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      12-28-2009, 02:31 AM   #1
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Owners of Michelin Pilot PA3 Winter Tires

What do you think so far? I have had 245/18" tires in a square setup on my car a couple weeks now.

Some thoughts:
  • I havent been in any snow to speak of, but in very light snow (dusting basically - see pic below) seemed ok and when losing traction, its progressive. The car tends to understeer in snow (which is fine with me - safer).
  • Dry traction is really EXCELLENT - almost feels like the stock oem pilot sports in cornering feel, albeit less grip. Sidewall flex is nice; minimal/not squishy. Noise is about the same as oem PS. As a driver's tire, I'm very happy with the feel of these tires on dry and wet roads. BTW, if you feel the tires are squishy and roll around, overinflate them 2-3 psi. It made a HUGE difference in feel/handling for me.
  • Ice traction is BAD. Car is very slippery on ice - they do not grip nearly as well as the dunlop wintersports I'm used to. I was in a parking lot today and the car lost all grip immediately over a ice puddle.
  • Its much easier to get the back end out, which can be fun I guess. You can definitely feel why the car uses a 265 rear. I'd think harder about a larger square setup if I were to do it again - maybe go up a series or two all around so I could stay square and be able to rotate them yearly.
Overall it feels like a Pilot Sport tire with a rubber compound for sub 40 deg weather. I'm not feeling too confident it will be good in deeper snow, and it's ice traction has me a little worried I should have bought a more hardcore winter-biased tire.

Has anyone else driven in bad snow/slush with these and can comment?

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      12-28-2009, 08:34 AM   #2
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I have a square set-up of PA2s in 245/40-18 on their 4th winter. You've hit the nail on the head describing their behavior. They are more a cold weather tire than a heavy snow/ice tire. Mine spent two winters in Minnesota (dry and very cold) where I think they were perfect. Then I used them near Syracuse NY for a winter. Snow is extra heavy, and I still liked them.
Bottom line is they are excellent tires for 95% of the time you'll be using them. They work good enough in heavy snow (you have to use a light foot) and if you want ice traction, you'll have to go to a different tire and give up the quiet smooth ride and excellent dry handling.
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      12-28-2009, 11:01 AM   #3
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I agree - the PA3's are a great tire for most of the driving you will be doing. I had them on my car for last winter and was very pleased with their performance. I dont recall using them in icy conditions or real deep snow as I would use the wifes suv those days. I changed my wheel set up this year and intended on using the PA3's again, but a week after I ordered them I was told they were out of stock and went with the Sottozero's as an alternate, but we have not had a real snow to speak of yet for a comparison. Dry condition driving seems very comparable from what I remember.

Car looks great on the winter set up!
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