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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

So, I'm embarrassed to ask this. Logistically, how do those of you who have separate snow and summer tires handle it? Completely different set of wheels that you store? Or just a different set of tires and the same wheels?

If the former, how do you store them? If one did not have much space, are there places that would store them for you?

Basically, after growing up in Alabama and then not having/needing a car for the first several years of my professional life, I've not ever needed snow tires. Now that I'm in DC and go to WV frequently, I'd like to get a set...but I don't know the basics.

A little direction would be appreciated! Thank you much!
 

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Two different sets. One set of 17x7.5 Traklite Gears with Continental Extreme Contact Sports and the OEM rims with Continental WinterContact Si snow tires.

I have a set of Husky Brand steel shelves from Home Depot in the garage. The bottom shelf works very well as a tire rack.

 

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These are important questions to ask!

One of my co-workers hates the look of the typical winter wheel here in Colorado which is the generic black steel wheels that many people have for their winter tires. So he pays to have his tires swapped twice per year - at the beginning of winter, and then again at the end. I don't want to pay $75 twice per year!

For my all wheel drive Explorer I just have a good set of Michelin all-season tires that get me through the weather all year round. For my son's Mazda 3, he prefers a set of all-season tires too.

For my daughter's Mazda 3, she likes dedicated snow tires - Bridgestone Blizzaks are super popular for snow. You can order a set from Tirerack.com plus a set of decent looking wheels (or cheap black steel wheels!) and they will mount & balance for free and throw in a set of lug nuts for free.

There are tire places that will store tires for you for a fee. Also, there are wall-mounted tire racks you can buy for $60 or so online.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey, thank you both! This is exactly what I needed--enough info to know what questions to ask.

We live in DC, and don't have a garage, so might be looking at a storage unit to handle the tires. But there's a couple places we'll check near where parents live to see if they can store, too, since visits would coincide well. Either way, feel like I have enough info get going and get winter tires on there by the time summer's over.

I'll start digging around to see what prices are and comparing tires. Really appreciate the help!
 

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I agree with the having 2 sets of wheels and tires, either a set of steelies or OEM rims for winters. and then have your own choice of affordable rims/tires for the summer.
I have a friend who have 2 sets of tires but not 2 sets of wheels and he has to spend $60 twice per year for switching his summer and winters. It gets really expensive and after a 2-3 years he could of afford a set of rims already.

I run stock size for my winter tires on my OEM rims.
205/50/17 Bridgestone Blizzaks WS80

And I run slightly wider tire for my summer tires on Enkei RPF1
225/45/17 Continental Extreme Contact DW.
 

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Like @arathol’s set up. I instead have gone “cheap,” but in over 40 years of storing my second set of tires/wheels (always have two sets for every vehicle except the farm truck), I have never had an issue.

First, before storing, I air them up to 40 PSI. Second, I never store them on wet concrete, so if your garage floor is wet or even damp, I always elevate them on something — so that 100% of every tire remains dry the entire storage time. Some further add a single layer of carpet underneath, saying that the concrete contact patch can have a damaging effect on the tire — but I have never done that and never had an issue (maybe because I never have them touching damp/wet concrete).

I change out one set for another in my garage and thus in the fall, watch the weather closely and never install them before weather, including temp, says they are now needed! Another key of course is the reverse, is not runnning snow tires too long in the later winter/spring because one gets lazy thinking “I am busy and next week I will change back” to my summer set.
 

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I agree with the having 2 sets of wheels and tires, either a set of steelies or OEM rims for winters. and then have your own choice of affordable rims/tires for the summer.
I have a friend who have 2 sets of tires but not 2 sets of wheels and he has to spend $60 twice per year for switching his summer and winters. It gets really expensive and after a 2-3 years he could of afford a set of rims already.

