Winter Tyres? - drbe
Is it worth buying a spare set of steel wheels and winter tyres to slap on when the weather gets a bit icy or snowy?

What would I have to pay? My tyre size is 225/55 R16 93W.
Winter Tyres? - b308
Assuming you live in the UK, I'd say that unless you live out in the wilds it would be a total waste of money.

Just slow down, give yourself more time for your journey, and if its really that bad then don't go out in the car!

Edited by b308 on 17/12/2009 at 19:09

Winter Tyres? - bathtub tom
In my experience it's not the snow that stops you, it's the idiots who haven't a clue how to handle the snow that block the roads and stop you.
Winter Tyres? - Alby Back
Yup - dead right BT. Although they will almost certainly become compulsory in due course. In a country where an auditorium is, and I quote, "evacuated" because some people decided to have a cigarette, a country where Tescos have had to withdraw a Christmas card because it makes a joke about ginger hair and a country where speed humps proliferate where a simple sign would be adequate some MP or civil servant will without doubt try to hang their hat on the winter tyre debate.
Winter Tyres? - stunorthants26
Ive only got 3mm left on my fronts now, so Im sure wishing I had a set :-)
Winter Tyres? - boxsterboy
If you think that you will be saving wear on your normal tyres when you are using the winter tyre, all it will cost you is the price of some second hand rims off ebay.

We run a set of Michelin Alpins that size, and IIRC they were just over £110 each. We got them because we go to the Apls every year, and they have proved their weight in gold (no faffing about with chains) and give excellent grip.

It helps if you have a garage to store them in but for just UK use I don't think I would bother (unless I lived up in Scotland). Although they got us out of trouble with the heavy snow in February - but then how common is that? They are also quieter because of the softer compound.
Winter Tyres? - gordonbennet
There's an alternative now, Vredestein in particular make all season tyres with a difference the Quatrac 3, half the tread is summer compound, half is winter.
Not sure if anyone else makes a specific dual purpose tyre.

Depending on your point of view could be best of both worlds or not much use in either.

Running a set of the previous model Quatrac 2 on my daughters car, superb grip and lasting well considering the thrashing she gives them.

The Quat3 is available in higher speed ratings and lower profile's, if they'd been available earlier, i would have gone for all season meself instead of running 2 sets.

If people on summer slicks get stuck just go past them or take to country roads.

Agree about the quietness of winters, softer ride too.
Winter Tyres? - loskie
I ran Vredestein Quatrac 3 on my old Octavia TDi. I'm up and down a lot of muddy farm roads. Excellent for muddy, wet winter conditions as well as in the snow and ice. Went through the 9mile Dalbeattie rally stage in sub zero temps after about 80 rally cars. loose gravel on packed ice. Proved themselves very well. About £58 for my Octavia 195/65 r15.
Plan to get some fitted to my V50 very soon.
Winter Tyres? - gordonbennet
Thanks for that Loskie, running Vred winters on the pick up i guessed they'd be up to the usual high standard in cold weather...are they a good summer tyre too?

Another thought occurred to me for the OP....regarding whether it's worth the cost of a spare set.
I really depends on how long you plan to keep the car, a set of winters will last me about 5 or 6 years, whilst you are driving on those the summer tyres arn't being used.
Winter Tyres? - tyro
b308: I'd say that unless you live out in the wilds it would be a total waste of money.

boxsterboy: I don't think I would bother (unless I lived up in Scotland)

I'd agree. I live in out in the wilds of Scotland and fit them every year - but if I didn't live here, I wouldn't bother.

>>gb: a set of winters will last me about 5 or 6 years, whilst you are driving on those the summer tyres arn't being used.

Good point. A couple of my summer tyres which will be going back on the car in April were purchased in Feb 2005, so they'll be over 5 years old at the time.

And yes, winter tyres are quiet. I had mine fitted a week or two back, and immediately noticed how nice and quiet they were. So nice and quiet that I could be tempted to run them all summer . . . .

Winter Tyres? - FotheringtonThomas
Is it worth buying a spare set of steel wheels and winter tyres to slap
on when the weather gets a bit icy or snowy?


I nipped into National in the week, and was surprised to hear someone asking about winter tyres. It turned out that he was a Pole enquiring about fitting them to a car he was "taking home".

What would I have to pay? My tyre size is 225/55 R16 93W.

Telephone a couple of fitters and ask, that'll give you the general idea. They are very unlikely to be "in stock", and it may take a couple of days to get 'em - however, I really wouldn't bother.
Winter Tyres? - Armstrong Sid
I think most of the replies to this thread could be combined with the replies to the one about "4WD for country lanes".

Totally unecessary for 99.999% of the population.
Winter Tyres? - loskie
Quatrac 3 bear the M&S and mountain symbol so are legal where winter tyres are required but they are sold as an all season tyre a compromise if you like. I found no problems using them all year. Maybe the wear rate was a little higher that's all.
Winter Tyres? - Ben 10
Out of interest, do winter tyres operate on higher or lower pressures than the normal summer tyres rated in your cars bumph?
Winter Tyres? - boxsterboy
Same pressure as standard tyres.
Winter Tyres? - Mapmaker
What do winter tyres make of water?
Winter Tyres? - gordonbennet
What do winter tyres make of water?

