tires money well spent. As I see it, all they have to do is prevent an accident once, and they've paid for themselves (depending on the amount of your insurance deductible). And because I only use them for 2-3 months a year, they don't get many miles on them each year; I just buy them once, and that one set then lasts many years.

Last year I needed to buy a set of winter tires for my MDX. Because I live in an area with extreme cold temperatures (temps of -10F or colder are not uncommon) as well as plenty of snow, I wanted the studless ice and snow tires. On the advice of the knowledgeable folks at Tire Rack, I got the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1. I love 'em.

Of course, there's also the "jinx effect". If you buy a set of winter tires, you will then have very mild winters. If you don't buy them and try to get by on all-seasons, you will then have very harsh winters. In which case, it's easier to get around on winter tires when you don't need them, than on all-seasons when you really need winter tires.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:38 AM   #8 (permalink)
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We use both Blizzaks and Firestone Dest At's here in CO with equal success. The Blizzaks are generally best rated for ice annd snow, but they wear fast on pavement, epecially under a 4500+lb crossover or suv. The Firestone Dest AT's have slightly lesser winter conditions ratings but can stay on year round and provide trail abilities as well as great pavement handling.

As the OP laments, studs are not only loud, but they can be scary on wet pavement. Generally, these are best in locations where snow stays on the ground 24/7 for a full winter season.

Note TR's categories of AT vs Winter vs All Seasons. While the latter may get you by in winter, it's like bringing a knife to a gunfight in northern climates.

Consumer Survey Results By Category

Consumer Survey Results By Category

Note the TR Survey ratings miss a few great winter tires such as the Nokisn Hakkapelita and others. I cannot speak to stock MDX tire size fitment beyond the Bliizzaks.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Pirelli Scorpion Ice & Snow are quiet and very good at high speeds since they are performance tires.


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Old 06-06-2013, 06:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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We had Dunlop M3, Pirelli Scorpion and Blizzak WS-70 on our 06 MDX. The WS-70 have been the best. The Pirelli we could never get to balance properly and the Dunlops wore out quickly.
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Old 06-07-2013, 06:57 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I've used 3 different sets of 'winter' tires on my 02 MDX. Started with Cooper Discovery winter's and they were great, nice smooth ride and a decent price considering I paid retail. Ran em dead. Next I went with a 'all season' Goodyear TripleTread Assurance. Let me tell you, if you are in the market to run one tire all year round that is the one. Rain sleet hail snow everything was terrific in those tires! Some bad control arms and they were shot tho lol. Finally I just have some cheap Sailun Winters now, great tire, a little more road noise than I would like.
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:05 PM   #12 (permalink)
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All-season tires are not the same thing as winter tires. All-season tires are designed to be used in warm weather as well as cold weather; they aren't as good in winter conditions as winter tires are, although they may be sufficient for most folks as a year-round tire.
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Old 06-08-2013, 02:41 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KRN View Post
I have a 2002 MDX. This year I decided to put studded snow tires on it, to make it the ultimate vehicle for mountain driving and skiing. I went to a local auto wrecker and found a set of four OEM wheels from another '02 MDX for $50 a piece, then went to Les Schwab for a set of four Wintercat snow tires.
The result is a car that travels through the snow and ice easily and securely, but the tires make a lot road of noise.
It will be easy to swap the studded snow tires off at the end of the season, since I have them mounted on a second set of wheels.

Has anyone found snow tires that are quiet?

I used Hakka Q7 studded tires for a couple of winters and I they are the
quietest studded tires available. At highway speeds my passangers said
the tires were not noisier than any other snow tire and only on quiet city
streets could one hear them clearly.
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Old 06-08-2013, 03:37 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I used Hakka Q7 studded tires for a couple of winters and I they are the quietest studded tires available.
As noted above, studies have shown that today's modern studless winter tires offer better traction in most winter conditions than studded tires with studs installed. See links above.

Also, studded tires are illegal in many states that experience harsh winters (e.g. Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois).
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:38 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nsxtasy View Post
As noted above, studies have shown that today's modern studless winter tires offer better traction in most winter conditions than studded tires with studs installed. See links above.

Also, studded tires are illegal in many states that experience harsh winters (e.g. Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois).
If studded tires are illegal in your state, give the Toyo Observe a try, they're very good. As to whether studless tire are better, my own studdies of driving in 35 winters (and I do mean winter, Montreal gets some doozies!!) show that for
real snow and ice studded are best. My previous car was a rear drive 300C which never got stuck anywhere when it was on studded. The only time studless are just a bit better is when the spring melt has arrived, it's a few degrees above freezing and the roads are wet. Then you take it a bit easier if you're on studded.
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