studded snow tires?

Discussion in 'Vehicle & Transportation' started by solaceofwinter, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. solaceofwinter

    solaceofwinter Guest

    i have a 1994 dr Ford explorer 4wd. last year i didnt have very good tires on it and it did TERRIBLE in the snow. i have gotten some new "street" tires that are good like all season tires, mostly street only etc. I still need to get a set for the front for summer but want a dedicated winter tire. a good friend gave me a set of his 225 m/t style tires that have studs in them. the tires have good tread and there is still a fair amount of studs left.
    over the last several years we havent had any good snows. the whole time i had my jeep rubicon i can only recall one good snow, as soon as i sold it it was terrible. last year several times we had nothing but inches of ice on the streets. no snow just solid sheet of ice about 1 -3 inches thick. the whole town looked like an ice sculpture, we also had several snows that i didnt know if i would make it home from work in, 4wd or not...
    so should i run these studded tires from now until feb/march?
    my wife and i work at the same job and ride together and its fairly critical we make it to work else we get fired, snow or not lol.
    ive read studded tires on dry pavement doesnt make for a great scenario but they are nice in ice/snow. if i use these studded tires i still have to buy a set for the front and i think i can get the same tread pattern but doubt i can get studded ones. no big deal?
    we have already had a good snow here in eastern KY that covered the road and was very slick and caused several wrecks here locally on my street. (5 car pileup right down the road)
    so do you guys think i should run the studded tires or take the studs out?
    there are no laws here to prevent running studded tires.
    chains i dont know if i can do because i drive highway to work and im not sure how they would do.
  2. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    Most MudTerrain tires have little holes that accept a stud. You can drive on the tires w/ studs all year around - it does wear down the road some and it is quite noisy.

    If I could recommend - BF Goodrich AllTerrain tires are great all year around. My little lady is on her second winter with her BFG AT's and my Jeep is on its first winter with BFG AT's. I have driven on BFG tires on other vehicles and never had issues.

    If that isn't an option - stud the tires for winter and swap for some other kind of tire for summer.

  3. SurvivalNut

    SurvivalNut Retired Army

    Tire Siping

    I am NOT a tire tech or salesman, I just have experience in a lot of crappy winters. Chains are needed for built up snow or driving over the pass. For level commutes or around town with ice or slush, I really like siped tires on my 4WD Jeep Cherokee. You can run the same tires year round. Here in Washington, all tire shops do it for about $10 per tire. My factory original tires just got replaced after 70,000 miles, I could have gone till spring, but I wanted a new set for the winter. Supposedly the tires run cooler and therefore last longer, and I have seen that firsthand. Supposedly gas mileage improves but my agreement with that is less defensible but I would still agree. Siping can be done on new or worn in tires, so it is always an option, and not an expensive experiment over trying a new set of tires.

    Siping - What is it? Questions Answered Here

    Above is a link with some more info. If you look up tire siping, a lot of 4wd forums talk positively about it. Chains, siping, studs, snow tires, there is no perfect solution, for my climate...siping works for me!

    Of course whether your specific tread can be siped can be determined by the tire shop
  4. solaceofwinter

    solaceofwinter Guest

    i should have mentioned im an offroad guy.
    yeah the bfg all terrains are a good year round choice i agree! i really loved the trxus m/t's on my jeep but they kill your gas mileage but they do great in anything.
    i just dont have the $ right now to buy a set of 4 tires.
    thats why i thought i would use the 2 that i got FREE then get some matched up front for winter. then when summer comes around buy 2 streetable tires to match the two i have on it now. basically i have 2 good summer tires and 2 good winter tires lol.
    i wonder if i can get the studs re-done? ive read that you cant unless they have never been run etc because dirt gets in the holes and for some reason wont let you seat a stud in it. who knows though.
    so ill run those two studded tires in the back and get some to match for the front probably without studs unless i can get the fronts with studs for cheap.
    we can drive my wifes car to work on days when no snow is expected. if i had the money id get a good m/t tire. just dont at the moment.
  5. Big B

    Big B Well-Known Member

    Do not run the studs with a non studded tire.
    When you brake,especially down hill ,it can wreck havoc with the control of a vehicle in snow or ice, even on dry pavement.
    Since you are only going to buy two at a time, i have a suggestion for you.
    I used to have a fwd Audi, and I ran Bridgestone Blizzac tires on it all year around as I lived in the mountains and drove on dry,icy and snow.
    I have tried many brands and these were amazing tires. I would run all four and never any studs, that car would go through snow deep enough to drag the floor pan and I never got stuck. On the wet, you could slam on the brakes and hardly slip.
    One of the best.....
    They are available on line, shipped to your front door, buy two and when the money is there, grab another pair.
  6. skip

    skip Old hillbilly

    Here in Missouri, studded tires are only legal from October to April. Check your local laws.

