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Dave-G

Winter tyres, even on 4WD vehicles.

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    David George
    I first tried winter tyres on my Ford Galaxy while cabbing with it about 6 years ago. I had a spare set of two wheels with them on. Even just with the fronts fitted there was a tremendous difference in traction and control, going past front wheel drive cars that were just unable to make way at all. Same with braking and steering. In fact I was usually busier than most because a lot of cabbies simply gave up and went home in snow rather than risk at least denting their car. I also used it on farm tracks where the farmers left their cars home in snow - or nights out at the pub and other country dwellers that other drivers had declined.
    I also have a spare set of wheels with winter tyres for my X-Trail fronts - with all seasons on the rear. They have been fitted for about 10 weeks now. Call me an old nag but if you can afford to fit them please consider doing it now - it could save you having to arrange a tow out at the very least.
     
    Heres a video that you may find interesting. 
     
     
    Edited by Dave-G

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    Did you say you only fitted the winter tyres on the front (fwd ) ? 

    And standard tyres on the rear .

    If so .change them NOW. 

    That is possibly the worst comb of tyre there is .its extremely dangerous  and WHEN  you have a crash in snow or ice i doubt you insurance would cover you as you have done what is known as a complete no no in tyre terms .

    The fronts grip and the rear instantly lets go spinning you round .

    If fitting winter tyres you ABSOLUTLY must fit 4  and never just 2 .fwd or rwd .

    Utube it if you must 

     

     

     

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    What are you calling standard tyres Stu?  As you might be relating to, hard summer tyres are not great behind soft winter tyres. but i suspect most of us onn here with 4WD vehicles will not be driving them with hard rubber smooth summer tyres.

    I didnt say I have standards on the rear: I said I have all seasons on the rear - which have chunkier treads and blocks, and softer rubber than almost smooth continual tread hard summer tyres which I would only use with the weight of an engine over them and the added typical 60/40 ish weight transfer placed onto them when braking. The harder rubber will last longer on steered wheels when used in warmer and drier climates which is why I have two types for different times of the year. I'd never consider using summers on the rear even in summer.

    I've taxi driven them for 6 autumn/winter seasons, so thousands of miles on all night shifts on all sorts of roads, and not being rude, possibly have more winter driving experience than most UK tyre fitters or tyre shop managers who might also do a sharp intake of breath and express similar thoughts like yours to help a sale of them. I'm not saying you are wrong, just that two are better than none in my opinion with my experience in a tall front wheel drive vehicle whilst carrying passenger, goods or empty and subsequently 4WD private motoring which includes towing people in snow.

    I related my experience of using them on front wheels so cannot comment about using them on four wheels - but I would imagine the results would be even better.

    Perhaps I should not have drawn peoples attention to the vast improvements winter tyres offer in winter at all. Would you feel happier if I put my summer tyres back on the front? 

    Edited by Dave-G

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    4 minutes ago, Adrian Armsby said:

    Not seen proper snow for about 20 years , what country do you lot live in 

    Lol, you be amazed at how even an inch or two of snow in the city has drivers struggling to get up the tiniest of inclines after some twit in a rear wheel drive car with fat summer tyres turns the road into an ice rink and brings the city to a near standstill.

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    Good timing Dave, mine are going on tomorrow, a good month later than normal as it’s been sooo mild

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    Since 2010 I have had a healthy interest in winter tyres as I help my wife with her company vans, oservations as follows

    1) changing tyres onto one set of wheels becomes a regal pain in the ***, if you are changing tyres over twice a year on alloys it will lead to wear on the alloy wheel where the bead sits and can lead to air leaks. It is far better to have wheels to go with the tyres 

    2) on high mileage vehicles using two sets of tyres summer and dedicated winter will increase the life span of the tyre, so if you expect say 40000 out of a tyre using all year round you will get more if you are alternating tyres for the prevailing conditions. 

    3) I put the winter tyres on in October and off in Easter as they do on the continent, people say that October is to early. It definitely isn’t as winter tyres also come into their own in wet conditions giving much more grip , I would use them for this reason alone even if we don’t see snow

    4) all season tyres with sipes cut in are every bit as good as winter tyres, if they have sipes, they do reduce summer mpg but not by much if you are doing lower mileages 

    5) if your a 4x4er then sipes are recommended for mud and all terrain as well as they really do help with winter snow traction 

    6) using the wrong tyre during the wrong season will hugely increase tyre wear, summer tyres wear on ice when loosing traction is unprecedented as is using winter tyres in warmer months

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    Just now, Dave-G said:

    What are you calling standard tyres Stu?  As you might be relating to, hard summer tyres are not great behind soft winter tyres. but i suspect most of us onn here with 4WD vehicles will not be driving them with hard rubber smooth summer tyres.

