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Discussion Starter #1
Just picked up a 2020 Elite AWD. Was wondering if the brand-new stock tires are ok for weekend snow trips to ski resorts, or should I swap them out for winter-rated (3PMSF) tires? Or should I consider a set of snow-weekend-only tires?

I don't have any experience driving in the snow and don't want to wreck the new Pilot.

Are there any known wheel/tire combos that are especially recommended? I'm looking to size down to get more sidewall. I looked for OEM steel wheels but I don't think there are any in this generation of Odyssey/Pilot/Ridgeline that would work..

Thanks,
Shige
 

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Do you plan on going skiing almost every weekend, or just a few times during the season?
Are you willing to buy a separate set of winter tires?
If so, are you willing to buy a separate set of wheels for the winter tires?

It would help to know approximately where you're located.
Are you, for example, near the coast of California during the week and only encounter winter conditions on weekend trips to a ski resort?
Or, are you in someplace, such as Denver,m where you are likely to have snowy roads all week and winter long?
In those resort areas, are winter tires (or chains) ever required for travel?
If so, would you be willing to buy a set of chains?
 

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I have snow tires on the Pilot and all I can say is the thing is a beast in the snow. Generally, low profile tires like the ones on your Pilot aren't going to be stellar in the snow.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm in the Bay Area where it only snows once every 30 years! But we are about 2.5-3 hours from the ski resorts.

I would like to go as much as we can during this season, but realistically once a month would be about it.

I'd probably avoid going when it's snowing heavily, so probably right they get a chance to plow the roads after a storm. The major roads are plowed pretty frequently, it's only on snow the last few miles leading to the resort.

I'm totally willing to get the right wheels/tires for the Pilot. I figure it's cheap insurance and I believe in getting the right tools for the job.

Any suggestions for wheel/tire combos? Would prefer to size down to 18 or even 17 and have the bigger sidewalls in the snow tires. Strong preference for Honda OEM unless it's from a good manufacturer.

Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Would this work well for snow wheels?

42700-TK8-A01 (HONDA OEM steel wheels for 2011-2017 Odyssey LX) ($84.86/each)
7Jx17 ET50
235/65-17 Tires were stock size but to maintain the same diameter as stock could I put on 235/70-17? (Blizzak ~$153.79/each)

Would I just get the sensors for the 3rd gen Pilot? I assume it'll fit. 42753-T6N-E02 ($27.99/each)

Total: ~$1100

Overkill for occasional weekend snow trips from California Bay Area to Tahoe? I'd have to swap them out after every trip too..

Should I just try the stock wheels/tires and see how it goes?

Thanks for help with my newbie questions.
 

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I'm in the Bay Area where it only snows once every 30 years! But we are about 2.5-3 hours from the ski resorts.
I would like to go as much as we can during this season, but realistically once a month would be about it.
I'd probably avoid going when it's snowing heavily, so probably right they get a chance to plow the roads after a storm. The major roads are plowed pretty frequently, it's only on snow the last few miles leading to the resort.
I'm totally willing to get the right wheels/tires for the Pilot. I figure it's cheap insurance and I believe in getting the right tools for the job.
Blizzak
Overkill for occasional weekend snow trips from California Bay Area to Tahoe? I'd have to swap them out after every trip too..
Should I just try the stock wheels/tires and see how it goes?
Since you're mostly driving in a moderate climate, except for the occasional ski trips, you probably wouldn't want winter-only tires unless you're prepared to put them on and take them off for each weekend trip.

Since the stock tires are brand new with full tread depth, you could try them and see how it goes.
What you might want to do is buy a set of the ZT735 cable-type snow chains recommended in the owners manual and keep them on hand with you, just in case you encounter severe weather conditions.

Beyond that you could stay with the stock 20" wheels, but get a set of "all-weather" - as opposed to "all-season" - tires, such as the Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady or the BFGoodrich Advantage T/A Sport LT .
They can be used all-year-long, but are designed to have better winter traction than typical all-season tires.
They are also marked with the "three peak mountain snowflake" symbol, which identifies them as legally meeting the minimum requirements for a winter tire.
https://www.goodyear.com/en-US/tires/assurance-weatherready
https://www.bfgoodrichtires.com/all-tires/advantage-t-a-sport-lt.html

If you did want to get winter tires, I'd suggest a set of 18" Honda wheels and an 'H' speed-rated tire from Continental or Pirelli. Check local Honda dealers for any "take-off" wheels from a Pilot whose owner opted for the accessory wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you! This was extremely helpful!

