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Discussion Starter #1
What are the best winter tires for the Focus? I need new tires and would like some that won't have me skidding on the roads now that I've moved up north. I have the Firehawks on there now, and would like something similar, but I'm not sure what size I need for my stock rims. I think they're 16's but I'm not sure, see pic below

 

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Those are 16" wheels on your Focus.

I've got the Blizzak dedicated snow tires - not the touring ones. I think they're the LM-22's? Anyway, they didn't come in 16" diameter, so I bought Tire Rack's steel wheel / Blizzak combo in 15" diameter. It was money very well spent - I'd used Blizzaks in the late 90's, and they were every bit as good as I remembered them. I don't know if they're the "best", since you can get all kinds of fancy-schmancy snow and ice tires, but for the money I think the Blizzaks are great.

The only down-side to using the 15" wheels is that my brake upgrade options are now very limited. Unless I want to swap brakes and knuckles every winter, along with my wheels/tires.
 

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What are the best winter tires for the Focus?
Nokian Hakkapeliitta, is the best winter tire, IMO, on anything, Focus included. Choose the "Q" for studless, and the "2" for studded...

Nokian Winter Tires
 

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those firehawks are scary in the snow, some all season tires can be pretty good but a snow tire is the best bet. I picked up a set of nokian hakka q's off of ebay last fall real cheap. They were really great, the size isn't perfect but they are up on ebay again now from the same place.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It doesn't really snow that much here, it just gets muddy and sometimes (rarely) icy.
 

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When looking for winter/snow tires, just keep in mind that ANY true snow tire will be significantly better in the snow and ice than even your best all season. Personally, I go for the cheapest snow tire I can find in the size I'm looking for.

Oh and yea, those Firestones are downright dangerous in the snow/ice once they pass 1/2 treadwear. First winter I had them on the car when they were new, they wern't that bad. Second winter once they had a decent ammount of wear on them, I though they were trying to kill me.
 

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I had great luck with the Conti ExtremeContacts and Kumho ASX. I even drove the ASX's through a chain contol in tahoe with no problems.

They are both all seasons tho, not dedicated winter or snow tires.
 

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Anything but the stock Firehawks...seriously.

I ran the Hankook W300 "Icebear" for two seasons, and while the treadlife wasn't so hot, they grabbed snow-covered pavement quite well. Excellent bang for the buck.

I even drove the ASX's through a chain contol in tahoe with no problems.
Wussat? It snows here, but not as much as it does there, so we don't have wacky things like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Cool, I'll have to note down the names of these tires and go down and talk to a friend of mine who runs a tire shop.

What's the stock tire size for my 16's?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Anything but the stock Firehawks...seriously.

I ran the Hankook W300 "Icebear" for two seasons, and while the treadlife wasn't so hot, they grabbed snow-covered pavement quite well. Excellent bang for the buck.

I even drove the ASX's through a chain contol in tahoe with no problems.
Wussat? It snows here, but not as much as it does there, so we don't have wacky things like that.
Chain Control is where they require tire chains on vehicles due to Icy conditions. Usually they're required in mountian passes and such.
 

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I'm also a fan of Nokian tires. However, I might give the Blizzaks a try. I need to use this "free tires" thing I got a few weeks ago


Just remember you do need to keep your driving in mind when choosing a winter tire. If you do a lot of highway driving and commuting, you may need to move up to an H-rated tire because of the higher speed rating. Most winter tires have a fairly low speed rating (about a Q or so), so the added traction in winter would result in poorer handling at higher highway speeds.
 

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It doesn't really snow that much here, it just gets muddy and sometimes (rarely) icy.
Doesn't sound like snow tires are what you need


I'm looking into Nokian myself right now. They're a Finnish firm; they KNOW snow.

You can check out the "all purpose" models they carry, but if mud is your concern, you're not seeing the sub-freezing temperatures that Nokian is best at.

I'll bet if you surf Tire Rack for All Terrain type tires, you'll find what you need. Don't be scared to pretend you drive a small pick-up/SUV. No one will judge...
 

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I won't ever get snow tires again until I can either learn to drive normally, or get them mounted on a separate set of rims and ONLY mount those rims when it snows.

They say once you burn through 50% of your tread, you lose 95% of their effectiveness in snow, and I did that in 4 months. Too many ebrake turns and too much spirited driving.

