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Winter/Snow tires

Casper250c

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So I've never used snow (winter) tires because every truck I've had in the past was true 4wd and I ran AT's on them. This is my first AWD/4WD and of course AT's aren't really going to work for it so I would like suggestions on which snow/winter tires you all recommend for me to take full advantage of the 4WD system and terrain management system in this truck.

Thank you in advance!
 



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peterk9

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Are you also looking to get an additional set of wheels or just the tires? Keep in mind the difference between winter tires and non-winter tires is the tire compound. While the ATs may have been good for snow traction, the rubber itself would have started to lose its optimal grip on cold surfaces at 43 degrees F and gets worse as the temperature drops. Up until this year, I've always had a complete set of winter tires/wheels.

Peter
 






jade97

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Michelin Defender LTX have worked great for me on a 2011 Explorer XLT, 2016 Explorer Sport, and 2018 Edge SEL.
 






Casper250c

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Are you also looking to get an additional set of wheels or just the tires? Keep in mind the difference between winter tires and non-winter tires is the tire compound. While the ATs may have been good for snow traction, the rubber itself would have started to lose its optimal grip on cold surfaces at 43 degrees F and gets worse as the temperature drops. Up until this year, I've always had a complete set of winter tires/wheels.

Peter
I'm aware of the tire compound and the fact that AT's lose their grip in cold weather which is why I was asking about snow/winter tires for the Explorer. As for wheels as well, well that depends on the cost of wheels. I don't mind switching winter tires to my stock rims if needed.

I'm not being cheap just don't want to spend $1,000 on wheels, I could pay someone to switch them to the stock rims many times for that lol
 






Odrapnew

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Where do you live and how cold and how much snow you get?

I can say I have Michelin Premier LTX on my Sport. They are light-years ahead of the factory Hankooks in regards to snow traction.

A good all season will never be as good as a dedicated winter tire, but for me, the Michelins have been just fine. If I were to get new tires, I might go with the Defenders for their additional tread depth.

One comment thrown around is all season or summer tires lose traction below a certain temp. Watch this. Cold, dry roads, summer and all season seem to hold their own. Obviously snow changes that completely.

 






Casper250c

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Where do you live and how cold and how much snow you get?

I can say I have Michelin Premier LTX on my Sport. They are light-years ahead of the factory Hankooks in regards to snow traction.

A good all season will never be as good as a dedicated winter tire, but for me, the Michelins have been just fine. If I were to get new tires, I might go with the Defenders for their additional tread depth.

One comment thrown around is all season or summer tires lose traction below a certain temp. Watch this. Cold, dry roads, summer and all season seem to hold their own. Obviously snow changes that completely.


I live in Western New York where the temperature quite often goes below freezing and may stay there for a period of time, as for snow well depending on the storm we may get a few inches or a few feet depending on the severity of the storm.

The farm where I keep my horses is surrounded by old country roads which IF they get maintained which is not often they're not maintained well and they use sand not salt so once it snows again it's covered and iced over.
 






MM07

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I have Michelin Defenders on my EXP. They are way better than the Hankooks that came on it. They’re great in the snow here in MA.
 






Casper250c

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I have Michelin Defenders on my EXP. They are way better than the Hankooks that came on it. They’re great in the snow here in MA.
I'm looking for a tire specifically meant for snow and colder weather
 






peterk9

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I have had the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1 and currently the DM-V2. Both are winter tires and both have been great and being a dedicated winter tire, the rubber compound will remain flexible on cold bare roads and provide much better grip, unlike non-winter tires. Those Bridgestones seem to be a popular winter tire. So, I'm guessing you will be using them on your current OEM wheels?
BTW, they are now mainly called 'Winter' tires since the outdated term 'Snow' tires was a little misleading in that cold temperatures affect their performance on cold bare pavement as well.
Here dealers have what they call Winter Tire specials that include tires and rims. I don't know if they have that in your area but that may be another option to consider in place of just tires.

Peter
 






Casper250c

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The Bridgestone are looking like what I will go with. I would like to know if anyone has tried the Cooper evolution winter tires yet and what they think of them
 






CDW6212R

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Bridgestone Blizzak's have been the standard best snow or the new "Winter" name tire, for decades. In the last 10-15 years companies like Michelin have begun to make Winter tires. I have had two sets of Blizzak's on my Explorers, the last set I used sparingly for about ten years, and used them up finally in about four months in Spring of 2019. The 15's on my latest 98 are the newest Cooper AT/W, supposedly a Winter tire. They are no where near as soft as the Blizzak's, I've gotten about a year out of them so far(my guess is they are just a hair softer than other Cooper AT3 models(I've had a few of those)).

AT tires suck compared to real Winter tires, the stopping distances are no comparison, same for braking and handling on slick surfaces. In the rain the Winter tires are very very good compared to any regular tires, I loved them that Spring when I left them on due to age.

But note, true Winter tires wear out very fast on pavement. If you choose to put them on your one set of wheels, and run them until they wear out, you will be buying them about once a year. The cost to have them on spare wheels is far less than trying to save by just using the existing wheels. Find some feasible spare set of wheels, and only use the snow tires when the roads are seriously likely to have snow or ice on them. They wear I'd guess a good three times faster on pavement. My last set had about 85% tread when I put them on for the last time, and went about four months in Spring with about 500 miles a week(65 a day at work delivering mail).
 






