One of the regular commenters here, Tedjs, is a prefoessorial-mechanical-type-guy with a Saab 9-3 SportCombi that he likes to show off to students and colleagues alike.
Given that the northern winter is now just starting to bite, Ted’s just changed his SportCombi into it’s winter “attire”.
This will be nothing new to you northerners, but for we southerners that can wear performance tyres all year round, it’s rather curious. The thought of having to buy and keep two sets of wheels and rubber isn’t a particularly attractive one.
Here are the winter tires that Saab sells on its site and at the dealers. At $220.00 for each mounted and balanced, they are a heck of a deal:
The OEM tire is on the right which is a ContiProContact 235/45VR17 and is a steamroller, which is cool for handling. I don’t think it will do well in deeper snow, so the SportCombi is now wearing the GOODYEAR ULTRA GRIP GW3 215/55HR16. With an overall width 20mm less than the all season, it should do much better in deeper snow as more weight of the vehicle will be on a small contact patch on the road.
You can also see the more aggressive tread of the snow tire (or tyre?) that will help it ‘bite’ into the snow and get traction.
OEM on the car:
Snow tire and rim. Not bad looking considering it will see snow and road salt (ugh)!
For a smaller car it has some MONSTER front brakes! 🙂
I cleaned some rust off the rotors while I was mounting them:
I rebalanced them on a Hunter 9700 road force balancer so I could put some stick on weights on it as salt tends to get behind the other weights. It is a pretty sophisticated balancer, and tells you where to stick the weights, and you can hide them behind spokes.
Off to class now. Enjoy!
Site sponsor, Saab of Hunterdon, have an Ebay store that’s run by their spare parts division.
They’re currently selling a full set of snow tires with rims for US$800, which is even cheaper than the $220 per corner that Ted quote above as being a great deal.
Check ’em out here.