    I drive a 1987 Toy 4WD pickup. I run 31/10.50X15 off brand tires. With the 22R 4 cyl. engine, we call it Pokey. Snow and mud are no problem. I do have problems on ice, not going, just controlling where I'm going. We also have problems in heavy rains, as the big tires act like skis. In Ice and rain, I have to slow waaaayyyy down.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2008
  7. bonanacrom

    bonanacrom Active Member

    Studded tires will **** up your suspension, and have to get that fixed pretty much means new parts and there expensive. Get some really good chains and you'll do fine.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2008
  8. northernontario

    northernontario Well-Known Member


    How will studded tires mess up a suspension? They are simply tiny metal nubs protruding from the tread of the tire. They add almost no weight to the tire, they don't flail around like chains, and they don't stick out beyond the tire to catch on suspension components or bodywork.

    That said... chains and studs serve two different purposes.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2008
  9. AgentFlounder

    AgentFlounder fan of analysis

    Well... studded tires are hard to beat on ice. Some states outlaw using them except during winter months. I had a set of studded tires on my Sentra SE-R when I first got up here but quickly realized it wasn't worth the noise. But... if they're cheap/free why not, until you can get something better. Better to run studs on all 4 esp with 4x4.

    Another option is to get really good snow/ice tires like Bridgestone Blizzaks? They are supposed to do great in both ice and snow. They are so good that the Georgetown Ice Races put cars with Blizzaks in their own class.

    There are some other good ones out there. My wife had a set of Vredesteins on her RWD Volvo 240D that did surprisingly well in snow and slippery conditions. She never got stuck and I recall easily passing other cars unable to get traction up small hills. But not sure I can attest to their ice handling.

    I also found BFG AT KO's to be excellent in snow of varying depths from dusting to blizzard. I had these on my 85 and 86 Grand Wagoneers. They technically are an off-road tire, though, so that may be too noisy for you. But I have run them day to day and find them quite acceptable. I have also had good luck in snow with Goodyear MTRs but they are really noisy and hard to maintain even wear. I like the new BFG MTs on there now for snow and on-road.

    Last thought, are you sure the 4x4 is working properly? -- if it isn't then that might explain the poor performance.
  10. solaceofwinter

    solaceofwinter Guest

    studd tires have nothing to do with your suspension.
    I noticed yesterday we had a call for snow so i got the tires put on the rear of the truck. woke this morning to a very icey mess. they did fine and conisderably better than my previous tires from last year. Just need to find a similar tire tread for the front.
    i dont think chains would have been a good option for around here. i have to do some highway driving and wouldnt imagine chains to be a great option for that. not sure though. Ill stick with studded ones. :D
  11. AgentFlounder

    AgentFlounder fan of analysis

    I would think chains would only be appropriate for being in deep snowfall. My understanding is that chains don't hold up to pavement well unless they are extremely high quality (e.g., Pewag). And who wants the jarring ride? With 4x4 you just need good tires.
  12. solaceofwinter

    solaceofwinter Guest

    this is what i was thinking, exactly!
    it doesnt get deep snows but mostly ice, like when you walk its like walking through hundreds of bb's that kind of thing is worse that deep snow in my opinion. i think the studded tires ar e just what i need for this.
  13. flatwater

    flatwater Well-Known Member

    I have had good luck with siped tires also. there not as good as studs but they do ok and will last longer. I used to use the walnut shell soft rubber tires years ago and they were cheap to buy and worked well but like everything else that worked they did away with. Slant head six , drive in theaters , 68 camaros , 327 , westerns , good education , etc: etc:
  14. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    This will probably get deleted, most everything from anyone with any actual experience is getting deleted by the 'moderators' lately...

    First off, Studded snow tires and even chains are ILLEGAL in most states and under most circumstances.