    I didnt say I have standards on the rear: I said I have all seasons on the rear - which have chunkier treads and blocks, and softer rubber than almost smooth continual tread hard summer tyres which I would only use with the weight of an engine over them and the added typical 60/40 ish weight transfer placed onto them when braking. The harder rubber will last longer on steered wheels when used in warmer and drier climates which is why I have two types for different times of the year. I'd never consider using summers on the rear even in summer.

    I've taxi driven them for 6 autumn/winter seasons, so thousands of miles on all night shifts on all sorts of roads, and not being rude, possibly have more winter driving experience than most UK tyre fitters or tyre shop managers who might also do a sharp intake of breath and express similar thoughts like yours to help a sale of them. I'm not saying you are wrong, just that two are better than none in my opinion with my experience in a tall front wheel drive vehicle whilst carrying passenger, goods or empty and subsequently 4WD private motoring which includes towing people in snow.

    I related my experience of using them on front wheels so cannot comment about using them on four wheels - but I would imagine the results would be even better.

    Perhaps I should not have drawn peoples attention to the vast improvements winter tyres offer in winter at all. Would you feel happier if I put my summer tyres back on the front? 

    Hey dave. .

    I was unsure of which tyres you were putting on the rear and on which type of car 4x4, fwd ,rwd .reason i asked. 

    My concern is that a person reads the origional post and assumes that he will be fine to put a pair of winters just on the front of his ford forcus (other 2wd cars are available) .thinking he is gonna be safer and skid less. When the exact opposite is true. A car completely looses control when the back over takes the front  .and is impossible to correct or rescue. A car that skids or slides but still in a forward (facing forward) direction is  better . (Not great , but better ) so yes  4 summer tyres  in winter will be better than 2 winter and 2 summer. For safety reasons .

    I do agree though that knobbly at. tyres on the rear of a 4x4 would be fine. 

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    A couple of years ago I was hedge planting across 4 stubble fields there was about 3inch of white stuff about ,but at the time my 4x4 was in for a service so had to take the transit van to do the job, yes it does have good aggressive tyres on front only and run of mill on back , anyway the land owner came walking over the fields to me and asked if I was able to help get her vehicle out of the first field as she had got it stuck,  I said what you've got a 70k range rover stuck on a stubble field, when I finally stopped laughing she got in the van and we went back to it , I got in the rover into gear and drove it off the field for her , so in other words, there are drivers and screw driver's , when all said just drive to the conditions of the road , simple, 

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    Put Winter Tyres on front & drift it like it's stolen .....................................................

     

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    Didn't matter what tyres you fitted around here last winter; you weren't going anywhere unless you had tracks. 🙂

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    I have my ATR on all the time. Just keep a set of chains in the back in case I need them. Of course a shovel and a box of rock salt.

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    On 14/12/2018 at 18:37, Dave-G said:

    Lol, you be amazed at how even an inch or two of snow in the city has drivers struggling to get up the tiniest of inclines after some twit in a rear wheel drive car with fat summer tyres turns the road into an ice rink and brings the city to a near standstill.

    That's mostly thanks to the morons in the council who grit the roads with salt before it snows. Makes the roads about 10 times more difficult (and dangerous) than snow on unsalted roads.

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    I run with winter tyres all year with no issues. Also got a set of snow socks in the boot if needed. I was very dubious of the snow smocks thinking they were a gimmick, but after using them in poor conditions at work I went straight out and bought some. Very impressed!

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    1 hour ago, Westward said:

    That's mostly thanks to the morons in the council who grit the roads with salt before it snows. Makes the roads about 10 times more difficult (and dangerous) than snow on unsalted roads.

    You might be right - but I suspect you are mistaken. I'm not an expert so I'll leave that for anyone else to add to.

    However - I have see the bitching that goes on in local papers and news who report the near gridlock if they didnt have it done before the snow fell so it seems they cannot win if you are correct or not. :lol:

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    23 hours ago, Westward said:

    That's mostly thanks to the morons in the council who grit the roads with salt before it snows. Makes the roads about 10 times more difficult (and dangerous) than snow on unsalted roads.

    Think you might be wrong there - take ya pick of results: 

    https://www.google.com/search?q=salt+before+snowfall&oq=salt+before+snowfall&aqs=chrome..69i57.8256j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

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    Well it depend how much snow falls. If it's only light snow it melts almost immediately on contact with the salt but if it's a bit more then we get snow settling on top of melt which makes even the smallest gradient impassable for 2 wheel drive vehicles. Even the camber of the road can cause problems.

    I'm old enough to remember a time when heavy winter snowfalls were normal and no one spread salt on the roads. The snow would pack down on the roads as it was driven over and drivers didn't dissolve into hysterical panic and abandon their vehicles at the first snowflake; instead they adjusted to the conditions and carried on as normal. As young drivers we used to go out and find empty car parks to practice power slides, doughnuts and handbrake turns.

    Back then a modest 3 or 4 inch fall of snow did not bring the entire country to a whimpering standstill!

