Having some time this evening I fitted the snow tires to my car. Purchased from Tire Rack, I ended up with a set of General AltiMAX Arctic snow tires on steel rims in 195/65R15 size. This is slightly narrower and with a taller sidewall than the original tires, but conveniently one of the spec sizes on the slightly lower model of Civic, which makes pressure selection a piece of cake and left me with little doubt that they’d be a decent fit for the car.
These tires were mentioned to me by a couple friends, and they are Consumer Reports #2 snow tire pick, just behind some that cost almost 80% more. Delivered just a few days after ordering (albeit with the lug nuts coming a week later due to a order packing screwup) they were here quite quickly and ready to go.
Installation went smoothly, and with the purchase of a breaker bar, proper size sockets, and a torque wrench I had all the tools needed to make the installation go smoothly. I had a slight issue jacking up the rear of the car which necessitated some oak blocks to extend the reach of the floor jack, but once on the jack stands everything went smoothly. The old wheels came off with little effort thanks to the 18″ breaker bar, the new ones seated nicely, the lug nuts snugged up evenly, and torquing them evenly (once the car was back on the ground, of course) took just a bit of time with the wrench.
The test ride around the area went well, and while I can hear a bit more road noise that’s to be expected from the heavily siped tires. I’ve now got the car sitting outside overnight so the tires can cool to ambient temperature. Come morning I’ll fill them to specified pressure and they should be good for a while, or at least until we get down near single digit temperatures.
Now to wait for some snow and ice… It’s too bad this week has a forecast for rain and higher temps. Maybe I should have waited before putting them on. Oh well.