    There are a few mountain passes that require chains, and all most everywhere else they are illegal.
    I don't know anywhere studded snow tires are legal anymore. makes EXCELLENT tire chains, and some cables.
    I use them not only in snow/ice, but for off road use, like mud cleats.
    They make tire chains that will stand up to FARM USAGE, and that's saying something!

    If you have a 4x4 with heavy lug tires, it's a bad idea to use chains, the chains simply fall into the lugs and do you little to no good.

    Use a smoother tread, highway type tire with chains, and you will keep much more of the chain in contact with the road where it will do some good!

    Remember, It's MUCH EASIER to chain up BEFORE you get stuck than to try and chain up afterwards!
    Go slow, drive like you have some sense and realize you are driving on tires that are WAY out of balance,
    And that there is lots of weight way far from center on your tires!

    Don't use chains on a vehicle the fenders are close to the tires!
    As you drive faster, the centrifugal force will expand the chains and they WILL EAT YOUR FENDERS!

    If you are only a 'Little' stuck, remember, you can just throw the chains down on the ground and get traction on them, then pick them back up once you are 'Un-Stuck'...
    You don't have to 'Chain Up' for every little slick spot!
  15. Gutrix

    Gutrix Member

    I have a 4Runner that I just had Studded Snow tires put on, and they have worked great for hard packed snow and ice. My gas mileage has been significantly lowered, but has been worth it. I live in the Seattle area and we just go hit by a blast of snow. I had no problem getting around during any of it.

    As far as the legality of the tires, here they are legal from the end of Oct through the end of April. I hear that they are not legal most places back east, and the places where they really get snow. They probably wouldn't need them anyway, because they know how to drive in this stuff.

    Chains, I once had a set of cable chains that got destroyed from a small section of dry pavement. I was going only 20, and they were the top of the line for the cable variety. I just stick with 4x4 now.
  16. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

    I think maybe bonanocrom was talking about studded tires maybe being a little out-of-balance... and if you neglect an unbalanced tire long enough it will affect your alignment, then if if you neglect that long enough it can affect the multitude of parts that comprise the entire axle assembly, including shocks/springs (mounts) etc... it may seem farfetched to people that populate a forum such as this, but I have seen people with $1000 car repair bills because they didn't get their tires balanced properly a year previous & just ignored the problems until they became catatrophic, some people are just a walking Darwin Award >_<
  17. solaceofwinter

    solaceofwinter Guest

    some states yes they are, but here in good ole KY not much is. :)
    i think here you can run them year round even...
    Not that anyone would even pull you over for'em.
    I wish i could find a tire stud gun so i could re-do these.
    i hear you can re-stud them because dirt gets in the holes but i think i could manage something...
  18. richtaber

    richtaber New Member

    There are advantages and disvantages to studded tires. Here in Upstate New York where we have snow and ice for six months of the year they acn be a real lifesaver. They are excellent for maintaining traction on icy roads. If you have good snow tires, studs, and four wheel drive you are ready for almost anything. However, they are noisy, and do cut down on your gas mileage somewhat. They have to come off by April 15 here.
  19. mmszbi

    mmszbi Junior Member

    From several years in the tire business and 31 years in Alaska, allow me to clarify a few above posts.....and there are some very good ones.
    Never restud a previously studded tire. Small debris gets in the holes and putting a new stud in there will simply get you a flat tire at the most inopportune time. If you get studded tire, try to get the steel studs with carbide core. Most folks do not know this but studs are made from aluminum(wear very quickly), steel, plastic(yep, its for real) and rubber. Tires made from the factory to be studded have a small cavity under the hole that you can see to hold the rim of the stud when inserted( rim is much like a gun cartridge rim, like a .38 special case). Thats why when you have a shop drill your non studded tires for studs they don't seem to stay in....they can't make the cavity with a drill.
    If you run studs, run studs on ALL 4.
    If you can afford them, get the siped tires, the Blizzaks or Michelin Arctic Alpins, they will simply outperform anything else you can possibly put on your car for both snow and ice. But you will pay for them. They are also a much more pliable, softer compound so take them off after winter.
    Should you decide to run chains ( I drove long haul for several years pulling double 45's) the key is to inspect them regularly, make sure they fit BEFORE winter (like try them on in the fall), know how to put them on BEFORE you need them. And make sure they are TIGHT. Slower speeds are required so you let the chains do what they are made for and don't beat themselves and your rig to death.
    Enough of my $.02.