Winter tyres

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  • Winter tyres
  • trail_rat
    Member

    I run winters all year round on both cars

    have yet to experiance this extreme wear folk talk of but then i dont sit at 90 on the mway for hours on end generating extreme heat !

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    They will actually grip more all year round. The only caveat to using them when it’s warm is that they wear faster.

    Many (or most) winter tyres are silica compound which means they should last for 50k miles with normal driving, same as summer silica tyres aka energy savers. I suspect people are seeing 15-20k from their winters used all year round and thinking they are not wearing fast. If you get 15k from a silica tyre then you ARE seeing high levels of wear 🙂

    stumpy01
    Member

    Bloke I used to work with fitted winter tyres on his Yeti and it didn’t really get that bad down this way. He reckoned that when the temp got up above 10deg or so, they were quite squirmy. I don’t think the rubber fell off them though as a result, although I would expect higher wear.

    Could you not get all season tyres? Don’t think they are as good as full on winter tyres (obviously a compromise), but might be a good option for you?

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    They are fantastic in the cold weather with much more grip, cold icy roads and of course snowy ones. As you say standard tyres go “hard” in cold weather whereas the winter tyre compound stays soft and grippy.

    The rub is if you have budget considerations then I would suggest you just use normal tyres like the vast majority of people do very happily. If you are worried about winter grip you might consider choosing different tread patterns (at the expense probably of fuel economy on summer roads). Using winter tyres will not compromise your driving now other than to increase fuel usage a bit and of course wear the tyres out (especially if you drive aggressively)

    The way to go with winter tyres in my view is to buy a set on cheap steel wheels and just switch the lot over which you can do yourself. That’s going to cost you about £400-£500.

    retro83
    Member

    You can get all season tyres which have the snow/ice symbol – Kleber Quadraxers for example. From what I gather they are something of a compromise compared to true winter tyres but still much better in cold weather than summer ones.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    @trail_rat – where do you live ?

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    just read somewhere else that the ‘experts’ reckon the compromise of winter tyres in summer conditions is far less than summer tyres in winter ones, so if you can only afford one set fit winters all year round.

    On that basis I’m going for it even though it’s 6 weeks or so before we really start to get into proper winter tyre territory.

    Will post up what they’re like in the Indian summer that i’ve just guaranteed you all!!

    trail_rat
    Member

    aberdeenshire countryside.

    my tires in the past have failed mot on cracking before wearing down – my van got to 68k before i changed them. rears went on the front and new rear tires …. now the fronts need replaced as they have cracked between the treads… but they are 6 years old and now on 70k

    once exception was the 15k i got out mrs tr’s golfs front winter tires cause the **** who replaced the steering rack counted threads rather than doing the tracking correctly it would seem ….

    most of tire had 6/7mm left on it bar the inside shoulder on both tires which were down to the wire when it was spotted – lucky i checked after driving it thinking my god this corners crap.

    jp-t853
    Member

    I use winter tyres all year round on the wifes car and they wear fine.

    My car runs four season tyres Hankook Optimo 4s and they are really great tyres all year round. I don’t drive like an idiot and find them really comfy. They last better than summer tyres that I have had. They have currently done about 30k.

    trail_rat
    Member

    “Hankook Optimo 4s”

    a cracking tire if i do say so drove onto the carpark at the lecht before it was ploughed with no bother – my mates civic on summer tires didnt make it 6 feet in ….but trying to find one in the middle of summer at a moments notice in a strange town while on holiday is impossible

    ended up with “enduro runway” winter tires which seem to be fine so far – will see what they are like in winter i guess.

    my issue is i work away alot and asking mrs t-r to change the wheels when winter comes isnt going to happen so to me the chance of them wearing slightly quicker is worth the risk.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    a cracking tire if i do say so

    Even the worst winter tyres are a million times better than summers on snow.

    slightly quicker

    You may find it’s more than slightly. Let us know how many miles the tyres end up doing.

    EDIT: seems the Optimo 4s is actually an all-season tyre so you should be ok anyway.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    @theotherjonv – I’d look seriously at the all seasons recommended by others

    @trail_rat thanks, interesting reading

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    Last year I had Winter tyres on my Golf all year and they seemed fine in summer…..

    benz
    Member

    Try Vredestein Quatrac 3’s…..or the Hankook’s…..

    http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/tyre-guides/45315/vredestein-quatrac-3