Superb wet grip...i can't emphasise just how transformed the pick up is once the Vred Wintracs go on (remember RWD unless on loose surface, locked centre diff when 4WD selected).
It can be driven like any normal vehicle once those tyres go, especially in the wet the grip is amazing, standing water is of little consequence too despite 265 section tyres they will clear all, pick ups normally are skittish in the wet and good tyre specs are vital.

Cost me a replacement set of summers, swmbo didn't want another warm season on the present disappointing Yokohama's so they're being replaced this week, despite having 6mm left.

The difference in wet grip really is that noticeable, she hated the changeover point late March this year.

First year on Nokian winter's on the MB, so far so good very reassuring in all cold scenarios, ice, slush, snow or water.
Winter Tyres? - Doc
See interesting test:

Winter Tyres? - Bagpuss
What do winter tyres make of water?

Can only agree with what GB says. The difference in wet road grip at lower temperatures with winter tyres fitted is amazing. Ice and snow obviously as well. Both my cars are rwd and with the winter tyres fitted I can drive (and brake!) with aplomb across surfaces that I pretty much have to tiptoe across with the summer tyres fitted.

It's always entertaining at this time of year sailing past the (inevitably) british and dutch registered Range Rovers on the road to Garmisch-Patenkirchen that are struggling in the snow on their 20" low profile summer tyres.
Winter Tyres? - Mapmaker
Why are low profile tyres worse than high profile?
Winter Tyres? - Bagpuss
Why are low profile tyres worse than high profile?

Generally speaking they aren't. It's the tread compound and pattern which make the difference. The point I was making was more the unsuitabability of these vehicles in wintery conditions unless they have the right tyres fitted, and the extent to which you can improve the suitability of more mundane machinery simply by using winter tyres.

Actually, up until recently it wasn't actually possible to buy winter tyres in the rubber band formats which I mentioned above, you had to go down a few wheel sizes and increase the tyre aspect ratio.
Winter Tyres? - legacylad
The future Mrs L has a Passat Tdi 140, currently with 93k miles on an '07 plate. Because of where she lives, a combination of altitude and steep residential road, she really struggles when there is any snow at all. She is considering fitting snow tyres just so she can get the mile to the main road, and plenty of her calls are in remote hilly areas, inc the N Yorks Moors and Derbyshire Dales. If her 'financial controller' ok's it, should she fit winter tyres to all 4 wheels, or just the driven ones?
Any advice please.
Winter Tyres? - gordonbennet
should she fit winter tyres to all 4 wheels
or just the driven ones?

All 4, the difference between the two will make the car very unstable imo, some eye opening links to youtube video's kindly posted by Doc above some of which show what happens when 2 only fitted to front, the back end overtakes the front quite alarmingly.

Is her mileage so high that she will wear them out by summertime, or is the car long term enough to support a winter only set and keep the existing for summer.

If not they will wear very quickly in the might be worth considering high quality all seasons like Vredestein Quatrac 3 discussed earlier...the tread being half winter half summer.

Edited by gordonbennet on 20/12/2009 at 21:46

Winter Tyres? - loskie
I've just ordered mine. Also see Nokian WR2
Winter Tyres? - legacylad
Thanks for the reply GB. 4 it is then.
Her lease car is changed every 3 years, due to be changed this Spring. If they wear out over winter, ie 20k miles, it is not too important in the grand scheme of things.
The lease company insist she use ATS who fit Michelin Primacy (I think) although the car came with Dunlop SP Sports.
The company (her employer, not the lease company) will hopefully pay for the winter tyres, which will be retained for the next lease vehicle, which at this stage looks like being an Insignia, although she favours the look of the Passat CC. I keep banging on about the Legacy but she refuses to drive an estate car! Hey ho.
Winter Tyres? - gordonbennet
Hope they do pay for 'em LL, Michelin winters will cost an arm and a leg but good stuff.
Winter Tyres? - legacylad
The lease company will only pay for 'normal' tyres through ATS. The winter tyres will hopefully be paid for by her employer, so she can fit any brand, and will be retained when the lease car is changed. Hope this clarifies.
Do you recommend fitting the 'winters' to her existing lease car alloys, or should she get a set of spare steel wheels...would they be interchangeable with a possible future Insignia?....bearing in mind that she covers lots of motorways miles in a very unmimsing fashion....
Winter Tyres? - Alby Back
Oh it's lease car ? Just tell her to use more revs, it'll be fine.....

Edited by Humph Backbridge on 20/12/2009 at 22:25

Winter Tyres? - legacylad
She does max the revs Humph, she does.
Not so long ago she had 8 people , including a full team of bin men, pushing her car up the road so she could get away on her travels.
Winter Tyres? - gordonbennet
fitting the 'winters' to her existing lease car alloys or should she
get a set of spare steel wheels...would they be interchangeable with a possible future Insignia?

