/ Winter Tyres
A good wee video show how much better winter tyres are not just on snow but in the wet too.
most of the winter tyres i looked at with the new tyre rating systems looked to be pretty appalling in the wet - the 'normal' tyres i looked at had wet weather braking ratings of A or B - the winter tyres had E ratings.
no one was able to explain to me why that was, or whether it was some problem with the testing/rating mechanism that graded the winter tyres babdly when actually they were very good - but i decided not to take the risk and got some Goodyears...
The testing for wet conditions is not very fair:
"Both the wetted surface temperature and the ambient temperature shall be between 2 °C and 20 °C for snow tyres and 5 °C and 35 °C for normal tyres."
Given that winter tyres are designed to function in temperatures lower than 7 degrees, it seems a bit pointless to have a label which shows a wet rating which could have occurred at 20 degrees!
Although in reality, winter tyres are driven plenty in temperatures warmer than 7C, wet or dry. Why would you not want summer tyres on then?
I live in the middle of Dartmoor above 400m and fitted a full set of winter tyres to my 2yr old Hyundai i20 just before Christmas. They are the reason I've been able to get in and out of my village for the last week. I've had no problems driving in and out of the untreated cul-de-sac where I park each night and getting out each morning. Other people have had to push their cars. Absolutely fantastic on snow either freshly fallen or compacted, icey slush and standing surface water. They are the best £254 I've invested in a long time. And re the comments about their abilities in water they give a far more confident drive in very wet conditions. You can hear them cutting through standing water like hot knife through butter. Far more confident when cornering in the wet too.
The only negative is they won't allow a normal car to drive over snow when it is very deep the 4x4 will always have the advantage just because of the height of the wheels.
....I also had a set on my old car from Nov 2011-Sept 2012 and they were fine in the summer - that could have been that we never really had a summer though ;-)
Difference between summer and winter tyres in summer comes down to single digit m, sometime as few as a couple of metres. Winter tyres means you can just go about your daily business without worrying about whether a road is gritted or not.
Having 2 ratings and a cold temp and a water temp, say 5c and 15c for the winter tyres would seem like a much better solution imo.
It lets you see how well they work in the winter environment, yet show you how they aren't a summer tyre replacement as in warmer weather they are significantly worse.
You'd best ask the authority on the subject - Bruce Hooker.
Utterly convinced I need these but at £700 a set I think I've probably bought the wrong car!!!!!
> Utterly convinced I need these but at £700 a set I think I've probably bought the wrong car!!!!!
Similar problem here. I would very much like to get winter tyres but they are not our cars, and when I asked the lease company nicely they said "No".
I'm a convert. Currently at work I'm driving a combo van up and down a snowy windfarm track. On Monday the van was such a liability I walked. Tuesday I fitted winter tyres. No problems now, the van slides around much less than the site 4wd vehicles fitted with normal tyres, Defenders included.
I also have them fitted to my own (rear wheel drive Bavarian) car and it is far more secure in the snow than my partner's Peugeot on normal tyres.
While the traction is helpful for getting going, the best thing is being able to stop. I emergency-stop tested both vehicles (in a safe place) and both stopped quickly albeit with a little juddering from the ABS. On the normal tyres the van skiied on for ages. They also feel more secure on cold slippy wet roads too. They get my vote.
I don't see why it needs to be some great revelation that winter tyres work better in the winter?
Anyone who lives in Europe or US where the winters are harsh doesn't even think twice about swapping the tyres in winter (in some countries its a legal requirement). For some reason in the UK we seem to view them as a mixture of witchcraft and a devious scam by the rubber lobby. The recent snowy winters seem to be changing people's minds though.
At the very least they will make your life a bit easier, they might even save it.
> Although in reality, winter tyres are driven plenty in temperatures warmer than 7C, wet or dry. Why would you not want summer tyres on then?
Nope, the reality is that the average temperature over winter does not exceed 7 degrees and even the average high temperature barely scrapes above 7 degrees.
Given that Germany has a mandatory requirement to use winter tyres and, therefore, one assumes that all German (and German-related cars) are designed with this in mind, why do UK car salesmen fail to point out how bloody useless your prized Merc/Beamer/VAG will be if you don't use them? Surely they have a duty of care to point this out?
