Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 72 total)
  • car winter tyres
  • mrmo
    Free Member

    as a follow up, can someone tell me the pros and cons of winter tyres for the car. In what ways would they be an improvement on a general purpose tyre, do winter tyres have any failings in more general use etc.

    TooTall
    Free Member

    In the UK we don’t tend to have the need for them. In Germany, they are law. They drag more, are poor at speed and generally will get trashed on roads.

    robbo1234biking
    Full Member

    They are also very noisy so you get a lot more road noise! I dont think you would need them for the few weeks (if that) that we might have snow in the UK. It isnt really worth spending the money.

    Richie_B
    Full Member

    Agree with everything above they are great in snow, no better than standard tyres on ice (although they find grip quicker in the broken up/slushy bits round the edges), they are noisier and put up your fuel consumption a bit.

    Whether to use them depends on where you live, where and how far you usually drive and how much snow usually disrupts you during the winter (a function of the previous two)

    Gary_M
    Free Member

    Total waste of money if you live in the UK. In terms of driving its pretty difficult to differentiate between summer and winter here, apart from some exceptions.

    emac65
    Free Member

    I just use the same car tyres all year round & change ’em when they wear out……….

    ;o)

    stumpy01
    Full Member

    Winter tyres might be of use depending on where you live.

    They are not just designed to be better in snow. They have a compund which deals better with cold weather. Normal tyres start to harden at about 7 deg. C and so start to lose grip.
    Winter tyres work better at colder temperatures – it just depends if you experience enough of these cold temperatures to make a difference.

    Winter tyres generally have deep, wide spaced tread to clear snow/slush and as such are noisier, and won’t ‘handle’ as well as some decent normal tyres. They will generally have a higher rolling resistance so will increase your fuel consumption, are softer so won’t last as long and will be noisier.
    Living in East Anglia, I don’t consider them a requirement.
    If I lived in Scotland, I would probably give them a go and get them on a set of cheap steel wheels to see me through the worst weather.
    When i lived in Germany, the company cars i had access to had winter tyres fitted until about April and they made a HUGE difference. I was in North Bavaria and experienced lots of snow – the tyres coped excellently. You could ALMOST drive normally.

    Gary_M
    Free Member

    I live in Scotland and I know for a fact they would be a total waste of money. Mind you I use the same tyres on my mtb all year round so what do I know.

    stumpy01
    Full Member

    Why would they be a ‘total’ waste of money? They are still tyres that work on your car and so long as you keep the tyres you take off, and put them back on when it warms up you aren’t really losing anything (apart from the cost to change over and slightly higher running costs).

    But, you will definitely get better performance in snow and colder conditions. It might be that you rarely need to drive through snow, but when you do, winter tyres do work more effectively.
    To say they are a waste flies in the face of what some countries require their drivers to do by law and change over to winter tyres. I think in some countries, driving without winter tyres even invalidats your insurance.

    When i was over in Germany we had a thaw in mid-April and loads of people rushed to the garage with their summer wheels & tyres. Then we had a load more snow and a couple of weeks colder weather. In 3 months I hadn’t seen any accidents and all of a sudden, there were several people having prangs after losing control on their summer tyres.

    I know a guy on another forum (Parkers.co.uk) who lives in Scotland who drives a lot for his job and he swears by winter tyres.

    Gary_M
    Free Member

    To say they are a waste flies in the face of what some countries require their drivers to do by law and change over to winter tyres. I think in some countries, driving without winter tyres even invalidats your insurance.

    I said they are a waste of money in the UK, which I stand by.

    sofatester
    Free Member

    When it’s 5c and raining next week we will look back and laugh at this thread…

    mrmo
    Free Member

    When it’s 5c and raining next week we will look back and laugh at this thread…

    hence i was wondering about pros and cons, do winter tyres offer a benefit or at least not offer significant drawbacks in cold rainy conditions. Which is what seems to be most of a british winter.

    hora
    Free Member

    I wouldnt bother with them unless you live somewhere really rural thats affected markedly by the weather – i.e. not many gritters etc come your way.

    Places like Germany- yes. I can see why but here no.

    sofatester
    Free Member

    Save your money and drive with care and attention. Next.

    druidh
    Free Member

    I’ve driven in Scotland for over 25 years, all through some serious winters and on various ungritted roads. I’ve never once considered “winter” tyres.

    hora
    Free Member

    Aye comes down to care and attention. Winter tyres (unless they are spiked) wont mean **** all if you drive over ice. Once you put all your trust into your new winter tyres you’ll get reckless..