Chances of them being the same size as the Insignia are remote IMO, but you never know.

I'd get them fitted to her existing wheels and keep the existing summer set to be refitted at the appropriate time, then do as you can with the winter set, maybe fleabay'em next autumn if they don't fit owt else and put the money towards the company do?

Good lease company to pay for Michelins anyway, i was party to a converstion in a leasing companies office where it was made clear to the querying tyre company that only budget tyres would be paid for, and the driver could not have tyres that gripped!!!

Trust Humph to have the answer..spin em out for change time;-)

Edited by gordonbennet on 20/12/2009 at 22:28

Winter Tyres? - David Horn
My brother drove back from Slovakia in his Audi with winter tyres fitted. I believe he used this fact to talk his way through a police roadblock or two after getting off the ferry and trying to access the motorway network.
Winter Tyres? - legacylad
Thanks GB. Much appreciated.
Winter Tyres? - cheddar
I have been in Hamburg this week, winter tyres are a virtually a legal neccesity in Germany due to the implications of causing an accident in snow and ice without them hence many people have two sets of wheels.

They are reckoned to be better at low temperatures in the wet and dry as well as on ice and snow however I reckon good normal tyres would be better say when braking in the wet on a motorway even in low ambient because they clear the water better, and once the ambient gets nearer 10deg than zero the normal tyres are much better.

On snow and ice in sub zero ambient winter tyres do help though.
Winter Tyres? - Mercian
I have a set of Vredestein's Snowtracs which we fit November to March on our MX-5, and, until you have tried them, you won't believe the difference they make: and I speak from a household that has a Forester and Outback and live in a semi-rural area.

I haven't seen a single gritter all week but have seen the looks on peoples' faces as you chug merrily uphill past a line of stationary traffic and traverse ungritted roads others won't or can't travel.

I find it amazing that people will spend a fortune on a car but not invest in spare set of cheap rims and quality tyres that cost £25 to fit and remove once a year and dramatically improve traction and safety - even if only for the week or so of extreme weather when everyone else gets stuck.

Yes, they won't unblock clogged roads but they will get you off the drive, out and back again safely and with confidence: a no-brainer given this weeks weather.
Winter Tyres? - drbe
I needed two new tyres on the back this week, I did consider getting the tyre place to fit winter tyres all round and I would take the two tyres from the front home with me until March.

But in the end I couldn't be fussed, so I just got two new tyres fitted to the back and left it at that.
Winter Tyres? - dieselfitter
Daughter teaches in a small village school half way up a long steep hill in the Pennines and has a 20 mile each way commute - I'm thinking she might find a use for a set of winter/all-season tyres. She has a Ka - only one I can find in 165/65 R13 is Vredestein Snowtrack, and I presume they'll be a special order....
Winter Tyres? - Mapmaker
Having driven an imprezza with snow tyres and without, the difference in performance on snow/ice is extraordinary. Like you wouldn't believe. You wouldn't know that you were driving on anything other than tarmac.
Winter Tyres? - gordonbennet
Dieselfitter...If you email Camskills they'll come back to you very quickly with stock status, wish mine were as cheap as these....small delivery charge so worth looking elsewhere too.

Edited by gordonbennet on 23/12/2009 at 11:06

Winter Tyres? - dieselfitter
Thanks GB
Winter Tyres? - rnick
I've splashed out on a set of winter tyres plus wheels for an accord diesel. The price from mytyres for a steel wheel plus tyre were within a few quid of the usual michelin's (tyre only)so worth a try. I'll fit them myself - but at least I can find out at home whether the wheel nuts can be loosened instead of at the side of road with a flat.
I live in a rural area (north Yorks) and am getting pig sick of gritting the road evernight using the grit bin.
I'll feed back on mytyres service and life with winter tyres once fitted.
Winter Tyres? - TTToommy

Just did a search on winter tyres and came across this discussion.

I really wonder what those guys who claimed its unecessary to get winter tyres are thinking or claiming now ;-)

always said we need winter tyres? ;-)

Winter Tyres? - Mutton Geoff
Your post prompted me to update my thread at
Winter Tyres? - Rory2000
Winter tyres are by far and way the best investment for your car, even in the wet the difference is huge, i got my winter tyres from these guys as i bought alloy wheels from them last summer: good prices, i called them and got a bit extra discount as well.

Winter Tyres? - dieseldogg


I appreciate I repeat what others have said above but

FWD + Winter Tyres, will probably mostly outperform 4WD on ordinary tyres

Especially regarding braking & steering.

On the other hand 4WD + Winter Tyres = mutts nutts

I have winters ready for the Octavia and will fit winters to the Steyr Puch when the current tyres are done.

in the case of the Steyr I will probably actually comprmise on "all seasons" and run them the year round.

Winter Tyres? - gordonbennet

''On the other hand 4WD + Winter Tyres = mutts nutts''

Agreed, had Vred Wintracs on the Hilux, not sure just how bad or steep it would have to be to stop it, went everywhere i asked of it in RWD only without the slightest slip.

Ask Honest John

Value my car