My Skoda Octavia was not good in the wet and mud until I got a full set of winter tyres and I'm getting bored with crawling along behind terrified 62-plate Beamer drivers who can't go over 30mph for fear of spinning off the road. Triumph of style over substance, I say!
Where I'm living at the moment you need winter tyres on from the onset of the winter weather, if you don't have them and are involved in an accident your insurance won't pay up. Likewise, if you end up blocking the road and the police come along they will fine you for not having them on.
In October I had a full set fitted to the 4 wheel drive that I own. The snow at the moment is quite deep and not all of the roads are cleared, but some of the roads have a slush during the day, and ice in the evenings and through the night; temps haven't been above zero for about two weeks now, tonight forecast down to -14C.
Having painted that picture of the conditions I have been using them in, I can tell you that I am extremely impressed with Winter Tyres, and I never thought I'd say that. I have driven easily and without problems in 2 wheel drive, where I know I would have had to select 4 wheel drive previously. I am driving 60kms to the airport tomorrow morning at 4pm, and without winter tyres I might have been a bit concerned about the journey, I have them fitted so I'm not really bothered about the journey.
However, they are not a licence to think that you can up the speed and be impervious to losing grip. I have noticed a lot of the locals seem to think they can drive at normal speed in bad conditions, and that they will be alright. Not the case.
The downside can be storing the set you take off. Especially if you have left them on the rims, as they are quite heavy.
I guess that the difference is that in Bavaria it is normal for snow and ice to be present on the road during the winter months. In the UK, even in rural Scotland it is still the exception. Sure winter tyres work better in cold temperatures, but the difference in performance is marginal in normal UK conditions, and not really worth the initial cost and effort of changing them every year/ finding storage for the spare wheels etc.
As such, most people are content just to take it easy when there is snow on the road, perhaps throw in a cheap set of chains for really bad conditions, and just accept that there may be one or two days a year when you just won't be able to use the car.
Shame for you, if you've gone to the effort of getting decent tyres and are being held up, but a lot of people just don't think it is worth it.
Or a cheaper alternative might be to teach people how to drive in snow, with or without winter tyres? I watched people over the last few days, wheels spinning and engine racing, and car going nowhere. When they gave up and allowed those waiting to have a go we'd all drive easily over the same bit of icy road with no problems simply by using the right gear and minimum throttle.
In mountain areas, or for professions who have to be able to get out no matter what the conditions, winter tyres may be worth it but for 99% of the population learning how to drive on snow would be sufficient IMO.
the difference is more than marginal as most days in winter are about 7 or under and the difference on wet roads in cold temperatures is very noticeable the biggest problem is that people have the argument that they only need them for a few days a year when it snows. they are better than a summer tyre in most conditions throughout the winter months not just when it snows. as soon as peope get out of this mindset the better as this country is a joke when the slightest dusting of snow arrives. im amazed the goverment doesnt start by making them compulsary for buses and other public transport as soon as its bad weather the scaremongers on the news say not to travel and use public transport which grinds to a halt itself. anyone whos ever been on a ski bus in europe can see what a bus is capable of with the correct tyres fitted ie steep twisty mountain roads covered in snow and ice.
Yeah, I realise that, but the point is that in most conditions it is just as effective to reduce your speed and increase following distance as it is to buy a new set of tyres (along with all the hassle that brings). Most people are quite happy to do that.
Well, I can only speak from experience, but I spent most of my life in the less populated parts of aberdeenshire, which was probably about as snowy as it gets in the UK. My car was a 2wd with (thinnish) summer tyres on all year round. I never found it worth the cost and hassle of putting winter tyres on, even though I know what they are capable of. As others have said, learning to drive on snow, and keeping your speed appropriate to the conditions and vehicle are IMO an acceptable approach for drivers in the UK. Obviously, it makes sense for some people to get winter tyres (depending on vehicle, income, garage space etc), certainly not arguing against that, but it is also possible to make an informed choice not to.
It shows just how much of a difference winter tyres make not just in snow but on wet roads when the temperature is below 7degrees.
