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Winter Tyres

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jake-the-peg | 09:27 Tue 18th Dec 2012 | Motoring
18 Answers
When exactly did this rather clever campaign start to get people to double the number of tyres they have?

To have softer tyres better suited to cold conditions sounds great but they will obviously wear faster as temperatures go up and so need replacing sooner if you don't get around to swapping back to summer ones

Sounds very handy for the tyre companies

I don't recall this from when I started driving

And does it make an *appreciable* difference? - does anybody know of any tests that show exactly how much quicker you stop in the cold with winter tyres

If you use winter tyres - what convinced you to go to all the effort?


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Found this Looked into this a little while ago and decided all the effort and extra expense was not justified. Apparently, its only worthwhile if you are constantly at winter temps of 7C and below. Local temps for me in the past couple of weeks have ranged from 4C to 10C and...
11:15 Tue 18th Dec 2012
In countries where winters are harsh and predictable this seasonal tyre thing makes sense. But in the UK where things are less predictable and may only be needed for a few days it is harder to justify the hassle. It's a similar situation as to why the authorities & services here get caught out when the weather changes whilst countries where conditions are worse have invested and cope better.

I don't know anyone who changes their tyres in the UK. Even if it is a reasonable precaution.
I very loosely looked into this a couple of years ago, the general consensus was that our weather when extreme doesn't last long enough to go to the bother. Two weeks ago we had snow here, today my kids have gone to school with just a blazer and no coat, you'd be up and down the tyre centre like a blue arsed fly.
Found this

Looked into this a little while ago and decided all the effort and extra expense was not justified. Apparently, its only worthwhile if you are constantly at winter temps of 7C and below. Local temps for me in the past couple of weeks have ranged from 4C to 10C and would have meant about 4 complete tyre changes in all. There is also storage of a complete set of wheels/tyres to consider.

Not really an option in the UK in my opinion. I do have a relation living in Norway out in the 'sticks' and he does fit winter tyres (legal requirement, I think). At the moment he's using half studded winter tyres.
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Ah - very good!

You have to read the results very carefully as it's not as clear as they make out.

In snow the summer tyre was significantly down - 30-50% etc
in the wet much less significant in the 90-100%
in the dry somewhat better

Seems to me, despite AutoExpresses coclusion their data suggests the difference doesn't really warrent the expense and effort unless you are expecting to be driving on snow - in which case there's a big difference
It does have a sort of "emperor's new clothes" air about it. Yes winter tyres help but no more than modified driving to fit the conditions. I drive a rear wheel drive car and the number of people who make some comments about driving in the snow etc. Never bothers me at all. In the Alpine areas I gather many have 2 sets of wheels one with winter tyres and one without so they can change wheel quickly with the conditions. Yes I guess there is some clever marketing going on here to convince those that can't drive that winter tyres will help. Where I live we get very little snow anyway but I can imagine up North would have more relevance. As far as testing goes I think a bad driver on winter tyres would not out brake someone who knows what they are doing on normal tyres.
In all the years of driving I have never used / had so-called winter Tyres, The problem is the driver! If snow frightens you "Stop in" Simple.
BMW wanted 2k for a set of winter tyres and alloys for the wifes car plus additional fitting cost plus summer storage if you want it!!...bargain!!
Well I've winter tyres on my company car as all the other service engineers have who work in Scotland and Northern England they were fitted for the first time last winter and only came into there own once on a car park where everyone was struggling and I moved off no problem don't know cost as fortunately I don't pay.They were fitted by KF in early December and they store your ordinary tyres till spring then they contact you then for a swap over and likewise again in December. They do seem to wear a bit faster on the front driving wheels but not excessively so.
Have just read the Auto Express link mine came in at number 2 Good Year Ultragrip
It is a clever campaign to dupe uneducated drivers to spend on tyres that are not needed.

Just drive safely depending on the road conditions and temperature.

Sorry dear, the temperature has just dropped under 7 degrees so we can't go out yet,I'll just change the tyres, should only take 3 hours............

3 hours later, I'll just change them back, it's just gone up to 10 degrees.

What a farce!
I live in southern Ontario, and we get a fair amount of snow; however, I have only ever used "all-season tires". The reason being that, as someone has already said, we have the equipment and materials to get the stuff of the roads and highways really quickly Those sanders and plows seem to sniff snow in the air, and are out working toot-sweet:)
I forgot to mention the salters also.
If our roads were quiet then winter tyres or a four-wheel drive vehicle would make good sense. If 95% of the vehicles on our roads have two-wheel drive with normal tyres, then no matter what you drive you're going to get stuck in traffic! I drive a Range Rover which is brilliant in deep snow, floods and slippery gradients but is absolutely useless when trying to drive over dozens of stationary vehicles in front. The "rate determining step" I think !
By the way, I wasn't intending to infer that you guys don't have the right or enough snow removal equipment and supplies. With perhaps only one or two major snow falls why should you spend a huge amount of money when most of the time the machines would be sitting idle.
Not all tyres are the same. In parts of Germany you need 'Alpine' in winter with the mountain/snowflake symbol. They don't try to clear all the snow just compact it down.
There are also 'all season' tyres and the American M&S mud and snow. But looking at comparisons between different makes and grades the performance in wet/snow/dry/braking/cornering/rolling resistance can vary enormously even in just one category. Check the new EU labelling or review from Which? etc

Many commercial drivers make the change in the UK now. When stopping home is not an option, you want to be as safe as possible and not get stuck.
If drivers M/F use a bit of common when the traffic comes to a stop & keep a reasonable space between them, you would not get the trouble of car re-gripping the Snow covered surface, how many times have you seen driver nose to tail then struggling to set off again, again it comes down to a bit of common.
TWR has the answer....- The driver, driving at a sensible speed making proper use of his/her gears!
There was a thread on this last year, the consensus was that winter tyres are significantly worse for grip and wear in temperatures above freezing. We do not get enough below freezing temperatures to make it worth while.
That was from the technical director of Bridgestone tyres !

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