    CaptainMainwaring
    Free Member

    I live in highland Scotland and would not even think about winter tyres. They are only of use when driving on snow, which on anything except side roads occurs for about 2 days per year. To say that ordinary tyres lose lots of grip below 7c is absolute rubbish. Even if they are slighly less effective they will still grip ordinary roads better than winter tyres, and anyway will warm up to over 7c after a few miles.

    Winter tyres will hugely increase fuel consumption and road noise, wear very quickly, and screw up your handling as already said. If you have a car with low profile tyres you probably can’t get winter tyres so you would have to work out what wheel size/aspect ratio tyre would give you the same rolling circumference

    coffeeking
    Free Member

    Once you put all your trust into your new winter tyres you’ll get reckless..

    Thats a helmet argument, that is…. 🙂

    sofatester
    Free Member

    Look, the suns come out and the snow is melting!

    mrmo
    Free Member

    snow not melting here on the north face of the cotswolds. The ice is getting ever more polished. and no gritters for a mile.

    hora
    Free Member

    Winter tyres, a great way for tyre fitters to sell imported winter tyres to a worrying public…year on year.

    BearBack
    Free Member

    Snow tires (winter tires) do work better in cold conditions generally. As mentioned above, the winter rubber compound works better below 7degC than a summer compound. On a frosty morning, go and poke your tire tread and see how little it moves.
    They do work better on ice.. as thats where their design is focussed. Winter tires are siped to pull water away from between the ice and tire to let the tire grip better. The sipes also provide more edges to the tire for traction.. as well as keeping the tread more able to move and conform to the road surface.

    As a product, winter tires are the best thing I ever did for my car..but here in BC in my situation they are a hugely justified expense. If I were still living in Nottingham, I wouldn’t bother and drive with more care and attention than normal (having had an MG Midget and Westfield, I’m now conditioned to driving carefully in adverse conditions anyway).

    In Scotland – I probably would have a winter set if I were doing lots of miles.

    Driving winter tires on a hot dry road will see you buzz through the tread life pretty quickly!

    Canadian Driver Winter Tire Advice

    nickf
    Free Member

    Worked pretty well on my car today – highly recommended in slushy snow, and not bad on ice. At least as good as anything short of spikes, anyway.

    donsimon
    Free Member

    Total waste of money if you live in the UK. In terms of driving its pretty difficult to differentiate between summer and winter here, apart from some exceptions.

    I had some more than 20 years ago in the UK, everyone laughed at me until I was the only one to get out of the valley we lived in.

    Got some on the car now and love them. Fit them at the beginning of winter and leave them. I haven’t been stopped by the snow in two winters with them.

    No faffing around with chains, which I carry in case the snow tyres (Vredestien SnoeTrac 3s) let me down. I wouldn’t even consider socks…

    Normal road tyres more or less 900km per tank, snow tyres more or less 900km per tank. So no noticable increase in consumption.

    Absolutely no noticable increase in noise, if it exists I haven’t noticed. I sometimes doubt whether critisism of snow/winter tyres comes from experience or parroting someone else’s opinion.

    I live just a bit north of Madrid.

    The time that they live on your car, you’re not using the existing set, so you’re not really using any more rubber. The existing tyres will last twice as long!!

    Go for it.

    footflaps
    Full Member

    When I was a lad, most people I knew in Aviemore swapped over to winter tyres for winter as there used to be a lot more snow about then. That was 20+ years ago mind.

    poly
    Free Member

    I live in Scotland. I’ve driven with winter tyres on the continent on both snow and clear roads and believe that they would be generally better than summer tyres here for a few months of the year (I live in central belt but not a big city). My anectodal experience is they are better on “ice” than most people here suggest. I obviously didn’t have an identical car with “summer” tyres to do a side by side experiment. Likewise I wasn’t aware of handling or noise issues at 120 kph.

    HOWEVER, I haven’t bought them, nor even seriously considered them because every time I’ve actually been held up by the weather it wasn’t my traction that was the problem – it was the people somewhere in front who were stuck / sliding. I do own a set of snow chains (used twice for 200m to get to cleared road in the last 3 weeks). Likewise if I stop quicker in the wet (one of their claims) then the guy driving too close behind without winter tyres will probably run into me! Thats why I believe to make significant traction (pun intended!) the winter tyre argument would need to be driven by regulation rather than voluntary decision. The real benefit comes from the “collective” benefit of everyone being less likely to get stuck, slide, skid, and stop quicker.

