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      01-20-2013, 06:42 AM   #1
kitster
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Winter tyre - UK misconceptions

Not exactly a scientific thread but this hotukdeals deal page shows exactly why the UK will never accept winter tyres:

http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/good...r-tyre-1446250

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Surely driving on snow is more about the tread depth than anything else. If less than around 3mm you will struggle for grip and traction on any tyre, I couldn't believe the difference when I had new front tyres on my FWD car last winter. Winter tyres in themselves can only have a marginal difference over similar tread depth normal tyres (unless of course you have semi slick type summer tyres on sporty cars). It may appear to make a difference if you are one of those that swap your tyres over each winter as you will likely be swapping worn summer tyres with low tread depths for barely used winter tyres with loads of tread.
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      01-20-2013, 07:57 AM   #2
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The one thing that people don't seem to realise is that winter tyres have a different compound of rubber (ok plastic, made from oil not from rubber trees) in them. This compound stays flexible as the temperature drops where as summer tyres become stiff and inflexible at temperatures below 7 degrees. Also winter tyres normally are made up of lots of little blocks of rubber, these together with the greater flexibility of the compound, grip the road surface by moulding themselves to its surface. Whereas the summer compound tyres become stiff blocks that can't grip anything.
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      01-20-2013, 08:16 AM   #3
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I'm sold on winter tyres. But not the cost (initial layout, storage and fitting) versus the benefit in the UK. More snow (i.e one month a year) and 3-5 months below 7c and I would probably do it.
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      01-20-2013, 08:26 AM   #4
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I felt the same. So I bought all season tyres. At the moment I drive a Honda Accord Tourer but am going to order a 330d Xdrive M Sport Tourer next month.
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      01-20-2013, 09:10 AM   #5
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Can you order an F30 with all season tyres on from new?

I have them on my Subaru Outback and they are great - yes, there is a compromise in the summer months (or is it weekend?!) but in the wet and cold (which seems to be most of th year in Lancashire recently) they are fab - plus no worries about getting stuck on a muddy verge when avoiding someone coming the other way
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      01-20-2013, 09:54 AM   #6
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I doubt it. I looked at all the tyre suppliers after getting my 320 and no-one could supply All-weather run flats for my 18" standard rims.

Maybe BMW could check with HQ to see if they can supply such tyres and get them fitted at the factory - it's always possible they do supply such tyres for certain markets.
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      01-20-2013, 11:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cilonen View Post
they do supply such tyres for certain markets.
I think it's an option in US, but I don't see happening in the UK. Prob cos the mkt for anything other than a summer tyre doesn't play on people's mind when it comes to buying.

We've be using winters for many years, most people call me mad at work but it's personal choice and for the sake of a few hundred quid and the safety of my family it's a no brainer.
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      01-20-2013, 01:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cilonen View Post
I doubt it. I looked at all the tyre suppliers after getting my 320 and no-one could supply All-weather run flats for my 18" standard rims.

Maybe BMW could check with HQ to see if they can supply such tyres and get them fitted at the factory - it's always possible they do supply such tyres for certain markets.
Even winter run-flats haven't been available for many years in the UK.

I tried to get winter RFTs back in the winter of 2006/7 for my E91. BMW said they didn't support winter RFTs in the UK, as we didn't need them. Bridgestone, with one of the OEM approved winter tyres didn't even import them to the UK. I would have had to import them myself from Europe.

So we have moved on with winter tyres. I suppose now that we have xDrive F30/31 models, All Season will become an available tyre.

Just a thought... do xDrive cars come with All Season as standard? If so, there should also be tyres available, certainly soon.

Perhaps we should ask our forum members with F30 xDrive what is fitted.

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      01-20-2013, 04:53 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
Even winter run-flats haven't been available for many years in the UK.

I tried to get winter RFTs back in the winter of 2006/7 for my E91. BMW said they didn't support winter RFTs in the UK, as we didn't need them. Bridgestone, with one of the OEM approved winter tyres didn't even import them to the UK. I would have had to import them myself from Europe.

So we have moved on with winter tyres. I suppose now that we have xDrive F30/31 models, All Season will become an available tyre.

