Are these tires (Contitrac TR) really that bad or I am just imagining things? These tires have to be the worst I have ever driven. I can't start out at some intersections in the snow without using 4WD. Looks like I can't wait any longer to replace them.
Conti's are probably not the best option for tires in this particular application. Sure, you'll always find people who are happy with whatever the factory throws on there, but for others who really pay attention to tire performance and who've had the chance to compare better quality tires, they'll usually opt out of something like a Conti.
If you havent seen it yet, tirerack.com has a pretty good rating system where you can compare various tires side by side to see how actual users have rated them in a range of conditions.
My Expy wasnt even 3 weeks old when I swapped out the factory Pirelli's for a set of Bridgestone Deuler A/T Revo's and I couldnt possibly be happier. The factory tires were down right scary in a Colorado January!
I've had quite a few 4x4's and have had the opportunity to use several all-terrain and off-road tires and I can say without any hesitation that I will have Revo's on any truck I own as long as Bridgestone keeps making them. Having two or three different sets (brands) of tires on the trucks I've had, and having had the opportunity to take them into the same types of places up in the mountains (in all sorts of conditions) has given me the opportunity to really compare how well they've worked.
Here are my top three all-terrain choices (based on my experience):
1. Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo
2. Yokohama Geolandar A/T +II (not available in an 18")
3. Goodyear Wrangler AT/S
The best "snow" tire I've used is the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-Z3, and the best off-road tire I've used is the Cooper Discoverer STT.
...and the three I would never own again...
1. BFG Rugged Trail T/A
2. Goodyear Wrangler SRA
3. Pirelli Scorpion STR A
I keep reading these comments about the Contenentials but mine are a week away from 36,000 miles and competent tires. Surprised me. These are the All Season (M+S), not quasi-off road tires though.
Replacements will be probably be Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza tires based on their service on my Explorer where the factory Michelins were only so-so and A/T Dueler Revos worked very well but were noisy and wore quickly on the edges.
The worst tires I've ever had were the Goodyear Wranglers that came new on the used Rodeo I bought my daughter to drive to high school 4 years ago. They came off in the first two weeks for the A/T Dueler Revos.
I put Goodyear Silent Armour's on my 08 EL and they have been great in the recent snowfall in Portland. I have been able to go up and down the hills here without much trouble. They have the severe service emblem, which must mean something, and they handle snow and ice almost as well as the Blizzak's on my wife's van. They also ride as quietly as the stock Pirelli's.
The conticraps are great on dry pavement, nice hwy tire, but blow in the snow. I get stuck with my super duty on wet grass. We have these conti tire debates everyonce in a while on the super duty forums
I ended up purchasing a set of Cooper ATR's. I noticed a big difference right away on snow traction. Where I used to need 4wd I only needed to use 2wd. Since I so mostly do highway driving I'll have to see how they wear. The noise difference wasn't a noticeable difference.
I really have no problem with the stock conti's on my truck. We have had the snowiest December on record in upstate NY and I have only had to put it into 4 wheel drive 3-4 times. I have 31,000 on these tires and very little wear, but I rotate them every 3,000 miles.
I live in upstate NY also and we have seen a lot of snow. But when I need to put it into 4 wheel drive to get up the slight incline of my driveway there is something wrong. And that's not even talking about how bad they steer in the snow, straight line ok, but forget about turning a corner. The other thing I have noticed is that after putting on the new tires I have much more control, better handling and less roll around corners.
When I got rid of my last truck the tires had almost 43,000 miles on them, could have gotten 60,000 miles easy. I rotate every 5000 miles. I was one of the lucky ones. Many of the guys had out of round issues and they were getting replaced by dealers quite often. As for my comments in my earlier posting I stand behind them 100%! ForMoCo has no business putting them on a truck, let alone considering them as an upgrade, as in the off road pkg. Whatta Joke!
My 04 came with Contitrac SUV's when I bought it, that only had 2,000miles on them when traded in. We have had them balanced and rotated every 8,000 miles and now at 25,000 miles they are showing their signs of defeat. They are wearing excessively quickly, and I'll have to replace them after about another 5,000 miles. Meaning 1,000$ for Michelin LTX's before my 5,000 miles trip this summer. This blows big time.