Cars nowadays tend to be more powerful and have wider tyres making them worse in snowy conditions than cars used to be. Learning to drive in snowy conditions is all well and good but winter tyres make it safer and easier to do so. The cost of winter tyres is less than the cost of having an accident.
> It shows just how much of a difference winter tyres make not just in snow but on wet roads when the temperature is below 7degrees.
What it shows is shows is how much difference it makes for two cars driving in identical fashion. I don't dispute this; winter tyres are extremely effective, and I have a lot of 1st hand experience driving in cold and snow, both with and without winter tyres. However, for many people the advantages are not justified in the UK (if you drive with regard to your vehicles capabilities and conditions anyway). I think that is a reasonable view.
I'm currently on Michelin Pilot Power 2CT's, the Pilot Roads 3's look better for this weather. If it was constantly snowing here I'd look at something more knobbly :)
Oh, and don't say don't ride it, that ain't going to happen ;-)
I would agree that winter tyres on 2wd is better than 4wd summer tyres. I had a diesel A3 that was just unreal, even though it was 2wd as you could run it in 3rd at <1000rpm.
Given the frequency that thsse problems and conversations seem to pop up the argument it happens to rarely as to be a nuisance seems rather weak. The inconveniance is an hour per car spent in the spring and again in the autumn changing 4 tyres.
True, but the costs of making them compulsory would be huge. Justified in Norway no doubt, but maybe not over here. Besides, the converse is also true. I've been in a car with someone who had just fitted winter tyres and was raving about how good they were (which was true). He proceeded to demonstrate this by driving at about 65 on hard packed snow. It certainly was a good demonstration, but I don't think he was any safer than the guy doing 30. You can't legislate against idiots!
Try attaching a light, open sidecar, with knobbly tyres too you can really have fun on snow :-)
PS. I realise it's quite anti-social to consider means of transport as vehicles of fun. I will not go to heaven anyway.
Then you are not driving sensibly! That's the point, a bit like in fog, you should always be driving within your stopping distance... including allowing for the stupidity of others. Obviously it's not fast in town but it's not even a few days per year in most of lowland Europe, except the far North, of course).
If anything the feeling of security given by winter tyres will lead to higher speeds and probably more accidents, at least more serious ones... slow sliding crunches usually only damage bodywork and ones self esteem.
I think the point is that one can maintain the same stopping distance either by fitting different tyres, or by driving more slowly. Either approach works. Making the former mandatory only makes sense when there is a significant cost to the transport infrastructure from people having to slow down (like for example when one would expect snow on the ground for weeks or months every year). This is a different argument from the 'mitigating the effect of bad driving' one.
No, the difference in performance in the cold is not sufficient for that much reduction; variation between cars is likely to be much greater. You only need to slow down significantly when there is snow or ice on the road.
Works fine for me, but I put 2 on the front of my fwd car to avoid getting stuck (and for better braking), not to drive at 30mph around corners on snow.
For example, I went past many people stuck on steep hills earlier in the week, with no issues.
That said, if it was my car (rather than a lease car that has summer tyres included in the price but not winter ones) I would have them on all four wheels - doesn't really cost anything in the long run.
I'll stick to snow chains. Lidl have them in stock for £20 a pair. They take 10 minutes to put on. I'd think about snow tyres if we had snow for longer than 2 weeks. We rarely do in this country.
Winter tyres are very effective in snow. They have the added bonus of being slightly better in the wet in cold conditions, but the difference is marginal and really not worth the expense on those grounds alone. In fact, the above test rates a summer tyre as being the best handling (compared to its winter counterpart), in typical UK winter conditions.
In dry winter conditions (next page), the summer tyres win hands down.
> Try attaching a light, open sidecar, with knobbly tyres too you can really have fun on snow :-)
Ha ha! I did find a site of someone doing that, not sure how I'd feel about a sidecar, I know the wife would love it though!
Well I never. That goodness I am a tight barsteward!
Wow! I love it! But I want to be able to stop quickly to :D
But not too quickly I presume!
Indeed, I quite agree that winter tyres are (on average) better in the winter. However, one thing that test does show is that on anything other than snow, the big difference is not winter vs summer, but how much you spend on the tyres in the 1st place. Given a limited budget, you might be better to buy the most expensive summer tyres you can, and adjust your driving to the conditions.
