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Old 01-06-2010, 06:13 AM   #1
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All-weather tires for the Boxster? (North East USA)

I just bought an 07 from the dealership, it comes with summer tires.
I have been talking with the dealership about winter tires but it will be expensive and a headache every year to drive up there to switch them.
Is there such a thing as all-weather/ all-year tires for the Boxster? Does anyone use them?
I live in the North East near NY.

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Old 01-06-2010, 08:05 AM   #2
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Hello and welcome to the club.
Any all season tires will improve snow/cold weather traction comparing to your summer tires and everybody on this forum is going to have their opinion on what is “the best” tire there is.
Summer tires are great for dry roads in warm weather, but during the winter – they not only lack sufficient thread to hook up on snow and ice, but also become rock-hard when the temperature decreases. I tried driving my Box during last snow storm here in KS (summer tires also) and realized it was a bad idea. Nothing like not being able to go up hill while old lady in a Buick is honking behind you lol.
Anything you choose is going to be a compromise, so it depends on how you use your car and your budget. Good quality all-season tires may suffice you, but you may also consider getting a cheap set of used wheels and putting some snow tires on them. That way – you can switch them right on your drive-way. Also, go on tire rack and read about some of the choices you have.
Just my 2 cents.
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Old 01-06-2010, 09:52 AM   #3
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If you are going to be anywhere near snow, you want dedicated snow tires. All-seasons are a complete waste of money in my opinion for a Boxster, they aren't very good in the summer or the winter and can be unsafe on snow. If you are concerned with the difficulty of switching your tires, get another set of rims to put your second set of tires on then you can swap them out yourself each season. Also, there is no reason to buy or get snow tires mounted at your dealer, any tire shop can do it, for significantly less.
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Last edited by rick3000; 01-06-2010 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 01-06-2010, 05:21 PM   #4
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I've already been down the road you're looking to travel. Let me pass along my experience...

I bought an 01S (my 1st Box) in the summer of 05. The tires were getting thin and there was no way they'd make it through the winter (it was a DD and I had to drive in the snow). The car I traded on the Box was a Toyota MR2 Spyder - basically the same mid-engine layout as the Box. I had successfully traversed the winter snows in MR2 with a set of AS Firestones. Figured I could do the same with the Box and forego the hassle of extra wheels and snows. Did my research on TireRack and chose a set of Kumho's, which I purchased from a local tire dealer. It was horrible, even in as little as an inch of snow and worthless if there was any ice. On bad weather days that winter I bummed rides to work from a pretty young lady with a ForeRunner. The next winter I bought a set of Blizzaks and extra wheels and my Box was found to be a very capable winter vehicle.

This got me thinking. Why did the AS tires work so well on MR2 and were junk on the Box? Different brand? Maybe. But the sizes were substantially different. The tires on MR2 were a 55 series / 15" tire while the Box was 40 / 18". That's strike 1. And as others have said, AS tires are a compromise. They not only have to perform in the winter but also the summer. While it's not legal to drive 150+ mph, a Box is capable of these speeds so the tires must also be able to handle those speeds on a hot summer day. So if you're designing an AS tire for a performance car, are you going to emphasize speed or utility? Can't have both, so they have to build more summer capabilities into the AS performance tires with winter capabilities coming in 2nd place (probably in fear of lawsuits more than anything). That's strike 2. And the summer performance will be less because they had to build some winter capabilites into the tire. May not be a big deal if you don't track your car, which I didn't, but it was amazing how much better the Box rode and performed when I bought a set of summer tires for it. Strike 3. So to summarize, AS tires that are smaller and require less performance will work fine in winter. AS tires for a Box probably won't and you won't get as much enjoyment out of it during the summer either.

Tire technology has probably improved in 5 yrs, but you're going to be spending $600-$1000 for a set of tires, AS or snows. Are you willing to gamble with that much money on the line? Make a wrong choice and you're going to live with it for a long time.

Choose wisely, grasshoppa.
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Old 01-06-2010, 05:55 PM   #5
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My Experience:

1 set rims & summer tires

1 set rims & winter tires

Swap 'em myself in the driveway every spring/fall. Winter #3 this year and no problems thus far.
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Old 01-06-2010, 07:05 PM   #6
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Summer & Spring: Goodyear Eagle F1

Fall & Winter: Pirelli Snow Sports

kinda of a pain to have them mounted since you cant fit four extra tires in the boxster on the way to the tire shop, need to have someone go with you in a second car. This year I'm buying a set of summer wheels to put on the F1's.
I'll keep a Bosch impact gun and a race jack in the garage and do the fall weather wheel change to the SNowSports by November 1st. Put the summer wheels back on by May 1st.
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Old 01-07-2010, 02:34 AM   #7
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All Season Tire Experience with Boxster

I have personal experience with all season tires on Boxster. Although we don't get near the bad weather as northeast here in SC, I travel to NC and TN where there is snow on the ground now, and lots of it. My personal choice of tire is the Kumho Ecsta All-Season tires. For around $600 a set, they can't be beat (my opinion). When summer time comes, keep your old tires and swap. I have 15 years of automotive service facility experience and we sell lots of tires. Based in no small part on that - Kumho is the way I went. Some of our fellow members complained of flat spotting when car sits but that has not been my experience. Also, the Kumho All-Season has a much more comfortable ride than almost any summer tire. Check out consumer reviews and base your final decision on that. Also, check for tire distributor shops - don't have to go back to dealer, then don't. I also run Kumho's summer compound tire and I'm satisfied with it.
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Old 01-07-2010, 03:42 PM   #8
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I support dedicated snow tires and wheels.

This is my first winter in a while without snow tires, and I'm regretting that decision. My previous car was RWD and had snows, while my current daily car is AWD with highly rated all-seasons (Pilot Exalto A/S). Going isn't the issue with the all-seasons in my case; it's the stopping and turning. A/S tires are so much less competent in those departments it's not even funny. Sure, you don't need them to get around, but when that "holy crap" moment comes along, you'll be glad you have that extra grip. Plus, it's nice to pass stuck 4x4s and have the ability to go out and have some fun.

I'm not sure what sizes you need or want, but if they're available, I'd recommend the Dunlop Wintersport 3D. It's relatively nimble on dry stuff and still pretty amazing in the snow. I had Blizzaks before (MZ-01), and while they were a touch better in the snow, they were terrible in the dry and wore quickly.
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Old 01-07-2010, 06:48 PM   #9
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+1 on the Dunlop wintersports, I almost hate to take them off when the temps finally get above 50 degrees.

The key is to mount the most narrow tires as possible.
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Old 01-08-2010, 04:10 AM   #10
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Yeah, I could use some snows on my Chevy K2500, It'll get moving ok, but don't try and stop or turn! It's a 6000# bob-sled.

Last edited by stephen wilson; 01-08-2010 at 04:13 AM.
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