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Old 08-14-2014, 03:37 PM   #1
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Default what is the best snow tire method?

Hi,
We are looking to buy snow tire set for the Q5, has 19 inch wheels

Should we buy just the tire, and have those rotated out before and after each winter season? (I think to mount and balance is $10 for each tire so $80 total per season)

or Should we buy a tire + wheel set? these are cheaper to mount each time, but I am worried about the TPMS...will the TPMS be compatible with this snow tire/wheel set?

what have you guys done and the reason for that decision?

thanks!
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Old 08-14-2014, 03:44 PM   #2
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If you have the physical TPMS sensors, it will be a pain as you either have to live with a warning light, or get new sensors and program each time you swap, or swap out the sensors.

With the new TPMS that monitors via the ABS sensors (or something to that effect???), you won't have to worry and can go either way.

I used to get a separate winter wheel/tire set and a summer wheel/tire set but I'm going to opt for swapping tires only.
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Old 08-14-2014, 03:47 PM   #3
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$10 per corner sounds cheap. It's probably more like $15-$20 to mount and balance.

There is no actual hardware-based TPMS on the newer Q5, so nothing to worry about there.

My plan is to get a dedicated set of 18" winter rims and winter tires for the wife's Q5. Both rims and tires are cheaper in that size vs 19". I'm hoping to be able just to swap the wheels myself in the garage when needed, but the older I get, the less fun this sounds, especially with the bigger/heavier Q5 wheels/tires. I do it on my 530i though.
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Old 08-14-2014, 04:10 PM   #4
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$10 per corner sounds very cheap. On my wife's Murano, I swap the tires on the OEM rims because of the hassle of the physical TPMS sensors in the wheels. It costs me $130 per season (with tax) for the swap. If you're planning on keeping the vehicle for a while, I would suggest dedicated rims for the winter tires as it is cheaper in the long run.

For my SQ5, I have a set of Blizzaks on dedicated Hartmann 20" rims (RS5 replicas). As mentioned in other posts, the TPMS sensors on the MY14 is in the ABS system rather than in the wheel. For 20" rims it cost me $1800 CDN, so I break even on buying the rims vs. swapping tires after about 6-7 winters (you're break even on less expensive rims would obviously be less, but I wanted the factory OEM look of the Hartmann 20" wheels!)
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Old 08-14-2014, 04:21 PM   #5
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I live in Northern California (20 miles or so south of San Francisco) and don't have to deal with inclement weather unless visiting our mountains, so take this for what it is. Seems to me with all the salt, sand & gravel, and other nasties out there during the winter season, having a cheap set of steel wheels is preferable to beating up your nice, pretty, alloy summer wheels. I've also been told, and this could be misinformation, that 18s are better in snow than 19s, and that a less wide tire (say, 215s over the stock 235s) is also preferable. YMMV.
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Old 08-14-2014, 05:22 PM   #6
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yes I just confirmed with my local shop, 10 per tire, so 40 each time

I have a 2012

I want to put snow tires cuz I do the Erie-buffalo stretch in the winter time
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Old 08-14-2014, 06:01 PM   #7
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The best way for sure is a set of winters on their own rims...cheap alloys in 17" and then put 235-65 17 Blizzaks or whatever winter tire works for you. 17 is the smallest rim that will fit a Q5. Note that what ever you choose the tires must be 102-103 load rated.
Obviously you could use 18" or 19" but that does make the set more expensive and a smaller choice of winter tires in 19"
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Old 08-14-2014, 06:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalancroft View Post
having a cheap set of steel wheels is preferable
I don't think you're going to find steelies for the Q5, but you can find inexpensive alloys. The only thing with the cheap alloys is that they typically start rusting fast when exposed to road salt, and once they rust, they may start losing air quickly.
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ex-quattro PETE View Post
I don't think you're going to find steelies for the Q5, but you can find inexpensive alloys. The only thing with the cheap alloys is that they typically start rusting fast when exposed to road salt, and once they rust, they may start losing air quickly.
I use cheap alloys for snow tires on my 2013 Acura MDX (2 winters) and 2014 Audi A6 TDI and they haven't started rusting yet. So far they look fine,

Going down an inch or two will get you more traction. This and lots of other good winter tire info can be found at

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/...ertesting=true

I have heard that repeated mounting and dismounting tires can damage the beads, cause them to leak, or fail. Don't know if it's true.
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Old 08-14-2014, 11:50 PM   #10
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given how sensitive the car seems to proper balancing, would definitely opt for separate wheel/tire sets. Remounting and especially rebalancing each year sounds like a nightmare to me. And for $10/wheel, would guess that it's not road force balanced.
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