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Cathar
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Winter tyres in the uk?

I'm just about to put nice new rubber on the front of my sportwagon and I'm considering a more specific 4 season / winter tyre as opposed to sport biased tyre...

.... Anyone out there run winter tyres in the uk on their Alfa?, is there a real need?, do you like them? , or should I just stay home when the snow is that bad ?

Be interesting to see the winter tyre habits of uk drivers on here
 
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I have never used them in 38 winters driving in the UK.
To be honest, I'm not sure how relevant that is. Some
people swear by them. My view is they do so to justify
having spent the money but that is just my view. If you
want them go for it. You don't really 'need' them though.



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I have never used them in 38 winters driving in the UK.
.

That was my thought, I've never used them or needed them...it ended up being more of a curiosity really
 
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They do make a difference in low temperatures.

I think whether you need them or not really depends on your circumstances though.
If you live in the city where most of the major roads are regularly cleared of snow, then possibly not. But if you live in a more rural area where the roads aren't cleared that often, then go for it.

I've used winter tyres for the past two years and they did feel far more surefooted in the low temperature.

Entirely your call though
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Take a look at Winter Tyres v Summer Tyres: the Truth! - Auto Express - YouTube

I always said the same as everyone about winter tyres, waste of money etc - until i had the BM that simply wouldnt move in the snow! (especially with the run flats!) So i brought some winter tyres, and sure the car now moved so great, but the difference in braking and handling was night as day! The car felt safe and secure , I'd now recommend them to anybody and will definitely be putting them on the Alfa over winter.

With the tyres on the BM was much better in the snow in all aspects than the Mrs fiesta, a small light FWD car.

Lee
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Any one have any experience of 4 season tyres, like vredistiens quatrac for example?

Surely this would be lose the best bits of both tyre types by their very design? Or are these a compromise worth having?
 
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I got winters on the GTA, and as has been said, it depends on your circumstances as to whether you need them or not.

I used them in snow last winter and as has also been said, it was like night and day. It went up hills of packed snow without even spinning the wheels, stunning grip

As for cost, it is slightly more to run them, BUT the17" winters on mine (Toyo snowproxes) are cheaper than the PZeros I use most of the year. Whilst the winters are on the summers are not being used. Apart from the initial outlay, its only the swapping over that costs, and if you time it right (ie when you need new tyres) even that cost is swallowed up.

Having used them now I would never go back to not using them.....
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Well I need new fronts fitting now ...... and have to drive 17 miles of rural A road andB roads with a large hill with hairpin between home and work daily, so perhaps the small investment now may make for a safer winter
 
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If you're somewhere rural then it would make sense to go with a winter tyre now.. and fit a regular tyre in the Spring.

I've got what might be an "all-season" rather than a pukka winter tyre... (Cooper Zeon CS6) and I find that much better than a summer tyre. If you fancy the weather won't be so cold/icy/snowy as we've had in the last 2-3 winters you could take a punt on those. They'll be new, so the sipes/channels will be nice and deep.. so they'll be almost as good as a winter tyre for most of the time and you won't need to change them for Spring onwards.


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Uniroyal Rainsport 2, the best alround tyre you can get, although they are a little noisy, especially when worn. They easily cope with conditions like this:

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/g...ps067f6a22.jpg
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Another advantage is that if you have winter tyres on for 4-5 months of the year your summer tyres last a lot longer

I put winter tyres (Dunlop WinterSport 4D) on for the first time last year and the car felt more planted. Lots of confidence in heavy rain, slush or snow. But as another poster said, it also depends on where you live and how crucial your journeys are in the winter.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lee87 View Post
Take a look at Winter Tyres v Summer Tyres: the Truth! - Auto Express - YouTube

I always said the same as everyone about winter tyres, waste of money etc - until i had the BM that simply wouldnt move in the snow! (especially with the run flats!) So i brought some winter tyres, and sure the car now moved so great, but the difference in braking and handling was night as day! The car felt safe and secure , I'd now recommend them to anybody and will definitely be putting them on the Alfa over winter.

With the tyres on the BM was much better in the snow in all aspects than the Mrs fiesta, a small light FWD car.

Lee

This post should be a sticky. All those who say "nah, I've never needed them" are totally missing the point. You might have 'got by' without them but having them is night and day as Lee points out above.

I once drove my 'Sud from central London to Reading to collect a pair of reconditioned brake callipers, mine had p1ssed the fluid out. I managed it with no brakes by good anticipation of the traffic and engine-braking. I 'got by' but I wouldn't go on a forum and say "brakes, nah, you don't need them'.

Or to but it another way, before we had rules on minimum tyre tread depth people often drove on bald tyres. No one in their right mind would now say "tyre tread? nah, I get by fine without any tread".
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But Michael, you don't 'need' them.

