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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been searching these forums for people's impressions of their 17" winter tires and have found little to no results. So, with that said, I am starting my own thread. I am going to purchase a set of winter tires (most likely Dunlop Winter Sport M3) in the next day or two. I am doing this because I live in Cleveland and we have been getting a lot of snow and ice lately. This recent snow & ice caused me to get in a wreck the other day in my 03 MINI Cooper S. I am alright, but my baby isn't. It's not terrible, but the radiator is cracked, the bumper is f'd up, and the hood has a nasty dent in it. I was driving on the night of the first heavy snow fall. It was a terrible mess out there and my performance run-flat Euforia's were not cutting it. I hit a patch of particularly bad ice at 15mph and lost control and ran up under a Pathfinder. Ouch. Well, no worries, no major damage and the car is headed into the shop to be fixed up like new and insurance will pay for it. The winter tires will be fitted while in the shop. Anyhow, I will stop rambling and say that I am very interested to hear how others out there have fared on their 17" winter tires? I am planning on putting 205/50/17 Dunlop Winter Sport M3's on my stock 17" S-Lite wheels for two reasons. 1) to save money over buying new wheels 2) in the summer I want to replace my 17" S-Lites with a light weight set of aftermarket wheels with light weight non run-flat performance tires. I figured I would use them for winter driving and just wash them regularly to keep the salt off. Can anyone give me some feedback of their experience or expertise of what I can expect with the 17" tires in the winter on the S-Lites? Thanks!
 

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I have Pirelli Winter 240 Snowsport runflats on 17 inch S-Lites on my brand new MCSC. So far we have only had up to 3 inches of snow in Upstate New York and the tures have been very good. I tried them out on a snow covered parking lot at work and they seemed to have good grip and cornering and braking worked very well. We have not had true wet slushy snow yet and no major icing yet but I wil give you feedback as it arrives.
On dry roads I have been very impressed with these tyres - they are very quiet and have great grip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the reply...

I have just ordered 4 Michelin Pilot Alpin PA2's. Tire Rack told me that I couldn't get the Dunlop Winter Sport M3's that I wanted because almost everyone was sold out.I guess Dunlop didn't make enough. Anyhow, I tried to get 205/50/17 but tire rack said they would rub. So I looked at 205/40/17 Pirelli Sotto Zero's and they said that the load rating wasn't enough. So I went with their suggestion and got the Michelins in 215/45/17. I am still wondering if this is going to be a bad choice because they are so wide, but I am trusting their suggestion. I have read alot about the Michelins and everyone seems to think they are great tires. I am also really suprised that 205/50/17's will rub on the MCS. Does anyone know if this is true or if their is a way around it rubbing? Well, I hope I made a good decision.
 

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So you're looking at Michelins for $139?

I don't see how you save money if you have to get those tires - Dunlop Graspic's in 195/60/15 are $59 each, I have a set on my car, on $99 wheels. That totals out to $160, and they came installed, so I don't need to pay someone extra to mount and balance them, which in my view makes up for the extra $20 difference and any difference in shipping - not to mention I swear I've been getting better gas milage with the lighter 15" wheels, though cold weather could also be helping. And if you keep the car for more then 1 set of tires, its all just way cheaper on the 15s... but I understand your logic... I'm not sure if I'm going to keep my S-lites for very long.

If you do decide to stick with the Michelins, I think you'll be fine, and tire rack was correct about size issues, compare the diameter of the stock tires to (24.26) to 205/40-17 (23.46) and you wanted to get 50 series, not likely to work. : http://www.mini2.com/forum/faq.php?faq=faq_wheels_tyres#faq_faq_choosing_wheels
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Stryder...so I'm sitting here typing this and looking out the window at a Cleveland winter whiteout! I don't know what part of Cleveland you live in, but I hope it's not the east side cause I'm sure you're getting hit harder than we are on the west...and we're getting hit pretty hard. I hope these Michelins are as good as I have been hearing...cause looks like I am going to need them. One things for sure, I think they're going to look pretty good...and isn't that what really matters?! Ha. Just kidding. Thanks for your feedback and have a holiday. If I see you on the road I'll be sure to give you a head start before I blow past you. Ha.
 

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Yeah, its quite a large amount of snow, oh well. I live in Old Brooklyn, so just barely the west side. But I work in Mentor, so I get a reasonable share of east side snow too. It works out well, at least if you like snow. I certainly use the seat heaters daily and buy washer fluid 2 gallons at a time.


You'll definetly look cool with 17" snows, and besides that, unique, everyone else around here is running 15 or 16s in the winter.
 

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In general, the narrower the tire the better the performance will be in snow or rain. Alot obviously depends on tire design.

If you can afford to and have the space to store them, a seperate set of dedicated snow tires and wheels is best. Much easier at switch-over time. Far superior traction is available from either a 195/55-16 or 175-65-15 in deep or heavy snow. It only takes me about 30 min. to swap all four wheels and store the others.

I run the 195/55-16 for three seasons and 175/65-15 in the winter. In the spring I will be installing some non-run-flat performance tires, to replace my worn out run-flats for the summer. When the 15" all season Contis wear out I will be replaceing them with some studded Nokians.

If you stay close to the three size tires mentioned, your speedometer will read correctly as the overall diameter of all three are very close.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
good news

Well, I have been driving on my new winter tires for a few weeks now and I have to say that I am very pleased with them. We have been pummeled here in Cleveland with a ton of snow and ice. My new Michelin 215/45/17 Pilot Alpin PA2's are handling the snowy mess with ease. I have them fitted to my 17 S-Lite wheels and I think they look and perform great. So far they are pretty quiet, allow for great traction in deep snow, perform well on ice, and have been great for breaking in slippery conditions. I never feel unsure when cornering in the slippery stuff either. Well, I just thought I would finish this thread off with the results. Thanks to all for the advice.
 
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