Since you're mostly driving in a moderate climate, except for the occasional ski trips, you probably wouldn't want winter-only tires unless you're prepared to put them on and take them off for each weekend trip.

Since the stock tires are brand new with full tread depth, you could try them and see how it goes.
What you might want to do is buy a set of the ZT735 cable-type snow chains recommended in the owners manual and keep them in the vehicle, just in case you encounter severe weather conditions.

Beyond that you could stay with the stock 20" wheels, but get a set of "all-weather" - as opposed to "all-season" - tires, such as the Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady or the BFGoodrich Advantage T/A Sport LT .
They can be used all-year-long, but are designed to have better winter traction than typical all-season tires.
They are also marked with the "three peak mountain snowflake" symbol, which identifies them as legally meeting the minimum requirements for a winter tire.
https://www.goodyear.com/en-US/tires/assurance-weatherready
https://www.bfgoodrichtires.com/all-tires/advantage-t-a-sport-lt.html

If you did want to get winter tires, I'd suggest a set of 18" Honda wheels and an 'H' speed-rated tire from Continental or Pirelli. Check local Honda dealers for any "take-off" wheels from a Pilot whose owner opted for the accessory wheels.
 

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I’m also in norcal. Last Jan, i took my awd touring and it handled a snow storm fine on the oem tires. I did have the specified chains just in case though. As you stated, they plow the roads pretty well in tahoe so you should be fine on clear days.
 

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CalTrans keeps I-80 and US-50 mostly clear during storms. If 4x4's, etc are having trouble with the roadways, they usually close the highways (like 14 hours two days ago).

Our OEM 2019 tires handle the snow just fine. If you lived in Montana, North Dakota, etc. I'd say get snow tires.

Keep when you have and enjoy your Pilot.
 

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Read the Tirerack reviews on your actual tires and note where the reviews are from (Cold winter areas vs South Carolina). The 20" Conti's don't get great reviews for snow. The 18" Bridgestones I think get worse. If you look at tread on both the Conti's at least have some better diagonal and zigzag siping. My 18's are rated as more of performance tire, yours are probably also, performance tires get hard like a plastic sled when it gets cold. Great for sliding and having fun but if your life depends on it. I can tell you that my wife almost wrecked the Pilot on first snow it was 2-3 days old. She wanted to bring it back as it was that bad. She was used to having 4 snows on her Sequoia. Mine was probably worse as tires had no wear. The mold release was still on them which takes a couple hundred miles to wear (even on winter tires). The tires rate poorly by those who live in snowy areas. Basically I had poor snow grip on tires sprayed with PAM. A lot depends on your experience level and if you've had winter tires before.

Here's my take and how I explain to those that will listen. They can act or not. My insurance deductible is $1000. If I can stop 20-30 feet sooner at 30 mph and or steer to avoid somebody sliding I just saved my deductible. That doesn't factor in any potential injuries to me or my family or increased insurance rates. My winter tires go on around Thanksgiving and off about Easter pending weather forecasts (this year was earlier in Nov.) I usually get 4-5 years from the tires before they reach the snow wear bars, then I might leave them on and burn some mileage, they wear fast in hot weather. Most of my snows (4 vehicles) are mounted on rims. I can driveway swap them pretty quick. The rims and sensors will last for many years through multiple sets of tires.

That said if I was living in CA and was going skiing often I'd probably get spare rims (in 17 or 18") and then get Nokian WR, Vredestein Quatrac or some other better all weather version even something like Michelin Defender LTX. Look for severe snow rated versions on Tirerack. Also try the different transmission modes if you haven't already. Read some of my posts on the Snow, Mud, Sand. It might help if you get stuck.

My son just sent me a video of him in his Kia Forte with 3 inches of snow. In order to "play" he had to use the parking brake in the large parking lot to get any slide. I put new Continental VikingContact 7's on about 3 weeks ago. He said driving "normal" was no issue, start or stop. 2 of his friends were stuck in the same parking lot tires spinning away. The one that finally managed to drive some just slid when he stepped on the brakes and said he is afraid to drive it. My son picked them up and they went to lunch. YMMV.

