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Thread: Winter Tyres

  1. #1
    Punto know it all
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    Winter Tyres

    Talk abounds that we could be in for a really bad winter this year with snow being a real issue (the states are having it real bad on the east coast right now and I cant believe the temps of -50 degrees).

    I have been thinking how smug I'd feel with a set of winter boots on driving past other 2 wheel drivers slipping to a stand and making 4w drivers wonder how on earth I managed to go where theyve just gone from their high armchairs

    Anyone here used them either on other cars or their Punto?

    I am fairly convinced that they do exactly what they say on the tin but is it worth it?

    Are you getting kitted out with a set? What makes do people go for or should I look to a set of second handers considering the little use they will get? (maybe only this winter)

    Cant really be bothered fitting snow chains or snow socks but if youve experience with chains then do tell.

    There is one other good thing to come from the initial outlay on winter tyres is that whilst they are being used your summer tyres are not and are therefore getting a breather extending the life of them before they need replacing.
    Last edited by clarkster; 6th January 2014 at 14:37.

  2. #2
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    I don't drive enough to warrant them, my dad does though on his E-Class.

    They work, hugely. Snow, wet, below 7 degrees, they really work. 4x4 on summers wouldn't even do 10% of what winter tyres can.

    Remember they become useless around 4mm.

  3. #3
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    At 800 a set, plus another set of wheels, plus storing them the rest of the year I'm not going for some this winter, plus we're halfway through the season and it has been mostly mild TBF.

    I really would have some steel wheels and have them in white like a 106 Rallye but I don't think you can get steels to clear my brakes or wide enough...

    I think they may be a waste on a punto as with most cars if your anticipating bad snow, if you'd said for general use and wet weather then ok but when the snow falls a difference in tread pattern isn't going to get you out a snow drift etc.

  4. #4
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    cheers Cal. think im gonna look at it longer term. get a cheapo set of 14s and have em fitted up. keep the wheel size down to keep the tyre cost down. i'd go 13s but doubt there is the clearance on a GT.

    allows me to have the Coupe 20vT 16's refurbished again over winter. the fronts have some bubbling paint now (after nearly 4 years since last being powder coated) plus a few scuffs and knocks so its ideal while they are out of use.

  5. #5
    Punto know it all KAS's Avatar
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    I've only used proper winter tyres once but it didn't even snow that winter so can't really say if they worked or not

    Winter tryes have loads of tiny cuts and grooves and the snow/ice isnt able to clog them and turn the tyre into a slick like what happens with normal tyres. They don't last on dry roads tho.

    On my Yaris i stick with rain tyres from the the end of summer. I tend to burn thru the fronts pretty quickly so change em for all weather tyres after winter is done (rain is never far away in Manc ).

    My Yaris and the bosses Rangey were the only cars to make it to the office a few years back when we had like over a foot of snow. That was on 14s and rain tyres. Pure fun! I accidentally drove across the Pennines on the A623 early last year, sat behind a beasty orange Land Rover Defender with huge tyres. It was mostly at 25mph but still a pure buzz smashing thru snow drifts!

    Have a look at this, it got a lot worse after i took this photo, completely lost sight of the road and the Range, never been in a white out like that in England :



    Coming back from Nottigham that night, and the matrix signs said the road was closed, so had to take the m-way, booo

    If your keeping the 16s then winter tyres are definitely worth a try. Personally, i would only put winter tyres on the front. But if you can, i'd put 14s on the front. They'll handle any snow!

    Chains are on another level, you can pretty much drive anywhere - we went climbing some hills looking for good slopes to board down! Only problem with them is when you hit a road with no snow, you have to keep your speed right down or whip them off. They're a pain to fit, but if you're snowed in they'll get you out!

    Not tried socks, but their main job is to prevent the clogging of the gooves on the tyres. I read about a 3 series beemer driver, using socks on the front and chains on the rear and keeping up with Range's in deep snow!

    Small wheels in snow FTW
    Last edited by KAS; 6th January 2014 at 16:11.

