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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last year we got a bad snow storm in Western Washington. My tires had 50k miles on them, and I was helpless. Tried to come out a few times and got stuck. A truck driver helped me get unstuck.
This year I have brand new tires. I am thinking of buying traction boards and a shovel. I can't use chains because I will be doing a lot of highway driving(60 mph). I am also thinking of airing down to like 25 psi. What else do you recommend? Can a FWD Sienna tackle snow, specially snow on hilly paved roads. Thank you 馃檹
 

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Get a second set of cheap rims and throw some winter tires on it . I'm ready.

I bought mine off season for $100/4 tires still 11/32. Lol

Tire Car Wheel Vehicle Automotive tire


Or some aggressive 3 peak rated AT. Like my other car.

Wheel Tire Vehicle Car Sky



Oh and throw some s-chain for security just in case.

Yes I'm around your neck of the wood. Last year we got dumped, couldn't go to CA due to the snow. This season I'm so ready.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Get a second set of cheap rims and throw some winter tires on it . I'm ready.

I bought mine of season for $100/4 tires still 11/32. Lol

View attachment 58945

Or some aggressive 3 peak rate AT. Like my other car.

View attachment 58946


Oh and throw some s-chain for security just in case.
The silver Sienna in the second picture looks like a Highlander killer SUV lol.
 

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2014 Sienna LE
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I've used (on an Accord) and can recommend Bridgestone Blizzak tires. From my coworker and research, Blizzak or Michelin X-Ice are the best studless winter tires you can buy.

Here's an old video from TireRack comparing all-season to studless winter tires. All season tires have gotten better since then, but so have studless winter tires.

Here's a video from them from 2018 on an ice rink, comparing all-season to studless winter tires.

Note two key things I've taken away from my research:
  • Traction on ice is determined primarily from tread compound, not remaining tread depth. Tread design plays some part into this, but it's primarily a function of compound. So new, deep tread tires won't really help, only dedicated winter tire compounds.
  • Traction on snow and slush is helped by tread compound, but is primarily a function of tread design, and more importantly, remaining tread depth. My Blizzak tires therefore came with two minimum treadwear depth wear bars. The first was the typical minimum tread depth of 2/32", which is recommended minimum by DOT and legal minimum in many states. The second was the Bridgestone recommended minimum depth for winter use, which I believe was at 6/32" (the tire starts with 11/32")
Note that any tire will be greatly helped in the winter on snow by not running down to 2/32". So even if you don't get winter tires, if the set of tires you are running gets down to 6/32" or so, ti's probably time to change them (or take them off and wait for winter to be done before putting them on to finish running them down to 2/32").

For someone who drives for a living in an area with ice and snow, I'd highly recommend getting a second set of wheels with dedicated, high quality studless winter tires. Swap them on when winter hits, and take them off as soon as you don't any more snow or ice of significant amounts. The downside to winter tires is they are louder, may have decreased fuel economy, and are softer so the vehicle handles worse on clean, dry pavement than other tire types. They also will disintegrate if used in warm weather on dry pavement. But they cannot be beat for winter use except by studded tires or tire chains.

I've heard that Discount Tire/America's Tire charges roughly $150/year to swap summer to winter tires, and store the winter tires, if you buy the winter tires through them. And this is pulling your old tires off your wheels and putting the other set of tires on. If you buy a second set of wheels, and just have them swap the wheels, I suspect a swap would run you $40 or less. Maybe even free if you buy the wheels from them, since they offer 6000 mile rotations for free, so you could ask if they could just swap the tires in place of a normal rotation? But if you don't have the space or desire to buy a second set of wheels, $150 a year to swap them and have them store the set of unused tires is quite an excellent deal.

I had the space, so I just bought a pre-mounted, pre-balanced set of winter tires mounted on cheap steel wheels from TireRack and they shipped them to my door, ready to mount. If you go with the second set of wheels/tires option and do DIY swaps, you may need a TPMS tool to set TPMS. I had to with our Hondas, but I'm not sure how the Toyota Sienna's handle TPMS.
 

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I've used (on an Accord) and can recommend Bridgestone Blizzak tires. From my coworker and research, Blizzak or Michelin X-Ice are the best studless winter tires you can buy.

Here's an old video from TireRack comparing all-season to studless winter tires. All season tires have gotten better since then, but so have studless winter tires.

