Winter Tires for Q3 - Audi Q3 Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 07-30-2015, 09:12 AM Thread Starter
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Winter Tires for Q3

OK I can hear you saying...what, winter tires...it's not even August...But by the time my Q3 arrives here in the PNW it will be close to September and then the time of putting on winter tires will (sadly) be only 2.5 months away. While the thought of having to plunk out another bushel of cash after paying for the Audi isn't appealing, I'm thinking ahead and wondering what to buy? I have the Prestige so will have the larger tires and I see they are All Season. I have been using studless snow tires on my Mini, which of course is FWD and thought I would stick with studless for the Q3. I'm assuming that even with Audi's Quatro system the all season tires would not be sufficient for snowy, icy conditions and driving to the mountains for cross country skiing - right? Anyone familiar with studless on the Q3 and which tires might work best (size, brands)? Thanks!
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post #2 of 26 Old 07-30-2015, 10:35 AM
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I hope our northern folks - even a few from Canada - can chime in. Unfortunately I'm in SC and we get almost no snow - but I can say this past Winter we had a couple of days of 3-4 inches and traveling around in that much with the same tire you'll be getting was NO problem at all - I'll also note that since we don't get much snow, our city is NOT typically prepared for it and can barely sand bridges and overpasses and do NO clearing of any roads - we have 2 plows and they stay at the airport


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post #3 of 26 Old 07-30-2015, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks. The ice is what really worries me more than the snow....we get these times when it snows and people drive over it before they can plow it. Then it melts when the sun comes out and freezes again overnight. This can go on for days and it gets pretty slick. Or, now that we seem to be having warmer winters we can get rain and then it goes below freezing at night. All of this is so much fun if you are going up hill behind a very slow driver or at a stop sign on a hill or, try one of our many roundabouts for a real thrill ride. I don't drive many miles in winter but need to be able to rely on the Q3 as a ski car when needed. We have put studless on my wife's Outback as well. Hate the thought of forking out another $600 or so for these tires...but beats the repair bill from an accident.
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post #4 of 26 Old 07-30-2015, 01:51 PM
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cabelguy, you can probably get a number of recommendations, but I suggest you simply pop down to your local Les Schwab store and find out what they recommend and what they're going to have in stock this year, and then make an early order before supplies run out....as they often do when the first icy days hits.

I've had Yokohama Geolander studless tires on my AWD Mazda for six winters (I take them off the car when not needed), and have made a number runs to Hood and Bachelor with no problems whatsoever.

I already have a buyer for the tires and the Mazda....now just waiting for the Q3 to arrive....but I'm going to see what it is like to simply go with the all-season tires and Quattro before deciding on getting new studless tires again.

But unlike you, I only drive on the occasional ice and snow to recreate....you will likely face your test sooner on your side of the Cascades.
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post #5 of 26 Old 07-30-2015, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks DampDuffer. Yes I too was considering just trying it out with the all season tires to see if I feel that's sufficient...but I'm sure my wife will veto that idea. And imagine how I'd feel if my testing showed that having the studless tires was required...I might learn by running into somebody or something. I've lost traction on the roundabouts even with AWD and studless on no less than a Subaru. Sometimes you have the feel you're on a skating rink. Perhaps it's time to just bite the bullet and spend the dough...I can add that to the paint protection job and other goodies that one can or must spend on with a new car.
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post #6 of 26 Old 08-08-2015, 04:32 PM
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I'm wondering about this as well. I bought a winter tire setup for my last car since it came with summer tires. The summers were deadly once the temp dipped below 40F let alone on snow covered roads.

I ran a minus 2" General Altimax Arctics and they were like claws in the snow and ice. The only drawback was they were noisy and made the steering a bit vague.
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post #7 of 26 Old 08-08-2015, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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My Mini had summer tires on it when I bought it 10 years ago this month. When the first snow hit I had not changed out the tires and I had to drive home from work in it. I made it about a third of the way home, scared to death from sliding around... and had to leave the car in a parking lot and walk the rest of the way. At that point I abandoned the pure summer tires and went with a more all season + studless for winter. I'm used to driving in snow and ice but that was an experience I won't forget. I think I'm resigned to getting studless for the Q3 as the safety factor is important in our climate. When I did some quick reviews on Tire Rack I found that it's going to run me from $800 up for 19" tires (more were over $200 per tire). Just depends how much I want to spend.

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post #8 of 26 Old 08-10-2015, 12:01 PM
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Cableguy, you should go with smaller rims such as 18" as they will be less expensive.
I think, but I have no experience, that the Q3 will fit 215/65/17 which is a 17" rim giving you more rubber for a softer ride and will be less expensive. Just have to make sure you get the correct rims. An Audi dealer should be able to help you with that.
Some good brands that I know of are Nokian, Bridgestone Blizzak, Michelin X-ice. There are several others of course.
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post #9 of 26 Old 08-10-2015, 12:19 PM
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Michelin will serve you well and it's around $190 a tire so it won't break the bank. Maybe the Xi3? The reviews for those look great.
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post #10 of 26 Old 08-10-2015, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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I had separate rims for my Mini and that was OK because there were fairly small tires. I'm wondering if at age 62+ I really want to lug around tires with rims on them..which would also mean lugging around the OEM tires and rims when they are taken off. So my plan was to get tires with no winter rims. My back says that's a wise plan.

John
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