However, I agree that if money is no object you are best having a set of high quality tyres for the appropriate season.
Personally, I will just buy budget summer tyres stick a set of chains in the boot and drive at a sensible speed.
> But not too quickly I presume!
Well, not if I don't have to :)
"Given the safety benefits, it’s a price worth paying. A set of winter tyres could be the difference between life and death this winter."
> "Given the safety benefits, it’s a price worth paying. A set of winter tyres could be the difference between life and death this winter."
Many things could be the difference between life and death this winter, the actual likelihood is a different matter...
The verdict overall seems fine. I agree that it is something worth considering, I disagree that there is only one possible conclusion. However, the raw test results are very informative.
I've used winter tyres for the past 3 years. definite improvement over mid-range (i.e. £60-70 each) summer tyres.
I have Perrelli P Zero Scorpians on my Disco and they stick like shit to a blanket.
More to the point, the are C rated so unlike a lot of 4X4 and winter tyres are fuel efficient.
Winter tyres are fine, but the open tread pattern can increase MPG and not give as good a stopping distance and handling in the wet.
I think it is often unfair to compare us to say Germany or Sweden. As my Swedish mate pointed out, if you lve in Upsalla, you know it will snow on the 4th November and stop on the 19 April.
Of course you do in bad weather conditions, it's the most essential thing. If you don't drive on snow at a speed that allows you to stop for any foreseeable emergency than you are a public danger who shouldn't be on the road.
Last comment on this nth discussion about winter tyres, if people want them then that's absolutely fine by me, it's a free world but that's your opinion and trying to present it as essential, someone even said it should be obligatory like in some Northern countries, is going too far. Like the majority of drivers in temperate lowland areas I feel there is no need, some years we have no snow at all, and sensible driving - particularly in terms of stopping distance - is good enough for me. Before setting off the first thing to do is check the grip by braking hard (on a straight bit of road and looking in the mirror) just to see how much grip you have. The rest is just experience and common sense really.
But don't think I'm telling you you are wrong to buy a second set of tyres, I'm not.... on the other hand you might care to think about the ecological effects of imposing this on a country as big as Britain! How many extra tyres would swell the existing used tyre mountain?
I wouldnt be without them fed up of putting chains on and getting cold, but I do carry chains as well just in case
None, because your other tyres last twice as long.
Based on current wear rates I reckon I'll get 7 years out of my winter tyres and probably a couple more for summer use. My summer the should last an extra 50% at least. So over the 7 years I don't reckon the cost difference will be much at all.
20(?) million drivers can't be wrong!
It is just not economical for a brit to own winter tyres never mind how little difference they make when using then in winter conditions.
> It is just not economical for a brit to own winter tyres never mind how little difference they make when using then in winter conditions.
Bugger, must be going wrong somewhere. An extra £700 per year you say, and they make no difference? Must be imagining things with my experience then....
> 20(?) million drivers can't be wrong!
By that logic we should not bother with insurance either. Insurance costs more than winter tyres, and gives us no benefit, since we don't crash....
and more accidents occur during the winter versus the summer.
> on the other hand you might care to think about the ecological effects of imposing this on a country as big as Britain! How many extra tyres would swell the existing used tyre mountain?
Zero - that is how many.
If you use a set of summer tyres every three years then you will generate 8 waste tyres in 6 years
If you own two sets of tyres and use each every six months and have the same wear then each will last 6 years generating 8 waste tyres in 6 years.
Well it seems 20(?) million drivers have yet to be convinced.
Maybe the sensible ones just drive a bit less and a bit more carefully.
Offset rears on a Merc AMG Sport. Best Car I've ever owned but fecking expensive for tyres.
T5 much better than cars.... :)
> Based on current wear rates I reckon I'll get 7 years out of my winter tyres
When I went to a mechanic in Geneva he said the snow tyres I had got with my second hand car were 'out of date'. Apparently the rubber hardens up after a few years and they don't work as well. Obviously he was kean to sell me a new pair, but comparing the rubber of the old tyre to the new ones it was clear there was a difference. (The fine tread lines in the new tyre opened up much more easily than in the old tire.) I've no idea how much performance difference this made, but it's worth bearing in mind.