Here's a video from them from 2018 on an ice rink, comparing all-season to studless winter tires.

Note two key things I've taken away from my research:
  • Traction on ice is determined primarily from tread compound, not remaining tread depth. Tread design plays some part into this, but it's primarily a function of compound. So new, deep tread tires won't really help, only dedicated winter tire compounds.
  • Traction on snow and slush is helped by tread compound, but is primarily a function of tread design, and more importantly, remaining tread depth. My Blizzak tires therefore came with two minimum treadwear depth wear bars. The first was the typical minimum tread depth of 2/32", which is recommended minimum by DOT and legal minimum in many states. The second was the Bridgestone recommended minimum depth for winter use, which I believe was at 6/32" (the tire starts with 11/32")
Note that any tire will be greatly helped in the winter on snow by not running down to 2/32". So even if you don't get winter tires, if the set of tires you are running gets down to 6/32" or so, ti's probably time to change them (or take them off and wait for winter to be done before putting them on to finish running them down to 2/32").

For someone who drives for a living in an area with ice and snow, I'd highly recommend getting a second set of wheels with dedicated, high quality studless winter tires. Swap them on when winter hits, and take them off as soon as you don't any more snow or ice of significant amounts. The downside to winter tires is they are louder, may have decreased fuel economy, and are softer so the vehicle handles worse on clean, dry pavement than other tire types. They also will disintegrate if used in warm weather on dry pavement. But they cannot be beat for winter use except by studded tires or tire chains.

I've heard that Discount Tire/America's Tire charges roughly $150/year to swap summer to winter tires, and store the winter tires, if you buy the winter tires through them. And this is pulling your old tires off your wheels and putting the other set of tires on. If you buy a second set of wheels, and just have them swap the wheels, I suspect a swap would run you $40 or less. Maybe even free if you buy the wheels from them, since they offer 6000 mile rotations for free, so you could ask if they could just swap the tires in place of a normal rotation? But if you don't have the space or desire to buy a second set of wheels, $150 a year to swap them and have them store the set of unused tires is quite an excellent deal.

I had the space, so I just bought a pre-mounted, pre-balanced set of winter tires mounted on cheap steel wheels from TireRack and they shipped them to my door, ready to mount. If you go with the second set of wheels/tires option and do DIY swaps, you may need a TPMS tool to set TPMS. I had to with our Hondas, but I'm not sure how the Toyota Sienna's handle TPMS.
Should be able to do yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've used (on an Accord) and can recommend Bridgestone Blizzak tires. From my coworker and research, Blizzak or Michelin X-Ice are the best studless winter tires you can buy.

Here's an old video from TireRack comparing all-season to studless winter tires. All season tires have gotten better since then, but so have studless winter tires.

Here's a video from them from 2018 on an ice rink, comparing all-season to studless winter tires.

Note two key things I've taken away from my research:
  • Traction on ice is determined primarily from tread compound, not remaining tread depth. Tread design plays some part into this, but it's primarily a function of compound. So new, deep tread tires won't really help, only dedicated winter tire compounds.
  • Traction on snow and slush is helped by tread compound, but is primarily a function of tread design, and more importantly, remaining tread depth. My Blizzak tires therefore came with two minimum treadwear depth wear bars. The first was the typical minimum tread depth of 2/32", which is recommended minimum by DOT and legal minimum in many states. The second was the Bridgestone recommended minimum depth for winter use, which I believe was at 6/32" (the tire starts with 11/32")
Note that any tire will be greatly helped in the winter on snow by not running down to 2/32". So even if you don't get winter tires, if the set of tires you are running gets down to 6/32" or so, ti's probably time to change them (or take them off and wait for winter to be done before putting them on to finish running them down to 2/32").

For someone who drives for a living in an area with ice and snow, I'd highly recommend getting a second set of wheels with dedicated, high quality studless winter tires. Swap them on when winter hits, and take them off as soon as you don't any more snow or ice of significant amounts. The downside to winter tires is they are louder, may have decreased fuel economy, and are softer so the vehicle handles worse on clean, dry pavement than other tire types. They also will disintegrate if used in warm weather on dry pavement. But they cannot be beat for winter use except by studded tires or tire chains.

