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Invest in some good winter tires. You won't regret it and it won't cost you anything in the long run because you extend the life of your summer tires. To drive without winter tires in your area is just not smart.
 

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Don't worry about your friends. Winter tires are a smart choice. If they save you from even just one minor fender bender, they will automatically save you a bundle. You're right that it might not snow anymore, but who knows? You could likely still get freezing rain and that's where the winter tires will really shine. All I know is I could not imagine anyone having to park their car in a parking lot because they could not make it up an incline to their home. That just does not seem right. You'll love winter tires. I know you had good results with other cars on 4 seasons, but once you go to winters you will never go back. The feel of driving on snow with good grip (that makes you feel like you're driving on dry pavement) is just awesome and fun.

For your safety and that of others, once you get the tires, I still suggest you drive like you didn't have the winter tires. I always say the same thing to ppl with 4 wheel drive cars.

BTW Costco is a good place to get your winter tires. I don't know how it works there, but here you get free installation every time you need to switch from summer/winter or winter/summer as long as you bought one set of tires at costco and they are on rims. Plus, they fill them with nitrogen, which is an extra at most other garages (if they even offer nitrogen). And they use a torque wrench. I have Michelin X-ice and they are fantastic.

All the best!
 

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Winters require winter tires. Anything less is gambling with your health and the health of others, no matter how well you think 4 seaons do in winter, they are simply the right tire for winter conditions. Why risk it?
 

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And I totally agree with topspin.....Anyone that lives in a snowbelt, or any region with bad winter weather should invest in snow tires. But of course it's a additional cost that not everyone can live with.
See I really don't believe there is much additional cost if you factor in the fact that you're saving your summer tires when you get your winter shoes. The only additional cost is in the rims and the swapping (unless you go to costco which is free).

But honestly I believe that, if someone can't afford the proper tires for winter, then they really should not buy the car. This needs to be factored in before making a purchase and viewed as the necessity that it is (much like insurance, fuel, registration costs).
 

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ecko, agreeing to disagree is a nice thing to say but it rarely solves anything.

I understand that the cost of winter tires + rims is not a fun expense and I'd rather spend the money elsewhere too. But, based on your post, I'd say you're not really calculating things correctly. I mean this with all due respect. Consider my points:

1. You wrote: "When I buy a car brand new with less than 10 miles on it, I don't expect to have to buy one single thing for it."

Firstly, I don't know which tires are sold with the Kia in the USA. In Canada they come with some Good Year tires that I've read wear out very quickly. Disappointing, but not totally unexpected since car manufacturers are all about profit.

So for those like myself still researching the car, we have 2 options. 1. We can sell the tires on ebay. 2. We can use this in our purchase negotiations. We often joke that the price of a new car doesn't even include tires; sadly this is somewhat true with Kia (based on the overwhelming posts about the poor quality of the stock tires). I won't really hold my breath that the dealer will give me a discount based on this fact nor will I expect them to replace the tires with something of quality, so I will factor in an extra $700 for a new set summer tires within 20 000km of use on those stock tires.

Do you really think it's reasonable to expect not to pay anything more after making a purchase of a new item? The car was sold with tires not meant for winter. So if I call Kia and complain about the poor winter handling of the car compared to some of my older cars, what do you think they will answer me? They will of course say to fit the car with the proper tires for my driving conditions. Older cars had smaller dimensions, smaller tire widths etc, so of course they handled better in winter conditions. But how did they handle on dry conditions compared to your new Kia? I imagine you bought your new Kia for a few reasons and that you normally appreciate the car handling characteristics in normal driving conditions.

I agree with you that Kia should supply a better tire, but for summer conditions, not for replacing the need to install winter tires.

2. You wrote: "Since I live in the Ohio snowbelt, winters can get pretty bad"

This makes is super clear that you should not even be attempting to drive a car with anything but proper winter tires. Leave the past in the past. Yes, I also drive without any major problems or accidents without winter tires (in Montreal). Was that smart? Not at all. Yes I made it through even with a very dangerous combination of front used winter tires with studs & rear almost bare summer tires. That was utterly stupid but we got by. Looking back, even with financial difficulties, the priority should have been to install 4 new winter tires. Saving a few hundred dollars was not worth the risk. Of course when we're younger we never think anything is going to happen to us. But it infuriates me to no end when I read ppl write that they should still have the right to use a tire not meant for winter based solely on the fact that they 'never had a problem before'. It's like saying you wear running shoes in winter and never fell before. Great, but does not mean you won't fall tomorrow when you would not have fallen had you put on some proper boots.

3. You wrote: "I think driving smart in the snow is just as if not more important that snow tires considering most people I know drive without snow tires."

I partially agree. Yes, driving smart is important. We all know that you can have the best handling car with the best tires and then drive irresponsibly and hurt yourself and others. So for sure you need to drive just like you wrote in your post: taking it easy, not rushing etc. This will definitely keep you and others out of the hospital emergency rooms. In fact, I took a special winter driving course and came out of it thinking that it is something that everyone should be forced to take before getting their license. There are some simple common sense driving techniques that give you confidence and the ability to avoid accidents. I recommend everyone take even just a simple course of that type. They should be available in most areas where snow is a way of life.

But unfortunately even the most careful responsible educated driver might come across a split-second driving situation where they are at the mercy of the equipment their driving. And the reality is that, no matter how great a car we drive, it is held to the road with the tires. That's why we need the right tire for the right car for the right conditions.

All-season tires (often called 'no-season') tires are simply not meant for winter conditions. They become hard as a rock below freezing and totally deprive your car of much needed grip. I'm sure you know all this already or you can do the search for this yourself. You will not find a single source (internet or other) that won't recommend the use of winter tires for winter conditions.

The benefits far outweigh the extra cost. But please do keep in mind my point that you are actually not paying that much after all because you extend the life of your summer tires.

Driving with summer tires in winter is scary (as you experienced). Driving with proper winter tires is actually fun.

I've read through many forums about this and it still frustrates me that some people still mention 'but i've never had a problem in the past'. Leave the past behind and forget what your friends are doing. Set the example and do things right.

Here in Montreal, winter tires are now mandatory from Dec 15 to Mar 15. There was so much resistance at first especially from those who said they never had a problem before. Yet the statistics clearly showed that the majority of winter accidents (major or minor) involved at least one car without proper winter tires. Since the new law, the number of winter accidents has gone down significantly.

I still wrote to the government of Quebec about the law because, although I agree with it, I think it comes up short in one area. The flaw in that the law does not require the use of proper summer tires in summer time. So unfortunately we have a lot of lazy ppl here who decide to drive through all summer using their winter tires. These wear out quickly and they then drive the next winter on those tires. This despite the knowledge that winter tires simply do not handle well in hot conditions and have longer breaking distances in hot/wet conditions. So it's not the right tire for summer because it was designed for cold winter conditions. Unfortunately I got a generic response from the government saying they had no plans to enforce proper tire use for summers.

I don't know that the laws are like in your area but I urge you to just drive on the safest tire you can for winter. It's simply not worth the risk and does not cost you as much as you think it will. The choice is up to you though.
 
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