The annual winter tyre vs snow chains thread

Discussion in 'Wheels, Tyres, Brakes & Suspension' started by Spinal, Nov 25, 2006.

  1. Spinal

    Spinal Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    4,793
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Location:
    Uxbridge
    Car:
    Smart, S320 and C180 with 3-pointed stars amongst others
    Well, winter is upon us and it seemed to be a shame not to have the usual debate... especially as this year I can say something :p

    Topic: With winter upon us, are Winter tyres, all weather tyres or Snow chains in the boot most appropriate? (don't forget your location... I have a feeling the merc owners in the Bahamas will be wondering what this is all about :p)

    Atm, I have some random chinese brand tyres (195/65-15)(which I've been quite happy with strangely enough); and am planing to get snow chains for my christmas drive down home (Italian Alps). They have no information what-so-ever regarding winter/wet/dry/all weather, etc :p

    (before you winter tyre freaks flame me, I can't go driving all the way to Italy with a 4 spare tyres in the boot, especially considering studded tyres are illegal in cities in Italy from what I remember. That said, I don't feel too safe with all weather tyres alone, especially in the deep snow)

    Michele

    p.s. Let it snow!

    Edit: I was smart enough to forget to mention, I'm in the south of England and will drive to the north of Italy for christmas (or Snow-festival for those weirdos who think its "wrong" to call it Christmas(and no, I am not Christian. In fact, I am a devout Agnostic ;))
    Michele
     
  2. OP
    OP
    Spinal

    Spinal Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    4,793
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Location:
    Uxbridge
    Car:
    Smart, S320 and C180 with 3-pointed stars amongst others
    Quick add on, forgot to mention the wheel socks... They are some weird fabric that slips over the tyres and is meant to be effective also on ice... imho, I've never seen these on a car, nor have heard any comments on them. (and am quite suspicious of them...)
    Michele
     
  3. Sp!ke

    Sp!ke Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    12,234
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2002
    Location:
    West London
    Car:
    SL500 & The Fart Car
    Buy some all season snow tyres when you get down there, there bound to be cheaper than here and you can leave them on through summer with the new variety.
     
  4. grober

    grober MB Club Veteran

    Messages:
    27,625
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2003
    Location:
    Perth, Scotland
    Car:
    W204 C200CDI Estate
  5. Brian WH

    Brian WH MB Club Veteran

    Messages:
    6,382
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2002
    Location:
    East Midlands
    Car:
    JAGUAR XF 3.0D Premium Luxury
  6. OP
    OP
    Spinal

    Spinal Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    4,793
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Location:
    Uxbridge
    Car:
    Smart, S320 and C180 with 3-pointed stars amongst others
    Hehehe, lets throw fuel on the fire :p
    MICHELIN PILOT ALPIN PA2 H OR V RATED £63-50
    x5 = £317
    As a pose to 4 snow chains for roughly £100 from halfords or £20/£30 on fleabay :p
     
  7. grober

    grober MB Club Veteran

    Messages:
    27,625
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2003
    Location:
    Perth, Scotland
    Car:
    W204 C200CDI Estate
    winter tyres best.

    You will certainly need to put fuel on the fire to defrost your fingers if you try to put 4 sets of snow chains on/ off in conditions that warrant them. :eek: Borrow some from a mate and try it for yourself in the driveway. You will need to jack the car up to put on the cheap ones for a start !! Plus if you go down the winter tyre route you get 4 new tyres ( you don't really need 5 immediately) which if you chose ones with a conservative tread ( they get their grip from the tread "sipes" and high silica content rubber together with directional zig zag tread patterns), you can get the use of them all year round / anywhere which is more than can be said for snow chains. So I,ve redone the sum TAKING YOUR FIGURES:-

    5 winter/allweather tyres x 63.50=£317

    4 snow chains from halfords= £100 + 5 (MID QUALITY) V RATED summer tyres at £40=£200--------=£300

    Hardly seems worth the hassle of snow chains route to me

    If you do want to go down the snow chain route I can recommend WEISSENFELS Cos you can put them on with the wheels on the ground.:D available here http://www.snowchains.co.uk/ They also run a hire facility if thats of interest.;) but I dont think its cheap!!
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2006
  8. Fandango

    Fandango Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    514
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2002
    Location:
    Central Scotland
    I wasn't aware that you needed to fit chains on all four wheels, I thought it was only on the driven wheels.

