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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new with a new '06 ex. I have read lots of info but I still have a hard time decifering the input for what I deem a unique situation. In Seattle, we drive daily on WET roads a lot. However on just about any trip to the mountains we also almost always have to go through multiple transitions into wet slushy piles of snow, snow, compact snow with high water content and solid ice as we go up to 3-4K ft. The same can be said for driving to whistler.

Needless to say this is not the same situation as the rockies where the snow is dryer and driving is much different. So what works best in Colorado or Utah does not translate to coastal mt. ranges. So what has worked best for you? I'm ready to buy and dump these Badyears!
 

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Although I now live in the B.C. Interior, I have always sworn by Nokian Hakkepeliitta tires even when I lived on the north coast. This was a more extreme situation that you face, however.

They have great traction on ice, snow, slush and in standing water and are long wearing. The only downside is that they are expensive and for only occasional mountain use may be overkill.
 

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get the new nokian wrg2's they're a great tire, good for rain, snow mud etc and you can leave them on year round, they also have the snow hazard label so no need for chains
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the tip but those tires are not available near where I live. From what I've read the General Grabbers seem good and also I'm a fan of BF Goodrich. I do have a budget too. I did notice the hancooks get a good review but I've never even heard of those tires.
 

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Hey there.. not sure if i am posting this too late.. but my partner and i live in woodinville, wa... and we frequently head up to stevens pass to go snowboarding. We just bought our element a month ago... and replaced the tires on it within a week. I have no idea how the previous tires would have done, but we got a set of Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S tires in the stock size. I have to say.. so far they are amazing. I hate to hydroplane or slide around in the rain.. and with these i have no problem. We went up to stevens last weekend and drove thru that rain/slush/snow/ice transition on our way up.. it was like driving on dry pavement. Pulled into the parking lot with about 8" or so.. again didn't even slip. We got there about 3pm and didn't leave til about 9:30 and it was snowing most of the afternoon. Went to leave and again.. pulled out like there was nothing there. Other cars were spinning and sliding around, we just drove right around them :) If you haven't already gotten a set of tires, i would definitely give these a look. I think we paid like 580 from discount after their warranties and mount/balance etc. If you do get a set i would recommend getting them siped. Hope this helps.. PM me if you have any questions... i am pretty good with tires, and i have a great source for them if u need a good place to buy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Hey, thanks for the tip. I actually bought my new tires about a month ago after tedious research incuding and weighing heavily on feedback on this site. I ended up getting the General Grabber hts 225/70/16 for about $545 thru Discount Tire in Bremerton. Over New Years I went on a 5 day ski trip with my son and got to test them out in all the variable conditions and can report back they did awesome and I was really glad to have them. We went to Big White and Apex in the Okanagan of BC which meant driving in lots of different conditions over numerous mountain roads and passes including Snoqualmie, Blewett, the resort's respective mountain roads and smaller ones in between. On New years eve I drove in a full on whiteout snowstorm from Kelowna to Penticton and up to Apex which gets pretty steep with hairpin turns. The best part was passing another Element on that section! Also, I have to say I'm really glad I persevered to find a manual transmision because they are so much better than automatics in the snowy mountains! I also bought a set of cable chains and carry them to be legal and in case the roads turn to solid ice as they can in the Cascades.
 

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high 5 on the manual! I did the same thing when we were searching for ours. My partner didn't care either way... and kept getting annoyed with me when i would pass on all of the automatics we looked at. But in the end i won.. and i love it! Course we got a black one which i hate, but he loves.. so it was even in the end :) Congrats on the new tires.. they are pretty fun little machines in the snow!
 

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...but we got a set of Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S tires in the stock size. I have to say.. so far they are amazing... i am pretty good with tires, and i have a great source for them if u need a good place to buy.
Accordguy, You'll need to post some photos of your E with those Yokohama tires. I'd love to see how they look. I'm currently looking to get rid of the OEM Wranglers and looking to get the BF Goodrich's. Any chance you have a good source to procure those as well? :-D
 

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Accordguy, You'll need to post some photos of your E with those Yokohama tires. I'd love to see how they look. I'm currently looking to get rid of the OEM Wranglers and looking to get the BF Goodrich's. Any chance you have a good source to procure those as well? :-D
I will try to get those taken for you as soon as possible. Currently our poor car is sitting outside in the rain all dirty :( We are heading up to stevens this afternoon... maybe i can get some cool car in the snow picts! If you want a better look.. its usually just sitting in the driveway.. very easy to find. I will say they look really good.. they have a pretty rugged looking sidewall. As far as a good source for tires, i always go to the discount tire in shoreline.. the manager there is really good and knows his stuff. I usually get a pretty decent discount, and i am sure he would help u out. I think i have bought 9 sets of tires and 2 sets of rims from him over the years lol.
 

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Here's some pics of the Yokohamas in 225/70/16. I also live in Seattle.These have about 500 miles on them.









There are larger versions and more photos here to help you get an idea.

I got mine from Factory Direct Tire Sales in Edmonds. http://www.factorydirecttire.com/

The guy that seemingly runs the place, Nash, ordered the tires from me from a warehouse in Portland, had them shipped, mounted, and all that jazz PLUS an alignment for $600. He's really nice and will work hard to accommodate you from my experience.

Here is their installer page on tirerack.com: http://www.tirerack.com/installer/InstallerDetail.jsp?index=3&installermiles=6&zipCode=98133&x=0&y=0&place=1.

Anyway, I really like the tires. I haven't had any experience with them in the snow, but they have awesome wet and dry traction. They also take the abuse of the crappy seattle roads.
 