    Obviously a bit of a compromise, but might be the best middle ground

    Premier Icon somafunk
    Subscriber

    I run winter tyres and wheels from end of october through to april every year (front wheel drive Mk2 golf gti) and for the road conditions we get up here in darkest galloway it’s pretty much a must, i tend to drive on singletrack, unclassified roads for at least 40 miles a week as most of my mates stay in the hills so normal or summer tyres cannot offer any traction whatsoever on these tiny untreated roads, for the rest of the time it’s mostly B roads and the A75. I run Nokian WR G2 185 65 on a 14″ rim (usual summer tyre is 195 50 15″ or 205 40 16″) and the difference in grip over my usual summer tyres (which are not cheap tyres) is astounding, the sips which are tiny slits in the tread pattern of winter tyres grip onto wet/greasy and icy roads far better than any summer tread pattern and last year along with the big 30 day freeze the previous year i had no problem with driving anywhere i wanted to despite 4″ of snow and frozen ice on the road – of course you have to adapt your driving style but that’s a given. Folk tend to believe that their 4wd drive cars will suffice but i’ve pulled a fair few 4wd cars fitted with normal tyres out of ditches and back onto the road using my wee golf, as soon as the sips wear down the traction will wear off but the rubber compound still offers more grip – for this reason i tend to change all my tyres (winter and summer) when the tread drops below 5mm, – I prefer traction and the knowledge i’m running grippy tyres to eaking out a few more thousand miles till the i hit the wear limiters, tiz a shame you still get **** idiots running tyres down to 2 or 3mm of tread – do they realise their braking distance is vastly increased? , nah.. they see the legal limit as a time to change their tyres. I have no qualms bout reporting cars with dangerous wear levels of tread.

    I tend to get 6000 miles out of winter tyres and 8-10 thousand miles out of my summer tyres.

    johnners
    Member

    I had Optimo 4S fitted all round last November, thus guaranteeing us the mild winter we had last year.

    Haven’t noticed any compromise in terms of noise, handling or wear vs the Contis they replaced, so they do seem genuinely 4 season. We didn’t have a hot summer though…

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    Just had car serviced and they advised I’m getting low on my front tyres – time to replace.

    So my thoughts turned to winter tyres after some ‘issues’ with the last couple of years.

    If i get a set of these now, how compromised will they be for the next few weeks before we really get into winter tyre territory? Reading the web suggests they work significantly better than normal tyres below 7C but british weather being what it is, we could yet get a spell of high teens before we get properly into autumn / winter.

    I really could do without forking out for 2 new fronts and then 4 winters in 6 weeks time, for cash flow reasons as opposed to total cost (of course while the summers aren’t being used they aren’t wearing out)

    Any real world experiences out there?

    jfletch
    Member

    I tend to get 6000 miles out of winter tyres and 8-10 thousand miles out of my summer tyres.

    😯

    Sounds expensive. 6000 miles a set and I’d need 4 sets a year!

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I tend to get 6000 miles out of winter tyres and 8-10 thousand miles out of my summer tyres.

    😯

    Good god.

    Premier Icon Capt. Kronos
    Subscriber

    I have put somewhere between 15k and 20k on some Pirelli 4 Season jobs over the last year, they seem to be holding up well and have done a grand job over the wet summer we have just had.

    Very happy with em.

    Premier Icon psling
    Subscriber

    for this reason i tend to change all my tyres (winter and summer) when the tread drops below 5mm

    Which probably explains the 6,000 miles usage.

    Each to their own but I imagine the ‘legal’ wear limit takes safety into account (but, like speed limits, it’s not exclusive and we can all make our own judgements so I’m definitely not criticising 😉 )

    chewkw
    Member

    Hmmmm …. I think I will switch to 4 season tyres after this set. 🙂

    johnners
    Member

    tiz a shame you still get **** idiots running tyres down to 2 or 3mm of tread – do they realise their braking distance is vastly increased

    “Vastly”? Nonsense.

    tinsy
    Member

    Vredestein, Well blow me down not seen that make for 30 years, I had a pair, 2nd hand, full on snow things, on my 1600E, fond memories, they used to really leave massive black marks if your tried hard enough.. 🙂

    Premier Icon Rusty Mac
    Subscriber

    I have winters tyres for my car (vw polo), I took them off sometime near the end of May as i was finding that the cornering grip was lacking. The car was begining to underseer a bit round round-a-bouts. As for wear to them, i have used them for 2 winters now and they have loads of life left atleast 6mm and they have probably done 10K miles.

    If you are thinking about fitting winter tyre now they will be fine, be aware that this is not the optimal time for them.

    If you are planning on keeping the car for a while and changing tyres year in year out it may work out more cost effective to get steel wheels for your car and get the winters mounted to them. This will save the £15/corner 2x a year and may mean that you can get slightly smaller but taller tyres that may be cheaper in the first case.

    daveevs
    Member

    I roll on Continental Alpins in the winter. Very good tyres and noticeably better in the wet as well as cold.