    I’d also actually argue against clearing/ploughing roads, because it makes people believe the conditions are OK to drive in, they expect it to be done and moan when it is not, the focus is (understandably) on roads not pavements which encourages people to drive. It makes it a PITA for people to use snow chains / socks which have to come on and off every time you reach cleared/uncleared road. IMHO it might be better to leave roads covered in snow (perhaps excluding the Motorways and major trunk roads). This would encourage average car owner to equip his vehicle properly and make it worthwhile to invest in equipment (chains, better tyres etc) if your journeys were important enough, or mean you leave your poorly equipped car at home because its clear it is not worth the bother/risk. Council bin lorries, mail vans, police cars, busses etc could all also be easily equipped with chains / winter tyres etc enabling these “vital” services to continue with minimal disruption.

    phatstanley
    Free Member

    as an ex-pat canuck who’s been living in scotland for almost 12 yrs, this is the first year i’ve found my normal tyres to be a problem.

    when the camber of the road on our ice-covered street was enough to keep me from going anywhere (starting in second, “rocking” back n’ forth, car mats under the tyre etc.. were useless), i jumped onto the net and scored the first set of winter tyres i could find (and it weren’t easy for the size i needed) and had them fitted yesterday.

    glad i did.

    will report back when i’ve used ’em in anger…

    p.s. and ‘ditto’ to what poly said.

    uponthedowns
    Free Member

    I’ve just come back from Sweden and seeing ordinary cars, even Mercs and BMWs getting about completely normally in heavy snow and slush because they all were on winter tyres was an eye opener. When there we used a Renault Megane and Volvo S60 and I was amazed at how well winter tyres worked.

    Well Cpt Mainwaring you may only encounter snow on main roads a couple of days a year in the highlands but here in the wilderness of southern England I can assure you in the last couple of years I’ve seen plenty of snow on main roads and I also need to use snow covered minor roads to get to those mythical gritted A roads. We also have rear wheel drive cars which are useless on normal tyres in even light snow on any kind of gradient so I’m seriously considering getting a second set of winter tyres before next winter (they’re stupid prices just now).

    Oh and for those who claim studless winter tyres don’t work on ice have a look at this

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlYEMH10Z4s[/video]

    bobmac892
    Full Member

    I can’t believe the posters that are claiming winter tyres are a waste of time especially those in the Highlands of Scotland. I’ve lived there most of my life and I wouldn’t be without these tyres in this weather.

    I use Vredstein Quadtrac 3 on both of our family cars and both suffer much less loss of traction, brake confidently and corner better than with ordinary tyres.

    I fitted these tyres to just the front of my bigger car with standard tyres on the rear and have just fitted them all round on the small car and they are brilliant.

    They aren’t outright snow tyres but rather Mud and snow all season tyres so can be used all year and will continue to provide sure footed driving whenever the roads conditions are dodgy with rain or snow and to be honset I wouldn’t be without them now. Everytime I’m out I am easily catching up cars fitted with standard tyres slipping and sliding about and I haven’t had any loss of control, unless I’m in an empty carpark ;O)

    Surf-Mat
    Free Member

    Winter tyres make a big difference, especially on cars that are poor in snow (ahem BMWs, Mercs, etc!), however it doesn’t snow here much.

    Landy tyres are Mud and Snow rated so we just use that now. Much better than any “snow tyre” for normal cars (apart from spiked tyres maybe).

    P20
    Full Member

    Winter tyres are classified as a tyre for below 7degs, so most of our winter, some would argue summer too 😆
    My girlfriend passed her test in the summer and given how bad last winter was around here, we decided to put winter tyres on her car. She had a couple of scares before they were fitted and they have transformed the car. Its not been stuck compared to similar cars in the same coniditons. My Octavia 4×4 never got stuck last winter, but i do appreciate the benefit of improved stopping/steering, so i’ve fitted winters to that too, whilst not as big a difference, it is an improvement.

    The biggest difference however has been at work. I’m a Paramedic on the Rapid Response cars, a focus estate. The focus struggles in the wet, due to the weight in the boot, in the snow/ice it only gets worse. They’ve now been fitted with winter tyres and WOW 😯 HUGE improvement. In the wet, it will now struggle to wheelspin, steers and brakes much, much better.

    You can get by with standard tyres, but winters will make things a lot, lot safer. Its not just about being able to get moving

    Inbred456
    Free Member

    I have all season tyres on the back of my focus estate, while not a full snow /winter tyre grip is still good and it doesn’t slide about so much. On the front in the winter I have full snow tyres, these will stay on till the end of March. Then a normal set of standard tyres will go on till the Winter. I don’t get paid if I don’t turn up for work, simple as that. After faffing about digging my self out of a hole every 100 yrd’s I bought some Winter snow tyres. The grip is fantastic, no probs at all so far. What I’m buying is a bit of piece of mind. I’m giving myself a chance that’s all. I also carry my son and wife in the car. It’s a no brainer. 100 quid fitted for two and changed over in the spring for 6 quid each.

