Ford Galaxy - Winter Tyres - Nezza
Sorry if this has been covered many times before, did search but came up with nothing. I have been looking at winter tyres but am getting mixed views with my research. So here is what I am hearing from journalists and other "users"

Winter tyres perform better than summer tyres below 7 degrees. Generic statement.
Winter tyres perform better on snow.
Summer tyres out perform winter tyres in the dry for stopping distances at any temperature.
Winter tyres out perform summer tyres in wet cornering situations.
Some reviews say winter tyres are better at wet stopping distances, others say they are worse than summer tyres.

So bearing in mind the lack of snow in the U.K. and the amount of rain we have, I really do wonder if having winter tyres is safer or not. Add in the cost of a second set of wheels and hassle of storage and changing over not to mention the increased wear, are they of any real benefit? Does anyone have any real life experience or thoughts based on facts?

I do live in Yorkshire on a steep hill but now have an awd vehicle. Been stuck twice in last couple of year, once in mud, once in snow but both times only had fwd and summer tyres. (Being able to stop is more of a concern to me than getting stuck)

Any advice is appreciated. If I decide to take the plunge I will be looking the next few weeks before the prices go up.
Ford Galaxy - Winter Tyres - NARU

This can be terribly specific to your personal needs. And especially how critical it is that you travel when the weather is bad.

My wife's school was down a road which wasn't gritted, and rapidly became highly polished. As I worked away from home a lot (so wasn't around), it was easier for me to fit winter tyres.

My 4x4 had all season tyres on. They were so-so in the summer months. But were excellent on snow and ice. Helped by excellent electronics on the 4x4, I managed to get through a road which was officially impassable to take a friends daughter to the doctor. Suspected meningitis. The only alternative was 3 miles on a sledge - ambulances weren't getting through.

We still have the winter tyres for my wife's car, but now she's not working, the only reason I fitted them last winter was to wear them out. I wouldn't replace them. But if the weather's bad she'll just stay at home.

Maybe in your case, look at the new breed of all season tyres - Michelin Cross Climate?

Ford Galaxy - Winter Tyres - RobJP

Living on the side of a mountain in rural North Wales (so probably not too far from the OP's position), and driving a reaer-wheel-drive BMW 3 series estate, I can say that winter tyres make a huge difference in icy and/or snowy conditions.

Probably no real difference to summers in day-to-day driving.

My winters are Pirelli Sottozeros on 18" wheels, summers are PZero on 19" wheels.

Ford Galaxy - Winter Tyres - JEREMYH

I run a small courier company I used to have 2 spare sets for Berlingo vans but to be honest I had them on in 2010 winter but here in Devon it is highly unlikly that you get cold weather so I wonder if it is worth having them in this country

Ford Galaxy - Winter Tyres - corax

This can be terribly specific to your personal needs. And especially how critical it is that you travel when the weather is bad.

I think that's the cusp of it. How important is dry cornering grip and braking to you? If you are a 'normal' driver rather than press on then maybe something like the Michelin cross climates would be a good compromise and treat them as your standard replacement tyre.

Can you afford to leave the vehicle if stuck and wait for better conditions? Keep the standard tyres if so.

If you rely on the vehicle 24/7, the roads are a bit hairy in your area and you tend to leave early then bite the bullet and get a good set of full winters. They will last well if only used for the season so the initial investment will soften over time.

All this is assuming that we get a bad winter. These days we're lucky if we see a smattering of snow, mores the pity. But saying that, there will always be days when the roads are frosty.

That's the trouble with this country - the weather is too unpredictable to make a definite decision.

That leads me to a question for anyone. Do winter tyres allow more control on black ice than summer tyres given tthat they are more malleable in colder temperatures?

Ford Galaxy - Winter Tyres - RT
If you rely on the vehicle 24/7, the roads are a bit hairy in your area and you tend to leave early then bite the bullet and get a good set of full winters. They will last well if only used for the season so the initial investment will soften over time.


That leads me to a question for anyone. Do winter tyres allow more control on black ice than summer tyres given tthat they are more malleable in colder temperatures?

Over the long term, the "only" costs in using winter tyres is the cost of the rims and any switching/storage costs - your summer tyres will last longer in terms of time if they aren't used in winter.

Winter tyres should perform better on ice, black or otherwise, due to the extra sipes and "softer" compound - BUT - that's simply relative, they aren't invincible!

Ford Galaxy - Winter Tyres - RichardW

Michelin Cross Climate. Fit them and forget about it. Still to see any drawbacks on ours.

Ford Galaxy - Winter Tyres - FiestaOwner

I run a 1.25 fiesta. It's factory fitted Goodyear Efficientgrip 195/50 R15's are horrific in a little snow. No issues in the wet or when dry.