> None, because your other tyres last twice as long.
That's a myth though as most people don't wear out their winter tyres before they change cars... in temperate climates that is.
If you use winter tyres that reduce your braking distances then you should still drive so that your visibility allows you to stop within that distance... if you disagree with that then yes, you are a public danger. Someone without winter tyres would probably need to drive more slowly to be safe, of course. However if you use winter tyres in order to drive more quickly rather than to improve safety then I'd say this was an argument against winter tyres :-)
PS. I don't think I said winter tyres cost £700 per year, that would have been for a complete set rims and all and would depend very much on the model of car and hence the size of the wheels.
One question I did ask and never got an answer for was how winter tyres worked out in terms of fuel consumption. Generally you don't owt for nowt so do the softer rubbers and different treads use more fuel?
> That's a myth though as most people don't wear out their winter tyres before they change cars... in temperate climates that is.
So if summer tyres lifespan is increased by only using them half the year and by your assertion winter tyres do not get replaced on cars then my argument above suggest that
Solely summer tyres will generate 8 used tyres for the dump in 6 years, and
Using winter and summer tyres will generate only 4 used tyres for the dump.
So, by your argument - the environment would be better if people used a winter/summer tyre combination.
> PS. I don't think I said winter tyres cost £700 per year, that would have been for a complete set rims and all and would depend very much on the model of car and hence the size of the wheels.
Are you suggesting "per year" as an argument again Bruce?
> Are you suggesting "per year" as an argument again Bruce?
I never did, the purchase cost would be for the first year. Following years it would be just the cost of changing tyres, valves, balancing etc. As said above soft rubber does harden so for those out for absolute maximum grip they would change more often.
Other factors are when you change cars you start again with initial costs and also if you drive a lot modern tyres seem to fall apart before they wear out for some reason. I just had to change a pair of perfectly good looking Michellins because during the MOT the mechanic noticed that the tread was ripping off on the inside... invisible until you got under the car.
You lot seem seem to be getting all hot under the collar about this, a bit like hiking pole threads... is it some kind of fetishism? I don't think anyone has castigated you for buying winter tyres so why the aggro?
This is certainly what I'd consider in the UK. It makes sense here in Bavaria to have a set of both, but I know people with all season tyres here who do just fine.
To the person talking about temperatures, the fact is, you do end up driving around on winter tyres a lot of the time when it's above optimal temperatures. We normally get our first snow here about mid-end of October, so on go the winter tyres, as having snow means they're mandatory. Certainly this year, it got a lot warmer for a long time after that, and I'd regularly be driving home from work at 20C with the winter tyres on. Even Christmas round here, far from being white, was more like 15C, and our first bought of proper snow started about 10 days ago. Similarly, in spring, it'll get pretty warm outside for a couple of weeks before you can confidently say "well, it'll be fine now, we'll have no snow". Even if it's frosty in the morning driving to work, it can still be high teens driving home. Assuming you don't want to be changing tyres from week to week, or even during the day, it would seem that all seasons would be best for the UK.
> I never did
Might want to re-read what you posted on the Dec 2012 winter tyre thread.
What aggro is this Bruce?
If you go for a set on additional rims then yearly costs for valves, balancing etc gets eliminated. My dealer also stores and changes the wheels for free. Only takes them 20 mins or less and it generally means I go there for servicing rather than another dealer.
Summer tyres are hard during winter temps anyway, so I doubt the winter tyres with the additional silica etc would be as bad a summer tyres, even when older.
Time will tell, but I very much doubt the lifetime costs of winter tyres are as high as many imagine. Besides if you don't want to have two sets just go for winter tyres and use year round. Different between winter and summer tyres in summer is far less than winter and summer tyres in winter.
I just had a look to see if I really did say the cost would be £700 a year in the previous thread... as I suspected I didn't. The figure I quoted was £500 for the initial buy including rims for an average car. So both the figure and the context are inexact/
On the other hand I notice that since I last looked at the tread two posters have replied that winter tyres are a bit noisier but don't increase fuel consumption, largely due to the lower speed being used on snow and ice.