    Woody
    Free Member

    Holy thread resurrection!

    If you do a search there have been a couple of long threads on this within the past month. FWIW I wouldn’t be without mine now, they are brilliant and I’ll be keeping them on all year.

    If you are thinking about buying now, the prices have at least doubled in the past month!

    Edit: here is one of them Winter tyre thread

    donsimon
    Free Member

    Ha ha! I hadn’t seen the date!!

    Scamper
    Free Member

    Remember reading this thread first time up and laughed my head off at some of the posts. Anyone who buys a car with decent winter tyres on and didn’t know, would be hard pushed to think “oh this car must have winter tyres on because of noise/wear/handling penalties”

    mrmo
    Free Member

    in the end i got a set of vredestein quatrac 3’s not a full winter tyre but seem more than enough for last winters conditions. Have had NO snow this year!!!!

    Hairychested
    Free Member

    I wanted winter tyres for my Peugeot but got quoted stupid prices in Ireland. I ended up getting rain tyres from Uniroyal which have been pretty good but all too easy to loose grip in ice. Snow – ok, ice – loads of cold sweat at times (I live off a main road half way up the hill between two sets of traffic lights).
    Next yea it’ll be imported winter tyres and new wheels off the ebay. Say what you want but when it’s colder they make a difference (I had a set last year on the same car as now).
    Hora, get yourself an atlas or a map of Europe before you say your usual, please:

    I wouldnt bother with them unless you live somewhere really rural thats affected markedly by the weather – i.e. not many gritters etc come your way.

    Places like Germany– yes. I can see why but here no.

    boriselbrus
    Full Member

    There really is a lot of rubbish posted on here. I have in front of me the 17th October Auto Express where they tested winter tyres. Here are the results (all marked as a percentage of the highest score), car was a VW Golf.

    Snow braking
    Best winter tyre 100.0
    All season 77.8
    Best summer tyre -32.3
    (Braking from 40km/h on snow winter tyre took 17.5m, summer tyre took 43.1m. Summer tyre was still doing 32km/h when the winter tyre had stopped.

    Snow traction
    Best winter tyre 100.0
    All season 89.1
    Best summer tyre 35.9
    A 2 wheel drive with winter tyres will move when a 4 wheel drive with summer tyres won’t.

    Snow Handling
    Best winter tyre 100.0
    All season 97.7
    Best summer tyre 42.9
    Based on lap times round a snow covered circuit

    Rolling Resistance
    Best winter tyre 100.0
    Best summer tyre 90.5
    All season 86.6
    So that’s the fuel consumption argument blown then.

    Cabin Noise
    Best winter tyre 100.0
    All season 99.1
    Best summer tyre 99.1
    And the noise argument as well

    And on dry roads are the winter tyres a liability?

    Dry braking
    Summer 100.0
    All season 91.1
    Winter 89.9

    Dry Handling
    Summer 100.0
    All season 98.9
    Winter 98.4

    So for very little extra money (when the winter tyres are on, your aren’t wearing out the summer tyres), why would you use tyres which only have 35% of the grip of winter tyres? And yes, it’s generally traffic jams which cause the problems, but if you can use the side roads instead of the main roads (which everyone uses because they are gritted) than you can get round the jams.

    Really, why wouldn’t you?

    RaveyDavey
    Free Member

    I’ve just come back from Sweden and seeing ordinary cars, even Mercs and BMWs getting about completely normally in heavy snow and slush because they all were on winter tyres was an eye opener.

    When I lived in Stockholm in the early 90’s it was law to use studded tyres after a certain date or chains if your car wouldn’t take a studded tyre. Not sure if this is still the case but they are far from normal winter tyres.

    darrell
    Free Member

    well here in Norway its the law and we have to change to winter tyres. I have them on my car from Oct to April. Anyone bleating about them being a waste of money is a moron. They are a safety issue first and foremost and they work excellently and they save lifes. By the way i live on the south west coast and the climate aint much different to Scotland.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 72 total)

The topic ‘car winter tyres’ is closed to new replies.

Thanks for popping by - why not stay a while?IT'S FREE

Sign up as a Singletrack Member and you can leave comments on stories, use the classified ads, and post in our forums, do quizzes and more.

Join us, join in, it’s free, and fun.