    Would recommend getting a whole set fitted, as different tyres / grip levels front to rear my result in premature locking of the rear wheels, so the ABS would kick earlier than necessary.

    Premier Icon somafunk
    Subscriber

    The cut n’ paste job below is specifically for johnners who i sincerely hope does not drive a vehicle on the public roads if his ignorance as shown above is anything to go by – or he may have been trolling – if so?, he’s won, it may be interesting reading for others, personally i would welcome at least a 3mm tyre tread minimum legal depth.

    The following chart shows the increase in stopping distance of worn tyres. The second arrow (100%) shows the stopping distance required to brake a vehicle from 60 mph to rest with a new (assumed to be 8mm) tyre.

    The first arrow shows the stopping distance required in dry conditions. As you can see, as the tread depth reduces so the required stopping distance increases. This increases to a point where a tyre with just 1.6mm tread remaining takes an extra 60% of stopping distance to bring the car to a halt.

    Although the legal limit for tyres is, in general terms,1.6mm most motoring organisations recommend changing tyres at 2.0mm. Many manufacturers recommend a minimum tread depth of 3.0mm.

    Obviously there also an adverse effect on (wet) vehicle handling as tread depth reduces, the chart shows stopping distances in a straight line only.

    The adverse effects on wet performance are due to the loss of the tyres ability to remove water from the road surface therefore inreasing the danger of the vehicle aquaplaning.

    Many manufacturers now introduce special compounds to improve wet grip. These compounds usually contain a higher content of silica.

    In 2004 Government statistics showed that one fifth of all serious road traffic accidents were caused as a result of skidding. Test results from the Motor Industry Research Association show that there are significant increases in stopping distances in wet conditions once the tyre treads have dropped to below 3mm. The legal minimum in the UK is only 1.6mm however recent research has shown that tyres with a 3mm tread depth have a 25% better performance over those that have the legal minimum of 1.6mm. In terms of stopping distance this is a substantial 8 metres.

    Stopping distances for those with new tyres and a tread depth of 8mm are substantially better. In a test carried out by the Motor Industry Research Association comparing old and new tyres, the stopping distances increased by 13 metres when tyres with tread depths of 8mm and 1.6mm were compared.

    Stopping distances in wet conditions will increase even more dramatically for a car with tread below 3mm. Recent research has suggested that a car travelling on a motorway at the legal speed limit can take up to 44metres to stop in the rain if the tyre rubber is completely worn down.

    In addition to dramatically increased stopping distances on both wet and dry roads, tyres with tread depth of less than 3mm are also far more susceptible to aquaplaning.

    Many tyre manufacturers and independent safety councils are now warning that the minimum tyre depth should be increased to 3mm to try and improve safety on the roads. The current legislation dates back to 1992 when tyres were skinnier and smaller in diameter, however in recent years tyres have become wider, meaning the contact patch on the road is greater, in dry weather this is suitable as it allows the vehicle to gain more grip. In wet conditions, however, cars with wider tyres are far more likely to start aquaplaning and breaking is drastically reduced.

    In 23 yrs of driving i’ve never had an accident, insurance claim or a bump/nudge or whatever that was my fault, but i’ve been ran into, rear-ended ,front ended, had cars written off etc by other drivers, if the penalties for causing injury by dangerous or poor driving were increased perhaps folk would drive with more respect for others and remember they’re piloting a 1 ton bullet.

    Premier Icon somafunk
    Subscriber

    BTW – for those with winter tyres, as soon as the sips wear down (between 4-5mm) your grip is vastly reduced compared to as new winter tyres, check out the info online about this.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    sipEs 👿

    And, arguably, we should be maximising dry weather performance:

    Table 14 Weather / road surface conditions during Police recorded fatal and serious injury collisions: 2011 (N Ireland)

    Dry 468
    Wet/damp 231
    Snow 3
    Frost/ice 19
    Flood (surface water 1″+) 3
    Oil 2
    Mud 3
    Slippery (after dry spell) 6
    Other road conditions 28
    Total 763

    Premier Icon somafunk
    Subscriber

    Apologies scaredypants, my mistake.