I run stock size for my winter tires on my OEM rims.
205/50/17 Bridgestone Blizzaks WS80

And I run slightly wider tire for my summer tires on Enkei RPF1
225/45/17 Continental Extreme Contact DW.
I prefer to downsize my winter tires. In your situation I would get a 16" wheel/tire combo for winter. This saves money on both the tires and the wheels, and also provides a bit more cushion when driving. After all, true winter tires aren't performance tires by any standards.

But you used your stock OEM rims, hence the 17" tires.
 

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Like @arathol’s set up. I instead have gone “cheap,” but in over 40 years of storing my second set of tires/wheels (always have two sets for every vehicle except the farm truck), I have never had an issue.

First, before storing, I air them up to 40 PSI. Second, I never store them on wet concrete, so if your garage floor is wet or even damp, I always elevate them on something — so that 100% of every tire remains dry the entire storage time. Some further add a single layer of carpet underneath, saying that the concrete contact patch can have a damaging effect on the tire — but I have never done that and never had an issue (maybe because I never have them touching damp/wet concrete).

I change out one set for another in my garage and thus in the fall, watch the weather closely and never install them before weather, including temp, says they are now needed! Another key of course is the reverse, is not runnning snow tires too long in the later winter/spring because one gets lazy thinking “I am busy and next week I will change back” to my summer set.
Good advice on storage! I also wash my wheels/tires thoroughly prior to storing to prevent or limit corrosion. It's nice putting on a set of clean tires when it is time to change. And I label my old tire position (DF, DR, PF, PR - for driver/passenger front/rear) with tape so that when I put them on I can easily rotate them to their new position.
 

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My suggestion would be no snow tires. I have owned 2 mazda 3i now, 2012 and 2015 years and will only run goodyear triple treads tires. I live in denver and pittsburgh, pa and have never had a problem getting around in whatever the snow amounts are.
 

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My suggestion would be no snow tires. I have owned 2 mazda 3i now, 2012 and 2015 years and will only run goodyear triple treads tires. I live in denver and pittsburgh, pa and have never had a problem getting around in whatever the snow amounts are.
We're just north of Denver. My son prefers all-season tires, and my daughter prefers snow tires. They both own a Mazda 3.

Best snow car I owned was a Subaru Outback. Man could that thing handle the snow and ice with all-season tires.

I also lived in Northern Virginia (near DC where the original poster lived). They can get some wicked ice out there occasionally. You need good winter tires there less often, but when you do need them, you really need them.
 

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Good advice on storage! I also wash my wheels/tires thoroughly prior to storing to prevent or limit corrosion. It's nice putting on a set of clean tires when it is time to change. And I label my old tire position (DF, DR, PF, PR - for driver/passenger front/rear) with tape so that when I put them on I can easily rotate them to their new position.

Excellent additional suggestions. Thanks for adding them in! (I happen to do all of those, but forgot to list them — so glad you did).
 

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i melt a couple sets of sticky tires in the summer and reuse snow tires for a couple years. i use the same rims for summer and winter tires. i like doing it this way. i like knowing they are rebalanced, i like knowing my summer tires are fresh, new, and ready to race whatever pulls up next to me, plus it gives me a chance to clean the rims nicely.
 

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I have winter tires and all-season (3-season here) tires but I swap them on the OEM wheels. I store them in our garage in Kurgo Tire Tote Bags and stacked on a shelf. The tire shop swaps them onto the rims in about 20 minutes every autumn and spring, and because it’s just the tires they are light to carry. I can put them in my trunk and passenger seat and the tote bags keep them from getting the car seats dirty.
 

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Winter tires are awesome. No 3 or 4 season tire will ever match a winter tire in the cold.

All of my cars have winter tires mounted on their own set of steel wheels. It’s cheaper than having the tires remounted year after year. You can also change them yourself if you go this route. Also, you run the risk of deforming the bead and the tire not sealing to the rim if you are constantly remounting your tires.

Storage wise, I keep them in my shed, in plastic tire bags standing upright and not lying flat. Just keep them sheltered is the main point. They’re a pretty soft material and you want to keep them that way.
 
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