Got a set of Continental WinterContact TS800 175/65 R14's on steel wheels from MyTyres in 2012 for £350 delivered. Swap the wheels over myself at the start and end of winter.

The difference between the 2 sets is amazing, as long as you drive sensibly. The time the winter tyres don't help is on sheet ice (ie if water has been running across the road, then frozen).

You said you have an AWD car. For stopping distances, an AWD won't be better than a 2wd car, the type of tyre will make a difference.

I don't have any issue with handling or stopping distances on my winter tyres. If you don't drive on the limits of your existing tyres, you're unlikely to have any issues.

Don't regret getting a set of winter tyres, but with my next car I would probably just leave one set of tyres and wheels on all year round. I would however fit it with All Seasons Tyres (Such as GoodYear Vector 4 Seasons or Michelin Cross Climate).

Any extra cost is negligible as when your using the winter tyres, you're not wearing out your summer tyres.

If buying an extra set of wheels, check if you have TPMS valves fitted to your existing wheels. Companies such as MyTyres can supply tyres fitted on wheels complete with TPMS valves.

Ford Galaxy - Winter Tyres - RT

Snow tyres are a subset of Winter tyres, specialised for snowy conditions we don't get in most of the UK - Winter tyres themselves are designed for cold (<7 C), wet conditions that we do get a lot of in all parts of the UK.

Older designs of All-Seasons are a compromise, not as good as a Summer tyre in summer but better than one in winter - and vice-versa with Winter tyres.

Modern All-Weather tyres like Michelin Cross-Climate and Nokian Weatherproof have a much wider range of capability than the old All-Seasons so may be worth seeing if your size is available.

Ignore the M+S marking on some tyres, it's meaningless as it has no standard performance test - M+S doesn't qualify as a winter tyre on it's own - the Alpine symbol, known as "three peak mountain snowflake" or "3PMS" is the only valid indicator of a Winter tyre, most of those do also have M+S but that's for the American market.

Ford Galaxy - Winter Tyres - FiestaOwner

Snow tyres are a subset of Winter tyres,

I never mentioned Snow Tyres. I know they are not the same as winter tyres.

Older designs of All-Seasons are a compromise, not as good as a Summer tyre in summer but better than one in winter - and vice-versa with Winter tyres.

Modern All-Weather tyres like Michelin Cross-Climate and Nokian Weatherproof have a much wider range of capability than the old All-Seasons so may be worth seeing if your size is available.

Ignore the M+S marking on some tyres, it's meaningless as it has no standard performance test - M+S doesn't qualify as a winter tyre on it's own - the Alpine symbol, known as "three peak mountain snowflake" or "3PMS" is the only valid indicator of a Winter tyre, most of those do also have M+S but that's for the American market.

Always thought All Seasons and All Weather tyres were the same thing, so thanks for the definition.

Good advice to look for the "three peak mountain snowflake" or "3PMS".

Ford Galaxy - Winter Tyres - RT

Snow tyres are a subset of Winter tyres,

I never mentioned Snow Tyres. I know they are not the same as winter tyres.

Older designs of All-Seasons are a compromise, not as good as a Summer tyre in summer but better than one in winter - and vice-versa with Winter tyres.

Modern All-Weather tyres like Michelin Cross-Climate and Nokian Weatherproof have a much wider range of capability than the old All-Seasons so may be worth seeing if your size is available.

Ignore the M+S marking on some tyres, it's meaningless as it has no standard performance test - M+S doesn't qualify as a winter tyre on it's own - the Alpine symbol, known as "three peak mountain snowflake" or "3PMS" is the only valid indicator of a Winter tyre, most of those do also have M+S but that's for the American market.

Always thought All Seasons and All Weather tyres were the same thing, so thanks for the definition.

Good advice to look for the "three peak mountain snowflake" or "3PMS".

My comment on Snow tyres was for the OP - too often Brits dismiss Winter tyres because we don't get much snow, ignoring the fact they're better in winter even without snow.

All-Season and All-Weather aren't defined standards, in effect they're just marketing jargon.

Ford Galaxy - Winter Tyres - Nomag

On our previous s max when we moved to our rural location I bought a set of 16" steel wheels and used Vredestein all season tyres to great effect. Sold the car 2 years ago but still have the wheels and part worn tyres in the garage if anyone is interested (would fit a Galaxy or minded also I believe)

Ford Galaxy - Winter Tyres - Nezza
Thank you for all the feedback.

They will be to go on the wife's car she uses to get the kids to school which is a few mile away again at the top of a hill. I will leave mine on summer tyres as I can walk or cycle if the weather was too bad.

