California Autos Examiner

Friday, November 23, 2007

Winter Tires On An Enclave?

Living in the sunny part of California, I rarely think about winter tires. However, I have always assumed that should I want to get a set of snow tires for my car they would be readily available. Some Buick Enclave owners are finding it difficult to get some traction for the 19" wheel equipped Enclaves.

While browsing around I stumbled upon a number of threads where owners were complaining about the difficulty in getting snow tires that would fit their vehicles. The workaround that owners have found is to buy a set of 18" wheels and slap on a set of winter tires. However with tire pressure monitoring sensors, this proves to be expensive. Here's what forum member Smokin SRX calculated the costs to be:

Bridgestone Blizzaks in 265/60/18 Q speed. They would result in a 1 mph difference on odometer @ 65MPH, and are 1/2 inch shorter, but 1/2 inch fatter, compared to the 19": $149 each. Dealer can get 18" OE rims (aluminum type) for Enclave, for $289 each, plus $50 each TPMS sensor. Plus programming fee for TPMS (pressure sensors) into car, at each seasonal switch. (maybe $65?).

When you tally all of that up, plus the cost of mounting the tires, you're out a serious chunk of change. In addition there is the fact that your speedometer won't be exact.

I would imagine that at some point exact matching tires will be made available, if not for the 19's then at least the 18's. I'd be curious to find out if there are other solutions out there.

On a side note, the forums members were pretty excited about cooled seats being added and buzzing about when GM might fit the CTS's 3.6L direct injection mill into the Lambda vehicles.

You can check out the Enclave forum threads here and here.

1 comment:

Brad said...

Yes you need to be careful when adding wheel width to avoid rubbing the fender well when turning.

No you don't need to worry about your speedometer. The speedometer depends upon the circumference of the tire, not the diameter of the wheel. Your GM service technician will connect a computer to your vehicle and enter the tire dimension information -- resulting in an automatic adjustment of the speedometer and possibly other things like your transmission.

When changing wheels buyers should consider that ride quality (bump/chuckhole dampening) is as much a function of tire sidewall diameter (from wheel to outer perimeter of the rubber) as it is a function of the suspension. An 18 inch tire has more sidewall than a 19 inch and will have a smoother ride. A 20 inch will be even less cushy. Of course if you want more "sporty" feel, the opposite is ture -- you want less sidewall (get the 22 inchers..)