> I just had a look to see if I really did say the cost would be £700 a year in the previous thread... as I suspected I didn't. The figure I quoted was £500 for the initial buy including rims for an average car. So both the figure and the context are inexact/
To quote you Bruce, you implied "we should all spend £500 or more extra per year".
£500.....but as I say it's a fantastic car....
But you live in Finland! If I did I would buy winter tyres too, the debate is concerning lowland temperate, England, much of Scotland and Wales, most of France, Belgium etc. and for normal users. I've driven on snow twice this year and only for a few miles. Last year not at all and so on. I can get by for a few days every few years without two sets of tyres, it's as simple as that.
After being (falsely) accused of making extravagant claims on the yearly cost of a set I thought I'd just check out what good quality (Dunlop) winter tyres with steel rims, I can manage without ally rims in winter, would cost me... the best I've found on internet is 962€, or about... £800.
Not cheep for a few days a year. A set of good chains will set me back between 50 and 100€ if I decide to head off to the mountains any time, so I'll do as I've done for 40 years without mishap, buy a pair of chains and make sure my radials still have a bit of tread on them. I can think of better things to do with the 900€ I'd save, but each to his own.
moving on as im sure you werent trying to be offensive :). i personaly dont notice any difference with fuel economy over the past 3 years van still avergaing about 50mpg on a long journey. the difference might come in with 4x4 winter tyres which have a far chunkier tread pattern than car tyres im sure this could affect mpg readings but i havent noticed any on car winter tyres. nor have i noticed any increase in road noise.
I get the impression that drivers who often seem to get stuck/come to grief are 4x4 owners who go for a "play" in the snow with summer tyres !
Also a FWD car with winter tyres is better than a 4x4 on summer tyres in snow. Unless its really deep and the car gets grounded!
Also, 4x4s tend to still only have 4 wheel braking, just like any other car. They will help you to get going, but will not stop you any quicker.
The car itself will also make a huge difference (arguably more than the tyres). In deep snow, I've seen a a large audi with winter tyres stuck fast when a micra on summer tyres could get through fine.
As I've said, winter tyres are well worth considering, but blanket statements about how everybody needs a set are over the top.
No, I wasn't trying to be offensive and think moving on is a good idea, I was simply insisting that in my opinion driving within ones stopping distance is essential, especially on snow. I'm not sure that ABS helps when moving slowly on snow as without it you always had the feeling that by blocking your wheels they would bite through to the tarmac, now you just keep on moving, slowly towards what you want to avoid... but that's another debate. In fact I rarely use brakes at all on snow, just rely on the engine.
Moving on again a little, some have suggested that winter tyres are a year round solution. I was always told that on summer roads the soft rubber wore down very quickly so that it was not a viable idea. Is this the case or have they developed new rubber mixes that keep their wear resistance even on hot roads?
Three winters ago Strathspey had snow lying continuously from before xmas to well into March. Of course only very minor side roads were snowy for all that time: the main roads are cleared very efficiently. Having to stop and put chains on/off every time you turned off/onto a main road would be a complete no-no.
From my own experience in Strathspey, plus observing other drivers, a (front) 2wd car with winter tyres is far safer and get-anywhere than a 4wd with summer tyres, especially the wide low-profile ones on Chelsea tractors.
Agreed. This morning my 2wd Renault Trafic with 4 winter tyres, got out the Sugar Bowl car park easier than the Range Rover with Geoffrey Tyres on it.
Was it as dangerous as some wanker belting round Tebay in his S5?
the vast majority of the time there is no snow.when its wet you drive slower
There is an undenialble advntage of all corners turnin over two for traction and balance.awd just feels so much more secure.it could go side ways and still feel in control.
If it was snowier I'd get very narrow snow tyres.like wise if it was drier I'd have semi slicks .hey ho whatever, if you want winter tyres get them.ug you don't ,do what you want.
Yup, we left yours at Tebay then headed for our roadside Canadian style ice. :)
Or have the best of both worlds awd with winter tyres. Superior traction and cornering and equally effective braking especially as most awd have 4 channel braking and so can brake each wheel independently, rather than 2 at a time like 2wd.
Yes was glad of mine tonight! don't think my car would have been parked at the top of the road without them!
