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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've never needed snow tires on any of my previous vehicles - I lived in extreme upstate NYS (just minutes from the Canadian border), so snow is not unusual for me. What IS unusual is the small size and weight of my Clubman. Even though I'm "only" in CT now, and the worst we get is wet snow, I'm still wondering if I should look into a set of snow tires for the winter and do a swap every spring/fall for my "all season" tires. Currently I have the "all season" runflats that were OEM.

So - are snow tires "worth it"? IF so, should I go through MINI to get them? I know they will be more expensive, but the TPM has a blurb about how using non-OEM tires could impact the TPM's performance.

Thoughts?
 

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I think you might be okay with 15/16" all-seasons, at least the first winter. Give them a shot first. The major problem with minis is getting beached in deep snow. I did that my first winter with 17" all-seasons. In any case, definitely don't buy winter tires from a dealer. Way too expensive. Either get steel rims and tires from tirerack.com, or buy somebody's used alloys for a cheap price and put winters on them.

The only thing about non-OEM tires that could come to mind is if the tire you switch to takes a very different air pressure or maybe if it is a vastly different size.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey fellow nutmegger....

Yeah I'd think with the low clearance that beaching is an issue.

I can test the waters so-to-speak, but was wondering if others had the same issue and if snow tires really make a difference. As I said, I've never driven with them before and I always thought they were somewhat of a gimmick;
 

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I think they make a big difference when there is a lot of snow on the ground. After my 17" all-season experiment, I had 15" snows last year (mainly because I switched the all-seasons for summer tires). I didn't do too much snow driving with them mainly because I do have a winter beater that goes pretty well in the snow with regular all-seasons being FWD and my commute is mostly on the Merritt which gets plowed pretty well. But, when I did try out the snows on the mini, it was clearly a big difference from the 17" all-seasons. I could start from a dead stop on an unplowed hill without turning off dsc and spinning the tires. Of course, some of that is due simply to the smaller/narrower tire.
 

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i'm also in a snowy part of the world ... i find that the low center of gravity helps the mini stay in control on the snow quite well. and the car's pretty heavy, so it does well.

I have Dunlop 5000 runflats on 16" rims. They work quite well in the snow. And in ice, interestinly enough ... They suck in rain, however, so as soon as they're low on tread, I'm replacing them with something else.
 

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I can test the waters so-to-speak, but was wondering if others had the same issue and if snow tires really make a difference. As I said, I've never driven with them before and I always thought they were somewhat of a gimmick;
Law in all of the Scandinavian countries imposes winter tyre usage during the winter months. This is certainly no gimmick, but is for safety; - such as grip, control and braking reasons alone. If you injure someone or damage something without winter tyres in the winter months you are liable for severe fines and large reductions in insurance out payment. It is madness to use summer tyres in winter conditions; the rubber mixture in summer tyres is totally unsuitable for sub-zero temperatures. Not to mention tread patterns in winter tyres with or without studs. All-season tyres are not recommended precisely because of their rubber mixture, - which is totally unsuitable both for high summer- and low winter temperatures. Many Scandinavians consider all-season tyres to be most dangerous, and NO ONE interested in cars/driving use them here.

All Scandinavians therefore have two sets of wheels/tyres, - they don’t just switch rubber. I have 18" summer wheels/tyres. I have 17" studless Nokian Hakkapeliitta 5, which is a Finnish brand, on my Clubman. They are very good with top marks in independent tests. Nokian Tyres - Country selection

The German Continental tyre ContiVikingContact 5 also score well in winter tests.
AutoMobil -

Drive safe!
 

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I have a 2003 Cooper in Rochester NY (100" annual snowfall, or thereabouts). I ran the 15" all seasons the first winter (Conti Touring HC95, I think they are), then got a set of wheels and snows the following year (Dunlop M2s, which are no longer made, but there is an equivalent). Snow tires are a big help. The only snow I routinely have problems with in the MINI is the snow at the end of the driveway that gets plowed back in from the street- the salted, chunky stuff can hang up a Mini undercarriage (don't ask me how I know!) :D, but I find if I shovel the end of the driveway before I pull in, no problem. Fresh snow, foot of snow, no problem. I work in a hospital and we don't have 'snow days'. :)
 

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wet snow, winter tires?

Dr J,
I live in Ottawa Canada, if you only get wet snow, the tires that you have are good.
new winter tires from mini can be expensive!!!.
the all season tires that mini provides you with will do the job.
:smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, I am from the CNY area (ever heard of Auburn, NY? 30 miles west of SYR) and went to school in extreme upstate NY (north of the ADK), so I know how to drive in snow, but this is my first experience with a light/small car AND a stick shift - before I was driving V6 auto sedans.

I called the dealer and their tires are $180 or so (each) but my SA said I'd be better off going to a tire place. It's not only the tires, but it would make sense just to get new rims and keep the winter set on the rims rather than swap back and forth.
 

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Hey, I was born in Auburn! Small world. :) I got an extra set of Mini rims from another Mini owner ($400 for tires & rims), and bought a set of snow tires from Tire Rack to put on my original rims. It was a little simpler in 2003 before the TPM monitors.

My grandparents used to live on Fulton St. I have Cuddy & Costello cousins. :D
 

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No experience with them yet, but I will have Bridgestone Blizzak LM-25 RFTs on my 5-spoke pace wheels this winter...

The OEM Dunlop SP Sport 01s were put on a set of accessory R112 Challenge wheels.

Actually looking forward to trying out this setup and seeing how they perform in the winter. I've been a "all-season, all-the-time" guy up until now.
 
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