    I maybe wrong of course...

    But I agree with the winter tyre option being preferable, it's the more user friendly option.

    Regards
    Karl
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2006
  9. OP
    OP
    Spinal

    Spinal Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    4,793
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Location:
    Uxbridge
    Car:
    Smart, S320 and C180 with 3-pointed stars amongst others
    From what I know, on front wheel drive cars you can get away with chaining the front 2 wheels; on 4WD/allWD you really should chain all 4. On rear wheel drive cars, some people advocate chaining the rear wheels only, other all 4... its a grey area really (I'm the 4-chain person, if your rear tires need chains to stop them skidding and they provide the thrust, your front tyres which control your direction are just as important!)
    Michele
     
  10. Subyland

    Subyland Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    576
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2004
    Location:
    Norfolk, UK
    Car:
    E320T; E270T CDI; A170L CDI auto; Land Rover Defender 110
    Winter tyres have now replaced most snow tyres. The major difference is a much better performance on wet road. If I were you I'd have a set of winter tyres (I have 4 Goodyear Ultra Grip 7 and they're excellent) and a pair of chains in the boot just in case, although I would be very surprised if you have to use them. Best place to buy winter tyres is Germany as theyare compulsory there and therefore quite cheap. The site given by Grober is also excellent.
     
  11. BonzoDog

    BonzoDog Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    734
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Location:
    Luxembourg
    Car:
    280 cdi Break S211 Avantgarde, B200 CDI, W245, Autotronic
    100% correct. Try putting snow chains on once in the snow and you will never do it again.
    I really don't get all the fuss. Just put some winter tyres on. This is what just about everybody else does in these conditions. When it is really bad, don't drive.
     
  12. scgfull

    scgfull Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    272
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
    Location:
    Hampshire
    Car:
    E350 Bluetec Night Edition Estate & CLK 350 Cabriolet AMG Sport
    Hi,

    I lived in Norway for a few years and they know about driving in snow and on ice. There it is a requirement to have winter tyres on from November to Easter. Studded tyres are not used very often as tehy are banned in a number of urban areas. They therefore use specific Snow and Ice Tyres. In the 3 winters I spent there (and subsequent driving in the Alps in winter, I have never needed to use my Snow Chains. To wit I am eternally grateful as they are a real pain to put on when you are in the cold and up to your knees in snow. I now use Winter tyres in this country at no real extra expense.
    PS I live on the south coast!
     
  13. Shude

    Shude MB Club Veteran

    Messages:
    13,914
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2002
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Car:
    CLK55 AMG
    Just to confirm for those that are wondering.

    If you have a RWD car then your rear wheels push the car, the front wheels steer and most importantly do practically all of the braking.

    If you have a FWD car then your front wheels do everything and rear wheels do nothing.

    If you're taking a corner which wheels would you prefer to slide out of control? On a FWD car if you oversteer through a corner because the rear wheels lose grip then you're basically doomed as you have no control over the rear of the car. On a RWD car if you're a driving god then you might be able to correct it (don't expect ESP to help you on ice or snow because those functions require you to be able to at least grip *something*)

    You need to put winter tyres or chains on ALL FOUR wheels, no matter whether your car is FWD, RWD or 4x4.
     
  14. blackscooby

    blackscooby Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    235
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Car:
    W203 C32 AMG, Honda VFR Vtec, Peugeot 205 GTi rally car
    Seriously considering getting some Nokian WR's for winter on the AMG. Fronts OK with 225/45/17 @ about £80, but sadly they don't do rears in 245/40/17. Anyone know if 235/45/17's would fit ?

