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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had my '07 United Gray w/ DSG, 18" wheels with the Continental summer tires for 1 week. The car is great, and the tires are nice and sticky. It's only September, but I need to get winter tires and wheels. I have been on some web sites that sell tires and wheels, and it seems I can only get 16s and 17s. I would prefer the 17s. Any suggestions for a good winter tire and wheel?
 

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I've always gone with Bridgestone Blizzak's on past cars and they've been excellent. My dad has an AWD Audi with Blizzaks and the thing is fucking unbelievable on snow (80mph on a highway with half a foot of snow and you won't lose control). I'll probably be getting a new set of those in October for my 17s. Looking forward to really putting the ESP to the test. I know it's fucking awesome with Quattro, but will have to see how it is with FWD.
 

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Dr. GTI said:
I've had my '07 United Gray w/ DSG, 18" wheels with the Continental summer tires for 1 week. The car is great, and the tires are nice and sticky. It's only September, but I need to get winter tires and wheels. I have been on some web sites that sell tires and wheels, and it seems I can only get 16s and 17s. I would prefer the 17s. Any suggestions for a good winter tire and wheel?
I also have an '07 united gray w/ DSG, 18" hufeisen (only difference probably is that mine is a 4-door). I just purchased a set of winter tires and wheels. I went for a money-saver, as I'm not overly concerned about looks in the winter (I live in Erie, PA and winter is brutal). I bought a package from tirerack.com. 205/55QR-16 Dunlop Graspic DS-2 and cheap set of 16" alloy wheels. Nice thing is they mount and balance the tires for free and ship them to you ready to go. You can even save more money if you go with a generic steel wheel, but I avoided this as these are often heavy and prone to rust. Getting a generic alloy wheel isn't that expensive anymore and in my opinion, worth paying a few extra bucks for.

Other thing to be aware of is the TPMS (tire pressure monitoring) on your current wheels. I was advised to have the dealer change out the summer for the winter because messing with the TPMS can get sticky (apparently they often get broken off if someone who doesn't know what they're doing changes your tires). From what I've seen, the options are to either get an aftermarket sensor for your winter tires or have the dealer switch off your TPMS.

good luck.

EDIT: Forget about the TPMS. You probably will not have an issue with that.
 

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About how many seasons/miles do you guys get off a set of Blizzaks for example? I live in NC (no need for snow tires) but have family in PA (need for snow tires)..and I may be visiting them over the winter.. how are they on road trips besides loud? Any other assorted details would be appreciated: speed rating etc.. don't hold back.. if you think its stupid to buy them just to drive north, and recommend i just fly, say it.
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
stamosenvy said:
Dr. GTI said:
I've had my '07 United Gray w/ DSG, 18" wheels with the Continental summer tires for 1 week. The car is great, and the tires are nice and sticky. It's only September, but I need to get winter tires and wheels. I have been on some web sites that sell tires and wheels, and it seems I can only get 16s and 17s. I would prefer the 17s. Any suggestions for a good winter tire and wheel?
I also have an '07 united gray w/ DSG, 18" hufeisen (only difference probably is that mine is a 4-door). I just purchased a set of winter tires and wheels. I went for a money-saver, as I'm not overly concerned about looks in the winter (I live in Erie, PA and winter is brutal). I bought a package from tirerack.com. 205/55QR-16 Dunlop Graspic DS-2 and cheap set of 16" alloy wheels. Nice thing is they mount and balance the tires for free and ship them to you ready to go. You can even save more money if you go with a generic steel wheel, but I avoided this as these are often heavy and prone to rust. Getting a generic alloy wheel isn't that expensive anymore and in my opinion, worth paying a few extra bucks for.

Other thing to be aware of is the TPMS (tire pressure monitoring) on your current wheels. I was advised to have the dealer change out the summer for the winter because messing with the TPMS can get sticky (apparently they often get broken off if someone who doesn't know what they're doing changes your tires). From what I've seen, the options are to either get an aftermarket sensor for your winter tires or have the dealer switch off your TPMS.

good luck.

EDIT: Forget about the TPMS. You probably will not have an issue with that.
Thanks for the advice Stamosenvy. When I made my original post, I wasn't even thinking about the TPMS. I went to my VW dealer today to ask about tires and the TPMS, and they said they cannot turn off the TPMS. So you have the TPMS shut off? I think that's the best way to go, to get some tires from Tire Rack and just turn off the TPMS. My only other option is to leave the summer tires on for the winter, and take the train when the weather's bad. ( I live in southern CT, and the weather isn't nearly as bad as Erie with all that lake effect snow)
 

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I live in upstate NY and opted for the 17"s with all-season tires on my Fast. I have lived in NY for 7 years now and have never had a set of "winter tires". I know it helps to have them but it's not a necessity. I even drove a Z3 in Syracuse with almost bald sport tires during one of the snowiest winters in history. I got stuck, I'll admit it. But there was also 8" of snow on the road and I didn't even have 8" of clearance in that car.

To the point: A good set of all-season tires is probably the best thing when you live in an area that gets snow. After all, they plow the roads pretty frequently (unless you live in BFE).
 

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I made do with just all-seasons (a brand new set with hardly any wear on them) the one winter I was living in MA. If I still lived there I probably would still just stick with the all-seasons. Here in Canada though.... snow from November to March, freezing rain, black ice... gotta have winter tires.

There's lot's of different quality Blizzaks. I had a decent set for my old Jetta that I used for 5 or 6 winters and were still in good enough shape that I sold em with the car. Speed rating, I'd say don't go more than 80mph if you want them to last.
 

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so what is the consensus on the TPMS with winter tires? before i start a new thread. because literally, i have another window open in my browser with my winter tire setup (dunlop M3s w/ 16" steelies) i am ready to order them, and tirerack has a little warning that you need TPMS sensors but they don't sell them and i heard they are expensive... I really don't want to put winter tires on my stock rims. and i need winter tires so what should i do? ???
 

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I was just in the Tampa Bay area last week, loved it. Rented a Mustang convertible, rode around with the top down all the time. Shitty engine though for a car that claims to be 200hp, my mom's minivan has more pickup.
 

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Well, I can report of my winter driving experience today: those of you in northern climates better get winter tires before snow hits. If it weren't for the ESP I would have landed in the ditch today. I'll be getting my blizzaks on Thursday.
 

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Update: have about 4 inches of snow on the roads now that's actually sticking (before it was really just slush driving). Stock tires do reasonably well, but mostly due to assistance from ESP/ABS. I would say it is feasible to keep them on through a Canadian winter, but still pretty risky. They would definitely get stuck if you try to drive them through a foot of the white stuff and you're pretty much fucked on ice.

I had fun driving through a mini-blizzard at 3AM (or 2AM, whatever, fucking time change). Very little other traffic on the roads. Was beaten off the stop line once by a Nissan that obviously had its winter tires on. The ESP seems to kick in more once you shift it into 2nd than in 1st, so I'd recommend a very short 1st gear on snow, just to get the car rolling a bit. Had a good ABS test at a light that turned red in front of me while I was doing around 45mph. It was "crunching" all the way to the stop line but it stopped me in time. The ESP does some weird stuff when drifting around corners, I think it'd be funner to try with the ESP off once I've got winter tires on.
 

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I think they're just entering the North American market in specific areas of high growth with high demand for winter tires, so they're probably not everywhere yet.

Here's what it looks like:

 

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I've purchased wheel/tire packages from tire rack (tirerack.com) in the past and its always worked out well. They come mounted and balanced and all you have to do is bolt them on. That's my plan this year as well, but I'd like to see how a pair of steel rims looks on the GTI. Anybody have a photo?
 
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