Snow Tires or Studded Snow Tires – That is the Question …

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I opened a can of worms on this question.  I put it to my neighbors and had about 30+ responses! 

The season for having these on your vehicle runs November 1st through April and Bend gets ICY – not necessarily snowy, although it does snow here at ground level – so if you’re not a 4-wheel drive car with all terrain tires, you will need something.

Studded snow tires are not popular for obvious reasons, they tear up the roads, and you can hear a car with them a mile off.  However for ice and snow they are great.

The majority popular opinion was for snow tires and we have at least 3 options for where to purchase – COSTCO, Les Schwab and Discount Tire are the most popular.

Les Schwab will even store your tires, there is a change out fee each season with all stores, and usually free alignment, rotation offered with all.

I went to COSTCO because they offered the best price and have my snow tires ordered – I drive a front 2-wheel car and as such should be OK, if you have a pick up truck, then some weight in the rear is advisable – sandbags are easily found and sand for a sand box (if available) tends to be even cheaper – both Ace Hardware and Home Depot sell sand.

If you’re not used to driving in the ice and snow, there’s a course you can take – it’s 4 hours long, includes driving to practice and costs $90.  Could be well worth it if you haven’t driven in snow or on ice before – details here – Car Skid Training

Always better to know in advance how to drive in the snow!

Now that we have had snow, and ice, and not much so far this winter (Groundhog Phil didn’t see his shadow so an early Spring?) I found that having snow tires to be a blessing. You still have to drive slowly, keep a very safe distance from the vehicle in front and always turn a corner slowly.

If you haven’t driven in snow before, look at your owners manual for tips, take the skid training class mentioned above, and at all times just be prepared.

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