Winter tires – where to buy and what brand

Club News Forums General Forum Winter tires – where to buy and what brand

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    Hi folks

    Firstly, I’m a newbie, so a brief introduction:
    I moved to Canada 2 months ago, and bought my first Porsche 1 month ago (2007 C4S). I’m chuffed to bits with the car, and really enjoying living in Toronto. All in all, two good decisions! I’m hoping to meet a few of you at the upcoming socials.

    I’m amazed I can’t find the answer to my question, and I have a sneaking suspicion that it may be my searching abilities, so I’ll apologize up front if this is a duplicate question. I have Googled it, but there are so many options out there I’m having trouble sorting the wheat from the chaff.

    I only have the one car, and so will have to use it to commute during the winter. I’m going to need some winter tires. So:
    a) Which tires? Brand, etc? R18s or R19s?
    b) Which rims?
    c) Where to buy them in Toronto?
    d) I’ve probably missed something, so what else does a noob need to know?

    Currently, the car has 305/30 R19s (rear), so according to my manual I’m going to need a new set of rims. The guy I bought it from said he had installed 5mm spacers. I guess I’ll need to remove these (or have them removed to be more accurate).

    Thanks, Rob.

    andy wright

    Hi Rob,
    Welcome to Canada. I’m an UK Expat of 37 years.

    There are a number of resources for selecting winter tires & rims. My first suggestion is to go to There is a wealth of information on this site and you can enter your vehicles information to see what is recommended for winter tires & rims. Whether you buy from The Tire Rack is up to you, but it gives you the information of what to look for locally.

    Next up is your local Porsche Dealer. Probably not the least-cost solution, but they do sell winter tire/rim packages and the rims will be Porsche style and quality. Also check out the Tire shops that advertise in Provinz. These guys have plenty of experience with Porsches and can guide you to the best solution for your C4S.


    Hi Andy

    Thanks for the advice and fast response. I’ll await my first installment of Provinz and have a good read!

    Cheers, Rob.

    andy wright

    Other things to keep in mind:

    For winter tires, you should go down a tire width (from stock size) and down a wheel diameter – assuming there are no brake clearance issues. The tire profile can be adjusted to maintain the stock rolling radius. The narrower tyre width helps cut through the snow and slush rather than riding on top of it.

    Invest in some really good floor mats or better still floorlinersfor the driver/passenger footwells. Weathertech make excellent products that are custom sized to fit most cars.

    Stock up on Windshield Washer Fluid with at least a -40 Deg.C rating and get a decent snow brush and ice scraper. Canadian Tire is your best bet for these.

    If you can’t wait for Provinz to arrive, give Brad at Braidan Tire in Markham a call at 905-209-7979.

    Wayne Spiegelberg

    Hi Rob,

    Depending on where you live, Mantis Racing in Oakville can help you out. They`ve been in business for over 30 years, a respected UCR supporter and have outfitted many a Porsche for winter.
    I personally like Continental Tires and their Extreme Contact DWS is a great Fall/Winter/Spring tire depending on your driving habits.
    What is important is where you will be doing most of your driving this winter, QEW to downtown Toronto or north every wknd to Collingwood skiing, it makes a difference.
    Andy is bang on in his recommendations as a start. Do your homework and call around for prices now.
    There is always limited production in these larger 18″ tires and they sell out quickly.

    Good luck with your search and welcome to Canadian winter ! – Wayne


    Thanks for all the responses. Once I have something I’ll post my experience here.

    Cheers, Rob.



    I’ve been doing some more research. Info to date plus a question:

    Question first. I’ve found a set of secondhand wheels and tires, but they have a 45mm offsets. Reading around, I think these will fit the car, protruding slightly further than my stock rims. Questions are:
    1) Is the best bet just take them to Porsche and ask them to fit them to the car? They were originally bought at Pfaff and fitted to a Targa 4S, which inspires some confidence.
    2) Is 6mm of tread on the rears suitable for winter driving (the tires are part worn)?
    3) Any thoughts on the risks of buying secondhand? I figure getting Porsche to fit them will mitigate the risks.

