Reducing speed ratings?

Discussion in 'Wheels, Tyres, Brakes & Suspension' started by MB-BTurbo, Jul 5, 2017.

  1. MB-BTurbo

    MB-BTurbo Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    One of my summer tyres has a puncture and am considering using this to take the opportunity to replace the tyres to all seasons. I live in the Dales and would certainly benefit from them in the colder months.

    The problem is that most of these tyres either maintain their v speed rating (standard) but go to a 94 XL side wall stiffness or keep their side wall stiffness of 91 and drop to a H speed rating (130mph).

    Considering my car can't even reach 130mph would it make most sense to go for the standard, 91 side wall stiffness and H rating? Anyone any experiences to the contrary?
     
  2. whitenemesis

    whitenemesis MB Club Veteran

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    Most Mercs have a 'hard' speed limiter option especially for when using lower rated winter/all season tyres. Personally I can't see why you shouldn't be fine but double check with the insurers
     
  3. OP
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    MB-BTurbo

    MB-BTurbo Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Sorry, I should have said, its my commuter, a Honda Civic 1.6d
    Insurance? Doesn't have much to do with them unless I exceed 130mph, have a blow out and crash as a result.
     
  4. whitenemesis

    whitenemesis MB Club Veteran

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    What does the handbook recommend as a winter tyre option?

    As I said I personally can't see anything to worry about whichever tyre you go with. I doubt you would notice any difference in ride quality with the stiffer sidewall. Get the cheaper option
     
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  5. OP
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    MB-BTurbo

    MB-BTurbo Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Good question. The handbook states that the same load rating (91) must be used but the winter tyre options include a 91T, 91V and a 91W. Considering the H (130mph) is a higher rating than T (118mph) it makes sense to get the 91H.
     
  6. bob6600

    bob6600 MB Club Veteran

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    I had this yesterday. Ordered a tyre via Asdatyres and it was V rated (130mph). The fitter at F1 Autocentres advised me it was the wrong rating as mine was W rated (168mph). I did tell him mine won't reach the V let alone the W speeds but he said he has to make me aware and put it on the paperwork.

    It's a disclaimer I guess, he did say something about not just speed but tyre loads etc. I have used them in the past and never had an issue.

    He did say you can go up but not down. I thanked him for the advice and continued with the purchase. Personally I would not worry about it
     
  7. OP
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    MB-BTurbo

    MB-BTurbo Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    It makes you wonder why a lot of car manufacturers put on tyres that far exceed their limitations. My handbook states that the 91V needs to be replaced with other 91V tyres and then contradicts itself by saying that if you use winter tyres then a range of sizes may be used along with 91T, 91W and 91V load and speed ratings.

    So clearly the car doesn't 'need' V speed rated tyres.
     
  8. whitenemesis

    whitenemesis MB Club Veteran

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    As other marques, they assume one wouldn't be driving as fast in winter ... Snow ice etc.
     
  9. OP
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    MB-BTurbo

    MB-BTurbo Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Haha, I guess not, but neither would they assume that I or anyone else would require the extra speed rating of 130mph in the summer.
     
  10. whitenemesis

    whitenemesis MB Club Veteran

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    Some parts of Continental Europe, 130mph is slow...
     
  11. KeithJG

    KeithJG Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    You do have to have the car as manufacturers intended it to be for insurance reasons whatever the owner wants?

    OK, maybe a pain but i look at it this way the lower rating tyre at continuous speed with 4 up on the Mway is nearer it`s limit than the higher rated tyre!

    So therefore safer.....

    I don`t think the handbook is contradicting itself as it know`s that you cannot do high speeds on snow icy roads or in rain in winter?

    I think you will find the manufacturers build there motors to be used in any country in the world another reason the ECU maps are different depending on the country for quality of fuel.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
  12. markjay

    markjay MB Club Veteran

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    I wouldn't worry about the tyres' performance as such, BUT I suggest that you either buy tyres that meet or exceed the car's original spec (91V), or else notify your insurer re the lower rating of the new tires. No point in giving the insurer a loophole to exploit in case of a claim.
     
  13. OP
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    MB-BTurbo

    MB-BTurbo Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    What loophole? The modification needs to be a contributing factor to void or reduce a claim. A reduction in speed rating that is still above the legal speed limit and above the capability of the car is not grounds for a dismissal.
     
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  14. Smart320

    Smart320 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    If you are so sure what is the problem with checking with your insurance company? Why give them the slightest chance of avoiding a payout?
     
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  15. OP
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    MB-BTurbo

    MB-BTurbo Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Because I would be forever phoning them. Can I buy non oem mats, wiper blades, etc. Also I have experienced one insurance company try to charge for an item that they shouldn't have. I got charged £50 for a change of air filter a few years ago. Not a performance one just a cheaper non OEM one. In my nativity and paranoia I phoned them to ask if it was ok and they said that due to them being unable to determine whether the performance would be effected they charged me a standard risk fee.

    Renewal and switching then becomes an unnecessary annoyance when using comparison sites as declaring any mod to do with tyres artifically effects the premium. If you don't then it's on record that you previously declared so you have to phone them up and hope that the call taker knows what they're talking about etc.

    If you don't need to then why would you and ultimately, what contributing reason would they have to refuse a payout? They cannot simply say, 'the car was not as originally intended'. There needs to be grounds on which the insurance company can demonstrate that they were unable to accurately calculate the risk that led to the claim.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
  16. Smart320

    Smart320 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Because unlike wiper, mats etc. Tyre speed ratings are safety related. You are free to do as you wish, I would not bother ringing them I would buy the correct tyres, rated as the originals or higher.
     
  17. OP
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    MB-BTurbo

    MB-BTurbo Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    What is more plausible and therefore a higher risk to safety?

    A. Someone crashing because they bought cheap wiper blades and couldn't see when it rained?

    B. Someone crashing as the cheap mats that couldnt be properly fixed to the floor clips slid under the break pedal?

    C. Someone crashing while exceeding 130mph on H rated tyres in a car that can only do 115mph?
     
  18. markjay

    markjay MB Club Veteran

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    The loophole is that if you do not declare a modification, the insurer will claim that they were unable to correctly assess the risk and therefore you paid an incorrect premium - which voids your policy. Once the policy is nullified (again, because the correct premium has not been paid) they will reject any claim in the relation to the 'invalid' policy, regardless of what the claim is about.

    In reality what they will do is withhold any payment to the policy holder, but pay-out any 3rd party damages that may apply and then chase the policy holder through a civil process to recover their costs.

    You may be aware that at least on one occasion when they tried doing this a judge ruled that they can not simply nullify a policy due to non-disclosure and ruled in favour of the policy holder, BUT anyone thinking of not declaring tyre spec change based on the premise that they will take the insurer to court and (maybe) win, clearly has far too much time and far too much money on their hands...

    (Incidentally, once the insurer declares your policy void you will also be charged by police for driving without insurance).

    Still don't have time for that phone call.....?
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
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  19. markjay

    markjay MB Club Veteran

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    Your logic is impeccable BUT unfortunately this is not how things work - your arguments above will be valid in the event of criminal precedings where the personal culpability threshold is high, but not when it comes to civil insurance matters - see my previous post.
     
  20. OP
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    MB-BTurbo

    MB-BTurbo Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    On what is this statement based?

    I am basing what I have said on a discussion with someone who worked in the insurance claims industry.
    This would lead me to believe that you are correct in all of what you say AS LONG AS the unassessed risk relates to the claim. If it doesn't then you have paid the correct part of that premium that relates to the cause of the claim.
     

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