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I have been looking for snow tires for my 08 Limited 4X4. Tire Rack recommends a smaller tire for winter for better traction. They list three sizes for my truck: 275/55-20; 255/70-18 and 265/70-18 and in their tutorial they talk about a smaller tire does less "plowing" etc. A set of 20" Blizzaks from TR are $700 plus shipping, mounting and balancing. A set of 18" Blizzaks are $540 plus I would have to buy rims. I found a fairly new set of 4 Blizzaks (allegedly 8K miles on them) locally on Craigs list for $300, but they are not the exact size listed by Tire Rack; they are 255/45-18. Not sure what they came off of, owner alleges moving to SC and no longer needs. Will these work assuming I could score rims for them somewhere?
They also offer the following warning about the TPMS system:
Your vehicle is equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system that requires a sensor to be installed in the tire and wheel assembly for proper operation.
They offer a TPMS monitoring system for $288. Ouch. So if I buy the TR 18" package for 540 plus Mounting balancing & rims, plus TPMS Im looking at about $1K for snows. The 20" tires are actually looking a bit cheaper.
Wow, I have a lot of answers for that, first off, I run 22" wheels in the summer and in the winter I bought a set of 18" Michelin tires LTX AS 255-70-18 and they ran me through the winter just fine, that being said snow tires might not necessarily be needed just a good all season tire so that may help you on costs.
The tirerack is correct a narrow tire will plow through the snow better, a larger tire will tend to float over the snow, think hydroplaning.
If you look on Ebay you can find a lot of 18" wheel and tire packages used off F-150's and Expeditions, just search under 255-70-18 or 275-65-18 a more common size tire you will find sets mounted and ready to go from $500-900 or if your looking for tires you will find them cheaper. As a matter of fact I just bought a new-used set of tires for the winter on Monday, 4 Michelin LTX AT2's for $500 used. retails for about $1100 new.
For the TPMS you will need to either break down your existing wheels and have the sensors, bands and cradles moved over to whatever winter wheel you use, its a pretty big hassle, come summer you'll have to switch them back again, your best bet is to buy the TPMS as a set from the tirerack or elsewhere online. It will make everything a whole lot smoother, Now you can have a set of summer wheels and tires and winter wheels, the only thing else you will need is a TPMS reset tool, its about the size of a keyless entry fob and can be found on Ebay.Here is one for $9.99.
Agreed , a 265-65-18 is even to short I checked into it myself, would throw the speedo off to much. I went with a 275-65-18 which is the F-150 size, its .01 bigger so nothing will be off speedo wise, its much more common.
The 20" tires might get you anywhere you need to go.
And, as noted, 4wd certainly makes it easier to go.
But I generally have very little trouble going... even on Pittsburgh's steep hills.
Now, stopping & steering are very different, and much more urgent concerns. If you can't go, you can wait. If you can't stop or steer, you can crash. Quickly.
So 18s or 17s are a step towards more control.
But if you're getting tires to use in the winter, why settle for the better compromise of a more appropriately sized all-season when you can put on dedicated snow-biters for the same trouble?
I've driven a 5.0 Mustang through winters in Erie, PA... that's snowbelt land. So I can make things go in the snow, and I'm sure all of you can too. But with my family on-board, why would I settle for mediocrity?
Now, if you can find a turn-key set of 18s or 17s already mounted with the TPMS's inside for much less money, I'd say cost is a good reason to settle for "better" instead of aiming for "best".
1997 F250HD 4wd, 460-5-speed Ext. Cab, Blue
2007 Navigator L Dark Blue Pearl
2003 Mercury Marauder, Dark Blue Pearl, Trilogy Supercharged, 13.1 @ 105
It seems that there is no 20's, 18's or 17's turn key with TPMS. For some reason everything I see has had the TPMS removed. Most are "take offs" that were removed for upgraded wheels/tires and the TPMS were either reused on same vehicle or sold seperately. 18 inch snow tires are going to cost around $700 even on ebay. The used ones I saw look really used and I would pay the $120 to 200 shipping most are charging. Add to that a set of rims for 18 (mine are 20) at $300 - 500 and TPMS for $300 and it's looking like a $1500 affair. I could get new Blizzak 20's mounted for around $1K. I was just hoping to find a good junkyard steal I guess, but not too many vehicles around in this size category, let alone for junk. The current Pirelli's only have 18K on them and the dealer puts them at about 70 - 80 % life so I will probably just ride out the winter on these and when its time for these tires to be replaced I'll go for a good set of Michelin M+S. We survived last winter on them and they only have 8 more K miles on them now. Thanks for all the input
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