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    I am often driving cars over the mountains from Poland to Slovakia in the winter and i am always amazed at what the tyres will do. I am often the slowest on the road as i cannot get the performance of uk tyres on snow out of my mind when i am driving. 

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    1 hour ago, Westward said:

    Well it depend how much snow falls. If it's only light snow it melts almost immediately on contact with the salt but if it's a bit more then we get snow settling on top of melt which makes even the smallest gradient impassable for 2 wheel drive vehicles. Even the camber of the road can cause problems.

    I'm old enough to remember a time when heavy winter snowfalls were normal and no one spread salt on the roads. The snow would pack down on the roads as it was driven over and drivers didn't dissolve into hysterical panic and abandon their vehicles at the first snowflake; instead they adjusted to the conditions and carried on as normal. As young drivers we used to go out and find empty car parks to practice power slides, doughnuts and handbrake turns.

    Back then a modest 3 or 4 inch fall of snow did not bring the entire country to a whimpering standstill!

    Very true back then - when we used significantly thinner more flexible crossply tyres with blocks in the tread. These days its extra fat nearly smooth continual treads that allow rude boys to do wheel spins and doughnuts etc. Also more power is generally available to the wheels now.

    There's diversity issues on our city roads too but lets not go there. 

     

     

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    2 hours ago, Westward said:

    Well it depend how much snow falls. If it's only light snow it melts almost immediately on contact with the salt but if it's a bit more then we get snow settling on top of melt which makes even the smallest gradient impassable for 2 wheel drive vehicles. Even the camber of the road can cause problems.

    I'm old enough to remember a time when heavy winter snowfalls were normal and no one spread salt on the roads. The snow would pack down on the roads as it was driven over and drivers didn't dissolve into hysterical panic and abandon their vehicles at the first snowflake; instead they adjusted to the conditions and carried on as normal. As young drivers we used to go out and find empty car parks to practice power slides, doughnuts and handbrake turns.

    Back then a modest 3 or 4 inch fall of snow did not bring the entire country to a whimpering standstill!

    Used to be a challenge with the ground clearance of a proper mini though at times - shovel to remove snow from under the sump essential

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    Agree with Westward (snow seemed to cause fewer problems when I passed my test in 1963) and Dave-G (tyres were very different in those days).  

     

    Narrow tyres would sink through the snow, with the tread cutting down to the tarmac, or sidewalls gripping in deep ruts, and vehicles with lower torque were far less likely to spin the driven wheels.   Both characteristics shared by the 2CV that I owned in the 1980s, which coped wonderfully with Scottish winter roads.

     

    Also, more lorries were rigid and had plenty of weight on the driving wheels, unlike the empty artics that nowadays clog the system when they fail to climb up the motorway slip roads.

    Would tyres have been made from a softer compound in those days?   Most people in the early 1960s seemed to be getting only about 20k miles from a set, and a Mini could easily wear out its front tyres in less than 10k.

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    Every time I see the news and weather channels entering panic mode because we've had 2 inches of snow I think of the weekend about 30 years ago when I was a Yuppie and I stayed with a work colleague who lived in a suburb near Boston USA. On the Saturday we got up to about a foot of fresh snow so we had our coffee pulled on boots etc and went outside with a shovels to clear the driveway. Even as we were doing it there were trucks ploughing the roads and even the mailman arrived with the morning post. On finishing we went in for breakfast, after which we put a couple of bags of garbage in the car and drove to the town tip (which was open and operating). All the roads were passable, none had been salted and life carried on as normal.

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    growing up in Ireland in the seventies early eighties no salt or grit was ever used and until this day   we just learned to drive on the snow or ice back then we used Michelin town and country type tyres   block pattern  drive to suit conditions even with a trailer with livestock since then I have driven in the highlands of Scotland in bad conditions as the locals laughed about the m11 blocked with an inch of snow with wagons spinning out about ten or fifteen years back but the tyres available in north were not available further south  hgv wagons run summer pattern tyres    its all about tyre width ground pressure and tyre pattern  remember 2cv tyres like a bicycle go anywhere  narrow tyres keep going sportscar wide tyres spin out go nowhere      ground pressure is key    a friend in Scotland had a standard Freelander for about three years without incident  then bought the sports model went off road numerous times in the snow by spring time was sold   so many new vehicles have driver aids which shut down in the uk same vehicle on the continent will go anywhere as the engine management set up different 

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    My uncle moved to the depths of Canada. He asked his neighbour one morning what he was up to. The neighbour said by this time next week there is every chance of 7 feet of snow.

    My uncle took the hint and prepared for it. There was indeed 7 feet of snow by the following week but life carried on as normal. 

    All cars had chains, ploughs cleared the road. The electric company de-iced the overhead lines and the kids kept the drives clear for pocket money. 

    My uncle said that other then there being a serious amount of snow and it being very cold, nothing changed. 

    We fall apart with 3 inches. 

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