OK, stopping distances will be better, but cornering? Making progress? I think not.
Over the past week I've driven around ten different cars in this snow including your standard crap Octavia, an Auris and a Previa in snow tyres, my car (an AWD) and some proper 4WD cars (Landrover, Suzuki and Kia).
Snow tyres stop you well and make a vast improvement over standard ones (the Auris only had fronts and whilst it could make progress and stop well it handled like an ironing board), but you honestly couldn't copmpare these snow tyred cars to any of the non-2WD cars.
Maybe a 2WD car with a diff-lock and snow tyres might compete against an AWD car in summers? But the whole "2WD car in winter tyres is better than a 4WD in summers" is a complete myth, except for braking, when the tyres are what make the difference between a car and a toboggan.
Like I said above, I can promise you that is exactly the case from my experience. Nothing particularly extraordinary about winter tyres with studs btw. I suspect 90% of people here have them over frictions. Think the other Scandinavian countries are similar although I heard you have to pay some extra tax to use them in Oslo now because of the dust problem.
ive seen the x5 type 4x4's stuck because they have tyres as wide as a 911 turbo on them
Overtaking a stuck 4x4 doesn't make a 2WD snow tyred car better. I could retort with a similar question? How come out of all the cars I've driven this week, the 4x4 were superior at general driving in the snow to the 2WD at handling, pulling away, maintaining friction etc. I haven't been testing the stopping distances, because I don't reckon I've exceeded 10mph due to the nature of the roads.
I don't have any experience with winter tyres, but have an AWD (Skoka Superb) and it obviously does take care to drive. Traction, turning, not a problem, but as another poster said given the chance it will happily turn into a large toboggan going downhill, especially if you are ill-advised enough to be going too fast at the top of the hill, egged on by your feeling of security that the traction and turning ability gives you.
Add that most people (including myself) get almost no time to practice driving in the snow before you're stuck in it for real, then there's plenty of opportunity for mishap.
Just because a 4x4 is stuck in the snow doesn't necessarily mean its the fault of the car. Also, an experienced driver who is good at driving 2WD cards in icy/snowy conditions (and it is a skill) will likely do much better than a driver who has a 4x4 but has never driven in snow before.
BMW x5's on super wide low profile tyres do make me laugh. The ride quality and handling must be cack in the summer, let alone on snow.
I'd recommend winter tyres and I'd also recommend awd, certainly the Subaru variety. Most dealers will store and change tyres for free if you use the dealer for servicing. It's just something to be negotiated.
It's also a myth the awd is necessarily more thirsty than 2wd. Difference is no more than 1mpg and Subaru diesels have better consumption than the equivalent sized ford diesels.
Yes I keep expecting them to ask me how I'd like to pay, but no it's see you in the spring, or next autumn etc. I think it's a reasonable exchange for me to come to them for servicing and the bodywork check under the 12 year warranty.
90 percent of the time when it comes to driving on poor road conditions, its mostly down to the driver and his or her knowledge and skills.
What tyres did he have on?
Why? I'd have thought having four wheels being driven would be better with the same tyres on.
We've got 2 4wds, both with the original tyres on (assume they're summer) and we've managed to get around just fine in the last few days - including up the hill to our house with quite deep snow on it. Certainly infinitely better than our previous cars (Citroen Grand Picasso and a Jag XF). So whilst I can see that performance will be better with all-weather or winter tyres, for getting around where we live they're fine.
And to be honest the roads round here are cleared within a couple of hours anyway - we had a heavyish snowfall last night and by 10 this morning everything but residential roads had been cleared, and this is a village with no meaningful through routes.
I'll probably put all-season tyres on next time I'm changing but for where I live and drive I can't see the benefit of separate tyres, even if there was somewhere to store them round here.
At least they are mobile. 2x4s on summers in the same conditions are generally immobile. We had 2x4 skinny summer tyres Peugeot 205 trying to get up hill and sliding into banks either side. What was worse she had no idea why she wasn't getting grip. Took three of us pushing to get her up the hill. She then went to a village school that was probably closed...
Which are fantastic for ice I , but in deep snow have nothing to bite into, so you need a good deep tread and / or chains in addition for very deep snow.
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