The old difference between need and desire.

You don't 'need' a Masser but I can understand that you like having one

Winter tyres may very well make a difference but for
the type of driving I do, I do not 'need' them.



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I can't see the point personally, I've never had any trouble in winter. If the snows that heavy, I don't drive or I drive like an old lady
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But Michael, you don't 'need' them.

The old difference between need and desire.
Nah, it's not a question of desire.

I can clearly remember driving uphill in my ancient 205 equipped with cheap winter tyres (EUR €30 a corner) passing 4x4 VW Touregs and Porker Cayennes floundering around with all four of their wheels spinning on the freshly fallen snow.

That's not desire, that's need.
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I go to Germany a lot over the winter so decided to fit them last year on my 166. I have to say the biggest surprise was how good they are in the wet. I expected them to be better in snow but we don't get that much do we. In the rain they are fantastic and I wouldn’t be without them now.

Costs are no different because it extends my normal tyres and protects my best wheels by not using them in winter. I went for the Avon which gave a good account in the German winter tyre test without spending a fortune.
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I think they are sensible idea... I got them fitted to my wifes Honda CRV... she has to travel over country roads in Aberdeenshire... Our last two winters made this a necessity winter tyres give more grip than a 4x4 but combine them and she can drive confidently in the snow. She never had any problems last winter and we had a very cold and snowy winter.

I dont bother with them on my Fiat Doblo as I only really use the A90 for commuting and I have more confidence in the snow. If its really bad I just dont travel and I work from home.
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Quote:
Any one have any experience of 4 season tyres, like vredistiens quatrac for example?

Surely this would be lose the best bits of both tyre types by their very design? Or are these a compromise worth having?
I use Bridgestone A001s, but only during the Winter. I live fairly near to the sea, so the weather is rarely below zero, even in Winter (we've had five days of snow in the last five years), but it does rain. A lot.

When it's cold and wet, the all-weathers are much better than my regular Michelin Pilot Primacy, were more comfortable, with far more wet grip. However, when it came to the warmer weather in Spring, the Michelins were an improvement: grippier in the dry, better in bends, and less of an effort to get up to speed with (and my mpg increased).

If you've got somewhere to store the tyres, you're basically only paying for one extra tyre change a year. If you can source a set of rims (pressed steel is better than alloy) for the winter tyres, then it costs nothing extra except your time with a jack and wheel brace.
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If you've got somewhere to store the tyres, you're basically only paying for one extra tyre change a year. If you can source a set of rims (pressed steel is better than alloy) for the winter tyres, then it costs nothing extra except your time with a jack and wheel brace.
And if you buy a couple of bottle-jacks (very cheap) you can jack up the whole of one side of the car at a time which speeds up things enormously. It really isn't an inconvenience.
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I bought a set of Nokian WR winter tyres last year, really because the job I had at the time finished quite late so I was travelling home in -5 or heavy rain some nights. I really have to recommend winter tyres, you feel so much more in control, particularly in heavy rain, snow or even if it's just below freezing on a dry road. The added bonus for me was an extra 1.5 mpg and I also realised how blinkin noisy those Bridgestone summer tyres are ! I'll be fitting the Nokians back on in the next 3 or 4 weeks depending how bad the weather gets.
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I've been looking for all-season tyres. 215/45/17s seem a bit difficult to get.

Cooper Zeon RS3-As look v. good but I cannot find them anywhere. After intensive Googling it looks like they are not EU- compliant because they contain Polyaromatic hydrocarbons.

REACh Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clovis View Post
I've been looking for all-season tyres. 215/45/17s seem a bit difficult to get.

Cooper Zeon RS3-As look v. good but I cannot find them anywhere. After intensive Googling it looks like they are not EU- compliant because they contain Polyaromatic hydrocarbons.

REACh Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Arrrgghhhh REACH, the bane of my life! Have you tried mytyres.co.uk they come from Germany and seem to have a huge selection

EDIT they have Maxxis and Vredestein 4 seasons in your size...

Last edited by PR; 12-10-13 at 13:43. Reason: added
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Thanks for that. The Coopers were cheaper with good reviews but I think it will have to be one of those from _my tyres_.


REACh keeps me in a job too (Cadmium and chromates)

Last edited by Clovis; 12-10-13 at 19:27. Reason: syntax
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I bought a set if Vredestein's 4 years ago after discovering that having 4wd on the Subaru was great to get going but no help stopping or turning corners. As my job requires getting to work (as a vet), I invested in the winter tyres and they've been superb. Thankfully, the STI and Evo use the same size of tyre so the tyres are now older than my car! And they still have sod all wear!

Last edited by Ali_; 13-10-13 at 09:27.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibbo View Post
I have never used them in 38 winters driving in the UK.
What, you started driving when you were 11?
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