Hello, Winkp, I am located in upstate NY also and the first thing I did after I bought my JSW was to peruse the Tirerack site for a dedicated set of wheels with snows. I bought a set of Rial wheels in a 16" size, with Bridgestone Blizzaks. Wound up costing about $770 delivered to my door after the $50 rebate is figured in. Very happy with the quality of the wheels, and have used Blizzaks on my other cars with excellent results. IMO you can't go wrong with Tirerack. Did I mention that I ordered them 3 pm Sunday and UPS dropped them off the next day?
We are just down the road from boomvang and would never even think of winter driving w/o snow tires. Just got our new 2010 Golf and first thing I did was to order four 195-65/15 Continental Extreme WinterContacts w/ TPMS sensors mounted on MSW alloy wheels from TireRack. 15-inch wheels and tires are cheaper than the factory 225-45/17s, narrower tread gives better snow traction, and the OD of both is virtually identical, so no speedometer issues. Came to $920, but $200 of that was the sensors. I assume your Jetta also has the same TPMS system--it has been changed for the '11 model year and sensors aren't necessary for this year's model. My biggest concern was that the TPMS wouldn't recognize the new sensors and I'd have to pay VW twice a year to reprogram the system. I'm happy to report that so far that doesn't seem necessary. Apparently as long as the new sensors are compatible (TireRack installs Siemens sensors), and the PSI is within the programmed range (around 31 PSI to 38+ PSI, I think), the system recognizes everything as OK. Hope that helps!
I'm pretty sure that you can change the direct sensor type TPMS to the indirect ABS based TPMS system. Someone has activated it on a non-TPMS equipped car because they had a compatible control module. To the best of my knowledge, it will also work on 2010 and newer cars because of the electrical changes for 2010. I've done everything but test to make sure that it works. You do need VCDS to make the change.
A very good writeup--I already read it before I decided to just go ahead and buy the tires w/ sensors, as the ABS changeover procedure seems kind of intimidating, results were not guaranteed and I don't have the necessary equipment anyway. If the sensors last 6-9 years they should outlive the tires!
Thanks everyone for the helpful responses! It is clear getting snows is the "way to go" - now about the automatically locking doors in the Sportwagen. Is anyone else annoyed about those? They lock within seconds of closing the driver's side door!
Do you mean that the doors lock after a certain speed when you start driving? That can be disabled. I'm not aware of the doors locking by themselves even if you're not moving unless you don't open any doors. That used to be a sign of a bad door control module but maybe they changed something?
Does the car interior lights know when you open the door?
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