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Thanks for taking those picts.. kinda threw me at first.. thought someone had snuck up and taken picts of my car lol. Did you get your tires siped? We had that done to ours, and they grip really well on the compact snow and ice heading up and down the pass. We were up at stevens last night.. and i was trying as hard as i could to do some cool spinouts.. and she just wouldn't spin :( I guess that is the point of the tires... but kinda sucks when u just want to be silly! I think we paid about 580 for ours.. mounted/balanced/siped etc. My guy usually checks the tire rack price, then gives them to me for less :) With discount i pay for the tire warranties (15 per tire i think) and that cover the tire for basically anything. I recently had someone curb one of the rims on my accord which took a huge chunk out of the side of the tire. With places like les schwab etc that would not be covered.. but discount gave me a new tire for free!! That is one of the many reasons i drive all the way over there just to see them.
 

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I didn't have mine siped. The tread on them is pretty well cut so to me it didn't look like they needed it. I was hoping to get some snow in the city like we had last winter so I could get an idea of their snow traction without having to go up to the passes, but that looks like it won't be happening this year.

I looked at Discount first, but what they charge for the tires is pretty high without knowing someone there. According to the price for the 225s on the site, if i bought the set from them the tires alone would have added an extra $180 to what I paid. The price at Factory Direct also included warranties, though I'm not sure what is covered exactly, so Discount may have them beat on that. Still, I got the earnest impression from them that if something happened they'd work in my favor to get it resolved.

Anyway, OP, the Yokos are great no matter where you get them. Very quiet for ATs, awesome traction, truly perfect for Seattle. I don't know if you're planning on stepping up to 225s, but I feel like it offers a tad bit of extra traction and they certainly fill out the wheel wells nicely. I also run mine around 39psi on all four (when they were mounted they were at oem spec, but that just didn't feel right to me).
 

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Thanks for your input re: tires/qst: bike/ski racks

Hi-

I just bought a '06 AWD. I need tires for snow, ice, off road Idaho and rain, highway San Francisco...your information/pictures regarding the 225/70/16 Yokohama Geolander A/T-S really helped. I know this is very elementary but what is the advantage of siped tires and does it effect the life of the tire?

Also you both seem to be avid skiers...what rack system do you have on your Element? I am a big biker as well.

Thanks for the information-
 

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Hi-

I just bought a '06 AWD. I need tires for snow, ice, off road Idaho and rain, highway San Francisco...your information/pictures regarding the 225/70/16 Yokohama Geolander A/T-S really helped. I know this is very elementary but what is the advantage of siped tires and does it effect the life of the tire?

Also you both seem to be avid skiers...what rack system do you have on your Element? I am a big biker as well.

Thanks for the information-
The Siping is supposed to help with wet traction as well as ice. The theory is that it gives the tire lots of extra gripping edges when trying to stop. It is also supposed to help the tires run cooler, which they say extends the life of the tire. I usually never get my tires siped because the tires i buy usually have plenty of factory siping. I had this set done at the recommendation of my friend that works at the tire shop.. and it seems to help. As far as the roof rack is concerned... at this very moment i have nothing up there :( But i am currently watching my ebay bids and crossing my fingers that i will have something by friday :) I am going with the Thule setup consisting of 430 Tracker II feet with 50" load bars. It will also have a clamp style snowboard/ski carrier (model number 91726) I considered going with the stock rack with the same snowboard carrier.. but decided against it because the thule system has flat bars that extend almost to the edges of the car vs. the stock rack which is shorter, and curved giving you less overall space to put your toys. It is also supposed to hold more weight than the stock rack. I will let you know how it goes.. i have seen this set up on a few elements up in the mountains.. and it looks really good, and seems to work well.
 

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Unfortunately I'm not a skier, just a poor Texas boy living in the PNW. I've never had anything up on the racks, but other people around here have and can probably help.

Some folks here have put bikes in the back pretty easily (I've thrown a mountain bike in with the rear seats flipped up and without any sort of mount, it fit fine). Just do a search for bike or bicycle and you'll find lots of threads here with info. The last thread I remember seeing about carrying bikes was a DIY solution that basically just involved a painted plank of wood and looked pretty good. Unfortunately I'm at work now and can't spend too much time trying to find it.
 

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The Siping is supposed to help with wet traction as well as ice. The theory is that it gives the tire lots of extra gripping edges when trying to stop. It is also supposed to help the tires run cooler, which they say extends the life of the tire. I usually never get my tires siped because the tires i buy usually have plenty of factory siping. I had this set done at the recommendation of my friend that works at the tire shop.. and it seems to help. As far as the roof rack is concerned... at this very moment i have nothing up there :( But i am currently watching my ebay bids and crossing my fingers that i will have something by friday :) I am going with the Thule setup consisting of 430 Tracker II feet with 50" load bars. It will also have a clamp style snowboard/ski carrier (model number 91726) I considered going with the stock rack with the same snowboard carrier.. but decided against it because the thule system has flat bars that extend almost to the edges of the car vs. the stock rack which is shorter, and curved giving you less overall space to put your toys. It is also supposed to hold more weight than the stock rack. I will let you know how it goes.. i have seen this set up on a few elements up in the mountains.. and it looks really good, and seems to work well.

Thanks a million for the info. Can I use the Thule system you described even though I have a factory rack? I agree with you re: more weight and more room.
 

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Thanks a million for the info. Can I use the Thule system you described even though I have a factory rack? I agree with you re: more weight and more room.
Not the system i described. That system bolts to the roof in the same location as the stock rack. If you already have that.. Most of the accessories that u would need will clamp to the stock racks as well.. usually they just require different styles of clamps. If you go to hondapartsdeals.com they have a bike attachment from honda for the stock rack. If not Thule or Yakima usually has accessories for carrying bikes.
 
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