Only downsides of a set of wheels are initial costs and inside storage needed. Makes for a simple changeover, you can do it at home. The TPMS system can know about two sets of sensors. Just mark what wheel they came off of.Planning on at least 10 years - TBH never considered wheels before reading this forum.
RavRandy:Dedicated winter wheels solve that problem. Tire Rack sells steel wheel and extra sensors. But I bought my 16" steel wheels on Flea-bay and the sensors from an Amazon seller. Oh, and you need conical, steel lug nuts, not the ones used to secure your aluminum wheels.
So yes, the initial expense of tires/wheels/sensors/lugs/mount & balance is steep, but it's a quick swap each spring and fall. I learned that the 5th Gen RAVs can store the ID codes for up to 10 sensors, so once your extra set is initialized (by the dealer, BTW), the car remembers both sets of tires (and 2 spares, if need be). By the way, I am not aware of any dealer or chain tire store who will mount new tires on wheels without the pressure sensors, so be prepared. Also, I had good luck with the Amazon sensors I bought for +/- $100 for the set. I got a quote from the dealership parts counter and they wanted $90 EACH. Vaseline extra.
One would probably pay $100 to $150 to dismount, mount, balance and re-install every fall and spring. You do the math.
PS: I also might add that if you have an AWD RAV, you will need a set of 4 winter tires. Back in the day, when rear wheel drive was the most common configuration, a pair of "snow tires" on the rear would suffice. But not with AWD and increasingly, not even with FWD. Most tire stores won't even sell & install just a pair of winter tires on a FWD or AWD vehicle due to the potential adverse handling impacts.
Bottom line, plan to pay $1000-$1200 initially for a complete set up. My last set of dedicated wheels/tires lasted 10 seasons spread over 3 different RAV4s. The tire store never charged me once to swap them twice a year, so I thought the cost, amortized over 10 years of $100/year was a damn good deal.
They only install the tires you buy from them. They do, however, maintain a list of tire stores with whom they cooperate. They will ship the wheels to one of those stores and they will do the mount and balance. As noted above, there is an up-front investment in dedicated winter wheels/tires, but do the math to see if you are saving money & hassle over time of paying your dealership twice a year.Will they install if I’m only buying the wheels and sensors? I’ll have to call them to find out.
My dealer stores the off season set. It’s a great dealer. The Rav is the second car I’ve purchased from them, and partly the reason why I’m sticking with Toyota. Good customer service is rare and it means a lot.Only downsides of a set of wheels are initial costs and inside storage needed. Makes for a simple changeover, you can do it at home. The TPMS system can know about two sets of sensors. Just mark what wheel they came off of.
Back in the day, some tire shops would even store your off-season set for you.
lol, so it was considered even more crazy just to run studless winters?No one using studs??? I remember when you were considered certifiable if you did not have studded tires in the winter.
Only downsides of a set of wheels are initial costs and inside storage needed.
Thanks so much for your input! I'm rethinking the wheels after looking them up on Costco and TireRack - $200 per and 20lbs each! That makes them a lot harder to move from the trunk into the garage!My dealer stores the off season set. It’s a great dealer. The Rav is the second car I’ve purchased from them, and partly the reason why I’m sticking with Toyota. Good customer service is rare and it means a lot.
If you go to the dealer for service, time it with a service and the price to install the wheel (with mounted tires) is $0. I usually do this myself in the garage but injured my foot and had the dealer do it and was pleasantly surprised when it was included.Thanks so much for your input! I'm rethinking the wheels after looking them up on Costco and TireRack - $200 per and 20lbs each! That makes them a lot harder to move from the trunk into the garage!
But if my dealer stored my off season set I might consider it, especially if the wheels cut the install price significantly. I paid $80 at Toyota to install (versus $40 at Costco for our other car). Though if I felt capable of changing the tires myself, I could save $800 over 10 years.... which could pay for a pricey software upgrade I've been considering!
Lots to think about!
Those are two fantastic pictures! Congratulations. I thought I live in a 'snow belt', but have not seen anything like this for years. AWD + Blizzak and a little driving skill!I just returned from a trip that took me through the worst part of winter storm Ezekiel...Superior, WI, and Duluth/Two Harbors, MN. Big test was pulling out of my motel parking spot without shoveling any of the snow around it. I do have Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 tires. The RAV4 pulled out of the spot like a champ. No issues whatsoever.
Spent the entire weekend going up and down the Minnesota North Shore and I did not have a single issue all weekend. First photo was taken in the middle of the storm. Second photo after we returned from breakfast. View attachment 147494
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Can you expand upon that? Where does it fall short compared to a true awd system?They are OK in snow. My wife has ours out in a fresh 4" or so now. The Blizzaks we have take them from OK to good. Still not as good as a true all wheel drive system and the clearance isn't there. The new all wheel drive system seems to distribute power better than the old one did though again it's still not as good as true all wheel drive. Put dedicated snows on them if you do a lot of driving on icy or snow covered roads.
Not sure where the RAV4h is OK? Or falls short either? It will do circles around my 4X4 Tundra on snowy/icy roads! I’m amazed how well it does! Heavy Deep snow would be a different story.. And yes we get it all in Northern Montana. September thru May! Some say if you don’t like the weather here wait a minute cause it’s gonna change!Can you expand upon that? Where does it fall short compared to a true awd system?