    And arguably we should fit 8″ metal spikes to the centre of every steering wheel, remove airbags, traction control, esp, anti lock braking…etc…etc and teach folk how to drive a car rather than the pitiful 40 mins we call a driving test these days, i recently had to attend a 2 hr health & safety course through my work detailing how to lift a **** box 😀

    OP – if there’s a Farmers Autocare in Aberdeen they do Bridgestone A001’s for a pretty good price – all season/ M&S rated and they last well in summer / all year on our cars & van. Not “full-on” winter tyres – but a really good compromise. Other manufacturers will do similar I’m sure.

    dab
    Member

    Had khumo izen winters 2 yrs ago , left em on through summer 11 , lots of motorway miles that year and binned them after about 15k
    Replaced them with the a001’s last autumn , nearly as good in the snow and much better in everything else
    Lots of Glenshee / cairngorm time and the car coped with it all

    A001 target market is uk / Denmark / holland
    Ie snow / slushy type countries

    Hth

    Edited to add that as a civic driver I can wholeheartedly confirm how utterly useless
    The 2.2 diesel is on the turanza summer tyres > winters really changed the handling & grip for the better

    falkirk-mark
    Member

    I prefer traction and the knowledge i’m running grippy tyres to eaking out a few more thousand miles till the i hit the wear limiters, tiz a shame you still get **** idiots running tyres down to 2 or 3mm of tread – do they realise their braking distance is vastly increased? , nah.. they see the legal limit as a time to change their tyres. I have no qualms bout reporting cars with dangerous wear levels of tread.

    So you are reporting people for running tyres that are still legal?

    Surely running a winter tyre with 3mm of tread is still vastly safer than a summer tyre with the same 3mm of tread (in the winter)?

    Premier Icon somafunk
    Subscriber

    Err……, did i say i was reporting folk for running legal tyres?, That’d be kinda pedantic to say the least and whilst i may be a lot of things i’m not that much of of a k-nob..honest, I’ll admit to reporting cars with dangerous levels of tread though, and by dangerous i mean tyres where the wear limiters are obviously worn down which can be quite noticeable as you walk past vehicles parked at an angle on the street – if you are privileged enough to drive a car then you should also take responsibility regarding the condition of that vehicle.

    And in my opinion any person who runs tyres on the public road with less than 3mm of tread is playing with other folks lives, i dunno how that will endear me to folk on here but then again i care very little for others approval, especially on a web forum.

    I run Vredestein Snowtrac3s on my Berlingo. With sensible driving, snow doesn’t bother it in the slightest. It will cope with 1′ of fresh snow no problem. Some will doubt this, but it is truly the case. If you doubt it, you’ve simply never driven a Berlingo with winter tyres through a foot of fresh snow. Before we got winters on the motorhome, I had to tow it through 8″ of snow to get it off a very snowy road and onto a totally virgin snow driveway. It would have been impossible on summer tyres.

    The biggest problem is getting stranded due to ‘grounding out’ on the bottom of the vehicle. I had to dig when I broke through the crust of old snow on the Ben Lawers road a couple of years ago, but other than that no problem all over the Highlands all winter.

    Our Transit based motorhome uses Fulda Conveo Tracs and Vredestein Comtrac All Seasons and also copes with all conditions. We drove the Gairnshiel to Crathie road whilst it was ‘closed’ and the van coped no problem. For a little while I was worried that we’d bitten off more than we could chew, but my fears proved unfounded – but I was filling my pants at one point… Luckily my fears were unfounded. I wouldn’t do it again in a 3.5t motorhome though.

    The difference between winter tyres and summer tyres is the same as the difference between night and day.

    falkirk-mark
    Member

    I prefer traction and the knowledge i’m running grippy tyres to eaking out a few more thousand miles till the i hit the wear limiters, tiz a shame you still get **** idiots running tyres down to 2 or 3mm of tread – do they realise their braking distance is vastly increased? , nah.. they see the legal limit as a time to change their tyres. I have no qualms bout reporting cars with dangerous wear levels of illegal tread.

    FIFY

    BurnBob
    Member

    Not read through all the posts. I have winter tyres fitted on my car all year round. Great in the winter, great in the wet. dont really notice extra wear during the summer but I would say I drive fairly sensibly. If you factor in changing the tyres twice a year, a garage will probably charge £40 a time. Its often wet in the summer and I prefer to know that my wife and child will be safe in the wet rather than caring about a little extra wear. At a rough guess my current tyres have done one full year now and about 12,000 miles, dont notice much tread off them at all.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    If you are thinking about fitting winter tyre now they will be fine, be aware that this is not the optimal time for them.

    Winter tyres are manufactured in the summer. By the time the “optimal time” for using them arrives they are pretty scarce as optimal time arrives earlier in the countries that buy most of them. Fitting winter tyres is very much a minority interest in the uk, prior to the 09 and 10 winters nobody was even talking about them

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    thread bump spambot alert.

    Is it a bad idea to put winter tyres on the front wheels only on a fwd car? Will it be like mario cart?

    davidjones15
    Member

    Is it a bad idea to put winter tyres on the front wheels only on a fwd car? Will it be like mario cart?

    I have never had problems. You just have to remember that you’re not a rally driver.

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