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      05-06-2016, 04:19 AM   #1
SilverDust
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Tires to Run in North Carolina

Hey Guys!

So I've lived in the deep south my entire life, and never really had winters where it went below freezing for any length of time. As such, I've always run summer tires year round, and I've just been sure to take it easy if we get a random day or two below freezing.

I'm moving up to Durham, NC to go back to school and I am wondering for what type of setup I need to budget? Does it get cold enough to necessitate running a separate set of dedicated winter tires? Would all seasons suffice in winter? Or could I continue my current setup of running summer tires year round?

Anyone in NC or who's lived there have any insight?
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      05-06-2016, 07:42 AM   #2
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It depends on if you absolutely need your car to commute no mater what the weather is doing or not. Some winters we get essentially zero days of winter roads, and some winters we might have 6-10" once (usually melts within a couple of days...the sun is our snowplow for many roads). I guess a typical winter might see 3-5 days of potentially winter roads where a summer tire would be dangerous/impossible to use. If you can get by using other means of transport for those few days, you're likely fine with summer tires (as long as you're careful on those 25F sunny days and 36F rainy ones).

If you have to use your car, then definitely find a good-in-snow all-season tire (which you'll still not be able to really use if we get a large dumping and/or ice).
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      05-06-2016, 12:15 PM   #3
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For your situation, I would recommend looking into a ultra high performance all-season. For the few rare days when you encounter snow, I do not think it is worth while to have a dedicated winter set.
Some of the best currently would be the Continental ExtremeContact DWS06 or the new Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 Plus.
Both of these are strong performers in the ice and snow, yet still provide some pretty serious dry road handling. The Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 Plus has actually outperformed some of the max performance summer tires in the dry. Personally the Michelin's would be my top choice.

Feel free to email me directly if you want to go over options.
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      05-06-2016, 05:31 PM   #4
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I live in Atlanta, so it stays a bit warmer than where you are headed. I've had summer tires that got very sketchy in weather below freezing, but never had any issues with Pilot Super Sports. My advice would be to keep your summer tires and take Uber on the handful of days you would not be comfortable driving.
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      05-09-2016, 10:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSBM5 View Post
It depends on if you absolutely need your car to commute no mater what the weather is doing or not. Some winters we get essentially zero days of winter roads, and some winters we might have 6-10" once (usually melts within a couple of days...the sun is our snowplow for many roads). I guess a typical winter might see 3-5 days of potentially winter roads where a summer tire would be dangerous/impossible to use. If you can get by using other means of transport for those few days, you're likely fine with summer tires (as long as you're careful on those 25F sunny days and 36F rainy ones).

If you have to use your car, then definitely find a good-in-snow all-season tire (which you'll still not be able to really use if we get a large dumping and/or ice).

Thanks for the responses guys!

So what I'm gathering is if it snows or we get a winter day, I would be stranded for however long that lasts with summer tires. I guess a good follow up question would be does pretty much everything shut down in that weather (e.g. would it matter if I'm stranded)? Houston is a ghost town whenever there's even a whisper that the roads might ice.
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      05-09-2016, 10:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tadmcmichael View Post
I live in Atlanta, so it stays a bit warmer than where you are headed. I've had summer tires that got very sketchy in weather below freezing, but never had any issues with Pilot Super Sports. My advice would be to keep your summer tires and take Uber on the handful of days you would not be comfortable driving.
I was looking at the super sports as I'm originally from Birmingham and used to run summers there all year. With the colder winters I was trying to gauge the viability of that... from the responses i'm starting to lean toward All seasons..

Sidenote: have you ever tracked or been to Road Atlanta? My friend lives like 8mi from it and i was thinking of hitting it up during my cross-country move.
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      05-09-2016, 11:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverDust View Post
Thanks for the responses guys!

So what I'm gathering is if it snows or we get a winter day, I would be stranded for however long that lasts with summer tires. I guess a good follow up question would be does pretty much everything shut down in that weather (e.g. would it matter if I'm stranded)? Houston is a ghost town whenever there's even a whisper that the roads might ice.

It's more than just "a winter day". Summer tires do not grip well on cold pavement, even if it's dry. They typically call this out as: "not for use on pavement below 45 F".