Just a thought... do xDrive cars come with All Season as standard? If so, there should also be tyres available, certainly soon.

Perhaps we should ask our forum members with F30 xDrive what is fitted.

HighlandPete
No the xDrive I saw at the dealers had summer tyres on it (320i M Sport)
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      01-20-2013, 05:04 PM   #10
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Even X3s and X5s don't get all season as standard - though I have seen occasional AUC X5s advertised as having all weathers on
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      01-20-2013, 05:26 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by oop north View Post
Even X3s and X5s don't get all season as standard - though I have seen occasional AUC X5s advertised as having all weathers on
Didn't really expect the xDrive models to have all season tyres, like you say even the X models are normally on summer tyres.

I know my local dealer up in Inverness (covering the north west highlands), has been one of the key dealers pushing for xDrive 3-series in the UK, doing so for many years. Many of their customers have been wanting saloons or tourings instead of the X3, which incidentally many are on all season tyres as OEM fitment, and/or running winter tyres.

I imagine a lot of Calterdon's customers will be laughing at the idea of xDrive F30/31 having summer tyres, sort of defeats the real reason for xDrive, where customers want better all weather performance.

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      01-21-2013, 12:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitster
Not exactly a scientific thread but this hotukdeals deal page shows exactly why the UK will never accept winter tyres:

http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/good...r-tyre-1446250

Comments like this:
Quote:
Surely driving on snow is more about the tread depth than anything else. If less than around 3mm you will struggle for grip and traction on any tyre, I couldn't believe the difference when I had new front tyres on my FWD car last winter. Winter tyres in themselves can only have a marginal difference over similar tread depth normal tyres (unless of course you have semi slick type summer tyres on sporty cars). It may appear to make a difference if you are one of those that swap your tyres over each winter as you will likely be swapping worn summer tyres with low tread depths for barely used winter tyres with loads of tread.
Yeah. It's so sad that most people just don't understand the idea (or technology) behind winter tyres that makes them so much better than summer tyres.

Me personally, I fitted them last winter for the first time and would never look back.

The last few days I've actually enjoyed driving around in the snow rather than dreading it.
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      01-21-2013, 03:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
Didn't really expect the xDrive models to have all season tyres, like you say even the X models are normally on summer tyres.

I know my local dealer up in Inverness (covering the north west highlands), has been one of the key dealers pushing for xDrive 3-series in the UK, doing so for many years. Many of their customers have been wanting saloons or tourings instead of the X3, which incidentally many are on all season tyres as OEM fitment, and/or running winter tyres.

I imagine a lot of Calterdon's customers will be laughing at the idea of xDrive F30/31 having summer tyres, sort of defeats the real reason for xDrive, where customers want better all weather performance.

HighlandPete
Based on my experience I would quite like to have all seasons on as oem
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      01-21-2013, 06:47 PM   #14
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You watch the news in the evenings and see snowy scenes of cars in ditches, cars abandoned at the side of the road, cars with wheels spinning being pushed by passers-by, cars sliding down gentle slopes... and you think to yourself, in a lot of cases this wouldn't be happening if the owners had bothered to educate themselves and fit the proper tyres.

Sadly the other 97% of UK motorists sit and watch the same scenes unfolding on their telly and don't even make the connection. They probably think "Maybe I'll buy a 4x4 next time cos that'll solve everything" or more likely just "nuthin you can do, pass the crisps!"

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      01-22-2013, 03:23 AM   #15
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And there's much talk of winter tyres here and elsewhere but as 90% of the cars out there are FWD just decent regular tyres are usually more than adequate so long as you have an ounce of common sense. Since the weekend I've used my wife's Touran and I've not had any trouble.
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      01-22-2013, 04:53 AM   #16
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In these conditions I'd rather drive a RWD car with winter tyres than a FWD car with summer tyres. On Saturday I saw an old VW Polo (presumably with old cheap summer tyres) get stuck in snow on a slight hill whereas RWD cars with winters had no issues.

