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Discussion Starter #1
The RS-As are just sucking here in the snow of Minneapolis (I couldn't get up the small hill to my house the other day). I started looking into buying winter tires (w/ rims) and use the RS-As in the spring/summer/fall, but on tirerack.com there are a lot of comments that they aren't very good in just rainy weather either.

The parts guy at my local Mazda dealer recommended the Continental Extreme Concact tires as a replacement for the RS-As and they would be good enough for winter and great in both the rain and dry during the warm months. But he said they would be 215/45R17 instead of 205/50R17. Would my already bumpy ride become even more so with the Conti's lower profile, or would it be about the same? I'm not a very aggressive driver.

The ideal would be to replace the Eagles and get winter tires as well, but I can only swing one or the other this year. Any advice on this or alternatives I should consider?
 

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I would go for the 215/50/17 instead. Check the actual specs for the specific tire you are looking at. I believe the Conti Extreme Contact in 215/50/17 is a closer match to our stock tire than the 215/45/17.
 

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215/50 is taller than 215/45, but 215/45 is almost the same size as 205/50.

Notice he told you to 10mm wider but 5mm lower. The numbers all work out about the same.
 

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There's lots of topics about this. I got 215/50R17 in all season Falken 512's. They are definitely better than the RSA's but still no snow tires. Check out www.1010tires.com for some more reviews too.
 

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I live in rainy Vancouver and find the RS-A's to be OK in the rain. I was going to upgrade the stock tires, but after a couple months of driving on them I've decided they're fine - except on snow. We had a few inches of snow in December, and I just won't take the RS-A's out if there's snow on the ground.

My two cents... since you're in Minnesota and get a good amount of snow, I would invest in snow tires and upgrade the Eagles later. I picked up some Toyo SnowProx and like them so far. They are expensive, but it doesn't pay to be cheap on tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks, AK/47, that's helpful. My concern is how sucky the RS-As are when it's been raining; tirerack.com results don't rank them too high. I figured if they truly suck, then I should put the money into a better all-season so I can get at least get up to my house in the winter and then have a safer driving summer/fall. By next Dec I'll have saved enough to get some winter tires(w/ new wheels, natch). If the RS-As are decent in the rain, I'll get the winters now and replace the RS-As in a couple of years.

Sorry I sound so paranoid about the rain handling, but I got a little baby girl I trek around a lot, and I want to feel safe on the roads with her in the car.
 

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I'd recommend dedicated snow tires. You already have the RSA's for dry and wet. Keep in mind that all-season tires have compromises in all areas so that they perform in all areas. I'd go with snow tires for now, and run your RS-A's til they need to be replaced. Then, since you already have snows, you can replace them with a good summer tire that is also great in rain, like the Potenza S03. If you have never driven on snow tires, I will guarantee you that they blow away all-season tires. I use Bridgestone Blizzak WS50s on my 95Miata, and I just got Dunlop Winter Sport M3s for the 3 (on 16" steelies). I have not had a chance to run the Dunlops in the snow yet, but I may get that chance tonight...

If safety is your concern, I would strongly encourage dedicated winter tires. I've driven through 3 winters with winter tires now, and I'm a fully converted believer.
 

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RS-As were the OEM tire on my current car (Neon) and I hated them. When I get a M3 I think tires will be the first thing on my list to replace. Does anyone know what the chances a tire shop/chain giving me a credit for practically new RS-As (priced around $160 ea at Tire Rack) towards the purchase of a new set?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
OK, winter tires it is. I asked my local Mazda service guy what happens when I put on winter wheels but don't bother with the sensors for my Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). He couldn't give me a clear answer whether just the dash warning light comes on or if I'll keep getting a beeping sound. Anyone here know? Or is there a way to disable it (take out a fuse, etc) for the 4-5 months I'll have the snow tires on?
 

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Goo said:
OK, winter tires it is. I asked my local Mazda service guy what happens when I put on winter wheels but don't bother with the sensors for my Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). He couldn't give me a clear answer whether just the dash warning light comes on or if I'll keep getting a beeping sound. Anyone here know? Or is there a way to disable it (take out a fuse, etc) for the 4-5 months I'll have the snow tires on?
Funny, I didn't even think of that. I have neither a light nor a buzzer with my winter wheels/tires on, and I do have the Xenon/TPMS pkg. I guess the sensors need to be in range to activate the warning indicators, and seeing how mine are at my mom's house in her garage... ;)
 

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So now, after thinking about this and driving last night, I looked down at the dash, and I do have a flashing light, but no buzzer. Never even thought to look before. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

I can deal with the light. Dunno if there's a fuse or something that you can remove; it brings up a good question regarding if you ever want to swap out your wheels in the future. I haven't looked in the book to see if there's a way to disable it.
 

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The sad thing is that a lot of winter tires you can get are probably better on dry pavement then the Eagles we have right now.
 

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I am confused. Has any of you done any hard driving with your Eagle RS-A tires?

They are not the best, but they are not *that* bad. I will replace them with something else when they get worn out, but so far they have offered performance that is better than any other OEM tire I've experienced.
 

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One thing to consider... if you are using Mazda stock 17" mags, they are only 6.5" wide.

You CANNOT fit 215-45-17 on a 6.5" mag. You have to go either for 205-50-17 or 215-50-17 tire.
 

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lexterminator said:
One thing to consider... if you are using Mazda stock 17" mags, they are only 6.5" wide.

You CANNOT fit 215-45-17 on a 6.5" mag. You have to go either for 205-50-17 or 215-50-17 tire.
What do you mean? 215's are 215's. Both are the same width, 215mm. You should be able to cram either on those wheels with no difficulty. the 45 is just the profile - 215x45% = 96.75mm 215x50% = 107.5mm 205x50% = 102.5 mm. The numbers are all very close, only about 5mm apart in profile. Why wouldn't they fit?
 

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Why ? Probably that the lower ratio 45 cannot be stretched to 215mm on a 6.5" rim.

The only thing I know is if you check any tire specs you will see that the minimum rim width for a 215-45-17 is 7".

But 6.5" fits 205-50-17 and 215-50-17 tires.
 

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Manufacturers have minimum recomendations as a CYA statement, and that number actually is determined by our wonderful DOT, rather than the manufacturers themselves. My stock wheels on my 02 Miata are 16x6.5, and 215/45/16 Azenis have a minimum recomendation of 7" rims, yet they fit on just fine and with no safety issues. In fact, some of the national autocross level Miata guys are running that very combo, and lots of us are running other 215 tires on the stock wheels. 225s might be a bit tougher, particularly on a 17" wheel in that width.
 

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LeeLee said:
I am confused. Has any of you done any hard driving with your Eagle RS-A tires?

They are not the best, but they are not *that* bad. I will replace them with something else when they get worn out, but so far they have offered performance that is better than any other OEM tire I've experienced.
I have hod trouble with mine in the snow. On packed snow they have almost absolutly go grip. The only thing that has saved my ass a couple times is the ABS.

budgy said:
The sad thing is that a lot of winter tires you can get are probably better on dry pavement then the Eagles we have right now.
This is probably true, but only because winter tires have a softer tread and a low tread life. If you drove around on winter tires all year, I would imagine that you would have to replace them very often.
 
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