I've heard that Discount Tire/America's Tire charges roughly $150/year to swap summer to winter tires, and store the winter tires, if you buy the winter tires through them. And this is pulling your old tires off your wheels and putting the other set of tires on. If you buy a second set of wheels, and just have them swap the wheels, I suspect a swap would run you $40 or less. Maybe even free if you buy the wheels from them, since they offer 6000 mile rotations for free, so you could ask if they could just swap the tires in place of a normal rotation? But if you don't have the space or desire to buy a second set of wheels, $150 a year to swap them and have them store the set of unused tires is quite an excellent deal.

I had the space, so I just bought a pre-mounted, pre-balanced set of winter tires mounted on cheap steel wheels from TireRack and they shipped them to my door, ready to mount. If you go with the second set of wheels/tires option and do DIY swaps, you may need a TPMS tool to set TPMS. I had to with our Hondas, but I'm not sure how the Toyota Sienna's handle TPMS.
This is what I bought two days ago. Michelin Latitude X-Ice? This is what you are refering to? It is not winter tire, it does not have those little sharp metals on it.

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This is what I bought two days ago. Michelin Latitude X-Ice? This is what you are refering to? It is not winter tire, it does not have those little sharp metals on it.

View attachment 58951
It has the 3 mountain peak. That's rated for snow / mud. Oh Sharp metal, you mean studs? Oh I hate those. They wreck the road. 馃槀

Not as aggressive as the falken wildpeak AT I got for my Subaru Ascent.

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This is what I bought two days ago. Michelin Latitude X-Ice? This is what you are refering to? It is not winter tire, it does not have those little sharp metals on it.

View attachment 58951
Yes, that is what I鈥檓 referring to. The X-Ice and the Blizzak tires have been the best studless (no metal spikes) winter tires for years. It doesn鈥檛 need studs to be a winter tire. Those help, but many places ban them due to road damage unless those places regularly have lots of ice for long periods.

I鈥檝e never used studded winter tires. They are not allowed around here except for mail delivery vehicles I believe. I do have studded winter tires for my bicycle I plan to use for winter commuting this year though鈥

What鈥檚 your average temperature over there right now? It seems to be a little early to be running a studless winter tire. TireRack recommends only going to winter tires when it is consistently below 45 掳F. They are NOT all season tires, they ARE winter tires! As I mentioned, these winter tires are the best you can do without studs or chains, but they will wear VERY quickly in warm temps and dry pavements.

Note they only have a 30,000-40,000 mile threadwear warranty vs the 60-80,000 mile that鈥檚 more typical. This is due to the soft rubber compound for better traction on ice and snow.
 

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Studded tires are legal in Washington from Nov 1st-March 31st. So that鈥檚 another thing to consider. Studs will greatly help with ice, but not with snow. Chains can help with snow, which is yet another option, but you鈥檒l need to install and remove them as needed. You鈥檒l also be limited to around 30 MPH max with chains from what I鈥檝e read. I also read on ice and hard packed snow they actually make traction worse. Maybe someone with experience with chains can chime in here.

When I was a volunteer firefighter we had a couple trucks with automatic tire chains. Flip a switch and they engaged. They worked by having short lengths of chain on a spinning shaft that flung the chain outwards.Normally they just sat there. When engaged, the shaft would lower next to the tire and begin spinning at the speed of the tire, flinging the chain under the tire as the truck drove. Clever concept and if we needed it it worked well. Noisy as heck though.
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I have no experience with studded tires myself. Around here, they are only allowed on school buses, emergency vehicles, and mail delivery vehicles.
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Yes stud pits the hwy, making it even more dangerous for everyone else since it collects water and pools up. Now you have to deal with hydroplaning. Since it rains more than its nose or ice here, stud should not even be allowed. Smh and getting splashed and not able to see the road for 2-5 seconds. Studs are allowed in Washington, Oregon for sure. Not sure about Idaho or Montana (I think the salt there)

Cost millions to repair.
 

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I drive in the snow a lot for skiing. Another tip I would suggest is bringing a large bag of kitty litter. There might be times when the road is so icy that you may need this or someone else needs it. Once I was stuck at Snoqualmie due to a car with no snow tires spinning out. Created a 20 car backup in both directions. I pulled out the kitty litter and the car was able to get out easily. Kitty litter is better than traction boards as they might just be spit out by the wheels. Also bring a tow strap just in case.

Also if you go over the passes during winter it is required that you carry chains. Chains will save you in heavy snow.
 
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