You can also look for some rims from a newer Honda Ridgeline. You might even get them with the Firestones to try. I saw some decent deals in CA area with sensors in them still. Check craigslist, ridgeline forums, facebook marketplace, ebay.

MIchelin Latitude X-ice gets great ratings and actually has a treadwear warranty. Many say it is like an all season but really good in snow and ice (just not as good in deep snow)
 

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I would say the awd system with the 20 inch does very well. I decided to go up mount baldy while it was snowing hard and I had no issues with the hills. The day after in Palmdale it snowed all day and had no issues driving and paving way over 6 to 8 inches of snow. You should be fine just have a set of snow chains in case there is mandatory chain requirements.
 

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Unless you have money to burn I see no point in buying and storing a 2nd set of tires. The car will do good enough for what you need.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
First off, thank you! Thanks for taking the time to write such a comprehensive reply.

We just picked up the car on Friday and our first snow trip is around 12/22. I'm expecting plowed roads but I'm sure there will be some snow. After all, it's supposed to be a ski trip.

I'm trying to locate some 18 inch wheels, but I may need to just swap out the stock tires on the 20 inch stock wheels.. I want the taller sidewall of the 18s but time is short.

Thank you again, this was wonderfully helpful.

Shige

Read the Tirerack reviews on your actual tires and note where the reviews are from (Cold winter areas vs South Carolina). The 20" Conti's don't get great reviews for snow. The 18" Bridgestones I think get worse. If you look at tread on both the Conti's at least have some better diagonal and zigzag siping. My 18's are rated as more of performance tire, yours are probably also, performance tires get hard like a plastic sled when it gets cold. Great for sliding and having fun but if your life depends on it. I can tell you that my wife almost wrecked the Pilot on first snow it was 2-3 days old. She wanted to bring it back as it was that bad. She was used to having 4 snows on her Sequoia. Mine was probably worse as tires had no wear. The mold release was still on them which takes a couple hundred miles to wear (even on winter tires). The tires rate poorly by those who live in snowy areas. Basically I had poor snow grip on tires sprayed with PAM. A lot depends on your experience level and if you've had winter tires before.

Here's my take and how I explain to those that will listen. They can act or not. My insurance deductible is $1000. If I can stop 20-30 feet sooner at 30 mph and or steer to avoid somebody sliding I just saved my deductible. That doesn't factor in any potential injuries to me or my family or increased insurance rates. My winter tires go on around Thanksgiving and off about Easter pending weather forecasts (this year was earlier in Nov.) I usually get 4-5 years from the tires before they reach the snow wear bars, then I might leave them on and burn some mileage, they wear fast in hot weather. Most of my snows (4 vehicles) are mounted on rims. I can driveway swap them pretty quick. The rims and sensors will last for many years through multiple sets of tires.

That said if I was living in CA and was going skiing often I'd probably get spare rims (in 17 or 18") and then get Nokian WR, Vredestein Quatrac or some other better all weather version even something like Michelin Defender LTX. Look for severe snow rated versions on Tirerack. Also try the different transmission modes if you haven't already. Read some of my posts on the Snow, Mud, Sand. It might help if you get stuck.

My son just sent me a video of him in his Kia Forte with 3 inches of snow. In order to "play" he had to use the parking brake in the large parking lot to get any slide. I put new Continental VikingContact 7's on about 3 weeks ago. He said driving "normal" was no issue, start or stop. 2 of his friends were stuck in the same parking lot tires spinning away. The one that finally managed to drive some just slid when he stepped on the brakes and said he is afraid to drive it. My son picked them up and they went to lunch. YMMV.

You can also look for some rims from a newer Honda Ridgeline. You might even get them with the Firestones to try. I saw some decent deals in CA area with sensors in them still. Check craigslist, ridgeline forums, facebook marketplace, ebay.

MIchelin Latitude X-ice gets great ratings and actually has a treadwear warranty. Many say it is like an all season but really good in snow and ice (just not as good in deep snow)
 

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if time is short, and you dont want to "risk" damaging your brand new Pilot, i would just rent something for your Dec 22nd trip and do a more thorough decision after.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks everyone for your helpful suggestions! I'm going to get some cables for the 20 inch wheels and I've reached out for some "take off" 18 inch wheels. I'm hoping to swap out the tires for M+S with the 3 peak mountain snow symbol for the 20 inch too.