I had winter RFTs on my E90 for 3 winters and now have winters on my F30. Wouldn't be without them.
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      01-22-2013, 09:27 AM   #17
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How do you tell if a tyre is a summer tyre or an all season tyre is there some code on the tyre wall to look for?

I am assuming that the majority of tyres sold in the uk at present would be summer tyres?
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      01-22-2013, 11:10 AM   #18
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My all season tyres have "M&S" on the sidewall. That stands for "MUD AND SNOW" not 'Marks & Spencers'
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      01-23-2013, 03:58 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rich100 View Post
How do you tell if a tyre is a summer tyre or an all season tyre is there some code on the tyre wall to look for?

I am assuming that the majority of tyres sold in the uk at present would be summer tyres?
I think they have a snowflake on if suitable for snow use? I'm not 100% sure though.

I would think most tyres sold are all-season tyres, including as provided by car manufacturers with new cars; unless they're sporty(ish) cars?
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      01-23-2013, 04:12 AM   #20
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I would think that in our country most tyres fitted by manufacturers would be 'summer tyres' as we have more warm wet days, than cold snowy days. You can of course use a summer tyre in the winter, it will just not perform at its best in those conditions. Most people would not want the compromises that an 'all season' tyre gives. As it is neither a summer tyre nor a winter tyre, it is somewhere in-between. It performs better in warm weather than a winter tyre but not as good as a summer tyre and it performs better in cold weather than a summer tyre but not as good as a winter tyre. It is a compromise. The benefits are that you only need one set of tyres for all seasons, you just need to replace them more often.
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      01-23-2013, 04:42 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Captain Cow Pat View Post
I would think that in our country most tyres fitted by manufacturers would be 'summer tyres' as we have more warm wet days, than cold snowy days. You can of course use a summer tyre in the winter, it will just not perform at its best in those conditions. Most people would not want the compromises that an 'all season' tyre gives. As it is neither a summer tyre nor a winter tyre, it is somewhere in-between. It performs better in warm weather than a winter tyre but not as good as a summer tyre and it performs better in cold weather than a summer tyre but not as good as a winter tyre. It is a compromise. The benefits are that you only need one set of tyres for all seasons, you just need to replace them more often.
We as enthusiasts know this; but I would think the majority of people buying an average car that is just to get from A to B for the majority of people - e.g. not a "sport" model or a BMW etc. - couldn't care less about the handling etc. being compromised a bit in summer by using an all-season tyre. Most people won't think twice about their tyres, they certainly won't change them over to Winters, and neither they nor their car will be capable of or particularly interested in noting the handling compromise of all-season vs summer. Obviously we're not talking about a BMW here, but of the many cars sold - e.g. smaller cars - I doubt they'll be fitted with performance Summer tyres?! All-season would be the safest option as the manufacturers know in 9 times out of 10 the owners won't pay any attention to the tyres, and they'll be running those same tyres all winter? I could be wrong, but I would be surprised if your average car came fitted with performance Summer tyres...
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      01-23-2013, 06:15 AM   #22
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My understanding is that the overwhelming majority of cars have summer tyres - all season tyres and winter tyres are very specific descriptions that do not apply to most. My Subaru Outback has all season tyres, a friends Subaru Legacy does not (and they had a lot more slithering than i do in mine). Some Land Rovers have them, some don't. I will accept though that (some?) sports tyres have a particularly useless tread for winter conditions, with almost no lateral cuts/grooves at all. From my memory of looking at tyres over the years (not a major hobby, I hasten to add!), there has been a general trend to reduce the number of lateral grooves, possibly to improve (reduce) rolling resistance in the chase for economy

I'd expect the majority of BMW buyers to be ignorant also of the benefits of winter (or even all season) tyres - but what they do know is that big alloys and sporty tyres look really great, and that is what they are buying, hence the even worse performance in the snow (even in 4wd versions). I don't remember having as much trouble in the snow in any car before the 2001 530d Sport I was using 3 years ago and managed to get around in snow in various Astras and an E30 320i

True all season original fit for the majority isn't likely to happen as the compromise in the summer months is quite noticeable (I happen not to mind that much) - it would need chunky (perhaps not the best word?) tyre treads to become more fashionable, I suspect
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