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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The time is quickly coming for me to pick up some new tires. I'm trying to decide between all seasons or summers. The car is my daily that I take back and forth to college. Since I drive through Flagstaff four times through winter, I'm worried about driveability in snow. Prescott also has the usual month long monsoon season during which we get plenty of rain. However, outside of those two events, there isn't much need for all seasons the rest of the year.

Basically, I'd really like to go with summers but I'm worried they won't cut it on the relatively few occasions when things get cold and wet. Last time I went through Flagstaff in winter, I was passing cars stranded in ditches. I certainly don't want to become one of those cars. Being that I'll be at college in AZ, I won't really have the space or tools needed to run/store more than one set of wheels. I've been running Pilot Sport A/S 3s on the car as they came with it. They have been great tires but I can't bring myself to spend $1k on tires this summer.

To add to this, I'll probably be getting new wheels and suspension (coilovers) in the next month or so as the previous owner chewed up all four of the current ones pretty badly and the original suspension is getting worn out. I was thinking of going with 18x10 et43 (with spacers) wrapped in 265(or 275, more tire options)/35/18s all around. I really would like to be able to rotate my tires and the reduced understeer would be greatly appreciated during autox, even if it does increase tramlining.

So, what would you all suggest? Summers or all seasons? Which brands do you prefer?
 

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I got caught in a snow storm with summer tires on a mountain in my Mustang once. I took it slow and managed to get out but ended up having to stop behind a school bus that got stuck in a stretch of ice. I got stuck in the ice too but managed to back out slowly. Depending on the type of weather you see you could get away with adding a couple hundred pounds of junk in the trunk which will help you break through the surface of the snow and reach the pavement. This is the main issue when it comes to rear wheel drive in the snow.

Personally I would go with summer tires if you can add the weight in the trunk for traction if you will only do short trips in the snow. Any prolonged usage in snow or cold I'd go with all seasons. Best option (if you had the space) is run dedicated summer and winter wheels during the appropriate times.

Concerning the monsoon season summer tires would be your best bet. They usually do the best in the wet. After running dedicated summer and winter wheel/tire setups I hope to never return to all seasons. The difference in traction is astounding.

Tire suggestions
Summer - Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 (I have had 2 sets of these and they are phenomenal especially at their price range)
All Seasons - Continental DWS (heard nothing but good things)

Somethings to keep in mind

Summer tires do not like prolonged use below 40 degrees. Freezing temps can cause the tires to crack but usually over a longer period of time rather than short stints as they are stiffer tires to better handle the heat. They usually have the best dry and wet grip when it's above 40.

Winter tires are softer so they can handle the cold without getting so stiff that they crack. They also have deep crevices ;) that can cut through snow.

All seasons are worse than both at their respective tasks and imo are only a convenience option.
 

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Conti DWS for all seasons. Rain, sleet, snow or shine, these tires have never left me disappointed. Im not the most aggressive driver but I'm certainly no slouch and I don't think i've ever reached the actual dry potential of them (on actual roads)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I wound up going with the Contis. I've heard nothing but good things. I'd love to pick up winter and summer sets but it just won't work right now. Also managed to grab them on sale from Discount Tire. Now I just need my coilovers and wheels to come in...
 
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