Summer over, which Winter tyres?

Discussion in 'Wheels, Tyres, Brakes & Suspension' started by Pitts Pilot, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. Pitts Pilot

    Pitts Pilot Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I’ve just bought some used alloys for my SL 350, they came off a SL500 and are 255 45 17, which is a size MB used on the SL350.

    The idea is to fit winter tyres to these wheels and I was wondering if I could go slightly narrower with some 245 45 ZR17’s?

    The choice of winter tyres seems to be significantly better at 245 than at 255 width, and using eTyres calculator, Tyre Size Calculator - Changing Tyres - Etyres, the narrower tyres are 9mm smaller in diameter, so a small change to the speedo reading. (Actually, I tend to set the cruise speed using my GPS anyway).

    I understand that narrower tyres are better at cutting through standing water and snow/sludge that recent winters have produced. Although 10mm narrow is not much to crow about. They will however be better than the 285 30 ZR19’s I have on the back, (255 35 ZR19 on the front.)

    My second question is what tyres?

    The “Which tyre v Value for Money” argument is a familiar thread, but I'm thinking if I’ve gone to the trouble of fitting winter tyres for improved safety, then I should look at premium brands such as ‘Dunlop Winter Sport 3D’ or ‘Goodyear Ultragrip 8’. Any thoughts on alternatives? Ideally, money should not have a bearing on safety, but in the real world the cost of premium tyres is fairly high.

    The tyre test site Test reports for car winter tyres seems to shine some light on the mind numbing selection of tyres out there. It does seem that "You get what you pay for" in terms of tyre performance.
    Does anyone have any experience with fitting narrower tyres and/or tyre brands/models?

    Thanks :)
     
  2. fuzzer

    fuzzer MB Club Veteran

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    Dunlop , goodyear, continental or michelin.

    They always seem to come out in the top 4 in the majority of tests.

    I was looking at the ultra grip 8's myself for my new wheels. Dunlop and goodyear and basically the same company and always are very strong in winter rubber.

    have a look at camskill , good prices there. I would choose either the goodyear or dunlop from here. Both are brilliant all rounders.

    Winter - Snow - Cold Weather - Car/MPV Tyres - 17" R17" - 245/45/17, 245/45 R 17
     
  3. CCAALLVVIINN

    CCAALLVVIINN Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I had Michelin Alpin somethings on our Volvo and it was unstoppable in snow, it cruised past X5s that were stuck without even slipping, so they are very good.

    Our Golf has Continental winter tyres, and even though we had no real snow this year, the performance on ice was good.

    The thinner the better for grip in the snow. I'm not really sure they are crucial for the UK though, it is a huge expense for not a great deal of benefit for a couple of days a year.

    We have them as I used to drive a lot in Europe in the winter, and it meant I was continually mobile and could get home.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Pitts Pilot

    Pitts Pilot Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I agree.

    However, I forgot to mention that I spend 3 weeks at Christmas/New Year near Bordeaux France, plus a couple of trips during Jan to March.

    Last winter it hit -17 (No joking :eek: ), and we where snowed in for a while. My (at the time) C250 couldn't climb a small incline to get to the main salted roads!

    So I agree, but I hope to get some use, and therefore value for money, in France.

    Thanks :)
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Pitts Pilot

    Pitts Pilot Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Thanks for heads up on CamSkill, they are very competitive on price, cheers :)

    I assume that I'm OK to down size from 255 to 245 without compromising safety?

    Thanks :)
     
  6. whitenemesis

    whitenemesis MB Club Veteran

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    What does the owner's handbook suggest for winter tyre sizes?
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Pitts Pilot

    Pitts Pilot Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Good question. The handbook states:-

    Summer tyres 255 45 R17 98W
    Winter tyres 225 45 R17 98V M+S

    So no change in size, just loading and M+S.

    I'd still like to go 245, it opens up the choice of tyres considerably.
     
  8. rf065

    rf065 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Before deciding which size to go for, you need to check what your wheels rim width's are, front and back, and what size tyres are recommended for that width.

    Have a look at Vredestein Wintrac Xtremes, one of the best winter tyres out there. I use 225/45x17 all round and can drive through 12" of snow without any drama.

    Russ
     
  9. Apial

    Apial Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    You have me confused. Speed rating and width have changed if you typed correctly, and therfore rolling radius too.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Pitts Pilot

    Pitts Pilot Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Sorry :eek:
    Typed the winter tyres incorrectly.

    Winter tyres are the same size as the summer ones, being 255 (not 225) /45 R17

    Thanks :)
     
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  11. OP
    OP
    Pitts Pilot

    Pitts Pilot Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    The wheel rims are 8.5J x 17 ET35
    Does this allow me to use a 245 wide tyre, rather than the standard 255?

    I was looking at Wintrac Xtremes at around £160, they have very good reviews.

    I am also considering the Dunlop Winter Sport 3D at around £185, so I've put their scores in brackets below (lower in better).

    Here is TyreTest.com data based on 1002 reviews for the Vredesteins, and 2407 reviews for the Dunlops.

    TyreTest.com:
    Score: 1-Excellent 6-Poor

    Grip in dry conditions________1.9 (1.7)
    Braking in dry conditions_____1.9 (1.7)
    Grip in wet conditions_______1.9 (1.8)
    Braking in wet conditions____1.9 (1.8)
    Grip in snow_______________1.8 (1.6)
    Driving comfort____________1.8 (1.8)
    Internal noise levels________2.0 (2.0)
    Exterior noise levels________2.1 (2.0)
    Tyre wear________________2.1 (2.1)
    Kilometres driven_____11,787__/__10,747

    It seems that you generally get what you pay for. The Dunlops are slightly better in wet and dry conditions, and better in snow. However, they are also more money!

    The difference in outfitting 4 wheels is: £640 versus £740.
    I'm inclined to spend the extra £100 on the 4 Dunlops. What do you think?

    Thanks :)
     
  12. rf065

    rf065 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    An 8.5J wheel will take 245 or 255, no problem there.
    Although the Dunlop scores are better on paper, I've been using the Vredesteins for 5 years now and they are so good in all conditions that I would not pay £100 extra for the Dunlops.

    Russ
     
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  13. V12

    V12 MB Club Veteran

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    Agree 245 will be fine. Have also had very good experience with Vredesteins whilst living in germany and Austria. Haven't experienced winter dunlops but I never got into trouble whilst driving in some -20 deg weather during the extremely cold 2005/2006 winter with ridiculous amounts of snow.
     
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