  6. #6
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    great stories KAS. id be well chuffed getting through that weather in a front driver looks real bad.

    ive watched some vids and it seems it could be dangerous to only fit winter tyres on one axle as under braking the back end could spin out as it doesnt have the same grip level. im not sure to be honest because in the vids they were ragging the cars to see how they would handle corners and then braking but in truth you shouldnt be going that fast in the conditions they were filming in and so it might be an unecessary expense.


    i do think that a set on the driving wheels is all thats needed really for just making sure you dont get stuck and have plenty of traction to get out of most situations not so that I can hoon around corners faster. less important in sticky situations if the backs are normal tyres as they dont have any drive anyway......

    i think i might go for 14 steelies have em swapped at the same time as having the garage whip the tyres off the coupe wheels so i can bang them into the powder coaters. might save a few quid.

    i reckon for 100 i ought to get 2 decent winter boots shouldnt i? heard michelins are the ones......

    on what Dan was saying yeah its been ok so far mainly rain and wind but i reckon our winters have been coming much later in the calendar year than 10 or 20 years ago. ive been on holiday in the UK in gorgeous t-short weather during late Sept and October in recent years ! i reckon feb and mar might be bad but i know its a real gamble. get the tyres and th bad weather, happy days, or pay out and not see one flake : (

    last time i remember some bad snow and ice was i think xmas 2009 or 2010. working in shirebrook, notts for about a month but during the heavy snowfalls it was an adventure.
    there is one notable stiff climb away from the village and on my normal tyres i only just feathered her up having got as much momentum as i could safely gain on the flat. had i not managed it then i might have been stuck in notts. for the night. certainly no chance if we had worked till 5pm wed have been slipping and sliding and going nowhere.
    one day it was snowing down so bad the gaffer locked up lunchtime and sent all the tradesmen home as many lived some distances away and the report on the radio of mayhem on the roads were coming in thick and fast. took me 3.5 hrs to get back to bham in the GT that day. short cuts around short cuts......wish id had winter tyres that day.

    the only downside is that winter tyres or not-doesnt stop the other idiots on the road thinkign they can drive at normal speeds on normal tyres from t-boning you.also could get stuck in a jam because 99% of the other drivers are on standard tyres and going nowhere.
    Last edited by clarkster; 6th January 2014 at 16:47.

  7. #7
    Punto know it all KAS's Avatar
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    My journey to Notts had a lot more stories than that - passing crashed cars, getting stuck and getting free, power-sliding to keep momentum to get up a hill! It was awesome but massively nerve-racking! Still made it in time for my sis's engagement party

    3.5 hours sounds like a mission dude!

    I agree with what you saw about handling issues if grip on the front is far greater than that on the rear. Some tyre shops won't let you put new tyres on the front, if you got low/old tyres on the back for the same reason.

    That's the thing tho, a lot of people don't adjust their driving speeds for the road conditions - they may think "i got snow tyres so i'll do the speed limit" and then find themselves in a ditch! But at 20mph it aint really gonna be a problem! Plus you'll save 50% of the cost.

    Like you say I would use winter tyres to help prevent getting stuck rather than trying to get somewhere fast. So only using them on the front would be fine by me. Plus i love to twerk the handbrake at every opportunity like a hooligan so the less grip at the back the better!

    These are 50 each, there are cheaper, but these are the cheapest "big brand" - check out the cuts and grooves on em: http://www.mytyres.co.uk/cgi-bin/rsh...ahrzeugart=PKW


    Yep, winters really do seem to be getting later and later. El Nino is a bitch!

  8. #8
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    cheers for link Kas. will check it later......

  9. #9
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    Remember it's not just snow. They are significantly better below 7 degrees.

  10. #10
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    i run winter tyres on my van and have done for the past 3 years, this year i have put a set of 4 on my missus corsa too, they very very good, putting them on just the front isn't a good idea and is illegal in some European countrys. you really have to drive a car with them on in a situation to realise how good they are,

    last year i had a renault kangoo 4x4 van with a set on and it was unstoppable in the snow, me and my mate went out in it and got caught in a snow drift but the van kept going in even 2 foot deep snow and carried on up and down some very steep hills where no other vehicles had been, got a bit scary at the time as we were lost and the weather was getting worse and worse, driving through 2 foot deep snow, where we went in it no other vehicle could have got to without winter tyres and 4wd,

    the van was 40mm lifted as standard look how deep it was




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