The steelies from the Odyssey seem like a promising low-cost solution for equipping snow tires but I need to see if I can follow in someone else's footsteps since I'm not sure which sensors and lug nuts I need to get. I heard those differ from the aluminum wheels.

I'm always open to more ideas and information too!
 

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with the cables, be sure to order them sooner than later. worst thing that can happen is others ordering the same size and it is sold out. also, practice putting on the chains before the trip.
 

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in 30 years of snow driving, the only time I used chains was on the Ambulance, Fire Engine and the farm truck. They did help get going in the conditions that warranted it but they all had problems with stopping and turning. Maybe others out west that use them more have a different experience.

The Odyssey steelies might not fit right as they are different offset. Tirerack or discount tire would be able to advise. Lugs are probably the same as our spare tire is plain steel. TPMS you can get for about $30 each online from Bernardi or College Hills.

Back to original post, typeshige says he has no experience driving in snow. This is something that you need to experience slowly at first in some nice snowy, icy parking lots. Try what you have, try with chains try the different modes. Make sure you slam on the brakes and experience ABS. Cut the wheel and do all of it again. Just WATCH carefully for others and light poles etc.

My daughter is 16 and has her learners permit. We went out today in the icy/snowy roads and parking lots and did just that. 3 vehicles with winter tires (Pilot, CRV, Sonata -stick shift!, and a Jeep Renegade Trailhawk with all terrains. She said she would rather drive any of the 3 with snows after experiencing the difference on the stop and turn. All went very well starting. She got nervous in the Jeep because it didn't want to stop very well. She drove to her friends house just as her friends mom got home in her 4 Runner. Ghost white, nervous wreck, complaining she couldn't stop at the stop signs and sliding back and forth on side roads. My daughter smiled and commented that she had no problem and enjoyed learning.

Everybody's experience is different, everybody's available funds are different. I wear sneakers in summer, waterproof hiking shoes often but I have my boots for winter and cold weather gear. Some people wear flip flops all year, they never had a problem walking around. I went camping with my son in scouts, some kids went hiking in crocs and then had problems on the mud and rocks. they survived. they bought hiking shoes for the next trip.
 

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I wasn't going to post at first, but now I feel the need to. I know you've never driven in the snow and I wouldn't recommend hiding from it... that being said you really need to take some time (as suggested) in an empty parking lot to familiarize yourself with how the Pilot will react. But that will only be in one type of snow, as most can attest different snows have to be driven in differently. I make a habit of going excessively slow until I get on an empty road where I can test braking traction, acceleration traction and give the wheel a couple sharp cuts to see how it will react while turning.

I live in MD, our climate doesn't warrant dedicated snow tires. I save a couple vacation days for the winter so if we get any big snow I can just stay home and play with the kids. I hate to say it, but people around here really drive quite poorly in dry and wet weather, even worse in snow and ice (especially anyone with AWD or 4WD, they think they are invincible) so I try to stay off the roads when the weather is bad and the idiots are out.


Sonata -stick shift!,
So a '10 or earlier with the 2.4? I am DDing an '08 V6 SE, I wish it had a manual the engine is such a smooth and torquey unit it would really be complemented better by a manual.
 

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So a '10 or earlier with the 2.4? I am DDing an '08 V6 SE, I wish it had a manual the engine is such a smooth and torquey unit it would really be complemented better by a manual.
'07 with 2.4 (and 209k on it) changed the clutch at about 175k. The 2.4 could use more power the dual mass clutch is a bit odd on how it grabs at times and keeps revs up between shifts. One of the complaints is that combined with the drive by wire. Not always smooth. I still stall at odd times as did many Sonata owners with stick. I've had 6 different stick shifts in 35 years. This is only one with that issue. I'll live. I would have preferred the V6 but it didn't come in stick.

It's also not just MD. Many people are horrible drivers and very distracted. Too much available technology in the cars to distract. I posted in my thread about the different tranny modes and how they work. 2 pages on pretty important operation of Pilot. I think it was almost 150 pages on the radio/entertainment system. Yesterdays snow here we had multiple accidents that we responded to with 2 overturns.

Typeshige- not the best photoshop but how the Ridgeline rims look on Pilot. Also Ridgeline Black Edition and stock EX-L 18"
 

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