Winter tyres in London/Home counties

People who live/work/drive in the south east of England - do you use a winter tyre setup in the colder months?

I'm unsure it's worth it given snow and ice tends to be limited, however from what i have read about the benefits of winter tyres, it feels as though it could be beneficial for the particularly cold months...
 

NHN

Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat
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Never have, touch wood to date had no need.
 

OliNix

Registered User
It doesn’t have to be snow and Ice. I’m in the Home Counties and as soon as it’s consistently below 10deg I swap. You get so much more grip!


OliNix
B8.5 S4 Avant - Glacier White
 

45bvtc

The Older I Get The Better I Was
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It doesn’t have to be snow and Ice. I’m in the Home Counties and as soon as it’s consistently below 10deg I swap. You get so much more grip!


OliNix
B8.5 S4 Avant - Glacier White

Me too, and have done for years, and mega happy I invested in 'em:

P1000009.JPG

And yes, here in Staffordshire, we do get snow, sometimes:

SNOW_BLUEY 7473.jpg

 

RAF_S7

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
I’ve used winters for years, and mine are scheduled to go on 2nd week of November, and will usually stay on till late March/early April.

My local independent tire shop does the swap for me, and stores my summer/winter tires in their warehouse.

Ive always used Goodyear Ultragrips, and about to change to the Ultragrip Performance Plus (255/40/R19’s). :racer:
 

OliNix

Registered User
Never have, touch wood to date had no need.

Me neither.

Have either of you ever tried them? I always thought I didn’t need them.

If you have never experienced something better you don’t know you need it. Like a man with a cart horse. If you ask him what he wants he will say a faster or stronger horse. He won’t say a carrot a truck as he doesn’t know one exists, or that it is better!
 

jdp1962

Grumpy Old Man
Have either of you ever tried them? I always thought I didn’t need them.

If you have never experienced something better you don’t know you need it. Like a man with a cart horse. If you ask him what he wants he will say a faster or stronger horse. He won’t say a carrot a truck as he doesn’t know one exists, or that it is better!
I know what you mean; but when it's cold and/or wet, I just slow down and drive within the limits on my standard tyres. And when it snows, I walk. :)
 

45bvtc

The Older I Get The Better I Was
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@45bvtc Awesome pic.

What winter tyres do you have?

On the RS3 and TT I use Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme tyres and they are just brilliant:

Vredestein Audi winter tyre advert #13x.jpg

But on the SQ5 I've Dunlop SP Winter Sport - and as last year saw little or no snow I've yet to evaluate 'em:

Dunlop winter SQ5.JPG


Previous cars: Vauxhall Carlton GSI3000 with Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme: 8L S3 with Pirelli Sotto Zero: A1 (185bhp) with Toyo Snowprox: all brilliant - braking, steering and traction - cannot fault any - but for sure once I see my motoring needs in 7ºC ambient temperature coming then the winters go on - after all, it saves my summer rubber :thumbs up:

Hope for plenty of the white stuff this year
31.gif


 

45bvtc

The Older I Get The Better I Was
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@45bvtc Awesome pic.

What winter tyres do you have?

And this is the difference - Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme on the rears of my RS3:

Winter tyres RS3.JPG


Summer and winter are both 235/35 19 on 8J RS3 Rotors - you'll not need help seeing the difference... :racer:

SNOW_BLUEY 749.jpg


Only problem here was that we got to the pub easily (for lunch) over fresh snow covered (4") roads - both steep and narrow - but the chef didn't :shrug:




 
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RyanJonS4

Drive It Like You Stole It
I’ve got a set of Michelin pilot alpins that I’ve had on the past couple of winters. They are supposed to be the most performance orientated winters, I’ve found them to be excellent in the few days of snow a year we get on the Pennines, other than that I think that wet traction/cornering is absolutely awful at any temperature compared to my ps4s’s and they give so much road noise it makes long journeys a chore. Anything over 50% throttle away from the lights on a wet surface either kills all power or spins all 4 if traction’s off. I couldn’t wait to get them off this spring so I don’t think I’ll put them on again this winter. Maybe I’ll put them on when the snow falls for a few days and take them straight back off or maybe I need to stop being a Michelin fanboy and try something else.
 