I can tell you from experience that by the end of October here in Chicago, when the pavement is cold, my DSC light will just randomly flash on certain turns or if I'm a bit too aggressive on take-off. The ride quality also suffers because the rubber hardens -- which also means increased wear.

I don't know the climate of where you'll be living, but if it is consistently in the 40s, I would run all-season tires. If it's sporadic (meaning 40s in the dead-of-night), then summer tires might be okay as long as you are careful during those cold spells.

Agree with the above recommendation of Pilot Sport A/S 3. The tests I've seen show the performance to be on-par with the factory-fitted PS2 [summer] tires these cars had!
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      05-09-2016, 05:54 PM   #8
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Thanks Dparm! I've lived in places where it can get in the 30s and 40s, but it's always sporadic so this is a new one for me. Thanks for the feedback!

So based on the overwhelmingly positive reviews of the Pilot Sport A/S 3s, I think I will order a set here soon. Appreciate it guys!
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      05-10-2016, 11:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverDust
Quote:
Originally Posted by tadmcmichael View Post
I live in Atlanta, so it stays a bit warmer than where you are headed. I've had summer tires that got very sketchy in weather below freezing, but never had any issues with Pilot Super Sports. My advice would be to keep your summer tires and take Uber on the handful of days you would not be comfortable driving.
I was looking at the super sports as I'm originally from Birmingham and used to run summers there all year. With the colder winters I was trying to gauge the viability of that... from the responses i'm starting to lean toward All seasons..

Sidenote: have you ever tracked or been to Road Atlanta? My friend lives like 8mi from it and i was thinking of hitting it up during my cross-country move.
I have been to Road Atlanta. It's a fun track, but I prefer Atlanta Motorsports Park. It's got some really tricky turns and is a lot of fun with all of the elevation change. Road Atlanta has some fairly high speeds in some sections, but doesn't do as much for me. AMP is more fun for a street legal car in my opinion. I don't think I would go out there with AS3s though.
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      05-10-2016, 11:38 AM   #10
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Absolutely no need to get a set of dedicated winter tires in Durham. Yes high performance tires lose there HIGH PERFORMANCE grip in cold weather but they still grip just fine for everyday driving.
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      05-13-2016, 01:43 PM   #11
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As a note, high performance summer tires will have liveable grip in cold weather, but that's in the dry.

Make it a cold/wet surface, and all bets are completely off.

In general, if you are debating getting summer or A/S, get a UHP A/S tire at most. You'll extend a bit of mileage vs. summers, while not having to worry about being caught in a freak foul weather situation.

For me, I absolutely need summers when the conditions call for them. I didn't get this car to only explore 80% of it's potential by throwing on A/S tires.

In general, the summer tires in the US really wear down faster than A/S tires. Europe, and other regions where winter tires are mandatory, they have longer lasting summer tires that give more to comfort and mileage.
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      06-03-2016, 02:36 PM   #12
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Just to update you guys..

Ended up going with the Michelin A/S 3s in 255/35/19 and 285/30/19. Love the setup! They really do grip like summer tires (although some of that may be because of the width I added). In the dry, I struggle to break the backend loose, but understeer hasn't been an issue either. Feels much more balanced but with a much greater amount of grip. I am yet to really find the limit of grip as there's just so much there (trust me, I've tried). Also, with the rain in Houston we've had, they've performed incredibly well (have found the grip limit in the wet). AND, no rub on my stock suspension - so that's awesome.

Anyways, I appreciate you guys providing your input!
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      06-03-2016, 05:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverDust View Post
Just to update you guys..

Ended up going with the Michelin A/S 3s in 255/35/19 and 285/30/19. Love the setup! They really do grip like summer tires (although some of that may be because of the width I added). In the dry, I struggle to break the backend loose, but understeer hasn't been an issue either. Feels much more balanced but with a much greater amount of grip. I am yet to really find the limit of grip as there's just so much there (trust me, I've tried). Also, with the rain in Houston we've had, they've performed incredibly well (have found the grip limit in the wet). AND, no rub on my stock suspension - so that's awesome.

Anyways, I appreciate you guys providing your input!

Glad to hear you're happy with them. It sounds like it's plenty of tire for street driving! Let us know if you ever take them to the track.
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