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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just put my new winter tires the other day. Drove them over 100 miles to try them out and I am baffled

1. Before, with the all season Conti Extreme DWS on 17 inch Pegs, I was experiencing a slight wheel vibration above 55mph and when braking. I got the tires rebalanced - no change. I thought that maybe my rotors are getting warped or I have ball joint issues.
2. With my all seasons the car ran really stiff. It wasn't comfortable at all.

Now with the winter General Altimax Arctic 225/45/17's:

1. No more steering wheel vibration. It's gone. Steering wheel doesn't shake at all no matter what I do. I guess that rules out brakes/suspension.
2. I know winter tires are a softer compound but my God...car rides so smooth! I've never felt so comfortable in this car before. It grips really well in the cold too.

So now onto my question/problem:

- From everything I've explained, does it mean that I've been running the wrong all seasons all along? Or maybe they were never balanced properly, despite what the shop said?

(The Contis were rotated regularly, had equal wear and decent thread left 7/32)
 

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Another possibility, is that you have a slightly bent Peg or two? Ever hit a curb hard or pothole or anything like that?
 

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I've had a few bad Contis, (I buy a LOT of them) they replaced them under warranty
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The winters are mounted on the same Pegs. Can't be that.

Jim, what do you mean a bad tire? Visually they look okay, they have equal thread, no bumps in the sidewalls and no nails in them either.
 

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Does your shop do "RoadForce" balancing? When you reinstall the three season tires, make sure your shop has the newer Hunter Engineering equipment and they tell you how well they RoadForce balance out. Check for the yellow dot on your tires, it should be close to the valve stem, if it isn't, ask the installer why.

As you know, winter tires have a compound that gets softer as it gets colder, the regular tires get harder. The speed range on the Arctics is a lot lower than the DWS's. General is owned by Continental. The Arctic's are made in Germany, the DWS's in Brazil. Not sure if any of this contributes to the differences your feeling. I'm convinced that every tire model has it's own personality and most of them are douche bags.

We had a client with a Crown Vic come back after we installed some Cooper cop tires that were supplied by her boyfriend. They balanced up OK initially but after a couple days of driving, she developed a pull and a wiggle. We double checked the balance and all four took 1/2 an OZ of weight. The fronts were near the RoadForce balance limit of 26 pounds as well. We swapped the fronts left for right to see if the pull would swap sides but it didn't. Then we swapped front for back and the pull went away. No outward appearance of anything amiss.
 

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I find DWS's to be one of the smoothest tires out there.
HOWEVER, I've had some (near new) that even when balanced out, (regular or road force), that I still had a vibration.
As recently as May I bought a set of 17s for my 07 XC. That had one tire that was just bad internally, (shifted belt, who knows) but would not balance oout properly, and I had a set on my 2000 V70R with all of 1000 miles on them that THREE (3) of them were out of round!
You could visibly see them "hop" when spun around
 

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I've had 1 bulge occur in a set of DWS Contis after a few thousand miles but overall great tires.

My DW summer tires on the Volvo have been absolutely awesome.

Someone on here recently mentioned that those winter tires you bought are based on the mold of the old Gislaved Nordfrost 3 which was an amazing snow tire and has a really beefy tread which may account for the smoothness. I always thought they helped the ride a lot in that sense but the Nordfrost 3 handled more awkwardly at highway speed than the later Nordfrost 5.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes, there is a downside to these Nordfrosts - they are noisy as hell, and at high speeds they are a bit unruly. Speed rating is Q - 99mph. But on twisty roads they are amazing. And like I said the steering wheel is just so much smoother now.

I'll take people's advice here and when I remount the DWS in the spring I will have the balance checked at different shops on different machines.
 

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I have similar experiences with my DWS Contis vs other tires. Mine also flat spot when the weather is cool.

I am looking forward to putting on my snow tires (Mich. IceX2) on the XC as well as trying out the Pirelli snows on the S60.
 

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I always hate the time when I have to take off my Dunlop Wintersport 3D tires...they're so dang grippy! too much of a waste to wear them down on dry road though. Luckily, switching to Potenza RE-01R tires in the summer that I picked up cheap new from a friend who's car they didn't fit....god did those things grip! Thought hey were autocross tires so yeah. Ruined them when I got out of alignment :-( lesson learned there.

speaking of, any issue drive/tire related, when's the last time you had your car aligned?
 
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