    I just don't see the point in risking getting caught in any snow / ice etc on regular tyres in the Yorks Dales and risk my AMG ! It's bad enough in the wet !!!
     
  15. Shude

    Shude MB Club Veteran

    Messages:
    13,914
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2002
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Car:
    CLK55 AMG
    Close to the limit (2.39% /15mm difference in rolling diameter) but they should fit.
     
  16. OP
    OP
    Spinal

    Spinal Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    4,793
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Location:
    Uxbridge
    Car:
    Smart, S320 and C180 with 3-pointed stars amongst others
    I'm almost about to buy a set of winter tyres... but, I'm still not convinced about Italian politricks... The roads I drive on (near Bardonecchia if anyone knows the area) have (numerous) signs stating that chains are necessary in case of snow; do winter tyres "fit" this legislation?

    Also, for those with E-classes (or jsut bigger than 15" tyres :p)
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&viewitem=&item=320053233818

    Michele
     
  17. Shude

    Shude MB Club Veteran

    Messages:
    13,914
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2002
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Car:
    CLK55 AMG
    You should probably check with the locals!
     
  18. OP
    OP
    Spinal

    Spinal Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    4,793
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Location:
    Uxbridge
    Car:
    Smart, S320 and C180 with 3-pointed stars amongst others
    I am a "local" :p

    I'm going to go either with:
    Pirelli
    All season tyres P 2500 Euro
    195/65 R15 91H , M+S marking With mytyres.co.uk only £ 51.20

    Goodyear
    All season tyres EAGLE VECTOR EV-2
    195/65 R15 91H , M+S marking runout With mytyres.co.uk only £ 51.80

    Nokian
    Winter tyres WR
    195/65 R15 91H With mytyres.co.uk only £ 51.20

    I've called my local JustTyres, and they said they would call me back to see if they could beat those prices... not bad...

    I'll also grab a pair of chains off ebay (£30 roughly for just 2), with no intention of using them, but more of a "hit the cop with them and drive off" measure :p (I kid...)

    Speaking of which, in England, there are blond jokes. In Italy, we have Carabinieri jokes... (carabinieri being a divison of the police). Needless to say, I have a feeling keeping some chains in the boot will be a good idea either way!

    Michele

    edit: did some research on the matter... its quite weird actually...
    That says that from the point that there is a specific sign, you MUST have snow chains or "snow tyres" fitted.

    This is part of another law, that states that you MUST be able to show the police a pair of snow chains (at least 2) during the winter months. (Meaning, not necessairly fitted to your car, but if its winter, you must be able to show them some snow chains for use when there is snow).

    I certainly hope the older law takes precedence on the newer one....
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2006
  19. grober

    grober MB Club Veteran

    Messages:
    27,625
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2003
    Location:
    Perth, Scotland
    Car:
    W204 C200CDI Estate
    Merc seem to recommend using 7.5jx17 ET 36 rims on the rear with 225/45/17s FOR WINTER TYRES. If you offset the lower price of the 2 narrower tyres against the purchase of 2 narrower wheels( second hand / replicas ?) MIGHT NOT BE TOO BAD COST WISE?
     
  20. SimonsMerc

    SimonsMerc Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    1,143
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2004
    Location:
    Sudbury, West London
    Car:
    Mercedes S212 E350 CDI BlueEfficiency Sport 256bhp, VW Passat B6, Suzuki GSX-650F, Suzuki DRZ-400SM
    Winter tyres and snow chains serve two completely distinct (albeit related) purposes.

    Winter tyres give you more grip on normal wintery roads, may help if you come across slippery wet conditions or black ice, and in general make winter driving safer. They do not mean you can drive with less care than usual in difficult conditions, but they do mean it's safer to drive.

    Snow chains, on the other hand, are for actual snowy and icy roads only. They need to be taken off and put on, and are a right royal pain (as some folk have mentioned).

    You don't need one or the other, you need both; the tyres for normal wintery driving, the chains for when conditions become really difficult.

    -simon
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.