Willenium

Registered User
I've never had them so can't comment yet but my friend fitted some Pirelli winter tyres to his BMW and said it made a huge difference.

As it happens, I picked up some wheels with Wintrac Xtreme's this evening so I will fit them this weekend and see if it wrecks the handling much :tongueout:
 

OliNix

Registered User
I've never had them so can't comment yet but my friend fitted some Pirelli winter tyres to his BMW and said it made a huge difference.

As it happens, I picked up some wheels with Wintrac Xtreme's this evening so I will fit them this weekend and see if it wrecks the handling much :tongueout:

I don’t know where you live, but it’s still a bit warm for winters.

When it is above 10degC they wear out like crazy and also don’t perform too well as they overheat.
 

Willenium

Registered User
I don’t know where you live, but it’s still a bit warm for winters.

When it is above 10degC they wear out like crazy and also don’t perform too well as they overheat.

Home Counties as it happens. Yeah the weather is definitely quite unsettled at the moment. One minute it's getting cold, the next we're approaching summer temps again.

I'm not overly fussed about wear rate as it was mainly just the alloys I wanted and I'll be changing tyre size when I replace. My MOT deadline is coming up and my original alloys need a tyre or two so I'll probably shove these on for that and then might take them off again temporarily if the weather is still quite warm and you don't feel like they'll be performing safely until it's cooled down a bit.
 

quattrogone

Quattro Back!
On a quattro I reckon some decent cross climates would cut it.
On a tweeked vrs I had I used full on snow rated dunlops just so it would grip better in the wet and yeah it was a major improvement, even better was when it did snow once and it drove on freshly fallen without any issues!
 

Willenium

Registered User
Yeah I've been thinking about some Cross Climates. What are they like to use all year round? I normally just run a sport tyre and get away with it on the rare occasions when the snow has fallen but I'm definitely curious as to how different a more winter biased tyre will perform.
 

45bvtc

The Older I Get The Better I Was
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A reasonable explanation of why I use winter rubber in winter - traction, braking and steering:


PS: this is not unusual for us and this when I have to get my copilot to hospital three-times each week for cancer treatments - whatever the weather:

A1 snow.JPG


And then:


Don't be fooled by thinking a quattro badge does all

PS: the A1 has since morphed into an SQ5 - with a winter rubber set, obviously :racer:
 
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Mackenzie49

Registered User
I live in the Highlands and was a tad sceptical about winter tyres, I always have a quattro and a Hilux so wasn't bothered to try them .
Then as my wife said she wanted an estate I pushed the boat out and got her an old fwd 80 avant (yes I know,I spoil her) which came with a full new set of Crossclimates.
Now we got caught out in a nasty sudden snowfall late March coupla yrears ago and all of us in the 80 avant. Main road closed so meant a long mad, bad detour via wee single track roads uphill , downhill etc.etc..thought we wouldn't make it (and cursing myself for not taking aforementioned quattro or pickup truck)...but to my amazement we did, and it was down to the tyres I'm sure.
 

quattrogone

Quattro Back!
Those videos are all well and good but what they don't show is that when you have a quattro it will punch holes through icebergs if you fit a set of full on winters :tearsofjoy::smiley:
 

Flowrider99

Registered User
If you live in a part of the country where it snows consistently for several months of the year or temps are consistently below 7degrees c then maybe winter wheels and tyres are worth the cost but in the south of the UK this is not the case so its more a preference than essential.

I've used all season tyres on my SUV's all year round which IMO is a better option than swapping winter and summer tyres.
 
