/ Winter tyres

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thebigdon - on 09 Oct 2013
Is it safe to only fit winter tyres to the front of a front wheel drive car?

Or should always get four?
More-On - on 09 Oct 2013
In reply to thebigdon: Ask yourself if you would be happy with the back end breaking out whenever you corner...
As you can see I'd favour four!
Cuthbert on 09 Oct 2013
In reply to thebigdon:

I think it's a bad idea. I have winter tyres on my car and van.
toad - on 09 Oct 2013
In reply to thebigdon: Is it time already for the winter tyres thread (s)?
Philip on 09 Oct 2013
I've got Uniroyal Rain Expert on mine and my wife's. The garage reckoned they would give a bit more grip without the year round penalty of driving on winter tyres.
Bimble on 09 Oct 2013
In reply to thebigdon:

On a related note, does anyone know if BF Goodrich Trac Edge tyres are any good in the snow? They seem to handle everything else well enough, and I'd rather not have to invest in new winter rubber if they'll do.
John Roberts (JR) - on 09 Oct 2013
In reply to thebigdon:

Drove my old focus estate on 2 (front only) for about 3 winters. No problems at all, getting over snake pass when "closed" to go skiing and generally getting around chamonix, scotland etc. It's the driving style that's important than the tyre.
mike123 - on 09 Oct 2013
In reply to thebigdon: I drove our old 106 diesel wth just 2 on the front for a couple of winters around cumbria and scotland with no problem . Then I was late for something 1 day and forgot the drive cautiously rule , the predicable happened on a sharp bend . I think I did two 360 s and ended up facing the right way but on the wrong side of the road . Very lucky .Stands to reason really make the front end more grippy than the rear and eventually the front end will griP more than the rear. Always put 4 on the van and 4 on the car now. We have about 2 km of un gritted minor road to get onto a twisty A road , the 500 106 has yet to be defeated , often passing my neighbours free lander, a disco and a merc confined to barracks . That said the bloke at the end of the village works for land rover and always has a new evoque or sport , he never fits winter tyres and also never gets stuck .
Paul F - on 09 Oct 2013
In reply to mike123:

Some caution needed with just using 2 winter tyres. Check with your insurance company as they may refuse to pay out in the event of an accident if you are not running winter tyres on all 4 wheels.

Also changing the wheel/tyre size, or even the wheel from alloy to steel wheel, may count as a modification on your car, which needs to be declared. This may also stop any payout or even invalidate your insurance cover.
biped - on 09 Oct 2013
In reply to Paul F:

Good points. My insurance company specifically asked me to confirm that I was fitting 4 winter tyres and not just two to the drive wheels.
thebigdon - on 09 Oct 2013
In reply to biped: thanks to all
A mixed bag, my dad has been fitting front winters for years without problems. He drives a lot and as others said he has achieved motion whilst others have not

Just wondered what others thought about this

doz - on 09 Oct 2013
In reply to thebigdon: 2 is fine for moving....4 a lot better when you have to stop :)
wbo - on 09 Oct 2013
In reply to thebigdon:2 works, 4 is better, and alternate the pairs front and back each year - the fronts wear a lot faster than rears.
Blue Straggler - on 09 Oct 2013
In reply to wbo:
> (In reply to thebigdon)2 works, 4 is better

It's all gone Animal Farm!
Dave Perry - on 09 Oct 2013
In reply to thebigdon:

Being a cheapskate I fitted them only to the front. Great in the snow, traction brilliant. Then one day going too fast I hit a drifted area with several inches of snow. Big mistake, I may have braked a little too. Back end started swinging around, and I thought, oh dear I wish I'd fitted them at the back too. Luckily there wasn't anyone else on the road at the time!

redsulike - on 09 Oct 2013
In reply to thebigdon: there is absolutely no point in fitting winter tyres to the rear of a fwd car. The clue is in the fwd. No need to inform the insurance either.
Ben Sharp - on 09 Oct 2013
In reply to thebigdon: I wouldn't, they'll give you better traction but reduce safety, for the reasons outlined above. If you do put two on the front you'd have to be pretty vigilant about driving slowly in bad weather.
Paul F - on 09 Oct 2013
In reply to redsulike:
> (In reply to thebigdon) No need to inform the insurance either.

depends who you are insured with

https://www.abi.org.uk/~/media/Files/Documents/Publications/Public/Migrated/Motor/ABI%20guide%20to%2...