I think I will go for the winter tyres rather than all season as I know summer tyres do perform better during the warmer months (on a weekend I drive and don't dawdle). I am fortunate to have a garage for storage and am quite able to change them over myself so no additional cost after the first purchase.

Seen a good set of oem like new alloy wheels with Good Year Ultra Grip for sale which seem to get good ratings. Very good price too, less than cost of tyres alone and they look very little worn.
Will try these but worse case can swap the tyres later.

Thanks again for your help.
Ford Galaxy - Winter Tyres - NARU
Seen a good set of oem like new alloy wheels with Good Year Ultra Grip for sale which seem to get good ratings.

That's what's on the wife's car. Good tyres.

Ford Galaxy - Winter Tyres - Smileyman

I've been running winter tyres since the winter of 2010 (when I went to the French Alps for Christmas), I bought a second set of wheels from a breakers yard (on ebay) and then switched the whole wheel/tyre as one unit back & forth spring & autumn. With the new CrossClimate tyre it will be easier as I will not longer need to do this.

The benefit of winter tyres is supposed to "kick in" when temperatures are below 7C. In reality for a commuter who leaves home at 07.30 and arrives home at 19.30 most (but not all) winter journeys will be early morning / after sunset when the temprerature is generally below 7C. This is another reason why the CrossClimate is a good choice for the UK as the tyre will never be outside it's optimum temperature range.

To compare summer & winter tyres withbroad brush stroke comments is difficult, there are as many variation within each subset of tyre and no two tyres have the same characteristics. For more information on tyres visit this site ... http://www.tyrereviews.co.uk/

Of course if you are worried about getting stuck on just a few odd occasions there is also the option of using a snow sock, I've never tried so cannot comment but as an emergency "get out of gaol" they may well fit your needs very well and be much cheaper / less fuss too!

Ford Galaxy - Winter Tyres - Engineer Andy

I would also thoroughly recommend the Tyre Reviews website, especially as we can read reviews from actual car owners matching the exact tyre (make, type and size), driving style and mileage with our own and car. Its very noticable that some tyres work well on one acr and not on another, even if both seem to be quite similar in spec on the surface. It has a good search function where you can search by tyre size, make or tyre or car, which can quickly narrow down the number of reviews, which are also tabulated in ranked order, though the winter tyres always get better 'results' (because they are only used in winter and mainly from continental European drivers who drive in snow more than we do) than 'summer' or 'all season' ones.

Worth looking at these reviews and the magazine ones they list. They, like HJ, also have a YouTube precence with useful videos and reviews themselves, including winter and all-season (cross climates in particular) tyres.

Ford Galaxy - Winter Tyres - pinkpanther_75

Another thumbs up for the Cross Climates from me. Based on advice from HJ I fitted a set of these to my 4x4 Yeti around 18 months ago and they've proved equally adept in snow and warmer conditions.

I'd previously run 16" rims / winter tyres and changed them over Nov - Mar. The winter tyres were noticeably less precise in wamer weather, as expected.

Ford Galaxy - Winter Tyres - The Gingerous One

HI,

I had a spare set of winter wheels and tyres (Nokian WR3's) for my Jag XF for use in the winter. As it's a RWD car, I felt I needed these as I'm not a very good driver and with RWD cars I have a poor track record (prior to the Jag owned 1 RWD car and crashed it after 4 months due to not understanding the differences in handling between FWD and RWD!).

I found they made a huge difference, I could happily go up reasonably steep inclines covered in fresh show in them, they would still bring the car up well when stopping on fresh hail etc. etc.

The won't overcome the laws of physics, so if you stamp on the brakes hard @ 40mph in snow you will still slide a bit, but they were a lot better than summer tyres.

I no longer have the car so I will be putting the wheels and tyres on the market soon, but I won't be buying a replacement set because :

i) I now own a Rover 600 and it is FWD and also doesn't have much power

ii) moved house in the meantime so walk the kids to school,

iii) my office is moving to a city centre location so I won't be driving to work. And if it snows the trains won't be running so I'll stay at home.

So it depends on the circumstances and the car.

Ford Galaxy - Winter Tyres - SteveLee

I don't see the point of winter tyres in the UK, the the last ten years I've been fitting mud and snow all-season tyres to my household's cars, they're fine in the summer and cope in the winer - job done.

Ford Galaxy - Winter Tyres - RT

I don't see the point of winter tyres in the UK, the the last ten years I've been fitting mud and snow all-season tyres to my household's cars, they're fine in the summer and cope in the winer - job done.

The UK winter climate varies significantly from the low altitude south-east to the higher altitude places further north.

Buying M+S All-Season can be hit-and-miss - only the good ones are better.

 

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