Casper250c

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Bridgestone Blizzak's have been the standard best snow or the new "Winter" name tire, for decades. In the last 10-15 years companies like Michelin have begun to make Winter tires. I have had two sets of Blizzak's on my Explorers, the last set I used sparingly for about ten years, and used them up finally in about four months in Spring of 2019. The 15's on my latest 98 are the newest Cooper AT/W, supposedly a Winter tire. They are no where near as soft as the Blizzak's, I've gotten about a year out of them so far(my guess is they are just a hair softer than other Cooper AT3 models(I've had a few of those)).

AT tires suck compared to real Winter tires, the stopping distances are no comparison, same for braking and handling on slick surfaces. In the rain the Winter tires are very very good compared to any regular tires, I loved them that Spring when I left them on due to age.

But note, true Winter tires wear out very fast on pavement. If you choose to put them on your one set of wheels, and run them until they wear out, you will be buying them about once a year. The cost to have them on spare wheels is far less than trying to save by just using the existing wheels. Find some feasible spare set of wheels, and only use the snow tires when the roads are seriously likely to have snow or ice on them. They wear I'd guess a good three times faster on pavement. My last set had about 85% tread when I put them on for the last time, and went about four months in Spring with about 500 miles a week(65 a day at work delivering mail).
Thank you for your insight it's greatly appreciated. I'm not planning to run winter tires all year the tires currently on the truck are only 8 months old they're just not going to be any good for winter they're Hankook Dynapro HP2's (came on the explorer when I bought it) so I was going to run them out over summers
 






Casper250c

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I had the Cooper discoverer AT3 4s' on my Yukon and to be honest I saw no improvement in the winter with those compared to the regular AT3's that I had on the Yukon originally
 






jason46

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I just got a sent of defender LTX tires for our northern MI weather, they look like winter grip should be pretty good and will be relying a bit on the "4wd"/awd system. We last had blizzaks and they wore out extremely fast and I hate having two sets of tires.
 






CDW6212R

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I had the Cooper discoverer AT3 4s' on my Yukon and to be honest I saw no improvement in the winter with those compared to the regular AT3's that I had on the Yukon originally
I've tried about four of the Cooper tires, this last set of 15's came with the truck. The AT3 4 or AT3 4S was the best, longest lasting and best grip, but those were close to $150 each total.

To test a Winter tire in person, get your fingers on it, does the rubber move, flex, deflect a lot? A non Winter tire will have hard rubber, it will not deflect virtually at all. The Blizzak rubber is super soft and sticky. You cannot slide one of those tires along another one, stacked on their sides. I store my Winter tires in the garage and use them about two weeks a year. They are so soft,you do not want to run them if you don't have to, they are not cheap to buy.
 






J_C

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I put the Cooper AT3 4S on my '98 near a couple years ago, have no complaints about winter traction but it's (roughly) 8F warmer here in winter, not much different but it is a difference.

Modern all season tire models have a compound that does not harden as much in cold weather as tires did years ago, though you still want true winter tires if you need the best ice or hard pack snow performance.

If I were picking winter tires I'd head over to Tire Rack's site and check the ratings, but keep in mind that the ratings on each tire page are more indicative of their performance relative to that category of tire. For example an all season AT tire scoring 8/10 on winter performance is usually not as good on ice as a winter tire scoring 8/10. Unfortunately many of the better winter tires run $200+ in the 5th gen sizes, then I'd want rims for sure, not swapping them twice a year, so even with junkyard rims (usually still in servicable condition since 5th gens aren't that old yet) total cost does exceed $1000, but used rims could be no more expensive than a few years of having a shop swap them. At my local junkyard they're $35 ($20 + $15 core) ea.

 






Mike65

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I have Cooper AT-3 tires on my 00 Ranger 4x4 & my wife's 99 Explorer Sport 4x4 & they have been working fine.
 






RustDust

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Dunlop Winter Maxx SJ8 on Interceptor steel wheels for the 2018 Explorer here in Switzerland with serious snow and temperatures way below 0 deg celsius. The perfect winter tyres until now.
-Matt
 






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But it's a 4wd? Why would you need to put snow tires on? I've owned four wheel drives for 35 years and never had snow tires on them
 



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J_C

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^ Same here, but I would get them if any of the steeper snow/ice roads I traveled, had vehicles parked on the side so there was less wiggle room, or if there were busy intersections at the bottom of a significant grade so it was difficult to stop at a sign or light, but even then I wouldn't want to be on those grades because someone else may not be able to stop.

The only winter problem I ever had on all seasons was during an ice storm about 25 years ago, in a GMC Jimmy (4x4 aka Chevy S10 Blazer), even going very slow I slid right off the road on a mild curve, into the concrete barrier. Didn't scratch the truck at all, was able to drive away but it put a bubble in the front right tire sidewall, so had to scrap the tire. Fortunately the tire was a common size, I had no problem finding same diameter used replacement.
 






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