You normally don't need to tell your insurer as long as the winter tyres are fitted to wheels of the correct specification.
'Correct specification' means that the wheel size diameter, width and offset conforms to the vehicle manufacturer's specifications. It also assumes you are fitting a full set. If you are thinking of just fitting 2, talk to your insurer or it might not give you cover, as it may not be recommended as specified by the vehicle manufacturer.



woolsack - on 09 Oct 2013
In reply to redsulike:
> (In reply to thebigdon) there is absolutely no point in fitting winter tyres to the rear of a fwd car. The clue is in the fwd. No need to inform the insurance either.

And what about under braking? With summer tyres on the back you've got only the front wheels actually getting adhesion under braking, there will be almost no braking from the rear
ads.ukclimbing.com
aln - on 09 Oct 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler:
> (In reply to wbo)
> [...]
>
> It's all gone Animal Farm!

I know you love movies but I didn't realise you were into that kinda thing.
aln - on 09 Oct 2013
In reply to thebigdon: In 33 years of driving all over Britain all year round I've never changed my tyres for winter. Why would you?
LastBoyScout on 09 Oct 2013
In reply to aln:
> (In reply to thebigdon) In 33 years of driving all over Britain all year round I've never changed my tyres for winter. Why would you?

What he said. Only ever been stuck anywhere as a result of other people blocking the road.
wbo - on 09 Oct 2013
In reply to aln - because they save you a ton of grief in the little bit of snow that paralyses Britain. Winter tyres are better than 4WD. They also work a lot better in cold rain, and you can feel the difference.

AndrewHuddart - on 09 Oct 2013
In reply to wbo: They also help you stop whereas 4WD only helps with the drive bit. It's often the stopping bit (or the absence thereof) which causes problems...
Jim C - on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to LastBoyScout:
> (In reply to aln)
> [...]
>
> What he said. Only ever been stuck anywhere as a result of other people blocking the road.

Other people blocking the road, because they got stuck as they did not have winter tyres perhaps ?
andrewmcleod - on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to thebigdon:

I had two winter tyres on the front of my car for some time (and ran them in summer as well) without crashing hideously. Finally got all four wheels on winters, then got a new car :P
Blue Straggler - on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to aln:
> (In reply to Blue Straggler)
> [...]
>
> I know you love movies but I didn't realise you were into that kinda thing.

I was going to put a George Orwell qualifier in there...
Dangerous Dave - on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to aln: This video shows the difference winter non-studded tyres make even when on ice.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2wTg0l3_wI

gav p - on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to thebigdon:

Not safe at all to just fit fronts IMO. Tried that a couple of winters ago out here in Chamonix, with Michelin A4s up front and summer tyres at the back. On snow, the fronts had about four times as much grip in corners, leading to the car wanting to oversteer and spin at anything above very slow pace. Fine if you want to drive everywhere on snow controlling slides, otherwise not a good idea. I quickly sourced some winter tyres for the back as well.
yorkshireman - on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to gav p:

Seems to be a lot of stories of people being 'ok' on two tyres and then coming to grief when not driving cautiously. That should tell you all you need to know.

I always wonder why people want to have a mismatched set of tyers - if you're only running two winter ones then it means your summer set aren't wearing down at the same rate front and back.

As always gets trolled out, they're not just for snow, they're for colder, wetter conditions which we still get in the UK often enough to mean they're not a waste of money. People are happy to spend money on all sorts of safety features for their cars, but somehow the thing that keeps you stuck to the road is where they're happy to cut corners.

I live somewhere where we get snow on the ground permanently from November to April so they're a given and make such a massive difference in those conditions. There's lot of chin stroking and looking at the sky by the locals at the moment wondering when we need to switch (dark mutterings of a cold spell with snow coming its way for the weekend).

The general rule here is when the clocks go back you should have your winter tyres on - try to get them switched again by Easter.

Blue Straggler - on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to yorkshireman:
> but somehow the thing that keeps you stuck to the road is where they're happy to cut corners.

You are a genius :-)
jkarran - on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to Ben Sharp:

> If you do put two on the front you'd have to be pretty vigilant about driving slowly in bad weather.

