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didn't realize my snow tires were so loud...

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Old 04-04-17, 09:10 AM   #1
Johnhav430
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Default didn't realize my snow tires were so loud...

A little background...I got my car in Sept., and have put 8k on it. At the beginning of Dec., I put on the rims and Michelin Xice Xi3's. You could say snows are what I know, 225/55-17's, as I went 4,500.

One day while riding in the back and having my wife drive, I noticed what resembled a howl. Now, driving the car myself, I would hear the same. Up to 35 mph, imho prominent when you're listening for it. After 40 mph or so, the road noise increases such that not heard anymore.

I thought, given what I know about RWD, that is likely a driveshaft issue like a carrier bearing, or worse, the rear diff. I felt carrier bearing, and thought next time the indie has it in the air, I'll ask them to listen for it. No way it can be missed, easily duplicated.

I put the summers back on, this past Sat. Yesterday, it was 70F, I went out to lunch, and it dawned on me, that howl is not there. HUH?? Drove all over, 0-40 mph, windows down, windows up, climate off, etc. CAN NOT DUPLICATE THE HOWL.

All this time, it was the Xice Xi3's! I googled for negative reviews, and wow. Many reviews stating these are not snows but beefed up a/s', one guy claims he totaled his car thanks to them? And finally found a Subie owner saying howling noise, people told him to make sure the rotation is correct, which it was, and then he had a shop check his bearings etc., and they concluded it's the tires.

I had thought these tires were highly rated for all I knew? And the 40k warranty appealed to me. Some say, the fact that they can be warranted to 40k indicates they are not a serious snow tire.

Maybe, in retorspect, I shoulda gone with Blizzaks. The Xices were cheap--I paid $131 but got a $100 rebate making them barely over $100. Again, I thought they were highly rated...

Glad the howl was not in fact my drivetrain....I'll listen again next fall, and I'm sure the howl will be back.
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Old 04-04-17, 09:54 AM   #2
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Interesting. When I was researching winter tires, I found the General Altimax Arctic had some Canadian Highway Taskforce approval for Extreme Winter Use. I figured, if the Canadians like , they must be pretty good, Eh?

Also, the tires (like many winter tires) have the 3 Peak Mountain with the Snowflake stamped on the sidewall which denotes Extreme Winter use.

The X-IceXi3's also have that approval, so I would assume they would handle/react to snow in a similar manor to the Altimax Arctic's - Noisy, but grippy...

Sometimes my car sounded like an old Chevy 1/2 ton with mudders on it. You could really hear the tires around 25-30 mph. Like your tires, they got quieter as road noise increased.

Much better now since I reinstalled the Yokohamas. My other LS has Toyo Observe Winter tires on it. I rarely drive it, so I can't really say how noisy they are. My wife doesn't complain about anything, but she listens to the radio so loud, that the engine could be coming apart, and she wouldn't notice....
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Old 04-04-17, 10:06 AM   #3
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Interesting 2K, but you knew the sound was the tires, huh? I figured driveshaft, because I didn't find too many posts where people said the Michelins were noisy. Also figured very unlikely any problem with the rear diff in the 80's....

This is where I think a lot of folks aren't hypersensitive to noises, etc. If listening to tunes, the snow tires would not be heard at all....I just hope that if we get real snow, the Xice's will be ok. I think there are way more positive reviews than negative, just surprised how easy it was to get negative after negative review.....
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Old 04-04-17, 10:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2KHarrier View Post
My wife doesn't complain about anything, but she listens to the radio so loud, that the engine could be coming apart, and she wouldn't notice....
So she regards Mark Levinson as a concert promoter (the way John Scher was when we were going to shows)?!
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Old 04-04-17, 11:31 AM   #5
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So she regards Mark Levinson as a concert promoter (the way John Scher was when we were going to shows)?!
Pretty much... I hate getting in the car, because I always forget that the radio is turned up when she shuts the car off, and I get thrown back in the seat with some R&B singer I never heard of...

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Old 04-04-17, 03:36 PM   #6
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I had the same experience with my '02 last winter. I thought the noise was from the winter tires. It was less prominent when I put the summer tires on but the noise reappeared later in the summer. Turns out it was a wheel bearing that needed replacement at 165k. Just a thought.
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Old 04-04-17, 05:43 PM   #7
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Blizzaks don't howl but you certainly can hear them singing to you if you are driving on smooth asphalt...
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Old 04-05-17, 06:18 AM   #8
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It's really hard to envision the tires would howl.....if I put them back on and the howl came right back, it would seem to verify, but it's just too much labor....the one variable is temp. I have driven the Xice's at 70 degrees, as well as below 20....it's really a throwback to when my dad had studded snows only on the rears of his Corolla, I haven't really remembered noisy snows in years (the BMW has Ultra Grips made in Germany). But if it turns out to be a wheel bearing, I suppose I could live with that and having it replaced, but not a rear diff (logically how could it be, really little maintenance on it and I'm still at 88k), that would likely spell the end.....ugh.
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Old 04-05-17, 08:15 PM   #9
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Are you sure the noise only comes from the tires? I also experienced noise issue but it turned out it was a wheel bearing problem. Anyway, Blizzaks are much recommended for snow tires. I think the Toyo tires are better with their AT.
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Old 04-05-17, 08:46 PM   #10
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I would have to listen carefully in the fall. It's rather unexplainable that now there is no noise at all, and the summer tires were put on the car, on Sat. I thought my experience with a bad wheel bearing was it was pretty annoying at all speeds, worse the faster one went, didn't get drowned out by road noise at 35 mph and above...it's considered very unsafe to operate a car with a bad wheel bearing...
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Old 04-06-17, 02:35 PM   #11
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My Michelin X-Ice Xi2 225/55/17 winter tires mounted and Roadforce-balanced on aftermarket wheels are significantly louder than my Michelin Primacy MXV4 of the same size mounted on Roadforce-balanced OEM chrome wheels.

Same winter tires for past 7 years, same increase in loudness every time winters go on, and extra quiet and extra smooth ride when the summers go back on. No one but you will notice, and if you turn the music on at all, it won't make a difference.

Xi2 winter performance is great, no complaints, worth the minimal decrease in quietness and smoothness. I'm sure Xi3 is very similar.
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Old 04-06-17, 05:07 PM   #12
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Cool....just cannot duplicate the sound no matter what now. But in listening so much, I began to realize yes, even the summer tires sound differently based on the surface of the road. Go over a bridge over the interstate, very loud, but that's 100% from the road surface and tires, and only loud going over the bridge. However, none of the sounds now, are like a carrier bearing howling...
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