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rum4mo

Registered User
I’ve got a set of Michelin pilot alpins that I’ve had on the past couple of winters. They are supposed to be the most performance orientated winters, I’ve found them to be excellent in the few days of snow a year we get on the Pennines, other than that I think that wet traction/cornering is absolutely awful at any temperature compared to my ps4s’s and they give so much road noise it makes long journeys a chore. Anything over 50% throttle away from the lights on a wet surface either kills all power or spins all 4 if traction’s off. I couldn’t wait to get them off this spring so I don’t think I’ll put them on again this winter. Maybe I’ll put them on when the snow falls for a few days and take them straight back off or maybe I need to stop being a Michelin fanboy and try something else.
What sort of tyre pressures and tyre size are you using in winter, I have 18" wheels and 245/40 X 18 97V XL PA4's and have never noticed any wet weather grip issues, summer tyres are 19" Pirelli P Zero Rosso.
 

RyanJonS4

Drive It Like You Stole It
What sort of tyre pressures and tyre size are you using in winter, I have 18" wheels and 245/40 X 18 97V XL PA4's and have never noticed any wet weather grip issues, summer tyres are 19" Pirelli P Zero Rosso.

I run them on my standard 19” Le Mans and run mid-low 30’s all round. Mine are ps3’s so older than yours. I’d imagine the Pa4 will be a decent upgrade from the 3 as is usually the case with Michelin. My ABS kicks in so much sooner than on PS4s’s it feels dangerous and don’t even get me started about pulling out of junctions with lock on and over 1/3 throttle!

I find that other than in snow and ice they are pretty pointless, and below 7 degrees the ps4s’s just need a bit of time to get some heat into them, once they’re warned a little bit the braking/traction comes back
 

Willenium

Registered User

rum4mo

Registered User
I run them on my standard 19” Le Mans and run mid-low 30’s all round. Mine are ps3’s so older than yours. I’d imagine the Pa4 will be a decent upgrade from the 3 as is usually the case with Michelin. My ABS kicks in so much sooner than on PS4s’s it feels dangerous and don’t even get me started about pulling out of junctions with lock on and over 1/3 throttle!

I find that other than in snow and ice they are pretty pointless, and below 7 degrees the ps4s’s just need a bit of time to get some heat into them, once they’re warned a little bit the braking/traction comes back

Ah, I bought a set of 18" for winter use and so am using slightly narrower tyres, ie 245, if I'm being honest, I have left these winter tyres/wheels on for the past 24 months due in part to us going for an early Spring break when a lot of rain tends to fall - and Covid sort of stemmed much "trips away" this Spring, Summer and Autumn. These Michelin Alpins, and I've run Alpins and Pilot Alpins previously seem to last for ever, though typically only used November to April, I have had lots of bad experience of Michelin Summer tyres, both Exalto and Primacy HP, it was first the Exaltos on my wife's VW Polo that forced me to get her a set of smaller steel wheels and Alpins, then a year later conditions seemed to be a bit nasty and Michelin Primicy HP's could not keep me in control descending my driveway in my VW Passat 4Motion, so I bought a set of very slightly used Alpins - no other option at that point in winter if I wanted Alpins! After that "I've never looked back". Sometimes it takes a very special type of winter weather to force you to change, since 1991 I've only had 4WD cars and never had any issues, prior to that 2WD cars and the same, no real issues driving in winter - but once you have experienced trickier conditions, common sense can force you to prepare for what might come your way!
The last time that I was buying new Michelin Exaltos for my wife's 2002 VW Polo, which was at Costco, the tyre fitter said, before I confirmed my order "I hope that you don't plan to use them in winter up here" - I confirmed that I had worked that out already, modern premium summer tyres, ie the ones fitted to new cars for sale in UK, have evolved into being not fit for use in winter conditions for most of UK mainland if you need to get out and about.
I'm not a "winter tyre preacher" I'm just someone that found out the hard way that for where I live and where and when I need to drive, swopping summer<>winter tyres/wheels is the best way.
 
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