That aside, I only had Winterforces and they were great as far as handling and braking. My mom's AWD Forester with all-seasons still schooled me off the line, but once up to speed the winter tires were hella better than AWD as far as handling and braking.

But yeah, to punish myself for ruining a set of tires in 4 months, I forced myself to keep running the snow tires until they wear down.

Snow tires are squirrley to begin with, imagine them at 80mph on the highway in the middle of the summer, AWFUL
 

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Discussion Starter #15
For a true "Winter" tire, the Bridgestone Bilzzak WS-50's are your best bet for outstanding snow and ice traction! For more information, please visit our site at: http://www.tirerack.com/a.jsp?a=DG2&url=/winter/index.jsp
Hey Roger, my Firehawks are a 205/50-16 right? So do you have a winter tire, or an all season tire that'll work well the one or 2 days it might snow?
 

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I won't ever get snow tires again until I can either learn to drive normally, or get them mounted on a separate set of rims and ONLY mount those rims when it snows.

They say once you burn through 50% of your tread, you lose 95% of their effectiveness in snow, and I did that in 4 months. Too many ebrake turns and too much spirited driving.

That aside, I only had Winterforces and they were great as far as handling and braking. My mom's AWD Forester with all-seasons still schooled me off the line, but once up to speed the winter tires were hella better than AWD as far as handling and braking.

But yeah, to punish myself for ruining a set of tires in 4 months, I forced myself to keep running the snow tires until they wear down.

Snow tires are squirrley to begin with, imagine them at 80mph on the highway in the middle of the summer, AWFUL
You only got 4 months out of a set of Winterforces? Damn, I got almost 12 months(two winters) out of my Kumho I'Zen's and that was with a major front toe problem during the second 6 months. "Note to self: Do not try the Winterforces. Stick with the Kumhos."
 

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im with Roger, i own a set of those Blizzaks and they are the sickest winter tire around, out perform even the most expensive ones out there

-chris
 

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What's the stock tire size for my 16's?
Poor guy - keeps asking and nobody answered.

The stock 16's are 205/50.



Edit: And I STRONGLY recommend getting a set of cheap winter wheels, rather than de-mounting and re-mounting the tires every Spring and Fall. With my prior set of Blizzaks, I had a deal where three years worth of changeovers were included in the price, and it was still a PITA. Plus you're always stuck with gambling with when to change the tires. And if you get a nice warm spell in January, you can swap back to your summer tires if you want to drive like a maniac.

If you don't really need true winter tires, I dunno what to suggest. I know the Pirelli all-season tires have consistently been praised for their value, but I can't attest to their performance.
 

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What's the stock tire size for my 16's?
Poor guy - keeps asking and nobody answered.

The stock 16's are 205/50.



Edit: And I STRONGLY recommend getting a set of cheap winter wheels, rather than de-mounting and re-mounting the tires every Spring and Fall. With my prior set of Blizzaks, I had a deal where three years worth of changeovers were included in the price, and it was still a PITA. Plus you're always stuck with gambling with when to change the tires. And if you get a nice warm spell in January, you can swap back to your summer tires if you want to drive like a maniac.

If you don't really need true winter tires, I dunno what to suggest. I know the Pirelli all-season tires have consistently been praised for their value, but I can't attest to their performance.
If you haven't upsized the brakes, then I would also add in getting packages like the ones Tire Rack offers. For a ZTS, you can keep the 205/50R16 size. Myself, I go down a size to 195/60R15. You can also try a 185/65R14. The thinking is that the width of the tire is smaller. Therefore, you have a better chance cutting through snow and slick stuff.

After running winter tires on steel rims, I vote that you do the same if you can afford it. Not only will it save your current rims from the salt and crap your car has to drive through, it saves you from buying a new rim if you ever slide into a curb or something of the sort. As others have said, it's less labour intensive because all you do is swap the wheels instead of dismounting/remounting/rebalancing the new tires. And, you get to spread out the wear over two sets of tires instead of one. Just remember too that winter tires are designed for colder conditions (cooler temps, ice, snow, etc).

If you are REALLY wanting to run just one set of tires, people here have been speaking quite well of the Pirelli P-Zero Nero M+S.
 
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