    Information to date:
    – Downtown Porsche are doing a deal on rims and tires at the moment. About $3700 for a set of rims, tires and TPMS, fitted to the car (excl tax).
    Unfortunately, the TPMS are for post-2009 cars, so no go for me (pre and post 2009 tire pressure sensors are incompatible)! I could take the above deal, then replace the sensors. That would add about $200/wheel, plus labour.

    – Downtown could just replace my tires with Pirelli Sottozeros (295s on my 305 rims at the back). This was quoted at around $1800 fitted (Excl tax).

    I have yet to go to a third party. I will do it this week.

    Thanks again for the advice.

    Cheers, Rob.

    Wayne Spiegelberg

    Forget used unless you know how old the tires are. It`s your first Cdn Winter so be properly prepared.

    If you are buying new, go down to 18″. You get a taller tire and less expense. Also go narrower to cut thru the snow better.

    Mantis Racing in Oakville can do an 18″ Pkg for around $3000. Mount/Balance/Installed consisting of Pirelli Winter SottoZero`s 235/40/18 Front and 265/40/18 Rear mounted on 5 Star Rims w/TPMS.


    Try simply tire and treat yourself to a caribean vacation with the savings compared to the dealer.

    andy wright

    For winter use you need tires that are relatively soft and supple. If more than 1-2 years old used tires will become hard and the difference in traction is huge. 6mm is marginal for winter use. Most new winter tires have around 9-10mm tread depth. Bearing in mind that you will be using these tires for 2-3 years I would recommend buying new.

    Do not put winter tires on your present rims unless you plan on leaving them there and finding new rims for your summer tires. The winter salt will be hard on your rims and tires do not fare well when dis-mounted and mounted more than a (very) few times. It stretches the bead which gets less flexible with age and the potential for damage during the whole process is increased.

    If possible use Porsche OEM wheels or a recognised TUV certified aftermarket brand. You may not be driving quite as vigourously on your winter tires, but you still need a rim that is built as well as your Porsche and can stand up to the rigors of winter use.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about getting compatible TMPS. Buy yourself a good tire pressure guage and save the money!


    Hi guys

    Thank you everyone for all your advice and help. I hope this thread will be of at least some used to other novices like myself.

    I decided against second hand for the reasons stated above. Also, as a novice, I’m not sure I’d have been able to spot a ‘dodgy’ set of rims/tires.

    I ended up in Mantis chatting to Wayne.

    As Wayne states above, Mantis managed to provide me with:
    4 x 18in rims 235 Front, 265 Rear. 5 spoke, silver.
    4 x Pirelli Sottozero tires for the above.
    Tire Pressure Sensors.
    Fitting, balancing, etc.

    I had a minor meltdown yesterday evening when I realised that 265s on the rear weren’t in line with my owner’s manual, but Mantis have checked and assured me it’s all fine (thanks Ernie at Mantis).

    Installed cost: $3040 plus tax. The second hand set would have been $2k, but the peace of mind is worth the extra. I decided to go with TPMS to avoid having the warning light constantly glowing, also I like the convenience and again peace of mind, especially when I commute on Expressways everyday.

    I also took Andy’s advice and bought some WeatherTech floor liners. $183 (plus HST. Free shipping).

    Thanks again guys.

    All the best, Rob.

    Patrick Michaud


    I have been driving a 2006 C4S for the past 6 years year round (although I sold it last week), and the car handled great in the snow, with snow tires. Had a second set of rims and thus made it easy each year to swaps summers for winters and vice versa.

    Andy and Wayne’s advices above are bang on and nothing to add (I used 18″ rims for winter with the exact tire sizes above; and Ernie had installed spacers on the rear wheels to ensure those rims cleared the brake callipers and struts etc.).

    My one suggestion is that when you mount your winter rims, put some anti-seize on the hubs first. Otherwise with winter slop and attendant rust, they are a bugger to get off in the spring.



    Hi Patrick

    Thanks for the advice and reassurance. I’ll mention the anti-seize to Mantis when I collect them, although I imagine Wayne is already across it, as he has probably read your post.

    All the best, Rob.

    Wayne Spiegelberg

    LOL..we anti-seize peanut butter on toast.


    Thought as much. 😉

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