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      11-20-2012, 05:54 AM   #7
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Drives: BMW F11 535i Touring
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Scotland, Highland Region

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Originally Posted by Rb79 View Post
I know it is an individual opinion, but has anyone any experience of being caught out on winter tyres because it is 'too mild'? I live in the (slightly) warmer south so perhaps xdrive on all seasons is the way forward?
With our variable temperatures, even up here we have temperature swings during the winter months, which take us over 10C.

I run a winter set and have used them up to 14C without any issues whatsoever. Of course they feel slightly different as the temperature warms up, they are a tool designed for lower temperatures, you just drive accordingly, and by that I don't mean you have to nanny them around.

You have to weigh up the reasons you fit them, and it isn't just for the days we have snow. Cold nights, ice pockets, black ice which is the worst for catching folks out. Winter tyres give you the maximum safety in those conditions, better chance to brake and control your car.

I've been saved from the ditch, when the car in front went out of control on black ice. I had to brake on black ice in the bend, worst conditions possible... but the tyres gripped and hauled be down with a very small amount of twitch to the car. Same morning another car wasn't so lucky, went off the road into the trees. My winter tyres paid for themselves in that one event, let alone the other times when I know I was running much safer than many cars around me.

BTW, a RWD car with winter tyres is a safer car to drive in snow/ice conditions than AWD on All-season. That is well documented in tests. It isn't just the traction grip we want, but car control and braking.

We run an X3 xDrive, (summer tyres) and a VW 4-motion (All season), and a VW Transporter FWD on winter tyres. My RWD BMW and the Transporter are the better vehicles for traction and definitely for stopping.

I'll add just don't expect to drive a car the same way (in all conditions) as you would a car on summer tyres in warm dry conditions. If we try and compare to that, then we might get a distorted opinion on what winter tyres are really all about.

xDrive in itself is no real solution for the worst of weather, we still get AWD vehicles in the ditches up here, as there is the feeling because you can get going all is OK, forgetting we have to stop as well. Only tyres assist us in that function.