Don't you anyway? Perhaps years of driving powerful RWD automatics makes me more than a bit twitchy in the snow, whatever rubber they're wearing they're unruly.

jk
jkarran - on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to yorkshireman:

> Seems to be a lot of stories of people being 'ok' on two tyres and then coming to grief when not driving cautiously. That should tell you all you need to know.

They may well have come to grief on 4 of course...

> I always wonder why people want to have a mismatched set of tyers - if you're only running two winter ones then it means your summer set aren't wearing down at the same rate front and back.

They don't anyway, rears can easily last 2 or 3x as long an a FWD hatch.

jk

adam11 - on 10 Oct 2013
Go to a Stage Rally and buy some 'Forest' scrubs off one of the competitors. Excellent off road, legal and very cheap. Fit them on steel rims bought s/h from a breaker and you can have a spare set of winter shod wheels, for under 100.
CurlyStevo - on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to yorkshireman:
"As always gets trolled out, they're not just for snow, they're for colder, wetter conditions"

Interestingly this may not be the case for milder wetter conditions we typically get mostly in the UK winter though. For my car the two winter tyres I get offered on the kwikfit site are C and E rating for wet weather, whilst some of the summer tyres offered go up to A (the best rating).

Of course the fuel economy of winter tyres is some of the worst out there (not using this as an excuse for not getting any)
John Stainforth - on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to yorkshireman:

Winter tyres effectively cost very little because the tyre wear is spread across two sets of tyres. Winter tyres add an enormous amount of safety for very little cost.
petellis - on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to yorkshireman:
> (In reply to gav p)
>
> Seems to be a lot of stories of people being 'ok' on two tyres and then coming to grief when not driving cautiously. That should tell you all you need to know.

I've nearly come to grief just having bad winter tyres on the back and new ones on the front. Had I not caught the spin it would have been very nasty for the oncoming traffic. I knew what I was doing, I had identified the potential for trouble when I walked around the van beforehand, but under pressure I just pushed a little harder.

Plenty of folk run nearly bald tyres on the back/good ones on the front and don't spin in the wet but again, some people loose it and have accidents. Most people are totally unaware of the potential and some garages will say that new tyres "should go on the front".

Having just 2 winters is fine for the actual slow stuff where you think you will get stuck, its later, when you are in a hurry, tired, not paying enough attention that you might get stung.

I'd be interested to drive a car with winters on the front and summers on the back and see weather it makes much difference on cold dry or wet tarmac. In my experience winters stick like sh1t where summers don't...
Jim Hamilton - on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to John Stainforth:
> (In reply to yorkshireman)
>
> Winter tyres effectively cost very little because the tyre wear is spread across two sets of tyres.

this assumes you are going to keep your car for some while
John Stainforth - on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to Jim Hamilton:

I think you could sell the tires as an extra when you sell the car
ads.ukclimbing.com
Otis - on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to thebigdon:


Don't mix and match front to rear - having way more grip at the front of your car compared to the rear is a sure-fire way to end up going backwards through a hedge/cyclist/bus stop queue.

Technically, I 'could' go climbing wearing one rock shoe and one stiletto..... doubt it'd be a great idea for my climbing prowess though ;-)

Mike.
Paul F - on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to Otis:
> (In reply to thebigdon)
>

> Technically, I 'could' go climbing wearing one rock shoe and one stiletto.....

or a pair
http://climbing.ilooove.it/spot/i-love-climbing-en-todas-sus-modalidades-sufrimiento-recompensa-2879...
Camm on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to thebigdon:
I'd happily drive with 2 on the front only, just take it easy on bends, if the back and goes put your foot down and you'll pull straight. I've got 2 on the rear of my octavia scout and will be fitting the 2 back to the front come winter. I can still hold a 4 wheel slide with he mixed tyres (offroad ofcorse), I wouldn't worry too much. As for stopping on most light fwd cars, 90% of the braking is done by the front wheels anyway.
Orgsm on 10 Oct 2013
In reply to thebigdon:

Loads drive around on summers in Winter, is that safer or worse?
jkarran - on 11 Oct 2013
In reply to adam11:

> Go to a Stage Rally and buy some 'Forest' scrubs off one of the competitors. Excellent off road, legal and very cheap. Fit them on steel rims bought s/h from a breaker and you can have a spare set of winter shod wheels, for under 100.

They're awful on the road though. I had an E30 on these for a couple years and it was an absolute hoot to drive but it never went forwards and it'd struggle to out-brake a supertanker on wet tarmac.

jk

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