Friday, November 24, 2017

Tire Neurosis

This year we've decided to put snow tires on both cars, and as you can imagine, I'm not too thrilled about the expense, but you can't put a price on safety. This winter has sort of crept on us with the warm fall, and already you can read stories about cars losing control on the roads. It's not even that cold and slippery, but as I mentioned, the cold weather seems to come out of nowhere after days of warmth, it really takes you by surprise. It's much better when it gradually eases you into winter, we're just better prepared on all levels.

Anyway, with A driving the car more and more, I feel much better having snow tires on both cars. It's a given on my car considering all the driving I do for hockey, but I want them on mom's car, as well. Of course I'll feel the $ pinch, but nothing new for me. Best of all, searching for a good deal on good snow tires is a great way to feed my OCD. If money was no object, I'd just take the car over to my mechanic and put on the best, Nokians. I won't even attempt to spell the name, it's Scandinavian (Finnish, I think), which means there's not enough vowels for an ignorant Californian like myself to pronounce.

Either way, after some tireless research (about 15 minutes), I think I've found a good tire. In the past I usually put the Nokians, but they're about $40 more per tire. Sure, they're great tires, but that's $160 per car more. I've also purchased Blizzaks, which are also great tires, but they're a little pricier, and they have an aggressive tread and don't last long. Last year mom decided to stick with her all seasons over the winter and it worked out because she's a good and careful driver, and employing a little common sense as to when to even attempt to drive is always a good approach. I know a few people who just use all seasons year-round, but most of them have 4-wheel drive.

In the past I've employed the wisdom that was shared to me by an acquaintance who said get the best winter tires you can get. I can completely see the merit to this approach, but given that we got along fairly well with just all seasons, I've deviated from this line of thought and now think that most snow tires will do just fine. I'm still reluctant to buy bargain basement tires made in China, but I'm a fan of Japanese tires. And of course, Scandinavian tires. Factoring in all this thinking, I'm going with a Japanese tire, the Sumitomo Ice Edge. I learned that the owner of our tire provider uses them, and I trust Japanese products, especially when it comes to cars. I also just recently learned that the tires are actually made in Finland, which is sort of weird, in a very good way, of course. I had pretty much decided on the Sumitomos, but the fact that they're manufactured in the same region of the earth and Nokians is just a little frosting on the cake. I love when that happens.

Do other people torture themselves like this over tires? Sometimes I think it's a wonder I can even make it out the front door, but that's the beauty of being a parent - your kid's needs force you to stop feeling sorry for yourself, get off your butt, and out the door. For someone like myself who excels at self-pity, this is a very good thing.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Patti Z for the pic.

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